Ganesha is the youngest member of Lord Shiva's family and is known to be very dear to all the Hindu deities mentioned in the Hindu mythology. Though, there are many famous tales associated with the birth of Ganesha or Ganesh, the most popular is that in which his mother prepares a statue from clay and blesses it with life. The statue turns into none other than Ganesha, who is known to be fond of sweets. The following information talks about other members of the family to which Lord Ganesha belongs.
Shiva, the Destroyer
Lord Shiva, the father of Ganesha, is one of three supreme Hindu Gods, the other two being Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. Known to reside at Kailasa Mountain, Shiva is worshipped with different names like Sankara, Rudra, Neelkanth and many more.
Shiva is held responsible for unknowingly cutting the head of his own son, Ganesha, when the latter denied him permission to enter the quarters of Goddess Parvati, Shiva's wife. However, Shiva restored Ganesha to life after discovering the latter to be his own son. Apart from that, Shiva also announced that Ganesha would be worshipped before any other God or Goddess by people in the universe during any type of ceremony.
Parvati, the Shakti
Goddess Parvati, popularly known as Shakti, the power, is the mother of Ganesha. The Goddess is considered to be the center of whole of the energy prevailing in the universe. Parvati is believed to be the second incarnation of Sati, the first wife of Lord Shiva. Kown by other names like Gauri, Bhairavi, Bhavani and many more, Parvati is considered to be very near to her son, Ganesha.
As mentioned earlier, Parvati created Ganesha as a statue from clay to guard the quarters, while she went to take a bath. Apart from the story mentioned in the last section, another famous tale tells how Ganesha got an elephant head. Ganesha's head was turned to ashes, when the cursed God Shani had a look at the newborn child. However, Lord Vishnu soon replaced Ganesh's head with one of elephant.
Famous Ganesh gifts consist of portraits and statues, depicting young Ganesha with his father and mother.
Kartikeya, the Brother
Kartikeya or Skanda is the brother of Ganesha, though their birth chronology is a matter of debate. Kartikeya is a popular deity among South Indians and also the residents of countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore. As per the legends, Ganesha once defeated his brother in a competition by acting wiser.
Riddhi and Siddhi
Though Ganesha is believed to be a bachelor, in some parts of India, he is believed to have two wives, named Riddhi, who represent prosperity and Siddhi, who represent the spiritual power. It is also believed that the Lord has a third wife, named Buddhi, representing wisdom.
Shubha and Labha
Shubha and Labha are known to be the two sons of Lord Ganesha, the former representing auspiciousness and the latter one representing profit.