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There is a popular story on how Ganesha got an elephant head. There was an ardent devotee called Gajasura. He does severe penance Lord Shiva beheads Lord Ganesha who was guarding the entrance of Parvati Devi. He attaches elephant head of Gajasura, an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and brings him back to life. Read it in detail.

I tried searching in some puranas and found that according to Padma Purana, Goddess Parvati creates a doll with an elephant face. According to Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Ganesha lost his head due to the vision of Shani on him and due to curse of Kashyapa on Shiva. There are other accounts of birth of Ganesha in other puranas too but I haven't found this story in aforementioned puranas.

Who is this Gajasura? Where is the story of Gajasura performing severe penance and the incidents followed viz his head attached to Ganesha mentioned?

  • Gajasur was the son of Mahishasur. To avenge his father's death, Gajasur did a tremendous penance to please lord Brahma and got boons..Later, Lord Shiva killed Gajasur with his trident.At the time of his death, Gajasur eulogized Lord Shiva and requested him to put his (Gajasur's) skin on his (Shiva's) body and everyone should remember him (Gajasur) adoring his (Gajasur's) head.Lord Shiva agreed to fulfill his wish..So whose head is attached to Lord Ganesha may be Mahishasur,'s son Gajasura (in next birth).. – YDS Jun 1 '18 at 14:12
  • @YDS In the story I know, it was Shiva who gave boons. Yes, elephant skin and rest is similar but I do not know the reference and if he is Mahishasur's son. I am not sure if elephant skin wore by Shiva is from this asura. Kurma purana gives another account where he kills an elephant and saves his devotees. – Sarvabhouma Jun 1 '18 at 14:38
  • "if he is Mahishasur's son": u may check Shiv Puran-RUDRA SAMHITA-YUDH KHAND... @Sarvabhouma – YDS Jun 1 '18 at 18:16
  • @YDS If you know where this story occurs, you can post it as an answer. – Sarvabhouma Jun 2 '18 at 6:24

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