Lord Shiva had two sons, Ganesh and Kartikeya. The elder one Kartikeya was powerful, swift and a great warrior, while the younger one Ganesha was fat and slow in action. Once Kartikeya declared that he was the best among all gods. Hence Lord Shiva decided that he and Ganesha should contest a race by circling the universe to decide who should be worshipped first. Kartikeya confidently accepted the challenge. He started circling the universe on his peacock. Ganesha, on his rat began to circle his parents whom he regarded as his universe. He completed the race much before his elder brother. That is why on auspicious occasions, Hindus worship Lord Ganesha before worshipping any other god.
Message: Respect your parents.
Source: “Mastering Essay & Answer Writing for UPSC Civil Services IAS/ IPS & State PSC Main Exam” by Dr Awdhesh Singh, available at