Stories behind the broken tusk of Lord Ganesha | Fusion - WeRIndia

Stories behind the broken tusk of Lord Ganesha

Stories behind the broken tusk of Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha, the cherished deity in Hindu mythology, is known as Ekadanta, the one with a single tooth.

His broken tusk is a prominent part of his imagery, surrounded by captivating legends that span ancient scriptures.

Here are some of the most renowned tales behind Ganesha’s iconic tusk, each offering a unique perspective:

The Mahabharata Scribe: A well-known legend unfolds in the Mahabharata, where Ganesha acted as the scribe for sage Vyasa. Vyasa sought a scribe who could match his pace in dictating the epic. Ganesha agreed but with a condition. Vyasa must dictate without pause. Vyasa countered that Ganesha must comprehend every word before writing. Ganesha, in a gesture of goodwill, broke his tusk to use as a pen. Thus, the Mahabharata came into being.

Moon’s Laughter: Another tale narrates Ganesha’s feast at the moon’s palace. After devouring a lavish spread, Ganesha embarked on his vahaana, Mooshak. A snake’s sudden appearance startled Mooshak, causing Ganesha to fall. His belly burst open, spilling the modaks he had eaten. Ganesha collected them and restored his form, tying the snake around his torso. The moon, watching from above, laughed. Enraged, Ganesha hurled one tusk at the moon, cursing it to wax and wane, thus explaining the lunar phases.

Parashurama’s Wrath: In a different legend, Parashurama visited Mount Kailash to see Shiva. Ganesha, following Shiva’s orders, barred his entry, angering Parashurama. In his fury, Parashurama hurled his axe, the divine weapon gifted by Shiva, at Ganesha. In reverence to his father and the sacred axe, Ganesha didn’t defend himself, allowing the axe to break his tusk, making him Ekadanta.

Defeating Gajamukha: Ganesha’s tusk is also linked to his triumph over the demon Gajamukha. The demon, empowered through penance, tormented gods and sages. Unable to conquer Gajamukha, the gods sought Ganesha’s aid. Many versions narrate that Ganesha broke his own tusk to wield as a weapon against the demon, ultimately turning him into a mouse, who became Ganesha’s vahaana, Mooshak.

These stories illuminate the diverse facets of Lord Ganesha’s persona, his wisdom, humility, and unyielding devotion to his divine duties.

His broken tusk serves as a constant reminder of these tales that continue to captivate and inspire devotees around the world.

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