The beautiful Kailash mountains were a breathtaking sight and it never failed to impress Parvathi. And after her marriage with Shiva, living with Shiva, his Ganas and his sages, Parvathi loved the place more. She smiled as she looked around the snow clad mountains and knew that this would be the case, always.
Jaya and Vijaya, the two guards of Goddess Parvathi were speaking with her.
"Devi. How is Kailash?" They asked her. Parvathi smiled unable to stop herself. Her smile saying a lot more than she ever could. "Shiva, the Ganas, Nandi....they are all fine." The Goddess was unable to stop smiling as she remembered her times her. "And do you know, how much Nandi loves the Lord?" Parvathi told the two guards with open amazement. "Had I not seen it with my own eyes, I would never have believed it." Parvathi said shaking her head. The devotion that the half-man, half-bull had for Shiva was something that astounded Parvathi no end.
"And now as a consort of the Lord, Nandi loves me the same way he loves Shiva." Parvathi said with a radiant smile.
Jaya frowned. "But they are all Shiva’s Ganas, Devi." he said a little hesitatingly.
"So?" Paravathi asked quizzically.
Jaya and Vijaya said nothing as they went away from there.
"I am going for a bath. Please stand guard outside." Parvathi said as she found Nandi, who was waiting on her today.
"Yes,Devi." Nandi said nodding his head.
"Let no one in." Parvathi said with a smile.
"Never." Nandi said vehemently and then realized that the Goddess was making fun of him and she walked away.
Nandi was still standing guard outside when he felt rather than see the Lord come towards him. Nandi turned right sharply and saw that it was indeed Lord Shiva who was back. The man rushed forward bowing to the Lord.
"My friend." Shiva acknowledged Nandi as he walked inside his home with a smile.
Parvathi was decking herself when she heard some noise in the outer chambers. Parvathi almost pulled out her weapon when she realized exactly who the person was.
As Shiva was about to enter the inner apartment, he was very surprised to see his wife looking very angry as she was about to reach for her weapon. "What are you.....?" Shiva started.
"Shiva." Parvathi said breathing in deeply. Shiva said nothing as Parvathi continued. "I asked Nandi to stay guard while I went and took a bath." she said finally.
Shiva grinned. "You expected Nandi to stop me from entering my own house?"
Parvathi was annoyed. "I asked him not to let anyone in." she muttered as she walked inside.
Shiva laughed saying nothing.
However the Goddess was still annoyed.
But they are all Shiva’s Ganas, Devi....
Jaya’s words were somehow ringing in Parvathi’s mind as she was unable to shake it off. She watched Nandi who was outside and somehow the words still kept repeating.
Making a sudden decision, Parvathi nodded to herself, her jaw in a set firm line.
The boy that Parvathi had created from her own body looked handsome beyond words. His twinkling and intelligent eyes masked the ferocious strength and valour that the boy had. Parvathi smiled as she admired the boy for one last time and then she breathed life into him.
"Mother!" the boy said and Parvathi felt a happiness she had not felt ever before in her life. "You are my son." Parvathi said unable to stop gazing at the boy. "You are mine." Parvathi said.
"Mother. Why did you create me?" the boy asked as his eyes searched for answers.
"I needed someone for myself." Parvathi said simply. "Someone who would answer only to me." she continued.
"Command me, mother." the boy said. "What should I do?"
Parvathi smiled to herself. "I am going to take a bath. Please make sure that no one comes inside, without my permission." Parvathi picked up a strong stick from the ground. "Take this and stay on guard."
The boy took the stick and went outside, looking around.
Parvathi watched the boy for one last time and then she went inside.
Shiva was back when he saw an unusually handsome and strong boy outside his house. The boy"s eyes were shining with curiosity as the boy was looking around. More importantly, Shiva knew that the boy was standing outside his house with a specific reason.
"Who are you?" Shiva asked the boy.
"My mother has asked me to stay here and stay guard. She wanted no one to enter inside without her permission." the boy said looking at the Lord. "Who are you?" the boy asked.
"I am Shiva." Shiva said trying to walk inside the house.
There was absolutely no warning, when the boy suddenly hit Shiva with this staff. Shiva winced and was shocked as he watched the boy twirling the staff. The Ganas were shocked, unable to do anything.
"No one enters without my mother’s permission." the boy told Shiva as he was twirling his stick.
Shiva was blazing as he watched the boy. "I am Shiva, the husband of Parvathi. How dare you stop me from entering my own house?" he demanded angrily.
But the boy really did not hear anything, as he pushed Shiva back, saying nothing more. Shiva walked away from the house as he was looking at his Ganas who were watching the entire scene with horror.
"Ask who that boy is and what is doing here." Shiva said, almost snarling at his Ganas, as he walked away from there.
The Ganas looked at the angry Lord and then walked towards the boy. "Who are you? What are you trying to do?" The boy looked at the Ganas as if he was already picking out targets, as the Ganas continued. "If you want to stay alive, walk away from here." they said trying to threaten the boy.
The boy watched the Ganas coolly. "Who are you? What are you trying to do? And why are you fighting me?"
The Ganas looked at the boy warily. "We are the Ganas of Shiva. And we are the ones who look after him. And we will kill you if you do not move away from the door."
“I am the son of Parvathi.” The boy said as he clutched the stick tightly studying the Ganas, waiting for any of them to make the first move.
However, before starting the fight, the Ganas went to Shiva first. "That boy is the son of the Goddess!" the Ganas said telling Shiva everything that had happened.
But right now, Shiva was very angry. He looked at the Ganas contemptuously. "I don’t care about that. I want that boy out of there." he said deliberately and refused to hear anything more.
The Ganas went back to the boy and this time there was a ridiculously short battle between the boy and the Ganas and the Ganas were defeated. None of them wanted to fight the boy who was all alone and added to the fact, the boy was a very good warrior.
The Ganas looked at the boy with troubled eyes nursing injuries. "That man is Shiva, the husband of Parvathi. Why do you not let him enter his own house?" one of them asked angrily.
The boy stopped for a few seconds looking uncertainly.....
Parvathi frowned as she thought she heard something from outside the house. She called her friend. "Find out what is happening outside." she snapped.
Parvathi’s friend went outside and she saw the battle between the Ganas and the boy and their dialogues. In a flash, she understood what had happened as she ran inside the house. "These Ganas of Shiva." Parvathi’s friend blazed angrily. "They want to enter your apartment. And they don’t care whether you want them inside or not....’ the friend took in a deep breath trying to control herself. ‘....And they fought your son." the friend finished angrily.
Parvathi heard this and a slow anger made way into her heart. "Shiva tried to force his way inside his own house. He did not even wait." she said angrily. She turned to her friend, as her anger almost threatened to consume her. "Go to my son and tell him that no one is to enter my house, without my permission. NO ONE." She said finally.
The friend raced outside to the boy. "Sir. Your mother tells you that you are not to let anyone force their way inside the house." the friend saw the Ganas who were limping and wincing in pain.
The confusion in the boy’s face was gone on hearing the words of the lady before him and he smiled. Parvathi’s friend saw the wincing Ganas and smirked at them. "Who are these Ganas before you, sir? Can they really hope to win against a person like you?" she asked as she walked back inside the house.
The boy smiled as he looked at the wincing Ganas. "You are the Ganas of Shiva and I am the son of Parvathi. You have to carry out the wishes of Shiva and I am bound to Parvathi. So you do what you think is right and I will do what I am supposed to do." the boy said holding his staff tightly as he looked at the Ganas with a dangerous smile on his lips.
However instead of fighting the boy, the Ganas went back to Shiva told Shiva all that had happened and what the boy had told him. For a few seconds Shiva looked at his Ganas not able to talk.
"Parvathi." Shiva whispered finally, to himself, shaking his head.
Shiva took a deep breath turning to his Ganas. "That boy is preventing me from getting inside my own house." Shiva looked at his men fiercely. "The boy...." Shiva took a deep breath trying to control himself. "….wants a war. And he shall have it."
Nandi looked at his men and then back at the boy, as they were back outside the house of Shiva and Parvathi.
"I will go and fight him first." Nandi looked at Bhringin, another Gana. "If I fail, you will follow me."
Nandi came forward as the boy was watching him ready for anything. Nandi got down and tried to catch the boy by his feet. Realizing that the boy was more powerful, Bhringin charged at the boy, catching his other leg.
The boy saw the two men and hit them hard with his stick. The two warriors let the boy go, wincing in pain. Scrambling back, the boy picked up an iron club from the ground and twirled it around watching the men.
The other Ganas also started attacking the boy. And it definitely looked like it was going to be an uneven battle. But then nobody knew what the boy was capable of. And the Ganas were in for a shock. A very rude shock.
The boy fought with the natural skill of a warrior and was fighting mad. He almost fought like he was possessed and no one was able to contain the boy. The boy did not care who he was facing or what they were doing. He twirled the iron club and the damage he did to the Ganas was incalculable. Most of the Ganas were hurt badly - some with broken bones and many with shattered knees...
The Ganas were frankly scared when they heard the sound of the stick coming anywhere near them and most of them fled from the battlefield.
The boy looked around as he watched the retreating Ganas. He looked at the doorway once more and picked up the stick that his mother had given him and along with the iron club that lay down, he walked back the doorway. He stood there with a proud face as he watched the Ganas run.
Narada, the divine sage who roamed all over the worlds was watching the battle and he was frankly terrified of what he was watching. The Ganas of Shiva were being routed in battle and it was not done by some huge demon or any powerful being. It was done by a little boy, a powerful little boy. Narada looked around wondering what to do and decided that battle was definitely not the way this matter could be resolved. He walked away from there and went to Satyaloka.
"Lord Brahma." Narada said without any preamble as he met his father at Satyaloka. "We need your help before things really go out of hand." Narada continued.
"What happened?" Lord Brahma asked worried.
Both Brahma and Vishnu came to Shiva and were shocked to find Lord Shiva looking angry and morose.
Shiva spoke to Brahma first without any preamble. “I do not wish a fight.” Shiva said. “There is a boy outside my house and he is not letting me inside.” Shiva looked at Brahma with piercing eyes. “Just talk to the boy.”
Brahma nodded as he along with a few of the Ganas went to Shiva’s home. There he found the boy watching them warily.
Brahma signaled the others to stop as he went near the boy. “I am not here to….” That was as far as Brahma got.
The boy came forward and without giving Brahma a chance to explain himself started pulling Brahma’s beard.
Getting scared, Brahma tried to pull himself back, when the boy picked up the iron club. Brahma saw no more as he ran back hard, with the Ganas following him. The boy caught some of the Ganas and attacked them, as the others escaped…
Gasping for breath, Brahma told Shiva all that had happened.
Shiva was very angry by the time Brahma finished talking. He turned to Indra and his son Kartikeya. “Muster up all our forces. Get the boy out of there.” Shiva said with blazing eyes.
Parvathi was talking to her friends when she felt a sudden chill. She stopped talking as she looked around. Something had just happened... Something not good at all. Parvathi frowned as she closed her eyes and concentrated.
Parvathi’s friends were genuinely terrified as the Goddess opened her eyes. That she looked scary was a given. What was more terrifying was the firm set jaw of the Goddess which clearly showed that the Goddess was going to do something terrible.
The friends watched, as from Parvathi emerged two extraordinarily powerful women. The two women who were created were beautiful but their ferociousness masked all their beauty. They looked like mean fighting machines who would kill without a second thought.
‘Command us, Mother.’ The two Shakthis told Parvathi.
‘There is an army coming after my son.’ Parvathi said coldly. ‘Protect him.’
The boy watched as a big army was coming towards him. The Ganas whom he had fought till then seemed almost docile compared to the army which was coming towards him. What was more scary were the leaders of the two groups. They seemed phenomenally powerful and exuded a confidence of having fought and won battles before this.
The boy clutched the iron club more tightly, when he watched the army surround him from all sides. The boy took a deep breath as he relaxed when he felt it. It was something so powerful that he was sure that even his opponents had felt it. The boy turned and was shocked. Standing beside him were two powerfully built women who looked more ferocious than the entire army that he was facing.
One of the Shakthis turned to the other. “None of their weapons should reach him.” She said watching the army around them.
The boy watched as the Ganas hurled their weapons at him. He kept his iron club ready to ward off the weapon, when the boy watched shocked as the weapon stopped just as soon as it left the hands of the Ganas. The Ganas were themselves shocked as the weapon stopped in midair.
This time the Goddesses smiled dangerously as the weapon turned. The weapons went and hit the very Ganas who had hurled them.
It took a second for the boy to understand what was happening and grinning he picked up his iron club started twirling it around, to deal with the Ganas who were attacking him without any weapons…..
It was a ridiculously short battle. The boy was unstoppable even by himself and with the two Shakthis there was nothing anyone could do….
The Ganas ran from battle again, but Kartikeya did not run. He and the boy were exchanging blows as the Ganas ran back to Shiva.
And back at the fight between Karthikeya and the boy, Kartikeya was also no match for the boy and he lost the fight….
“We… We thought….” The Ganas panted as they saw Shiva. “We thought that just because we were the Ganas of Shiva no one could stop us.” One of the Ganas told Shiva. “But our arrogance is now gone.” The Ganas were pleading with Shiva. “This boy, my Lord, whoever he is, you are the only one who can stop him. Even Lord Kartikeya himself is no match for him.” The Ganas fell at the feet of Shiva.
Shiva watched the Ganas with absolutely no expression on his face. He then turned to Vishnu “I believe we have a battle in our hands.” Was all he said.
The boy watched as this time it was just two people who were coming towards him and one of them was Shiva. The Ganas were standing at a distance. The Shakthis watched the two men warily. The boy twirled his iron club as he hit one of the two warriors – Vishnu. Lord Vishnu turned to Lord Shiva. “I will use my Maya and keep him engaged.” he said as something powerful shot out of his hands.
The Shakthis joined their forces together and fused their powers inside the boy’s body. The boy was unable to believe it as something powerful ran through him… Using the power the boy was able to fight Vishnu’s Maya.
In between, Shiva attacked, trying to find an opening in the boy’s defences. But the boy fought like one possessed. He threw his iron club at Shiva"s Trident, as the trident fell from the Lord’s hands. Angrily Shiva picked up his Pinaka - his bow, trying to shoot the boy. Only to find that the boy was protected by the Shakthis.
The boy fought unbelievably fast and he was able to decimate Lord Vishnu’s attack. Vishnu threw his discus at the boy and at the last minute the boy brought down the club on the discus. Without a second thought, the boy threw the club at Vishnu and Garuda caught the club in his mouth.
Remembering his mother, the boy picked up the staff which she had given him and started fighting with Vishnu again.
For a few seconds it looked like the boy was going to win. Lord Vishnu fell down as the boy hit him with the staff. The boy turned his attention to Shiva, failing to understand that Vishnu was only feigning to have fallen down.
The boy was getting ready to attack Shiva when he heard movement behind him. The boy realized that Lord Vishnu was only pretending to have fallen and hastily turned around. The boy turned as Shiva picked up his Trident and there was no mistake in Shiva’s aim.
And Parvathi’s son lay dead in the battlefield as the Trident decapitated him.
For a second there was complete silence in the battlefield. Nobody could actually believe that the battle was over. But the boy was lying in the battlefield unmoving. Shiva’s Ganas were unable to believe it and then there were sudden screams of joy.
"The boy is gone."
"We have won."
"Lord Shiva has won."
It became a crescendo of shouts and soon all the Ganas were rejoicing.
They were so jubilant that none of them noticed that Lord Shiva was not even remotely happy. In fact he was remorseful, knowing that he had done something unforgivable.
For a second, Parvathi felt that the entire universe had gone quiet. She watched her trembling hands and was filled with rage. A rage which she just could not control.
She saw everything that had happened and saw the Ganas rejoicing in the battlefield. All around her dead son. The Goddess watched the scene as it replayed in her mind and within a span of a few seconds standing before her were hundreds and thousands of bloodthirsty Shakthis, all of who had emerged from her.
"Command us, Mother." the Shakthis said.
"They killed my son." Parvathi said listlessly. She turned her eyes to her Shakthis. "None of them deserve to live. Not while my son is dead." The Shakthis watched each other as Parvathi was steadily losing control over herself. "Kill them all." the Goddess said simply.
And so the madness began.....
The Shakthis commanded by Parvathi saw nothing and heard nothing. They destroyed everything that came in their path. Sages, Yakshas, Gods...nothing survived the Shakthis. And it looked very bad. Most of the Gods were sure that the end of the world was near, because nothing seemed to stop the Shakthis and their numbers just kept multiplying...
Having no other choice to stop this madness, the Gods along with Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma went to Parvathi.
"Please forgive us, Goddess." they said and the Goddess just refused to listen to them.
"Please Devi." Lord Vishnu said gently. "We will do whatever you want. Stop this massacre."
Parvathi watched Vishnu and slowly some semblance of control came to her. "I need my son back. And I need him to have an honourable status among you." she looked at Vishnu. "If that is done, there will be no more killing. Otherwise...." Parvathi smiled mirthlessly as she did not even bother completing the threat.
The Gods hurried back to Shiva and he heard all that they had to say. He turned to them. "Go north. Find the first living thing that you see and bring its head." the Gods definitely knew when not to waste time and were out almost as soon as Shiva commanded them.
They took the body of the boy with them and traveled north. The first animal that they saw was a single tusked elephant. They cut the head of the elephant and they attached it to the boy"s body. Using the powerful mantras and the holy waters, they were able to attach the body of the boy with the head of the elephant.
They brought the boy to Shiva who watched the boy with a strange smile. Shiva closed his eyes as he touched the boy.
The Ganas were shocked, as the boy with the elephant head, woke up as if he was just sleeping. He was very handsome looking with the face of an elephant. The red complexion of the boy outlined his fine features and his eyes showed an intelligence which belied his age...
The Gods took the boy to Parvathi and the Shakthis which emerged from her just vanished, without a trace. If Parvathi had felt that her son was handsome before, she had no words to describe her boy right now. She hugged her son tightly, as words completely failed her.
Shiva came up from behind the Gods and the Ganas as he saw Parvathi and the boy.
"This is my other son." Shiva said proudly.
Parvathi could not hide her smile as Shiva continued. "Me, Vishnu and Brahma are all worshiped in the three worlds. However this son of mine shall be worshiped before all of us." Shiva turned to the Ganas. "He will be your Lord henceforth, the Lord of the Ganas – Ganesha. My son Ganesha." Lord Shiva said with quiet pride.
-Adapted from the Shiva Purana
*This story is available on Kindle Amazon in the book the Lord of the Ganas: Story of Hinduism, priced at Rs. 49
*This story is available on Kindle Amazon in the book the Lord of the Ganas: Story of Hinduism, priced at Rs. 49