Be Wise to Escape the Clutches of Maya – Says Lord Ganesha


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There is an interesting story about the God Ganesha in the Puranas. Once, a demon named Gajasura was about to face Lord Shiva in a battle. He decided to pray to Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles, before the battle.

“Get an deity of Ganesha made for me quickly,” thundered the mighty Gajasura. This resolve of the demon got Lord Shiva worried, “If this demon worships Ganesha, then it will be impossible to slay him. He will become invincible.”

Shiva then asked the Goddess Shakti for help, “Assume your Maya form. Disrupt the demon’s thinking by clouding his mind. Make sure he does not pray to Ganesha before he starts the battle with me.”

Maya obliged and entered Gajasura’s mind. The demon, who had gone to the river to perform ablutions, looked at his image and felt immensely proud of himself.  Now under the spell of Maya, Gajasura thought, “Look at me! When I walk, the grounds shake. When I punch, big mountains crumble. When I stand tall, my head scatters the clouds. Why am I, the Lord of the three worlds, thinking of praying to an elephant-headed god!” He abandoned the thought of worshiping Ganesha. He went into the battle full of arrogance and got killed by Shiva with his trident.

Lord Shiva defeating Gajasura

Now Lord Ganesha got angry with Maya. “Goddess! You have prevented a devotee from offering his prayers to me. I curse you that from now on you will dwell only in the minds of the ignorant and not in the minds of the wise.”

Now, here is a point to ponder. Our scriptures say that any negative emotion – anger, attachment, greed, lust, or desire – is due to Maya or delusion of the mind.  So the next time we are angry, sad, or proud, let’s remember that we are being ignorant and delusional and get Maya out our heads as quickly as we can!

[Editor’s note: Vani Mahesh has a deep rooted interest in the Indian mythology and classics. She is a consultant writer for Amar Chitra Katha where she scripts stories from the Puranas. She has so far authored two comics and a novel published by Amar Chitra Katha. (‘Tales of Creation From the Brahma Purana’, A Kingdom for His Love, a novel based on Bhasa’s play, and now Saptarshi – The Seven Supreme Sages.)]

Author’s website: vanimahesh.com

28 comments on "Be Wise to Escape the Clutches of Maya – Says Lord Ganesha"

  1. Balram says:

    Jai Shri Ganesha

  2. Balram says:

    ignorance is the cause of misery

  3. Gerardo Arias Durán says:

    Send more!!

    Gerardo Arias Durán

  4. Ramachandran K says:

    Interesting and absorbing and satisfying .serves as water to thirsty mouth

  5. Sury Shoney says:

    Interesting. The gist of the story is get rid off Maya.

  6. Gokul R says:

    A word of suggestion to the author and others, all that you quote from itihasas and puranas aren’t mythology, they are documented point of reference. The word mythology doesn’t suit your repertoire hence seek the truth than calling the truth itself a myth.

  7. Shivani Arora says:

    I always look forward to your wonderful stories which keep our mind reminding us that never ever forget GOD in any situation.He is always there during our good and bad times…..Thanksalot

  8. Sridhar says:

    Sri Ganesh

  9. sophia says:

    spiritually adorable. The author could write a little children’s book in this regards
    thankyou so kindly

  10. Venugopal chakravarthy says:

    BEAUTIFUL..
    Jai Ganesh…

  11. Lisa P says:

    Dearest Gokul R,
    It sounds as if you might be confusing a “myth” with a “fable”… This is a lovely myth. Thank you Vani Mahesh for sharing it.

    A fable is a make believe story made up to entertain. Whereas a myth is a teaching tool to describe an experience that is beyond words and therefore IS Truth. All revealed texts are mythologies – hence the use of the word “revealed” – they’ve been uncovered from Maya.

    I hope this helps.
    Much Love and Many Blessings,

  12. PIN says:

    Gokul is right. The so-called smart Indians call stories from Puranas as ‘mythology’. Do they know the meaning of word ‘mythology’?

  13. Dr. Murali Madhavan says:

    A beautiful story for learning and practice.
    Ego always destroys mankind !

  14. Ramaswamy says:

    No fable or myth has “no meaning”. Meaning is everywhere. Let us look at something for meaning and derive some sense from the same. Let us take the primary definition of a Brahman for example and then arrive at what a Brahman should do. I will go step by step here so that I am understood.
    Brahmin (/ˈbrɑːmənə/; ब्राह्मण) in Hinduism specialises as priests of sacred learning across generations.
    Brahmins used to survive on the donations they used to earn from religious rituals called “Daan”. They were traditionally responsible for religious rituals in temples,
    as intermediaries between temple deities and devotees,
    as well as rite of passage rituals such as solemnising a wedding with hymns and prayers.

    However, Indian texts suggest that Brahmins were often agriculturalists in medieval India. If this is true, here is where the Brahman lost his faith, and ceased to be what he was born for in the first place. Basically, he has chosen to “resign” from the position offered to him by Maha Vishnu through a painstaking personal process. Then he ceases to be a brahmin and serves no purpose in society.
    Let me take it a bit further, We hear about the story of Brahma Vishnu and Shiva and how Shiva stood as an eternal pillar of light. Vishnu went digging to find his feet and Brahma went flying to find his head. Brahma lied and had one of heads cut off.

    Now, let us stop here for a moment and evaluate what the Brahmin has to do with this story. He has to meditate. He has to go back in time. Reach that point in time when this happened. He should be exactly at the spot and just before Shiva is cutting off Brahma’s head.

    The Brahman’s job is then to beg lord shiva not to cut off the fifth head of the creator. The Brahmin’s job is also request Brahma and let him know that he should not be swelling with undignified pride and foolishness.

    Shiva, the very emblem of of kindness will gladly oblige. Brahma will be left with all five heads. If Brahma has five heads than Maha Saraswathi will also have five heads. If Brahma has five heads then the process of creation will be that much more enriched (atleast 20 percent better). Saraswathi will have five heads and people will be that much more smarter. Creation itself will be better !!!

    This is the job of the brahmin. Now what did he do – Listened to the story and did nothing about it. He did not bother to protect his “creator”. What a shame ??!!! The Brahman become useless and of no value. He just did not bother to protect his creator. How much worse can that get.

    Being a Brahmin is a carefully constructed “position” by the almighty. If you are born one, you should strive to keep the standards. If you are not born one..it is achievable..after all it is simple. The Brahmin is only a person who has well wishes for one and all and prays to God that every one should live well…लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनोभवंतु ..that is it !!!

    lokah: location, realm, all universes existing now
    samastah: all beings sharing that same location
    sukhino: centered in happiness and joy, free from suffering bhav: the divine mood or state of unified existence antu: may it be so, it must be so (antu used as an ending here transforms this mantra into a powerful pledge). Do we need anything else for qualification???!!!

    Sage Vishwamitra achieved it through love and affection.
    Vishwamitra (Sanskrit: विश्वामित्र) is a Sanskrit word, meaning friend of the world. That is as simple as that !!

    To be a Brahma Rishi one needs to be a friend of the World. That is all. Well how easy is that..!!
    This is just one small example of how to use stories and mythology. Do something about it and gain from it. Be present when Lord Shiva is about to change the direction of creation and then pray: “Lord ..Please do not do this..please spare my creator”.

    Now, at the end of all this, there is only one small problem, the Brahma kapala will cease to exist. Well, in the interest of intelligent creation, that can be surely sacrificed. The Brahma Kapala is actually an emblem of the brahman’s failure. Hence it is alright for that “to not exist” !!!!

    This is out of my own personal thinking. I am happy that Hinduism is the religion I belong to and it offers freedom of thinking and hence becomes a “thought based” religion as when opposed to “faith based” religion. Hinduism enables to expound tarka shastra I believe that I have done justice to both The sastra has concepts called “poorva paksha” and “apara paksha” !!!

  15. Janardan Mali says:

    अविद्यास्मितारागद्वेषाभिनिवेशाः क्लेशाः ।
    Ignorance, egoism, attraction, liking, repulsion -dislikes, clinging to life-fear of death are causes of miseries. To attenuate these miseries follow Tap, swadhya and ishvar praNidhan.

  16. K.R.Sundaresan says:

    Gokul is right. Most of the stories in Puranas are TRUTH recorded only. I had a Darshan of Lord Anjaneya 18 years ago when He appeared before me on Hanuman Jayanthi day morning 6.00 AM chanting RAM when I prostated before Gods’ photos in my Pooja room before proceeding for a morning jog. This shows Hanumanji is REAL and hence all recorded Stories or incidents were true at that time.

  17. Vasu Murti says:

    Ganesh himself is the son of Shiva and Parvati (Shakti). Why would Shiva be worried about Gajasura praying to Ganesh, if Ganesh is subordinate to Shiva? Why would Ganesh dare curse Parvati (Shakti) ?

  18. chenna balaramaiah says:

    your god’s stories very use full to people. u are doing very nice job and developing hinduiseam.

  19. Sibnath B says:

    Ganapati Bappa Morya…..Jai Ganesh Jai Ganesh Jai Ganesh Deva!!!

  20. gangadhar says:

    Thank you VM
    for sharing this wonderful Myth.

  21. Sri Venkateswarlu Vabilisetty says:

    Jaisriram. In all our Puranas deffinetly there will be a message. We have to understand and try to get it and live accordingly.

  22. Mahesh Chandra AGRAWAL says:

    Thank you for providing such knowledgeable articles.

  23. Dr Jayaraman says:

    Maya is Ya Ma =. Whatever is not; that is Mithya =Myth

  24. pramila says:

    nice Jay Ganesha

  25. L.Anand says:

    Every thing in this world is Mitya. You are the only Truth.

  26. malaya says:

    y do they call hindu religion mythology i dont like it so u mean other religions r not pl stop this.

  27. Sri Venkateswarlu Vabilisetty says:

    Jaisriram. Without knowing the significance and greatness of Lord Ghanesh some using him for cartoons and many enjoying it. I think it is very bad. Hindus are tolerant for any kind of insult to their Deities and Gods.

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