Terror to the Gods
Ganesha is known as Vighneshwara because
the devotees believe that Ganesha roots out obstacles and difficulties.
There are many stories, which narrate how he saved even the gods.
Ravana was the king of Lanka. He was
very strong. Once there were indications that the gods would suffer at
the hands of Ravana.
Ravana was a devotee of Ishwara. Once
he performed strict tapas. Pleased with his
tapas Ishwara appeared before him
and said, "What boon do you desire?" Ravana begged for Shivas Atmalinga
(Shivas Atmalinga was the reflection of Shiva in the form of the Linga.
The presence of this Linga is as good as that of Shiva Himself). It was
Ravanas conviction that nobody could defeat him, once he acquired the
very power of Shiva.
Shiva had said, "Ask for whatever boon
you choose." Therefore he was bound by his words and had to give away his
Atmalinga. He, however, cautioned Ravana: "Dont put this Atmalinga on
the ground even for a moment; once you put it on the ground you cannot
get it back." He then disappeared.
The gods trembled to see Shivas Atmalinga
in the hands of Ravana, who was a menace to the world. Ravana was their
bitter enemy; and now, with the Shivalinga itself in his possession, they
were in great danger. They were troubled not knowing who could protect
Then they remembered Ganesha. They
went straight to him and explained to him their troubles. The kind Ganesha
consoled them. He put courage into them saying, "I shall not allow Ravana
to get Shivas Atmalinga Have no fears." The gods went away and Ganesha
followed Ravana to carry out his mission.