Why Lord Shiva did not recognize his own son

Why Lord Shiva did not recognize his own son

The stories in the Puranas contain many incredible and hard-to-believe occurrences. But they should not be interpreted as a nursery rhyme. Their language is Shakespearean and laden with great depth and meaning. We need to interpret these stories with a very refined state of mind.

The story goes that Parvati created a boy out of dirt from her body and appointed him to guard the doorstep. The first question that comes is how could Parvati, the Goddess Herself, have so much dirt? Parvati symbolizes the triguna – sattva, rajas and tamas. The entire creation is made up of trigunas. The dosha or imperfections that originate out of the triguna is an obstruction for the functioning of Prakriti. That was the boy that Parvati created to stand guard at the door. 

Shiva is Shuddha Chaitanya, pure consciousness. Like the sun does not recognize darkness and cuts through it, Shiva does not recognize dosha and slays the impurity. But Prakriti cannot stay without impurity. So Shiva replaces the dosha with the head of an elephant, which symbolizes knowledge. Through knowledge, all the doshas or obstructions of Prakriti can be taken care of. This is the spiritual and metaphysical meaning of Ganpati being slain. So worshipping Ganpati as the remover of obstacles and the giver of gyana, knowledge is the most amazing depiction of the nature of consciousness. 

Going a step further, even this difference between Prakriti and Purusha is done away with. That is why, the Ganpati Upanishad says,

ajam nirvikalpam niraakaaram-ekam
niraanandam aanandam advaita poornam
param nirgunam nirvishesham nireeham
para brahma roopam ganesham bhajema

Ganesha is the only One unborn unmanifest Reality. He is nirvikalpa and advaita – the formless, undivided One. This is the play and display of consciousness within itself. 

While Ganpati is certainly the nirakara Parabrahman, he is invoked and worshipped in the mud idol for a period of time for the joy of the devotees. Then the Ganpati is asked to merge back into our heart and the idol is immersed in water. This ritual is observed for the sake of devotees, not for the sake of Ganpati. He who is without form is invoked in a form and then his spirit is invoked back into one’s heart as the idol is immersed.

~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar


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13 Responses to "Why Lord Shiva did not recognize his own son"

  1. pradip  September 17, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Plz plz plz.. ish lekh ko muje Hindi me send kare. plz plz plz.

  2. venkatesh  February 6, 2016 at 2:02 am

    Thank you

  3. Vijay  April 7, 2016 at 1:51 am

    Hi I am struggling explain to my children who read the Shiva Story in books about two things.
    1. Why is Shiva killing a mere child. They find it abhorful that a God is killing a smaill child
    2. If God is supposed to know everything why does he not see through this ?

    As an adult I can look at it from a higher view and ignore the specifics but convincing the Kids is the issue

    • Swamy  July 8, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      My 2 cents:

      * When Parvathi mata made Ganesha idol, it got mother’s Shakti. To give father’s energy Shiva has to put elephant head.
      * Shiva knows and does all this with purpose. When Parvathi mata made Ganesha, he was arrogant to stop Shiva. After Shiva keeping elephant’s head, He becomes perfect with both Shiva & Parvathi’s energies.

    • Atul maggu  July 9, 2016 at 7:16 pm

      Hiee bro vijay, actually you can give this above idea that explained that SHIVA dont see the darkness and they just cut that off… so this time darkness was on his own son so he didnt kill his son.. He just slayed the darkness and there son is still alive with more consciousness.
      Welll, actually i knoe this is not a good story… Your son can ask if SHIVA is even the father of whole creation then why didnt he slayed all darkness in whole creation right away.

      So i have a concept of my own… You can use that one that says even if he is GOD.. but he is a logical guy not a magician… He dont do anything without any logic… He knows about all the story… But still he played the leela in a way as he knows nothing and he wanted his son to show his dedication and to do his job, his duty and his action… Because his son did that impossible job to stand against the SHIVA and shows his dedication towards mother that makes him the GOD and in this way even no one else doubts on his ability to be GOD…. because if SHIVA knows everything and he just said that he ia my son… So juat take it him as GOD… That doesnt work….. Everyone has to prove himself whether its all leela but deeds has to be done.

  4. Rajshri Mahtani  April 7, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Thank you. A beautiful explanation at metaphysical level that synchronizes with the explanation at the mundane level.

  5. Patricia Patricia  May 6, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Vijay, you could say God is One. But He has many personalities. A man may be Strict teacher in the class, but a jolly person as a father in the home.

    The Shiv personality is very powerful and very strict. And the small child is equal in power. Only in relationship they are Father and Son.

    The Son should have shown respect and explained (according to the story). But He simply refused entry to Shiva. Shiva already knows the Son is equally powerful, so a fight broke out.

    You could Lord Shiv is equally strict and equally loving with everyone. Later u can even see the Son sitting on Shiva’s lap.

  6. sridhar bandri  July 10, 2016 at 5:41 am

    Wonderful insight on the story of Lord Ganesh 🙂

  7. Vikram Aditya Rao  July 10, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Who can tell this to the so called religious preacher Dr. (?) Zakir Naik, who blatantly trolls about Lord Ganapathi and Lord Shiva in his one-sided, uncontested lectures told to his innumerable ignorant and ill-informed followers in his ‘captive’ audience!

    • Saddam Hossein  July 15, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      Dear Vikram Aditya Rao
      You can certainly post this to his FB official page or mail him. So…..u can shut his mouth off. If u r logical

  8. Saddam Hossein  July 15, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Dear Vikram Aditya Rao
    You can certainly post this to his FB official page or mail him. So…..u can shut his mouth off. If u r logical nd.

    Religion is a belief. Bt….. today in the age of science we can’t deny the fact what contradicts with stablished science.
    I would like to ask Hindu scholars. …..how many things from your scripture match with science nd why don’t you say to the followers about scientific proof about your scripture? ?

  9. DharmiSree  August 1, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    What is that you wanted to know mr.saddam that doesn’t match science. Hinduism, urf. sanathana dharma deal objectively and subjectively. Science hasn’t explored the layers of conciouness. – the puranas which people discard is illustrates there is nothing but conciousness. There shall be nor will be anything that can match the vedas and our puranas if someone really contemplates unbiasedly
    Most of that dwell currently is concoted western thought thye have identified conciousness with mind and the mind is identified with the brain – sorry this is were the error occurs.
    The Bharatheeya concept is more scientific conciousness is independent of mind, conciousness exists by itself as a self uminous entity. this difference in the two views comes from the difference in the conception of human personality in the two systems. right from mr. plato , human personality has been regraded as dichotomous, meaning somethin that has body and mind. ( animal state – pratial recogonition – ihope sane mind will understand what it means) are we anminal without discriminate power Thus the learned rishis goes a step above and explaines atman
    They say human personality is trichotomous not just body , mind but intellect aswell. ( without atman ) you are carcass.
    Two discoveies of quantum physics have a a direct bearing on scientisists, when the science turn towards sanathana dharma school of thought they started contemplating on limitations of material human knowledge imposed of Hberg uncertinity principle. then the discovery of the role of human conciousness in determining the obejective reality of subatomic phenomena.
    Then science started embracing possibilities beyond the human meassure.
    Ganapathi Shloaka Its says
    Tavmeva Pratyaksham Bharamasi , Tavm sakshat Atmasi Nityam ( Sanskrit)
    most of the above statements are adopted and accepted by scientiest as Cociousness 😉
    Bharatheyatha – is beyond the scope of material science, and its true, science is trying to reach there they haven’t but years to come when the try oordva moolam adha shakham (the process of inner engineering)
    the world embrace sanathana dharam wiht no qualms.
    Currently they have started investigation into the nature of consciousness actively persued by neruoscience. there is not scope of any Semitic stands. Hence the christians and the muslims are trying the best to understand their concepts throught the glasses of Sanathana dharam in the name of comparitive study. A hindu doesn’t need anysort of comparitive study.
    Closing with a upanishadic Statement : Aim Atma Brahama, Prajnaam Braham , Ahm Brahmaasmi
    Claims conciousness manifest itself through prana – So Prana is the truth no doubt.
    Atman is satyasa satyam says shankara bhgwatpadar.
    Every aspect Bharathyeetha has multiple diamensions once may consdier transcendent and immanent which cannot be seen Abrahamic CULT
    So my friend further interested in knowing about Sanathana Dharma don’t jump into Vedas and vedanta because that science is for sadhaks – first step to understand Bhagwat gheetha the 5th veda you need tapascharya to infer the actual content else we endup doing lip service as what other do on social media.
    Jai Hindu Rashtra.

  10. anonymous bee  October 20, 2016 at 6:27 am

    I think u get it wrong goddess parvati didn’t use to create ganesha but turmeric. She was bathing using turmeric so that time, she use turmeric to create god ganesha not dirt.


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