Well firstly, he is Parvati’s and Shiva’s son. He is a god that has an elephant head, and because of this he has tusks. But why does he have an elephant head? Well Goddess Parvati was getting ready to take a bath. Since she obviously didn’t want to be disturbed, she wanted someone to guard the door. But Nandi, the bull god of Shiva, wasn’t there. So instead, she made a statue of a boy out of turmeric paste and gave life to him. It was now his job to guard the door. Once Shiva was done with his meditation, he wanted to go visit Parvati. But he found himself being stopped by a boy. Shiva was trying to explain to the boy that he was Parvati’s wife, but the boy would not listen. Shive decided to fight the boy and killed the boy instantly.
When Parvati heard of this, she was enraged to say the least. She was threatening to destroy all of creation, and she told Lord Brahma the only way she wouldn’t do this was if the boy was brought back to life AND if he was said in prayers before any other god. So, of course Shiva agreed to this and sent devotees to bring back the head of the first animal they found that was facing north. They found an elephant and Lord Brahma placed it on the boy’s body, giving life to him. He was also of course given the title of being revered before all other gods in prayers.
So, we know how he became an elephant but how come he only has one tusk?
—– Well, One day, Parashurama, an avatar of Vishnu, went to pay a visit to Shiva, but along the way he was blocked by Ganesha. Parashurama hurled himself at Ganesha with his axe and Ganesha (knowing that this axe was given to him by Shiva) allowed himself, out of respect for his father, to be struck and lost his tusk as a result. That is why Ganesha has one tusk…
For GURUKULAM The Shloka Learning Centre