Tag Archives: teeny
A vahana is vehicle or a carrier. In Hindu mythology all gods and goddess’ have vahanas which are usually animals or even birds. Every god has a different vahana and it should be noted that all vahanas have specific symbolism. Most of the times they become a part of the identity of the god, thus they hold a great importance.
Lord Ganesha’s vahana is the teeny – weeny mouse/rat. The elephant head god symbolizes success and prosperity and destroys all negativity and obstacles. In contrast his vahana, the mouse is very small in size and even then it carries Lord Ganesha with full care and respect. Elephants are considered to be powerful and this comparison is often made with Lord Ganesha. He is known to be chubby, his pot belly, big flappy ears and trunk are all a part of his identity. But mice are supposed to be fast, can find their way through nooks and crannies and most importantly have the ability to gnaw their way through most things.It represents that Lord Ganesha would destroy all the obstacles and worries in the devotees lives. Lord Ganesha and is vahana are the two extremes in case of size and even then they are a perfect match.
There are various stories on how Lord Ganesha got his vahana.
Once while Lord Ganesha was still a naughty child, a big mouse started troubling him and all his friends. The brave heart Ganesha trapped the big mouse with his lasso and mounted on him. But it is believed that the mushika (Lord Ganesha’s mouse) was originally a celestial musician. He absent-mindedly walked over a saint’s feet and in that fit of anger the saint cursed him to be transformed to a mouse. Slowly the saint’s anger receded and he promised the mouse that one fine day the gods would themselves bow down before him. The saint’s promise saw light when the mouse crossed Lord Ganesha’s path. Since then Lord Ganesha and rats are closely connected and in all his pictures, The Lord is seen with his vahana.
The next legend also talks about how Lord Ganesha’s got his vahana. We all know that when Ganesha was a child he was very naughty and was always up to some or the other mischief. His mischiefs would drive his mother, goddess Parvati crazy. Ganesha would often be seen running around the mountains or chasing his friends but Lord Kartikeya (his brother) was just the opposite. He was rather quiet and calm and that’s one reason that he would take their father’s messages to all other gods. Lord Kartikeya would mount on his vahana, the peacock and would take his father’s messages far and wide throughout the kingdom. Seeing this, Lord Ganesha said to his mother that even he needs a vahana like his brother. Goddess Parvati explained it to him that keeping a vahana is not an easy job since you have to take care of the animal. She thought that if Ganesha got a vahana it would be an added duty for her to handle the vahana as well, so she tried to convince Ganesha to drop the idea of having a vahana. But as we all know once Ganesha decides to get something then it is impossible for him to not think about it. He started crying and thumping his feet in anger. Lord Shiva was meditating nearby and due to all the noise and chaos his meditation got disturbed. He opened his eyes with anger and looked around. Parvati ji trembled by looking at the anger in her husband’s eyes and started praying that he does not do something destructive. Lord Shiva smiled and asked Lord Ganesha to come near him. He held his son and said that son I know the perfect vahana for you. He got the rat that had been troubling him during his meditation since the past many days and told his son that from today your vahana would be this rat. Lord Shiva knew that the two naughty lovable brats would love each other’s company and would play around the entire day. And since the new friends would be busy with each other, Lord Ganesha would not trouble Parvati as well which solved her problem as well. And as expected, Lord Ganesha became a close friend of his companion ever since.
In modern day scenario it is elephant like power and wisdom (symbolic of Lord Ganesha) and mouse like hard work and persistence (symbolic of the rat) that would lead to success and a fruitful future.The society at large would prosper only when the leaders would be wise and the masses would appreciate that wisdom and put in their best efforts to make sure that the leader’s wisdom does not go waste. There needs to be a harmonious coexistence and without mutual respect nothing would be possible. The relationship of Lord Ganesha and his vahana is an example for all; it goes beyond size and is based purely on faith and love. If the same principle is followed in the society it would lead to kindness and companionship.