Ganesha, Lord of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings
India, 10th Century
Ganesha and his half brother Skanda were promised a boon by their parents, Shiva and Parvati. The prize would go to the one who returned first from circling the universe. Skanda, a keen warrior, geared up for his voyage and took off with great speed. Ganesha fortified hmself with a modaka, his favorite sweet, and respectfully circumambulated his parents. Long before Skanda returned, Ganesha was awarded the prize.
Adapted from the Siva Purana, trans. Paul Courtright