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Inspiring story behind why Ganapathi is worshipped first

In Hindu myth , we usually observe in temples and places where poojas are conducted , Lord Ganapathi is remembered and worshipped first , prayers are submitted and then the actual pooja continues. Also in many cultural programme , songs , prayers on Ganapathi are sung first and then the actual events start.  Have you ever wondered why is this so ? In this post we share an interesting story from hindu myth describing the reason for same. Some of us may already be knowing this story -  its worth reading again which carries a beautiful message to the society. 

Of the two sons of Lord Shiva & Goddess parvathi - Murugesha and Ganesha , had more nurture towards Ganesha being the younger son.  Their home being Himapuri  , was full of snow filled hills and rocks. One day - Parvathi took Ganesha near the water flow where she used to take her bath.  Before entering the flow , Parvathi instructed Ganesha to guard the entrance and not to allow anybody till she comes back from bath, even if Shiva comes make him stay back till she is back. Ganesha was a great follower of his elder's advise and followed the same. Ganesha with all his earnestness started guarding the entrance 

After some time , few Shivaganaas reached this spot and asked ganesha to inform parvathi that Shiva would like to see her and has asked to meet him. Ganesha politely replied them with the instructions which paravathi had told him . Shivaganaas  still forced ganesha and tried to enter entrance . Ganesha became furious watching this , with anger started dispelling them by beating them. Shivaganaas baffled by the incident left the spot and informed shiva about the event. Shiva got by surprise, consoled them and did not like the way ganesha treated them. He himself left to the spot to review the situation

Ganesha on seeing Shiva at the entrance with full respect submitted the paranamas and informed what parvathi had told him. Shiva tried to convince Ganesha that it is not good for children to interfere with elders , but yet ganesha bound by his promise did not allow Shiva to enter . Furious by ganesha's behaviour , shiva was so angry that forgetting ganesha is his son,  took his trishula and cut off ganesha's neck , separating his body and head.  Parvathi just returned back when this happened , shocked by the incident , with outraged grievance and anger took the form of a Kali with intention to destroy the world . Noticing this , Narada tried to console both Shiva & Parvathi , begged Shiva to grant life back to ganesha. By this time , Shiva's anger had reduced and proceeded to give back life to ganesha.  As ganesha's head was damaged , shiva replaced this with a beautiful child Elephant's head. Ganesha got his life back , but parvathi was not satisfied and thought others may make fun seeing at ganesha. Narada consoled that he shall make him the leader for all worlds. Ganesha did not like this which hurt his self-respect and requested to arrange a competition to prove himself if he is worth for the position and only if he wins he would accept the offer.  Shiva parvathi were very happy watching this character and decision from ganesha.

Accordingly a competition was arranged - one who travels one complete round the world , covering one circumference and reaches faster back shall be considered the winner . All devataas along with murugesha started their travel , while ganesha started on with his vehicle Mooshika . As Mooshika was very slow , it hardly managed to travel even smaller distance. Noticing this ganesha thought for a moment , came back to spot where Shiva parvathi was sitting and due respect , submitted his pranamaas by rounding them 3 times and stood back . After some time all devataas returned back traversing the world. All were took by surprise seeing Ganesha who told them he has won the competition . Even Narada praised ganesha and declared him the winner. When asked he explained - "according to Vedas one who with due bhakthi & respect does a single circum navigate pranama to parents , it is equivalent to traversing the whole world once" - and this is what ganesha has done now 3 times which makes him the winner

Everyone praised the intelligence and character of Ganesha and declared him as the overlord of the devataas . From then Ganesha was known as "Ganapathi". This is the reason even now it has come as a practice - first pooja is submitted to Ganapathi - praying him to provide blessings to conduct an event without any failure and then the actual event starts .

This story leaves a good message even to the present society - some people  forget and don’t realize the truth about the living gods - their elders and parents and instead go in search of god travelling places . If everyone starts following the same principle treat their elders and parents as Gods with love , affection and follow their instructions with respect then just imagine how further beautiful this world would have been !

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An article contributed by NR.

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