May 30, 2024

Ganesha, among the Hindu gods has a different look in appearance with his elephant head and trunk and wide stomach and body. There are many stories related to the look of Ganesha and one story goes like this. Once there was an Asura (demon) who had all the features of an elephant and he was called Gajasura. Gajasura was undergoing strict tapas (penitence) to please Lord Shiva. After some time of strict tapas, Lord Shiva was impressed with this demon and his austerity. Shiva appeared before him and decided to grant him a boon, as a reward for his austerity.

Gajasura wished that he could emit fire constantly from his own body so that nobody could even come close to him. Lord Shiva granted him his request and Gajasura kept doing his penitence and the Lord kept on appearing in front of him. Each time Lord Shiva appeared in front of Gajasura the lord kept asking him what he wanted. Once the demon desired that he the Lord inhabited his stomach which Lord Shiva agreed to. Meanwhile Parvati was searching for her Lord everywhere and finally reached in front of Vishnu seeking his help. Vishnu knew everything an assured Parvati help to find the Lord.

Vishnu changed the bull of Shiva, Nandi, into a dancing bull and made him dance in front of the demon, and Vishnu himself cam in disguise of a flutist. Seeing the performance of the bull the demon was a happy person and asked the flutist what they wanted. The flutist asked whether he can give whatever they asked for and the demon was ready to offer them whatever they wanted. The flutist then asked the demon to free Lord Shiva from his stomach and the demon understanding that it is Lord Vishnu himself freed Shiva from his stomach and asked him for one last wish. He wanted to be remembered with his head after his death and Shiva immediately called Ganesha and substituted his head with that of the demon. This is the reason why in order to have prosperity one should start with the adoration of Ganesha.