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We have several gods whose head or face or body is of animal and we worship them.

Ganesh Jee
The first name comes to our mind is not because of that god's importance or greatness but is also because he is worshipped first. Yes, you guessed it right. He is our Ganesh Jee. He is the son of Shiv Jee and Paarvatee Jee. He has a face of elephant. It is said that, he was not born like this. In fact, it is said that Paarvatee Jee created him from the dirt of her body. As she created him, he was so beautiful that she regarded him as her son. There are at least two stories very popular about this that how he got this elephant's head.

One is that, as she created him she asked him to guard her place as she was going to take bath. When she created him, Shiv was not at home, so neither he knew about his birth, nor he had seen him. He had gone to fight some Asur. By chance when Ganesh was guarding his mother's place, Shiv Jee came back and sent his Nandee to inform Paarvatee that he had come. As Nandee came to the door and wanted to enter the place, Ganesh did not allow him to go inside at any cost and got cross with him. He defeated Nandee. It was the first time that Nandee was stopped from going inside and got defeated. He went back to Shiv and told him that a child had defeated him.

Shiv Jee filled with rage he himself came and wanted to go inside, but he also had to face Ganesh first before entering the place. Ganesh fought with him also, and Shiv Jee cut his head and entered the place triumphantly. When Paarvatee Jee saw him inside, she immediately asked him how did he come inside? He said - "There was a child sitting outside, he dared to fight with me, I killed him and came inside." Paarvatee started crying hearing this. Then she told him that he was their son, and she loved him very much. Hearing this Shiv Jee got worried, but considering the gravity of situation, he immediately sent his Gan instructing that go to north, find the first child and bring his head. His Gan went, found a baby elephant, cut his head and brought it to Shiv Jee. Shiv Jee fixed it on the body of Ganesh Jee and he came alive. Paarvatee Jee got very happy to find her son alive and well.

Another Story
Another story goes like this that Shiv and Paarvatee Jee had their first son. Both were very happy to get a son. Celebrations were made to mark the occasion. All Devtaa came to congratulate Shiv and Paarvatee and brought gifts also for the baby. When celebrations were over, guests started going back to their abodes one by one. They made a line to see the baby and present the gift. Paarvatee Jee was sitting carrying her son in her lap. Everybody used to come, look at the face of the baby, say a short sentence about him, present the gift to him and went away. Shani Dev also came there, but he did not look at the baby and stood turning his face opposite to the child, blessed him and started proceeding.

Shiv and Paarvatee Jee did not like his way to bless the baby and requested him to look at him at least once. Shani Dev did not want to look at the baby, but when Paarvatee Jee insisted very much, he said - "Devee, Everybody knows that my sight is very inauspicious, I do not want to create any unpleasant environment by looking at the baby, please excuse me." This time Paarvatee Jee threatened him, so he just turned his head a little bit and looked at the baby with a slanting sight. As his sight fell on the baby, his head got cut and fell down.

Paarvatee Jee started crying and abusing Shani Dev. Shani Dev asked for their forgiveness and said to them - "I told you before, but you did not listen to me. What can I do? My sight is like this." Paarvatee Jee started crying more loudly and she cursed all Devtaa - "From now on no Devtaa will have his own child from his own wife." All Devtaa got scared hearing this curse, but could not do anything. Vishnu considering the gravity of situation, sent His ride Garud to bring  the head of first baby as soon as possible. Garud Jee got a head of a baby elephant, he brought it to Vishnu and He then fixed it on the body of the baby. The baby came alive. Later Shiv Jee appointed him as the head of is Gan and instructed all to worship him first. That is why he is called Ganesh and he is worshipped before any Devtaa in every Poojaa.

Hanumaan Jee
The second name is of Hanumaan Jee. He is the great and faithful servant of Shree Raam. He is the most worshipped deity and has maximum number of temples in his name. His mother Punjikaasthalee was cursed by Agastya Muni to become a she-monkey. On asking how she would be released from her curse, Muni told that when she would have a child from Shiv Jee, she would be released. So she did Tap for Shiv Jee and asked him the boon to have a son from him. Shiv jee said - "When you feel the wind around you, take it granted that you will have a child from me." One day she was standing on a hilltop, that the wind enveloped her, she got conscious and asked - "Who is that who is breaking my Paativrat?" Pavan Dev said - "It is I who want to give you a son. Punjikaasthalee recollected Shiv's words and got satisfied. Pavan Dev further said - "When I drop something in your lap, you should eat it." and went away. One day when Punjikaasthalee was and standing Pavan Dev dropped something in her hands. She ate it and then Hanumaan Jee was born to that she-monkey. As he was born to her, she got released from Muni's curse. Later by the grace of Shree Raam and Seataa he became immortal and had all the powers. Read about him at Hanumaan Jee.

Garud Jee
Garud Jee is the Vaahan (ride) of Vishnu. He is worshipped in all Vishnu temples. He is the son of Kashyap and his one of the 13 wives Vinataa's son. He is in the form of a bird. Read all about him at Garud.

Nandee Jee
Nandee Jee is the bull and the Vaahan of Shiv and Paarvatee Jee. All Shiv Temples have Nandee's idol just at the entrance of the temple. It always faces towards Shiv Ling. The other Shiv family members are Ganesh Je and Paarvatee Jee, so when people go to Shiv Temple, they worship all four. First they worship Nandee Jee. Without Nandee's permission one cannot enter Shiv's abode.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/9/09
Updated on 10/01/13