Feb 25, 2024
Feb 25, 2024
by P C K Prem
As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 86
Despite best efforts, Ganesha does not yield and so it infuriates lord Shiva, who cuts off >the head of Ganesha. When Parvati learns, she is shocked and angry. In retaliation, she releases shadows of delusory powers, which kill and destroy every created being, dead or alive and it results in panic and anarchy in the three worlds.
Narada plays an important role and brings truce. The Trinity feels upset and ultimately, Shiva agrees to undo whatever he did and so finally, ganas of Shiva implant head of an elephant on the torso of Ganesha. He gets up and to please goddess Parvati, the lord of gods confer the status of Presiding Deity on Ganesha. All the gods and celestial and created beings agree to worship Ganesha before they worship any other god or offer prayers. The Supreme gods bless the deity and make Ganesha the destroyer of all obstacles and sufferings.
Every created being has an exclusive space of privacy and solitude and if it is disturbed, it is violation of individual region of freedom. Violation of absolute personal autonomy if avoided can bring peace and harmony in the world. The goddess tells indirectly created beings to respect one another’s areas of personal time and space so relevant in contemporary times when a man has lost the grace to honour such little good things.
Uneasy and disquieting situation worsened further and it forced Shiva to rush to the rescue of mighty counselors. At that time, Ganesha thought of the feet of Parvati, who had bestowed on the child sufficient power and strength. All gods of heaven sided with Shiva, and again a fierce war with Ganesha ensued. Ganesha fought against the collective forces of gods, whom Shiva guided and directed. At last, when Shiva failed to find a substitute, he picked up divine trident and cut off the head of Ganesha. It was sufficient to annoy the goddess and therefore, in anger, she asked delusory powers to destroy everything.
The unfortunate incident of Ganesha’s death gave a huge shock to Parvati. She was very distressed and angry. In utter fury, she did not think over the regrettable and tragic incident, and so, created shadows of delusion and illusion, and asked the forces to destroy everything. Now, the divine powers killed and destroyed everything, and spread out everywhere to annihilate created beings whether dead or alive, and it became difficult to stop. A horrible scene of ruin it was. Blazing fire of the invisible powers scorched all directions and regions and thus, created beings felt the heat. Beholding an unprecedented sight of destruction, all ganas of Shiva were terrified. They failed to challenge the forces Parvati released, who put up strong resistance and so, everyone ran fast and stood quite away. Terrible destruction continued and none was able to control the frightening and ruinous conditions that threatened lives of all the created beings.
At this critical hour and time of wreck and crisis, sage Narada arrived. Coming of sage provided solace and comfort to gods because the celestial sage was the only wise soul, who could offer a viable and effective solution to the agonising situation. Sage Narada saluted Brahma and Shiva and softly advised that they must sit with the gods of heavens and contemplate on the serious disastrous situation, now converting into a threat to life and existence of animate and inanimate beings.
Brahma and Shiva agreed to the advice of sage Narada and therefore, asked the gods of heavens to assemble, and thereafter, held serious deliberations on how to suppress awesome delusory powers from advancing further, and defeat Ganesha if confrontation is inevitable.
However, they thought it better not to escalate hostilities. Peace could prevail only if goddess Parvati demonstrates grace and mercy. If she were kind and generous, it would give joy and comfort. Therefore, they considered it waste of time if they continued to explore indefinite alternatives. Brahma, Shiva and prominent gods decided, appeared before Parvati, genuinely praised, appeased and eulogised the divine woman with respect, love and affection because she cared for the wellbeing of the three worlds and created beings.
After some time, the sages with the consent of gods of heavens, said, “O Jagadmba, we salute, O holy consort of lord Shiva, we salute you. O benefactor of all beings, we bow and salute. O holy Amba, you are the power unborn. You are the great power, the creator, the preserver and the destroyer of the universe. You uphold virtues. Because of tremendous anger and wrath you wield, the three worlds are disturbed. Therefore, O Parvati, please be happy and control resentment and fury. O goddess, we bow heads at your feet.”
All sages admired Parvati and despite many words of praise, goddess threw a fleeting look of anger but did not utter a word. Again, the sages bowed heads at the feet of goddess, folded hands with full devotion and earnestly pleaded.
Wise sages said in humility, prayed and later told, “O goddess, incredible destruction disturbs. So, forgive. Pardon all, O goddess. O holy Ambikei, kindly see lord Shiva is also present. Look, he stands with a request. O goddess, you exercise control over Brahma, Vishnu and all the gods and other created beings and therefore, with folded hands, we stand here in front of you and seek forgiveness. O goddess of goddesses, grant amnesty to all for the sins and crimes they committed. O Shivei, bestow peace, and kindly be generous and cool down.”
After humble entreaties, Brahma, Vishnu, all the gods, sages and celestial beings appeared miserable, felt deeply distressed and stood with folded hands before the angry goddess, the image of furious goddess Chandika. Chandika was now satisfied and delighted to hear praise, and was happy when holy souls apologised. They asked for clemency and sought pardon and relief. Feelings of pity and compassion calmed down goddess.
She said, “O holy men, if son Ganesha gets back life and is rejuvenated, irrespective of status and location of Ganesha, created beings must worship him and also pray before him, only then destruction would stop. After a conscious thought, if the sacred assembly confers on the divine child Ganesha the status of ‘Presiding Deity’ of all, only then, peace in the three worlds would prevail or else you will not get peace, harmony, joy and comfort.”
Wise sages heard clearly words of goddess Parvati in all humility. They returned to the assemblage of gods and narrated each word she spoke. A huge layer of gloom and disillusionment shadowed faces of gods and lord Indra, the lord of gods. They went to Sankara (Shiva), folded hands and prayed, saluted at the feet of the lord and narrated everything.
Shiva heard request of sad gods and said, “It is alright. We should act wisely so that the three worlds are happy and comfortable. Therefore, go to the north and then, cut off the head of a living being whom you meet first. After severing the head, join it to the body of the child.”
The gods of heavens were very happy at the decision of Shiva. Gods agreed to meet the simple request of Shiva, for they did not think of any option. The gods did not reflect on the suggestion deeply, decided to go to the north, as they wanted to complete the assigned task without waste of time. They cleansed the body of the child and thereafter, religiously offered prayers and worship, and then, went to north as lord Shiva directed. They confronted an elephant, the first living being with one tooth only. They severed elephant’s head and joined it with the child’s torso. Thereafter, the gods offered prayers, saluted and prostrated at the feet of Shiva and said, “We have completed the given assignment and now, kindly do whatever is left imperfect.”
All the gods and the counselors felt extremely happy to hear about the success of a great task assigned to gods. Thereafter, Brahma, Vishnu and various gods saluted the infinite, the formless and the eternal Sankara and said, “O swamy, you created living beings with divine radiance. We request the great illumined energy to enter the body of the child with the chanting of Vedic mantra.”
The gods said, took water, sanctified it with incantation of Vedic mantras and thereafter, remembered Shiva, and sprinkled holy water on the body of the child. A mere touch of consecrated water infused life and the child regained consciousness and got up as if he were taking rest. The most fortunate celestial child looked very attractive with the head of an elephant of green-red colour. The gods noticed tremendous happiness on the face of the child. A divine aura spread in all directions. Everyone present was delighted and immensely happy to see the son of goddess Parvati smiling as if blessing everybody and thus fully contended, she eliminated impact of delusory powers, and wiped out miseries of the three worlds. Undoubtedly, thereafter, peace and harmony prevailed in the three worlds.
To be Continued
More by : P C K Prem