Let me see if I have the facts (basically the myth) right ...
Ganesh is the son (intelligent and very clever) of Shiva and Parvati.
For the appearance part, the story goes like this (this tale has two variants):
- Goddess Parvati asks her brother Shani-deva to see her son, Ganesh and even after his refusals he is forced to view him, which results in the severing of his head.
- Goddess Parvati goes to take bath and sets Ganesha as guard, who refuses Shiva into the place wherein in anger Shiva slices off his head.
- Later as a replacement, the felled Airavata's head is used or something of the sort ...
Like Ganesha is the Siddhidaayakaa - the bestower of success !
He has two wives (Siddhi and Buddhi - Success and Wisdom) - not sure if everyone agrees with this line of thought.
However the symbolism attached to these tales and the underlying divinity represented by the easily recognizable forms, is what is important to remember.
One thing is for sure - He is the 'cutest' of gods in the Hindu pantheon :-), the chubby lord being a favourite among kids and adults alike.
With modaka (laddu) in one hand and the mooshika vahana (mouse as his vehicle - a PC sounds familiar ;-)).
'Ekadantaya, Vakratundaya, Gauritanayaydhemahi, Ganadheesha ...' the recent rendition by Shankar Mahadevan sums up all the various names for the Vighnavinashaka, fine ....
What, indeed, when he sang to Allah in Rag Bhairav (composed for Shiva) and brought to tears the Iraqi maulana who had just told him music was blasphemy, “evil, a trap of the devil”. Khan Saheb said, “I told him, Maulana, I will sing to Allah. All I ask you is to be fair. And when I finished I asked him if it is blasphemy. He was speechless.” And then Khan Saheb told me with that trademark mischievous glint: “But I did not tell him it was in Rag Bhairav.”Read more here:
Khan Saheb in Kashi by Shekhar Gupta (Saturday, August 26, 2006) - Indian Express