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||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 4 to 6
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||clarity, fertility, happening, hereby, insight, accompany, molded, deity, destruction, loyalty, various, beloved, refused, miracle, religion, entire
By Vickie Chao
1 India is home of a religion called Hinduism. Hinduism has many gods. It has Brahma, the god of creation. It has Shiva, the god of destruction. It has Vishnu, the god of preservation. It has Parvati, the goddess of fertility. The list goes on and on. Of all the deities, however, there is one that really stands out. This particular god, named Ganesh, has the body of a chubby boy and the head of a baby elephant. Ganesh is the god of knowledge. It is also the remover of obstacles.
2 People in India love Ganesh. But they cannot seem to agree on how Ganesh got its elephant head. Among the various versions, here is a popular one.
3 Back in the early times, Shiva and Parvati were husband and wife. They adored each other. But Shiva often had to travel to places faraway. He was not always at home to accompany Parvati. One day while he was away again, Parvati wanted to take a bath in her private chamber. To be sure that nobody disturbed her, she used sandalwood paste and molded a little boy. Once that was done, she breathed into it. Suddenly, the little boy sprang forth and came alive!
4 The little boy said, "Dear mother, what can I do for you?"
5 Parvati replied, "My dear son, please stand in front of the palace door and allow no one to pass, so I can take a relaxing bath." With that said, Parvati returned to her private chamber and closed the door.
6 The little boy took his duty seriously. He marched back and forth in front of the palace.
7 For a while, nothing was happening. There was no visitor. There was no intruder. Even so, the little boy never let his guard down. Then, all of a sudden, he saw a man approaching the palace. He stood firm and blocked the man's path. The man was furious. He wanted to get into the palace. But the little boy would have none of it. He remembered his mother's words well. He would allow no one to disturb Parvati.
8 The little boy did not know that this man was no ordinary man. This man was Shiva, his father.
9 Shiva was very mad! He did not know why this little boy refused to let him go back to his own home! The two fought. In a fit of rage, Shiva slashed the little boy's head by accident.
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