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Why do we worship Lord Ganesha first before any ritual?

Since our childhood, we all are observed in our houses, whenever there are any rituals or pooja happened we always worship Lord Ganesha firstly then to other gods, even in our marriages, we always put the very first invitation card in front of him and invite him to attend this marriage and give graces to both families, and the bride’s and groom’s both side follow this ritual. But most of us don’t know the specific reasons why we actually do this or follow this custom. I mean, there are many other gods, too, so why do we only worship Lord Ganesha first rather than other gods? In our Hindu mythology, everything has a reason; there is always a story and purpose behind every custom or rite. Lord Ganesha was the youngest God among all gods. There are lots of gods whose birth stories are still a myth for the world. But we all know “How Lord Ganesha was born.” Since he has a quite tragic and unique birth story.

Story

We all heard stories of devas(deities) and rakshas(demons) in our childhood from our granny’s or elders of the house, like how devas protect us from the rakshasa and how powerful they are, and we should always worship them and how bad rakshas are n all. So there are many stories about them so why we worship Lord Ganesha firstly is also one of the stories among all.

After facing constant defeats from devas, a few rakshasas choose to take help from king Bali. King Bali was a great warrior and a great human being. Although he was also from the demonic community, he was known for his benevolence and philanthropy. No one used to go back empty-handed from his manor. So those rakshasas went to his mansion and asked him to fight along with them against devas and help them accomplish their vengeance from devas, but Bali refused their proposals as he and his states live a peaceful life, so he doesn’t want to get linked in it any sort of battle against devas. The rakshas got frustrated and went back to their homes. After a few days, King Bali declared the huge sacred oblations, and it would be a communal affair, so everyone was welcomed. When those rakshasas listened to this news, they decided to destroy this holy event to provoke king Bali.

The day has come. A tremendous masses joined that event. The event was just going to ignite, then at the last moment, the rakshas said – “It’s good that you are offering this holy oblation, but who will you adore first? Which God will you bow to first? And how will you choose who is greater to be first? “Everyone was astonished because no one thinks about this before and no one knows its answer and no one can dare to comment on this because no matter whomsoever god you will choose there will going to be a huge endless dispute because if you support one God, then others follower’s will argue with you. Everyone was disconcerted and confused, then King Bali decided to find the solution to this question. He announced that he would not do any donation or sacred work unless he discovered the answer.

Now the question is how king Bali will find its answer. So he decided to go to Kailash. As we know, Lord Shiva is the only God whom rakshas also idolize and follow. So he went to Kailash and explained to him the whole story, then Lord shiva announced a contest. Choosing any of the gods to be the first to get worshiped will be unfair for other devas? So he announced, “whoever dev completed the three rounds of the universe and came here first will be announced as “The First god to be worshipped.”

Everyone gathered on Kailash, every deva took part in this competition, even both sons of Lord shiva “Kartikeya” and “Ganesha” also took part in this competition. Where all devas were on excellent and extremely swift Vahan(vehicle) like Kartikeya was riding the peacock, Indra was sitting on the Airavat(The elephant), The Surya Dev(Deity sun) was riding the horse, and many more. They all were super strong and super speedy. Our Lord Ganesha was riding his mushak(the mouse). Many of them made fun of him, and many offered him a different Vahan, but he refused any kind of help.

Rishi Narad blows the conch shell to start this race; the moment he blows it, everyone starts taking the round of the universe, but as soon as the race begins, the whole earth goes blackout because the deity sun and deity moon took part in this competition. Lord Ganesha noticed this disaster on earth. He decided to resolve this problem first, but how?. He went to Kailash as Kailash is the highest mountain (no one knows its exact height). As soon as he lit the lamps on Kailash, the whole earth lit up again. All deities were trying hard to win this competition, and here our Lord Ganesha was trying to maintain the natural balance on the earth. When everything got resolved, he went back to Kailash and asked Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati to stand together. They didn’t know what was going on, but they did it as their son asked for it. Lord Ganesha sits on the back of their mushak(The mouse) and starts taking rounds of both his parents. Finally, he completed his three rounds and bowed in front of them.

Lord Shiva asked him – Why are you here and why you didn’t participate in this race, and most importantly, why you took the rounds of us?. Lord Ganesha explained the whole situation. In the end, he said, – my parents are my whole universe. Everything belongs to you, and you belong to everything, father! And my mother is herself nature who nursed the whole universe. So instead of rounding the outer universe, I took a round of the inner universe. Everyone was quite impressed by his answer. Lord Kartikeya finished this race and first came to the Kailash and bowed in front of his parents. Slowly all deities finished their race and reached Kailash.

Now it’s time to announce the winner. Kartikeya was so sure about his win that he came ahead even before the announcement. Lord Shiva announced that the winner of this race and the first God would be the “Lord Ganesh.” Everyone was so shocked when they heard his name. Kartikeya was so upset and objected to his winning. He said he didn’t see Ganesha in the entire race, so how come he became the winner? Then Lord shiva explained the reasons- Lord Ganesha didn’t race with you as he gives importance to this world where every deity was so devoted towards this race they literally forgot about their roles and responsibilities, but Ganesh showed his sincerity and fulfill the duties on their places then he came to us and took the round of us as we are his universe.

So he showed every important quality to be fitted in this role. He showed his sincerity, kindness, and intelligence. So he deserved to be the First God among all of you. Everyone understands this and accepts Lord Ganesha as the first God to be worshipped. After this, King Bali organized his sacred oblations, worshiped the Lord Ganesha first, and continued this prayer. That’s why we worship Lord Ganesha First before any ritual.

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