How Ganesh Got His Elephant Head

Excerpts & Samples

By Harish Johari

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Harish Johari

Harish Johari
Harish Johari (1934-1999) was a distinguished North Indian author, Tantric scholar, poet,musician, composer, artist, and gemologist who held degrees in philosophy and literature and made it his life's work to introduce the culture of his homeland to the West. Here is a hot link to a web si More...



The magical story of how Ganesh, the son of Shiva and Parvati, was brought back to life with the head of an elephant

• The story of one of the most beloved characters in Indian lore, made accessible for Western children ages 6 to 9

• Illustrated throughout with paintings from the classic Indian tradition

Any Indian child can tell you how the beloved god Ganesh got his elephant’s head--now American children can know as well. For centuries Indian children have grown up hearing Ganesh’s story--how his mother, Parvati (an incarnation of the great mother goddess), created a small boy from sandalwood soap and commanded that he guard the palace against all intruders while she took her bath. How her husband, Shiva (the fearsome god of destruction), didn’t take kindly to being barred from his own home. How Shiva beheaded the boy during the cosmic war that followed, but then, when he realized that the balance of the entire universe was at stake, brought the boy back to life by grafting an elephant’s head onto his body and made him the people’s intercessor against the powers of destruction.

Ganesh’s timeless story teaches children about the steadfast power of dedication to duty, the awe-inspiring power of a mother’s love for her child, and the gentle power of compassion, which holds the world together. Accompanied by rich, color illustrations prepared according to the traditional Hindu canon, How Ganesh Got His Elephant Head will transport children to a magical world filled with ancient wisdom.

"Ganesh's timeless story teaches children about the power of dedication to duty, and how compassion holds the world together."
AZNetNews, December-January 2004

". . . a beautiful retelling of a classic Indian tale."
In the Library Reviews, May 8, 2005

"Entertaining, enjoyable, and clearly written, . . . will share with readers very important themes in Hindu culture.", Oct 21, 2005

"Although this book is meant for children aged 6 - 9, my daughter and I have enjoyed this book immensely. It is a very entertaining story with great introduction to Indian Gods. . . . I'll definitely be buying more children's books by these authors."
Amanda Bugeaud, Timeless Spirit Magazine, July 2007

"The story embodies ancient and magical themes that are not common in Western literature."
Spirit of Change, May/June 2004