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  • Neha Dicholkar

The Snake around lord Ganesha's belly

Updated: May 13, 2020

Have you ever noticed a snake around lord Ganesha’s belly in pictures or on idols? How did a snake land on his belly?

In Bharatanatyam, the repertoire usually starts with a dance piece called as Pushpanjali (Pushpa- flowers & Anjali - offering) followed by a Prayer Shloka. The first Shloka most dancers learn is that of lord Ganesha, honoring his title of the ‘Lord of beginnings’. In the below picture you see a particular pose with distictive hand gestures, the most typical way to depict lord Ganesha in Bharatanatym. The gestures symbolise Ganesha with a snake near his belly, the right and left kapitha mudra depicts lord Ganesha holding the two ends of the snake.

But what is the reason for this depiction?

It was Ganesha’s birthday, his mother Parvati had made twenty one types of delicious modaks or puddings for him. Birthday boy had too many modaks that day. Come on, we cannot judge him, anybody can fall for modaks and he is Ganesha, modaks are his weakness.

He then went on for his evening ride on mushak (a tiny mouse). Since Ganesha was a little heavier than usual today, little mushak could not take his weight and lost balance. Ganesha toppled, his stomach burst open and all the modaks or puddings were all on the floor. Ganesha gathered all his modaks and stuffed them back in his tummy. And started looking for something to help him hold his belly together. That’s when he saw a snake, he held the snake by it’s ends with either of his hands and tied it around to make a fancy belt. Witnessing this event was the handsome , Chandra, yes the moon! जिसके चेहरे पे अब दाग है (the one with marks on his face), you know how he got those patches on his face now :D . He was cursed to lose his light gradually for 15 days of a month and eventually gain it back in the next 15 days.

Moral of the story

What is the story trying to tell us? The mushak depicts one’s ego. You need to keep it under control or you will topple. And just in case you topple in life, get up, gather your self together , seal that wound and get going. And if anyone mocks or judges your plan then remember my friend, Karma is a :D

Here is a hint on the next story - it's about a dwarf!

Any Guesses? No GOT fans not Tyrion :P

Stay tuned :D

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