Lord Vigneswara is one of the prime deities of the Hindus. His head symbolises the atma or soul and human body signifies Maya or illusion. The elephant head represents wisdom and his trunk is the replica of aum. His upper right hand holds a goad propelling mankind to move forward on the eternal righteous path and to wipe out obstacles from the way. The noose in his left hand is a gentle sign to implement righteousness and to remove all difficulties. There is an event that exemplifies his wisdom, logic, insight and devotion to parents. Once saint Narad, the devout and restless perambulator reached Mount Kailash. “Narayan…Narayan…” Lord Shiva, observed that the saint was very happy and elated. He said: “Saint Narad, welcome, welcome. Now, what news have you brought in? Is it a pleasing one? Or is your arrival now to create a fresh skirmish?”
“Narayan, Narayan…” answered Narad: “O Lord of the cosmos, pray have mercy on us. You and your spouse create, sustain and regenerate the cycle of the entire cosmos. I have long been craving to behold your eternal form and have come here. There is blame already on me that I coerce people to pick quarrels. If you also cast this aspersion on me, I am abandoned and betrayed. Narayan…Narayan…”
Saying this, with utmost reverence and devotion, Narad gifted a special fruit to the Lord and said: “O Lord Parameswar, you are the source of the supreme knowledge. This is a rare and unique fruit eating of which one will become the master of all branches of science and knowledge. You may please gift this fruit to any one you like.”
The saint saluted Lord Shiva once again and vanished.
The omniscient Lord smiled looking at Goddess Parvati.
The children, Lord Ganesh and Lord Kumara, were decorating the lap of their parents. There was only one fruit. Who should it is given to, thought the parents. The father decided to impose a test on the boys. The one, who excels in it, will receive the fruit.
“Sons”, addressed the Lord. “This fruit of knowledge is very precious and unique. One that consumes it will have wisdom and knowledge unparallel. I can part this to one of you who excels in the test of wit. Both of you may circumambulate the earth and the one that reaches first will have the fruit from me.” Hearing this Kumara, the younger, set out on the back of his vehicle, the peacock. Ganesh wasted no time. He circumambulated his parents and demanded the fruit. “How can that be?” Asked Shiva. “Your brother has accepted the challenge and set out. You are not even bothered to move about.”
“O Lord and my father”, retorted Ganesh, “You are the earth, you are the whole worlds, and you are the universe and cosmos. No, you are the creator of the universe that sleeps in your belly. By circumambulating you both, I have not only covered the earth but the entire universe. Now, give me the fruit.”The Lord had no other option but to give the fruit to Ganesh.As he had finished eating the fruit, Lord Kumara reached Kailas accomplishing the task entrusted to him.He saw to his dismay that the fruit had already been consumed by Ganesh. Kumara got angry, left Kailash and ascended the top of Pazhani Hills in the South.
Kuber, the guard and protector of the North, is also the God of Wealth. There are eight such home guards, including Lord Shiva and Indra, but Kuber’s reputation was something very high he being the lord of wealth. He belonged to the Asura race and was the son of Visravas. He was named Vaisravana.
Being the richest man of all the three worlds, his pride, vanity and arrogance can be guessed. He decided to receive an appreciation from Lord Shiva and Parvati for his influence and command over the wealth that he possessed. He went to Mount Kailasa and with due respect requested the divine couple to bless his home and have breakfast one day.
“Thank you very much, Vaisravana,” said the Lord: “You are a true son to saint Visravas. You have maintained your family’s tradition by hosting us as guests. I am highly pleased. I seldom go out to dine. It maybe better you invite my son Ganapati by which you both will be benefitted. You may host a gourmet and invite him for a nice full meal. Please ascertain his convenience and go ahead. Good luck.”
KK Shanmukhan (The writer can be contacted at [email protected])
( To be concluded )