Vighnaharta Ganesh is the one we worship first, but do you know why? According to Hinduism, we say prayers to incarnate Gods and Goddesses, but first, we offer our prayers to Lord Ganesha, the imperfect God to seek his blessing for perfection in everything that we seek. Lord Ganesha is depicted with physical features like long ears, long trunk with a broken tusk on the left, big pot belly, a mouse near his feet and a few other variations.
All his physical features signify something important that adds to his divinity. Through his long ears he is said to be listening to everything that his devotees say, his big elephant head symbolizes wisdom and knowledge.
There are many reasons as to why is he worshipped first. You will find Vighnaharta Ganesh pictures and chants written on invitation cards, his statues being placed in cars, and gifted to bring wisdom and blessings. There are many stories attached to the reason for his creation and him having an elephant head, the three major mythical stories related to it are:
- Once Goddess Parvati was alone and decided to have a bath. Since there was no one to be on guard while she is taking a bath, she created a baby boy with her Uptan and put life into it. She then asked him to guard the door and went for her bath. In the meanwhile, Lord Shiva arrived and was stopped by Ganesha to enter the gates. He had no clue about this new son of theirs. He lost control and chopped off his head. When Goddess Parvati saw this, she got furious and declared to destroy the world. She was calmed down by Shiva, by replacing the head with an elephant’s head. To compensate for the loss, Lord Shiva blessed their son with divine powers and also declared that he will be the first to be prayed among all Gods.
- It is also believed that once their older son Kartikeya declared that he is the greatest warrior of all, hence he should be worshiped first. Lord Shiva then decided to organize a competition in which both of them had to complete the circle of the entire universe. Kartikeya quickly went forth and began his circle, while Ganesha, on the other hand, with his quick wit completed a circle around his parents because he considered his parents his universe and won the competition. Since then Vighnaharta Ganesh is worshiped before all the deities.
- Another belief that is attached to the puja of Lord Ganesha before any other deity is that he is said to be the one who controls our ‘Muladhara Chakra’, said to be the nexus between the spiritual and the material. He is the one who gives us material possessions and also helps us emancipate from the cycle of life and death.
Recommended Reading – Shree Ganesh Aarti: Jai Ganesh Jai Ganesh Jai Ganesh Deva