There many interesting stories about Lord Ganesh in Hindu Mythology. There are also many different versions of stories about how Lord Ganesh was born, how he got the elephant head and how he broke his tusk.
Birth of Lord Ganesh :
According to popular Hindu Mythology, the story of Lord Ganesh’s birth is interesting and fascinating. Long time ago, once Lord Shiva had gone on a war with the evil forces. His wife, Goddess Parvati instructed Shiva’s attendant Nandi to not let anyone come in while she was having a bath. When Shiva came after being victorious in war, he was not stopped by Nandi from entering Pravati’s chamber. So, Parvati got angry that Nandi was loyal to his master, Shiva and wanted someone who could be loyal to her instead. So, she created a boy from the sandalwood of her own body and sprinkled water of holy Ganges on him to bring him to life.
Parvati told the boy “You are my son. Do not allow anyone to enter into my chamber while i am bathing! Not even my husband!” Then she left for bathing. After a while Lord Shiva came there, but he was obstructed by the boy. This enraged Lord Shiva and a fight ensued between the two. Ultimately Lord Shiva beheaded the boy. When Parvati came out and saw that the boy is dead, she became very angry with Lord Shiva and threatened to destroy the whole world. Lord Shiva then realised his mistake and apologized to Parvati.
Parvati agreed to forgive on two conditions : first, the boy should be brought back to life and second he should be worshiped first before all gods. Lord Shiva ordered his troops to find the head of the first living creature they can find. His troops brought back an elephant’s head that was fitted on the boy’s body and he was brought back to life.
Also, as promised Lord Shiva declared the boy to be his son and that he will be worshiped before all Gods. Lord Shiva named him as Ganesh, the chief or leader of his attendant, Ganas. Lord Shiva also declared that anyone who chants Lord Ganesh’s name lovingly, all his obstacles will be the removed by Ganesh’s blessing.
Ever since then the day when Lord Ganesh made his presence on earth is celebrated every year as “Ganesh Chaturthi”.
Ekadenta – Lord with Broken Tusk
According to Legend, there is an interesting story about how Lord Ganesh’s tusk broke. Once when Lord Shiva was having a nap, Lord Ganesh was gaurding at mount Kailash. Lord Parshuram, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, wanted to see Lord Shiva. But, he was not allowed by Ganesh. This angered Parshuram and there was a fight between the two. Parshuram threw his mighty axe at Ganesh, who took it on one of his tusk. The tusk broke as a result, since then Lord Ganesh is known as Ekadenta – Lord with Broken Tusk.
There is also another popular version of story of how Lord Ganesh broke his tusk. Sage Ved Vyasa wanted someone to write down the Mahabharata while he could dictate the epic. Lord Ganesh volunteered to write Mahabharata on one condition that Vyasa should not stop his dictation till the entire Mahabharata is completed. Vyasa agreed and Ganesh began to write the epic while Vyasa was dictating. After a while the pen that Ganesh was writing with suddenly broke. Ganesh did not want to disturb Vyasa who was busy dictating and he did not want interruption in this important work. As a supreme sacrifice, Ganesh broke one of his own tusk and used it to write the remaining Mahabharata. By this example, Lord Ganesh showed the dedication and sacrifice required for performing one’s duty.