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Stories For the Kids
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Ganesh and Rāvana
 
 

 

One day, the devil Rāvana undertook very difficult tapas .

As a consequence, Shiva appeared to him. Rāvana requested a favor. He wanted that his kingdom and himself could never be damaged or destroyed. As a present, Shiva gave him a Shiva Lingam , the symbol of Shiva; he ordered to bring it back to his kingdom and to place it in a temple after adequate rituals.

After that, he would become unconquerable. But there was a prerequisite : whatever happened, he ought not to lay down the Lingam on the floor, under pain of not be able to displace it later.

Overjoyed, Rāvana welcomed the Lingam. However, the Devā (Gods) felt afraid of the power that Rāvana; could obtain. They invoked Ganesh before any action.

Then, Varuna , the god of Waters, penetrated into the Rāvana's abdomen, causing him troubles which forced him to stop on his way. Rāvana was convulsed with pain, but careful not to lay down the Lingam on the ground, as requested expressly by Shiva. Rāvana called a young Brahman coming that way; he asked him to keep the stone Lingam just for a moment.

As soon as Rāvana entrusted him the Lingam, the boy cried out for help three times. Getting no reply, he put the Lingam on the ground.

When Rāvan came back, he was very angry and he dismissed the boy who just appeared to be Ganesh in reality. But Rāvana had the power of the Lingam. Then Ganesh could easily subdue the devil, kicking to the sky (photo ).

Rāvana realized his limitations and admitted the huge power of Ganesh (photo ).

The place where the Lingam was deposited is called Gokarna, and is located on the Karnataka western coast; it is a worshipping place till nowadays.

This story teaches that the demon is always defeated at the very end, specially when he thinks himself very powerful.