Lord Ganesha - The Unsung Scribe

A few years back I was addressing a group of college students on the topic related to Vedas and since the Ganapati festival was approaching I happened to ask one question to them in that correlation.

Guys tell me what is Ganesha majorly known for?

Student: Sir it's Modak /Dumpling

Me: (Shocked) You mean for eating Modak?

Student: Yes (with full confidence)

That was the only response I got.

I was like this is not happening. Pinch me real hard! I must be dreaming.


Believe me, this was a group of students from Pune which is known for its massive Ganpati festival celebration not someone from Kanyakumari. 

This sheer ignorance is the result of actions taken by Britishers pre-Independence(Read my blog -Death of Nation) and the inaction of Indians post-Independence of India.

Without knowing much about the personality - which is Ganesha in this case the festival is nothing but putting on Honey Singh's song - Aaj blue hai pani pani pani and dancing. Is that the only significance?

Atheism in itself doesn't have much standing. It stands because of the atheistic behavior of the theist. 

Vedavyas was on his project to pen down all the Vedic literature as the kali yuga was going to start and the people of kaliyuga were going to be of short-term memory they can't just remember the knowledge just by hearing it once which was the traditional process of knowledge transfer down the line called oral reception.

As he was planning to write Mahabharat, which was going to be the largest and most complex epic of all time to come. He was looking for a scribe or someone who can write it down while he would dictate it.

Brahma suggested the name of Ganesh. I mean who can be better than him for this task?

Thus, while Ganeshji agreed to be Ved Vyas’s scribe, he laid a specific condition. Here’s how the conversation (source: Mahabharata Adiparva (1.1.112-115)

Vedavyas to Ganesha :

लेखको भारतस्यास्य भव त्वं गणनायक।।
मयैव प्रोच्यमानस्य मनसा कल्पितस्य च।।

O Ganesha, (request you) to become the writer of this Bharat, (Mahabharat now) as I narrate it. I have already developed it in my mind.

Ganesha to Vedavyas:
श्रुत्वैतत्प्राह विघ्नेशो यदि मे लेखनी क्षणम्।
लिखतो नावतिष्ठेत तदा स्यां लेखको ह्यहम्।।

Having heard so, Vignesh says – if my pen doesn’t stop even for a bit , then I can become your writer. 

Basically, Ganeshji challenges Ved Vyasji to narrate without a pause- keep talking non-stop till the story ends. A normal person would have given up right then. But Vyas muni wasn’t the one to be bogged down by such literary challenges. He says

Vedavyas to Ganesha:
व्यासोऽप्युवाच तं देवमबुद्ध्वा मा लिख क्वचित्।

Vyasji replies – O deva – (but) you do not write anything without understanding it.

Ganesha to Vedavyas:
ओमित्युक्त्वा गणेशोपि बभूव किल लेखकः।।

The Lord of wisdom only had one option now, to say yes, and he did – ” Om” said Ganesh, and became the scribe!

Whenever Vyasji would need a break for his routine activity he would compose an overly complicated verse. Since Ganesh promised to write only after understanding the verse his pen would stop and Vyasji would manage to get some free time. 

Generally, he would compose 99 verses at one shot and give the 100th verse as a complicated one, so till the time, Ganesh decode the 100th verse Vyasji would compose the next 100 verses. Like this, it took 3 years of joint efforts by both of them to pen down Mahabharat.

In Mana ( 3km from Badrinath - Himalayan Mountains ) there are still those two caves  Vyasa Gufa and Ganesh Gufa where they would stay and two hills upon which they sat while writing Mahabharat.

Still on the Ganesha gufa you can find the below verse engraved. 

ज्ञानार्थवाचको गश्च णश्च निर्वाणवाचक:।

तयोरीशं परं ब्रह्म गणेशं प्रणमाम्यहम्।।

“ग – Ga” implies knowledge “ण – Na” implies moksha. To the one who is the master (ईश) of both Knowledge & Moksha -To Ganesha (ग+ण+ ईश – गणेश) , I bow !

While writing the Mahabharat to match the speed of Vyasji, Ganesh was writing quite fast and the pen couldn't stand the pace and thus broke. To keep the momentum so that the service shouldn't stop Ganesh broke his one of tusk and continued writing.

Now here we are who blatantly dare to call ourselves devotees of Ganesh, who have not even read the Mahabharat for which Ganesh broke his own tusk. At least we should take some time out to read Bhagavad Gita which is the most important episode of Mahabharat.

Let this Ganesh Utsav be different by reading Gita.

Buy a copy of Mahabharat & Gita from here.

Have you heard this story before or what else do you want others to know about Lord Ganesh post in comments section?

Also Read:-

1.How Bhagavad Gita Changed My Life | Part 1 | Hostel Life Begins


  1. Loved the statement,"Atheism in itself doesn't have much standing. It stands because of the atheistic behavior of the theist". It also reminds me how great responsibility we thiests have to practice what we speak and preach

  2. I am really impressed with your writing style. Keep it up!👏

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