Analasura was a rakshasa who was very powerful and invincible. His very name ANALA means “fire”. His eyes were fiery. His very breath would burn and destroy everything it came in contact with. And his mouth emitted fire. He had a boon from Brahma, the Creator that no weapon whatsoever could harm him. Arrogant and vain, that he had conquered death and become immortal, Analasura went about torturing and harassing people on the surface of the earth as well as the gods in heaven.
Tired of Analasura’s endless attacks on them, all the devatas went to Vaikunta to seek the Lord’s help. Lord Vishnu told them that his Sudarshana Chakra cannot destroy him and told them to invoke Lord Shiva. All of them went to Kailasa and told Lord Shiva the havoc that Analasura was creating. Lord Shiva too told them that his mighty Trishul would not be able to counter the evil rakshasa. Lord Ganapati who was also present there heard everything. He immediately told them all not to worry and he would destroy the demon. Lord Vinayaka challenged the rakshasa to a dual war. The rakshasa fought fiercely and rushed forward in his huge form towards Ganesha.
The Lord immediately assumed his huge cosmic (virat) form. He caught hold of Analasura and swallowed him up. As a result of this, the heat generated in Ganesha’s stomach became unbearable. To reduce the heat, Lord Varuna showered water on him. Sankara tied the snake which is cold to the touch around Ganesha’s waist, Lord Chandra, the cool moon sat on his head and Lord Vishnu gave the lotus which is always in water to his hands, but none of them were capable of removing the tremendous heat which was consuming Ganesha.
A group of Rishis who were performing a yagna heard of Ganesha’s trouble. They came there with a bunch of Durva Grass which they were using for their yagna. They tied twenty one blades of Durva grass into a bundle and asked Ganapathi to swallow it. The moment the Durva grass entered his stomach, the heat and the burning sensation completely subsided. Lord Ganapati was so happy at the marvel of this divine creation of the Creator! Durva grass seemed so insignificant amongst the created, and yet, so profound were its benefits. Ganapati declared that in future whoever worshipped him with the offering of Durva grass would earn his grace and blessings for sure.
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