Ekdanta, the Elephant-headed God, Ganesha, Ganpati Bappa is known by many names. With Ganesh Chaturthi around the corner, all of us are very excited.
I’ve often observed that children tend to be more ecstatic about Ganesh Chaturthi than adults. They actually go out of their way to make the festival a great success. Children usually manage the decorations and dancing parts. And they love the piping hot modaks that come out of every kitchen as an offering to the Elephant God (who doesn’t?)
But how much do your kids actually know about Ganpati Bappa? Here are 7 things every kid must know!
1. Ganpati Bappa is one of the most popular Hindu Gods
Yes, this is true. There would be very few people who do not know Ganpati. Most people worship Him. In fact, we worship Ganpati Bappa before starting any auspicious event. You’ll find a photo or a statue of Ganpati in every home. In Hindu weddings, a small silver idol of Ganesha is a very common gift. This is because He is believed to be “Sukhakarta Dukhaharta” – giver of good fortune and remover of obstacles.
2. Ganpati Bappa loves sweets
If there’s one thing that endears Ganpati to children, it is this. He loves sweets. Be it the traditional ukadiche modak or the delicious boondi ke laddoos, Ganpati Bappa is known to be fond of gobbling them up in a go. If you find your sweets missing during Ganesh Chaturthi, you know who to ask now!
3. His mount is a mouse
When I had first heard this from my mother, I remember quite clearly that I had laughed. Imagine a tiny mouse carrying an enormous elephant! And what’s more: Ganesh actually won a race on his mount! But as I grew, I realized the symbolism behind it. Even a miniature creature like a mouse can cater to an elephant’s needs if it puts its mind to it. It’s just a case of mind over matter.
4. He wrote an epic
Mahabharata, the greatest epic of Indian mythology, was written by none other than our very own Ganpati! Ved Vyas, the composer of the epic, knew that it was a task of gargantuan proportions. He needed someone who could write fast as well as one who was intelligent. There was simply no other choice than Ganesh. And He wrote it without taking a single break!
5. Ganpati Bappa and the moon are enemies
Not enemies in the “draw your swords at each other” way. Actually, what happened was, once Ganpati had eaten so much that he couldn’t walk. He accidentally toppled over. Seeing this, the moon burst into laughter. This made the usually benevolent God very angry. He cursed the moon to become invisible. After a lot of begging and apologizing, Ganpati relented. However the curse could not be recalled. It is said that the moon goes through phases because of this curse. In fact, people avoid looking at the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi.
Our mythology is filled with lots of such snippets and weird funky stories. What are the weirdest stories you’ve heard till date? What are the sweetest ones you’ve read? Do your children know these things about Ganpati? Do share your stories with us!