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As Lord Shiva is himself one of the Trimurti, he must be a त्रिकालज्ञ (trikālajña) i.e., knower of past, present and future.

If he's a trikālajña, why didn't he know that he was going to behead his own son, Vināyaka (Ganesha)?

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This whole event is a series of interconnected Chain events. I'm here summarizing the chain events:

1) Boon to Gajasura:

Gajasura was a devotee of Lord Shiva and he got a boon that his head would be revered in future as described in the answer here.

2) Curse to Lord Shiva:

Lord Shiva once killed Surya and Kasyapa (father of Surya) cursed him as described in answer here.

He struck Surya with a trident and this made the entire world plunge into darkness. Surya was the sage Kashyapa's son and so, for this act, Kashyapa cursed Shiva. "Just as you pierced my son's chest with a trident, your son's head will be chopped off one day," said Kashyapa.

3) Son of Shiva-Shakti:

Ganesha (Vinayaka) was only son of Prakriti tatwa as made only by Parvati. Lord Shiva transformed Purush tatwa to Vinayaka from his Trishula while beheading him. And thus he philosophically became son of both Shiva and Shakti.

4) Removing Maila Buddhi:

Ganesha was formed from dirt/mud by Parvati. So his intellect had also became dirt formed intellect. As a result he couldn't recognise the Supreme Shiva and other Gods, Sages also. So, Beheading the head removed the dirt formed intellect and it also removed only Maya/Prakirti/Parvati formed intellect.

These all events described above are interconnected as Chain events. So, Beheading Vinayaka (Ganesha) by Lord Shiva was necessary.

Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

  • Well Vinayaka also had soul and soul is Purush Tatwa so he was always a son of both Shiva and Shakti. – Chinmay Sarupria Jul 18 '16 at 6:47
  • @Chinmay Sarupria yes, also Shiva and Shakti are inseperable and there can't be place where only one exist... But I'm talking in relative perspective and tatwa point of view... – Tejaswee Jul 18 '16 at 7:09
  • I don't understand, even in relative perspective, soul is there and body is 100% made of prakriti tatwa or am I wrong? – Chinmay Sarupria Jul 18 '16 at 7:35
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    @Chinmay Sarupria Parvati isn't completely Prakriti... she is conscious... complete Prakriti means Jada... so when she created Ganesha then he was alive as she also contain some portion of Purush tatwa as she is conscious...so Parvati is also able to add Purush tatwa.... but Shiva added fully Purush tatwa from his Trishula while beheading him... – Tejaswee Jul 18 '16 at 7:43
  • Does boon to Gajasura haeve any scriptural basis? The answer you have linked is quoting from a random blog. AFAICT, the Gajasura demon mentioned in the Puranas is not a Shiva devotee but a Rakshasa created by sages to fight against Shiva. According to other story, an elephant which was creating menace in Varanasi and harassing Shiva bhaktas. Shiva killed it and ripped its skin. – Sarvabhouma Sep 22 '17 at 8:52
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I would like to quote the following text hope this helps

The story goes that Parvati created a boy out of dirt from her body and appointed him to guard the doorstep. The first question that comes is how could Parvati, the Goddess Herself, have so much dirt? Parvati symbolizes the triguna sattva, rajas and tamas. The entire creation is made up of trigunas. The dosha or imperfections that originate out of the triguna is an obstruction for the functioning of Prakriti. That was the boy that Parvati created to stand guard at the door.Shiva is Shuddha Chaitanya, pure consciousness. Like the sun does not recognize darkness and cuts through it, Shiva does not recognize dosha and slays the impurity. But Prakriti cannot stay without impurity. So Shiva replaces the dosha with the head of an elephant, which symbolizes knowledge. Through knowledge, all the doshas or obstructions of Prakriti can be taken care of. This is the spiritual and metaphysical meaning of Ganpati being slain. So worshipping Ganpati as the remover of obstacles and the giver of gyana, knowledge is the most amazing depiction of the nature of consciousness.

For more info refer here

Because lord Ganesha was created with mud his buddhi(intellect) was dushit(contaminated) he didn't respected other gods & rishis who came and tried to tell him the truth that Lord Shiva was his father. So that's the reason Shiva cut his head and replaced it with the one of an elephant which is a symbol of knowledge. The elephant whose head was cut and replaced with that of Lord Ganesha his name of Gajasura. You can search about him.

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