Story of Lord Ganesha and Ravana the Demon
One day, the Ravana, demon king of Lanka and an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, undertook very difficult tapas to pray Lord Shiva that his Lanka should never be destroyed. As a consequence, Lord Shiva gave him an Aathma Lingam (Shiv idol, the symbol of Lord Shiva) with the condition that Ravana would go back on foot to Lanka and that he would not put down the Lingam at any point. If he were to put the Lingam down the Lingam would remain firmly at that spot. After that, he would become unconquerable.
Overjoyed, Ravana welcomed the Lingam. However, the Devas felt afraid of the power that demon Ravana could obtain. The devas were worried that the Aathma Lingam would add to the might of Ravanas and that he would never be destroyed if he succeeded in taking the Aathma Lingam to Lanka. They prayed to Lord Ganesha for help.
Then, Lord Ganesha caused Ravana’s stomach to be filled with water. Varuna, the god of Waters, penetrated into the Ravana’s abdomen, causing him troubles which forced him to stop on his way. Ravana was convulsed with pain, but careful not to lay down the Lingam on the ground, as requested expressly by Shiva. Ravana grew desperate to answer nature’s call. Ganesha appeared before Ravana as a small boy. Ravana handed over the Aathma Lingam to the boy.
Ganesha declared that he couldn’t wait for long and on growing tired, he would call out Ravana’s name thrice and if he did not come and take the lingam, He would place it on the ground and go away. Ganesha called Ravanas name thrice Ravana could not come, so He placed the Aathma Lingam on the ground. Ravana tried to remove the lingam from the ground but, in spite of using his twenty hands, he could not budge the lingam. Ravana started chasing the boy to hit Him on His heads.
Lord Ganesha showed His true form and blessed Him. Ravana realized his limitations and admitted the huge power of Ganesh. The place where the Lingam was deposited is called Gokarna, and is located on the Karnataka western coast; it is a worshipping place till nowadays.
The Moral of the Story: The demon is always defeated at the very end, specially when he thinks himself very powerful.
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