May 30, 2023
May 30, 2023
by P C K Prem
As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 87
A delicate situation arises…undoubtedly, the forces of gods fail to defeat Ganesha and it was only after intercession of the lord that resolution is found but it leads to further thorny dilemma – after protracted negotiations Ganesha becomes the ‘Presiding Deity’ …and marriage of Ganesha
In a fierce war that ensued between the gods and ganas of Shiva and the most powerful child of goddess she created proved distressing and agonising to citizens of heavens. While she took bath, it became difficult for the gods to defeat the child despite divine powers. The divine child created as one of the ganas, with the intent to guard the palace’s gates of goddess Parvati to ensure ‘time alone’ whenever she needed, stood solidly to protect it from unauthorised entry. He appeared irresistible and mighty and therefore, the gods and ganas ran away. No doubt, they went to fight against the child gana with the sanction of Shiva but failed to defeat. They knew that to play an untrustworthy game with the guardian of the Parvati’s palace would definitely incur goddess’s wrath.
They failed to dislodge the divine child from the assigned seat and status regardless of efforts. They suffered enormous loss and therefore, to avoid further humiliation, they returned disillusioned and narrated every incident to Shiva. An infuriated Shiva severed the head of child gana with the trident. Parvati was angry and created numerous delusory powers in the figures of ganas to destroy everything. Gods and Shiva had to submit to the fury of Parvati and later on, lord devised a strategy to revive the dead child as Parvati wished. An elephant’s head with a tooth implanted on upper body of the child gave back life to the child and fulfilled Parvati’s fervent ultimatum.
As the child gana (Ganesha), got back life and sat majestically before the gods, the gods of heavens immediately coroneted Ganesha. Parvati felt happy when she saw everyone revering and worshipping the divine child. She hugged the child lovingly and tenderly. Afterward, happy Ambika (Parvati) offered wonderful clothes and precious ornaments to Ganesha. Even people with perfect knowledge of different siddhis (attainment of perfection in an art) venerated the newly blessed gana. The most revered mother of Ganesha touched various limbs of her creation – Ganesha, sanctified caringly as celestial hands of goddess moved over the body of innocent gana.
Shiva and Parvati greeted child-gana and granted proper respect and love, kissed forehead, and then, said warmly, “O son, you suffered immensely but now, you are free from sufferings and miseries. You are fully gratified and therefore, supremely blessed. In future, devotees and people will offer prayers and worship you before they revere other deities, and gods and from now on, you are the ‘Presiding Deity’ and will never confront hindrance on the path or undergo sufferings.”
She said again, “One finds sindoor (a mark of vermilion) on the forehead and therefore, human beings will worship you with sindoor. People will worship you religiously with sacred flowers, chandana (sandal), essence and holy fragrance, naivaidya (sanctified food fit for offering to gods or deities), enchanting prayers, tambool (betel nut), and dana (gift in charity), make numerous entreaties and worship and thereafter, will go around the image and salute. They will get all kinds of boons and blessings. You will destroy sufferings of devotees, O son.”
Maheshwari – Parvati said to son Ganesha, bestowed many precious gifts and valuables on him and thereafter, greeted liberally. Now, all the gods and celestial beings stood calm and quiet as goddess Parvati showered mercy and compassion. Later on, Indra and the gods, in delight, joy and extreme pleasure, eulogised blessings and virtues of goddess Parvati and thus, pleasing the great goddess with devotion and feelings of bhakti, escorted Ganesha to lord Shiva.
Ganesha (a son of goddess Bhawani, who is kind and generous to all) sat in the lap of Shiva. Shiva touched forehead of the child with divine hands and said to the gods, “He is my second son.”
Ganesha got up and prostrated at the feet of Shiva. Later on, he greeted goddess Parvati, Brahma, Vishnu and the celestial sage Narada and various sages reverentially. After he paid respectful greetings, he said, “To demonstrate pride and ego is the nature of human beings. You kindly forgive me for the act and crime of impudence.”
Brahma, Vishnu and Sankara stood up and bestowed supreme blessings on Ganesha.
They said, “O gods and sages, the three lords (Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva – Trinity) are worshipped in the three worlds. Similarly, you worship lord Ganesha. Human beings should worship lord Ganesha first, and then, offer prayers, and worship the great Trinity. Only then, the worship of deities will complete. O gods, if the gods and the created beings do not worship lord Ganesha before and then, pray before Trinity, then the entire act of worship would be futile, a mere waste. Do not think otherwise. Worship lord Ganesha before other gods.”
Holy Trinity appeared before goddess Parvati with the sacred objective of satisfying the goddess, and declared lord Ganesha the “Presiding Deity.” Shiva was extremely happy and with a joyous heart, bestowed on Ganesha various boons, which provided eternal happiness, joy and pleasure.
He said, “O Ganesha, no doubt, I am very happy. Now, I feel contented and consider the whole universe happy and full of joys. Nobody can challenge or oppose you. You are son of godly power of Parvati. Therefore, you are full of divine radiance. You exhibit tremendous valour and gallantry as a child, so you remain happy and contented. People and devotees know, and shall continue to recognise you as the greatest destroyer of any obstacle, and grant you a distinguished status of ‘presiding deity.’ All will worship and therefore, you become the chief of the ganas.” In this way, lord Shiva blessed Ganesha abundantly.
Thus, a devotee of spiritual psyche and doctrine enjoy blessings, compassion and riches. Further, one ought to know that his philanthropic and humanitarian outlook and smile eliminate sufferings, obstacles and evil-minded persons.
After blessing the divine child Ganesha, Sankara delightfully conferred another boon.
He said, “O lord of Ganas, you took birth on the fourth day of Krishna paksa, in the month of Bhadra (August-September) at the sacred time of moon rise. When you were born out of the most sanctified mind of Girija, the first pahara (segment of night) was going to lapse. As the time of birth begins, taking it as a holy time, created beings would observe fast and thereafter, worship and honour you. The fast will bless devotees…”
Sankara told devotees how to worship Ganesha, “A devotee, who observes religious principles, will get the desired blessings and happiness, and prosperity and opulence will visit, and such a devotee will live blissfully. Lord Ganesha will eliminate sufferings, hindrances and evil-minded persons from the path of devotees.”
Shiva conferred many blessings on Ganesha and thus, fulfilled wishes of Parvati. When Shiva conferred boons, all gods, sages and ganas felt extremely happy with the divine boons and expressed great satisfaction and as a result, a united divine sanction strengthened the celestial powers of the divine child. Thereafter, all gods and ganas of Shiva prayed before Ganesha as he was also the chief and it provided great pleasure and mental satisfaction to Parvati, who found it difficult to describe.
On attaining the supreme status among the gods, celebrations among the celestial beings and gods began and divine musical instruments filled the atmosphere with godly tunes, rhythmic dance and heavenly blessings through hymns, and at the beats of musical tunes, apasaras (nymphs) danced ecstatically. Gandharavas sang songs, and shower of sweet-scented flowers delighted everyone. In the presence of the Trinity, gods and goddesses, sages, monks, gandharavas, siddhas and various celestial beings, the heavenly priests with the consent of Supreme lord conferred the most coveted, dignified and divine status of ‘Presiding Deity’ on Ganesha and installed the divine lord as the presiding deity.
Supreme peace in the three worlds prevailed, and sufferings disappeared. The occasion provided pleasure to Shiva and Parvati as many fortunate and auspicious happenings took place in the entire universe. Afterward, celestial beings and souls bowed, saluted and took permission of Ganesha, and went to respective abodes. Ganesha, the Presiding Deity of gods of heavens mesmerised divine souls during childhood as his amazing exploits mystified and confounded celestial beings and so was a perennial source of joy and delight to the divine couple.
Childhood of Ganesha amazed every celestial being all knew. Little exploits appeared just straightforward but had deep significance. Brahma told Narada that the sons of Shiva and Parvati lived and enjoyed early days of little jinks, pranks and frolics that filled divine couple with contentment and pleasure, and so they enjoyed conjugal life in great divine satisfaction. It appeared as if the entire world was revolving around Ganesha and Kartikeya. The divine couple thought of marriage of their sons, as they were grown up now. Who should marry first was the big question.
Each one wanted to get married first. It was an issue of contention between the brothers. Parvati and Shiva wanted a solution and so they thought of one stipulation. Therefore, the divine couple thought and laid down the condition in unequivocal words, ‘You will have round of the world. Whoever, goes around the world and completes the round(parikrama) would be married first.’
The mighty Kartikeya heard and began the journey to complete the round first. However, the treasure of supreme wisdom Ganesha, stood motionless and thought deeply. He knew of natural limitations he lived with. He was worried and so went back, took bath religiously and said, “O dear father and mother, I want to worship. Please sit on the specially made seats and fulfill my wish.” He worshipped and then, expressed the desire to get married.
They told him to go around the world for which Kartikeya had already gone to fulfill the condition. Ganesha told that he had done it seven times. It astonished everyone.
Ganesha was clear and frank and so told, “In truth, wherever parents live was a tirtha for the offspring,” he affirmed, “Scriptures are clear on this and therefore, O father and mother, the Vedas say so. You are the most sacred and beautiful holy temple of worship – a sacred place of pilgrimage all sastras avow. If you do not agree, every word of scriptures would prove wrong. So, marry me immediately or else you tell that all Vedas – sastras are incorrect and the supreme wisdom these talk of is presently unjustified and false. You are image of dharma for me. Please think over and whatever you think right, do it.’ Ganesha had said. Shiva and Parvati had no alternative since it was difficult to contradict what Ganesha had said because they knew that a man of wisdom was more powerful and mighty than anybody else and so they agreed not to act against the highest wisdom of Ganesha.
Ganesha married Siddhi and Buddhi, the most beautiful and divinity incarnate daughters of Prajapati Visvarupa and later, Ksema took birth through the womb of Siddhi, and Buddhi gave birth to Laabha and so the couple continued to live a blissful married life.
In the meantime, Kartikeya returned after the mission and learnt about the truth of marriage of Ganesha and the revelation filled him with distress and anguish and perhaps, out of sense of failure, went to mountain Krauncha even when Shiva and Parvati tried to stop him. Thus, he lived a life of celibate and became famous. In the month of Karitika when it is full moon, all the gods of heavens, sages, holy places – tirthas etc. and monks go to the mountain for darshana of Kartikeya and seek blessings. Mere glimpses of him, destroy sins of human beings, fulfill all wishes people believe, and further all affirm that it is a path to salvation – moksa.
Thus, Ganesha married and settled down to live happily, whereas Kartikeya went out and lived as a celibate at mountain Krauncha, which later turned out a great tirtha. Problems of gods arose again when they found that daityas had become devotees of Shiva and wished to establish supremacy over gods.
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More by : P C K Prem