Why Every Puja Starts With Worshiping Lord Ganesha | Why is Lord Ganesha Worshipped First?

Lord Ganesha is widely revered, more specifically, as the remover of obstacles both of a material and spiritual order and thought to bring good luck; the patron of arts and sciences; and the deva of intellect and wisdom.

Today, people put images of Ganapati on marriage invitation cards, birthday invitation cards, business initiation cards, and in many other ceremonies, etc.

Being the destroyer of all sorts of hindrances that is why the people put images of Lord Ganesh on various invitation cards. But the real reason will really amaze you.

As Lord Ganesha is the god of beginnings, he is honored at the start of new things, rites, and ceremonies during Puja. Ganesha is also invoked as a patron of letters and learning during writing sessions. Several texts relate mythological anecdotes associated with his birth and exploits.

The principal texts on Ganesha include the Ganesha Purana, Shiv Purana, Mudgala Purana, Varaha Purana, Linga Purana, and the Ganapati Atharvasirsha. Brahma Purana and Brahmanda Purana are the other two Puranic genre encyclopedic texts that deal with Ganesha.

Many Hindu rituals start first with worshipping Lord Ganesha then others because he won this boon from Lord Shiva for his great and proven devotion towards his mother Goddess Parvati.

In Hindu verbatim, the phrase ‘Shree Ganesh (श्री गणेश)’ or ‘Om Shree Ganeshaya Namaha (ॐ श्री गणेशाय नमः)’ during honor signifies the start, especially the start of something new, special, and positive.

Story: Why Lord Ganesha worshipped first?

In Shiv Purana, there is a description of an incident where Ganesha was created by Maa Parvati using clay to protect her. While Ganesha was guarding Maa Parvati’s premises suddenly Lord Shiva came and started entering his home then Ganesha came in his way to stop him.

Lord Shiva got angered by the boy Ganesha who was restricting him to enter the premises as per the orders of Maa Parvati. This leads to a war between father and son. In anger, Lord Shiva slashed Ganesha’s head.

This got Maa Parvati furious, soon she transformed to Durga in anger and started threatening to destroy the whole creation of God. After knowing all this every Deity feared the anger of Maa Parvati.

Lord Brahma, Vishnu, Maa Lakshmi, Narad Rishi, and all other devas come forward and started urging Maa Parvati: Mother forgives our offense, please control your anger otherwise whole creation will be destroyed which will not benefit anyone and started praying.

Then Maa Parvati started questioning devas, how can I control my anger when my son got beheaded? Why did my son got slaughtered? Who will pay our losses? A mother whose son has been killed, do you ask him to keep calm? Can such a mother be calm?

The devas started asking, mother, then how will you be calm?
Mother Parvati said that first of all, revive my son, and secondly, my son will be worshiped first among the gods, give him such rights.

The deities reached Lord Shiva with this dialogue and told all the conditions. Shiva, having cooled down by this time, agreed to Parvati’s conditions and said that as we all wish that the child Ganesha should be alive again, we will all do this work together.

Transplantation of Ganesha’s head comes with many versions of the story in different scriptures, here we will discuss two of them:

[1]. Lord Shiva told Lord Vishnu that in the morning, go in the north direction and bring the head of any creature who comes first in your way.

According to the instructions given by Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu set out in search of the head, then he suddenly saw an elephant, seeing an elephant Lord Vishnu was hesitant that how can I kill this innocent life.

Then he looked with his divine vision and found that this is an Airavat elephant and he is not an innocent but a cursed elephant. Due to the effect of the curse, this elephant came on earth from Swarg Lok (Heaven is not an appropriate word to replace Swarg Lok in Dharma, it’s only said by a cult or religious followers).

Lord Vishnu immediately cut off the head of the elephant of his Sudarsan Chakra, then Airavat bowed to Lord Vishnu and said, Lord, by Your grace, I have been freed from the curse today, thank you very much for this.

Responding, Lord Vishnu said that cutting off your head is not a coincidence, but it is a pre-determined action, which has happened according to the result of the calculation of time and Karma.

[2]. Lord Shiva sent his Shiv-dutas (Shiva’s favorite devotees) out with orders to bring back the head of the first creature that is lying with its head facing North. The same happened and Shiva-dutas soon returned with the head of a strong and powerful elephant Gajasura which Lord Brahma placed onto the Ganesha’s body.

Breathing new life into him, he was declared as “Gajanana” and gave him the status of being foremost among the gods, and leader of all the ganas (classes of beings), Ganapati.

The elephant head on Ganesha’s body was that of Gajasura, Gajasura (Sanskrit: गजासुर, lit. “elephant demon”) is a generic name given to an asura (demon), who assumes the form of an elephant.

Gajasura was an elephant who was wished for Lord Vishnu’s two gifts: “everyone should remember me adoring my head and you should wear my skin.”

Grafting the Gajasura’s head, Lord Shiva gave his son a new life. Seeing the love and devotion that his son Ganesha has towards him and Parvati, Lord Shiva blessed Ganesha and ranked him the foremost of all gods to be worshiped.

The Hindu line of thought, therefore, worships Lord Ganesha before every Katha, Kirtan, or Puja Ganesh with aarti or Ganesha Mantra. Many associates the elephant head of Lord Ganesha with his knowledge and wisdom.

Every Puja thus starts with a Ganesha because he is blessed with Agrapuja (first puja) by Mahadev this means, Ganesha should be worshipped first. Every deed done without worshipping Ganesh first will face difficulties, experienced by Mahadev himself too. Shri Ganeshaya Namah is written first. Letters are Gana & Ganesha is the deva of Gana.

Ganesha Prayer: श्री संकटनाशनं गणेश स्तोत्र (Sri Sankatanashanam Ganesh Stotra)


प्रणम्य शिरसा देवं गौरीपुत्रं विनायकम् ।।

भक्तावासं स्मरेन्नित्यमायु:कामार्थसिद्धये ।।१ ।।

प्रथमं वक्रतुण्डं च एकदन्तं द्वितीयकम् ।।

तृतीयं कृष्णपिङ्गगाक्षं गजवक्त्रं चतुर्थकम् ।।२ ।।

लम्बोदरं पञ्चमं च षष्ठं विकटमेव च ।।

सप्तमं विघ्नराजेन्द्रं धूम्रवर्णं तथाष्टमम् ।।३ ।।

नवमं भालचन्द्रं च दशमं तु विनायकम् ।

एकादशं गणपतिं द्वादशं तु गजाननम् ।।४ ।।

द्वादशैतानि नामानि त्रिसंध्यं य: पठेन्नर: ।

न च विघ्नभयं तस्य सर्वसिद्धिकरं प्रभो ।।५ ।।

विद्यार्थी लभते विद्यां धनार्थी लभते धनम् ।

पुत्रार्थी लभते पुत्रान् मोक्षार्थी लभते गतिम् ।।६ ।।

जपेत् गणपतिस्तोत्रं षड्भिर्मासै: फलं लभेत् ।

संवत्सरेण सिद्धिं च लभते नात्र संशय: ।।७ ।।

अष्टभ्यो ब्राह्मणेभ्यश्च लिखित्वा य: समर्पयेत् ।

तस्य विद्या भवेत्सर्वा गणेशस्य प्रसादत: ।।८ ।।

इति श्री नारदपुराणे संकटविनाशनं श्रीगणपतिस्तोत्रं संपूर्णम् ।


प्रणम्य शिरसा देवं गौरीपुत्रं विनायकम् (Pranamya Shirsa Devam Gauriputram Vinayakam)

First of all, we bow down to Gauri’s son Vinayak Ji.

भक्तावासं स्मरेन्नित्यमायुः कामार्थसिद्धये (Bhaktavasam smarenityamayuha kamarthasiddhaye)

Who (Shri Ganesh Ji) always resides in the heart of the devotees and is always remembered for a healthy life, long life, and fulfillment of wishes.

प्रथमं वक्रतुडं च एकदन्तं द्वितीयकम् (Prathamam Vakratundam Cha Ekadantam Madhyamakam)

We bow before Shri Ganesh Ji whose first name is Vakratunda (whose trunk is twisted) and Shri Ganesh Ji’s second name is Ekadanta.

तृतीयं कृष्णपिंगाक्षं गजवक्त्रं चतुर्थकम् (Tritiyam Krishnapingaksham Gajavaktram Chaturakam)

In the world of Shri Ganesha, the third name is Krishna Pingaksham (dark brown eyes) and the fourth name is Gajavaktram (Elephant-like face).

लम्बोदरं पंचमं च षष्ठ विकटमेव च (Lambodaram Pancham Ch Sixth Viktamev Ch)

The fifth name of Shri Ganesh Ji is Lambodar (having a potbelly) and the sixth name is Vikatmeva (huge body).

सप्तमं विघ्नराजेन्द्रं धूम्रवर्णं तथाष्टमम् (Saptam Vighnarajendram Dhumravarnam Tathashtamam)

The seventh name of Shri Ganesha is Vighnarajenda (the remover of obstacles and troubles) and the eighth name is Dhumravarnam (dark gray color).

नवमं भालचन्द्रं च दशमं तु विनायकम् (Navam Bhalchandram Cha Dasham Tu Vinayakam)

Shri Ganesh Ji is in the ninth form by the name of Bhalchandra (whose moon is adorned on his head) and in the tenth form Vinayakam (the remover of all troubles).

एकादशं गणपतिं द्वादशं तु गजाननम् (Ekadasam Ganapathi Dwadasham Tu Gajananam)

In the eleventh form, Shri Ganesha is Ganapati (the head of all the ganas) and in the twelfth form is Gajanana (elephant-headed).

द्वादशैतानि नामानि त्रिसन्ध्यं यः पठेन्नरः
न च विध्नभयं तस्य सर्वसिद्धिकरं परम्
(Dvadshaitani naamani trisandhyam yah pathenarah
Na Cha Vidnabhayam Tasya Sarvasiddhikaram Param)

With the greetings of Shri Ganesh Ji that if one speaks of these twelve forms of Shri Ganesh Ji thrice a day in the morning, afternoon, and evening, he has no fear of any kind in his life. And there is no obstacle and by the grace of Shri Ganesh Ji, all the desired wishes will be fulfilled.

विद्यार्थी लभते विद्यां धनार्थी लभते धनम्
पुत्रार्थी लभते पुत्रान्मोक्षार्थी लभते गतिम्
(Vidyarthi Labhte Vidyam Dhanarthi Labhte Dhanam
Putraarthi Labhte Putranmoksharthi Labhte Gatim)

Whoever utters these twelve names of Lord Shri Ganesh Ji from the heart, if he wants to attain knowledge, then he attains knowledge and if he wants to attain glory, wealth, then his wish gets fulfilled.

Along with this, the person who desires to have a son gets a son and the seeker who desires to attain salvation gets freedom from the cycle of this life and death.

जपेग्दणपतिस्तोत्रं षड् भिर्मासैः फ़लं लभेत्
संवत्सरेण सिद्धिं च लभते नात्र संशयः
(Japegdanpatistotram Shad Bhirmasaih Phalam Labhet
Samvatsarena siddhi cha labhte natra doubtah)

If the seeker contemplates and recites the above twelve forms of Lord Ganesha uninterruptedly for six months, then one starts getting results. By doing this for a year, it is inevitable to get the result, in which there is no doubt of any kind.

अष्टभ्यो ब्राह्मणेभ्यश्च लिखित्वा यः समर्पयेत्
तस्य विद्या भवेत् सर्वा गणेशस्य प्रसादतः
(Ashtabhyo Brahmanebhyascha Liktiva Yah Samarpayet
Tasya Vidya Bhavet Sarva Ganeshasya Prasadah)

It is dedicated to eight brahmins and after that, all knowledge is attained by the grace of Shri Ganesh Ji.

इति श्री नारदपुराणे संकटविनाशनं श्रीगणपतिस्तोत्रं संपूर्णम् । (Thus it is completely written in the Srinarada Purana, Srisankatanasana Ganesha Stotra.)

Lord Ganesha facts

There is a Yogic belief that has also prevailed. All of our tasks have been divided into two, i.e. material and spiritual, according to Yogic belief. Lord Ganesha is the ruler of Muladhara Chakra, it is the first and the base of all chakras, it is one of the seven primary chakras according to Hindu tantrism, The interface between the spiritual and material worlds is known to be Muladhara.

Lord Ganesha is also the ruler of Ketu, the planet of Moksha. Ketu is generally referred to as a “shadow” planet. Ketu represents karmic collections of both good and bad, spirituality and supernatural influences.

One of the nakshatras of Ketu is Magha which is related to our ancestors. Hence, Ganesha is also related to our Pitrs (ancestors). This is the reason why the completion of Ganesh Chaturthi marks the beginning of Pitru Paksha (the time when we honor our ancestors).

The big ear of Lord Ganesha suggests that whatever his devotee says, the Lord hears them all. In particular, people pray with great devotion to this omnipresent Lord as he is the Vighnaharta or destroyer of all our hardships & difficulties, ordeals, calamities, etc. Therefore, praying to Lord Ganapati will eradicate all of life’s misfortunes.

Conclusion: All the roles and events that happened and were played by the god in the past time are for the establishment of Dharma (Law), well-being, and progress of god’s creature. Everything that happened in history was already planned by Lord Brahma and all the devas took part in their own role for the Dharma.

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