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Gajasuramardana Siva, Slayer of Gajasura

"The demon Gajasura (also knows as Nila ) was a friend of Andhaka's. Nila took the form of an elephant and attacked Shiva, but was killed by one of Shiva's attendants. Two representations of Shiva from this battle, often combined, are Shiva Andhakasuravadha (impaling Andhaka) and Shiva Gajasamharara (dancing on Nila's decapitated head or underneath his butchered skin).

Gajaharamurti is said to have been sent by sages of Darukavana to kill Siva for seducing their wives as Bhikshatana. Siva killed the elephant and opened his head.

Another story of Gajasura explains that the rakshasa called Gajasura was an ardent devotee of Lord Siva who underwent penance for many years to receive special boons. Siva, who is easily pleased by prayers, was moved by Gajasura's devotion, and offered a boon. Gajasura asked Siva to reside in his belly, and Siva agreed.

Meanwhile on Mount Kailash, Parvati was anxious to know the whereabouts of her husband and finally approached Lord Vishnu for help. Vishnu disguised himself in the form of a street player along with Nandi, Siva's bull carrier, and the two set out in search of Shanker (Siva). In Gajasura's kingdom, Nandi performed a dance to please the demon. In thanks, Gajasura let Siva out of his stomach, but prayed that he would be allowed to be immortal in the memories of people. To fulfill this wish, Lord Siva severed Gajasura's head and freed him from the cycle of birth and death. He carries the head along with him.

On Mount Kailash, Parvati comes to know of Vishnu's victory and is very happy. She creates a doll out of the dough that she uses in her bath, and calls him Vinayak - the one who puts off all obstacles. This boy having never seen Siva, prevents his entry into the palace. In a fit of fury Shiva beheads the boy and enters the palace. Parvati is unaware of the happenings and receives Siva with warmth, for he had returned after a long period. During the course of their conversation, Siva mentions the incident at the palace gates and tells her about severing the child's head. Parvati is shocked to hear the news and pleads with Siva to bring the child back to life for he is like a son to her.

Shiva who had with him the head of Gajasura, immediately puts it on the torso of the dead child, thus bringing him back to life and blessing him with a boon that the entire world would worship him in remembrance of that day.