32 forms of Ganesha
32 forms of Ganesha
1. Bala Ganapati
As a chubby child, Bala Ganapati is golden-hued. He is depicted holding the fruits of the earth – sugarcane, jackfruit, banana and mango – while his trunk is curled around his favored sweet, the modak.
2. Taruna Ganapati
He bears a goad and noose. Green paddy, a sugarcane stalk, rose apple and wood apple in his many hands symbolize fertility. His body glows red with the effulgence of youth.
3. Bhakti Ganapati
An enduring symbol of faith. Flower bedecked, bearing his devotees‘offerings of a coconut, a mango and a small pot of sweet milk pudding, Bhakti Ganapati is a pleasing sight for his devotees.
4. Shakti Ganapati
“Shakti” or creative power assumes a female form seated on Ganesha’s knee. This vermilion hued Lord protects the householder. His three hands each hold a noose, goad and a garland. The fourth, in abhaya mudra offers reassurance of his protection.
5. Vira Ganapati
As an awe-inspiring warrior, this 16-armed Ganapati stands tall and strong with a veritable armory of weapons. With his goad, bow and arrow, discus, shield, spear, sword, axe, trident, mace and more, Vira Ganapati vanquishes both ignorance and evil.
6. Siddhi Ganapati
Siddhi Ganapati assumes the relaxed pose of one who is the master of the intellect. Resplendent in golden-yellow, he bears in his hands, a posy of flowers, a mango, a stalk of sugarcane and the familiar axe. His trunk curves around a sweet sesame ball, another favorite food.
7. Dvija Ganapati
“Dvija” is twice-born – remember the tale of Shiva beheading Ganesha and resurrecting him with an elephant’s head? In this form, he holds a palm-leaf inscription, a staff, meditation beads, water pot, noose and goad.
8. Ucchhishta Ganapati
As the blue-complexioned Ucchista Ganapati, he presides over culture. The “shakti” of creativity perches on his knee. Ganesha’s hands hold the veena (a musical instrument), a blue lotus, pomegranate, meditation beads and a stalk of paddy.
9. Kshipra Ganapati
He is quick to reward his devotees with boons. This gracious, red-bodied Ganapati holds a twig of the kalpvriksh or wish-fulfilling tree. One tusk is broken. His trunk encircles a small bowl of jewels, symbol of the prosperity he can bestow upon followers.
10. Vighna Ganapati
As the one who effortlessly overcomes obstacles, Vighna Ganapati’s handsome figure is golden-colored and adorned with jewels. His weaponry to fight impediments is the noose, goad, axe, discus and a sharp tusk. Food and love are never far away from him – his other arms bear a flower-tipped arrow, sugarcane and a modak!
11. Heramba Ganapati
The magnificent Protector of the Helpless is white-bodied, five-faced and seated on a lion. Two of his hands gesture abhaya (protection) and varada (blessings), while his other arms bear food and weapons.
12. Vijaya Ganapati
As the Victorious One who vanquishes all dark forces, this red-hued Ganesha is seated atop his divine vehicle, Mooshika, the mouse. His four arms bear a broken tusk, noose, goad and a ripe mango.
13. Maha Ganapati
Seated majestically with one of his shaktis on his knee, Maha Ganapati (“Great One”) is awe-inspiring in red. Eight arms fan out holding his broken tusk, blue lily, lotus, a pomegranate, a stalk of sugarcane, sprig of paddy and his familiar weapons. Secure in his trunk is a pot of jewels. For those who worship Maha Ganapati, intellectual powers, prosperity and protection from evil are guaranteed.
14. Lakshmi Ganapati
Riddhi and Siddhi – achievement and wisdom – are Ganesha’s companions, here depicted as two maidens seated on the knees of this pure, white form of the Lord. Worshipping Lakshmi Ganapati brings success in every field. One right hand is held in varada mudra, bestowing blessings.
15. Nritya Ganapati
A beautiful, vibrant form! Ganesha the Dancer glows golden. On his fingers are rings; his four arms bear the tusk, noose, goad and modak. He dances under the kalpvriksh, the epitome of exuberance!
16. Urdhva Ganapati
Lord of lords, the Resurgent One. This golden colored form of Urdhva Ganapati sits upon a lotus. His six arms bear a paddy stalk, a lotus, a blue lily, sugarcane bow and his broken tusk.
17. Varada Ganapati
As the Bestower of Boons, Varada Ganapati bears some of his father Shiva’s attributes – the ‘third eye’ of perception in the middle of his brow and the crescent moon upon his brow. His trunk secures a bowl of gems; his other hands hold the noose, goad and a pot of honey. Shakti sits upon his knee.
18. Ekakshara Ganapati
“Gam”, the single syllable ( “ekakshara”) that is part of the Ganesha mantra Aum Gam Ganapataye Namah, invokes the blessings of the Lord. Ekakshara Ganapati is red-complexioned and adorned with red garments. Seated on Mooshika the mouse, Ganapati’s one hand gestures blessings, while the other three hold the goad, noose and a pomegranate. The crescent moon and third eye are present too, in this form.
19. Tryakshara Ganapati
He derives this name from the word A-U-M in which three sounds are mingled. This golden-skinned Ganapati has large, floppy ears with fly whisks tucked into them! The noose, goad, tusk and mango in his hands and a modak in his trunk complete the picture.
20. Haridra Ganapati
Gold-colored and clad in yellow, Haridra Ganapati is seated on a throne, the picture of poise. His tusk holds his favorite modak, his hands wield the noose and goad.
21. Ekadanta Ganapati
The Single-Tusked One (Eka=One Danta=Tusk) is blue in color. His axe cuts through ignorance. Another hand holds prayer beads, while a third grasps his broken tusk. For Ekadanta, a sweet laddoo is a delightful snack.
22. Kshipra Prasada Ganapati
“Kshipra” means the quality of quickness. Ask of him what you will with devotion and faith – this Ganapati, seated on a throne of kusha-grass, will reward you in no time at all. His other attributes: the goad, tusk, noose, pomegranate, lotus and the kalpvriksh.
23. Uddanda Ganapati
This ten-armed form of the Lord is the one who enforces Dharma, the moral law of the Universe. For this task, he bears ten attributes: the blue lily, sugar cane stalk, lotus, mace, noose, paddy, a broken tusk and a garland.
24. Srishti Ganapati
The red-hued Lord who presides over manifest creation sits astride Mooshika, his divine mouse vehicle. The noose, goad and a ripe mango are his attributes. His broken tusk represents his willingness to sacrifice.
25. Rinamochana Ganapati
Marble skinned and clad in red silk, this Ganapati offers salvation from guilt and attachment. His trunk holds another favored fruit, the wood apple, while his hands bear the noose, goad and broken tusk.
26. Dhundhi Ganapati
The Ganapati whom all devotees seek out (dhundh=search) He holds prayer beads, his broken tusk and an axe. The pot of gems nestled in his trunk symbolizes the spiritual enlightenment that his faithful devotees will receive.
27. Dvimukha Ganapati
“Dvi” is “two” and “mukha” is “face”. Ganapati’s two faces can see in all directions. His form is a luminous blue-green. A jeweled crown graces his head. His hands hold the goad, noose, a pot of gems and his tusk.
28. Trimukha Ganapati
This three-headed, red-complexioned Ganapati is seated on a golden lotus. One hand turns prayer beads; the others each clasp a goad, noose and a pot of nectar. Two hands are held in abhaya mudra and varada mudra.
29. Yoga Ganapati
This blue clad form of the Lord has the complexion of the rising sun. Seated with his knees strapped, he is completely immersed in meditation; his hands hold a stalk of sugar cane, a staff, prayer beads and a noose.
30. Sinha Ganapati
This dazzling white form of the Lord, seated on a lion, symbolizes his great strength and courage. In his hands, he displays another lion, a twig from the kalpvriksh, the veena, a lotus flower, a floral bouquet and a pot of gems.
31. Sankatahara Ganapati
The Lord who dispels sorrow and difficulty is appropriately sun-colored, with contrasting blue vestments. He sits on a red lotus with a noose and goad. Another hand bestows boons, while his trunk secures a bowl of sweet rice pudding.
32. Durga Ganapati
In this form, Ganapati takes on the attributes of Ma Durga, the invincible goddess. Magnificently golden in color, he wears red garments. His weaponry includes a bow and arrow, goad and noose. Also present are his prayer beads, a rose apple and his broken tusk.