A Blog on Mythology and occasionally on Reality.

This is a Blog on Mythology, both Indian and World and especially the analysis of the myths.

In effect, the interpretation of the inherent Symbolism.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ganesh – Marriage

There seem to be different versions of Lord Ganesha’s family. Was he married, and if so who were his wives? Let’s see the details of his wives and his family.

Popular myth says, that Lord Ganesha was married to two daughters of Prajapati, Siddhi (wealth) and Buddhi (wisdom). This could be symbolic of the fact that propitiating the Lord could help mortals attain both wisdom and wealth. Amongst the pantheon, goddess Lakshmi is associated with wealth and goddess Saraswati is associated with wisdom (learning), but then some myths say that both were Ganesha’s sisters! Coming back to Siddhi and Buddhi, his wives, both give birth to two sons – Shubh (auspiciousness) of Siddhi and Labh (merit) of Buddhi.

In some temples in North, his two wives are referred to as Riddhi (prosperity) and Siddhi, however, there are no significant textual references of Riddhi available.

Another popular myth says that Santoshi Ma (goddess of satisfaction), was Ganesha’s daughter. Again no textual references have been made available except the famous movie by the name of ‘Jai Santoshi Ma’.

A very famous representation by Raja Ravi Verma, shows Lord Ganesha with Ashtasiddhi, representing the eight spiritual attainments obtained by the practice of Yoga. According to Ganesha Purana, these Ashtasiddhis are personified to attack the demon Devantaka. Sometimes all of them are united as a single shakti of Ganesha.

In South a popular myth says that Ganesha was a celibate due to a curse by his mother Parvati. According to the myth, Ganesha was asked as to what kind of woman would he like to have for a wife. His response was a woman like his mother (like a true Indian son!). He is supposed to have said - "Bring me a woman as beautiful as she and I will marry her." This is supposed to have angered Parvati as she felt that he was seeing his mother in a manner inappropriate for a son (does this smack of a reference to the Greek Oedipus Complex?), and thus curses him to be a celibate for life. Some other references say that he was a celibate as he wanted to pursue the path of spiritual wisdom. He is thus also referred to as Abhiru, meaning “without a woman”.

In Bengal, during the Durga Puja, Ganesha is worshipped along with a banana tree (kala bou) as his consort. Not much is available in terms of details of the origin of the banana tree as a consort, except that it could be his association with vegetation as he is also seen as a harvest deity. But on a lighter note, one can also associate the banana tree with an elephants love for bananas!

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