One day Parvati reminded Vighneswara about his marriage, and how his younger brother Kumara was determined not to marry till his marriage took place. "Mother, Kumara is the army commander of the devas, and he can afford to have even two wives," remarked Vighneswara. "Look at my paunch! I'm always worried about my food. How then can I think of marriage?"
It was then that Shiva intervened. "I'm putting you in charge of my ganas and you'll be known as Ganapati".
"Father, you might be saying that out of affection for me", responded Vighneswara. "I don't have the qualification to be in charge of the celestials attending on you. On the contrary, Kumara as the devas' senapati is doing his duties exceedingly well. When he is available to preside over your ganas, why should you want me to take up that responsibility?"
The Lord said: "No my son, I've decided that you will be gananatha or leader of my attendants. Kumara already has one responsibility; he need not be burdened with one more".
"Father, may I make a suggestion?" said Vighneswara. "Let's have a contest to decide who will be in charge of the ganas. Whoever wins should be entrusted with that post".
Thus it was decided that there would be a competition between the brothers. Whoever would visit all the holy temples on the earth and take a dip in each of the temple tanks and return to Kailash first, would be put in charge of the ganas. Kumara immediately set out on his peacock mount. Vighneswara remained wherever he was.
Lord Vishnu came there soon afterwards. He said, "Vighneswara, I seem to have a lot of affection for you, especially when I see the humility in you. If you remain inactive, that might be mistaken for failure on the part of the devas. It is your duty to impress on others the greatness of your father. For that you don't have to wander like Kumara. I shall tell you what you should do".
On the advice of Vishnu, Vighneswara began chanting the Shiva mantra. The effect of this was felt by Kumara. Whichever temple he went, he was told that Vighneswara had already visited the place! He was surprised and was so dejected that he returned to Kailash conceding defeat and accepting Vighneswara as the victor.
Vighneswara led his younger brother to the presence of their father and told him all that had happened. "Brother! Neither have I won, nor have you been defeated!" he said.