ॐ श्री गुरावे नमः!
Lord Ganesha, Birth of Ganesha, Curse due to Moon, Shamantaka Jewel Vyakhanam.
Obstacles: Every human goes through this in almost every day of his life, it is inevitable to find a human without any obstacles, because the very purpose this earth was created is for the souls to come and get rid of their "Bad Karma", or to earn "Good Karma", or to prove their mantle so that they can assimilate in to the supreme soul.
The story of Ganajana, and shamantaka Jewel is told by Sutha Rishi to the King Sanaka.
There used to be a elephant, named Gajasura, to obtain lord shiva he performs a very long penance, lord shiva ( The innocent God) appears before Gajasura and asks him for his wish.
Gajasura says: Hey swami! "you should live in my belly forever".
[As Lord Shiva is know for his character for offering any thing to anyone] so Lord Shiva enters Gajasura's belly and lives there.
At that time in Kailash (Shiva abode) Lord Shiva's consort, Parvati Devi comes to know about the whole happening through her divine foresight, she runs to Lord Vishnu and wails.
"Hey Narayana!, as you rescued Lord Shiva from a demon named Bhasmasura in the past",
[Bhasmasura was a demon who wanted to rule the whole world, so he performs penance to appease Lord Shiva, and once Lord Shiva appears, he asks for a boon that if he places his hand on anyone's head, that person should burn to ashes, Lord Shiva approves it, at that moment the demon Bhasmasura tries to place his hand on Lord Shiva's head to check if it works, then Lord Narayana transforms himself into a beautiful women and kills Bhasmasura with his own hand ] Parvati Devi pleads, "please save him again from Gajasura", and she tells him the whole story.
Narayana takes Nandi (Lord Shiva's vehicle), Lord Brahma and few other Gana's (Lord Shiva's followers kind of demi gods) proceed to Gajasura's place, Lord Narayana transforms himself into a human being and takes the bull and the other gods with him as his fellow dancers, they go making some music around Gajasura's place, Gajsura gets curious and wants to take a look at the musical party and the dancing bull and he feels very happy for the bull.
Gajasura asks the human (Narayana) : "Hey human ask what ever you want".
Lord Narayana says: "Swami! this is Lord shiva's vehicle "Nandi" the bull, and it is looking for Lord Shiva, please show him his master Lord Shiva, and after that we will take leave".
Gajasura is astonished! he thinks, how do they know about Lord Shiva, and he knows for sure that there is only one way to show Lord Shiva and that is by cutting open his belly, and if he cuts his belly, he sure will die, but as he has already promised the human to ask what ever he wants, he agrees to show Lord Shiva and pleads with Lord Shiva.
Gajasura: "Hey Shiva! it is time for my death, but once you are out of my stomach I would like my head to be worshipped by the three worlds (Heaven, Earth and Hell) and you should wear my skin". [ Lord Shiva agrees, and out comes Lord Shiva after the death of Gajasura].
Lord Shiva returns home with his bull "Nandi" and Lord Narayana and Lord Brahma also return to their respective abodes. [Parvati Devi comes to know about this event and prepares herself to welcome her husband Lord Shiva in Kailash, she goes in to take bath and while taking bath she scrapes her body and with that scrape of her body she makes a small boy and gives him life force, the boy breathes life and she instructs him to guard the main door till she completes her bath.
As the boy is guarding the door, Lord Shiva appears and tries to enter his abode, the boy not knowing who Lord Shiva was, objects Lord Shiva's entry and after a little fight, Lord Shiva beheads the small boy and enters his abode, Parvati Devi welcomes him and they exchange pleasantries, and then the topic of the small boy crops up, Parvati Devi feels extremely sad for the little boy, Lord Shiva promises her that he will bring the small boy back to life, at that moment he remembers the wish he had given to the elephant Gajasura, that, his head will be worshipped in the three worlds, so he asks his followers to bring the head of the killed Gajasura and he places the head of the Gajasura-elephant and gives life force to the elephant headed boy and names him Gajanana, Gajanana makes a demon his vehicle after he is transformed into a mouse.
During that time, Lord Shiva and Parvati Devi had another child, Lord Subramanium [Army chief of GODs] , one day all the Gana's complain to Lord Shiva that their lives are full of obstacles and he needs to appoint some one as the "Ruler of obstacles", and they suggest, why not one of his son's take that responsibility, Lord shiva informs his son's about it.
Gajanana and Subramanium swami both ask Lord Shiva for that responsibility, Lord Shiva tells them, whoever takes bath in all the rivers, oceans, and all the water sources of the three worlds and returns to me first will be given the responsibility to rules the obstacles.
So Subramanium swami takes off on his vehicle the peacock, at that moment Gajanana says, "hey father!, it is not possible for me to go faster than my brother on this mouse with my huge body, so please father give a solution for this problem".
Lord shiva says: "Hey son!, anyone who chants Narayana Mantra one time, attains the status of having taken bath in three hundred water sources". promptly Gajanana settles in one place and starts chanting the Narayana Mantra continuously.
Every time Subramanium Swami arrives at a water source, he sees Gajanana already leaving that water source and this happens at almost every water source and as he returns to Kailash, he finds Gajanana seated in a fine posture, he pleads with his father.
"Hey father! My brother Gajanana is superior to me by many folds so he is the right one for the position as "Ruler of obstacles", and hence Lord Shiva awards the position of "Ruler of obstacles" to Gajanana and is he named Vighneshwara.
Every one worships Vighneshwara on the fourth day of Bhadrapada month, the day when Lord Gajanana is made the "Ruler of obstacles", so lots of sweatmeats likes, sweet rice balls, Bananas, Honey, Milk, Coconut, Wheat flour balls, etc are prepared for Gajanana as offerings.
Gajanana on that day makes a round of Earth and consumes too many such sweatmeats, his stomach breaks open due to the pressure, but he refuses to stop and he ties his stomach with a snake and continues to eat and returns to kailash to take his parents blessings.
As he bends to touch his parents feet's he falls flat on his stomach and collapses, Moon present their is not able to control himself and laughs at the plight of Gajanana, Parvati Devi also present their feels sorry for her son and curses Moon, that if anyone ever look at the moon will go through, censor, bad blames, even if he/she did not commit it, will be blamed for it.
At that moment, on the earth, the "seven sages", happen to perform a Yagya and their wives happen to circle around the fire, the fire god looking at those seven women falls in love with the seven wives of sages, this is observed by the wife of fire god and she transforms herself into the six women except "Arundati" and satisfies her husband's wish, the six sages observe this and they curse their wives for being unfaithful, like this the curse of Parvati Devi is fructified by seeing the Moon.
Lord Narayana comes to know about this event and he informs the sages about the real happening and the wives of the sages are freed from the curse which they did not deserve, at that moment the wives of the sages plead, "hey Narayana!, you came to know about us and the curse of Parvati Devi and you saved us, but what about the millions of ordinary people, so same way we should do something to save millions of humans on the earth who might be blamed for something which they did not do or deserve", so Narayana with all the sages and their wives reach kailash and request Parvati Devi to find a solution for the problem, because it is amost impossible for humans to avoid seeing moon from earth.
Parvati Devi, says, "OK!, only on that day of the year when the moon laughed at my son, if anyone takes a look at the moon will go through the censor and bad name etc". everyone conveys their thanks to Parvati Devi and return to their respective abodes, meanwhile Gajanana gets back to his normal self. Time passes by.
In Dwapar Yuga ( About 5200 years back), Lord Krishna and the Shamantaka Jewel.
One day Narada visits Lord Krishna in Dwaraka and informs him about the Moon and the related curse and tells him not to see the Moon on that day, so Lord Krishna conveys this message to all people of Dwaraka, In the evening time he walks in to the balcony with his head down, to avoid seeing moon, and he tries to drink milk from a bowl, as he drinks milk he sees the reflection of moon in the milk bowl, he exclaims! Aha! what have I done and anticipates for some bad name to follow.
After some time, A person named Satrajit, gets a jewel named "Shamantaka" from Sun god after a long penance. Satrajit visits Lord Krishna, after all the formalities, Lord Krishna questions Satrajit about the jewel and asks him to give it to him, Satrajit refuses and tells him that is is too valuable as it creates gold and returns home, his brother Prasana goes for hunting in the forest and takes the jewel with him, a lion gets attracted to the shining object and attacks Prasana and kills him and takes the jewel away, later a Bear named Jambavanta, [Jambavanta is the same bear who helped Lord Rama in Treta Yuga (About 1 million years ago) to save Sita from the demon king of Lanka "Ravana".] he is a human with bear face, he snatches the jewel from the lion and gives it to his daughter, " Jambavati" in a cave.
Meanwhile, the people of Satrajit go searching for Prasana and find him dead but the jewel, when Satrajit comes to know about it, he suspects Lord Krishna and blames lord Krishna as the thief and the murderer, Lord Krishna comes to know about it and knows that it is time for the curse to fructify, so he takes few people with him and goes to the place where Prasana lay killed, he finds the footprints of the lion next to the body of Prasana, he follows them and later he finds the lion and foot prints of bear, which take him to the cave, he goes alone inside the cave and finds Jambavati playing with the jewel, he tries to take it, but she raises an alarm, mighty bear king Jambavanta comes and fights with Lord Krishna, the fight goes on for 28 days, after 28 days the bear falls on the ground and realizes that it is none but Lord Rama in the incarnation of Lord Krishna [He remembers his request to Lord Rama, once Rama asks Jambavanta, "what do you want in exchange for your services", Jambavanta requests for a wrestling match with Rama, Lord Rama assures him that one day he will get a chance]
Jambavanta asks: "Hey lord what brought you here", Lord krishna tells him the whole story and requests him for the jewel, Jambavanta offers his daughter and the jewel, Lord Krishna comes out of the cave and returns the jewel to the Satrajit and tells him the whole story.
Satrajit feels extremely sorry for his behavior and offers his sister, Satyabhama and the jewel as a token of apology.
Lord krishna accepts Satyabhama but the jewel and returns home and all the guests who come to bless the couple plead with lord Krishna, "hey Krishna! you are a supreme soul, so you could go and find the solution for the blame and get out of it with in no time, but what about the million of humans who are ordinary souls, how can they find solution to their blames and bad names or censor etc following the seeing of the moon on the fateful day".
Lord Krishna said like this: Every year on the fourth day of bhadrapada you should worship Lord Vighneswara, and listen or narrate the story, right from the birth of Lord Gajanana till the returning of Shamantaka Jewel by me, and sprinkle " Axatas", (Colored unbroken rice) on your head, then even if you see the moon on that fateful day the curse will not fructify, and from here onwards Gajanana will not only be the ruler of obstacles but he will be the king of all Gana's and people so he will also be called as the Vighneshwara Ganadhipati .
Hearing this all the people make merry and regale with happiness and since then every year on the fourth day of Bhadrapada (around Aug-Sep) people worship Lord Vignesha as the Ruler and Remover of obstacles with faith and devotion.
This story was narrated by Sutha Rishi to the king Sanaka.
This story by Sri Malladi Venkata Krishna Murthy in simple Telugu is translated in to English by me for the readers.
Aum Gum Ganapataye Nama.H !
Sianala, Montreal, Sep 16, 2007