Ganesha and Parashurama – How Ganapati Lost his Left Tusk in the battle with Parashurama?

There are numerous stories on how Ganesha lost his one tusk. One of the popular stories is that of Ganapati losing his left tusk in a fight with Parashurama – the Avatar of Bhagvan Vishnu.

Legend has it that Parashurama destroyed the Adharmic rulers on earth 21 times with Parashu or divine axe provided by Shiva. One day Parashurama reached Kailash to offer thanks to Shiva for helping him in his divine mission.

But Parashurama was stopped by Ganapati who told him that Shiva and Parvati were in a secret conversation and he was asked not to allow anyone to disturb them.

Parashurama did not listen to Ganesha and tried to force his way into Kailash. A fight ensued between them. In the end of the fight that shook the universe, Parashurama hurled his divine axe on Ganesha.

Ganesha had the power to stop the divine axe but instead choose to respect the weapon his father had blessed.

Ganapati therefore took the blow of the axe on his left tusk, which broke and fell down.

This story is mentioned in Brahmanda Purana.

Another popular story has it that Ganapati broke his tusk to write the Mahabharata.

It must be noted that there are several sculptors of Ganapati that depict him without the right tusk instead of the left tusk.