The story of the Elephant God (Art: Raj Kamal Aich; Text: Prerna Mitra)
Once upon a time, Lord Shiva had gone to fight a battle against evil. Goddess Parvati was alone in their home in Mount Kailash.
On one occasion, she had to go for a bath, but had no one to stand guard. So she took some turmeric paste from her body and moulded it.
She then breathed life into the shape. And lo, Ganesha came into being!
The little lord was strictly instructed to not allow anyone in, while his mother bathed. Being a faithful son, he did as told.
Soon, the battle was over and Lord Shiva returned home.
But he was shocked to find a strange little boy stopping him from entering his own home.
An angry Shiva ordered his army to destroy him.
But Ganesha fought back well.
Shiva then decided to slay the little one himself. In his divine rage he cut Ganesha's head in one blow, killing him instantly.
When Goddess Parvati learnt of this, she was livid. She summoned all her avatars and decided to wipe away all of mankind.
A repentant Shiva pleaded with her to reconsider.
Parvati then put out two conditions: that Ganesha be bought back to life, and that he be worshipped first before all the other gods.
Shiva turned to Brahma and asked him to bring the head of the first creature he sees sleeping, with its head facing the north.
Brahma returned with an elephant's head. Shiva then placed it on Ganesha's body.
After bringing him to life, Shiva declared him as his son. And that's how our elephant god came into being. (Art: Raj Kamal Aich; Text: Prerna Mitra)