Ganesha or Ganapati

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A son of Siva with a head like that of an elephant. As Siva has appointed this son as chief of the ganas (attendants) he is called Ganapati.

His birth: while Siva and Parvati assumed the form of monkeys and enjoyed themselves in the forest Parvati got pregnant, and Siva took the semen from the womb and gave it to Vayu. Vayu deposited it in the womb of Anjana, who delivered a son named Hanuman. Siva assumed the form of an elephant (tusker and Parvati that of a she-elephant. Parvati delivered a son in the form of an elephant. That son was named Ganapati. (Uttara Kanda, Ramayana).

Second story: When once Siva tried to enter the room where Parvati had gone to take her bath clad in a single clothing Ganapati prevented diva from doing so. Siva, enraged at the obstruction made by Ganapati, cut off his head, and when his anger was cooled down he replaced Ganapati’s lost head with that of an elephant. (Padma Purana)

There are other stories about the birth of Ganesa.


The name Ganesa means “leader of the Ganas”.




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