Lord Ganesha – The Aadya Daivat

Lord Ganesha, one of the most beloved God amongst Indian Mythology. Lord Ganesha, being the Lord of 14 vidya and 64 kala, is also famous as aadya daivat, i.e. the first Lord. The story of being aadya daivat, very much lies in the birth story of Lord Ganesha.

Ganesha As Aadya Daivat

When Bal – Ganesha (Baby Ganesha) in all-human form was killed by Shri-Mahadev Shiva, Goddess Parvati become very upset. So to console her consort Lord Shiva gave life to the dead Ganesha by placing the head of an elephant which was nearby. Upon getting new life Bal – Ganesha, all gods and goddesses blessed him with many boons. Among which was the one from his parents Shiva and Parvati that his name is invoked before any other God’s name.  Thus, Ganesha became the aadya daivat. It is believed that when Maharishi Vyas was narrating the Mahabharata, Lord Ganesha sat down to write down this holy epic poem.

This beloved God is popular in all the countries where Hindus had their existence. It includes India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand, Bali, Bangladesh etc.

Symbolic Meaning of Ganesha’s Form

The symbolic form of Lord Ganesha has much more for us to achieve as human beings. His big head is to think big and wisely. And his small eyes implies the concentration and focus. With elephant ears, we should hear good things keenly. We should be quick in actions as his vehicle mouse. We should not let bad things come out of our mouth, let them stay in your tummy. The modak in his hand is the prasad for his devotees as the reward of sadhana.

Popular Names Of Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesh has 108 names. Gajanana, Lambodara, Vinayaka, Ekdant, Vikata, Sumukh, Bhalchandra are few famous of those.

The names of Lord Ganesha are in the Sanskrit language. Lets understand what the names signify:

Gajanana – Gajanana means the one with the face of an elephant. Lord Ganesha has the body of a human with the face of an elephant. Hence, Gajanana means faced like an elephant.

Lambodara – Another name of Lord Ganesha is ‘Lambodara’ which means one having a big belly.

Vinayaka – In brief Vinayaka means the God of wisdom and the remover of obstacles.

Ekdant – Ekdant combines two words “Ek” and “Dant”. Ek is one and dant is tooth. Therefore the one having one tooth is ‘Ekdant’. Lord Ganesha who has the face of an elephant has only one tusk, hence he is also called Ekdant.

Vikata – Meaning ‘the mis-happen’ one who has a frightful appearance and a terrific aura. The one who can overcome any danger and obstacle is Vikata.

Sumukh – Sumukh = Su + Mukh. Su means very beautiful or with the positive aura and mukh means the face. Thus Sumukh is the one with a beautiful face. Lord Ganesha who possesses the face of an elephant is known as ‘Sumukh’.

Bhalchandra – Another name of Lord Ganesha is ‘Bhalchandra’ which means the one who carries the moon on his head.

Shloka From Sankat Nashan Ganapati Stotra

प्रथमं वक्रतुंडंच एकदंतं द्वितीयकम।
तृतीयं कृष्णं पिङा्क्षं गजवक्त्रं चतुर्थकम।।

लम्बोदरं पंचमं च षष्ठं विकटमेव च।
सप्तमं विघ्नराजेन्द्रं धूम्रवर्ण तथाष्टकम् ।।

नवमं भालचन्द्रं च दशमं तु विनायकम।
एकादशं गणपतिं द्वादशं तु गजाननम।।

The above shlokas are from famous sankat-naashan ganpati stotra, which is said to be written by Narada. It speaks of 12 names to be chanted regularly by Lord Ganesha’s deities. The names mentioned include Vakratunda, Ekdanta, Krishnapingaksha, Gajvaktra, Lambodar, Vikat, Vighnarajendra, Dhumravarna, Bhalchandra, Vinayak, Ganpati, Gajanana.

All the above names has connection with various places throughout India.

12 Names of Lord Ganesha Place of Origin
VakratundaKannur,Madras
EkdantaCalcutta, West Bengal
KrishnapingakshaKanyakumari, Madras
GajvaktraBhubaneshwar, Odisha
Lambodar1. Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Maharashtra
2. Omkareshwar, Madhya Pradesh
VikatRishikesh near Himalayan Foothills
VighnarajendraKurukshetra(War field of Mahabharata)
Dhumravarna1. Kaalikat, kerala
2. Lhasa in Tibet
BhalchandraDhanushkodi, Rameshwaram
VinayakDhundiraj Ganesha,
Annapurna devi temple of Shri Kashi kshetra
GanpatiDwibhuja Ganapati, kshetra Gokarna,
Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra.
GajananaThe Mundkata Ganesh,
near Gauri kunda of the last pilgrimage Paandukesar of Himalayan Ranges

*This Idol of Lord Ganesha is found without the head in The Mundkata Ganesh, near Gauri kunda of the last pilgrimage Paandukesar of Himalayan Ranges

It is said  that, Samartha Ramdas Swami, guru of Shivaji Maharaj, found out all these 12 holy places and visited during his expedition.  Each name has its own story, it will be very difficult to include all of those in a single article. We will try to bring upon those in our journey further. Will try to touch upon one in this article though.

The Mythology of Bhalchandra Ganesha

The name Bhalchandra is the word from Sanskrit language – a combination of Bhal (forehead) and Chandra (moon) to form Bhalchandra. Together, they indicate having the moon on forehead. This is Shri Ganesha’s eleventh name. This name was given to Lord Ganesha because he wears The Lord Moon on his head crown. In Indian mythology, it is said that Moon used to take proud on his beauty and looks. He always used to demean Lord Ganesha, for his looks and being fat.

Further the story goes like one day, when Lord Ganesha was trying to ride on his tiny little vehicle Mouse but he fell. Looking at the hilarious site Lord Moon couldn’t stop laughing. This made Ganesha angry and the he cursed Lord Moon, that he shall lose his shine for which he takes pride and no one shall see his face again. The scared Moon then begged Lord Ganesha, who then gave some relief to Moon, saying, that from today you shall grow day by day and get your beauty back. Thus, to thank, Lord Moon dressed himself on Lord Ganesha’s forehead.

Since the moon has a relation with all creatures in this world. Thus by wearing 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 endeavour, he undertakes with quiet mind.

The Inner Significance

Another meaning of Bhalchandra is 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 honours of worship at the first place. It has therefore an inner meaning.

Lord Ganesha has always helped all the gods in the difficult times whenever they faced any difficulties, let those be from demons or some calamities or the fights among themselves. Thus, he is lovable to all the Gods. He surprised everyone with his intelligence and hence his amazing capability to solve problems with the wisdom is always praised. For this reason is the “Lord of Buddhi (intelligence)”. Lord Ganesha is worshiped with Red Flowers of Hibiscus, Durva. Also, Lord Ganesha likes Modak. Therefore modak is the prasadam of Lord Ganesha. Modak is a dessert traditionally made using rice flour, coconut and jaggery inside. Ganesh Chaturthi is the widely celebrated festival in the honour of Lord ganesha’s arrival to earth. People welcome the Lord by keeping his idol for few days. After celebrating and praying for few days, then immersion of Lord Ganesha takes place as the symbol of his return.

Mantra chanting and meditation of Lord Ganesha remove all the troubles, create new beginnings, consider the most auspicious and bestows intelligence.

May This Lord of wisdom bestow his blessings over us all the time!

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