Answer by Raakhee V. Menon:
Thank you for the A2A.
Lord Ganesha is generally depicted as a happy and easily pleased deity. So it’s not often that you hear stories of his ‘other side’. There are just two that I know.
Ganesha & The Moon
Ganesha is known to be very fond of modaks or sweet dumplings. Once his mother Parvati made Him a lot of modaks for His birthday. He ate and ate until His belly grew to an enormous size. He was going on His vaahana, the mouse, and unable to bear His weight, the mouse tripped over a snake in its path. Ganesha fell down and it is said that that all the modaks fell outside. He put them all back inside His stomach and tied it with the snake.
Seeing this, the moon laughed uncontrollably making Ganesha get very angry. He glared angrily at the moon and cursed the moon that hereafter nobody would look at the moon and if they do, great ill luck would befall them. The Moon, who was very proud of it’s beauty, was very upset and begged for forgiveness. Indra advised the Moon to chant the ekakshara mantra to appease Ganesha’s anger.
Raktorakangangkasha Kusumayutah Tundialah Chandramoulih
Nethraih Yuktistribhih Vamanakaracharano Beejapundadhanah
Hastagra Kalusa Pashankasharada Varado Nagavaktrohi Bhoosho
Devaha Padamasano No Havatu Natsuro Bhootayae Vighnarajaha
After a while, Ganesha’s anger was appeased and He blessed the moon that only on Ganesha’s birthday, nobody should look at the moon, and that if they inadvertently do, the misfortune may be averted by listening to the story of the Syamantaka Jewel.
Ganesha also tells the Moon that He will adorn His forehead with one of the forms of the Moon. This is how Ganesha came to be known as Bhalachandra, the one who adorns His forehead with the Moon.
Ganesha & Tulsi
Tulsi was born as the beautiful daughter of Lord Yama. She was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Once while roaming along the banks of the Ganga, she came across a young Lord Ganesha sitting in deep meditation. Seeing His exquisite beauty, Tulsi is said to have fallen in love with Him. She asks Him to marry her. Lord Ganesha was not looking to get married at that point of time. Moreover, He wanted to marry only a girl who was as divine as His mother Parvati, whom He considered to be the greatest woman ever. He politely declined Tulsi’s offer.
Tulsi was angered and felt insulted. She cursed Ganesha that some day, He will be married against His wish not to get married. He curses her back that she will marry an Asura and that with divine grace, she would be reborn as a plant. Tulsi understands her folly and begs for forgiveness. Ganesha tells her that among plants, she would be considered as the most auspicious one. All the deities would be pleased if she is offered to them in prayer. And that she would be especially special in the worship of Lord Vishnu. But she would remain unacceptable to Ganesha in worship. Saying thus, He left the place.
As the curse played out, Tulsi was married to the demon. After he was killed, she casts off her body and becomes the Tulsi plant.