People love Lord Ganesha and worship this adorable elephant-headed deity known to destroy obstacles and bestow success and prosperity on devotees. He is the first deity worshipped at the start of auspicious occasions and festivals, and among his other peculiarities, his favourite food is the modak (sweet), and he moves about in his Mooshika (mouse).
Almost everyone knows that Ganpati Bappa is the child of God Shiva and Goddess Parvati, and his elder brother is Kartikeya. However, very few people know about the sister of Lord Ganesha.
So, if you are wondering who Lord Ganesha's sister is or how she was born, let’s find out immediately!
Who is the Sister of Lord Ganesha?
According to the Padma Purana, Lord Ganesha and Kartikeya have a sister named Mata Ashoka Sundari. Meanwhile, Ganesha's other sisters, including Vishhar, Jaya, Shamilbari, Dotli, and Dev, are the Naag Kanya children of Lord Shiva.
Ashoka Sundari is believed to be older than Lord Ganesha but younger than Kartikeya. Her story is narrated in the Padma Purana.
Origin of Lord Ganesha’s Sister
Once, Goddess Parvati asked Lord Shiva to take her to the prettiest garden in the Universe. Lord Shiva escorted her to Nandanvana, where Parvati discovered the Kalpavriksha tree, which could grant any request. This is where Parvati prayed for a girl child to fill her emptiness in Kailash, and the wish-fulfilling Kalpavriksha tree blessed her with a daughter in the form of Ashoka Sundari.
The two words in her name originated from her creation. Ashoka means the one who nullified Parvati’s “Shoka” or "sorrow,” while Sundari means “beautiful”.
Her Marriage and Family
Parvati predicted that Ashoka Sundari would wed Nahusha from the Lunar dynasty, a personality with powers equal to Indra, the king of the gods. Ashoka Sundari indeed married King Nahusha. They are believed to have had a son and a hundred beautiful daughters.
Their son, Yayati, is mentioned in the Mahabharata. Yayati was a very wealthy monarch. He betrothed Devayani, the daughter of Shukracharya, and Sharmishtha, the Daitya King Vrishparva's daughter.
The Story of King Nahusha and Lord Ganesha’s Sister
One day, Ashoka Sundari was mingling with her maids in Nandanvana when she caught the eyes of Hunda, a rakshasa (demon) who had fallen for her. Ashoka Sundari declined the demon's advances, revealing her destined marriage to Nahusha. Hunda disguises himself as a widow and approaches Ashoka Sundari once again. He persuades the princess to accompany her to her hermitage.
Unaware of his intentions, the goddess goes with the disguised demon and arrives at his palace. Realising the demon's trickery, she curses him to die in Nahusha's hands and finds her way to her parent's residence on Mount Kailash.
Nahusha was an infant at the time, and Hunda kidnaps him, but a maid rescues the child, and Sage Vashistha raises him. As Nahusha grows up, he learns about his mission: defeating Hunda. Nahusha defeats Hunda in a fierce battle, marries Ashoka Sundari, and becomes the temporary ruler of heaven during Indra's absence.
Although not widely known, Ashoka Sundari features in the Padma Purana and some Gujarati mythological tales. Described as exceptionally beautiful to justify her name, she is considered Lord Ganesha's sister. While there's speculation about the stories' authenticity and considering folklore integral to Indian culture, one cannot overlook the possibility of Lord Shiva having a daughter.