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Several stories of Ganesha’s childhood and adulthood are depicted in the scriptures. These help in learning important lessons in life that may be implemented. One of the stories that goes back to the childhood of Lord Ganesha teaches us to take onus of our action and try to control them lest the actions cause harm to someone.

One day Lord Ganesha was wandering in the forest in search of an activity to amuse himself. In his childhood he was known for being naughty and impulsive. In the forest of Mount Kailasa he took his bow and arrows and decided to hunt.

While wondering what to hunt for Ganesha came across a white cat. Lord Ganesha started to pursue it and the cat made a run for his life. Ganesha had no intent to hunt the cat and just wanted to play. He thought the cat was playing along and chased it with more vigour. The cat in its escape got scratched off by the branches of the tree. When Ganesha saw the cat hiding behind a tree he shot arrows at the cat. Ganesha got hold of it and flung it to the ground. The cat got mud all over him and Ganesha’s feet were also immersed in mud. As Ganesha tended to his feet the cat made a run for his life and got lost in the woods. Ganesha was now too tired to pursue it and decided to go back to his mother.

At the doorstep he saw goddess Parvati waiting for Ganesha with a plateful of food. Lord Ganesha stopped in his tracks as he saw that Parvati had mud stains all over her and scratches oozing blood. Ganesha got upset and asked the reason behind his mother’s wounds. On being questioned Parvati asked Ganesha if he had done this to her. A perplexed Ganesha answered that he had been playing with a cat in the forest and must have hurt it in the process.

Parvati then explained it to her son that all life on earth constituted her body. As the protector of life she and her father had the onus of taking care of all life on earth. The scratches inflicted on her were because Ganesha had hurt the cat.

When Ganesha was upset and expressed remorse, Parvati explained that it is not possible not to harm anyone or anything. Sometimes we do it without the intent of harming something and sometimes we do it unknowingly. But it is possible to take onus of our actions and think hard before acting on them. It is possible to bring our mind to a state where it is aware of all the actions and cause as little harm as possible.

Ganesha thanked his mother for the lesson and promised to gain the wisdom of controlling his mind. He decided to advocate the same to his devotees and went off to nurse the cat back to its health.

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The number of mythological anecdotes associated with Ganesha is overwhelming, but there is a striking fact noticeable quite easily and that is though there are numerous stories about this elephant headed god of Hindu religious pantheon all those stories are concerned with a limited number of incidents like his creation, his acquisition of his elephant head and his broken tusk. There are also some stories related with his childhood and marriage and about his other noble deeds too. But compared to the number of different stories and different versions of same stories the number of incidents is really next to nothing.

There is another very important characteristic of these stories that any scholar follower will be able to identify and that is apart from the stories related with his birth and elephant head all other stories represent Ganesha as a intelligent and playful teenager who often borders on being tricky and cunning. The reason might not be very hard to follow as Ganesha is the lord of knowledge, wisdom and intelligence and it is the light shining from that intelligence that make those stories often bordering on the funnier side by his smart application of his knowledge and wisdom.


Perhaps the maximum number of Ganesha stories is related with his birth and some of those stories say that goddess Parvathi created him out of a mixture of sandalwood and turmeric paste to safeguard the house while no one else was there home. In many stories though the occasion and purpose remains the same but the material changes to the dirt from Parvathi’s body. Whatever it be,the basic principle always remains constant and that is Ganesha was not born from the natural relationship between a male and a female and that is why he is considered as beyond the limitations of life and death. The eternal observer who was there even before anything was created in this universe and who will still be there when everything merges with him.

The commonest story that tells how Ganesha had his elephant head is related with his slaying by Shiva when for not identifying him he refused to allow him entry in the house when the goddess has gone for a bath. In his rage Shiva slew Ganesha’s head with his Trishul. But later when he cooled down and understood that he had actually killed his own son, lord Shiva, to satisfy and make peace with his wife Parvathi used his special divine power to reinstall life in the dead body of Ganesha but this time only with an elephant head. As Parvathi was not very satisfied with this replacement Shiva said that from then on Ganesha will always be the first god to be invoked during any religious ritual and without offering prayer a puja to him no other god will ever be worshiped. He also provided Ganesha with the boon that he will also be the god of wisdom and knowledge and will also be worshiped by all on earth as the god of all obstacles.

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