Know about the interesting facts about hindu gods those who possess the weird animal head and the background story behind it.
Elephant Head – Ganapathy
Ganesha is the God worshipped by Hindus before every important ritual. He is identified as the son of Parvati and Shiva. There are many stories which tell how he got the elephant hand. The most popular one is the one in which Shiva Fixed the head. Parvati put Ganesha on guard duty at door and ordered him to stop everyone from entering. When Ganesha didn’t let Shiva go inside even after telling he is the husband of Parvati. Shiva got anger and cut off his head and threw away. When Parvati come to know that she said she will destroy everything. Then Shiva sent Brahma to bring the head of the creature from earth facing north. Brahma brought the head of an elephant and thus Shiva joined that head to Ganesha’s neck. According to stories, Parvati put up a condition that she will only cancel her plan of destroying entire creation if Ganesha was worshipped foremost of all Gods. After giving the second life to Ganesha, Shiva also promised the same and that’s why Ganesha is worshipped foremost before all prayers. Ganesha is particularly worshiped on Chaturthi. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated as a grand festival on Chaturthi of Bhadrapada. He gives wealth and prevents bad happening.
Lion Head- Narasimha
Narasimha is an avatar of Vishnu. It was the fourth incarnation of Vishnu for the destruction of evil. Vishnu took this avatar to kill a demon Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyakashipu wanted to kill his own son Prahlad because he worshiped Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu had special powers, according to which he can neither be killed in the day nor in the night, neither by a human nor by an animal, neither inside nor outside, and neither by demon nor by God. To save Prahlad, Vishnu emerged as Narasimha that was half human and half animal. The lower body was of a human and face was of a lion. Narasimha killed Hiranyakashipu neither at the entrance gate which was neither inside nor outside. He chose the time of junction of day and night. Thus, Hiranyakashipu was killed creatively and dramatically. The stories of Vishnu saving Prahlad are many out of which this one is most famous. He has also the power to not be killed with a weapon and that’s Narasimha killed him with nails. Narasimha is the symbol of victory of hope and destruction of evil people. Worshiping Narasimha fills positive energy and gives us the courage to face all the problems bravely. Shukla Chaturdashi of Vaishakha is celebrated as Narasimha Jayanti. Narasimha mantra chanted to fight negativity and fear.
Snake Head and Snake Body – Rahu and Ketu
Rahu and Ketu are two parts of one body. The story behind their snake and snake body starts from Samudra Manthan. To prevent “Asuras” from drinking “Amrit”(a drink that makes Immortal) produced due to Samudra Manthan, Vishnu took incarnation of “Mohini”. When Vishnu was serving Amrit to Deva a demon named “Swarbhanu” changed himself as a Deva. But Surya and Chandra recognized him and knowing that he was an Asura, Vishnu cut off his head with the “Sudarshan Chakra”. The demon managed to drink a drop of Amrit and the two parts were still immortal. The head of Asura is known as Rahu and the body is known as Ketu. One story tells that as Surya and Chandra told his identity to Vishnu, Rahu, and Ketu swallow them. They keep chasing and swallow but can’t hold them forever and the sun and moon emerge again. The swallow period is known as Solar and Lunar eclipses. Rahu and Ketu affect our lives in several ways. If placed in right position, Rahu can fill you with courage and help you achieve fame. Ketu stands for sudden benefits in various areas. There is no traditional function associated to Rahu and Ketu but if they are not placed on right positions, astrologers can do some pooja for you. They can also advise you of some other solutions to prevent their bad effects which can bring illness and other bad things.
Parrot Head- Sukhdev Muni
Once Parvati saw a garland of skulls and asked Shiva about them. Then Shiva narrated her story that these are her skulls. Shiva told Parvati that he is immortal and she is mortal. Then Parvati asked to listen to the immortal story. Shiva asked Parvati to keep saying yes-yes while listening to story. Parvati felt asleep but someone was still replying to Shiva. Then Shiva finds out that a parrot was listening to story. Shiva tried to catch the parrot but the parrot flew away. The wife of Rishi Veda Vyasa’s wife Ghritachi just then yawned and the baby parrot went straight into her stomach. The parrot changed into human form and due to listening to the immortal story he had many powers and knowledge of Maya. He refused to come out of his mother’s womb. 12 years passed and Ghritachi was in huge trouble and the baby said that he will only come out if Maya disappears from the world. God then disappeared Maya for 60 seconds and everyone born during that time becomes a hermit. There is another story that recognizes Sukhdev muni as the personal parrot of Radha Rani. There is no specific pooja or festival of Sukhdev Muni. He is only recognized as a great saint.
Monkey Head- Hanuman
Hanuman is an incarnation of Shiva. His mother Anjana was an Apsara and she made fun of a monkey and thrown stones at him. The monkey got angry and he cursed Anjana that she would change into a monkey and will remain in the monkey form until she gives birth to an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Anjana then married the king of monkeys Kesari and prayed to God for a baby boy. Lord Shiva finally blessed her with an immortal son who would be Shiva’s incarnation. A story tells that Hanuman once swallowed the sun and the whole world become dark. The reason for swallowing was that he thought sun as a fruit and being hungry he swallowed it. Lord Indra released his thunderbolt and Hanuman fell unconscious. Lord Vayu being the spiritual father of Hanuman made a huge disturbance. Then Lord Brahma made Hanuman conscious. Lord Brahma, Indra, and sun then gave many powers to Hanuman. He helped Rama in finding his wife Sita. He is one of the most worshipped God of Hindus. He was born on Tuesday on a full moon day and that’s why these days are celebrated. His birthday is celebrated as Hanuman Jayanti. There are many famous temples of Hanuman which people visit regularly.