Lord Ganesha is the embodiment of a perfect beginning. No work reaches success without invoking him first. Have you ever wondered why only he was chosen to be worshiped first?
Well, here is the reason. Read on.
Devi Parvati Alone At Home
Devi Parvati was once alone at home. Lord Shiva, along with his Ganas, had gone out. Now, Devi Parvati needed to take a bath. Since she was alone, there was no one to guard.
She had applied the sandalwood paste all over her body. She thought of an idea. Why not make a son out of the sandalwood paste applied on her body and breathe life into it. Since it would be born out of her body only, so it would become her son.
She started making a boy child out of her body. When the idol was ready, she gave it life by her divine powers. Now, this boy whom Devi Parvati had given life to was her son.
Lord Ganesha As The Guard
Now, since she had to take a bath and she needed the boy to stand at the gates as a guard, she told him no to let anyone inside.
Ganesha : ''No one at all, mother?''
Goddess Parvati: ''Yes, no one at all?"
Ganesha : "Under any emergency''
Mother Parvati: ''Yes, under no emergency''
The sincere son Lord Ganesha stood there as the guard, not letting anyone in.
Lord Shiva Chopped Off Ganesha's Head
Just then Lord Shiva came. The moment he tried to rush through the gateway, the boy stopped him and did not let him enter. Ganesha did not know who the man was, all he knew was that he is not to let anyone enter.
Enraged by the boy, Shiv Ji chopped off his head. Seeing this, Devi Parvati took the form of Mahakali and warned Shiv ji that if her son is not brought to life again, she will destroy the whole universe.
Lord Shiva Realized His Mistake
Lord Shiv realized his mistake and told his guards to bring the head of any child that they first meet, under one condition. The condition should be that the boy's mother should be ignorant and both of them should be facing in opposite directions.
Elephant Head Attached To Ganesha's Body
The guards went out in search, and the first scene they met fulfilling all the prescribed situations was that of a baby elephant and his mother. The baby facing the North direction and the mother the South.
They chopped of its head and brought it to Lord Shivji. Shiv ji attached the head on the boy's body and made him alive again.
Goddess Parvati Not Satisfied
However, seeing the imperfection of a human body with an elephant head, she was unhappy. She was still not satisfied.
''What else to do, so that I can save the universe from being vanished by Devi Parvati?'', pondered Lord Shiva.
Lord Ganesha Gets A Blessing
To satisfy Devi Parvati, Shivji then told the boy that he would be the Lord of all his ganas and would be known by the name - Ganesha. 'Ganesha' literally means - the lord of the ganas. Not just this but he also declared that Lord Ganesha be invoked first by the devotees of all the Gods. No deity would be worshiped before invoking Lord Ganesha first. He would be known as the Vighnaharta, the remover of all the obstacles.
It is since that day that Lord Ganesha is invoked before the beginning of any ritual, any holy ceremony and worshiped before all the Gods. He is the remover of all the hurdles, and the embodiment of success and 'perfection even after imperfection'.