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Story of Ganesha as Gajanana and Lobhasura

Gajanana is one of the eight avatars of Ganesha as per the Mudgala Purana. It is stated in the Mudgala Purana that one of the mission of the Gajanana Avatar was to annihilate Lobhasura – the demon greed.

Kubera, the treasurer of wealth, once visited Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Pleased with the devotion of Kubera, Shiva blessed him with the vision of the divine couple whenever he wanted.

After the blessing Kubera made it a point to have the vision of divine couple daily. Soon Kubera was enamored by the beauty of Goddess Parvati and he gazed Her with lustful thoughts. Goddess Parvati who realized this gave an angry look at Kubera. Kubera was trembling in fear at the look of the Goddess and from the fear was born the demon named Lobhasura.

Lobhasura did penance and propitiated Shiva. He was granted the boon of fearlessness. The spiritual strength and lack of fear made Lobhasura powerful and he became to the ruler of the three worlds.

Power made the asura corrupt and he led a demonic life killing and looting innocents. Fed up with Lobhasura, people approached Sage Raibhya. He instructed them to offer prayers to Ganesha in Gajanana form.

Gajanana was pleased with the devotion of the people and decided to annihilate the demon. Ganesha did not want war and destruction. So He asked Vishnu to apprise Lobhasura of the strength of Gajanana.

Vishnu was able to convince Lobhasura about Gajanana's strength and the futility of opposing him. Lobhasura who also had a spiritual side realized that he did not have the power to stand before Ganesha. The demon surrendered before Gajanana without a fight.

Symbolically, the story indicates that those who are overpowered by the demon of greediness can overcome it by surrendering before Gajanana.