In the Vana kingdom, on the banks of river Ganga, there lived a pious Rishi Rudraketu with his wife Sarada. After a long time two sons were born to them, who were named “Devantaka” and “Narantaka”. The boys were handsome and strong and they propitiated Lord Siva and got a boon from Him that none whomsoever, whether it be a god, angel, human, demon or animal, could kill them. Thus they became invincible, and conquered all the three worlds. Narantak assumed sovereignty over the nether worlds and human world, and Devantak that of the heavens. Soon they upset the normal equilibrium of universal life by unleashing the rule of demonism everywhere.
The ancient sage Kasyapa and his wife Aditi were living happily in their Ashram. Aditi approached Kasyapa one day and said : “I have begotten as sons all the gods like Indra, Varuna, Vayu, etc. But I wish to have the Supreme Lord Himself as my son, so that I can love Him and serve Him in the form of my son. Kindly instruct me on the austerities that I should follow to fulfil my desire. The sage thereupon initiated Aditi into the secrets of meditation on Lord Vinayaka She performed severe penance and propitiated Lord Vinayaka. The Lord promised to be born as her son.
All the three worlds were suffering from the demonic rule of Narantak and Devantak and it was high time that the rhythm and harmony of universal life was set right And so Lord Ganesha decided to descend to the world as the son of Aditi. He manifested Himself in the humble Ashram of Sage Kasyapa and Aditi in all divine splendour The mother praised Him and at her request. He vieled His divine form and assumed the form of a normal human baby. His body was strong and muscular, and his face was serene and beautiful- Sage Kasyapa named him Mahotkata, meaning a person of strong physique. Hearing the news of divine child, all the rishis came to Kasyapa’s Ashram and blessed him.
The Asuras who were having a great time under the demonic rule of Narantak and Devantak also heard about the child and his million to destroy the evil doers. They also came disguised as humans and rishis to the Ashram to rid themselves of their enemy, Mahotkata, but they were all slain as stealthily by the child, as they approached.
The king of Kashi one day paid a visit to the Ashram to request sage Kasyapa, the preceptor of his dynasty, (Kula-guru) to solemnise the wedding of his son, the crown prince of KasiSage Kasyapa was at that time engaged in a long austerity and therefore he deputed his son Mahotkata who had attained sixteen years of age by then, to do the needful. The boy was ceremoniously taken to the kingdom. On their way, while passing through a forest, they suddenly beheld all the quarters filled with a strange light. Mahotkata jumped out of the chariot and rushed through the forests in the direction of the light and came upon Dhoomraksha, a demon who was practising severe austerities.
He had succeeded in propitiating the Sun deity, and was about to receive an invincible weapon of destruction from the Sun. As the weapon was being given out to the” demon, the entire world was lit up by its brilliance Mahotkata dashed to the spot and grabbed the dazzling weapon and threw it on the demon himself which killed him instantaneously. The king was aghast with astonishment.
The king reached his capital along with Mahotkata, and since there were a few more weeks to go before the wedding ceremony was to take place, the intervening time ‘ was spent by Mahotkata in sportive acts. He was out most of the time exhibiting his talents and strength which kept the citizens wondering at his super-human powers and skill. Soon he won the hearts of everybody, and the people could not just think of passing a day without meeting Mahotkata. He destroyed a number of demons who had disguised themselves in the palace and in the kingdom as citizens.
Narantak had placed his spies all over the worlds. The reports from Kashi were very disturbing. Soon a time came when Narantak had to drop all disguises and attack the kingdom straightaway. People became panicky at the sudden assault of the most powerful ruler of those days, but Mahotkata gathered them up and put up a great fight and killed Narantak.
Oevantak could not tolerate the humiliation of a mere brahmin boy killing his invincible brother. He sent his eight powerful demons Kardama, Deerghadanta, Taalajangha, Yakshma, Ghantasura, Raktakesa, Kalaanthaka and Durjaya to destroy the armies of the king. But they were killed by the eight powers materialised by Mahotkata in the form of goddesses, namely Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Eesithwa, Praapti and Praakasya. Thereafter, it was a direct confrontation between Mahotkata and Devantaka. When Devantaka resorted to mean methods of fighting through black magic, Mahotkata assumed his divine form as Ganesha and confronted the demon. In the fierce battle that followed, Devantaka managed to catch hold of both the tusks of Lord Ganesha, but he was thrown away by the powerful push of the Lord- The demon’s hold on the tusks were however so strong, that while he fell on the ground, the tip of one of the tusks broke and came off in his hands. Lord Ganesha thrust His other tusk into the head of Devantaka and killed him.
Thus the demonic rule came to an end and peace and goodwill returned to all the three worlds. Mahotkata was honoured profusely by the king and the citizens. After solemnising the marriage of the crown prince, Mahotkata returned to his earthly parents, sage Kasyapa and Aditi. He told them that the purpose of His incarnation was over and that He had decided to withdraw from the world of humans. The parents were overcome by sorrow at the thought of separation from their darling son, but Mahotkata assured them that He would be present in astral form wherever the Divine Mother Bhavani is worshipped. And then He folded up His human form and ascended to His heavenly abode.