Does lord Ganesh has four hands in reality?
Does lord Ganesh has only one tooth? No other god has an animal face. why does Ganesh ji have elephant head?
Does an elephant head fit into his neck in reality ? As elephant head is bigger then any others.

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    Now that you made the edit, I'm reopening your question. Sep 21, 2017 at 17:17
  • Yes 4 hands (chatur bhuja). Yes one tooth (or rather danta/tusk), since he broke off one of his 2 tusks to be scribe for Mahabharata. Yes, elephant head. His original head got cut off in a fight, and replaced with elephant's head.
    – ram
    Sep 22, 2017 at 2:07
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    Not only Ganesha, Shiva chopped head of Prajapati Daksha (Sati's father) also And later put head of a goat on him to make him alive.
    – Vishvam
    Sep 22, 2017 at 4:52
  • And there is a reason of putting head of an Elephant only. It was pre planned. Shiva put head of an Elephant to fulfill his boon which was given to that Elephant.
    – Vishvam
    Sep 22, 2017 at 4:59
  • 1
    Well There is a story that Once GajaAsura did Penance for ChandraShekhara.Then AhirBhushana gave GajaAsura a boon. GajaAsura asked that Shiva may inhabit his stomach.So BhasmaCharchita entered the Asura's belly. Then GiriSutaa asked Ramaadhava for help. So Vishnu and Nandi did some performance before GajaAsura. GajaAsura enchanted by them, asked them what boon they want. They asked let UmaaKaanta be out of his stomach.Then GajaAsura let Shiva be out,and asked that his head may become head of Shiva's son,and his skin may become Shiva's garment, and this is why Rudra is also called KrittiVaasaa.
    – user9392
    Sep 24, 2017 at 15:57

3 Answers 3


Ganesha is depicted having one tooth which has a story that one tooth was taken away by the axe of parashurAma. He has four arms hence he is called as Chaturbhuja also. Also another name is danti.

Secondly ganesha is not the only god who has animal face of body.

There is also Sri varAha, Sri HayagrIva, Sri Narasimha etc.

Regarding your last question, it is a logic based question. However, Ganesha was not a human so it is not proper to compare his neck size with that of the human. So fitting of elephant size head into human body is not applicable. His body was divine so such adjustments may be possible.

The following extract from the "Ganapati Upanishad" * is a specimen of the addresses to Ganesa used by the Ganapatyas: † "Praise to thee, O Ganesa! Thou art manifestly the truth; thou art undoubtedly the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer, the Supreme Brahma, the eternal Spirit. I speak what is right and true; preserve me therefore, when speaking, listening, giving, possessing, teaching, learning; continually protect me everywhere. By thee was this universe manifested; for thou art earth, water, fire, air and ether. Thou art Brahmā, Vishnu, and Rudra. We acknowledge thy divinity, O Ekadanta! and meditate on thy countenance; enlighten, therefore, our understanding. He who continually meditates upon thy divine form, conceiving it to be with one tooth, four hands, bearing a rat on thy banner, of a red hue, with a large belly, anointed with red perfumes, arrayed in red garments, worshipped with offerings of red flowers, abounding in compassion, the cause of this universe, imperishable, unproduced and unaffected by creation, becomes the most excellent of Yogis. Praise, therefore, be to thee, O Ganapati. Whoever meditates upon this figure of the 'Atharva Siras' (the name of the Upanishad of which the Ganapati forms a part) never will be impeded by difficulties, will be liberated from the five great sins, and all lesser ones; and will acquire riches, the objects of his desires, virtue and final beatitude.

Ganesa has only one tusk, and hence is called Ekadanta. The reason of this is as follows:—Parasurāma, who was a favourite disciple of Siva, went to Kailasa to visit his master. On arriving at the inner apartment, his entrance was opposed by Ganesa, as his father was asleep. Parasurāma nevertheless urged his way, and, after a long dialogue, the two came to blows. Ganesa had at first the advantage, seizing Parasurāma in his trunk, and giving him a twirl that left him sick and senseless. On recovering, Rāma threw his axe at Ganesa, who, recognizing it as his father's weapon—Siva having given it to Parasurāma—received it with all humility upon one of his tusks, which it immediately severed, and hence Ganesa has but one tusk. Pārvati was highly incensed at this, and was about to curse Rāma, when Krishna, of whom he was a worshipper, appeared as a boy and appeased her indignation. Brahmā is said to have promised that her son should be worshipped before the other gods. This result of his contest with Rāma was in consequence of a curse pronounced upon him by the sage Tulasi, with whom he had quarrelled.


  • i have updated the answer Sep 22, 2017 at 7:30
  • @K.C.Polai no problem. not all mythological things can be answered logically. u can join Rational thinker chat room once u get some reps Sep 22, 2017 at 8:01
  • And why was only elephant head fitted. Why not the same head.
    – user9392
    Sep 24, 2017 at 15:41

The story of Ganesha is narrated in Shiva Purana – Rudra Samhita – Kumara Kaanda – Chapters 13 to 19. The tale is as follows:

On a query by Sage Narada, Lord Brahma said, “The story of the birth of Ganapati, which I had earlier narrated in which the head of baby Ganesha was shattered by Saturn’s viewing him and then replaced by the head of an elephant occurred at the end of an earlier Kalpa. Now in Shvetavaraha Kalpa, this is the story of Ganesha’s creation. His head was cut off by the kind-hearted benefactor Lord Shambu (Shiva), who is both animate and inanimate and who is the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer of the entire Creation. Listen to the full tale.

Once two companions of Parvati, Jaya and Vijaya, approached Her and said “Friend! All the ganas are of Rudra. Those whom we consider our own Nandi, Bringhi and others are all bound to obey Shiva’s orders as are all the prime ganas. None of them is ours. Even when they guard our quarters to give us privacy for our personal requirements, they are doing that on Shiva’s orders. Therefore O Sinless One, you should create a gana of our own, who will be obedient only to your orders and desires.”

One day, with Nandi guarding Her quarters Parvati was having her bath. At that time Shiva arrived and threatening Nandi entered Parvati’s quarters. Seeing Her husband the bathing Parvati stood up, naked as she was. At that time Parvati was embarrassed and ashamed of Her nakedness. She then remembered the words of her companions and resolved to have Her own gana. Later removing the sweat and dirt from Her body, She created a boy. The boy was perfect in all respects. Handsome, with well proportioned body, powerful and strong. Parvati then bestowed on the boy many clothes, ornaments, other accourtments and blessed Him saying, “You are my son and there is none other here as lovable as you.”

The boy prostrated before Parvati and enquired “Mother, what is your requirement and desire today. I will fulfil it.”

Parvati replied, “You are my son. So listen carefully. From today you guard my palace. Let none enter, whosoever it be, without my permission.” Thus saying she handed Ganesha a stout staff. Ganesha immediately took up hs post at the gate of Parvati’s palace.

Having placed Ganesha as the guardian of Her palace gates, Parvati alongwith her companions went to have Her bath. At that time Shiva came there and wanted to enter the palace. Not ever having met Shiva, the boy barred His way and said, “Lord, without specific permission from Mother you cannot enter the palace. She has gone to bathe and hence you may now go and return later.”

Shiva got angry and said, “Don’t you know who I am. I am Shiva”. Shiva’s ganas tried to explain who He was to Ganesha, but the boy was unmoved. The ganas went to Shiva and narrated that the boy had reprimanded them for interfering in his duties. Shiva upbraided His ganas, “Are you impotent eunuchs that you come back and report to me thus. Find out who he is and remove him.” The ganas found out and returned to Shiva saying, “He is the son of Girija (Parvati) and is guarding the entrance as per Her instructions.”

Shiva then called all the Devas and with His ganas attacked Ganesha, who very easily defeated them. Then Shiva himself came and with the trident of cut off Ganesha’s head. When Parvati heard this she was wroth. Using all her energies, she created many Shaktis and instructed them to commence the destruction of the entire universe. The Shaktis then released their furies and in all directions destructive fires and floods started occurring. In front of the unleashed furies, the Shiva ganas tried to escape and run away as far as possible. At that time Devarishi Narada reached there and advised the gods to approach Shiva for the solution of this problem. It became apparent that the only way to quell the furies was to please Girija and seek her forgiveness. With this in mind the gods and sages started singing praises of Devi Girija, but her anger was still not calmed and she continued to be in her fury form of Chandika. The gods and rishis continued to sing praises of Parvati. At last she was appeased and said “If my son comes back to life and he is made the prime one amongst you, then and only then will I recall my furies and cease the destruction.”

The gods and the rishis then went back to Shiva who advised them to give the ritual purificatory bath to the body of the boy, and then proceed northward and bring the head of the first living creature they come across. The gods and sages did accordingly and while proceeding northward came across a one tusked elephant, whose head they cut off and conjoined to the body of the boy. The assembled sages and gods then empowered the purified waters in a vessel. When this water was sprinkled on the body of the boy with elephant’s head he came to life.

The gods worshipped him and anointed his body with water (abhishekam). Thereafter Parvati gave him her blessings, showered him with quality clothes and ornaments, and said “Son, you had to suffer much pain for my sake, henceforth you will suffer no more pain. All the gods will henceforth worship you first. And since you are wearing sindoor (vermillion, which married women wear without fail) right now, your worship will not be full unless it is done with sindoor.” On uttering this benediction the minds of gods and Shivaganas once again became peaceful.

Thereafter Parvati placed Ganesha on Shiva’s lap who blessed him to be the destroyer of all obstacles and the lord of all his ganas.

Amongst the various tales of how Ganesha got to be one tusked, are legends of destruction by Parashurama's axe, while writing the Mahabharata the quill broke and since His hand could not stop, Ganesha broke one of his tusks and continued writing, while more quills were brought, etc.


Ganesha is called Ekdant as one of his teeth is broken and the other one is fine. He is called char bhuja dhari as he is seen having four hands. The head on ganesha was of a baby elephant who had asked a boon from lord Shiva that he wanted to stay with him in kailash and Shiva said 'tathastu'. So when the real head of ganesha was separated,Shiva was reminded of the boon he gave and he kept his promise by putting that elephant's head on ganesha

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    In answer, one needs to provide citations (like Scriptures) in order to validate the claims it makes. You can see how the accepted answer is written to get an idea.
    – Rickross
    Sep 22, 2017 at 12:59

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