I've seen that Hindus worship lord Ganesha before starting any puja (act of worship) or important task.

I've also seen people worshipping lord Ganesha before they start off with marriage proceedings, and on marriage invitation cards.

They also keep idols of lord Ganesha in their cars, home entrances, etc....

So why do they always worship lord Ganesha before they go to start off with some good/important tasks?

  • 2
    One of the ye olde famous question in Hindu Mythology. :) Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 7:31
  • Once all rishis got a doubt on whom to worship first, is it either shiva or vishnu? So, they went to ask the same to Shiva and Vishnu. Later they put a competition between Ganesha and Karthikeya. Ganesh won the competition and became the first worshipped. Commented Dec 27, 2014 at 16:00
  • Lord Ganesha is the god of Success and is known as the remover of obstacles. Commented Jul 25, 2015 at 12:56

10 Answers 10


Here's the story of its origin.

Shiva Bhagwan left his abode on Mt. Kailas in the Himalayas to meditate in a cave. Parvati’s friends suggested that she should have an attendant (gana) of her own because they were not pleased with Shiva’s ganas.

Thus, she used her divine powers and bore a son. She named him Vinayak and instructed him to guard their home.

When Shiva returned home, Vinayak did not allow him to enter. After a brief argument, Shiva beheaded Vinayak with his trishul. When Parvati heard about this incident, she cried in despair over the loss of her son. As a means to console Parvati, Shiva sent his men to the forest and instructed them to retrieve the head of the first living creature they met.

Shortly, his men returned with the head of a baby elephant. With his divine powers, Shiva placed the baby elephant’s head over his son’s body. In a matter of seconds, Vinayak came back to life.

After this incident, Vinayak became known as Gajaanan, which stems from the root word ‘gaj’ meaning elephant.

Shiva blessed him with a boon and explained that people would first offer their love and devotion to Ganeshji before starting any auspicious activity.

The story comes from brahma-vaivarta purāṇa (third part - Ganesha Khand)

Reference - Apna Prerak Parvotsavo book

  • I've taken a last line off as I could not find a reference for it. However, I've updated the answer to include reference to the book I've found this story in.
    – AksharRoop
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 9:33
  • Something different from others, rest is covered by Jabahar and Avinash..
    – Mr. Alien
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 10:48
  • @Mr.Alien If you will delete my answer without waiting then how will i edit? Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 3:57
  • 1
    The story is that Shiva sent his men to search for any creature that is sleeping with its head towards North direction. The men were not able to find any and they had to search long and hard, and it was finally they found a baby elephant sleeping with its head towards North direction. This is the reason elders tell children not to sleep with their head in North direction.
    – SoundStage
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 7:36

To ward off the obstacles that may happen in the work, be it puja (worship) or something else, Ganesha is first worshiped always. You will find the mantra that is usually chanted to be as below:

vakratunḍa mahākāya suryakoṭi samaprabhaḥ

nirvighna kurume deva sarva karyeṣu sarvadā

The mantra itself is self explanatory why He is first worshiped. The simple meaning is as below:

You are large bodied with a curved trunk and as radiant as billion suns. Oh deva! make every work free from obstacles always!


@AksharRoop and @Tejesh Alimilli has already explained two mythological stories which tells us how Lord Ganesha became the 'Pratham pujya' (the one who is worshiped first). I want to give one more reason for why Lord Ganesha is worshiped before starting any task.

Yogic Belief:

According to the yogic perspective, the presiding deity for the Muladhara Chakra is Shri Ganesha, the Eternal Child (of Adi Shakti)). He is the embodiment of innocence and He guards His Mother Kundalini (Adi Shakti) and Her instrument with great alertness and uncompromising zeal.

According to Ganapati Upanishad:

Lord Ganesha is eternal and appeared even before the creation of nature (prakriti) and consciousness (purusha). which means He appeared even before the process of creation.

From this site:

"Before human beings were created, before the Earth and sky, long before the sun, the moon, and the galaxies, I (Shri Ganesha) filled everything with holiness and innocence. Single-handedly the Mother Holy Spirit, Adi Shakti, created Me (Shri Ganesha) first to guard and protect Her everywhere. My total surrender to Her (Adi Shakti) and My exclusive alliance to Her can remove any obstacle. In your body I am innocence, wisdom and spontaneity. I am the sanctity of the marriage union and the blessing of saintly children. When Kundalini awakens My presence in you, you regain your lost innocence. She overcomes all of His enemies outside, as well as those within your being. I am the Everlasting Child and the sparkles of My innocence radiate the universe in a constant flow of bliss."

Shri Ganesha was created by the Adi Shakti, the Primordial Power of God Almighty, without the cause of male-female principle. Being born out of the Primordial Mother, He is with Her all the times and in Muladhara Chakra in the human being. He is the embodiment of innocence, purity, and chastity in creation.

This might be one of reason for people worshipping lord Ganesha before they start off with marriage proceedings, and on marriage invitation cards. As well as keep idols of lord Ganesha in their cars, home entrances, etc.

Ganapati Atharvashirsha says: Shri Ganesha always reside in the "MULADHARA" Chakra of our body and having the Power of trinity (Creative Maintaining & Destructive Powers). He is trigunatmak by having 3 'GUNAS', (Satva: Pure, Rajas: Activating & Tamas: Dull).

Tvam Guna Traya Atitaha
Tvam Deha Treya Atitaha
Tvam Kala Treya Atitaha
Tvam Avastreya Atitaha
Tvam Muladhar Stiti Yosi Nityam
Tvam Shakti Treya Atmakaha
Tvam Yogino Dhayayanti Nityam
Tvam Bramhastvan, Vishnustvam, Rudrastvam, Indrastvam Agnistvam, Vayustvam, Suryastvam, Chndramastvam, Bramha Bhur Bhuva Svorom || 6 ||
You(Shri Ganesha) are beyond the 3 'GUNAS', (Satva: Pure, Rajas: Activating & Tamas: Dull)
You are beyond the 3 Bodies; (Gross, Subtle & Casual)
You are beyond Past, Present & Future (3 State of Time)
You are beyond 3 states of being; (Awake, dream & Deep Sleep)
You always Reside in the "MULADHARA" Chakra
You are the trinity of Power; (Creative Maintaining & Destructive Powers)
Sages always Meditate on you
You are the creator. Sustainer, Destroyer, The Lord of 3 worlds, Fire, Air, Sun, Moon, You are all inclusive & all Pervading || 6 ||

Ramdas swami Manache shlok 1: Ramdas swami also states that Shri Ganesha is stays in Muladhar chakra of ones body, where kundalini shakti sleeps here, waiting to be aroused with blessings of lord Ganesha and it reaches up to Brahman (the absolute).

Ganadhish jo ish sarwa gunancha
Mularambh arambh to nirgunacha
Namu sharada mul chatwar wacha
Gamu panth aanat ya raghawacha || 1 ||

Meaning :Lets prey the god Ganapati, who is the leader of all gana (ganadhish), who is the lord of serveral devine virtues (uttam gun), who is starting element of non-physical existance (nirgun). We pray to lord Ganapati to seek success in our task (of setting us on to a life of betterment). We then pray Maa Saraswati, who is the pioneer energy to the universe for its operation which is in the form of four sound levels (chatwar wacha : para, pashyanti, madhyma and waikhari). With the prayer to Ganadhish and Sharada (after understanding their forms : knowledge and energy respectively). We seek their grace (aashirwad) to enable us go by the ideal life (as demonstrated by lord Ram in his avataar). We wish to walk our life by the path (panth) as shown by Lord Ram (raghav) and endlessly (aanant).

Anything we do has to fall under one of the two categories: material or spiritual. As we know Lord Ganesha rules the 'Muladhara chakra' of our body. 'Muladhara chakra' is the interface between the material and the spiritual worlds. Lord Ganesha is said to control both these worlds. He is the one who gives the material enjoyments in this world and He is the one who liberates us from the endless cycle of birth and death. Our material life as well as our spiritual journey starts from the 'Muladhara chakra' which is controlled by Lord Ganesha. It is He who informs Kundalini when it is time to awaken and to reach nirgun nirakar swarup(brahman). Hence, to complete our life cycle without any obstacles, we need the blessings of Lord Ganesha. Since He is the one who gets rid off all the obstacles from our lives, that is why we worship Lord Ganesha before beginning any important work/task.

  • 2
    Note that the Ganapati Atharvashirsha Upanishad is generally viewed as not being an authentic Upanishad; see my answer here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/3012/36 Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 5:58
  • 1
    Ganesh upanishad and ganapati atharvashirsha are non authentic. As far as i know, none of the principle acharyas ( Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhva) have never even mentioned these upanishads.
    – user808
    Commented Jul 25, 2015 at 13:41
  • It is definitely authentic. For Vaishnavas most texts are not authentic apart from the ones they believe in. Not worthy of paying any attention to.
    – Rickross
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 6:16

The story is mentioned in Shiva Mahapurana, Rudra Samhita (Kumara Khanda), Chapter 18. When Lord Ganesha brought back to life after his head was chopped off by Lord Shiva, then Goddess Parvati adored him and declared that he will be worshipped first.

पूजयित्वा सुतं देवी मुखमाचुम्ब्य शाङ्करी।

वरान्ददौ तदा प्रीत्या जातस्त्वं दु:खितोऽधुना॥७॥

Then adoring her son, the goddess Girija, kissed his face, bestowing him with several boons. Then she said, “You had to suffer much,

धन्योऽसि कृतकृत्योऽसि पूर्वपूज्यो भवाधुना।

सर्वेषाममराणां वै सर्वदा दुःखवर्जितः॥८॥

You are quite graceful. You are successful in all your missions. You would be adored first of all the gods and those who would do so would always remain comfortable.

Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma also declared the same.

अहं च शङ्करश्चैव विष्णुश्चैते त्रयः सुराः।

प्रत्यूचुर्गुगपतप्रीत्या ददतौ वरमुक्तमम्॥२०॥

Then I myself, besides Siva and Visnu, bestowed on him the best of boons, and Said to him collectively.

त्रयो वयं सुरवरा यथा पूज्या जगत्रये।

तथाऽयं गणनाथश्च सकलैः प्रतिपूज्यताम्॥ २१॥

AS we three are considered to be the best and most adorable among the gods, similarly, the leader of the ganas i.e. Gaņeśa would be adored in future.

वयंच प्राकृताश्चायं प्राकृतः पूज्य एव च।

गणेशो विध्नहर्ता हि सर्वकामफलप्रद:। २२॥

Ganesa is the remover of the obstructions and bestows rewards of all the desires.

एतत्पूजां पुरा कृत्वा पश्चात्पूज्या वयं नरैः।

वयं च पूजिताः सर्वे नायं च पूजितो यदा॥ २३॥

अस्मिन्नपूजिते देवा परपूजा कृता यदि।

तदा तत्फलहानिः स्यान्नात्र कार्या विचारणा॥ २४॥

इत्युक्त्वा स गणेशानो नानावस्तुभिरादरात्।

शिवेन पूजितः पूर्वं विष्णुनाऽनुप्रपूजितः॥ २५॥

He would be adored first and then the people would adore us. In case the people adoring us and would not adore Ganesa, their adoration would be infructuous. There is no doubt about it. Brahma said, “Thus speaking, initially, Siva adored Ganesa, offering many things. Thereafter Visnu adored him.

ब्रह्मणा च मया तत्र पार्वत्या च प्रपूजितः।

सर्वैर्देवगणैश्चैव पूजितः परया मुदा।। २६॥

Then I (Brahma) together with Parvati and other gods, adored him with utmost devotion.

  • 1
    Yes correct answer...i have highlighted the most relevant portions of ur answer..hope u don't mind..
    – Rickross
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 17:37
  • 1
    @TriyugiNarayanMani - Exact & Best scriptural based answer nicely explained in shlokas. congratulation.Definitely deserve a + vote. Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 18:55

Every year on Ganesh Chaturthi after the puja we read a story, as a part of the ritual. The story I heard goes like this.

Shiva and Parvati put a race between their children Ganesh and Kartikeya. The race was to go around the world thrice and bath in all sacred rivers. The winner would be made head to all ganas. Kartikeya started on his mount (the peacock), but Ganesh knew he would not win with his mount (the mouse). So he instead circled his parents thrice and earned the equal effect of circling the world thrice.

So Ganesh won and he was made head of all ganas (Ganapati), as a reward for his intelligence he was also made head of all obstacles (Vigneshwara).

  • 3
    As far as I know, when he won, he was than titled as god of Intelligence..
    – Mr. Alien
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 14:29
  • 1
    @Mr.Alien, I looked for sources to support my answer, didn't find any, but this is the version everyone I know believes. Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 12:00

None of the answers are upto the mark.None actually has answered the question precisely.

So,here is mine:

Ganapaty has been given the status of Prathama Pujaya or first to be worshiped" by Lord Shiva as per one account and Lord Brahma as per another.

Both stories are from the Puranas.

The first story is from this chapter of Linga Purana and is as follows:

During the time when Shiva and Parvati's marriage was taking place,Brahma accompanied by Indra & other Gods approached Mahadeva:

That was the opportune time when Indra and Devas accompanied by Brahma approached Maha Deva when Dharma and Nyaaya ( Virtue and Justice) were at the lowest ebb and the evils perpetrated by Daitya-Danava-Rakshasas were abysmal. There were no barriers (Vighnas) to immorality and wickedness and the malevolent forces on Earth had a free play enabled by extremities of Tamasika and Rajasika Gunas. Rishis felt that besides obstructing such rampant free play of Evil, there should also indeed be a Facilitator of Good Deeds viz. Avighna as opposed to Vighna. For instance the well-meaning persons should not face obstacles in their Yagnas, Daanas, Vratas, Kshetra Darshanas and such virtuous deeds and ‘Mangala Karyas’ or of Auspicious Tasks:

*Avighnam Yagna daanaadyaih samabhyarchya Maheswaram,

Brahmaanam cha Harim Vipraa labheypsitavaraa yatah/

Tatosmaakam Surah sreshthaa sadaa vijaya sambhavah,

Teshaam tatastu Vighnaarthamavighnaaya Divoukasaam/

Putraartham chaiva Naareenaam Naraanaam karma Siddhaye,

Vighnesham Shankaram srashtam Ganapam stotumararhata/*


Thus Devas requested that a Personification viz. Vighnesha be created who would give impediments to the Evil-doers and Facilities to Seekers of Good Deeds like women folk to grant good sons, humans to be blessed with Karya Siddhi or Fulfilment of Good Deeds

Then the Devas offered a prayer or Stuti addressed to Lord Shiva.Lord Shiva obliged:

As Devas made the above Stuti, Pinakapaani was extremely delighted and assured that he would neither allow any obstruction to Deva Karyas to be caused by any Daitya-Danava and such other mischievous forces nor encourage the success of any evil against virtue. Then Shiva Himself assumed the Golrious Form of Ganeshwara Swarupa of an Elephant Head or Gajaanana and of a Trishula Dhari and there were reverberations of Victory sounds and rains of scented flowers from the Skies and all Lokas above and from all over the Yogis, Siddhaas and Sages welcoming the Lord of Vighnas and Avighnas as per his descretions and the strength of one’s own deeds. As the Bala Ganapati prostrated before his parents Shiva and Parvati, the latter posted kisses on the son’s head ......Shiva emphasised to Ganesha that any Puja to him, Vishnu or Brahma or other Devatas or Devis must be preceded by worhip to Ganesha first not only to assure success of the main Puja but also supplement the fulfillment of the desires for which the main puja was performed. The Prathama Puja to Ganesha should be also done with Dhyana-Avahana-Pushpa-Gandha-Dhupa-Deepa-Naivedyas just as the Main Devata of the Puja was to be performed. This is relevant to all Varnas of Brahmana-Kshatriya-Vaishya and others too. Thus any worship, or Vrata, or Sacred and Religious Deed like Yagnas, Daanaas, Vivaahas, Upanayanas, Vidyaarambhas, house constructions, or for that matter any and every task seeking propitiousness shoud start with Ganesha Puja in Hindu Dharma

Another account is from the Birth of Gajanana, Priority Invocation and adoration on Chaturthi chapter of the Varaha Purana and which is as below:

As Devas faced a strange problem of recurring failures as and when they take up a fresh assignment whereas Demons seemed to be going ahead with novel operations, they approached Lord Siva and Devi Parvati to provide a solution. In reply Bhagavan Siva started thinking that among the Panchabhutas (Five Elements), there was an identifiable personification of a Deity among Prithvi (Earth), Varun (Water), Tejas (Fire) and Vayu (Wind God), but how was it that �Akash� (Sky) did not have? By so thinking Lord Siva laughed loudly and Devi Parvati could guess by her Jnana Shakti (Power of Knowledge) what Bhagavan was laughing boisterously about. From that energetic hilarity with an open mouth emerged a replica of Siva who was strong, handsome and powerful whom Devi Parvati kept gazing and got mesmerised. Lord Siva got annoyed by the instant reaction of Devi Parvati, became jealous of the Super Boy and infact got angry and cursed him saying that he would possess an elephant face, disproportionate belly

Needless to say that boy is Gajanana or Lord Ganesha.

And then an Akashvani happened which said:

...and Lord Brahma flew over the Sky and as �Akashvani�( a loud announcement from the Sky) declared that Devas should be grateful to Lord Siva to have provided the solution to the problem posed by them and that the various forms of Vinayak which got materialised would indeed ensure that as and when Devas ( and human beings) initiated a task they should invoke the blessings of Vinayak foremost. As the announcement from Brahma was heard, Siva was by then cooled down and addressed Vinayaka endearingly as Vinayako Vighnakaro Gajasyo Ganesha naamaacha Bhavasya Putrah, Yethecha Sarvam thava yanthu Bhruthya Vinayakayaah Kruura drishtah Prachandah-Vucchushma daanaadi vuvruddhva dehaha Karyeshu siddhim prati paadayanthah, Bhavaamsva Deveshu thadha makeshu kaaryashu chanteshu Mahanubhavat-Agreshu Pujam Labhatenyatha cha Vinashayishyastatha kaarya siddhim� ( Hey Putra! Vinayaka, Vighnakara, Gajavadana, Ganesha, Shankara Putra; all these cruel-eyed, harsh and angry Vinayaks will be your servants; those who are desirous of giving well earned materials as �daanas� or alms be provided with Siddhis or boons. At Yajnas or various Propitious Tasks, all the devotees shall be provided the highest veneration, lest their tasks or worships be discounted

Hence, its a directive from scriptures only that Ganesha has to be always worshiped first.

  • 1
    Good answer. You may look into my answer too. Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 17:09

Why is Lord Ganesha Worshipped first before any Puja?

An another interesting account of how Ganesha got the right of being worshipped before all other deities comes from Brahmanda Purana- Vol. 4 -Uttar Bhaga - Lalita-mahatmya -Chapter - Twenty Seven - The Exploits of Gananatha.

According to Brahmanda purana story this is the boon given to Ganesha by goddess Lalita in her fight with Asura Bhanda and Lord Ganesha destroyed great yantra called "Jayavighnain"and an asura called "Gajasura".In this battle goddess Lalita slained Bhandasura. Lalita-mahatmya of Brahmanda Purana is a dialog between Sage Agastya and Hayagriva.

Brief account of the Story -:

We all know the story of Lord Shiva burning Kamdeva or Madana. The Brahmanda purana story tells us that after Lord Shiva's burning of kamadeva Citrakarma, the lord of Ganas created a man of wonderful form from the ashes of Kamadeva.

  1. On seeing the ashes of the Cupid, Citrakarma, the lord of Ganas , made a man of wonderful form by means of those ashes.(Chapter 11- Verse 30)

After creating this form , Ganapati asked him to worship Lord Shiva and taught him the mantra "Satarudriya" , he recited "Satarudriya hundred times and Lord Shiva Got pleased with him and asked him to choose any boon he liked .

This man asked a boon that half of his opponents power in the battle will be united with himself and his arrows will make the opponents missiles and weapons futile. Lord Shiva granted the boon after thinking and said "Bhanda-Bhanda".

And this man created by Citrakarma is came to be known as Bhandasura. Since Bhandasura was borned from the fire of anger of Rudra he became Danava of dreadful nature.

Sukracharya crowned Bhandasura and He presented him an umbrella formerly made by Brahma. himself. People seated in its shade were never affected by even crores of missiles. Alo given him bow named Vijaya and a conch called 'the killer of enemies.

Bhandasura was very keen on worshiping Lord Shiva and conducted all vedic activites for sixty thousnd years. After that time has passed. And after seeing the increasing power of Bhandasura over Indra Lord Vishnu created Maya (Mohini) and asked her to reside inside Bhandasura. After that Bhandasura got possessed by Maya , he forgot the Vedas and lord Siva too and forsook Yajnas and other auspicious rites.

Then Sage Narada went to Indra and said to him that if Bhandasura was liberated from Maya of Lord Vishnu ,he will burn all the three worlds like fire and its necessary to kill that demon. This task can only be carried out with the Adi ParaShakti ( Supreme Goddess , Lalita) . Indra then went to Himalaya and praised Lalita with Hymns along with great worship. Adi Parashakti manifested as goddess Lalita and married Kameshwara (Lord Shiva)(Shiva+Shakti always together).

A fierce battle was raised between goddess Lalita and Bhandasura along with all gods and demons.

Devi Lalita Creating Lord Ganesha from her smile

68 In the mass of lustre of her smile, a certain god became visible. His face had the features of an elephant. Ichor was oozing from the middle of his temple.

Lord Ganesha destroying "Jayayantra" and killing "Gajasura"

77-82 The elephant-faced lord, with unimpeded vigorous roar issuing forth from his throat, had in the night destroyed the Jayayantra created by him. On hearing this news, Bhanda became greatly agitated. That elephant-faced lord created numerous other elephantfaced heroes similar to himself in features.

98 Then (Visukra ) became highly furious. Standing in front of his army, he sent a Gajasura (An Asura in the form of an elephant) against the lord.

101 Alone and single-handed that leader ofheroes with a mouse for his vehicle moved about (in the battle-field) and smashed Gajasura along with his seven Aukshani of soldiers.

And then Devi Lalita pleased with Lord Ganeshas bravery in battle gave him the boon.

Lalita devi giving boon to Lord Ganesha to be worshiped first.

102 After Gajasura had been killed and Visukra had fled , Mahaganapati went to the presence of Lalita from the battlefield.

104 Highly pleased the great queen granted the following boon to Ganapati viz. : the right of being worshipped before the worship of all other deities.

So according to Brahmanda Purana Goddess Lalita granted the this boon of right of worshipped before the worship of all other deities to Lord Ganesha. The whole interesting story is in between chapter 11 to 30 of Lalita-mahatmya of Brahmanda Purana.

This post also provides some insight about why we worship Ganesha before starting any auspicious work , Venture ,Puja etc. i.e. to remove obstacles coming in the way of that work and to get blessings of Ganesha about growth and prosperity in the same.


Great article. Very Informative.

What I have come across is that many devotees don't know why they worship Lord Ganesha before other deities. Many seem to know the legend behind the elephant head. Once Lord Shiva came to know who Ganesha was and in order to pacify his wife, Parvathi, Lord Shiva graced Ganesha with the boon that all the devotees will worship him before anyone else. Hence, he is considered to the God of new endeavors.

Source: Read More


I have read of two different theories that explain why Ganesh ji is worshiped before any puja. Both these stories are also linked to the story of the birth of Ganesh ji.

Version 1 Probably the most common story of Ganesh ji's birth is the story of his creation by Parvati devi so he could guard her palace in Mount Kailash.

As Parvati devi was taking bath, Mahadev Shiv ji returned home but was stopped from entering the palace by Ganesh ji who wanted to protect the promise he had made to his mother Devi Parvati.

Angered by Ganesh ji's challenge and unaware that he was Devi Parvati's son, Mahadev Shiv attacked Ganesh and destroyed his head. Later, when Parvati ji realized what had happened, she was angry and threatened to destroy the world. She declared that she would stop her rampage only if Ganesh was brought back to life and then declared as equivalent to the foremost Gods.

Realizing his folly, Shiv bhagwan offered to correct his mistake and requested Vishnu ji to fetch the head of the first living creature facing in the north direction that the latter spotted. This happened to be an Elephant.

Soon after, Ganesh ji was brought back to life with an Elephant head by Shiv bhagwan and was declared to be the foremost Hindu God who was to be worshiped before all other Gods. As a result, Ganesh ji is worshiped at the beginning of every puja till date.

Version 2

This version of the story talks about the demon Gajasura (Elephant headed demon) who after painful penance to Shiv bhagwan was granted an armor that nobody in the world could destroy. Gajasura went on a rampage torturing the residents of the planet and slowly beginning to challenge the Gods.

He also continued with his penance to Shiv bhagwan who once again offered to grant him a wish. This time, Gajasura decided to play a trick on Shiv bhagwan and requested the latter to take residence in his stomach. Unable to see through Gajasura's trickery, Shiv bhagwan agreed. (this is also why Shiv ji is called Bhole-nath i.e. a simpleton who is unable to see through tricks).

When days later, Parvati Devi was unable to track her husband Shiv ji, she approached Vishnu bhagwan for help. Vishnu ji being omniscient knew what Gajasura had done and so he disguised himself as a comedian with Nandi (the follower of Lord Shiva) transformed as a bull.

Vishnu ji, in his disguise, and Nandi approached Gajasura and performed a comedy play for the latter. Pleased by the entertainment, Gajasura looked at Vishnu ji in disguise and offered to grant any wish that the latter asked for.

Taking advantage of this, Vishnu ji asked Gajasura to free Shiv bhagwan from his stomach. At this moment, Gajasura realized that the performer had to be Vishnu ji because nobody else could have known that Shiv bhagwan was locked in his stomach.

He agreed to free Shiv ji by tearing his stomach but in return asked Vishnu ji and Shiv ji to grant him another wish. He requested that he be remembered by all residents of the earth for eternity and that they all worship his face.

To grant his wish, Shiv ji called his son Ganesh and replaced his head with that of Gajasura. Further, Shiv ji declared that Ganesh be worshiped before all other Hindu Gods thus ensuring that Gajasura's name continued to be remembered by one and all for eternity.

As a result, Ganesh ji is worshiped before every puja as a fulfillment of Gajasura's wish to Shiv bhagwan.

Reference: Stories of Ganesh ji


There is another point of view which has remained hidden from everyone

महिमा जासु जान गनराऊ। प्रथम पूजिअत नाम प्रभाऊ॥

(~Ramcharitmanas) जिसकी महिमा को गणेशजी जानते हैं, जो इस ‘राम’ नाम के प्रभाव से ही सबसे पहले पूजे जाते हैं॥

By knowing the importance of mahamantra "ram naam", shri ganesh became first worshippable among all gods

अहं पुज्योऽभवं लोके श्रीमन्नामनुकीर्तनात्। अतः श्रीरामनाम्नस्तु कीर्तनं सर्वदा उचितम्।।

(~#ganesh puran quoted from Kalyan ank )

श्री गणेश कहते हैं:- मैं सर्वदा श्री राम नाम के कीर्तन से ही जगत में प्रथम पुजनीय हुआ हूं।

Shri Ganesh says:- I became first worshippable in the universe by regular chanting of ram name

लम्बोदरोऽपि श्रीरामनाम महात्म्यम् उज्जवलम्। श्रुत्वा च धारितं चित्ते ततः पुज्रे सुरासुरैः।।

(~skandpuran nirvan khand)

गणेश जी भी देव ऋषि मुनि नारद जी से श्री राम नाम का परम महात्म्य सुनकर तथा चित्त मे धारण कर जगत में प्रथम पुजनीय हो गए हैं।

By listening and remembering the mahatmya of ram name from devrishi naradji, shri ganesh became first worshippable among gods and asuras.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .