Why Is the Hindu God Ganesha Known as Elephant-faced God?

vpaulose By vpaulose, 21st Sep 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Religion

Hindus all over the world celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi (Vinayaka Chaturthi) this year on 19th September. It is the birthday of Lord Ganesha, one of the most powerful and well-known deities of the Hindus. There are many legends for Lord Ganesha having an elephant’s head.

Ganesh Chaturthi

September 19th of this year is celebrated as Ganesh Chaturthi (Vinayaka Chaturthi) by Hindus all over the world. Lord Ganesha, the favorite god of Hindus, is one of the most powerful deities of the Hindu pantheon gods. His birthday is observed as Ganesh Chaturthi on the fourth day of the waxing moon period in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada.

Lord Ganesha is known to be more popular than other gods, since Lord Shiva bestowed on him all powers and made him more powerful than any other god. He widely worshipped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Every activity is begun with his blessings, by invoking his name.

Lord Ganesha is known by many names: Lord Vinayaka(god of all), Vigneshwara (Remover of all obstacles), Gajakarna or Gajamuga (elephant-faced god), Vidhyavairthi (Lord of Knowledge), etc. He is accepted as a powerful god not only by the Hindus, but also by Jains and Buddhists in many parts of the world. Lord Ganesha’s elephant face makes him the favorite god of all and easy to identify him.

The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi

The birthday of Lord Ganesha is celebrated all over India and in many parts of the world with colorful rituals. the main feature of this festival is carrying the statue of Lord Ganesha in procession. Beautiful statue of Lord Ganesha, made of clay, is kept for worship for ten days and on the tenth day it is taken to a river or sea where it is immersed to melt.

Legend for Lord Ganesha having an elephant’s face

One of the legends about the elephant face of Lord Ganesha says that while Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva was taking bath, created Ganesha out of the mud of her body and kept him at the entrance. When Lord Shiva came there he was stopped by Ganesha at the entrance and angry Lord immediately cut Ganesha’s head. To console Parvati who was upset about her headless creation, Lord Shiva ordered his servants to bring the head of any creating with its head kept towards north while sleeping. It was the elephants head that they found fit for Parvati’s creation and thus Lord Ganesha got the elephant head.

Some special features of elephant

1) Elephant is the most powerful and favorite animal of Indian kings. By virtue and size, elephant is a inspiring animal. It has been used to carry idols or icons of gods. It can carry any weight. It is not surprising that human believe that Lord Ganesha can shoulder their burdens.

2) Elephant’s trunk has more than 40,000 muscles which are astonishingly sensitive. It can smell humans who are even two miles away. There is no surprise in the human belief that Lord Ganesha can understand the human problems.

3) Elephant is known for its wonderful memory. Lord Ganesha has been the refuge of suffering.

4) Another important feature of an elephant is its great help to the ecosystem and survival of creatures. Elephant digs water holes and forge trails. It can lead humans and animals in dangerous and lost situations. This feature needs no explanation for Lord Ganesha.

Ganesh Chaturthi that falls in August or September has great significance in human life. It is a festival of fun and feasting. It is a festival of human solidarity.


Ecosystem, Elephant, Face, Forge Frail, Ganesh Chaturthi, Hindus, India, Legend, Lord Ganesha, September, Strong Animal

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
21st Sep 2012 (#)

You have covered very well as usual, VP. Thanks for the share - siva

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author avatar vpaulose
21st Sep 2012 (#)

Thank you Siva.

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author avatar LOVERME
21st Sep 2012 (#)

there is a magnetic field operating around the universe and
so also all humans are magnetically engineered beings
that's basics
the Lords ancient knew
but mankind was too bust sexing
they did not take notes
the elephant facing northwards
coincided with the field of the child
and hence the two heads magnetically entwined and LORD GANESHA WAS FOUND
THAT'S what my research shows
thanks for any variations
post message to me or on my walls
as I have no means of communication with ye...

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author avatar vpaulose
21st Sep 2012 (#)

Thank you Loverme

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
22nd Sep 2012 (#)

Honey, Go study your history and learn that the boy was a boy of clay who had life breathed into him and not by copulation and bodily contact.

Ignorance is a bliss,
That is why you are Stupid Rose.
I love poetry,
But also say it in prose.

There was a boy who lived with mum,
Who was obedient and loved.
He was a statue made of clay,
Breathed life from Above.

All was well until one day his mother did instruct,
I am going to have a bath today.
No one to enter and its a must.

The boy listened and stood guard,
It was instruction clear as gold.
No one could ever cross his path,
To bathing mother as told.

It was the moment the father arrived,
He didnot even let him pass.
He got enraged and chopped off his head,
All for the want of the lass.

The wife after bathing began to cry,
What have you done to my son.
He was standing guard for me,
And you killed him in the stroke of One.

She sobbed and stomped until he said,
Alright I will bring him back to life.
I will attach the first animal's head,
Bring son back alive for the wife.

He waited and an elephant passed,
He had but sounded decree.
That was the head that he has used,
And the world now got to see.

He was a boy with an elephant head,
He ate like an elephant and much.
He had a mouse whom he rode,
And the Moon laughed so very much.

It was the hatred that now grew,
As the boy now disliked the moon.
It was the moment that crowned his day,
Bad luck followed all too soon.

For the good luck is not looking at moon,
And with eyes down just walk away.
For she is a beauty but tells all lies,
Causing shades of grey.

That was the pain they held inside,
The rat was laughed at and poked fun.
He went away and got respects,
Not from all but just from One.

They communicate with each other in their own way,
They love and will throw all out.
For no one ever treats me this way,
And all seconded beyond all doubt.

With that the God clearing obstacles,
Brought dimension and new pathway.
Breathing in the giver of life,
To wipe tears of Shiva's wife away.

By Anisha Achankunju (C) Lady Aiyanna 22nd September 2012

BTW, my husband was Marathi and celebrated the above festival honey. His name is Shankar the other name for Shiva.
You were the vengeful one in this case, not him, he was a nut, but became a Stupid Rose Nut after following your footsteps of letting skirts fly up to show a thing or two. Common woman but different man in this one Common man but two different women and there was a child involved.

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
22nd Sep 2012 (#)

Here is the Legend of Ganesha:

Ganesha is the clay made son of Shiva and Parvathi. Parvathi was bored and needed someone who could keep her company while her husband completed his wares around the Planet.
She created this little boy and breathed life into him. He was a very obedient boy who listened to his mother all the time.
One day, while Pravathi was bathing in the river after giving strict instructions to the son not to let anyone come in, Shiva came in and asked to see his wife.
The little boy refused and this enraged him and he cut off the head of his child and went to see the wife.
The wife refused to get to know him and sobbed and cried and never did anything until he promised that he would bring the child back to life using the head of the first animal that passed by. As soon as he did, an Elephant passed by and that was the head that was used on the little boy and he came to be Ganesha God with a big belly as the Elephant at proportionate to his size while the boy was more human in form and led to a bulging belly.
His best friend was a rat and he travelled everywhere on it and one day the Moon laughed at the rat and that was what caused the pain and heartache giving rise to Ganesha hating the Moon.
This is why we are not allowed to look at the Moon on the day of Ganesha Chaurthi.

Shiva and Parvathi are a couple but Shiva was married to Sati who was burned in the flames of purity giving rise to the age old custom of wife burning in India when the husband died. Parvathi is the incarnate of Sati.

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