Lord Ganesha is one of the most revered and loved Hindu Gods.
He is also one of the most commonly associated symbols of Hinduism, besides His (Hindu deity) father Shiva. Legends say that Lord Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva, the destroyer in the Holy Trinity of Gods and Goddess Parvathi, one of the many incarnations of Goddess Shakti.
Lord Ganesha’s symbolic figurine has an elephant’s head with curved trunk and big ears on a big human body. Laddoos, the famous round Indian sweetmeat is Ganesha’s favourite offering, and a mouse is His chosen vehicle.
Lord Ganesha, also known as the Vighnaharta, is the Lord of success and the destroyer of evils and obstacles. He is also worshipped as the God of education, knowledge, wisdom and wealth.
Ganesha is one of the five major Hindu deities (The Holy Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and the chief Goddess – Ma Durga being the other four) whose idolatry is glorified as the Panchayatana Puja.
Lord Ganesha is one of the few Hindu Gods who is said to solve all kinds of troubles and touch all aspects of the human life with his holy presence.
In fact, Lord Ganesha has many names like Vighnaharta – the remover of hurdles, Sumukha – the one with an attractive face, Bhalchandra – the wearer of moon on his forehead, Vinayaka – the eternal leader, Lambodara – the one with a big stomach and many more.
He is worshipped and adored in all His forms and is one of the cutest Hindu Gods too – and that is why He is children’s favourite too.
Ganpathi – The Lord of all Lords
Sumukha – The Lord with a beautiful face
Vinayaka – The prominent Lord of all
Gajanana – The Elephant headed God
Ek Danta – The Lord with one tusk
Lambkarna – Long Eared God
Vigneshwara – Remover of all the obstacles
Kapila – The one with tawny coloured skin
Hindus believe that Stotras, Mantras, Aartis and Shlokas dedicated to Lord Ganesha, and their recital on a regular basis with complete faith and devotion would bring great results.
Celebrating Ganesha’s Form
His head is said to symbolise the pure Atma or the holy, guileless soul, which is the supreme reality of the human existence. His body like a human being signifies Maya or the earthly existence of the human beings. Ganesha’s head in the shape of elephant’s head denotes wisdom, prudence and His elephantine trunk represents Om, the sacred sound symbol of the cosmic reality. Lord Ganesha holds a goad in His upper right hand, which is supposed to aid Him in propelling the mankind onto the eternal path, and also in removing obstacles from our way. The noose in His left hand is an implement to capture and get rid of all the difficulties – hence the Vighnaharta.
Ganesha’s broken tusk held by Him like a pen in his lower right hand is a symbol of sacrifice. It is known that Lord Ganesha broke His own tusk to write the Mahabharata. He holds a rosary, which suggests that His and others’ endless pursuit of knowledge. The laddoos (sweet) He holds in His trunk indicates that one must discover the sweetness of the Soul. His fan-like ears convey that He is all ears to the petitions of His devotees. The snake that runs round the waist of Ganesha represents energy in all forms. And, He is humble enough to ride a mouse.
There are many mantras, Stotras and Aartis specifically written in the Vedas and Puranas to please and worship the great Lord. The most important of them all is Vakratunda Mahaakaaya Suryakotee Sama Prabha
Nirvighnam kuru mey Deva Sarva kaaryeshu Sarvadaa
If you wish to know the significance of all the names of Lord Ganesha, various ways to offer Him Pooja and Aarti and devotional Mantras related to Him, you can download IGanesha and IGanesha Aarti on your iOS device. This may not be available free of charge.