one of my favorite yoga poses is ardha chandrasana or half moon pose and its the full moon tonight so i thought id tell a little story about Ganesha and the moon that i found in my myths of the asanas book. its a story about Ganesha and how much he loves sugar, are your relating yet? The charming elephant headed god, son of Shiva, adored for his generosity and cleverness is also known for an infatuation with all things sweet. The bowl next to him in the picture is a bowl of prasad which is sweet blessed food. Despite that, Ganesh is a master of yoga and knows how to balance his indulgences. Hes a little pudgy, but remains very flexible.
But one day, Ganesha actually consumed so many cakes that his belly was full to bursting. On his way home, he hopped on his trusty steed, a tiny mouse and he used his incredible balance to keep on top of the small little creature. They were cruising along on their path when a cobra past and startled the mouse. The mouse crashed over and Ganesh fell with him, bursting his belly and the sweet cakes burst all over the earth. He jumped up and began to grab all the cakes and collect them back into his belly and snatched up the cobra and cinched it around his belly to keep it shut. And all the while, Chandra , the moon goddess watched and couldnt help but laugh at the scene.
Ganesh, angered at her laughter, pulled off his right tusk and hurled it at the moon. Pierced by the tusk, Chandra's light went out and Ganesh cursed the moon so it would never shine again leaving the earth continuously lit by the sun. With no dawn and no dusk, the men and gods alike became scorched and hopeless upon the hot earth. Ganesh, who was holed up in his palace, was confronted by a group of gods who came to appeal to him and allow the moon to shine once more. Flattered by their appeals, Ganesh agreed to let the moon shine again. But only, if she would wax and wane, and only be allowed to be full in her full beauty once every four weeks. This, he decided would be a permanent lesson for the moon so she would remember never to laugh at him again. As for Ganesh, he always carries the broken tusk that signifies his momentary rage at having lost his balance. So losing your balance seems to be the norm on the full moon, and it even effects the gods.