This legend narrates the story of the birth of Ganesha.
Ganesha the elephant faced God is one
of the most popularly worshipped forms of divinity - as a remover of obstacles and the
embodiment of good luck, in the Indian system of beliefs and practices.
Ganesha is regarded as the son of Shiva and Parvati
(Shakti), the Universal parents, and the brother of Skanda.
Legend has it that Parvati, created a
beautiful boy from the dirt of her body, treated him as her son, and gave him the
responsibility of guarding her home. Shiva, upon returning home was
affronted by this lad, hitherto unknown to him. The lad, true to his word to his mother,
refused to let Shiva into his own home.
An enraged Shiva sent his Bhuta Gana attendants
to scare the lad and to obtain entry into his own home. The lad single handedly defeated
the Bhuta Ganas in battle. A clash of egos followed, as Shiva
sent several of the Gods, to fight against Ganesha and an equally enraged
Parvati sent several of her attendants to fight them. In the resultant
fight, the valorous lad's head was chopped off by Nandi deva, and the lad
Parvati's grief knew no bounds, and Shiva
sought to assuage her, by promising to bring the boy to life. Alas, his head could not be
found in the battlefield. A quick fix was sought, and it was decided that the first
available head would be used to bring the boy to life. Accordingly, the boy was fitted
with the head of an elephant and brought back to life.
Even this did not placate Parvati,
who sought that this boy (who successfully created obstacles to his father's mission) now
fitted with the head of an elephant, should be regarded by one and all, as the remover of
obstacles, and should be offered worship first, before any form of worship was offered to
any other manifestation of divinity.
This boon granted, Ganesha, the lord
of the attendants of Parvati, came to be regarded as Vigneshwara
the remover of obstacles.
where an image of Ganesha with a human face is held in worship
The Vallikalyanam legend where
Ganesha created and removed obstacles in the path of Skanda's marriage