In Chapter 13 to 18 of Kumara-Khanda (Rudra Samhita) of Shiva Purana, the story of birth of Ganesh & crowning as chief of Ganas is narrated.
Once when Parvati was taking her bath, Sadashiv rebuked Nandi and came into the inner apartment. Parvati, seeing the untimely arrival of shiva amid her bath stood up. The goddess thought as follows.
“There must be a servant of my own who will be expert in his duties. He must not stray from my behest even a speck.”
Thinking thus the goddess created a person with all the characteristics, out of the dirt from her body. He was spotless and handsome in every part of his body. He was huge in size and had all brilliance, strength, and valour. She gave him various clothes and ornaments. She blessed him with benediction and said — “You are my son. You are my own. I have no one else to call my own”.
Ganesh said: --
“What is your order? I shall accomplish what you command.”
Parvati said: --
“O dear, listen to my words. Work as my gatekeeper from today. You are my son. Without my permission, no one, by any means, shall intrude my apartment. I tell you the fact.”
Then the son of the goddess, of great heroic power, stayed at the doorway armed with a staff with a desire to do what was good to her. At this very moment Shiva who is eagerly indulgent and an expert in various divine sports came near the door. Not knowing that he was Shiva, the consort of Parvati,
Ganesh said — “O sir, without my mother’s permission you shall not go in now. My mother has entered the bath. Where are you going now? Go away”.
On seeing him Shiva said “O foolish fellow, whom are you forbidding? O wicked knave, don’t you know me? I am Shiva, no one else, the husband of Parvati. O boy, I go in my own house. Why do you forbid me?”
When lord Shiva tried to enter the house, Ganesh became infuriated and struck him with his staff once again. Then Shiva too became furious. He commanded his own Gaṇas— “Who is this fellow here? What is he doing? O Gaṇas, enquire.”
The Ganas argue and wrangle with Ganesh:
The infuriated Gaṇas of Shiva at his bidding went there and questioned the son of Parvati who stood at the gate. Shiva’s Gaṇas said: --
“Who are you? Whence do you come? What do you propose to do? If you have a desire to remain alive go away from here. You go away from here. If not, your death is certain.”
Ganesh said: --
“I am the son of Parvati. You are the Gaṇas of Shiva. Both of us are thus equal. Let your duty be done, now. You are all doorkeepers. How is it that I am not? You are standing there, and I am standing here. This is certain. You must carry out the directions of Shiva. I have to carry out the orders of Parvati faithfully. You shall not enter the apartment either forcibly or humbly.”
The Gaṇas when decisively told by Ganesh became ashamed. They went to Shiva. After bowing to him they stood in front of him. Then they acquainted him with that news of wonderful nature. On hearing the detailed news mentioned by his Gaṇas, Shiva replied following the worldly conventions.
Shiva said: --
“O Gaṇas, a battle may not be a proper course. He is Parvati’s Gaṇa. But if we are going to be humble, there is likely to be a rumour: Shiva is subservient to his wife. O Gaṇas, this is certainly derogatory to me. That single-handed Gaṇa is a mere boy. What valour can be expected of him? You are all experts in warfare and reputed to be so in the world. You are my own men. How can you forsake war and demean yourselves? Hence, this war has to be fought by all means. Let what is in store happen.”
Ganesh’s battle with Ganas:
On seeing the excellent Gaṇas, fully equipped for war, coming, Ganesh said: --
“Welcome to the leaders of Gaṇas, carrying out the behests of shiva. I am only one and that too a mere boy carrying out the directions of Parvati. Yet let the goddess see the strength of her son. Let Shiva see the strength of his Gaṇas too. The fight between the parties of Parvati and Shiva is the one between a strong army and a boy. You are all experts in warfare and have fought in many a battle. I have never fought in a battle before. I am a mere boy. I am going to fight now. Still if you are put to shame, it will be shameful to Shiva and Parvati. But that will not happen to me. If I am put to shame, the contrary will happen to me. Parvati and Shiva will be put to shame but not I. O leader of the Gaṇas, the war shall be fought after realising this. You shall look up to your lord and I to my mother. Let what is destined to occur, occur. No one in the three worlds can ward it off.”
When thus taunted and rebuked they rushed towards him with big batons, decorating their arms and taking up different kinds of weapons. Nandi came first and caught hold of his leg. He pulled at it. Bhṛngi then rushed at him and caught hold of his other leg. Before the Gaṇas of Shiva had time to pull his legs Ganesh struck a blow at their hands and got his legs free. He smashed the gaṇas. Some fell on the ground, some fled in various directions, some got their legs broken and some fled to Shiva. Then Ganesh returned to doorway and stood there.
At this time, urged by Narada, all the gods including Vishnu and Indra came there. Standing in front of Shiva and bowing to him, they said— “O lord, be pleased to command us. What sort of sport you are indulging in, now?”
On hearing their words and seeing the Gaṇas completely shattered, Shiva told them everything. Then, He issued directives to Indra and other gods, to the Gaṇas led by the six-faced Kumara and to goblins, ghosts, and spirits to kill Ganesh. Whatever weapon they had was hurled on Ganesh with force. The six faced deity and the other gods who came there failed to use their weapons effectively. They were very much surprised.
In the meantime, goddess, the mother of the universe, of special knowledge, came to know of the entire incident and was very furious. The goddess created two Shaktis then and there for the assistance of her own Gaṇa. One Shakti assumed a very fierce form and stood there opening her mouth as wide as the cavern of a dark mountain. The other assumed the form of lightning. She wore many arms. She was a huge and terrible goddess ready to punish the wicked. The weapons hurled by the gods and the Gaṇas were caught in the mouth and hurled back at them. None of the weapons of the gods was seen anywhere around the iron club of Ganesh. This wonderful feat was performed by them. A single boy stirred and churned the vast impassable army in the same manner as great mountain churned the ocean of milk formerly. Indra and other gods were struck by him, singlehanded. The Gaṇas of Shiva became agitated and distressed then. All the gods and Gaṇas fled. They asked Shiva “O lord who is that excellent Gaṇa?”
On hearing their words, the furious Rudra became more furious and went there along with his Gaṇas.
By indulging in a great sport, the arrogance of the Gaṇas has been removed by you. The impudence of the gods too has been removed by giving this (Ganesh) much strength.
Narada said to Shiva: - “do not indulge in that sport. Please honour your own Gaṇas and the gods suitably and make them flourish. O bestower of the region of Brahman, please do not treat him leisurely but kill him in your play now.”
The head of Ganesh is chopped off during the battle:
Shiva called Vishnu and consulted him. Then with a great army and the gods, He, the three-eyed lord, stood face to face with him.
Vishnu, thinking within himself “He has to be killed only by deception and not otherwise” he stayed amid the army. “I shall cause him delusion. Then let him be killed by you. Without deception he cannot be killed. He is of Tamasika nature and inaccessible.” Thinking thus and consulting Shiva, Vishnu secured Shiva’s permission and was engaged in the activities of delusion. On seeing Vishnu in that manner, the two Shaktis handed over their power to Ganesh and became submerged. When the two Shaktis became submerged, Ganesh with more strength infused in him hurled the iron club in the place where Vishnu stood. Vishnu strenuously dodged the same after remembering Shiva.
Seeing his face on a side, the infuriated Shiva took up his trident with a desire to fight and came there. Ganesh, who had been rendered more powerful by Parvati and the Shaktis remembered the lotus like feet of his mother and struck him in his hand. Thereupon the trident fell from the hand of Shiva of supreme soul. Seeing this, Shiva took up his bow Pinaka. Ganesh felled that to the ground by means of his iron club. Five of his hands too were struck. He took up the trident with the other five hands. In the meantime, the heroic Ganesh endowed with the surplus power bestowed by the Shaktis struck the gods and the Gaṇas with his iron club. The gods and the Gaṇas smothered by that wonderful striker with the iron club went away to the ten directions. None of them remained in the battlefield. On seeing Ganesh, Vishnu said— “He is blessed. He is a great hero of great strength. He is valorous and fond of battle. Many gods, Danavas, Daityas, Yakṣas, Gandharvas, and Rakṣasas I have seen. In the entire extent of the three worlds, none of them can equal Ganesh in regard to brilliance, form, features, valour and other qualities.”
Ganesh whirled the iron club and hurled it at Vishnu. After remembering the lotus-like feet of Shiva, Vishnu took up his discus and split the iron club by means of discus. Ganesh hurled the piece of iron club at Vishnu which was caught by the bird Garuḍa and rendered futile. Thus, for a long time the two heroes Vishnu and Ganesh fought with each other. Then, the Trident-bearing deity came there and cut off his head with his trident. When the head of Ganesh was cut off, the armies of the gods and the Gaṇas stood still. Narada, then came and acquainted Parvati with the matter.
The Resuscitation of Ganesh:
After cutting off the head of Ganesh even as Shiva became sorry, goddess Parvati became furious. “O what shall I do? Where shall I go? Alas, great misery has befallen me. How can this misery, this great misery be dispelled now? “My son has been killed by all the gods and the Gaṇas. I shall destroy them all or create a deluge.”
Lamenting thus, the great goddess of all the worlds angrily created in a moment hundred and thousands of Shaktis. Shaktis who were thus created, bowed to Parvati, the mother of the universe and blazing brilliantly spoke— “O mother, be pleased to command.” The goddess said: --
“O Shaktis, O goddesses, now a great deluge shall be created by you at my bidding. You need not hesitate in this regard. Devour forcibly all these sages, gods, Yakṣas, Raakṣasas belonging to us and others.”
On being commanded by her, the infuriated Shaktis got ready to destroy the gods and others. These Shaktis attempted to destroy. Leaders of Gaṇas or Vishnu, Brahma or Shiva, Indra or Kubera, Skanda or the Sun—Shaktis began to destroy them. Wherever one looked, Shaktis were present. On seeing that Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu, Indra, the other gods, Gaṇas and the sages began to doubt what the Goddess Parvati would be doing, whether she would create an untimely dissolution. They all gathered and discussed— “What shall be done now? In the meantime, Narada came there for the happiness of the gods and Gaṇas. He said— “Let us think and act together.” They then said. So long as the goddess Parvati does not favour us there will be no happiness. Narada and other sages went to Parvati to appease her anger. They then propitiated her. They eulogised her with many hymns. They sought forgiveness. They said: -
“The final dissolution seems near at hand. Your lord is standing here. O mother, you see him. What are we, the gods, Vishnu, Brahma and others? We are only your subjects. We stand here with palms joined in reverence. O great goddess, our guilts shall be forgiven. We are agitated and distressed. O Parvati give us peace.”
On hearing their words Parvati was pleased and she replied to the sages with her mind full of compassion. The goddess said: --
“If my son regains life there may not be further annihilation. If you can arrange for him an honourable status and position among you as the chief presiding officer, there may be peace in the world. Otherwise, you will never be happy.”
Thus, Narada and other sages returned and intimated to all the gods everything in detail. On hearing that, Indra and other gods joined their palms in reverence and piteously intimated to Shiva what had transpired there. On hearing what the gods said, Shiva spoke thus— “It shall be done accordingly so that there may be peace over all the worlds.”
“You shall go to the northern direction and whatever person you meet at first you cut off his head and fit it to this body.”
Then they carried out Shiva’s behests and acted accordingly. They brought the headless body of Ganesh and washed it well. They paid homage to it and started towards the north. It was a single-tusked elephant that they met. They took the head and fitted it to the body. After joining it, the gods bowed to Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma and spoke — “What has been ordered by you has been carried out by us. Let the task left incomplete be performed now.”
Then Brahma, Vishnu and other gods spoke after bowing to lord Shiva who is free from the ill effects of the attributes.
They said: — “Since we all are born out of your brilliant Energy let that Energy come into it by the recitation of the Vedic mantras. Saying so, they jointly sprinkled the holy water, invoked by the mantras on that body after remembering Shiva. Immediately after the contact of the holy water the boy was resuscitated to life and joined with consciousness. As Shiva willed, the boy woke up as from a sleep. On seeing the son of Parvati resuscitated to life, they all rejoiced, and their miseries came to an end. On seeing her restored to life, the goddess was greatly delighted.
Ganesh crowned as the chief of Ganas:
On seeing her son, Parvati was highly delighted. Taking him up with both her hands she embraced him joyously. He was honoured by the goddess who bestowed all Siddhis on him and touched him with her hand that removes all distress. She granted him boons with affection and said— “You have had great distress since your very birth. You will receive worship before all the gods. You will be free from distress. Vermillion is visible on your face now. Hence you will be worshipped with vermillion by all men always. All achievements certainly accrue to him who performs your worship with flowers, sandal paste, scents, auspicious food offerings Niranjana rites, betel leaves, charitable gifts, circumambulations, and obeisance. Shiva told the gods. “This is another son of mine.”
Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma said to the gods: -
“He is the remover of all obstacles and the bestower of the fruits of all rites. He shall be worshipped first, and we shall be worshipped afterwards. If he is not worshipped, we too are not worshipped. If the other deities are worshipped when he is not worshipped, the fruit of that rite will be lost. There is no doubt in this matter.”
To gratify Parvati, Gaṇesha was proclaimed as the presiding officer by all, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and others. Again, with a joyful mind, several boons were granted by Parvati to him.
Shiva said: --
“O son of Parvati, let your name be the most auspicious in the matter of quelling obstacles. Be the presiding officer of all my Gaṇas and worthy of worship now. O Ganesh, you are born in the first Prahara on the fourth day in the dark half of the Bhadra mouth at the auspicious hour of the moonrise. Since your form manifested itself from the good mind of Parvati, your excellent Vrata shall be performed on that Tithi itself or beginning from that day. It will be very auspicious and conducive to the achievement of all Siddhis. He shall perform worship with the Durva grass and observe fast. After a Prahara has elapsed in the night the devotee shall take bath and worship. The idol shall be made of metal, coral, white Arka flowers or clay. It shall be installed and worshipped by the devotee with all purity, with scents of various kinds, divine sandal paste, and flowers. A handful of Durva grass having three knots and without roots shall be used for worship. After worshipping you with various articles of worship like betel etc. and eulogising you with hymns, the devotee shall worship the crescent moon. Afterwards, he shall feed the brahmins joyously with sweets with due honour. He himself shall take sweets and avoid salt. Then the rites shall formally be dismissed. Then he shall remember Ganesh. Thus, the Vrata shall be concluded auspiciously. O Ganesh, he who performs your worship up to his ability, with faith, shall derive the fruit of all desires. The devotee shall worship you, the lord of Gaṇas with vermillion, sandal paste, raw rice grains and Ketaka flowers as well as with other services. They who devoutly worship you with acts of service will achieve success. Their obstacles will be quelled.”
When Parvati became free from fury, Shiva and Parvati behaved as before. Both Vishnu and Brahma took leave of Shiva and Parvati returned to our abodes.
Arrogance is the characteristic of Man’s nature. It needs to be curbed.