Apart from the stories of the Lord's Avatar, the Puranas also narrates a number of interesting stories. Some of them are given below:
Lord Ganesh’s Marriage
After the birth of Ganesha, one more son was born to Lord Siva and Parvati. He was Kartikeya. The two childrer grew up in the divine abode of Kailash. One day, the parents were casually discussing about their marriage, when both the sons happened to be around. Both of them said : "I want to marry first". The Mother said : "All right, but we will keep one condition. Between you two, the one who will go round the whole world and return first, shall be married first". Kartikeye immediately took off on his peacock and started his journey round the earth. Ganesh was in a fix. On the one hand, he was bulky and short-legged, and on the other, his vehicle was a tiny mouse. He thought for a while brought two cushioned seats and made his parents sit on them. Then he went round them seven times and stood before them with folded hands and said ' "I have gone round the world not once, but seven times. Now please arrange for my marriage". The parents were amused. They asked : ''How? How have you gone around the whole world, over the great oceans and mountains and continents ?"
Ganesha smiled and said: "The shastras say that worshipping one's parents and going round them is equal in merit to going round the world". The parents were happy at the intelligence of Ganesha and they decided to perform his marriage. At an auspicious hour, they married him to the two beautiful daughters of Viswaroopa, namely Siddhi and Buddhi.
Kartikeya returned from his journey round the earth only to discover that Ganesh's marriage had already been solemnized. He became so sad that he decided to relinquish Kailash. The parents tried to console him, but in vain. He also decided not to marry, and remain a “Kumara" for ever. So, after taking the parent's permission and prostrating to them he went to the mountain called Kraunch. The Mother was indeed very sad at the separation of Her darling son.
One day both Shiva and Parvati went to the Kraunch mountain to see their son. They were over joyed to see him surrounded by learned men. Yogis and Side/has. That was the Kartik Purnima day. After spending a few days with Kartikeya, they persuaded him to return to Kailas with them. Kartikeya agreed, but when he started, the Rishis and others entreated him to stay with them and impart to them divine knowledge and devotion Kartikeya consented to do so, and thereafter stayed permanently on the Kraunch mountain. Thereafter, Kartik Purnima became a very auspicious day for the darsan of Lord Kartikeya.
From that time onwards, Shiva and Parvati decided to visit Their son by turns on Amavasya (New Moon day) and Purnima (Full Moon day) respectively.
Ganesha Gets Modaka (Laddu)
The story of how Ganesha came to acquire the Modaka which he always holds in his hands, runs as follows :
Once all the Devas decided to visit Kailas to pay their respects to Lord Siva and Parvati They took with them a specially prepared sweet Modaka, and presented it to Mother Parvati. Both Ganesha and Kartikeya demandid the iwiet, whereupon the Mother said : "First, listen to the glory of this Modeka. It is prepared wHh rare inifedients and dipped in nectar. One would attain Immortality by merely smelling this sweet. And he who eats it will become greater than gods in all respects — in arts, literature and knowledge. Therefore, between you two he who can prove his worth as the best and righteous one, can have the Modaka." Kartikeya, to prove his sense of righteousness, immediately took off on his peacock and dipped himself in all the sacred ponds and rivers of the world and worshipped all the gods and goddesses and returned to Kailas within a Muhurtha. But by that time, Ganesha had already acquired the Modaka by simply going round Lord Siva and Parvati with a heart full or devotion and humility. The argument was that he who Is devoted to his parents is sixteen times more meritorious than one who leaves them at home and goes about dipping in all sacred ponds and worshipping the various gods. Pleased with Ganesha's brilliant intelligence. Mother Parvati gave him the Modaka and made him the leader of the Ganas.
Ganesha Learns A Lesson
Ganesh was one day playing with a cat in Kailas. In a playful mood, he pulled the tail of the cat and it started crying. Then he rolled it over on the ground and let it go After some time, when he was tired of playing, he ran to his Mother and cuddled on Her lap. When he looked up to Her face, he saw Her twisting with pain, and observed that Her body was smeared with dirt. He was surprised to see the Mother in this condition which was very unusual. Ho asked: "What happened to you Mother? What causes pain to you and how did you become dirty ?" She looked lovingly at Ganesh and said: "You did alt this mischief on Me, that is why my limbs are paining and my body is dirty I" Ganesh protested : "How can it be ? I never hurt my dear Mother, nor have I smeared dirt on your lovely body." "You did," said the Mother. Ganesh could not understand Then She said, "You pulled my rail and rolled me over on the ground" Ganesh immediately understood what the Mother meant- "I now understand Mother, that all bodies and forms are but Yours only; and I shall never harm anyone, lest I may hurt You," he said.
Kubera's Pride Humbled
Kubera, the Treasurer of the Heavens, was proud of his riches. He had all the comforts and conveniences of the heuven at his command. He once paid a visit to Kailash and had the 'darshan' of Lord Siva and the whole family. In his vanity, he thought he would show-off his glory to the Lord and so invited Him to his city, Alakapuri, for a lunch. The Lord smiled and said: "I am not coming. You can take Ganesh along, and mind you, he is a voracious eater!" “Oh, that's nothing," said Kubera, "I can easily feed him to his heart's content".
And so, the little child Ganesh, caught hold of the little finger of Kubera and walked down to the magnificent "Pushpaka" (the celestial aircraft of Kubera) and took off to Alkapuri. He was given a ceremonial bath with fragrant waters, and dressed in costly and beautiful clothes. Then they all settled down for lunch. Kubera had already ordered a great meal to be prepared; and then, one by one the items started arriving. Ganesh, comfortably seated, went on eating all the items served to him. And as he ate on, his appetite grew more and more and he started eating faster and faster. The army of servants had a tough time serving the child, because the moment an item was put on the plate, it disappeared straight Into his stomach.
Ganesh started becoming impatient at the slow pace of serving, and he started taking the food straight from the serving dishes of the servants He started eating the dishes also, and then he got Up and went straight to the kitchen and ate all the cooked and uncooked food. The cooks and servants were aghast at the hunger of Ganesh. They screamed in horror. Kubera was struck with fear. Ganesh went on eating everything that came on his way—the furniture, the decorative pandal the gardens and trees and ail. Then he started for Kubera's apartments. Kubera with his folded hands appealed to him not to destroy his palace. "I am hungry", said Ganesh. "If you won't give me food, I will swallow you also". The terrified Kubera flew down to Kailash and implored Lord Siva to appease Ganesh. "I warned you he is a voracious eater", said the Lord. "Lord, please forgive me for my foolishness and vanity. If you won't rescue me now from the situation, I will be eaten up" cried Kubera "All right, give this to him" said the Lord, giving Kubera handful of roasted rice. "This will satisfy his hunger". Kubera prostrated at the feet of the Lord, took the put fed rice and rushed back to his city. The city was almost eaten up by Ganesh. With all humility, he offered the puffed rice to Ganesh, and eating it, he became calm and contented.
Kubera took Ganeshji back to Kailash and entrusted him to Lord Shiva.
Moon Deity Cursed By Ganesha
Once Brahmaji, the creator, was sitting along with Lord Siva in Kailas, discussing the affairs of the world. At that time Devarshi Narada came there and presented to Lord Siva a divine fruit. The children, Ganesh and Kartikeya saw the beautiful fruit in the hands of the Father and they both started demanding it. Lord Siva turned to Brahmaji and asked : "Whom do you think should the fruit be given?" Brahmaji considered for a while and said "Being younger, Kartikeya can be given the fruit". Ganesh was unhappy at the decision.
When Brahmaji went back to his world and started his work of creation, a number of obstacles came on his way. Soon after, Ganesh appeared in front of him, in his terrible form. Seeing the form of Ganesha, Brahmaji started shivering with fear The Moon deity who was watching the scene, burst into laughter by seeing the Grandsire shivering at the sight of the awkward form of Ganesha. Ganesha became angry and cursed the moon that he would also have an ungainly countenance and those who see him will become wretched. Moon became repentent He lost alt his grace and charm. He implored for forgiveness, and Ganesh yielded a little. He said : "Those who look you on this day of Bhadrapada-SukIa-Chaturthi (the fourth day of the bright half of Bhadrapada month) will be cursed to wretchedness and will undergo lot of suffering and ill-fame".
And thus it became the tradition that on this particular day the moon should not be seen.
There is another version of the same story which says that Ganeshji, one day, had taken so much of the offering of his devotees, that while returning to his abode on his mouse, he was dis-balanced and he tumbled down. The Moon seeing the funny sight burst into laughter and Ganeshji cursed him that whoever who would see him on that day (Bhadrapada-Sukla-Chathurthi) would be subjected to scandals.
The Puranas also state, that the antidote for seeing the Moon on that day is to recite the story of Syamantaka, wherein Lord Krishna had laboriously worked to prove his innocence in the scandal of the gem, Syamantaka.
Fight With Parasuram
Bhargawa Rama was one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu to destroy the evil minded Kshatriyas (ruling class). He was born of sage Jamadagni and Renuka. After obtaining thorough education in all fields of knowledge from his learned father, Bhargawa went to the Himalayas and did penance on Lord Siva. Pleased with his tapas, and keeping in view the mission for which he had taken birth. Lord Siva imparted to Bhargawa the secrets of weapons and also presented to him a Parasu (axe) with divine powers. Oh account of his obtaining the Parasu he became famous as Parasuram.
Parasuram was deeply devoted to Shiva. One day, he paid a visit to Kailash to pay respects to the Lord, his teacher. He passed through various gardens and lakes, diamond studded palaces and serene temples and ashrams that surrounded the holy Kailash and at last reached the sacred abode of Lord Shiva.
At the gate he met Kartikeya and Ganesh and after saluting
them he tried to enter the palate. Ganesh stopped him, saying that the Lord was resting at that time in the inner chambers, and that he might wait for a few minutes till he (Ganesh) could go and obtain permission from the father. Parasuram argued that it was not necessary for an ardent disciple tike him to obtain prior permission from the revered Teacher and that he just wanted to go in, prostrate at His feet and come back. But Ganesh did not yield. A wordy duel brew up, developed into a scuffle and deteriorated into a real fight. In a fit of anger, Parasuram struck on the face of Ganesh with his axe, and down came the right tusk of Ganesh, with a thunderous noise which shook the entire earth. The people of Kailash all ran out of their homes and work-places. Lord Siva and Mother Parvati also came out, only to see their dear son lying unconscious and bleeding profusely from the mouth, and ashamed Parasuram standing with his head cast down in repentance. Ganesh was immediately nursed back to consciousness. Then the Mother looked at Parasuram and said, "You have done great harm to this great son of ours. He could have easily crushed you out of existence if he wanted; such is his immense power. But he had been very cautious and cool. On the other hand you had been so rude, that you just cut down his trunk. What a pity" By that time Lord Krishna appeared on the scene and begged forgiveness on behalf of Parasuram. The matter slowly cooled down. Parasuram, thereafter, took a holy bath and worshipped Lord Siva, Parvati and Ganesh individually and extolled them with divine hymns. After receiving their blessings, became down from Kailash.
Tulsi Cursed By Ganesh
Tulsi, the daughter of Dharmaraja. the God of righteousness, was roaming about in the world in ecstatic devotion to Lord Narayana, in her youthful days White thus going about, she came upon the banks of the sacred river Ganga. There she wandered into a serene ashram full of fragrant flowers and plants swaying in cool breeze. She saw Ganeshji, who was in the prime of his youth, beautifully dressed in yellow silks, and lost in deep contemplation on Lord Krishna. She was captivated by the beauty of Ganeshji, and entreated him to marry her. Ganeshji turned down the proposal, saying that he was least interested in married life. Tuisi became angry and cursed Ganeshji saying : "You shall surely marry !", whereupon Ganeshji also pronounced a counter—curse on her : "You too shall get married, but to an Asura, and thereafter you shall be cursed to be born as a plant by the wise men". Realising her mistake, Tulsi pleaded for mercy, and extolled Ganeshji with divine hymns. Ganeshji relented and said: "Though you shall be born as a plant, you will inherit the essence of all fragrance. All the gods will be happy with your fragrance, and Lord Hari will be specially glad to receive worship with your leaves. But you shall not be acceptable in the worship offered to me". So saying, Ganeshji left that place and went to Badrikashram.
Lord Ganesha - The First Stenographer
Lord Ganesha is the first stenographer that the world eve had, and he had taken down the largest ever book composed ii the world, viz. The Mahabharata dictated by Sage Veda Vyas who is revered as Lord Vishnu Himself~ The story goes thus:
Sage Veda Vyasa had conceived the great theme of Mahabharata in his fertile mind. He developed the whole theme mentally, and was full with the great idea. He wanted to bring it out in writing so that others could study and benefit by it. As he was deeply thinking over how this could be done
Brahmaji, the Creator, appeared in his ashram. Vyasa was thrilled to see the grandsire, and after worshiping and setting him respectfully, posed his problem to him. “1 have conceived this great poem, which I am sure will receive the adoration of the world. It will be expounding the imports of Vedas and Upanishads, it will cover everything in this universe. But I am not finding a scribe who can take it down as I expound it." Brahmaji praised the theme that Vyasa had conceived and said : 'Remember Ganeshji for this purpose After Brahmaji's departure, Vyasa sat in meditation and remembered Ganeshji.
Immediately the merciful Lord appeared before him. Vyasa worshipped him and after seating him properly, placed his request before him : "Please be my scribe for this great poem that I have composed mentally." Ganeshji agreed, but on one condition. He said : "I will be your scribe if you assure me that my writing shall not stop even for a moment (waiting for your ideas to crystallize)." To this Vyasa said "One condition from my side also. You should not write even a single letter without understanding the import of the theme" Ganeshji consented, and so the writing of Mahabharata began.
Vyasa first of all meditated on the Supreme Power which had manifested as Narayana and Nara and then on Saraswati the Goddess of Knowledge, and started the dictation by pronouncing the sacred mantra “0m".