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Why Ganesha Has Elephant Head? How Was Ganesha Born?

Why Ganesha has elephant head? How was Ganesha born?

Ganesh elephant head story: Lord Ganesha is the eldest son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and the brother of Lord Kartikeya. He is the supreme Lord of power, wisdom and prosperity. He is the most intelligent of all Gods and is also invoked as the patron of learning during any writing session, loves art and He himself is an expert musician. The principal scriptures that describe the almighty in the correct form are Ganesha Purana, Mudgala Purana and Ganapathi Atharvashirsa.

Once, Goddess Parvati asked Nandi Maharaja, one of Shiva’s closest associates and servitors, to stand outside the cave while she takes bath inside. However, Nandi relented when Shiva wished to go in. Upon seeing Him, Parvati got scared, covered Herself and felt embarrassed. Knowing that Nandi can never disobey Shiva, She wished to have someone else to guard Her and to be loyal to Her.

She secretly created a yogmaya jaal (illusionary trap) around Her in order to not to be noticed or sensed and created a young boy out of turmeric powder which she had applied on Her body. The turmeric paste contained dirt (earthly) particles accumulated on Her skin. She forced an element of Her consciousness energy into the paste and the boy emerged out of it. She told him to guard Her while She bathes.


Next day the boy picked a fight with Nandi who asked him to leave. After Nandi was defeated, an army of ghosts (devotees of Shiva) attacked him. A battle ensued. They were all defeated. Finally Lord Shiva arrived and picked a fight with the boy who was adamant about not letting anyone in. Shiva found it hard to defeat the boy, unaware that he is born of Goddess Parvati who personifies prakriti, or nature.

Enraged and irate, Shiva had no option but to take out His cosmic Trident and behead the boy. When Parvati found this her entire body shook in anger. She declared that all the creations will be ruined. Hearing this Lord Brahma pacified Her and dissuaded Her from executing the curse. She declared: If my boy is not brought back to life, everything will be finished. And if he is brought back to life, he must be worshipped first. Finding out the truth, Shiv repented killing the boy with His powerful Trident. Even the Vedas do not permit the killing of the following four: a child, a woman, a cow and a Brahmin even if they are at fault. Later on, Shiva asked Brahma to head north upon descending on the earth and bring the head of the animal which he sees first. The first animal was an elephant which was sacrificed for Ganesha. The head was brought and given to Ganesha. This is how Ganesha got an elephant’s head and was also called Gajanana.

Once of Lord Shiva’s powers is to transform an object into its constitutional position. Ganesha was made of dirt accumulated on Prakriti (Pravati’s body) that represents the material nature. The boy was made by dirt or illusion of the mind and blocked Shiva from meeting Parvati. In a sense it prevented the soul from meeting the mind. When Shiva cut the head off, and replaced with Elephant which means “memory”, the realization dawned that the mind has taken birth to meet the soul. So Ganesh represents this auspicious realization, personifies intellect, memory, patience, humility and divinity. He is worshipped first symbolizing these qualities or the person who has these qualities is honored first in all the three worlds.

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