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12 Names of Lord Ganesh and their Meanings

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The devotees of the lord Ganesh has almost learnt by heart this stanza. It is a matter of daily utterance. Shri Ganesh is given Prime importance among the Panch-Devas (Five Gods) according to Indian Hindu tradition. Lord Ganesh is respected with the first honour of worship, before undertaking any auspicious occassion, or celebration. For the successful completion of any auspicious undertaking, the Tweleve - names of Lord Ganesh are pronounced, and praised.

 

Twelves Name of Lord Ganesh are as follows : -

 

 Sumukh

 Vighna - Nashak

 Ekdanta (with one tooth)

 Vinayak

 Kapil

 Dhumraketu

 Gajkarna

 Ganadhyaksha

 Lambodar

 Balchandra

 Vikat

 Gajanana

 

 

Summerily, one describes lord Ganesh, as a God with beautiful face, with one tooth, black in colour, with an ear of elephant, big tummy, ferracious, demolishing the evils; a god with a bunch of virtous characters, bearing smoky colour small banner, a leader of the Ganas (People in general) bearing the moon on his head, and having an elephant face. However the inner meaning of these tweleve names is drastically different. Let us go one by one:

 

1. Sumukh :

 

One who has a beatutiful face. The scientific interpretation of this is that; Lord Ganesh got Farious hitting at the hands of lord Shiva, with the latters weapons, and thus his body becoming luminous like the sun. It became round and entered the Chandra Mandal. (Circumference of the moon) jumping in like a frog. The moon is known as a godness of beauty. On entering the Chandra Mandal, the luminous section in this God came to life again, then Ganesh brought along with him all the prominent characteristics of the moon, and so the name " Sumukh " was given.

 

Whenever Lord Ganesh is worshipped at the beginning of any auspicious occassion his sacred and beautiful face is always the center of our attention.

 

His small eyes signify the seriousness. Long nose suggests his wisdom and intellect, where as his long flat ears suggest his knowledge prowess of extreme nature. He listens to the events which are significant, so also carefully listens to the complaints and grievances of his devotees. Deergha Karna (Long ears) means this. He pronounces the integrated nature of Omkar...... i.e. Bramha Vishnu and Mahesh. All these dimensions together justify his name as Sumukh.

 

2. Ek Danta (Having One Tooth) :

 

There is a story behind this name, once, mother Parvati, Went for a bath, telling Gajanana to project the entrance, and not to allow way one inside, and should stop him if one wishes. Then Lord Parashuram arrived there and tried to enter Ganesh obstructed him. He strongly abused and disowned Parshuram who got severely hurt and thus retaliated by weapons. He attacked Ganesh first, and in the process, Ganesh lost one of his teeth. Therefore he became known as " Ek Danta " Even that broken tooth harshly disowned Parashuram and pressed him with an intention to kill. However the disciples of Shiva interfered and stopped Ganesh from doing so. There was havoc among the Gods, at the sight of Ganeshas broken teeth. To please him however, the Gods praised that broken teeth also. This is a historical story. The philosophical sense however is that when lord Ganesha had two teeth, he was not the god, who believed in the doctrine of duet entity. However, when he had only one single tooth. he became a propagandist of Singular doctrine i.e. Adwaitwadi.

 

It is every ones case, when initially man is in a state of confussion and belives in Dwait (duel doctrine) But finally chooses only one aim and travels towards it (A d wati) and becames successful in life. Lord shri Ganesh; not only was successful with his " Ekdant "and had the honour of being worshipped as a leader. Ek is Maya, Danta means Mayesk. There is a coordination
of Maya and Mayeek within lord Ganesh and hence, is, EK Danta.'

 

3. Kapil :

 

Is an adjective means of Grey colour; Smoky grey colour cow is called Kapila; The cow satisfies the needs of a man keeping him healthy by giving products like milk, curd, ghee etc. though she is gray in colour similarly lord Ganesh gives Ghee in the form of knowledge, curd in the form of wisdom and milk in the form of expression. He makes man healthy, destroys all his evils and clears off his worries. Therefore his name "Kapil" fits in, in the sense it carries.

 

4. Gajakarna :

 

Is the forth name of lord Ganesh means God with ears of elephant. It is very well known with this name. He listens to everyone. The people with high degree of intellect and wisdom can only do great things; those with cheap hearing character always listen to trifle matters which do not achieve any benefits for mankind. This Ganesh Deity with long ears, as if, teaches the humanity not be a listener of cheap things, The ill wishers around may utter many good or bad words about us, listen to then but do not pronounce; not even once.

 

5. Lambodar (Big Belly) :

 

With large stomach portion. Shri Ganesh is remembered Ganesh Gayatri as under. Human beings are of two kinds. In the first category, people digest and store every good will thing within them. However, the people in second category cannot digest anything. Reference is made in the book titled "Ganapati Sambhaus", which narrates that, Lord Ganesh Learnt the art of music, from the tinkling sound of Nupoor, ornament in the feet tied around the ankles of Parvati Mata. He studied vedas from the sound of Damaru of Lord Shiva Thus, with the accumulation and storage of vast knowledge, his tummy became large.

 

6. Vikat :

 

This is Ganesha's Sixth name. It means ferocious, dreadful. Ganesh has all his body of a human being, whereas, his face is of elephant. To realize the truth behind this name "Vikat" lord Ganesh stands firmly to defeat all the evils in the way. It is always said that one has to raise encounters in the same manner, as the opponents behave. The name given thus, gives inspiration to common man. Ganesh did not surrender even before Parashuram.

 

7. Vighna Nashak :

 

Lord Ganesh is a destroyer of all evils and Calamities. As is said in the Atharva Shirsha. it means, We pray and worship with folded hands, that Ganesh, who is a son of Shiva, destroys the evils, and who also incarnates before his devotees in the posture of blessings given, Shri Ganesh removes fear from the minds. It is the only deity who holds control over all evils. Therefore he is known as Vighnesh.

 

8. Vinayak :

 

This is Lord Ganesha's Eighth name meaning thereby specific Nayak or Hero or leader or Swami. There will be no obstruction or stoppage in the work undertaken, when Lord Ganesh is satisfied with prayer and worshipped while performing the secured rites of "Punyahvachan" (reading) it is pronounced Priyatam", this a remembrance of Ganesh as a conqueror of calamities. In the word Vinayak Letter 'V' stands for Vighna - calamity - Nayak is Swamy - controller.

 

9. Dhumraketu :

 

Means Agni...... a flag like a smoke. It carries two meanings. Smoke of Decision - suspicion, a smoke, which would give concrete shape to the ideas and fluttering in the atmosphere like a flag. Therefore Ganesh is known as Dhoomraketu and is
appreciated.

 

Second meaning : Like Agni, Shri Ganesh destroys all the evils and calamities, which come in the way of the philosophical and scientific progress of mankind and enables it to achieve the highest success by providing strength.

 

10. Ganadhyaksha :

 

This is Shri Ganesha's Tenth name. It also carries two meanings. A swami or a controller of such things, which can be counted. Second meaning is swami or a controller of Ganas. (General People) Nar (Men), Asur (Demon) Nag (Snakes) Chaturveda (four vedas) four Purusharthas.......Ganesha is the swami of all these. Science calls Ganesha as the swami of all these. Science calls Ganesha as entire universe (Bramha) therefore known as Ganancha Adhipati.......means Ganapati.

 

11. Balchandra :

 

This is Shri Ganesha's eleventh name. One who wears moon on his head. The moon has a relation with all creatures in this world. By holding the moon on the head, Shri Ganesh creates an atmosphere of pleasure and peace with his cool physique.
More peace observed by a person with his thoughtful mind and wisdom, can shoulder his responsibilities in a more effective efficient way. He will definitely be more successful in every endeavor, he undertakes with quiet mind.

 

Another meaning of Bhalchandra means, that moon is a king of Brahmins, one who is perfect in knowing Brahma. Thus by holding this Brahmin king on his head, Ganapati has as if stored the entire knowledge of Brahma and therefore achieved an honors of worship at the first place. It has therefore an inner meaning.

 

12. Gajanana :

 

This is the Twelth and last name. It names a God having the face of elephant. Half at his body is of a human being while face is like elephant. Small eyes like elephant conveys the meaning of critical eyesight, also suggesting that one should have generous outlook. It further signifies lord Ganesha's determination to protect the dignify and status of mankind forever. Long ears suggest that he is capable of listening everything. From the throat to his head, portion of Ganesha is like elphant, therefore is more prominent and attractive.

 

Gaja means .... those Rishis or Yogis who sit in the posture of Samadhi for years and achieve salvation, that is known as 'G' on the other hand, 'J' is suggesting materialistic approach towards life which we call Prapancha.... Human life.

 

In 'Ganapat Sambahav' Book it is written that a man and an elephant can live up to 120 years of age. A man can survive up to this limit with sincere efforts. Ganesha has thus tried to establish relation between a man and an elephant therefore has incarnated himself in this combination.

 

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