As I discuss in this question, when a mantra is given in the Puranas, it is usually preceded by a Dhyanam, which describes the appearance of the god whom you're supposed to meditate upon before reciting the mantra. For instance, in my profile page I quote the Sri Vishnu Stuti, which is part of the Dhyana shlokas of the Vishnu Sahasranamam, and in my question here I quoted a Dhyanam for another Vishnu mantra. Now I'm interested in another Dhyana.

In this excerpt from the Narada Purana, a Dhyana shloka is given for a Ganesha mantra:

He shall offer six hundred to Ganesha the lord of words (Vak) who is possessed of his consort riding on an elephant and whose hands shine with noose, goad, the vessel of nectar and sweets.

My question is, why does the Narada Puranas describe Ganesha as riding an elephant? Ganesha is usually described as mushika-vahana, the one who rides on a mouse.

Now I have found pictures of Ganesha riding on an elephant, like this:

enter image description here

But are there any scriptures that describe him riding an elephant, and/or discuss who this elephant is?


3 Answers 3


Skanda Purana (Pg-77) mentions it. When the whole Kalakuta poison covered the entire Brahmanda, Shiva took the form of Linga to save the Brahmanda. In midst of that, Shiva taught Ganesha the truth of Universe and creation. The sages got a doubt that how Shiva was explaining Ganesha when whole Brahmanda was under effect of Kalakuta poison and Lomasa explained it as below.

The sages asked:

  1. If this entire universe consisting of the mobile and immobile beings is included within Prakrti, how is it then that Ganesa was able to preserve his separate entity? Let this be explained. Lomasa replied:

  2. Lord Ganesa was directly born of Prakrti herself. Ganesvara has the same form as that of Siva himself.

29-30. A battle ensued between Siva and that noble-souled one who had been Präkrta (born of Prakrti) due to ignorance. That battle continued without a break for a long time. On observing that he was invincible as long as he was riding an elephant, Sambhu hit him with his trident and toppled him down along with the elephant.

  1. Then Mahädeva the scorcher of enemies, was eulogized by the Supreme Power (Prakrti). The lord then said to the great Sakti, "O splendid lady, choose your boon."

32-33. Then an excellent boon was chosen from Mahä- deva: "O lord, he who was killed by you was undoubtedly my son. Being born of a part of Prakrti, he is deluded. Hence he does not know you. In order to gratify me, resuscitate this son of mine."



  1. Our representation of hindu gods & goddesses is riddled in deep mysticism.
  2. All the thousands of gods & goddesses represented in hindu scriptures are all related to "nadis' in human body.
  3. Each mantra invokes a nadi in the body.
  4. Lord Ganesh is a god for removing obstacles, a ordinary student has exams and pessimistic of exams, fear of elders.. etc, so chanting of Lord Ganesha removes the minor obstacles, similarly applicble for elders also.
  5. Elephant represents memory, for elephants can communicate with its other elephants in short waves, to an distance of 15 kms away.
  6. Goddess shown riding lionness or tiger. Lionness / Tiger = represents fury.
  7. Riding on any animal = control of that representative animal emotion.
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    Welcome to Hinduism.SE! This doesn't answer my question at all. My question isn't about what it represents, but about what other scriptures describe it. Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 18:41

Ganesha riding on an elephant or Mushak more people think that its on mushak (Rat) but in real mushak (Rat) is favourite to lord Ganesh and at a time when lord shiv say bring any head at time may its think that bring the largesh head among all pruthvi and its elephant that why its also know prathan god among all

either lord Ganeshji in on elephant or any other animal, just see the beauty that created.

with in short day we find ganeshji in different different swarup ... so according to its not matter.

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