List of Lord Ganesha (8) avatars (forms) (names) | 32 avatars (forms) (names) of Lord Ganesha

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Just before going to “List of Lord Ganesha (8) avatars (forms) (names) | 32 avatars (forms) (names) of Lord Ganesha“, let us know a brief, basic and very important information.

Although Lord Ganesha has many characteristics, he can be easily identified by his beautiful elephant head. Lord Ganesha is widely admired through out world and especially as the remover of obstacles (विघ्ननाशक / Vighnanashak) and also he is the deva of high intellect and wisdom.

As the god of start, Lord Ganesha is honored at the start of all the Hindu functions, rites and ceremonies etc.

After knowing the “List of Lord Ganesha (8) avatars (avatars) and also about 32 avatars (forms) of Lord Ganesha“, with this let us also know more information about Lord Ganesha.

Now let us come to our main point and let us know the different avatars (incarnations) of Lord Ganesha:

The kathas / stories and legends of Lord Ganesha are very much clearly given in many Puranas / Puranic texts. Out of which two Puranas, that is, Ganesha Purana and Mudgala Purana (both are Upa / sub Puranas) are totally dedicated to Lord Ganesha.  

As per the Ganesha Purana and Mudgala Purana, it is said that Lord Ganesha got manifested in several svaroopas / forms. Out of which eight avatars are considered to be the prominent avatars of Lord Ganesha.

These prominent avatars which have been taken place in different yugas are as given below:

List of Lord Ganesh (8) avatars (forms) (names) are as given below:

Ekadanta | Vakratunda | Gajavaktra (Gajaanana) | Mahodara | Vikata | Lambodara | Dhumravarna | Vighnaraja |

Lord Ganesha in all these avatars has been depicted as having an elephant trunk. Out of eight, five avatars of Lord Ganesha is symbolized with Mushaka / Mouse as his vahana / vehicle.  

Whereas in the other three avatars, Lord Ganesha is said to have used Lion, Peacock, and Serpent as his vehicle (Vahana). In each and every avatar a tatvika / philosophical importance is highlighted as the main theme apart from the other.

In each avatar, Lord Ganesha is said to have fought with an asura / demon symbolized with a weakness.

Lord Ganesha (8) avatars (forms) (names) with explanation is as given below:

Ekadanta avatar: In this avatar Lord Ganesha defeated an asura / demon named Madaasura and his weakness was Madaa (i.e., drinking, arrogancy). 

In this avatar Lord Ganesha used mushaka / mouse as his vahana / vehicle. Ekadanta means with one tooth.

Vakratunda avatar: In this avatar Lord Ganesha defeated an asura / demon named Maatsaraasura and his weakness was Maatsara (i.e., Jealousy, envy). 

In this avatar Lord Ganesha used Simha / Lion as his vahana / vehicle. Vakratunda means having curved trunk.

Gajavaktra / Gajanana avatar: In this avatar Lord Ganesha defeated an asura / demon named Lobhaasura and his weakness was Lobha (i.e., greed). 

In this avatar Lord Ganesha used mushaka / Mouse as his vahana / vehicle. Gajavaktra or Gajanana means elephant headed.

Mahodara avatar: In this avatar Lord Ganesha defeated an asura / demon named Mohaasura and his weakness was Moha (i.e., delusion). 

In this avatar Lord Ganesha used mushaka / Mouse as his vahana / vehicle. Mahodara means with huge belly.

Vikata avatar: In this avatar Lord Ganesha defeated an asura / demon named Kamasura and his was weakness Kama (i.e., lust). 

In this avatar Lord Ganesha used Mayura / Peacock as his vahana / vehicle. Vikata means who is always happy and also keeps hid devotees amused.

Lambodara avatar: In this avatar Lord Ganesha defeated an asura / demon named Krodhaasura and his weakness was Krodha (i.e., anger). 

Lambodara means, someone who has a big belly. Lambodara = Lambo + Udara = Big + stomach. In this avatar Lord Ganesha used mushaka / Mouse as his vahana / vehicle.

Dhumravarna avatar: Here Dhumravarna means, someone having smoke (ash) color body. 

In this avatar Lord Ganesha defeated an asura / demon named Ahankaraasura and his weakness was garva / pride, asakti / attachment, infatuation, aham / ego. In this avatar Lord Ganesha used mushaka / Mouse as his vahana / vehicle.

Vighnaraja avatar: Here Vighnaraja means, someone who removes all the obstacles. In this avatar Lord Ganesha defeated an asura / demon Mamaasura and his weakness was ego (i.e., Possessiveness).

In this avatar Lord Ganesha he used sarpa / serpent as his vahana / vehicle. All the above avatars indicate the requirement and the need to overcome these weaknesses as soon as possible, so that one can live a happy and peaceful life and to realize the ultimate truth.

According to the Ganesha Purana, the avatars of Lord Ganesha are said to be Mahokataka lion as his mountain, Mayurasvara with peacock as his mount, Gajana Mouse with Mount and his ascent with Mouse. It is believed and said that Lord Ganesha existed in all yugas (eras).

Lord Ganesha’s thirty two forms or avatars (names) (द्वात्रिंशत् / dvātrinśat‌ avatars) are as given below:

Lord Ganesha Name – English Meaning

Bala Ganapati – Child like God – Bala Ganapati is similarly to a ‘child god’ of golden hue.

In his hands he holds bananas, mangoes, sugarcane and jackfruits, all representing the abundance and fertility of the earth. His trunk stores his favorite sweet Modaka.

Bhakti Ganapati – Beloved of devotees (Chaturbhuja / four armed) – Shining like a ‘Purna Chandra’ (full moon) during the harvest season and garlanded with flowers, Bhakti Ganapati, beloved of devotees, is truly a sight to behold.

He is holding a bowl of Payasa (kheer), banana, mango and coconut.

Dhundhi Ganapati – Most sought after – The red-hued Dhundhi Ganapati, holding a string of “most sought after” Rudraksha beads, his broken tusk, an axe

and a small pot of precious gems represent the treasure of enlightenment that he saves for all his ardent devotees.

Durga Ganapati – Invincible – “Invincible” Durga Ganapati waves the banner of victory over darkness.

This majestic deity has a deep golden hue, is dressed in red, holds a bow and arrow, noose and goad, prayer beads, broken ivory and a rose apple.

Dvija Ganapati – Twice born – Four-headed Dvija Ganapati, “twice-born,” moon-like in color. Holding a noose, goat, Ola leaf Grantha (Text),

stick, water pot and japa beads, he reminds everyone of the urgency of disciplined effort.

Dvimukha Ganapati – Two divergent faces – The two divergent faced Lord Ganesha, called Janus by the Romans, has two different faces and can see in all directions.

His blue-green form is clad in red silk. He wears a jeweled crown and holds a noose, a stone, his tusk and a jeweled pot.

Ekakshara Ganapati – (Gam – Ganapati) – Ekakshara, “one-syllable” (gam), three eyes, red complexion and costume.

A crescent moon on his crown, he sits on a mushika (mouse) in the lotus position, makes a boon-giving gesture and holds a pomegranate, a noose and a goad.

Ekadanta Ganapati – Single Tusk – The “single tusk” unicorn is distinguished by its blue color and oversized belly.

The attributes of this deity are axe to cut the bonds of ignorance, prayer beads for chanting, laddu sweet and broken right tooth.

Haridra Ganapati – Yellow colored – Haridra Ganapati, golden in shining yellow robes, sits serenely on a luxurious, royal throne.

With his tusk and modaka, he holds a noose to hold the devotees close and a sharp stone to spur them forward.

Heramba Ganapati – Five faced / ten armed – Five-faced, white in color, Heramba Ganapati, the “protector of the weak,” rides a huge lion.

Holding a noose, beads, axe, hammer, tusk, garland, fruit and modaka, he extends gestures of protection and blessings.

Kshipra Ganapati – Quick in action – The beautiful, red-hued Kshipra Ganapati, the giver of “quick-acting” boons, displays his broken tusk, a noose,

a goad and sprigs of the kalpavriksha (wish-fulfilling) tree. In his raised trunk he holds a small pot of precious jewels.

Kshipra Prasada Ganapati – Quick rewarder – Ganapati, the Kshipra-prasada, presides from a throne of kusha-grass, “the giver of instant reward.”

His large belly symbolizes the manifest universe. He holds a noose, a goat, a tusk, a lotus, a pomegranate and a branch of a wish-fulfilling tree.

Lakshmi Ganapati – Varada Hasta (Boon giving hand) – Lakshmi Ganapati, the pure white giver of success, is surrounded by wisdom and achievement.

Showing the boon giving hand (varada hasta), he holds a green parrot, a pomegranate, a sword, a goat, a noose, a sprig of kalpavriksha tree and a water pot.

Maha Ganapati – The Great – One of his Shaktis, the “Great” Maha Ganapati, is red-complexioned and accompanied by three eyes.

He holds his tusk, pomegranate, blue lily, cane bow, plate, noose, lotus, paddy shoot, mace and a pot of gems.

Nritya Ganapati – Dancing – The joyous “dancer,” Nritya Ganapati, has four arms and golden, ringed fingers, and holds ivory, goad, noose, and modaka.

He strolls under the Kalpavriksha tree, radiating lively activity and happiness.

Rinamochana Ganapati – Liberator of bondage – Rina-mochana Ganapati is the savior of humanity from crime and bondage.

His alabaster-skinned figure is draped in red silk. He has a noose and a goad, his milk-white tusks and a favorite fruit, the rose apple.

Sankatahara Ganapati – Remover of sorrows – Sankatahara Ganapati, “The Remover of Sorrows” has a sun-like complexion, is dressed in blue and is seated on a red lotus flower.

He holds a bowl of payasa (kheer), goad and noose, gesturing the boon granting of the boon giver hand (varada mudra).

Shakti Ganapati – Along with his female energy – Seated on with one of his shaktis on four arms and knees, Shakti Ganapati, the orange-red “powerful one”, guards the household.

He holds a garland, a noose and a goad, and blesses it with the Abhaya mudra (protection giving hand).

Siddhi Ganapati – The accomplished – The golden-yellow Siddhi Ganapati, “accomplished,” is the epitome of achievement and self-skillful mastery.

He is comfortably seated holding a bunch of flowers, axe, mango, sugarcane and delicious sesame sweet on his trunk.

Simha Ganapati – Mounted on Lion – Simha Ganapati, white in colour, rides a lion and displays another lion in one hand, symbolizing solidity and courageousness.

He also has a sprig of kalpavriksha tree, a veena, a lotus flower, a bouquet and a pot of ornaments.

Srushti (Srishti) Ganapati – Manifestation – Srishti or Srushti Ganapati, riding on his docile and friendly mouse, is the lord of the “manifestation” of happiness.

This active god, red-complexioned, holds his noose of God, a mango, and his tusk, representing humanitarian sacrifice.

Taruna Ganapati – Youthful (Eight armed, Astabhuja) – Eight-armed, youthful or Taruna Ganapati, the “young looking”, holds a noose and goad,

a modaka, a tree apple, a rose apple, his broken tusk, a paddy shoot and a sugarcane stalk. His brilliant red color reflects the blossoming of youth.

Trimukha Ganapati – Three faced – Trimukha or three faced Ganapati, the contemplative “three-faced” red-hued Lord, sits on a golden lotus, uttering his beads,

holding a noose, goad, and pot of nectar. He indicates protection with his right hand and blessing with his left hand.

Tryakshara Ganapati – Lord of three letters AUM – Trayakshara or three lettered Ganapati, “Lord of Three Letters” (AUM or OM), is golden in color and has fly whisks in his big floppy ears.

He carries a broken tusk, a goad, a noose and a mango, and is often seen holding a sweet modaka on his trunk.

Ucchhishta Ganapati – Lord who blesses with offerings (Six armed) – Ucchhishta Ganapati is the “lord who blesses with offerings” and protector of culture and tradition.

Blue-complexioned and six-armed, he is seated holding a veena, pomegranate, blue lotus flower, japa garland and sprigs of fresh paddy with his Shakti.

Uddanda Ganapati – Enforcer of Dharma – Uddanda Ganapati is the bold “enforcer of dharma,” the laws of existence.

His ten hands hold a jeweled pot, a blue lily, a sugarcane, a mace, a lotus flower, a paddy shoot, a pomegranate, a noose, a garland and his broken tusk.

Urdhva Ganapati – Elevated left hand – Seated on his left knee with one of his shaktis, Urdhva Ganapati is the golden-hued “tall” Lord.

In his six hands he holds a paddy shoot, a lotus, a sugarcane bow, an arrow, an ivory tusk and a blue lily.

Varada Ganapati – Boon giver – Ganapati of Varada hasta (giver of boon) with the vital third eye of wisdom, holds a dish of honey, a noose and goad,

and has a pot of jewels coiled around his trunk. His shakti is on his side, and the moon crowns him.

Veera Ganapati – Valiant warrior with shodasabhuja (16 arms) – “Valiant Warrior,” Veera Ganapati, assumes a commanding pose.

His 16 arms are armed with weapons, symbols of mind power: a goad, discus, bow, arrow, sword, shield, spear, mace, warlock, trident and more.

Vighna Ganapati – Remover of all obstacles – Vighna Ganapati, the “Lord of remover of obstacles”, is brilliantly golden in color and adorned with jewels.

His eight arms hold noose and goad, ivory and mace, conch and discus, bouquet of flowers, sugarcane, flower arrow and axe.

Vijaya Ganapati – Victorious – Four-armed, red in color and riding his resourceful mouse (mushika), Vijaya Ganapati is the giver of “victorious” success.

His emblem is a broken tusk, an elephant trunk, a noose and a fragrant golden mango, his favorite fruit.

Yoga Ganapati – Meditating – Yoga Ganapati absorbed in mantra chanting, his knees bent in meditation posture, hands holding yoga staff,

sugarcane stalk, noose and prayer beads. His color is like the morning sun. He wear blue garments.

Lord Ganesha in different Yugas information is as given below:

As per Ganesha Purana, Lord Ganesha has taken four different forms in four Yugas:

1. In Satya Yuga / Krita Yuga – Lord Ganesha was known as Mahotkata Ganapati. He was having dasha bhuja / 10 arms and his vahana / vehicle was a Simha / Lion.

2. In Treta Yuga – Lord Ganesha was white-colored. He had eight-arms and was known as Mayura Ganapati. Lord Ganesha’s vahana / vehicle was Mayura / Peacock.

3. In Dwapara Yuga – Lord Ganesha was rakta varna / red colored. He was manifested from the clay of the body of Sri Parvati Devi. His vahana / vehicle was mushaka / mouse and had chaturbhuja (four arms) and was known as Gajanana Ganapati.

4. In Kali Yuga – Lord Ganesha is known as Dhumraketu Ganapati (Smoke color).

Few other important aspects about Lord Ganesha are as given below:

1. Many of us know that, Lord Ganesha is the putra / son of Lord Shiva and Sri Parvati Devi.

2. Lord Ganesha is the Abhimani Devata (controlling Demigod) of the akaasha (sky / space).

3. We have seen above that, Lord Ganesha has different vahana / vehicle in different avatars and in different Yugas. (Please see above).

4. We have to worship Lord Ganesha as one among a Parivara Devata (family Demigod) and should never ever worship Lord Ganesha as Sarvottama / Supreme. Only Sarvottama / Supreme Bhagavan is Lord Sri Vishnu and all others are Lord Sri Vishnu’s followers.

5. In kaksha / hierarchy Lord Ganesha is in the 18th place.

In the same kaksha / hierarchy Vishwaksena, Kubera, and Ashwini Kumaras also present.

6. In Dwapara Yuga, Lord Ganesha is born as Charudeshna as the son (2nd son) of Lord Sri Krishna and Sri Rukmini Devi.

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