The Shiva Purana

by J. L. Shastri | 1950 | 616,585 words

This page relates “ganapati’s marriage” as found in the Shiva-purana, which, in Hinduism, represents one of the eighteen Mahapuranas. This work eulogizes Lord Shiva as the supreme deity, besides topics such as cosmology and philosophy. It is written in Sanskrit and claims to be a redaction of an original text consisting of 100,000 metrical verses.

Disclaimer: These are translations of Sanskrit texts and are not necessarily approved by everyone associated with the traditions connected to these texts. Consult the source and original scripture in case of doubt.

Chapter 19 - Gaṇapati’s marriage

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Nārada said:—

1. O dear father, the excellent story of the nativity and the divine conduct embellished by valour, of Gaṇeśa has been heard well.

2. O dear father, O lord of gods, what happened thereafter? Please narrate it. The great glory of Pārvatī and Śiva confers great delight.

Brahmā said:—

3. O excellent sage, you have asked well with a sympathetic mind. Listen attentively, O excellent sage, I shall narrate.

4. O excellent brahmin, seeing frequently the divine sports of both the sons, Pārvatī and Śiva had their love increased.

5. The happiness of the parents knew no bounds. The son too used to sport in joy and love.

6. O great sage, the sons rendered great service to their parents with great devotion.

7. The love and affection of the parents towards the six-faced lord and Gaṇeśa increased to a great extent like the moon in the bright half of the month.

8. O celestial sage, once the loving parents Pārvatī and Śiva held a secret talk and discussion.

9. They thought that the two sons had attained to marriageable age and how best their marriage should be celebrated now.

I 0. The sixfaced lord Kārttikeya was their great beloved son. Gaṇeśa too was likewise. Thinking thus they were worried as well as delighted.

11. O sage, coming to know of their parents’ opinion, the sons too were eager to get married.

12. “I shall marry, I shall marry” saying thus to each other they always quarrelled with each other.

13. The couple, the rulers of the worlds, on hearing their words, were very much surprised, following the worldly conventions.

14. A wonderful expedient was devised by them after thinking about the course to be followed in the celebration of their marriage.

15. Once they called the sons to them and spoke as follows.

Śiva and Pārvatī said:—

16. O good sons, we have framed the rules conducive to your happiness. Listen lovingly. We shall tell you the truth.

17. Both of you are good sons and equal in our eyes. There is no difference. Hence a condition that is beneficial to both of you has been made.

18. The auspicious marriage will be celebrated of that boy who comes here first after going round the entire earth.

Brahmā said:—

19. On hearing their words, the powerful Kumāra started immediately from the fixed point in order to go round the earth.

20. Gaṇeśa of excellent intellect stood there itself after pondering in his mind frequently with his keen intellect.

21. “What shall be done? Where am I to go? I cannot cross the earth. At best it may be possible to go a Krośa. I cannot go beyond it.

22. What avails that happiness which is achieved after going round the earth?” Please listen to what Gaṇeśa did after thinking thus.

23. He performed the ceremonial ablution and returned, home. He then spoke to his father and mother.

Gaṇeśa said:—

24. For your worship two seats have I placed here. Please be seated, dear parents. Let my desire be fulfilled.

Brahmā said:—

25. On hearing his words, Pārvatī and Śiva sat on the seats for receiving worship.

26. They were worshipped by him and circumambulated seven times and bowed too seven times.

27. Joining his palms in reverence and eulogising his parents agitated by love and affection, many times, Gaṇeśa the ocean of intelligence, spoke thus.

Gaṇeśa said:—

28. “O mother, O father, you please listen to my weighty words. My auspicious marriage shall be celebrated quickly.”

Brahmā said:—

29. On hearing the words of the noble-minded Gaṇeśa, the parents spoke to him, the storehouse of great intellect.

Śiva and Pārvatī said:—

30. You shall circumambulate the earth with all its forests. Kumāra has already gone. You too start and return first.

Brahmā said:—

31. On hearing the words of his parents, Gaṇeśa spoke immediately and furiously but with some restraint.

Gaṇeśa said:—

32. O mother, O father, you two are intelligent and embodied virtue. Hence O excellent ones, you may be pleased to hear my virtuous words.

33. The earth has been circumambulated by me frequently, for seven times. Why then, my parents should say thus?

Brahmā said:—

34. On hearing his words, the sportively inclined parents, following the worldly conventions spoke to him thus—

The parents said:—

35. “O son, when was the great earth circumambulated by you, the earth consisting of seven continents[1] extending to the oceans and consisting of vast jungles?

Brahmā said:—

36. O sage, on hearing the words of Pārvatī and Śiva, Gaṇeśa, the storehouse of great intellect spoke thus.

Gaṇeśa said:—

37. By worshipping you, Pārvatī and Śiva, I have intelligently circumambulated the earth extending to the oceans.

38. Is it not the verdict of the Vedas or the Śāstras or any other sacred code? Is it true or otherwise?

39. “He who worships his parents and circumambulates them, will certainly derive the fruit and merit of circumambulating the earth.

40. He who leaves his parents at home and goes on a pilgrimage incurs the sin of their murder.

41. The holy centre of a son consists of the lotus-like feet of his parents. The other holy centres can be reached only after going a long distance.

42. This holy centre is near at hand, easily accessible and a means of virtue. For a son and wife, the auspicious holy centre is in the house itself.”

43. These things are mentioned frequently in the Śāstras and the Vedas. Now, are they going to be falsified by you?

44. If so, your very forms will come false. Even the Vedas will become false. There is no doubt about it.

45. Let my auspicious marriage be celebrated and that too very quickly. Otherwise let the Vedas and Śāstras be declared false.

46. Of the two alternatives whatever is excellent shall be followed, O parents, embodied virtues!

Brahmā said:—

47. Saying thus, Gāṇeśa of excellent intellect, of great wisdom and foremost among intelligent persons assumed silence.

48. On hearing his words, Pārvatī and Śiva, the rulers of the universe, were very much surprised.

49. Then, Śiva and Pārvatī praised their son who was clever and intelligent and spoke to him who had spoken the truth.

Śiva and Pārvatī said:—

50. O son, you are a supreme soul and your thoughts are pure. What you have said is true and not otherwise.

51. When misfortune comes, if a person is keenly intelligent, his misfortunes perish even as darkness perishes when the sun rises.

52. He who has intelligence possesses strength as well. How can he who is devoid of intellect have strength? The proud lion was drowned in a well with a trick by a little hare.[2]

53. Whatever has been mentioned in the Vedas, Śāstras and Purāṇas for a boy, all that has been performed by you, namely, the observance of virtue.

54. What has been executed by you shall be done by anyone. We have honoured it. It will not be altered now.

Brahmā said:—

55. After saying this and appeasing Gaṇeśa, the ocean of intelligence, they resolved to perform his marriage.

Footnotes and references:


On the seven continents, see S. M. Ali, Geography of the Purāṇas, Ch. II.


This verse introduces the story of the lion and the hare in the Pañcatantra.

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