GANESHA HOLDS THE COSMIC EGG IN HIS STOMACH
There is also a legend about Ganesha’s prominent abdomen. It is said that the god of wealth, Kubera, once invited the divine couple Shiva and Shakti for dinner, to boast about his wealth.
The divine couple declined the invitation, sending instead their divine son, and asking Kubera to feed Ganesha who was very hungry. Kubera laughed, saying “With my wealth I can feed an army of children such as this one!”.
Ganesha sat calmly at the table and started eating. First he ate all the food available, then the furniture, than the entire palace. Frightened, Kubera heard the little god saying: “You promised my parents you would feed me. Do so, or I will have to eat you as well.”
Kubera ran for his life, and asked Shiva for help. Shiva gave him some rice, and advised Kubera to give this rice with deep humility to Ganesha. Kubera came back.
Meanwhile, Ganesha’s stomach had become gigantic, but he was as joyful as ever. When Kubera offered him the rice with great humility, Ganesha’s hunger was finally sated.
Legend has it that Ganesha is represented this way because he also ate the Cosmic Egg.
THE PATRON OF THE GANA-S (BEINGS)
There is a very significant story revealing the way in which this god had become the patron of the Gana-s, and earned the name “Ganesha”.
During the ancient times, Shiva was the unique master of the gods, demi-gods, people, demons, phantoms, spirits, and all other beings in existence.
But because he was always in the state of divine ecstasy (samadhi), the gods and the other beings found it very difficult to communicate with him.
Any time they were in trouble, they needed to spend hours on end praying and singing songs so that Shiva would come down to their state of consciousness.
Therefore, the gana-s felt they needed another leader, who would be easier to call upon and who would solve their problems as well as protect them when needed.
They went to Brahma, but he could not help them with this problem, so they turned to Vishnu to persuade Shiva to appoint a new Ganapati (leader of the gana-s). Vishnu suggested that they should pick one of Shiva’s sons Kartikaya or Lambodar (Ganesha) as a leader.
In order to decide whom of the two deserved the title of Ganesha, the gods and demi-gods decided to organize a contest. At the established day, they all came to the contest presided by Vishnu and attended by Shiva and Shakti.
Vishnu announced the test: the two should tour the universe, and the first to arrive back would be appointed Ganesha, the lord of all gana-s.
After announcing the trial, Kartikeya flew into space right away, riding his fast peacock, in order to cross the universe as quickly as possible. During all this, Ganesha stood still on his rat, without moving an inch.
Vishnu, noticing that Ganesha did not move, told him to hurry. Since Vishnu was insisting so much, Ganesha smiled, paid his homage at the feet of his mother and father, humbly saluted all those present, and then flew away on his rat.