|bronz Ganesa idol, en wikipedia.org|
Every year we celebrate his birth day/Jayanthi as Vinayaga Chathurthi. Many of us quite vague about the origin of Ganapathi. What was the secret behind his birth? Why does he have a human body and an elephant head? Does it not sound strange? Though his real origin is vague because of different versions (that date back to many centuries) one fact is clear that he is the son of lord Shiva and Parvathi. There is a legend behind it and this one is widely quoted in many studies..
Once, when Lord Shiva was away, his consort Parvati went to bathe. As there was no body while she was bathing, with the sandal paste she had, she created a form and gave life to it. She asked him to guard the place and not to let anybody get inside while she was bathing. Since this form was created by her, it became her Pillai (son). Hence he is called pillaiyar (in Tamil Pillai means son)
Upon his return, when Lord Shiva tried to enter the place, Pilliyar denied him admission. Shiva got angry and in rage cut the head of Pilliyar and went inside. In the meantime Parvati after her bath came back to the place where Pilliyar was lying dead without head. When she came to know that Lord Shiva was the one who had slain her son Pilliyar, she was furious and took the form of fearsome Kali ad soon had begun to cause destruction and desolation. The devas (Celestial) were scared of Kali's fury and rage and finally approached Lord Shiva to do something to contain her rage. Shiva asked his Ghanas to go north and get the head of any living thing. The Ghanas sighted only elephant first and brought the head and gave it to Shiva who joined the head with the slain body and gave life to it. Parvati became subdued and accepted Pilliyar (Ganapathi) as her son. This is the reason why Ganapathi (Pilliyar) has a human form with an elephant head. He has yet another name Ganesan (quite common in Tamil Nadu). According to Narada puranam, Vinayaga became the head of all Ghanas.
|prasadam (Kozhakattai and appam delhinagaratharsangam.org|
Since that time Vinayaga Chathurthi has become an important holy festival. At home in Tamil Nadu, the Hindus buy the Vinayaga idol made from plain clay, put it in the Puja room and do pujas after taking bath. The special prasadam (Kozhakattai, etc.,) will be distributed among the family members and others later after puja is over.If you have a lot of trust in Ganapathi, the lord of good beginning and removing obstacles, he won't betray you and see to it that your hurdles and worries will disappear as fast as the morning dew.