Consorts of Lord Ganesha
Riddhi represents prosperity, Siddhi signifies spiritual power and Buddhi represents wisdom. His spouses are depicted in human forms who appear on either side of the elephant-headed deity. There is another goddess named ‘Vinayaki’ who is also considered to be the wife of Lord Ganesha. She is also known as ‘Ganapati Hridaya’, ‘Vighneswari’, ‘Ganeshwari’, ‘Ganesani’ and ‘Gajamukhi’. Vinayaki is generally portrayed with an elephant head like Ganesha.
Some of the legends also state that Goddess Saraswati (the goddess of knowledge, arts and music) and Goddess Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth and fortune) are also married to Lord Ganesha. Saraswati, Lakshmi and Ganesha are often worshipped together for attainment of prosperity and material welfare. Lord Ganesha and Goddess Saraswati control Buddhi (intellect), while Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha are considered to be the Gods of Riddhi (material welfare) and Siddhi (spiritual prosperity). However, the Bengali culture considers Lakshmi and Saraswati as the sisters of Lord Ganesha. Moreover in West Bengal, it is believed that Ganesha is married to ‘Kola Bou’.
Legends related to Marriage of Lord Ganesha
According to the Puranic texts, after Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya became adults, their parents Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati started to make arrangements for their marriage. Then Ganesha announced that he should be the first one to get married. As a result a conflict arose between the two brothers as Kartikeya also wished to be married first. Thus Shiva and Parvati decided whoever revolves around the world and reaches back to the starting point first would be married first. Lord Kartikeya immediately mounted his divine vahana, the peacock and began his journey from Mandaragiri. He visited every holy place that came in his way and worshipped the Gods and deities. But Lord Ganesha kept standing before his parents and continued thinking. He knew he was bulky and his vahana, the sacred mouse was not as fast as his brother’s mount. If the elephant headed deity went around a tour of the world, he would never be able to beat his brother. Hence, the Lord used his intelligence and wisdom and requested Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati to sit together.
Then Ganesha went around his parents with utmost devotion and bowed down before them. Then he demanded his reward and desired to be married immediately. When Shiva said that he did not go around the world, Ganesha replied that he revolved around his parents as they represent the entire world. This pleased both Parvati and Shiva and Lord Ganesha was declared the winner. His parents arranged for his marriage and Ganesha was married to the two daughters of PrajapatiViswarupa, Riddhi and Siddhi.