Sri Vakra Thunda Ganapathi is one of the several names ascribed to Bhagwan Sri Ganesh. “Vakra Thunda” literally means “curved trunk”. In appearance, Sri Ganesh always keeps His trunk curved. The underlying concept is that Sri Vinayak extends the trunk and corrects evil deeds, ignorance and crookedness so that virtuosity is protected in the universe.
There are a few legends as to why Sri Vignesh is hailed as the corrector of the evilness, ignorance and devilry. A few of them are being narrated here. The narration is referred from Sri Vinayak Puran.
Once, Indra, the head of Devas had created a demon named Mathsasur due to recklessness. He could not do anything to revoke the creation.
The demon Mathsasur went berserk. He kept destroying everyone and everything in sight. The Devas including Indra were devastated.
They met Sri Dattatreya and asked for a solution. Sri Dattatreya told them to pray to Sri Vinayak for protection.
The Devas sincerely did prayer to Sri Ganesh. Sri Vignesh appeared before them and promised to take action.
He appeared with the curved trunk, confronted the Mathsasur and diminished him.
Sri Brahma’s Yagna
Once upon a time, Sri Brahma wanted to perform an Yagna for Bhagwan Shiva. He had identified the Podhigai Mountain in the South as the venue. Every facility was arranged by Him.
As per the custom, the person doing the Yagna is called Yajamana. It is the duty of the Yajamana to consult his wive(s) before commencing Yagna.
Sri Brahma had two wives, Sri Savithri and Sri Gayathri. He took only Sri Gayathri to the Yagna. He had ignored Sri Savithri.
The Yagna commenced and all the Devas including Indra and Sri Vishnu had attended. Suddenly Sri Savithri came there. She had questioned Brahma on the veracity of the Yagna.
As She did not get any proper response, She had cursed the participants “You all had come here even if you know that this Yagna is done without adopting the custom of getting the wife’s permission. May you all become water and flow wherever there are pits”. All the Devas had become water. The Yagna-shala also got immersed in water.
The wives of all the Devas including Sri Lakshmi asked Sri Brahma as to what had to be done. He too was clueless. He thought and had decided to seek Bhagwan Shiva’s help. He told the Ladies that he would find a way and told them not to worry.
Sri Brahma did penance on Bhagwan Shiva. Bhagwan Shiva had appeared on the Rishab Vahan with His wife Sri Parvathi Devi. Sri Brahma said “I do yagna to get your blessings. It is my mistake that I did not involve Savithri in it. But because of my mistake, now all the Devas had become water. Please show the way to revive them”.
Bhagwan Shiv said “do you think only Savithri did this? You forgot to invoke Ganapathi before doing Yagna. That dosh had resulted in all the havoc through Savithri. Pray to Ganapathi. Only He can solve the issue”.
Sri Brahma immediately called all the Deva Pathnis. He had narrated the directives issued by Bhagwan Shiva. They all instantly started praying to Sri Vinayaka. Many years had passed by. Still there was no change.
They all became vexed. Then a celestial voice said ‘’Do Puja to Sri Ganesh with Samee Patra (vanni leaves) and you will get results”. They instantly collected Vanni leaves and did Puja. All watery Devas had become real.
The Devas then built a Vinayak temple under white Mandara tree. They hailed Sri Ganpat as Sri Vakra thunda and Sri Heramba.
Sri Brahma also separately did Samee Patra puja for 12 years. With Sri Vinayaka’s blessings, Sri Savithri’s anger also came down.
Sri Brahma then did the Yagna with both Sri Savithri and Sri Gayathri, completed it and then went back to Sathyalok.
The demon Bhasmasur was destroyed by Sri Maha Vishnu in the incarnation of Sri Mohini. Bhasmasur had a son named Dhurasan.
Dhurasan did penance on Bhagwan Shiva. Bhagwan Shiva had granted the demon all boons with a rider that the end of the Asura would happen through Sri Vinayak.
Dhurasan had conquered all the Worlds. Indra, Sri Brahma and Sri Vishnu surrendered to Sri Kasi Nath, Bhagwan Shiva. However, as Bhagwan Shiva knew the effect of His boons, He had taken Sri Brahma, Sri Vishnu and other Devas for vanvas at Kedharnath.
All the Devas had worshipped Sri Para Shakthi, Sri Uma Devi for help. From Her person, Sri Vinayak had emerged with Vakra Thunda, Jata Makud on a Simha Vahan. He had promised the Devas that He would diminish Dhurasen. He had eliminated the demon in due course.
Sri Vakra Thunda Vinayak thus had corrected the troubles.