Lord Ganesh- Pillaiyaar (for children)- Post No.9597

Ganesa is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati/ Uma.

Brother of Murugan. His Vahana, vehicle, is a mouse!

Ganesa, with an elephant head, is the God of Wisdom. Ganesa has another name Vigneswara. Vigna means difficulties, obstacles He is in charge of it. Any one who worships this god won’t face any difficulty or obstacles in any task or work . So, Hindus worship Ganesa first and then begin their work . He is the Remover of Obstacles.

Ganesa means leader of the Ganas. They are the attendants on Lord Shiva, who is the father of Lord Ganesh.

Ganesa’s brother is Lord Murugan or Skanda .

It is easy to identify Lord Ganesa’ s statues or idols. Every big Hindu temple in South India has a shrine for Ganesa in the front. He has an elephant face and a pot belly. His favourite food is Modaka ( Kozukkattai in Tamil) made up of jaggery, coconut and flour and looks round in shape.

Most of the Hindu Gods including Ganesh have many hands and they hold weapons or symbols in their hands.

Every Hindu festival has something special to eat and Sweet Modakas are offered to Lord Ganesa on Vinayaka Chaturthy or Ganesh Chaturthy. This festival falls in September .Vinayaka means one who none above him. That means he is the Head.

Every Hindu God has weapons. This is to control evil forces or kill evil tendencies in us.

Ganesa also has four hands. Why?

Ganesa has a broken Tusk, Why ?

Ganesa has an elephant head, Why?

There are three interesting stories. But before telling you the stories, let me tell you about his four hands and the things in them.




Sweet Modaka , Kozukkattai in Tamil

Lotus is the National Flower of India. In Tamil if you say flower, MALAR, that means lotus. It is so special to Hindus. One of the most beautiful flowers. If it opens, the flower looks like laughing. All the happy faces are compared to lotus in Hindu books.

I said that every Hindu festival has something special to eat. Modaka in one of the hands of Ganesa is liked not only by Ganesa but all the Hindus. Lord offers you a sweet life indeed.

Another hand holds a goad. It is called ‘ankusha’ in Sanskrit. It is used to control the elephants when it runs madly. We also do something cracy when we are angry. Ganesa warns us with that goad. Those who worship Ganesh will control their anger and behave.

Another hand holds a noose, that is a rope. A rope is used to lift water from the well, is used to tie many things. It means bondage.

It says bind yourself with god or anything that is good . At the same time it reminds you to cut off all attachments so that you will be ever happy.

Great Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar says it,

Patruka patratraan patrinai appatraip

Patruka patru vidarku

Meaning –

The only attachment that will help to sever all other attachments/bonds

is the attachment to the Lord who has no attachment, boundless source of all things – Tirukkural 350

Vignesh or Vigneswara has a special name in Tamil,  Pillaiyaar.

He is not only a son of Shiva but also a son of the world. That means he is like a favourite son in our family.

He and his younger brother Lord Murugan are always worshipped in the form of  children.


Now I give five stories in five paragraphs

1.Why is that one of his tusks is shown in broken form?

Vyasa was a great seer, Rishi. He compiled all the holy books known as Vedas, ithihasas/epics and Puranas. One of the ithihasas, that is epics, is Mahabharata, longest book in the ancient world with 200,000 lines, one million words!

Vyasa was looking for someone to write it while he dictated. Lord Ganesa agreed but put a big condition. Ok, I will do it, but you should never stop dictating it. Vyasa said, ok , I am ready to do it, but you must understand everything that I say. That is my condition, said Vyasa. So Ganesa has to think and write. There is a moral here for us. We must think and understand everything we say or write.

2.Why does he have elephant face?

Once he was asked to guard the entrance of the building where his mother was taking a bath. When shiva came, Ganesa stopped him following Mother’s instruction. Enraged Siva cut off his head in anger. When Parvati felt sad, he found the nearest animal elephant and cut its head and fixed it on Ganesa. There is something more to this incident. At level two you will be told about it. His elephant trunk reminds Hindus their great symbol Aum. Another name for Om or Aum is Pranava. Great Saints called Ganesa- Pranava swarupa.

Please see level two lesson on Ganesa  for more.

3.Why does he has Four Hands?

God is above all of us. We have only two hands. But with his four Helping Hands, he is quick to render help. There is an interesting story in Tamil books. When three people wanted to see Lord shiva in his abode, house in Kailash in the Himalayas, an old lady, great poet Avvaiyar can’t walk 3000 miles from Tamil Nadu. Ganesa with his trunk lifted her and she reached Kailash before her friends reached. So gods’ many hands help us quickly.

4.Another interesting story about Ganesa is mango fruit story. Hindus have an Inter Galactic Traveller named Narada. He goes from one galaxy to another at the speed of thought, faster than light. He came to Kailash with one mango fruit and gave it to Lord shiva. When he was about to cut it into two and give them to Ganesa and Murugan, Narada said,

“Stop, stop, please. It should not be cut, because it’s a divine fruit.

Then Siva told his boys that who ever goes round the world and comes back first will get it. Murugan flew in his Vahana, vehicle peacock. But clever Ganesa went round their father and mother and fell at their feet saying ‘You Are The World’. Both of them felt happy and gave him the whole mango. Murugan came later and felt that he was cheated. He went to Palani hills and stood there. Then the whole world went and pacified him with Panchamrutam, a special fruit salad. Here is a message to all of us- Father and Mother are greater than the world!

5.I will finish with one more story ….. once Lord Shiva went in a hurry without saluting Ganesa. His chariot wheel had broken down and he got stuck . Later he realised he didn’t say ‘Bye’ to his son. He went back and praised him and he was successful in his task. This was told by a great saint called Arunagirinathar in his book Tiruppugal. Here is a message to all of us. We must always worship god before starting anything.

About his Vahana mouse, I will tell you in level two.

Bye for now

Om Sri Ganesaya Namaha- Om Salutation to Ganesh


Vaalkundaam nalla manamundaam maamalaraal

Nokkundaam Meni nudankaathu – puukkondu

Thuppaar thiruMenith thumbikkaiyaan paatham

Thappaamal saarvaar thamakku – Poetess Avvaiyaar

வாக்குண்டாம் நல்ல மனமுண்டாம் மாமலராள்

நோக்குண்டாம் மேனி நுடங்காது-பூக்கொண்டு

துப்பார் திருமேனித் தும்பிக்கையான் பாதம்

தப்பாமல் சார்வார் தமக்கு.—-ஒளவையார்

Paalum theli Thenum paakum paruppumivai

Naalum kalanthunakku naantharuVen kolamsey

Thungkak karimukaththu thuumaniYe nee enakkau

Sangath thamiz muundrum thaa – Poetess Avvaiyaar

பாலும் தெளிதேனும் பாகும் பருப்புமிவை

நாலும் கலந்துனக்கு நான்தருவேன் கோலஞ்செய்

துங்கக் கரிமுகத்துத் தூமணியே  நீ யெனக்கு

சங்கத் தமிழ் மூன்றும் தா-   –ஒளவையார்


Level Two has explanation about the Vahana Mouse

Origin of Ganesa

Abodes of Lord Ganesa in India

Festivals of Ganesa

Favourite Fruits and Flowers of Ganesh

Simple, short Hymns on Ganesa with meaning

16 important names of Ganesa

Philosophy behind Elephant head God, Symbol of Wisdom


tags-  Ganesh, Pillaiyar, for children,

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