Home Culture How did Ganesh come to adore Modak? Stories of Ganesh and Modak

How did Ganesh come to adore Modak? Stories of Ganesh and Modak

The love of Ganesh and Modak is what a food lover’s paradise looks like. Here’s how the God of all auspiciousness come to adore this simple sweet dish.

September 10, 2021: The celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi is incomplete without modaks. People go crazy over good modaks and only on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi can they swaddle their guilty pleasures and eat modaks to full. According to mythical tales, Lord Ganesha’s favourite cuisine is modak and that’s why it’s the most sought after bhog during the 10-day puja. Here’s how the mythological fondness of Ganesh and modak came to be.

Ganesh-and-Modak-Utkal-Today
Image: Twitter

Ganesh and Modak story from the mythology

Ganesh or Ganapati Bappa’s birth anniversary celebrations usually last for 10 days. People install idols in their homes or in big pandals and modaks make for the best prasad this time.

Modaks are steamed or fried dumplings made from rice flour, wheat flour or maida. The filling of these dumplings includes grated coconut and jaggery. Steamed modaks are also known as Ukadiche Modak and are slathered with hot ghee before savouring it.

The modak is considered divine because of its mention in Puranas and various folklores of India. Some famous renditions are mentioned here.

Ganesh-and-Modak-Utkal-Today
Image: Google

Modak satiated Ganesh’s and Shiva’s hunger

Lord Shiva and Parvati once visited Anusuya, the wife of an ancient Rishi (sage) named Atri, at their home in the forest. Lord Shiva was hungry and asked to be served food at the earliest. Anusuya, however, said that she would serve Lord Shiva only once Bal Ganesha’s hunger had been satiated.

Lord Ganpati ate everything he was served but he still didn’t feel full. His mother, Goddess Parvati, too was stunned to see this. Upon realising that Lord Shiva would not have anything left to eat due to Ganpati’s insatiable hunger, Anusuya served the little lord a single piece of sweet. Ganpati let out a loud burp when he ate this, hence indicating that he was finally full. Surprisingly enough, Lord Ganesha’s burp was accompanied by Lord Shiva’s 21 burps!

When Goddess Parvati learnt that it was a modak, she expressed her wish that Lord Ganpati’s devotees must offer modaks to him, which has carried on across generations ever since.

Also Read: Yummm! Make these delicious Variations of Modak and celebrate Ganesh puja

Ganesh’s grandmother replaced modak and laddoo

Another legend is associated with Lord Ganpati’s grandmother Menavati (Goddess Parvati’s mother). Menavati would pamper her grandson by preparing laddoos for him. But as baby Ganesha grew older, so did his appetite for laddoos. Goddess Parvati realised that preparing a large number of laddoos in a short span of time might be impossible and so she decided to make another dish that he would equally relish. Hence a sweet made of rice flour, coconut, jaggery and ghee was offered to Lord Ganesha, which he happily ate till full.

Ganesh-and-Modak-Utkal-Today
Image: Twitter

Ganesh and modak: Parvati presented modak to Ganesha

According to Padma Purana, there is another interesting story regarding why Ganesha loves modak. Once the Devas (demi-gods) came to visit Shiva and Goddess Parvati and presented them a divine modak. It was a very special modak and the person who ate it was supposed to become knowledgeable in all scriptures, science, art and writing. Goddess Parvati wanted to present it to her sons – Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartik. But the brothers were not ready to share it. So, a confused Goddess Parvati finally stated that whoever among them proved the true meaning of sincerity and devotion would get the sweet.

Lord Kartik immediately mounted his vahana, or vehicle, and started visiting all the spiritual places. But Lord Ganesha went around Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, stating that no amount of offerings or fasting or visiting sacred places is equal to the devotion to one’s father and mother. Impressed by Lord Ganesha’s explanation, Goddess Parvati gave him the modak. This is believed to be the reason for Lord Ganesha’s love for this delicacy.

Written by: Aankur Pradhan

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