Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ganesha's broken tusk

We have read many posts about Ganesha. In the post Ganesha the God of Wisdom you can read about Ganesha’s broken tusk in briefly. There is several myth about his broken tusk, so in this post I will share some Stories behind how Ganesha lost his one tusk.

Ekadanta GaneshaThere is a Sanskrit name for Ganesha is Ekadanta (right picture) or one tusk Ganapati, read 32 forms of Ganesha. Some of the earliest icons show him handling his broken tusk. We can find many stories about how Ganesha lost his one tusk. In this post you will read three story behind it.
GANESHA battle with Parashuram
GANESHA Battle With ParshuRam
Ganesha said to have lost his one tusk in a fight with Parashuram

He said to have lost his tusk in a fight with Parashuram. "When Parashuram one of Shiva's favorite disciples, came to visit him, he found Ganesha guarding Shiva's inner apartments. His father being asleep, Ganesha opposed Parshuram's entry. Parashuram nevertheless tried to urge his way, and the parties came to blows. Ganesha had at first the advantage, seizing Parashuram in his trunk, and giving him a twirl that left him sick and senseless. When Parashuram recovering, he threw his axe at Ganesha, who recognizing it as his father's weapon (Shiva having given it to Parashuram) received it with all humility upon one of his tusks, which it immediately severed, and hence Ganesha has but one tusk.

A different legend narrates that Ganesha was asked to scribe down the epic of Mahabharata, dictated to him by its author, sage Vyasa. Taking into note the enormity and significance of the task, Ganesha realized the inadequacy of any ordinary 'pen' to undertake the task. He thus broke one of his own tusk and made a pen out of it. The lesson offered here is that no sacrifice is big enough in the pursuit of knowledge." In Some Ganesha Image, the broken tusk that Ganesha holds like a pen in his lower right hand is a symbol of sacrifice, which he broke for writing the Mahabharata.

Another Story I found in the web is from Ganesha Chaturthi (the birth day of Lord Ganesha), which tells a third story:
"Indra, the god of the rain and skies, invited Ganesha to a feast. Taking his vehicle (his mouse), Ganesha began his journey to Indra’s palace. Because the mouse could not carry all his weight, he lost his balance and fell. The moon, shining in the night sky, laughed at him. Angered by this insult,Ganesha broke off his left tusk and threw it to the moon. And that’s why he may be called Ekadanta (means “with one tooth”). Ganesha also cursed the moon “that whoever looked at the moon on the Ganesha chaturthi night, they would undergo privations.” Even today, devotees avoidlooking at the moon on Ganesha days."
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Hope you have enjoyed reading these stories. If you have some different stories about Ganesha, you can share your stories in this blog.
Recommend Books On Ganesha

Also read WHY GANESHA HAS ELEPHANT HEAD and Ganesha Symbolism


Basanta said...

Interesting stories!

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