Who is Ganapathy?
Ganapathy is the leader of the Ganas ie, the leader of groups, tribes, race, army, escorts, and hence Lord Siva’s first son is described as the supreme leader (Vinayaka). He is also known as Vigneswara – Lord of all obstacles. These names clearly show that He is a master of all Circumstances.
Yellow skinned, short with a big round belly, elephant headed with one trunk, four arms, large ears, bright shining eyes – this is how Ganapathy is represented.
The origin of Ganapathy
There are multiple versions about the origin of Lord Vinayaka. According to the Varahapurana , once upon a time the Devas approached Lord Siva and submitted before him the need of a baby who can do away with all obstacles. With the consent of Parvathy devi, Siva agreed to the proposal. Devi become pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful young baby. The ladies of Devalokam gathered around the baby .Keeping in mind the character of the ladies Parvathy blessed her child with these words, “may your beauty change to that of a tusker headed body with a big belly”. Her desire was fulfilled. But Lord Siva, though unhappy, named him Ganesa and he blessed Ganesha saying:”Your position will be above all Ganas. All gods will acknowledge the prominence of Ganesa , and those who are not ready to worship you will fall into deep waters.
The Skandapurana says that Ganapathy was formed from the dirt collected from the body of Goddess Parvathy. Devi created an extraordinary elephant headed creature with four arms and deputed him to safeguard the entrance towards the Chandraprathishta, which was being performed in heaven.
As per the Matsyapurana, Lord Siva had the habit of peeping while Goddess Parvathy had her oil bath. On one occasion Devi come across the peeping Siva. Though her husband, she did not like this action of his. Parvathy thus created a figure out of the dirt she had washed away from her body and give breathe to it by sprinkling water from theGanges. As usual Siva tried to enter the bathing place of Parvathy. The guard didn’t allow him in. Furious, Siva cut the guard’s throat. Fearing Parvathy’s anger, Siva swiftly went out. He saw an elephant there, cut down its head and fixed it to the body of Parvathy’s creation. Thus was born Parvathy’s son, the elephant headed Ganapathy.
According to the Padmapurana, Parvathy, like all of God’s creations, had the desire to give birth to a son who would be the embodiment of all virtue. For this she prayed to God Vishnu who appeared before her. He granted her wish by taking birth in her womb. The son thus born to Parvathy is Ganapathy.
The Uthararamayana, portrays Siva and Parvathy as a couple who were interested in novel ways of sexual intercourse. One day they accepted the posture of an elephant, and thus was born the elephant headed Ganapathy.