Ganesh who ate the Prasad: Strange Stories from Tamil Temples-Part 2 (Post No. 3120)

ganesh lanka

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 4 September 2016


Time uploaded in London: 11-30 AM


Post No.3120


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.



Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu celebrate Ganesh Chathurthy on grander scales than other states in India. And in the same way more temples are here for Vinayaka (Ganesh/Ganapathy) with lot of local stories. One speciality about Tamil Nadu is that some of the stories are over thousand years old. We have Ganesh stories associated with Tamil Saint Sundarar of eighth century CE.


Nambiandar Nambi was a famous Saivaite who compiled the Saivaite books. He was credited with rediscovering the Tamil Thevara Hymns hidden in the Chidambaram Nataraja Temple. He got the clue only from a Ganesh statue on the banks of a river in Tirunaraiyur. When he was a boy he used to accompany his father to the temple. One day his father could not go to the temple for his regular daily Puja (worship) and so the work was entrusted to Nambi. He went to the temple and did the Puja like his father and offered the Prasad (cooked food) to the God. But the Stony Ganesh never opened his mouth. Innocent Nambi thought that it was his erroneous Puja that made the Ganesh to shut his mouth. So he started banging his head on the granite stones of the temple in frustration. Suddenly Ganesh came out of the rock and ate the food offering he brought from home. From that day he was called Polla Pillayar (the naughty Ganesh). It is believed he was the one who guided Nambi to Chidambaram to find the Thevaram Hymns.

vinayaka girls

Sundarar and Gold coins

Following story is from my previous post:-

Teleportation Miracles in Hindu scriptures

Posted on 6 March 2013

“Sundarar was one of the great Four Saivaite saints of Tamil Nadu. He lived in 8th century AD. Like other three saints he also did several miracles. One of the miracles involves teleportation. Sundarar was empty handed when he went to Vriddhachalam temple near Chennai. He was always generous in asking, in fact demanding.  He never acted like a beggar while he was begging. He sought “only gold” whenever he prayed for money. Knowing his status Shiva was also generous in giving. When Sundarar prayed for gold coins Shiva gave him 12,000 gold coins. Money always comes with problems. How to carry such a big load safely? was Sundarar’s worry. His home town Tiruvarur is not nearby. Again he went to Shiva for a solution. He told him to throw them in to the river Manimutharu and collect them at the Kamalalayam Tank in Tiruvarur temple! If it was hard earned money Sundarar would have hesitated, but it was money that came easily. So he left them in the river and went to Tiruvarur.


Sundarar told his wife Paravai that he was going to collect the coins from the local temple tank at Tiruvarur and asked her to accompany him. She would have thought that Sundarar had gone mad. But yet like a faithful wife, she followed him with lot of doubts in her mind. Sundarar stood on the banks of the vast tank (biggest temple tank in Tamil Nadu) and started singing hymns praising Lord Shiva. Surprise! Surprise! All the 12,000 coins came out intact as if they were minted under the tank!

Vridhachalam also known as Tirumudukundram is situated between Chennai and Trichy very near Viluppuram.”


And here comes our Ganesh!

When Sundarar threw the money into the river, he tested the god coins whether they were real gold coins. He made the Ganesh as a witness for all his activities there. So the Ganesh is called Maatru Uraiththa Pillayar, meaning Ganesh who tested the fineness of the gold coins.

ganesh making2

Uchchi Pillayar of Trichy

It is unusual for a Ganesh temple to be located on a hill top. And in Trichy we have a very famous temple on the top of a hill. Since he is at the top he is called Uchchi Pillayar (Ganesh at Top)


Manakkulam (Pondicherry) Vinayakar

Vinayaka means one who has none above him. He is the leader. Manakkulam Vinayaka very near the beach in Pondicheri is famous for two reasons. The greatest of the Tamil poets of modern era is Bharatiyar. When he fought for independence of India, he used to hide in the French ruled Pondicheri of Tamil Nadu (now it is a separate state). He used to worship at the temple and he sang hymns on this Ganesh naming his in poem as Manakkula Vinayaka. Thus Manakkulam Ganesh became immortal in his poems.


The second reason was that the French rulers of Pondicheri never liked big crowd assembling in front of the temple and making ‘noise’. So they threw the Ganesh statue into the sea. Surprise! surprise! The stony Ganesh (Manakkulam Vinayakar) was there in his original place the very next morning. When it came to the knowledge of the surprised authorities they helped Hindus to build a temple. Till today he is attracting a large crowd.

ganapathy rangoli

To be continued……………………….

30 Quotations on Desire from Indian Literature (Post No.3100)


Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 28 August 2016


Time uploaded in London: 18-29


Post No.3100


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks for the pictures.


September 2016 Good Thoughts Calendar

Festivals in September:

4-Sama Veda Upakarma

5-Ganesh Chathurthy

13- Tiru Onam and Bakrid

17- Mahalaya Paksha begins

30-Mahalaya Amavasai


Auspicious Days- 4, 5, 8, 14, 15

Full Moon/Purnima- 16

New Moon/Amavasya- 1, 30

Ekadasi Fasting Days- 12/13, 26/27

 chennai ganesh motorcycle


September 1 Thursday

Acting out of desire is not approved of, but here on earth there is no such thing as no desire; for even studying the Veda and engage in the rituals enjoined in the Veda are based upon desire – Manu 2-2


September 2 Friday

Desire is the very root of the conception of a definite intention, and sacrifices are the result of that intention; all the vows and duties are traditionally said to come from the conception of a definite intention – Manu 2-3


September 3 Saturday

Not a single rite is ever performed here on earth by a man without desire; for each and everything that he does is motivated by the desire for precisely that thing- Manu 2-4


September 4 Sunday


The man who is properly occupied in these desires goes to the world of the immortals, and here on earth he achieves all the desires for which he has conceived an intention. Manu 2-5


September 5 Monday

He whose soul is not in union with the Divine is impelled by desire, and is attached to the fruit of action and is therefore bound — Bhagavad Gita 5-12

ganesh blue

September 6 Tuesday


Only those who do penance could be considered as doing their duty;

The others who give way to their desires, fall a prey to blighting vice – Tirukkural 266


September 7 Wednesday

It is not right to forsake what is at hand anticipating distant happiness -Padmapraabhdraka


September 8 Thursday

Don’t leave your husband desiring the King- Tamil proverb


September 9 Friday

Impossible desires will never be fulfilled; in fact they may turn into obstacles –Subhasitavali


September 10 Saturday


Desire  invites misery – aasaa duhkhasya kaaranam

ganesh drawing by cat.

September 11 Sunday

Weeds harm the fields, desire harms human nature; offerings given to those free from desire bring a great reward- — Dhammapada 359


September 12 Monday

I have conquered all; I know all, and my life is pure; I have left all, and I am free from desires. — Dhammapada 353


September 13 Tuesday

Those who are slaves of desires run into the stream of desires, even as a spider runs into the web that it made– Dhammapada 347



September 14 Wednesday

The man who free from desires finds joy in solitude, but when free he then returns to his life of old desires, people can say of that man: He was free and he ran back to his prison! — Dhammapada 344


September 15 Thursday

When the thirty six streams of desire that run towards  pleasurers are strong, their powerful waves carry away that man without vision whose imaginings are lustful desires. — Dhammapada 339

ganesh indonesia

September 16 Friday


Once desire grips, patience flees-Aasaapare na dhairyam


September 17 Saturday

Acute desire is painful; lack of it is bliss – aasaa blavatii kastam mairaasyam paramam sukham –Subhasitavali


September 18 Sunday

Those who are slaves to desire are indeed slaves of the world – aasaayah khalu ye daasaaste daasaa  jagataamapi


September 19 Monday


Has anyone seen the shores of desire? – Kahavatratnakar


September 20 Tuesday


Just as a tree, though cut down, can grow again and again if its roots are undamaged and strong, in the same way if the roots of craving/desire are not wholly uprooted sorrows will come again and again. — Dhammapada 338

ganesh ivory

September 21 Wednesday

Therefore in love I tell you, to you all who have come here; cut off the bonds of desires, as the surface grass creeper birana is cut for its fragrant root called usira – — Dhammapada 337


September 22 Thursday


But whoever in this world overcomes his selfish desire, his sorrows fall away from him, like drops of water from a lotus flower. — Dhammapada 336


September 23 Friday

A wild jackal longs for ‘elephanthood’! – Kahavatratnakar


September 24 Saturday

Desire does not diminish though the body withers – Ramayanamanjari 1-10-465


September 25 Sunday

If a man watches not for Nirvana, his cravings grow like a creeper and he jumps from death to death like a monkey in the forest from one tree without fruit to another – Dhammapada 334

ganesh, Thailand

September 26 Monday

Even if the moustache turns grey, desire never becomes grey — Tamil proverb


September 27 Tuesday

Time teases, age advances, yet the grip of desire loosens not! – Mohamudgara


September 28 Wednesday



And when his cravings overcome him, his sorrows increase more and more, like the entangling creeper called ‘birana’ — Dhammapada 335


September 29 Thursday

Hope sustains life – aasaa lokasya jiivanam


September 30 Friday

Hope makes bearable even the intense sorrow of separation – Sakuntalam 4-16

ganesh procession