Among the 33 crore Hindu Gods, there are the mightiest Gods, and the less mighty Gods. Lord Ganesha is not only counted among the mightiest ones, but also is, so to speak, the first among equals among the mightiest Gods. For the elephant-headed, pot-bellied Lord Ganesha is invoked not only before undertaking any task, but also before beginning a prayer to any other God, including the Holy Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Lord Ganesha is the God of knowledge, wisdom, and the fine arts. The reason why Lord Ganesha is worshipped before any other God at the start of a new venture is because he unfolds the secrets of spirituality as well as material life. The small eyes of Lord Ganesha teach us to take a subtle and analytical view about the issues facing us. The trunk of Lord Ganesha, which can smell from a long distance, teaches us discrimination. Lord Ganesha has two teeth, one is fully grown and the other half-grown. The full-grown tooth is a symbol of belief, while the other one represents wisdom and intellect. Even the other Gods pray to Lord Ganesha before undertaking any task.
According to the scriptures, Lord Ganesha is regarded as the remover of all obstacles, and the restorer of harmony, which is why we have the tradition of portraying him, and not any other God, on marriage invitation cards, so that one’s married life will be a harmonious one.
Lord Ganesha’s Birth
The legend has it that one day when Goddess Parvati was having a bath, she made a boy from the dough she used for her bath and imbued it with life. She then told him to stand guard on the main doorway of the house, and not to let anyone in until after she had finished bathing. In a short while, there came Parvati’s husband Lord Shiva himself, and, as instructed by his mother, Lord Ganesha stopped the mighty God from entering. Lord Shiva became very angry and cut off Ganesha’s head with his trident. When Goddess Parvati came out and saw this, she raged against it and asked Shiva to make her son alive, or she would destroy the whole world. Left with no choice, Lord Shiva went to the earth with Lord Vishnu and took the head of the very first living being they came across, which happened to be an elephant, and fixed it on the body of Ganesha. After this, Lord Shiva apologised to Goddess Parvati and declared that, henceforth, Lord Ganesha would be worshipped before all the Gods and Goddesses.
Read about the 12 popular names of Lord Ganesha – http://www.ganeshaspeaks.com/article/GANESHA-12-NAMES.action
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