Updated: Jul 1, 2021
I love to retell this story of the Lord Ganesha! So here it is again!
One day Goddess Parvati was at home on Mt. Kailash, preparing for a bath. As she didn’t want to be disturbed, she told Nandi, her husband's (Shiva's) Bull, to guard the door and let no one pass. Nandi faithfully took his post, intending to carry out Parvati’s wishes.
But why did Parvati wish this? Like most of us she just wanted a little privacy! Being married to one of the greatest Gods known to man and humanity, it was hard for the Lord Shiva to register that she just needed a space where she had full privacy to bathe or nap or read or whatever she decided without him barging in whenever he felt like it! As if he was the ruler of the Universe!! But, when Shiva came home and naturally wanted to come inside, Nandi had to let him pass, being loyal first to Shiva. Parvati was angry at this slight, but even more than this, at the fact that she had no one as loyal to Herself as Nandi was to Shiva.
Parvati only wanted some time alone, she also wanted one person on earth as well as the divine realm to be loyal to her! Not asking too much I think. Upset by this, she decided to create someone that was deeply loyal to her alone. After Shiva left, she picked up her turmeric paste (used for bathing) and blew it across the room, breathing life into it; and out of the dust came Ganesha, her son. Now she finally had the loyalty she had always desired.
Parvati began posting Ganesh at the entrance of her room to keep guard when she bathed. Just like clockwork, one of those days Shiva came by to talk with Parvati. But Ganesh wouldn’t let him in. Not realizing who Ganesha was, Shiva commanded his army to attack him, but Ganesh destroyed them!
Shiva was shocked. Who was this boy? The next time Parvati wished to bathe, she posted Ganesha on guard duty at the door. In due course, Shiva came home, only to find this strange boy telling him he couldn’t enter his own house! Furious, Shiva ordered his army to destroy the boy, but they all failed! Such power did Ganesha possess, being the son of Devi Herself!
This surprised Shiva. Seeing that this was no ordinary boy, the usually peaceful Shiva decided he would have to fight him, and in his divine fury severed Ganesha’s head, killing him instantly.
He obviously had no idea who this boy was and allowed his Ego (which is kind of funny since he is the destroyer of Ego!) to overtake his decision and destroy him!
When Parvati learned of this, she was so enraged and insulted that she decided to destroy the entire Creation! This sounds kind of severe, but it was! She had a full out tantrum and lost it on the world that was created by adding terrible storms and floods and torment on all of humanity!!
But when Brahma, the creator of the universe saw this, he knew he had to talk to her.
He pleaded and pleaded for her to reconsider her extreme plan. Eventually, she agreed, but on two conditions: Ganesha had to be brought back from the dead, and he had to be forever worshiped before any of the other gods.
The Lord Brahma went to Shiva to plead with him to settle this discourse with his wife! Shiva, having cooled down by this time, and realizing his mistake, agreed to Parvati’s conditions. He sent Brahma out with orders to bring back the head of the first creature he crossed that is laying with its head facing North. Brahma soon returned with the head of a strong and powerful elephant, which Shiva placed onto Ganesha’s body. Breathing new life into him, he declared Ganesha to be his own son as well and gave him the status of being foremost among the gods, and leader of all the ganas (classes of beings), Ganapati.
Lord Ganesha is known as the Remover of Obstacles and if placed at the front door is known to remove negative energy from entering the home.
Om Gan Ganpataye Namaha