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Why we offer grass (durva) and Modak to Lord Ganesha?

Lord Ganesha is pleased when we offer durva (Bermuda grass) with 3 to 4 leaves in it to him and may fulfil our wishes. There is an old mythological story linked to this tradition. There was a time when the world was terrified by the deed of a demon called Anlaasur. Even Heaven and Paatal Lok (7th World Below Earth) fell prey to the abusive behaviour of Anlaasur. Many Saints and innocent people were swallowed alive by him. King of Heaven Lord Indra fought with him multiple times and was defeated by him. Annoyed by Anlaasur, all the lords went to Shiva to save them from him. Shiva upon hearing this asked everyone to ask for help from Lord Ganesha as he is the one who can solve this problem. Lord Ganesha is a giant amongst God and can swallow the demon as a whole and maintain peace across this universe. Everyone prayed to Lord Ganesha by singing his (Smriti) song.  Ganesha chased Anlaasur and swallowed him due to which he felt severe pain in his stomach. Lord Ganesha was treated with multiple medicines, but nothing worked. When Saint Kashyap heard this news, he went to Kailash mountain and made a medicine using 21 durva (Bermuda grass) which helped in relieving pain. This was the story behind offering Durva grass to Lord Ganesha.

Now let’s discuss the reason for offering Modak / Laddu to Lord Ganesha.

Modak and Laddu are considered some of the favourite sweets of Lord Ganesha without which any offer made to him is deemed to be incomplete. As per Padma Puran, Once all the Gods were pleased by seeing lord Ganesha and Kartikeya together and offered a modak with mystical powers to Lord Parwati. Lord Parwati explained the qualities of the mystical modak as “The aroma of modak itself is enough to make anyone immortal. The person who possesses this modak will be blessed with all the hidden knowledge of Shastras and will be master of all the arts that exists. Whoever between Lord Ganesha and Kartikeya prove their religious virtue will be awarded this modak “.

Post listening to this Lord Kartikeya took his vehicle Peacock and completed visiting all the religious places across three worlds within 48 mins. In the meantime, Lord Ganesha, with extreme devotion, started to walk around his parents Lord Shiva and Parwati. Post which he said “Traveling to religious places, offering sacrifices and keeping fast will not give as much blessing as one receives by worshipping his parents. And I am now eligible to be awarded modak”. Lord Parwati was extremely pleased with the explanation given by Lord Ganesha and offered him modak. Also said that due to Ganeshas extreme devotion towards his parents, he must be considered as prime god and will be worshipped first in all the religious ceremonies.

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