Tag Archives: Shiva Purana
The marital status of Lord Ganesha is uncertain based on mythological texts. Lord Ganesha is the Lord of the Brahmins and hence by this virtue a celibate. The vedic mantra- Aum, is believed to be the mantra to lead Brahmins and is synonymous with Lord Ganesha. His celibacy is more commonly known in the South of India (states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerela). Since Lord Ganesha was created out of Goddess Parvati alone and not Lord Shiva, he was born out of the female desire to procreate. Hence the relationship of Lord Ganesha with his mother is believed to be unique and special. This devotion and respect is the reason Lord Ganesha is believed to have never found a woman as perfect as his mother.
However, particularly in northern India, Ganesha is believed to have consorts. He is believed to be married to Brahma’s daughter Buddhi and Siddhi. “Buddhi” means intellect and “Siddhi” means spiritual power. Since Lord Ganesha is believed to be the Lord of wisdom and spiritual knowledge, the consorts are befitting.
The scriptures that are dedicated to Lord Ganesha (the Ganesha Purana and the Mudgala Purana) depict the presence of Siddhi and Buddhi. According to the Ganesha Purana Lord Brahma was performing a ritual in honour of Lord Ganesha and offered his prayers to him. Two of the offerings were his daughters, Buddhi and Siddhi that Lord Ganesha accepted graciously as his wives. Various deities offered gifts to Lord Ganesha in his honour but Lord Brahma offered what was born from his mind. It is also mentioned in the Ganesha Purana that Narada (the son of Brahmin) suggested the nuptials of Ganesha with Riddhi and Siddhi, to Brahma. Some ancient texts indicate that Siddhi and Riddhi are avatars of Shakti, but the Matsayapurana contradicts this claim. The Brahmavaivartapurana also mentions Lord Ganesha’s marriage to Pushti (another name for Siddhi).
Siddhi and Buddhi are known as Siddhi and Riddhi in Shiva Purana. As per the Shiva Purana, Lord Ganesha won his consorts as a prize during a race with his elder brother Skanda (Lord Kartikeyan). The race was declared by their mother Parvati who promised the winner an auspicious marriage that will bring him prosperity. The race was to travel the universe three times. Skanda mounted on his peacock to encircle the world. Lord Ganesha went around his parents instead. For his guile, Lord Ganesha was married to Riddhi and Siddhi.
The consorts of Lord Ganesha are an extension of his existing virtues and accentuate the same. Riddhi accentuates prosperity and intellect and Siddhi highlights spiritual power of Lord Ganesha. It is believed that whoever receives the blessings of Lord Ganesha is also blessed by his wives. Hence one may say that Lord Ganesha’s consorts complete him.
Lord Ganesha is more popularly known as a celibate and as the king of Brahmins. But the Mudgal Purana talks about his marriage to Brahma’s daughters – Riddhi (prosperity) and Siddhi (wealth). The Shiva Purana has evidence of Lord Ganesha having two sons. Not just the scholars but the different scriptures dedicated to Lord Ganesha quote different versions about his bachelorhood. There are some temples that have idols of Lord Ganesha placed with his wives and sons.
Lord Brahma conducted the wedding of Lord Ganesha’s to Riddhi and Sidhi. In due course of time Kshema and Labh were born. It is also known that Lord Ganesha had a daughter called ‘Santoshi Ma’. ‘Santoshi Ma’ is known as the goddess of satisfaction. Even though the myth is popular, there is no evidence of Ganesha’s daughter in any scripture. As mentioned, the birth of Lord Ganesha’s son is cited in the Shiva Purana.
Kshema was born to Lord Ganesha and Riddhi. He is known as the God of prosperity. Labh was born to Siddhi and Lord Ganesha. Labh is the God of profit. Labh is also known as the giver of the biggest profit and Kshema is the protector of that bounty. Kshema is also known as Shubh (auspicious). Ganesha (wisdom) and Riddhi (Intellect) created Shubh (auspiciousness) and Ganesha (knowledge) and Siddhi (Spiritual wellbeing) created Labh (Profit). Intelligence as a quality can only be auspicious or work in favour of anyone, if guided with wisdom. Therefore Lord Ganesha is called the Lord or the owner of the attributes that his sons and wives have. Matsaya Purana refers to Kshema and Labh as Lord Ganesha’s helpers.
When we say that Lord Ganesha is the lord of wisdom, wealth, prosperity, knowledge and profit, we can see that the members of his family mean each of these words. The mantra recited on Ganesh Chatturthi invites Lord Ganesha with his wives (Riddhi and Siddhi) and his sons (Kshema and Labh). The mantra (Om Sri Ganeshav Namah, Riddhi Siddhi Shubh Labh) means that we invite Lord Ganesha with his whole family to bless us. Devotees believe that if Lord Ganesha comes alone he will not stay for long and would go back to his family. So the invitation to the entire family makes Lord Ganesha stay with his devotees.
The story of Lord Ganesha’s sons may be debatable but the attributes of Kshema and Labh are a reflection of Lord Ganesha’s own.
The creation of Ganesha is a miracle in itself. It is said that his mother, Parvati, procreated Ganesha from the dirt on her body. There are also many different myths and stories about the marital status of Lord Ganesha. As Ganesha shared an extremely unique and distinguished bond with his mother and was a shroud devotee of her, many people believe Lord Ganesha to be celibate.While most stories mention Ganesha being unmarried, there are some that say that Lord Ganesha was married to the two daughters of Lord Brahma (One of the three Supreme Lords i.e. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva)Riddhiand Siddhi.
Most of the popular mythological stories from South talk about the reason for Ganeshas celibacy being his wish to be in the seva(service) of his mother, Parvati. He has been shown as a devotee of his mother since the day of his birth. To serve his mother for his lifetime, he chose to be a bachelor. There is a popular story to prove the fact that he was a brahmcarin (unmarried). When he was young, Lord Ganesha was playing with a cat, and he started pulling its tail and rolling it onto the ground. Later, when he got tired he went to his mother, Parvati. She was totally covered with mud and dirt and Ganesha asked her, “What happened mother?” Parvati replied, “You remember the cat you were playing with, that was me. I am the divine power that exists in every being”. Thus, Lord Ganesha realized that all the women in any form were the extension of his mother and decided never to get married.
However, most of the stories that come from North India say that Lord Ganesha was married to Riddhi and Siddhi, two beautiful daughters of Lord Brahma. To Lord Ganesha, his mother Parvati was the epitome of beauty and divinity. He considered her to be the perfect woman in this universe. Unable to find someone like his mother, Ganesha went to Brahma (the Creator). Brahma asked Ganesha, “What brought you here my boy?” Ganesha told him that he was unable to find any girl who could match the beauty and perfection of his mother. Thus, he created two extraordinarily beautiful women,Riddhi (Intellectual and Spiritual Powers) and Siddhi(Abundance and Opulence). Lord Ganesha was married to these two Goddesses and later was blessed with two sons Labha (Profit) and Shubha (Auspiciousness) and a daughter Santoshi(Goddess of Contentment).
In the Shiva Purana(a holy book on Lord Shiva) it says that when Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati approached King Prajapati for the marriage of their sons to his daughtersRiddhi and Siddhi, they both chose Ganesha as their prospective groom. So both girls were married to Lord Ganesha. Thus, it is a popular saying among Hindus that Riddhi and Siddhi both are worthless without each other.