One morning, in my young age, I went and saluted Raghupati Yogi, my yoga teacher and asked him to bless me, the day being Ganesh Chaturthi. He would never bless me when I bowed down to him. He would only join his hands together in a namaskar in return. On that day, he narrated a few Ganesha stories and also the story where Ganesha went around the whole world and got a mango as a gift.
The story goes that Ganesha and Subramanya (his brother) decided to see who would quickly go round the world three times between them. Subramanya has his own flight – the peacock. He just sat on his peacock and started crossing the continents, the oceans, the hills…three times. He completed and came back. He saw Ganesha, sitting there and claiming that he won the game by simply going round Shiva and Parvati (their parents) three times! Very beautifully Ganesha replies to Subramanya, ‘You went around your world, I went round my world!’
I told Raghupati Yogi, “Alright, I will also go around and you should give me something.’ He agreed. He got some fruits and snacks and said, “Go around and see 108 Ganesha deities and come back.”
I ran all over from pillar to post counting 108 Ganeshas on every pillar. The whole town has at least some twenty to thirty Ganesha temples.
Once I was done, he gave me the fruits and snacks and said, “Fool! You heard the whole Ganesha story. You should have then simply done the Atma pradakshina (rotating around the deity).’