First the Sholka.
Try and visualize Deepak Chopra’s face …. and George Clooney’s voice …..
“Vakratunda Mahaakaaya Suryakotee Sama Prabha,
Nirvighnam kuru mey Deva, Sarva kaaryeshu Sarvadaa”
Vakratunda Mahakaaya …… O great one with the curved trunk and vast body.
Surya kotee Sama Prabha …….. The light of a million suns that’s how brilliant you are.
Nirvighnam Kuru Mey Deva …….. Free my way of obstacles, My Lord.
Sarva Kaaryeshu Sarvada……… In all the things I do and for all time.
Wow! That’s a powerful mantra. Some people are deeply marked by these words.
Now the Story
There are many creation stories as to how this elephant headed God can to be. My favorite was told to me by my grandmother who was Maharastrian. It has a little bit of everything …… sci-fi, confrontation, fantasy, war, magic, ego, sex, remorse, love, rage, collaboration, respect. It is outstanding. Here goes.
Parvati wants to have bath right …. So she asks Nandi the bull to stand guard at the door. The orders are to let no one pass. Simple enough you would think right! WRONG!
While she readies her bath water Shiva arrives at the door right …. So what does Nandi do …. He lets Shiva in of course … I mean it is his house … she is his better half …. And he is Nandi’s boss !!!!
Now Parvati is cheesed off !!!! She did say “let now one pass …” she goes to look for Nandi. He is a Bull but he is not stupid and has made himself scarce. Now Parvati know she can’t trust anyone so she creates an idol of a boy from her sandalwood paste that she uses for her bath. Being the Adi-Shakti he grants the idol life. She then give him a weapon and sets him at the door, the orders are the same “let now one pass …”
On cue Lord Shiva returns and as the Boy does not know him from Adam, he says “You shall not pass” The super ego kicks in and Lord Shiva asks his boys the “GANAS” to teach the child some manners.
Created by Parvati, shakti herself ….. The Boy is strong. He thrashes the Ganas. Now, the show of strength, Narada with all the Saptarshi in tow try to negotiate but fail. Indra, the king of Gods attacks with his army …. Flop show.
Now it’s all out war ….. the male ego is hurt you see… Shiva destroyer of the universe gets into action and chops off the head of the Boy. Baap re Baap, Parvathi has had it. She becomes Kali …. Her most terrible form and she goes on rampage. It’s utter destruction.
The Gods run for cover and asks Shiva to do something. Shiva showing some sense after all realizes he has to do something to fix the situation. He sends off his Ganas to find him a head. The Ganas find a mother elephant in tears over her dead calf. They bring the head of the baby elephant and place it over the body of the Boy.
Lo and behold Ganesha is born. Awesome!
Lord Shiva says this Boy will be called
Ganapati (leader of the Ganas)
Ganesha (lord of the Ganas)
Today Ganesha is probably the most popular God in the Hindu religion and is loved as the God of Knowledge and wisdom, good luck and as the remover of obstacles; he is placed at the doorway of houses and establishments as a guard against the evil eye and is invoked at the beginning of a new project or at the start of travel.
In the name of Shri Ganesh ……Happy Travelling. By Rajesh Baruah