Monday, September 15, 2014

Kuttu on our forehead for Ganesha

Why do we beat with our fists on our forehead while offering prayers to lord Ganesha?
Again I have two versions of history.

1. Ravana
Ravana was performing tapas at mount Kailash. Lord shiva was pleased by his tapas and asked him what boon does he want? Ravana replied, "his Kingdom Lanka should not be destroyed by his enemies.". Shiva the gave an atma lingam to Ravana and asked him to take to Lanka by foot, without keeping it down anywhere In the middle. Ravana agreed and proceeded towards Lanka with the lingam in his hands. The devas were worried about this and went to Ganesha and told the matter. They asked Ganesha to break Ravana's Plan. Ganesha assured them that he will take care of that and need not worry about it. So when Ravana was crossing a river, Ganesha created thirst and as a result ravana drank lots of water from the river. As he moved further, as per nature's rule, he wanted to answer it's call. But he can't keep the linga down. So he saw if anybody comes for his rescue. A small boy came by that side. Ravana asked that boy could hold the linga for a while and he shall return soon. The boy agreed but posted a warning that, he being a small boy could not hold the linga for a long time and if it pains, he will call Ravana thrice and if he didn't return, the linga will be kept down. Ravana agreed to that and went. No sooner did he went that side, than the boy called his name thrice and kept the linga on the earth. It was fixed at that spot. Ravana immediately came and saw that. He tried to take the linga away. But that's all in vain. Since his hands pressed so strongly on the linga, the elliptical shape of the linga turned out to be that of a cow's ear and the place came to be known as gokarnam. And even the mighty Ravana was unable to move the linga, it was named as mahabaleshwara.

Raging with anger, Ravana, hit the boy on his forehead with his fist. Boy turned out as lord Ganesha and blessed Ravana. To co-memorate this incident, we also hit our forehead with our fists in front of Ganesha.

2. Vibheeshana
After attending Sri Rama pattabhishekam at Ayodhya, vibheeshana got the idol of Sri ranganatha who is the Family deity of ikshvahu. Rama gave it to vibheeshana as his gift. Rama told vibheeshana if he keep the idol down, then it will stay at the same place. None can move it. Vibheeshana agreed and proceeded to Lanka. While he was crossing the river Kaveri near trichy, he was tempted to have a bath in the holy river. So he saw for someone who could help him in keeping the idol. As usual a small boy came for his help. He got the idol and told him that he can't keep it long and asked him to come as soon as possible. Soon, the boy called vibheeshana. But it took sometime for him to come and collect the idol. The boy placed the idol down, with its face facing the south, the direction of Lanka. Vibheeshana became angry and hit the boy with his fist on the forehead and there appeared Ganesha. Even now one can see the mark on uchi pillayar's forehead. The place where the ranganatha idol was placed is today's Sri Rangam.

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