Another name for Lord Ganesha is Siddhidata. We also call him Ganapati. Ganesha has abundant knowledge. He fulfils our aspiration or our desires. In India we pray to Lord Ganesha first. We say, “Aum dakshine Ganeshaya namah.” “We bow to Lord Ganesha who dwells in the South.”
Ganesha had a younger brother, Kumara, the war god. He was the hero and the commander of the gods. As the story goes, both Ganesha and Kumara were saying to each other, “I am greater in knowledge than you are.” Their mother was Parvati, or Durga as she is called in a different aspect. She decided to prove which of the two had more knowledge. She said, “Let me see who is greater. I will sit here. Whoever can go around the world and come back first is the greater.”
Immediately Kumara stood up and ran off. He traveled on and on and on his conveyor, which was a peacock. Poor fellow, God knows how much time he took to go around the world. When he was about to reach his mother, he saw his brother still sitting at her feet. “He is such a fool,” he said to himself. “He has not even started his journey, whereas I have almost completed my course.”
Just as Kumara was about to declare “Look, Mother, I am the winner,” Ganapati simply stood up and walked around his mother. Their mother said, “Ganesha knows that his mother is the entire Universe.” Poor Kumara did not have that realisation: he thought that his mother was an ordinary human being. Ganesha is the winner.
Excerpt from The Dance Of The Cosmic Gods by Sri Chinmoy.