When Parvati, the mother of Ganesha, saw her son's head burned into ashes at the sight of Shani, she was profoundly disturbed, and commanded her guest somewhat sharply at once to restore the head of her child. To this, Shani smiled pleasantly, and pointed out that the head as such no longer existed and the same lay in ashes before them. Then the mother ordered to bring her the head of the first one he meets, and Shani had no option but to obey her instructions. The head of someone could be bought who would be found doing any guilt, and the emissary of Shani found no one inadvertently doing wrong, till suddenly he came upon an elephant sleeping with his head to the north. This trifling fault brought him under the jurisdiction, and the servant hastily cut off his head and returned to put it on the body of the infant. It is thus believed that for this reason Lord Ganesha wears an elephant-head.
This legend of Shani gives an indication of the great power of Shani as well as the faith with which Shani is thus connected, the tree on which the new belief is grafted, the worship of Ganesha, are perhaps the oldest of organized and popular worships in India. It is also appealing to see that the very point in the image of Ganesha that is so anomalous and tantalizing to us was held likewise inexplicable at the time of the incoming Saturn and the other planets. Long, long ago had the worship of the gentle Ganesha gone out to the nations of the farther East, and now the fear of Shani was added to it in the land of its birth from foreign sources.