21    ‘Ganeshaakhyaana’-‘Utpatthi’, Shani Vikshana, Kashyapa’s Curse to Shiva, ‘Eka Danta’ due to fight with Parashurama, Ganesha Kavacha & Mahatmya
Maharshi Narayana recounted to Narada Muni the account of Ganesha commencing from his birth, the significant events that followed with impact on Universal welfare and his ‘Mahatmya’. Maha Deva advised that Devi Parvati should perform a Sacred Vrata Punyaka in favour of Shri Hari which was like a ‘Kalpa Vriksha’ that fulfilled all kinds of desires including ‘Uttama Putra Prapti’; this Vrata was the best like Ganga among Rivers, Shi Hari among Devatas, Shiva among the Vaishnavites, Brahmana among Charur Varnas, Pushkara among Tirthas, Tulasi dala among leaves, Parijata aong flowers, Ekadashi among Punya Tithis, Ravi Vara among the aweek days, Margasirsha among the Maasas, Vasanta among Ritus, Mother among the Gurus, wife among the closest relative, Mango among the fruits, Pati among Priyajanas, son among the Bandhujanas, Priya bhashan among sweets, Puranas among Kavyaas, and so on. Bhagavan Shiva appointed Sanat Kumara as the Purohit of the Vrata along several persons to acquire Puja materials and intiated the proceedings of the year-long vrata on Magha Shukla Trayodashi with the objective of securing an extraordinary male child with Vishnu’s ‘Amsha’. Brahma and many important Devas arrived to attend the Vrata, besides innumerable Maharshis and Rishis like Kapila, Kratu, Vasishtha, Pulaha, Atri, Gauthma, Bhrigu and arkandeya. Dharma Putra Nara-Narayanas, Dikpalakas, Devatas, Yakshas, Gandharvas, Kinnaras, Vidyadharas and so on.Bhagavan Vishnu and Devi Lakshmi too arrived, to initiate the Maha Vrata. Vishnu Deva addressed the illustrious gathering and blessed Devi Parvati for performing this unique Vrata which woul grant her the benefit of thousand Rajasuya Yagnas and Golokanath Shri Krishna himself would be born as partial ‘Amsha’ to the Shiva-Parvati pair. He further declared the boy to be born would have over thousands of epithets like Ganesha the house hold word in Trilokas and as the Lord of Ganas; Vighna nighna as he would bless that no obstacles would be faced by the Performers of any deed the Worlds over; Lambodara since his Bhaktas would pamper and offer him food specialities that he liked and his stomach would be thus elongated; Gajaanana since an elephant face would be fixed on his shoulders soon; Ekadanta as he lost one of his tusks in an encounter with Parashurama. Lord Vishnu ordained that if Ganesha were not worshipped no puja would be ever successful anywhere in the Trilokas. As the Vrata was executed perfectly as per the prescribed ‘Vidhana’, the illustrious guests were treated in high esteem, appropriately gifted and respectfully provided unique ‘Bhojanas’. Then the question of Dakshina was raised by the Purohit Sanat Kumara for sucessfully conducting the Vrata; he said that either she parted with the Tapsya that she had been putting in all through her life or given away her husband Parama Shiva. Devi Parvati argued that if her Vrata were to be fruiltful by givng away either her Tapasya or her husband, then the vrata was not worth it, except that she would beget a son and secure Dharma! It was like performing puja to a tree by ignoring the interest of the Bhumi! A husband would be more worthy to a Pativrata than obtaining hundred sons! As Parvati was arguing like this, Vishnu offered the solution of giving away Shiva as Dakshina and got him back in exchange of cows which were of Vishnu Swarupa. Evenwhile Parvati was not satisfied the solution, Sanat Kumara performed ‘Purnaahuti’ of the Vrata and Maharshis recited the Swasti Mantras and the Sacred Vrata was concluded. But Parvati was none too happy about the deal suggested by Vishnu. However she offered one lakh cows in exchange of her husband, especially since Vedas underlined that the price of a cow was that of a husband. The problem was still not settled as Sanat Kumara said as to what would do with one lakh cows in place of an invaluable Shiva! Devi Parvati was non-plussed since neither she was able to secure the Vrata Phala by getting a son of Krishna Amsha as assured by Vishnu, nor could even get the ‘darshan’of Shri Krishna. Just as her mind was disturbed on these lines, there descended a big blaze from the high skies like thousand Suryas and all the dignitary Deities present looked up in awe and dread; Vishnu, Brahma, Mahadeva, Dharma, Saraswati, Savitri, Lakshmi, Himalaya and various Devatas. Devi Parvati was overcome at the vision of an all compassing radiance and broke into grateful tears that after all the Vrata that she performed was indeed triumphant and that the Mula Purusha had acknowledged its success! She was literally dazed and prayed to that huge illumination and Paramatma obliged her with his physical vision for a while eventually the vision disappeared. Sanat Kumara released Shiva, gifts were given away liberally to all the invitees, excellent food was served, music and dance were displayed and Shiva and Parvati knew no bounds of joy. Meanwhile a hungry Brahmana appeared on the scene and after taking food counselled the couple about the Parama Tatwa of the Unparalelled, Ever lasting Truth and about the Most Compassionate Supreme Power and he too disappeared suddenly. Even as Parvati was utterly bewildered in that stage of heightened astonishment and shock with incidents happening so swiftly that she was in unbelievable dreams, an ‘Akash Vani’was heard loudly and clearly that Shiva and Parvati should immediately reach their Mandir: The Celestial Voice said: ‘Jaganmaataa! Please be composed and see for your self your own son in your Chamber; he is indeed the Goloka Pati Paratpara Shri Krishna Him self! The boy is the sweet fruit of the Magnificent Tree of the Punyaka Vrata that you had so successfully accomplished! It is that Parama Teja which the highest yogis dream of visioning; it is that Adi Purusha whom Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are constantly absorbed in with Dhyana; and it is that Punya Rasi Swarupa whose very thought dispels all Vighnas of all Beings in Trilokas who is lying playfully in your bed chamber indeed!!’ As soon as the Akashavani Devi Saraswati made the celestial announcement, the Shiva-Parvati couple made a swift dash into their Mandir, embraced the child by quick turns and gave ‘Mangala Snaana’; even before the Snaana, all the Devatas, Dikpalakas, Gandharvas, Apsaras, Maharshis got collected and instantly Vishnu, Brahma, Dharma and their spouses were anxiously waiting for the Darshan of the Sacred Child. Vishnu blessed the child with ‘Deerghaayu’/ long life, Vignaan like that of Shiva, and ‘Sarva Pujyata’/ Worship worthiness soon! Brahma said that the child’s fame and Shakti be known all over at once. Maha Deva blessed his son that like himself he should become a Daata (Philanthropist), Hari Bhakta, Buddhimaan, Vidyaavaan, Punyavaan, a Jitendriya and Shanta Murti. Dharma Deva blessed to be a Dharmika / the Form of Virtue, Sarvagjna/ the All- Knowing, Dayaalu / Kind hearted, and ‘Shri Hari Samaana’/ equivalent to Shri Hari. Devi blessed him to be a resident of each and every home and be an ever charming and Powerful source of Strength to every body. Saraswati blessed him Dharana and Smarana Shakti /Memory Power, Vivechana Shakti / Thinking Power and Kavita Shakti (Power of Imagination). Veda Maata Savitri blessed that he should become a Veda Gnaani. Vasundhara (Bhu Devi) blessed Ganesha to be an emblem of Kshama (Forbearance), Sharana daata (Provider of Refuge), Ratna Sampanna (The Fund of Opulence), Vighna Rahita and Vighna naashaka (The destroyer of Obstacles). Parvati blessed Vinayaka to excel inhis father’s traits as Maha Yogi, Siddha, Siddha pradaata, Shubha karaka / Giver of Auspiciousness, Mritunjaya / the Conqueror of Death and ‘Atyanta Nipuna’ or the Embodiment of Skills. Those who read or hear about the ‘Ganesha Janma Vrittanta’ are blessed in several ways: the childless would get chidren, the poor gets rich, the wifeless gets wife, the diseased gets healthy, an unfortunate woman gets fortunate, a spoilt child gets discipined, money lost gets recovered and an unhappy person finds himself extremely joyful.
Shani Vikshana: Once Devi Parvati happened to meet Lord Shaneswara the Planet and the son of Surya Deva during the Festive days of Ganesha’s birth celebrations and asked him to bless the child. Shani Deva declined politely as his looks falling on a newly-born (or for that matter on any person) would not be auspicious to the child, since he was cursed by the daughter of Gandharva King called Chitraratha, to whom she was engaged as decided by his father. Unfortunately, he encountered the woman when she was about to have her bathing after menses; she cursed Shaneswara that whom soever he would see a person even by mistake would have his head cut! Parvati did not take what Shani Deva said seriously and prevailed onhim to bless Ganesha. Although Shani Deva glanced the child through the corners of his eyes, Ganesha’s head droppped abruptly and Devi Parvati fainted at this sudden tragedy. The dropped head of the boy reached Goloka and Vishnu realised as to what had happened. He jumped on Garuda and flew towards North to locate any ‘Praani’ sleeping northward and found a bull elephant; its head was sliced with his Sudarshana Chakra and fixed the elephant head in place of the head of Ganesha and blessed the child foremost after the fxation of the elephant head and returned to Kailasa. After getting better from her faint, she found Vishnu who had completed the task of fixation of the elephant head. Meanwhile Maha Deva realised what all happened and so did Brahma, Dharma and Devatas.Vishnu blessed Ganesha and gifted his Kaustubha Mani; Brahma gifted a precious kireeta /headgear, Dharma a Ratnaabharana and all other Devatas followed suit. As Devi Parvati became exremely upset with Shaneswara, she cursed him to become ‘Angaheen’ but Devas requested Devi Parvati to reconsider her lightening the curse especially she took Shaneswara’s warning lightly, she reduced the severity of her curse by revising it that Shaneswara might turn lame for ever.
The first puja, after Ganesha’s new Rupa emerged, was executed by Vishnu and he blessed Ganesha that at each Puja, Vrata, or any Sacred Deed, the Prathama Puja must be performed to Ganesha only and garlanded him with a Vanamaala. Vishnu performed the ‘nama karana’ (name giving) in the presence of Devas, Maharshis and Munis; he gave eight names: Vighnesha, Ganesha, Heramba, Gajaanana, Lambodara, Ekadanta, Shurpa-karna and Vinayaka. Devi Parvati made Ganesha sit on a golden chair, gave ‘Padya’with the holy waters of Ganga, Godavari etc.; offered Akshatas, flowers, chandana, Kasturi, Agaru Dhupa, Deepa, and Naivedya with a variety of Bhakshya, Bhojya, Lehya, Choshya and Paniyas, besides a wide range of fruits. Tri Murtis and their spouses, Devas and Devis, Menaka and Himalaya had all chanted the Mantra: OM Shreem Hreem Kleem Ganeswaraaya Brahma ruupaaya chaaravey, Sarvasiddhi pradeshaaya Vighneshaaya Namo namah/ Bhagavan Vishnu then recited the Sacred Ganesha Kavacha to Shanaischara as follows:
Samsaara mohanasyasya Kavachasya Prajapatih,
Rishirscchhandascha Brihati Devo Lambodarah Swyam/
Dharmaartha kaama moksheshu viniyogah Prakirtitah/
Sarve -shaam kavachaanaam cha saarabhutamidam Muney,
Om Gam Hum Shri Ganeshaya swaahaa mey paatu mastakam,
Dwatrimshadaksharo Mantro mey sadaavatu/
Om Hreem Kleem Shreem Gamiti cha Satatam paatu lochanam,
Taalukam paatu Vighneshah Satatam Dharani taley/
Om Hreem Shreem Kleemiti cha satatam paatu naasikaam/
Om Gaim Gam Shoorpakarnaaya Swaaha paatwadharam mama,
Dantaani taalukaam jihwaam paatu mey shodashaaksharah/
Om Lam Shreem Lambodaraayeti swaahaa gandam sadaavatu,
Om Kleem Hreem Vighnanaashaaya swaah karnam sadaavatu/
Om Shreem Gam Gajaananaayeti swaahaa skandham sadaavatu,
Om Hreem Vinaayaketi swaaha pushtam sadaavatu/
Om Kleem Hreemiti Kankaalam paatu Vakshahsthalamscha gam,
Karow Paadow sadaa paatu Sarvaangam Vighna nighnakrit/
Praachyam Lambodaram paatu Aagneyyaam Vighna naayakah,
Dakshiney paatu Vighnesho naairrutyaam paatu Gajaananah/
Paschimey Parvati putro Vaayavyaam Shankaraatmajah,
Krishnashyaamshaschottarey cha Pari purnatamasya cha/
Eshaanmekadantascha Herambah paatu chordhvatah,
Adho Ganaadhipaha paatu Sarva pujacha Sarvatah/
Swapney Jaagaaney chaiva paatu maam Yoginaam Guruh/
Iti tey kathitam Vatsa Sarvamantrougha Vigraham,
Samsaara mohanam naama Kavacham Paramaadhbhutam,
Shri Krishnena puraa dattham Golokey Raasamandaley,
Vrindaavaney vinitaaya Mahyam Dinakaratmja/
Mayaadattam cha tubhyam cha yasmai kasmai na daasyasi,
Param Varam Sarva Pujyam Sarva sankata taaranam/
Gurumabhyarchya vidhivat Kavacham Dhaarayetu yah,
Kanthevaa dakshiney baahow sopi Vishnurnasamshayah/
Ashwamedha sahasraani Vaajapeya shataanicha,
Shatalaksha Prajastopi na Mantrah Siddhi daayakah/
( This ‘Samsaara Mohana Kavacha’s Prajapati is Rishi, Brihati is the Chhanda, Swayam Lambodara Ganesha is Devata; Dharma, Artha, Kaama and Moksha is the ‘Viniyoga’; this entire Kavacha is of great essence: Let the Mantra Om gam hum Shri Ganeshaaya swaaha safeguard my head; the Dwadashokshara Manta save my forehead; let Om Hreem Kleem Shreem Gam protect my netras / eyes; may Vighnesha protect my ear lobes; let the Mantra Om Hreem Shreem Kleem protect my nose; let the Mantra Goum Gam Shurpaanyaya Swaha guard my lips and tongue; let the Mantra Om Lam Shreem Lambodaraaya Swaaha secure my cheeks; may the Mantra Om Kleem Hreem Vighna naashaaya swaaha keep my ears safe; let Om Shreem Gam Gajaananaaya swaahaa secure my shoulders; may the Mantra Om Hreem Vinaayakaaya swaaha guard my rear part of my body; let Om Kleem Hreem protect my ‘kamkaal’/ skeleton and the Mantra Gam save my chest. Let Vighna-nihanta provide safety to my hands, feet and the entire body! May Lambodara save my Eastern side, Vighnanayaka the Agneya side, Vighnesha the Southern side, Gajaanana the Nirruti side, Parvati putra the West, Shankaraatmaja the Vaayavya side, Shri Krishna the North, Ekadanta the Ishaana kona, Heramba the Urthwa bhaga / skyward, and Ganaadhipa the ‘Adhobhaga’ the underground. May the ‘Yogi Guru’ procect my while asleep or awake. This is how I explained the whole ‘Samsara Mohana naama Kavacha’to you Suryanandana Shaneswara. This Kavacha was bestowed to me when I attended the ‘raasa leela’ convention at Goloka and this should be divulged to one and all. If a person wears the Kavacha after Guru Puja, it shall indeed safeguard him or her and bestows the boons of performing thousand Ashwamedha Yagnas and thousand Vaajapeya Yagnaas. The Siddhi of this Kavacha is attainable after hundred lakh japas of it.)
Kashyapa Muni’s curse to Shiva: Besides the Shani Vikshana, there was another reason for Ganesha’s Elephant head. Once Surya Deva attacked two demon brothers Mali and Sumali and the ever-kind Maha Deva saved the brothers by throwing his Trishul on Surya and the latter became motionless with a serious injury on his chest and his chariot fell down too. The whole Universe came to stand still, the highly frightened Devas were stunned at the happening and the World was drowned in complete darkness. The highly griefed father of Surya Deva, the powerful Kashyapa Muni, was shattered and gave a curse to Maha Deva that just as his son’s chest was broken open by the Trishul, Shiva’s future son too would drop off as suddenly. The momentary anger of Shiva got cooled down and from his Yogic powers recovered Surya’s normalcy. The demon brothers received their retribution at once as they became victims of dreaded diseases as their limbs were dried up and they lost their strength and shine. Brahma advised that since they annoyed Surya and contracted the incurable diseases, they had to worship Surya himself and please him. He taught the remorseful demons the method of worship to Surya, his Stuti and Kavacha and regained their might and sheen.But Kashyapa Muni’s curse as irretrievable and Ganesha’s head had to be replaced.
Parashurama’s encounter with Ganesha and loss of the latter’s tusk:The famed Emperor Kartaveeryarjuna visited the Ashram of Maharshi Jamadagni as he and his huge army was tired by the dusk; the kind Maharshi treated the Emperor and army with excellent food and ‘Atithya’( hospitality) becoming of their stature. The Emperor wondered as to how a Sage could afford such royal meals and generosity. The Muni explained that this was all due to the grace of Surabhi Kamadhenu. A jealous Kartaveerya desired that Surabhi was worthy of the custody of an Emperor but not a poor Muni and that Jamadagni would better give charity to him so that the huge army could be properly taken care of their food needs by Surabhi, whose security also would be provided from enemy Kings since the safety of all the Subjects of the Empire was after all his responsibilty! Jamadagni replied that Maharshis would only accept charity but not give to Emperors, that Subabhi was awarded by Indra and that neither he nor Surabhi could be given away in charity without Indra’s permission, and as regards Surabhi’s safety, she had adequate might and mind to conquer any enemy. As mutual arguments got heated up, Kartaveerya decided to take away the Cow by force and Surabhi was prepared for the fight when Sage Kapila at the instance of Brahma Deva prevented the altercation. But, the hurt ego of Kartaveerya propelled him to revisit the Ashram of Jamadagni and killed him with the Shakti sword gifted to him by Dattatreya. Jamadagni’s wife Renuka Devi became uncontrollable and prepared herself as a Pativrata to immolate herself. Parashu Rama, the son of Jamadagni and Renuka arrived at the Ashram and took a vow not only to kill Kartaveerya but the entire race of Kshatriyas and offer Tarpan of blood to the departed soul of his father. Brahma Deva advised Parashurama to visit Shivaloka and please him with his darshan. Shiva was indeed pleased when Parashurama gave detials of his ‘Pratigna’ to avenge the death of his father and also root out the Kshatriya Vamsha as a whole. On hearing this Bhadra Kaali got furious but Parashu Rama broke into tears by narrating the extremities that Kartaveerya in particular and all the contemporary Kshatriya Kings in general were assuming alarming proportions against the Brahmanas, Sages, Maharshis and the very concept of Virtue and justice. Shiva was convinced and awarded a magnificent Trailokya Vijaya Maha Kavacha, besides innumerable ‘Astras’to Parashurama like Nagapasha, Pasuhpatastra, Brahmastra, Agneyastra, Narayanastra, Vayavyastra etc. After practising the Trailokya Vijaya Kavacha at Pushkara Tirtha and pleased Parama Shiva, Parashurama then started his battles with Kshatriya Kings like Matsya Raja, Suchandra, Kaalistavana, Sahasraaksha, and finally the invincible Kartaveeraarjuna who was a Symbol of Kshatriyas who were all fortified with Kavachas and blessings from several Devas and Devis, including Maha Deva himself. It was at that moment of Glory when Parashurama avenged his father’s killing and when the atrocities that thousands of Kshatriya Kings perpetrated on humanity and virtue were ended -recalling Shri Krishna’s human incarnation that Narayana would take birth as and when Dharma was in jeopardy-that Parashurama desired to meet Maha Deva and Ganesha objected to the meeting! As he entered Kailasha, Parashurama witnessed Nandeswara, Mahaa Kaal, Pingalaksha, Vishalaksha, Bana, Virupaaksha, Vikataasha, Bhaskaraksha, Kaala Bharava, Ruru Bhairava, Rudraganas, Vidyadharas, Bhuta Preta Piscachas, Yogendras, Yakshas, Kimpurushas and Kinnaras. As Parashurama passed through several layers of security, finally he landed at the Place where Mahtma Ganesha stopped him. The great veneration, he greeted Ganesha and requested him to allow into the Interior of Shiva. Parashuram utilised all his tactics of justification and persuasion but Ganesha became stiffer than ever. When all kinds of requests, entreaties and prayers to Ganesha failed, Parashurama lifted his ‘Parashu’ and Skanda Deva intervened and tried to keep him cool. But still when Parashurama tried to force entry; Ganesha lifted his trunk, looped the latter with his trunk and encircled the hapless Parashurama round and round to show him Sapta Dwipas, Sapta Parvataas, Sapta Sagaras, Bhuloka, Bhuvarloka, Swarloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka, Dhruvaloka, Gauriloka, and through him into one of the Oceans, lifted him again and showed him Vaikuntha and Goloka where he had the vision of Shri Krishna too. As this playful activity of Ganesha was in progress, the mighty Parashurama hit one of Ganesha’s tusks with the ‘Parashu’ (axe) that Maha Deva himself gifted and the tusk fell off as blood gushed out.As this accident took place, Kartikeya ran towards his parents with fear. The resting parents were shocked and Devi Parvati’s instant reaction was to kill Parashurama but being the Loka Mata restrained herself and addressed Parashurama as follows: You are born in Brahma Vamsha to one of the illustrious sons viz. Maharshi Jamadagni and also the son of Renuka of Lakshmi Amsha. You are one of the greatest devotees of Maha Deva. How did you do this to my son! Shiva Deva is your Guru since he taught the Trailokya Vijaya Kavacha and countless Astras from him. Is this the Guru Dakshina that you thought fit to give your Guru! You could have perhaps given a better Dakshina of cutting Ganesha’s head instead of breaking his tusk only! My son Ganesha no doubt has the Shakti of destroying crores of cunning animals like you but was only playful with you; yet you have wantonly hurt him by breaking his tusk not as an accident but with vengeance! You may know that he is of Paramatma Shri Krishna’s ‘Amsha’ and the Deity who receives the foremost puja all over the Universe!’ As she addressed Parashurama with great restriant and reasoning, he felt ashamed of himself, greeted his Guru Shiva in his own heart and prayed to his ‘Ishta Deva’ Shri Krishna. Devi Parvati visioned a Brahmana boy who met her earlier at thet time of Ganesha’s birth; Maha Deva too had the vision of the boy like a quick flash and disappeared. Meanhile, Vishnu appeared and analyzed the critical situation that had arisen out of the serious sin done by Parashurama since what he had was tantamount to Guru Ninda and downright betrayal of the faith that Shankara gave to his sishya! Vishnu further said that Parashurama was momentarily taken by folly as otherwise he too was like Ganesha or Kartikeya; as the Universal Deities with responsibilities like Shiva and Parvati might not impose personal angles into such happenings.Vishnu extolled Devi Parvati as follows:
Ganeshamekadantam cha Herambam Vighna nayakam,
Lambodaram Shurpakarnam Gaja Vaktram Guhaagrajam/
Naamaashtartham cha Putrasya Shrunu Maata Haripriye,
Stotraanaam saarabhutam cha Sarva Vighna haram param/
Jnaanaartha vaachako gascha nascha nirvaana vaachakah,
Tayoreesham param Brahma Ganesham pranamaamyaham/
Ekashabdah pradhaanaartho dantascha Balavaachakah,
Balam pradhaanam sarvasmaadeka dantam namaamyaham/
Deenaartha vaachako hescha rambah palaka vaachakah,
paripaalakam deenaanaam Herambah pranamaamyaham/
Vipattha vaachako vighno Nayakah khandanaartha- kakah,
Vipat khandana kaarakah namaami Vighnanaayakam/
Vishnudatthaaischa naivedyairyasya Lambodaram puraa,
Pitraa datthaaischa vividhairvandey Lambodaram cha tam/
Surpakaarou cha yatkarnaam Vighnavaarana kaaranow,
Sampadyow Jnaana rupow cha Surpakarnam namaamyaham/
Vishnu prasaada pushpam cha yanmurdhni Munidattakam,
yad Gajendra vaktra yuktam Gaja vaktram namaamyaham/
Guhasyaagrey cha jaatoyamaavirbhuto Haraalaye,
Vande Guhaagrajam Devam Sarvadevaagra pujitam/
Yetanmaashtakam Durgey Namaabhih samyuktam param,
Putrasya pasya Vedey cha tadaa kopam thathaa kuru/
Yetanmaashtakam Stotram naanaartha samyutam shubham,
Trisandhyam yah pathennithyam sa sukhee sarvato jayee/
Tato Vighnaam palaayantey vaina teyaad yathoragah,
Ganeswaraprasaadena mahajnaani bhaved dhruvam/
Putraarthi labhatey putram Bhaaryaarthi vipulam striam,
Maha jadam Kaveendrascha vidyaa vaancham bhaved dhruvam/
(Mother Parvati! your son has eight names viz. Ganesha, Ekadanta, Heramba, Vighnanayaka, Lambodara, Shurpakarna, Gajavaktra, and Guhaagraja. Please listen to the meanings of these names; this Great Stotra is the essence of several Stotras and is the demolisher of all kinds of obstacles. In the word Ganesha, the letter ‘Ga’ is ‘Jnaanaartha vaachaka’ and ‘na’ is ‘nirvaana vaachaka’; the letters ‘Ga’, ‘na’ and ‘Isha’ together denote the ‘Isha’ or the Supreme of ‘Ganas’; thus one should say: I greet Ganesha. In the word Eka dantha, Eka is pradhaanaarthak and Danta is Bala vaachaka; thus it is said: I salute Eka danta. In the word Heramba, ‘Hey’is Deenaartha vaachaka and ‘ramba’ is paalana vaachaka and the total meaning would be the Administrator of Deenaas or the Needy who seek asylum. In the word ‘Vighna naayaka’, Vighna is vipatti vachaka and naayaka is khandanaarthak vachaka, meaning thereby Ganesha is the demolisher of hindrances. Lamba + Udara or Ganesha has an Extended Tummy as he is fond of consuming large quantities of Savouries and sweets; I adore ‘Lambodara’! My salutations to you, ‘Surpakarna’! with surpaakara/Vikrita/ strained + Karna or ears. ‘Gajavaktra’ or Elephant faced Deva, my prostrations to you! ‘Guhaagraja’ or the elder brother of Guha Deva / Skanda; I pay my reverences to you! Devi Parvati! Kindly listen to the Sacred Eight Names of Ganesha and bear with me before getting angry, if need be. Those who recite these names during the three Sandhya timings with sincerity and devotion would always be happy and victorious, from whom any kind of obstacles run away like snakes approaching Garuda. By the great grace of Ganeswara, those who have no children would be blessed with children, those who have no wives would have them too and those who have the least intelligence would flourish as Vidwans and Poets.
Parashurama prostrated before Devi Parvati and begged her of pardon that he as her own child should, since she was the ‘Jagat Janani’/ the Mother of the Universe and said that the he had perpetrated a sin to his Guru and Gurupatni of which he was ashamed. He also performed Puja to Ganesha who too excused Parashurama for his indescretion, for which Ganesha too claimed partial-responsibility.
Ganesha’s encounter with Devi Tulasi: As Devi Tulasi was seeking to perform Tapasya on the banks of Ganga, she saw Ganesha a young and handsome youth moving about enjoying the refreshing coolness of the River. Tulasi was readily attracted to him, drew him into conversation by amply indicating her fascination to him and finally proposed to him for marriage with him. Ganesha was taken aback and spurted that she was like his own mother and what was more that he hated to be drawn into any marriage in life as the very concept of family was abhoring to him; he said that the institution of marriage was the terminator of Hari-Bhakti, the destroyer of Tapasya, the indestructible knot of ‘Bhava Bandhana’ or the inescapable rope of family ties, the demolisher of Tatwa Gyana, the closure of the Moksha dwara and the end of personal freedom. Ganesha therefore advised the Kanya to seek somebody else as her life partner and leave him free. Devi Tulasi got terribly annoyed with Ganesha’s weird arguments and the way that he discarded her summarily. She cursed Ganesha that he would be married definitely despite his wishes and Ganesha gave a reverse curse that since she was insensitive of other’s feelings, she would become a the wife of a demon (Shankhachooda) and subsequently bocome a Tree. On realising the backround of each other, they complemented each other as Tulasi was destined to the wife of Narayana and Ganesha was the famed son of Maha Deva and Parvati Devi. But Tulasi leaves should never be offered in Ganesha Puja!

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