Lord Ganesha is the elephant-headed God.

He is worshipped first in any prayers.

His Names are repeated first before any auspicious work is begun, before any kind of worship is begun.

He is the Lord of power and wisdom.

He is the eldest son of Lord Shiva and the elder brother of Skanda or Kartikeya.

He is the energy of Lord Shiva and so He is called the son of Shankar and Umadevi.

By worshipping Lord Ganesha mothers hope to earn for their sons the sterling virtues of Ganesha.

The following story is narrated about His birth and how He came to have the head of an elephant : -

Once upon a time, the Goddess Gauri (consort of Lord Shiva), while bathing,

created Ganesha as a pure white being out of the mud of Her Body and placed Him at the entrance of the house.

She told Him not to allow anyone to enter while she went inside for a bath.

Lord Shiva Himself was returning home quite thirsty and was stopped by Ganesha at the gate.

Shiva became angry and cut off Ganesha’s head as He thought Ganesha was an outsider.

Swami Sivananda
 To be continued  ...

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