The Ga\u1e47e\u015ba-pur\u0101\u1e47a is an upa-pur\u0101\u1e47a or a minor Pur\u0101\u1e47a, that forms a section of the Garu\u1e0da-pur\u0101\u1e47a, and is dedicated to the extolling of lord Ga\u1e47e\u015ba. According to this Pur\u0101\u1e47a, Ga\u1e47e\u015ba is the embodied representation of the Supreme, known in the G\u0101\u1e47\u0101patya faith as Gu\u1e47e\u015ba. He is described as reclining in an ocean of sugarcane juice. In contrast to popular understanding of lord Ga\u1e47e\u015ba, this Pur\u0101\u1e47a does not always describe him as the lord with an elephant-head. He sports a starkly different avat\u0101ra every epoch, with each avat\u0101ra boasting of its own vehicle and specialized weapons. \u0917\u091c\u0935\u0926\u0928\u092e\u091a\u093f\u0928\u094d\u0924\u094d\u092f\u0902 \u0924\u0940\u0915\u094d\u0937\u094d\u0923\u0926\u0902\u0937\u094d\u091f\u094d\u0930\u0902 \u0924\u094d\u0930\u093f\u0928\u0947\u0924\u094d\u0930\u0902 \u092c\u0943\u0939\u0926\u0941\u0926\u0930\u092e\u0936\u0947\u0937\u0902 \u092d\u0942\u0924\u093f\u0930\u093e\u091c\u0902 \u092a\u0941\u0930\u093e\u0923\u092e\u094d\u0965 \u0905\u092e\u0930\u0935\u0930\u0938\u0941\u092a\u0942\u091c\u094d\u092f\u0902 \u0930\u0915\u094d\u0924\u0935\u0930\u094d\u0923\u0902 \u0938\u0941\u0930\u0947\u0936\u0902 \u092a\u0936\u0941\u092a\u0924\u093f\u0938\u0941\u0924\u092e\u0940\u0936\u0902 \u0935\u093f\u0918\u094d\u0928\u0930\u093e\u091c\u0902 \u0928\u092e\u093e\u092e\u093f\u0965 gajavadanamacintya\u1e41 t\u012bk\u1e63\u1e47ada\u1e41\u1e63\u1e6dra\u1e41 trinetra\u1e41 b\u1e5bhadudarama\u015be\u1e63a\u1e41 bh\u016btir\u0101ja\u1e41 pur\u0101\u1e47am|| amaravarasup\u016bjya\u1e41 raktavar\u1e47a\u1e41 sure\u015ba\u1e41 pa\u015bupatisutam\u012b\u015ba\u1e41 vighnar\u0101ja\u1e41 nam\u0101mi|| I bow to the ancient, inconceivable Lord of creation who is red of hue, is elephant-faced, sports three eyes, has a sharp tusk and a huge belly, who is adored by Indra and the celestials, who is the adored son of Pa\u015bupati (Lord \u015aiva) and is the remover of all obstacles. - Ga\u1e47e\u015ba-sahasran\u0101ma In explaining the origin of the Pur\u0101\u1e47a, the Ga\u1e47e\u015ba-pur\u0101\u1e47a states that the treatise was first revealed to Sage Vy\u0101sa by Lord Brahma himself. Vy\u0101sa is then said to have passed on the knowledge to sage Bh\u1e5bgu, who in turn is said to have initiated the king of Devanagara, Somak\u0101nta, in the text. The Pur\u0101\u1e47a is thus also known by the name Bh\u0101rgava-pur\u0101\u1e47a. The Ga\u1e47e\u015ba-pur\u0101\u1e47a is divided into two sections, namely the Up\u0101san\u0101kha\u1e47\u1e0da and the Kr\u012b\u1e0d\u0101kha\u1e47\u1e0da. The Up\u0101san\u0101kha\u1e47\u1e0da as the name suggests, elaborates the ceremonial worship of Ga\u1e47e\u015ba. The Ga\u1e47e\u015ba-sahasran\u0101ma or the thousand names of Ga\u1e47e\u015ba, finds mention in this section of the work along with details of vrata (ceremonial observances) and mantras (incantations). The Kr\u012b\u1e0d\u0101kha\u1e47\u1e0da is the section of the work that elaborates the exploits of the Lord, and evinces one curious phenomenon. The l\u012bl\u0101s described in this section bear a close resemblance to the l\u012bl\u0101s of lord K\u1e5b\u1e63\u1e47a as described in works such as the \u015ar\u012bmadbh\u0101gavata and the Vi\u1e63\u1e47u-pur\u0101\u1e47a. Fascinating indeed is the section of the Pur\u0101\u1e47a that contains the Ga\u1e47e\u015ba-g\u012bt\u0101, a didactic admonishment akin to the Bhagavadg\u012bt\u0101. One of the avataras described in the Pur\u0101\u1e47a is that of the descent of the lord as the son of P\u0101rvat\u012b. However, the distinction from the popular understanding of Ga\u1e47e\u015ba as the son of P\u0101rvat\u012b lies in the flavor this text imparts. The son of P\u0101rvat\u012b is not dealt with here as the son of the Goddess P\u0101rvat\u012b or as that of Lord \u015aiva, where the divine parents are extolled as Supreme. Rather, the son is extolled as the Supreme being, and the parents are described as the blessed celestial-couple in whose household the Supreme chose to descend. Here is an account of the avat\u0101ra as described in the Ga\u1e47e\u015ba-pur\u0101\u1e47a - There was once an asura by name Dur\u0101sada who engaged in mind-boggling penance. Compelled by the stupendous mortification he subjected his body to, lord \u015aiva appeared before the asura and offered to grant him a boon. As the redoubtable Hira\u1e47yaka\u015bipu had demanded of lord Brahm\u0101, Dur\u0101sada who was none other than the son of Bhasm\u0101sura, demanded that he not be killed by any created being. He also demanded that the devas tremble with terror at his very sight, and that the kingdom of the celestials be bestowed upon him. He prayed however, that he be blessed with unwavering devotion unto the lotus feet of lord \u015aiva. The Lord blessed him as desired and said to him, \u201cyou shall be unconquerable to all celestials except one source of immense power. That Supreme Power will subjugate you.\u201d Blessed thus by the lord, Dur\u0101sada became drunk with power. He immediately conquered earth and Indraloka, and consequently, the celestials were driven out of Indraloka. Lord \u015aiva relinquished Kail\u0101sa for K\u0101\u015b\u012b and lord Vi\u1e63\u1e47u relinquished Vi\u1e63\u1e47uloka for the ocean of milk. With all the worlds in disarray, the alarmed celestials resorted to lord Brahm\u0101 who too was in K\u0101\u015b\u012b and pleaded with him for succor. Hearing the piteous pleas of the celestials, lord Brahm\u0101 responded, \u201cO\u2019 devas, there is but one way to be rid of the awe-inspiring Dur\u0101sada. If that Supreme Being Gu\u1e47e\u015ba reclines in the womb of P\u0101rvat\u012b, then will your troubles cease.\u201d Informed thus by lord Brahm\u0101, the celestials were overjoyed that there indeed was a way to rid themselves of suffering. They began propitiating P\u0101rvat\u012b right away. Pleased with their adulations, P\u0101rvat\u012b appeared before them and advised them to worship Gu\u1e47e\u015ba, the Supreme Being. The celestials accepted the instructions gratefully and began worshipping Gu\u1e47e\u015ba. \u0928\u0924\u093e\u0903 \u0938\u094d\u092e\u094b \u0935\u093f\u0918\u094d\u0928\u0915\u0930\u094d\u0924\u093e\u0930\u0902 \u0926\u092f\u093e\u0932\u0941\u0902 \u0938\u0930\u094d\u0935\u092a\u093e\u0932\u0915\u092e\u094d\u0964 \u0938\u0930\u094d\u0935\u0938\u094d\u092f \u091c\u0917\u0924\u094b \u0939\u0947\u0924\u0941\u0902 \u0938\u0930\u094d\u0935\u0935\u094d\u092f\u093e\u092a\u093f\u0928\u092e\u0940\u0936\u094d\u0935\u0930\u092e\u094d\u0965 nat\u0101\u1e25 smo vighnakart\u0101ra\u1e43 day\u0101lu\u1e43 sarvap\u0101lakam| sarvasya jagato hetu\u1e43 sarvavy\u0101pinam\u012b\u015bvaram|| We bow in reverence to the creator of impediments1, the supremely compassionate one, the absolute protector, the fountainhead of creation, the Almighty who pervades all life forms. - Ga\u1e47e\u015ba-pur\u0101\u1e47a 1 Vin\u0101yaka is celebrated both as vighnakart\u0101, the creator of obstacles, as well as vighnahart\u0101, the allayer of obstacles. It is believed that he creates impediments when a course chosen by us is inimical in the larger scheme of affairs. As they prayed fervently thus, a divine voice was heard in the sky that rang, \u201cmay your hearts not be seized with fear. I shall indeed slay the formidable Dur\u0101sada.\u201d Delighted to hear these words, the celestials rushed back to the presence of lord \u015aiva but found him engrossed in meditation. Turning to P\u0101rvat\u012b they informed her of the assurance of the divine voice and said to her that they had arrived here to seek lord \u015aiva\u2019s guidance. They added that they did not know how to proceed further, especially given that lord \u015aiva was lost in meditation. P\u0101rvat\u012b reassured the celestials, \u201chave no fear, O\u2019 celestials. Know that the daitya shall indeed be vanquished.\u201d As she spoke thus, her beautiful countenance became overshadowed with wrath. From the orifices of her eyes, nose and ears arose an effulgence that was blinding. The splendor was far beyond what the celestials could bear. Their eyes sealed shut instinctively but by the grace of the Supreme Being, they perceived with the eyes of the mind, the form the effulgence assumed. Effulgent as a thousand suns, he bore the face of an elephant, a pearly-white tusk, ten-arms replete with brilliant weapons, a crown beset with precious stones, dazzling earrings, a serpent for a ceremonial thread, and elegant raiment of silk. The celestials opened their eyes to behold the glorious form of the lord and danced for joy. Jubilant beyond measure, P\u0101rvat\u012b cried, \u0928\u093f\u0930\u094d\u0917\u0941\u0923\u0902 \u092f\u0928\u094d\u0928\u093f\u0930\u093e\u0915\u093e\u0930\u092e\u0935\u094d\u092f\u0915\u094d\u0924\u0902 \u0938\u0930\u094d\u0935\u0917\u0902 \u092a\u0930\u092e\u094d\u0964 \u0927\u094d\u092f\u093e\u0928\u0917\u092e\u094d\u092f\u0902 \u091a\u093f\u0926\u093e\u092d\u093e\u0938\u0902 \u0938\u091a\u094d\u091a\u093f\u0926\u093e\u0928\u0928\u094d\u0926\u0935\u093f\u0917\u094d\u0930\u0939\u092e\u094d\u0965 \u0905\u0935\u0924\u0940\u0930\u094d\u0923\u0902 \u092e\u092e \u0917\u0943\u0939\u0947 \u0939\u0928\u094d\u0924\u0941\u0902 \u0926\u0948\u0924\u094d\u092f\u093e\u0928\u0928\u0947\u0915\u0936\u0903\u0964 \u091c\u0917\u0924\u093e\u092e\u0941\u092a\u0915\u093e\u0930\u093e\u092f \u092a\u093e\u0924\u0941\u0902 \u0935\u093f\u0936\u094d\u0935\u0902 \u091a\u0930\u093e\u091a\u0930\u092e\u094d\u0965 nirgu\u1e47a\u1e43 yannir\u0101k\u0101ramavyakta\u1e43 sarvaga\u1e43 param| dhy\u0101nagamya\u1e43 cid\u0101bh\u0101sa\u1e43 saccid\u0101nandavigraham|| avat\u012br\u1e47a\u1e43 mama g\u1e5bhe hantu\u1e43 daity\u0101naneka\u015ba\u1e25| jagat\u0101mupak\u0101r\u0101ya p\u0101tu\u1e43 vi\u015bva\u1e43 car\u0101caram|| The Supreme being who is beyond attribute and form, (who) is attained through painstaking meditation, (who) is the splendorous personification of truth and consciousness assumes form and descends in my household in order to vanquish countless daityas. He descends for the welfare of all creation, protecting all that exists (by his benevolence). - Ga\u1e47e\u015ba-pur\u0101\u1e47a P\u0101rvat\u012b then worshipped the lad with devotion and offered him the lion that served her as a vehicle. She bestowed the name \u2018Vakratu\u1e47\u1e0da\u2019 upon him and pleaded with him to slay the vile Dur\u0101sada. Said the charming lad in response, \u201cmother, I have descended in order to protect the noble, to slay the vile daitya, thereby ease the burden of the earth, and to serve you.\u201d With this reassurance, Vakratu\u1e47\u1e0da proceeded forth from the holy city of K\u0101\u015b\u012b amount the lion, with lord \u015aiva, P\u0101rvat\u012b and the celestials in tow. The lord battled the vile Dur\u0101sada and vanquished him as promised. The Ga\u1e47e\u015ba-pur\u0101\u1e47a elaborates further how Vakratu\u1e47\u1e0da then resorted to mount Kail\u0101sa along with his blessed parents and indulged in many a l\u012bl\u0101, delighting the world with them. The Pur\u0101\u1e47a is indeed a delectable collection of l\u012bl\u0101s that deserves a more central position in our conscious psyche.