One of the famous stories associated with Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya is their competition between them for the leadership over the Ganas and obstacles. This story is also a part of the Vinayaka Chaviti vratam.

For reference, I'm quoting an excerpt from this website:

Once all the gods, sages meet Shiva and pray him and ask him to appoint someone as a head to the Vighnas. Kumaraswamy comes forward and asks his father to give the head of vighnas post to him as Gajanana is short and fat. But Gajanana(Ganesha) also wants the post. So Shiva puts them to a test. The test is to go around all the worlds and to bath in all the holy rivers present in those worlds and return. Whoever comes first will be appointed as the head of Vighnas.

Listening to which Kumaraswamy sits on his vehicle Peacock and flies for completing the test. Ganesh on the other hand feels sorrow approaches his father and prays him saying, “you know that iam fat, short and cannot move as fast as Kumaraswamy. So I request you to advice me on how to win this competition.”

Lord Shiva responds to his prayer and says that if you recite the NARAYANA MANTRAM and do pradakishna to parents( circling around the parents) it is equal to bathing in all the holy rivers. Shiva teaches Ganesha Narayana mantra and Ganesh reciting the mantra does the pradakshina to his parents. Because of the affect of the mantra and pradakishna, Kumaraswamy always sees his brother Ganesh to finish the bath and leave as he tries to enter for a bath in any of the holy river.

Kumaraswamy returns to kailasam and tells his father to forgive him of his ignorance in recognizing his elder brothers capability and requests him to place Ganesha as the Head of Vighnas.

So Ganesh is named as the head of the Vighnas and hence called VIGHNESHWAR( LORD OF VIGHNAS). This ceremony of placing Ganesha as the head of the Vighnas was done on Bhadrapadha sudha chaviti and from that day on it is celebrated as Vinayaka chaturthi or Ganesh chaturthi or Vinayaka chaviti.

Which Puranas contain this story of competition between Ganesha and Kartikeya for the leadership over the obstacles (Vighnadhipatyam) ?

  • the reference cited has extraneous unsupported assertions. the question stands without the reference.
    – S K
    Dec 5, 2017 at 14:46
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    Believe it or not. It is the Vrata Kalpam read by all the people in Telugu states. You may check with any one. @SK Dec 5, 2017 at 16:27
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    @SK Questions need not have authentic references or even no references. Only answers should have authentic references.
    – The Destroyer
    Dec 6, 2017 at 6:00
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    Well, @TheDestroyer This is what Vinayaka vraakalpam says. I wnated to know the story from our puranas. There are Telugu PDFs' too but users may not understand it. So, didn't upload it, Dec 6, 2017 at 6:23
  • @The Destroyer - are you saying anything can be given as a reference to a question, including pure fiction?
    – S K
    Dec 6, 2017 at 13:37

1 Answer 1


As per most of Puranas, this story of competition between Ganesha and Kartikeya is for their marriage.

You may read this from Shiva Purana. I have verified this story with other versions of Shiva Purana too.

When Ganesha and Kartikeya came to know about the plan of their marriage both of them started quarreling among themselves as to who should get married first.

Lord Shiva and Parvati devised a plan to sort out this problem. They told them that whoever between them return after circumambulating the earth, will get married first of all.

Kartikeya and Ganesha agreed. Kartikeya proceeded on his journey to circumambulate the earth. But, Ganesha requested his parents - Lord Shiva and Parvati; to sit at a place together and circumambulated them for seven times and said-

"According to Veda, Circumambulating one's parents give virtues equivalent to that of circumambulating the whole earth."

Lord Shiva and Parvati were very impressed by his intelligence. They decided to get him married with Siddhi and Riddhi-the daughter of Vishwaroop Prajapati. 

How Ganesha became 'the first deity to get worshipped in any ritual'?

As per Shiva Purana, Lord Ganesha became (got the title) Ganapati/Vighneshwar soon after his head was severed by Lord Shiva as demanded by Goddess Parvati.

As per Varaha Purana,

Lord Brahma appeared and requested lord Shiva by saying-

'You should make this divine child, who has manifested from your mouth, the lord of all these Vinayakas. Thus lord Shiva made Ganesh the lord of all the Vinayakas and blessed him- You will be the first deity to get worshipped in any ritual.'

As stories are from different different Kalpas, so there are many stories related to Lord Ganesha's birth and how he became 'the first deity to get worshipped in any ritual'. But above two are most famous.

  • My question was the story where they go around the worlds and take bath in the holy rivers. Which Puranas contain it? Dec 7, 2017 at 16:57
  • @NogShine In the chapter which I gave as reference in my answer, Kartikeya proceeded on his journey to circumambulate the earth. But Ganesha requested his parents - Lord Shiva and Parvati; to sit at a place together and circumambulated them for seven times. Taking bath in river and all just version of this same story of Shiva Purana. But core concept is to show the importance of parents...
    – YDS
    Dec 7, 2017 at 17:05
  • You should add that in the answer. That will help the users. Dec 7, 2017 at 17:10
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    Padma Purana Srishti Kanda chapter 50 1 l-12a. "A mother is full of (i.e. has the merit of) all sacred places; a father is full of gods (i.e. has all gods unite in him). He who goes round his mother and father keeping them to his right, has (indeed) gone round the earth with the seven islands." You might want add this into your answer. This is the reason. Dec 7, 2017 at 17:27
  • @NogShine yes...can u pls edit or provide a link from where I can verify and then add it...or I ll add after verifying this from my end later...
    – YDS
    Dec 7, 2017 at 17:33

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