One of the most-awaited festival, Ganesh Chaturthi is round the corner. September 10 this year will kickstart the joyous 10-day Hindu festival that the entire nation eagerly looks forward to. Just as Ganesh Chaturthi is popularly also called as Vināyaka Chaturthī, or Vinayaka Chaviti, the deity too has multiple names. The name Ganesha is a compound Sanskrit word which means ‘lord’ (isha) of a ‘multitude of people’ (gana). Likewise, the name ‘Ganapati’ (or Ganadhyakshaya) by which the Shiv-Parvati son is commonly known, also means the same.
As a matter of fact, Ganesha who is the lord of wisdom and good fortune is known to be addressed by 108 names. Ahead of the much-loved Ganesh Chaturthi festival, how about taking a look at 8 different names of Lord Ganesha, and their meanings:
The elephant-headed god is known by this name as he is the one with the elephant’s (gaja) face (anan); just as the name suggests. According to the Mudgala Purana, Gajanan is Ganesha’s eighth avatar to whom Lobhasura had surrendered.
‘Vighna’ implies troubles while ‘harta’ means one who removes. Ganesha is often addressed by this name that suggests the divine power which Ganesha embodies, that is the ability to remove problems and sufferings from the devotees’ lives.
This is another name of ‘Gaurisuta’ (Gauri’s son) that is similar to Vighnaharta. It means one who is the master at removing all hindrances.
The name derives its significance from the avatar of Ganesha (Bala/child) who carries chandra (moon) on his forehead. Brahmanda Purana states that Ganesha rescued Chandra from Darbhi saint’s curse when as a boy he took pity and wore moon as tilak on his forehead.
The single-tusked Ganesha has one half broken tooth and hence the name ‘eka’ (one), ‘danta’ (tooth). The legend says that Parashuram got angry and chipped one of Ganesha’s teeth when the latter tried to stop him from meeting Shiva.
This is Ganesha’s first incarnation that means curved (vakra) trunk (tunda). He helped regain the lost kingdom of gods by conquering the demon Matsara.
It literally means the one with a huge belly. According to Mudgala Purana, Ganesha in Lambodara avatar protected the gods from the troublesome Krodhasura.
It means dark complexion (krishna), smoky (pinga), eyes (aksha). Ganesha who can see everything through earth and clouds and deliver everyone from pain.