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Lord Shiv and Mother Parvati have two older sons; the older one is known as Lord Kartikeya and the younger one is known as Lord Ganesha (Lord Ganesha’s story of origin can be found in this section).  Yet it is widely accepted that Lord Shiv gave a special boon to Lord Ganesh that HE would be worshipped ‘first’ of all Gods in any Hindu prayer or celebration. HE is referred to as “Pratham” – Sanskrit word which means “first.”  There is another story that illustrates this and is well-known to many Hindus.  Here is that story.

Once, Lord Shiv and Mother Parvati are sitting on a rock and relaxing. The Lord calls both his sons, who were playing nearby and states, “Let’s have a competition between you boys.  Let us see which one of you can circumambulate the entire globe and come back in the shortest amount of time.” Lord Kartikeya, the elder son, immediately took off for the journey with his peacock. He was quite confident of winning the competition with his courage, strength, and quintessential martial ability. 

Lord Ganesha, using his highly evolved wisdom, knew he would be no match for his brother as he has a heavy form and slow vehicle (which was his mouse).  He thought, reflected for a while, and decided to circumambulate around his parents three times.  When questioned by his parents as to why HE did that, he replied very politely “My world is around my beloved parents.” 

When Lord Kartikeya returned, he was very surprised to see Lord Ganesha sitting there already.  Lord Ganesa told him the same story – “no one is greater than our parents, so no need for globe-trotting.” Lord Kartikeya bowed his head to their parents and admitted his defeat. 

This story has a very important moral to it.  Children should learn to honor their parents in whatever manner they are able to.  A similar message has been provided across religions.  However, in today’s world, these important lessons are often lost on us. Ideally, these lessons are revived in order to restore harmony to the world and support strong family values. 

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