Ganesha is revered as the son of the Universal parents Shiva and Parvati, and is always honored first in most worship services and rituals. Ganesha is also known as Ganapati, Vigneswara, Vinayaka, Gajamukha and Ainkaran.
The huge size of Ganapati represents the Universe (Cosmos), and his curled trunk, the symbol OM. The elephant's head is said to represent superior intellect while the snake around his waist cosmic energy. His broken tusk is symbolic of knowledge, as it is believed that it is with this tusk that he wrote down the Mahabharata, in the capacity of a scribe, when it was recited by the sage Vyasa. The mouse - mooshikam, his mount is said to symbolize the equal importance of the biggest and smallest of creatures.
Ganesha the elephant faced God is one of the most popularly worshipped forms of divinity - as a remover of obstacles and the embodiment of good luck.
is regarded as the son of Shiva and Parvati (Shakti), the Universal parents, and the brother of Skanda.
Legend has it that Parvati, created a beautiful boy from the dirt of her body, treated him as her son, and gave him the responsibility of guarding her home. Shiva, upon returning home was affronted by this lad, hitherto unknown to him. The lad, true to his word to his mother, refused to let Shiva into his own home.
An enraged Shiva sent his Bhuta Gana attendants to scare the lad and to obtain entry into his own home. The lad single handedly defeated the Bhuta Ganas in battle. A clash of egos followed, as Shiva sent several of the Gods, to fight against and an equally enraged Parvati sent several of her attendants to fight them. In the resultant fight, the lad's head was chopped off by Nandi deva, and the lad lay lifeless.
Parvati's grief knew no bounds, and Shiva sought to assuage her, by promising to bring the boy to life. Alas, his head could not be found in the battlefield. A quick fix was sought, and it was decided that the first available head would be used to bring the boy to life. Accordingly, the boy was fitted with the head of an elephant and brought back to life.
Even this did not placate Parvati, who sought that this boy (who successfully created obstacles to his father's mission) now fitted with the head of an elephant, should be regarded by one and all, as the remover of obstacles, and should be offered worship first, before any form of worship was offered to any other manifestation of divinity.
This was granted, , the lord of the attendants of Parvati, came to be regarded as Vigneshwara the remover of obstacles.