Feb 28, 2024
Feb 28, 2024
by P C K Prem
As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 85
Goddess listens to the suggestions of her attendants because they feel privacy of the palace is not secure, anyone enters any time one likes, and it threatens or jeopardizes private moments of the great goddess and therefore, she wants a gana, who guards her from any intrusion into privacy.
Parvati felt disturbed because of uncalled for entrance of ganas into the palace. Therefore, it was essential that the palace should have an exclusive attendant, who should guard the entry to the palace. Parvati after serious thought agreed to the appeal and therefore wanted an independent gana to attend to her needs so that she could maintain privacy. Thousands of ganas attended to lord Shiva and they looked after goddess Parvati but even than she did not have exclusive right over anyone. On persistent suggestion, she created a gana Ganesha. When she went to take bath, she asked Ganesha not to permit anyone to enter the palace.
However, one day when Shiva entered the palace to see Parvati, Ganesha unaware of the status of lord Shiva, stopped him. Ganas of Shiva tried to intervene but Ganesha did not agree and it annoyed all ganas and when they reported to Shiva, he was furious. After some argument, a serious conflict ensued which proved disturbing. Immense violence created anarchy in heavens. On gods’ zealous and persuasive appeals, Shiva decided to look into the matter and arrived near the scene where his ganas had difficult time with the gatekeeper of goddess Parvati. Surprising, no one even thought of the privacy of goddess.
Ages back, goddess Parvati sat closeted with very intimate friends, Jaya and Vijaya. For some time, it appeared, Jaya and Vijaya were not fully satisfied with the affairs of the lord of the mountains. They deliberated on a certain important issue but to arrive at a decision was difficult rather it was illusive.
They said to Parvati, “O dear friend, all ganas (attendants, followers) attend to lord Shiva and follow lord’s instructions. Nandi, Bringhi and other ganas attend to us but they also obey directions of Shiva. Numerous pramathaganas (groups of ganas) roam about. However, none belongs to us exclusively. They are obedient to lord Shiva and stand at the lord’s door and obey the commands, and act upon the decree of the lord. Though they remain here and abide by, yet at the level of mind and heart, they are absent. O goddess, if you agree to the proposal, you also create a gana so that he looks after us only.”
Parvati was convinced it seemed. Wise counsel of Jaya and Vijaya appeared reasonable and quite apt as they thought of goddess’s wellbeing. She reflected on the suggestion for some time and the thought of creation of a gana continued to wrestle in the mind.
Once, Parvati was taking bath. Nandi guarded the lavatory and restricted the entry to the palace. Suddenly, Sadashiva arrived and entered the palace of Parvati while she was taking bath. Nandi stopped Shiva, who not only entered forcibly but also tried to threaten Nandi. When she saw Sankara approaching, she stood up during the bath and it caused surprise and tremendous embarrassment to the holy consort.
Lord appeared to violate privacy of a woman when she took bath. A self-respecting woman even if a wife, would not like husband to intrude into exclusive moments of retreat. It may not appear disgusting or bad for some but from behavioral civility and grace it certainly not only discomfits a woman but it also appears in bad taste. Shiva was Supreme Lord and here, this particular act otherwise insolent and offensive was embryonic of a divine design of future events still unknown even to Parvati. When Shiva entered, she stood aghast and shocked and at that time, a thought struck. She remembered opinion of friends. She found the proposal to keep a personal gana quite relevant and befitting.
To solve future embarrassment, Parvati created a gana (Ganesha) and asked him to guard the entry of everyone whenever she was in her private room. More so, he should obey, and no one should dislodge him from the duties she assigns.
Thus, she deeply thought over while she stood to greet Shiva. The well thought out plan encouraged further and fortified her resolve and therefore, Parvati out of the secretion of body, created a really beautiful, conscious and perfect man outfitted with many virtues. This created being was big, magnificent, supremely grand, mighty and valourous.
She bestowed many kinds of wonderful clothes, ornaments and then, blessing with supreme boons, she said, “You are part of me, O son. I love you more than anyone else.” A divinely created being, saluted and said, “O mother, whatever it is …you call and I shall obey instructions.”
Shivei (Parvati) heard polite and pleasant words and said, “O son, you are my son. You are integral part of this body. From now onward, you would be the guardian of gate. O noble son, do not allow anyone to enter the palace. Be humble and firm. Allow none to enter whoever turns up without my consent. O son, I say clearly and truthfully. You nurse no misgiving.”
After instructing suitably, she gave a stick. Looking at the beautiful and grand figure of a divine child, later on, called Ganesha (gana + ish = the king of ganas), she was filled with delight and joy. Out of deep love and affection, she kissed stunning forehead of the child, and out of deep pleasure, embraced him lovingly. Afterward, she asked the king of gana (Ganesha or lord of ganas) with a stick in hand, to stand at the door, guard it and stay vigilant.
Now, Ganesha born of flow or emission of body, a son of Parvati, on the instructions of mother, began to guard the gate of the palace with a stick in hand fully cognizant of the directions given. He only wished the wellbeing of holy mother. Parvati, after situating Ganesha on the door was happy and satisfied. To ban entry of anyone coming without a nod was good and at that time, she preferred to take bath along with friends. To reach the inner portion of the palace, exclusively the private domain of godly women was thus difficult without consent of the goddess. One day, at this time, lord Shiva, the lord of unusual delusory powers arrived at the door. Ganesha stopped Shiva’s entry into the privacy of Parvati.
In fact, Ganesha, son of Parvati did not recognise the eternal and powerful consort of mother Shiva, and therefore, said, “O lord, please do not enter without the consent of mother Parvati as she takes bath now. Where do you wish to go? Please get away at this time.” He said and took the stick in hand.
As he picked up the stick, Shiva said, “O fool, why do you stop? Foolish man, do you know… I am none other than…Shiva.”
When he did not care to obey Shiva, the ganas of lord arrived and tried to remove Ganesha.
They said, “O dear child, listen. We are senior ganas of lord Shiva, the guardians and are here to remove you with the consent of lord Shiva. Thinking you as one of the ganas, we did not kill you otherwise, we would have finished you long before. Why do you invite death for no reason?”
Even after the threat, Ganesha stood fearlessly. He reprimanded ganas of Shiva but did not permit entry and continued to guard strongly the place, did not leave the key door and stood daringly to prevent unsolicited intrusion. They went to Shiva standing at a distance, narrated the incident and conduct of a gana guarding the entry to the inner room.
Shiva, the lord of delusory powers and the source of origin of life and motion of the universe, admonished ganas and said, “O ganas, who is the impudent gana, who utters words as if he were an enemy. Throw the new guard out of Parvati’s citadel. Why do you stand like impotent people to tell impertinence of a gana?”
After the ganas heard snappish and unkind reprimand from Shiva, the origin of delusory powers, the ganas regretted, realised the mistake and went back.
Ganesha stopped the attendants of Shiva. Naturally, Shiva did not approve of the conduct.
He said, “O ganas, go and find out who is he? Why he is obstinate?”
Ganas enquired about the antecedents of the new gana and reported back, “He is son of Girija (Parvati) appointed as a sentinel on the main gate of palace of goddess Parvati to ensure privacy.” When Shiva learnt the truth, which probably the lord already knew, he resorted to amazing delusory acts and at that time, wanted to censure and nullify misgivings, ego and pride of ganas.
It is difficult to divine the extent and depth of spread of delusory and illusory powers of Shiva, who puts devotees and disciples to hard moments of ordeal and scrutiny. He smiled, called gods and ganas and asked them to teach a lesson to the new sentinel of the gates of Parvati. A great war commenced between Ganesha and ‘gods and ganas’ of Shiva. However, Ganesha defeated all.
It had become difficult for the gods of heavens to face gana of Parvati. They felt humiliated as death and ruin appeared heavy. They appeared before Shiva narrated the horrifying situation and related everything about the audacity and arrogance of the gana of Parvati. Shiva knew what was in the womb of future and so he simply looked on and deliberated on the issue seriously without giving hints to the gods, who stood before him with hope and expectation. It was an attempt of a self-respecting woman, who even if a wife does not approve of her man’s intrusion into exclusively private moments particularly when she is taking bath. To secure privacy is right of everyone. Therefore, creation of gana was an effort to ensure personal time.
To be Continued
More by : P C K Prem