Hemning Sternberg (moonshadow) wrote,
Hemning Sternberg
moonshadow

How can you not love a god that loves donut holes?

Today is the festival of Ganesh, the elephant-headed god of students and doorways, the remover of obstacles.



He is very fond of sweet pudding or balls of rice flour with a sweet core. On one of His birthdays He was going around house to house accepting the offerings of sweet puddings. Having eaten a good number of these, He set out moving on His mouse at night. Suddenly the mouse stumbled--it had seen a snake and became frightened--with the result that Ganesha fell down. His stomach burst open and all the sweet puddings came out. But Ganesha stuffed them back into His stomach and, catching hold of the snake, tied it around His belly.

Seeing all this, the moon in the sky had a hearty laugh. This unseemly behaviour of the moon annoyed Him immensely and so he pulled out one of His tusks and hurled it against the moon, and cursed that no one should look at the moon on the Ganesh Chaturthi day. If anyone does, he will surely earn a bad name, censure or ill-repute. However, if by mistake someone does happen to look at the moon on this day, then the only way he can be freed from the curse is by repeating or listening to the story of how Lord Krishna cleared His character regarding the Syamantaka jewel. This story is quoted in the Srimad Bhagavatam. Lord Ganesha was pleased to ordain thus. Glory to Lord Ganesha! How kind and merciful He is unto His devotees!



And here is a prayer to Ganesh:

Praise be to elephant-faced Ganesha, the Incomprehensible One with a sharp tusk, three eyes and capacious belly, King of all beings, the Eternal One of blood-red hue, Whose forehead is illuminated by the new moon, Son of Siva-Shakti, Remover of all difficulties. Ganesha sharanam, sharanam Ganesha.

If these inspire you, please feel free to buy a donut hole in his honor. He likes them especially. Or you could avoid looking at the moon tonight, as in the story above.

For much more Ganesh information, try here: http://www.himalayanacademy.com/resources/books/lg/lg_table_of_contents.html
And for more Ganesh folktales: http://www.geocities.com/bhagvatjee/ganesh/index.htm
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