Ganesh, the elephant-headed god of Wisdom is one of the most loved of all Hindu gods. He is happy, wise and without anger. His love of food, especially sweets, is evident in his large, round potbelly. Ganesh is usually shown with his elephant head and four arms. His mount is the rat.
His mother is the goddess Parvati, the consort of Shiva, the Destroyer.
Read how she created Ganesh, and how he acquired his elephant head.
Once, the god Shiva was called away from his home on Mount Kailash. Urgent matters in the world needed his attention, and he did not know how long he would be away. The goddess Parvati, his wife, was left alone. When Shiva did not return for many days, she began to feel lonely. 'I wish I had a little son,' she sighed to herself. 'I would talk to him, and play with him, and keep myself busy during the long days that my husband is away.'
So Parvati decided to make a little child for herself. She took the dust from the ground, and mixed it with the perspiration from her own body. From this clay she fashioned a little boy, perfect in every detail. She took the clay child into her arms, and breathed on him, and the child came to life. He was a bright little boy, full of life and utterly devoted to his mother. He would follow Parvati around all day long, keeping her amused and happy with his chatter. Parvati did not feel lonely any more.
One day, while Shiva was still away from home, Parvati said to her son, 'Child, I am going down to the river for a bath. Don't let anyone enter the house in my absence.'
Ganesh, Parvati's son cont'd...
See also: A Trip Around the Universe