Ganesha, also known as Ganapati or Vinayaka, is one of Hinduism’s most popular deities. He is recognized as the remover of impediments and is thought to bring good fortune and success to those who embrace him. One of Ganesha’s many titles is “Pratham Pujya,” which means “the first one to be worshipped.” In this blog, we will explore the answers behind Why Ganesha is given the title of Pratham Pujya?
Let’s Explore why Ganesha is given the title of Pratham Pujya?
There are many stories in Hindu mythology that explain why Ganesha is worshipped first. According to one widespread legend, Lord Ganesha and his elder brother Lord Kartikeya once competed to see who could round the earth three times and return first. Lord Kartikeya, being the God of war and having a peacock as his mount, took off at once. But Lord Ganesha, who had a big belly and rode a little mouse, realized he’d never win the race. Instead, he simply circled his parents, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, and declared, “You both are my world.” Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, pleased with his devotion, declared that Lord Ganesha will be worshipped before all others.
“वक्रतुण्ड महाकाय सूर्यकोटि समप्रभ । निर्विघ्नं कुरु मे देव सर्वकार्येषु सर्वदा ॥”
Transliteration: “Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha | Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarvakaryeshu Sarvada ||”
Translation: “O Lord Ganesha, with a curved trunk and massive body, whose radiance is equal to that of a million suns! Please make all my endeavors free of obstacles, always.”
This mantra is commonly performed by worshippers during the initial pooja to Ganesha. It is thought that chanting this mantra with devotion and sincerity can bring Ganesha’s blessings and aid in the removal of obstacles in one’s path.
According to another legend, Ganesha was created by Goddess Parvati using her powers. When she was preparing to take a bath, she created Lord Ganesha from her own dirt and placed him outside to guard the door. When Lord Shiva arrived and attempted to enter the house, Ganesha stopped him, sparking a fight.
For quite long time, the conflict waged on. However, in a fit of rage, Lord Shiva smashed Ganesha’s head with his trident, killing him instantaneously. Goddess Parvati was filled with sadness and anger when she learned of her son’s death. She demanded that Lord Shiva revive Ganesha, but Lord Shiva refused, claiming that it was impossible.
When Parvati heard of this, she became so furious that she made the decision to destroy the entire universe. Several fierce multi-armed figures, known as the yoginis, emerged from her body in response to her summons and waged an attack. The creator, Brahma, expressed his fears and begged her to change her terrible decision. She agreed on the condition that the boy be revived and that he be forever worshipped in prayer before all the other gods.
By this time, Shiva had cooled down and accepted Parvati’s conditions. He sent his followers with the directive to retrieve the head of the first animal that was lying with its head turned towards the north. They soon came back carrying the head of the mighty elephant Gajasura, which Brahma placed atop the boy’s body. He was given new life and given the title of Gajanana, which means “leader of all ganas” (classes of creatures), as well as the title of being the first among the gods in worship.
In addition to these legends, there are practical reasons why Ganesha is worshipped first. For example, Ganesha is thought to be the one who removes obstacles and opens the path to achievement. Devotees seek his blessings and guidance by worshipping him first in order to overcome any obstacles that may arise.
Furthermore, Ganesha is considered to represent the ‘Muladhara Chakra’, the first of the seven chakras in the human body. Devotees awaken this chakra and open themselves up to the heavenly forces that flow through them by first worshipping Ganesha.
Ganesha is known as “Pratham Pujya” due to his distinct traits and the numerous legends related with him. Whether it is his ability to remove obstacles, his role in Hindu mythology, or the practical benefits of worshipping him first, Ganesha holds a special place in the hearts of devotees all over the world.
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