Do you know how Mooshaka became the vehicle of Lord Ganesha?

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There was a Gandharva called Krauncha. Once, in the sabha of Indra, Krauncha accidentally stepped on the foot of Rishi Vamadeva. The sage cursed him, saying, 'You will become a mooshaka.' Krauncha prayed for shapa moksha. The Rishi said, 'You will become the vehicle of Shree Ganesha, and he will give you mukti.'

So Krauncha became a huge, mountain-like mooshaka with enormous tusks and, with a loud thud, fell upon the ashrama of Parashara Maharshi on Earth. He started creating havoc in the Maharshi’s ashrama, breaking everything and uprooting trees. He ate all the grains that were there in the ashrama.

The sage became very worried. 'Let me go away from this place. What to do now? There is no one to help.'

Lord Ganesha had taken avatar as a young boy and was staying in the Maharshi’s ashrama. The Lord told the Maharshi, 'Don’t worry, I will take care of him.' The Maharshi was surprised, wondering how a small boy could tackle this huge monster.

The Lord instantly tied down the enormous mooshaka with a rope and climbed on top of him. The mooshaka struggled hard to throw the Lord down, fiercely shaking and jumping up and down. He climbed up into the sky and dived down, thinking that at least this would throw off the boy sitting on top of him. But nothing happened.

The mooshaka realized that this was no ordinary boy. The Lord took control of the mooshaka’s mind. He became respectful towards the Lord. The Lord said, 'Ask for a boon.' Still, arrogance had not left the mooshaka. He said, 'You ask for a boon from me.' The Lord replied, 'Then you become my vehicle.'

Thus, the mooshaka became the Lord's vehicle. Mooshaka is also the symbol on Lord Ganesha's flag. Mooshaka in Sanskrit means thief, because the mouse steals grains and other items. Lord Ganesha is Paramatma; he resides in every being. By residing in every being, he undergoes the experiences of every being. In that sense, he 'steals' the experiences of every being. To show this to us, he has kept the mooshaka as his symbol.

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