High on the Kailash mountain, where cold winds blow all the time, was a small cottage. In it lived Shiva, his wife Parvati, and son Kumara. Shiva was rarely at the cottage. He would be off on his world tours, while Kumara loved to play, and would only return home at night.
Parvati would feel lonely the whole day. She felt she needed a son who would be there whenever she needed him. She took a pinch of saffron paste, closed her eyes in prayer and lo, there stood a loving boy in front of her.
The lad fell at her feet saying, “Bless me, Mother.” Parvati hugged him lovingly. Now, she had the company of a son who cared only for her.
The boy did take care of his mother. He followed her wherever she went. He himself stood guard at the entrance to their abode, when Parvati was busy inside. He would not allow any stranger to enter the house.
Days passed. One evening, Shiva returned home from his tour. To his surprise, he found a boy barring his entry.
“You cannot enter this house, which belongs to my mother, without her permission,” said the boy.
Shiva had a short temper. Here was a boy who dared to deny entrance to his own house! Shiva raised his weapon, the sharp trident, and brushed aside the boy and stomped into the house. His house.
Just then Parvati came out. She was delighted to have her husband back. But Shiva appeared to be in a bad mood. “Who is that boy who tried to block my way?” he asked. Only then did Parvati notice the absence of her beloved son.
“Where’s my son?” she screamed.
Shiva was surprised to hear that the boy who stopped him was Parvati’s son. After listening to his wife, Shiva rushed out to look for their second son. Alas, Shiva’s trident had taken away his life.
Unable to see Parvati crying, Shiva fitted the boy with the head of an elephant and brought him back to life. The boy sprang to his feet and fell at the feet of his parents.
Shiva blessed him and made him the Lord of his divine team or Ganas. This earned him the name Ganapati or Ganesha, Lord of the Ganas.
Ganesha then turned to his mother. “Mother, I’m hungry,” he said.
Parvati ran into kitchen and quickly made some modaks and brought him a plate of the sweet dish.
Ganapati ate them up in no time. He still appeared to be hungry.
“Your son has an appetite of an elephant,” said Shiva.
Parvati ran inside to get some more modaks.
But Shiva knew that Parvati would never be able to make enough food for a boy with the appetite of an elephant. He had to make sure his son would never go hungry.
Shiva announced that his son Ganesha is the Lord of Wisdom. Those who embark on studies must first offer worship to Ganesha. He also announced that Ganesha was endowed with the power to remove obstacles. If one offers a prayer to Ganesha before embarking on a new task, the task would be completed without obstacles.
The whole world now knew that a new god had arrived, the Lord of Wisdom and Remover of Obstacles. Word spread that modak was Ganesha’s favourite food. People on earth began to offer modaks to please Ganesha, the Lord of Wisdom and Remover of Obstacles.
This made Parvati happy. Her son would never go hungry.
Ganesha was pleased too. When he is pleased, his devotees are also filled with happiness, for He is Sukha-karta, the provider of happiness.