Why does Ganesha love Modak?

- September 13, 2021


By Kayva Gokhale

Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations aren’t complete without an offering of twenty-one Modaks to Lord Ganesha. This jaggery stuffed sweet is an integral part of who Ganesh is, even resulting in the nickname ‘Modakpriya’, meaning the one who loves Modaks. Hindu mythology has various stories on the creation of Modaks and their importance to Ganesha, but we’ll focus on two.

Design: ACK Design Team

The first folktale starts with Lord Ganesha’s maternal grandmother, Queen Menavati. In her love for her grandson, Queen Menavati would tirelessly make laddoos to feed Ganesh’s growing appetite. This was unsustainable, and as he grew older and bigger, the Queen realised it was impossible to prepare laddoos as quickly as Ganpati could gobble them down. She thought of an alternative – Modaks. Requiring less time to make, she could satisfy Lord Ganesha, who gleefully ate them. 

Illustration: Arjit Dutta Chowdhury

The second legend explains why twenty-one Modaks are offered during Ganesh Chaturthi. One day, Devi Anusuya called Lord Shiva, Parvati, and Ganesha for a meal, stating that the others would only be fed once baby Ganesha was content and full. However, Ganesha simply kept asking for more food! At the end of his meal, he was given a single sweet – the Modak. Interestingly, something happened after he swallowed it. Ganesha released a loud burp, a sign of satisfaction. Interestingly, as Ganesh burped, so did Lord Shiva; twenty-one times in fact. Parvati, stunned and curious as to what she had witnessed, asked Devi Anusuya for the recipe of the seemingly magical sweet. Upon learning what a Modak is, Parvati requested that all her son’s devotees offer exactly twenty-one Modaks to him, one for each burp Lord Shiva gave out.

Regardless of which story people choose to believe, the preparing, offering, and eating of Modaks during Ganesh Chaturthi is essential and super fun!

Read the stories of Ganesha in our special release Ekadanta. Now available on the ACK Comics App. 

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