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

September 21, 2012  by: Paulose  Points: 15   Category: Inspirational Stories    Views: 792

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.


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.



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