Why do Hindu gods and goddesses use different animals as vehicles?
It is said that all gods and goddesses have vehicles that make up for any deficiency they may have. For this reason, all gods and goddesses have different vehicles amongst birds and animals. The religious texts describe the different vehicles of gods and goddesses. The Devi Bhagwan mentions that Lakshmi uses an owl as a vehicle and Durga uses a lion. The Shivpuran mentions that Sri Ganesh used a mouse as a vehicle and Shiva used the bull Nandi. There are reasons for the choice of a vehicle.
I. Shiva Bull Nandi
2. Vishnu Sheshnaag
3. Saraswati Swan
4. Durga Lion
5. Laxmi Owl
6. Ganesh Mouse
A mouse is self-willed, unrestrained and uncontrollable. These qualities are symbolic of the mind. In this situation, instability is obvious. If we can control the mind just as Ganesh controls the mouse, we can concentrate upon the Supreme Being and achieve much. With knowledge of the inner soul, one can control the unstable mind. It is the mind that binds a person, or takes one towards salvation.
In the Ganeshpuran it is said that Conch Gandharv once offended Rishi Saubhri, who was enraged and cursed him to become a mouse. When Gandharv beseeched that he be absolved from the curse, it was modified so that he could become the vehicle for Ganesh and be entitled to live in heaven. Since the mouse was frisky and created problems for everyone, Ganesh controlled him with his mantras. Pleased with the mouse's devotion, Ganesh made him his vehicle.