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The 32 Forms of Lord Ganesha

June 11, 2024 | Total Views : 83
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Hindus worship Lord Ganesha before beginning any auspicious ventures. They also worship him first during Poojas. Ganesha is the deity who removes obstacles. Hence, his blessings are essential to achieve success in any endeavor.

 He is also the deity of knowledge and wisdom. Once, he and his brother entered into a contest as to who would go around all the 3 worlds faster. The winner would get the fruit of knowledge as a reward. While Muruga climbed on his peacock and set off in earnest, Ganesha merely circumambulated his parents thrice, saying that his parents were his world. He won the contest. Ganesha was chosen by Sage Veda Vyasa as a scribe when he decided to write the Mahabharata. While writing, Ganesha’s stylus broke, and he continued to write by breaking off one of his tusks and using the broken tusk as a pen.

The 32 Forms of Lord Ganesha

The 32 Forms of Ganesha

The Ganesha Purana mentions the 32 forms of Ganesha. Each form has its own powers and features. Shodasa Ganapati is the collective name for the first 16 forms. The remaining 16 are known as “Ekavimsathi”. Of the 32 forms, Mahaganapati is the most popular.

Here are the 32 forms of Ganesha and their descriptions. 

Bala Ganesha: This is the first of the 32 forms. He is a child in this form and represents the earth’s fertility. He has a bright golden complexion like the rising sun and his four hands hold a Mango, Jackfruit, Banana and Sugarcane. All these are produced by the Earth. There is a Modak, his favorite sweet, in his trunk.

Taruna Ganapati: This is Ganesha’s adolescent form. In this form, he has a shining bright red complexion like the midday sun. It represents a youthful energy. He has 8 hands (ashtabhuja). As Taruna Ganesha, he grants good health, happiness, fulfillment, and prosperity. This is an exuberant form which represents the Air element (Vayu). 

 Bhakti Ganapati: In this form, Ganesha resembles Sharad Purnima or autumn full moon. It reflects the kindness and compassion he shows toward his devotees. Hence, Ganesha himself is depicted in Bhakti form as a devotee. In his 4 arms, he holds a coconut, a mango, a banana, and a sweet or kheer. This form represents Jal or the water element. In this form, he helps his devotees to curb their temper, and remain blissful.

 Veera Ganapati: He is a brave warrior in this form. He has 16 arms, each of which holds a weapon. He is the epitome of courage in this form. ‘Veeram’ means ‘valor.’ Veera Ganapati represents the fire element or Agni. He helps his devotees to overcome the challenges in their life.

Shakti Ganapati: This form has 4 arms; hence, he is Chathurbhuja Ganpati. Goddess Shakti, one of his consorts, sits on his left thigh. Tantriks tend to worship this form more. Shakti Ganapati represents the space element or Akash. Worshipping this form boosts concentration and helps us achieve our goals. Shakti Ganapati is the guardian of households and bestows peace and harmony in family life.

 Dvija Ganapati: This form of Ganesha resembles Lord Brahma. He has 4 heads and 4 arms. Dvija Ganapati's color recalls the moon. “Dvija” means ‘born twice’, first when one is born and secondly when one wears the sacred thread (Janeu).  Dvija refers to Brahmins for this reason. Worshipping Ganesha in this form brings fame and goodwill in personal and professional life.

 Siddhi Ganapati: Also called ‘Pingala Ganpati,’ due to his shiny golden-yellow color, the 7th form of Ganesha has 8 Maha Siddhis or Ashta Siddhis. His blessings can bring success in all endeavors.

 Ucchhishta Ganesha: He has a blue complexion and has 6 arms. Goddess Shakti, his consort, sits on his left thigh. His worship is more common among Tantriks. According to Vedic astrology, he is linked to Krittika star/Nakshatra’. In this form, he helps devotees have a good relationship with their spouse.

 Vighna Ganesha: This Ganapati, like Lord Vishnu, holds a conch/Shankha and discus/Chakra in 2 of his hands. He has 8 arms. He has a golden yellow complexion and is associated with Rohini Nakshatra. This form can remove all negativity and hurdles from one’s life.

 Kshipra Ganapati: Kshipra Ganapati has a red complexion and 4 arms. He holds a sprig of Kalpavirksha  (wish-fulfilling tree) in his hand. Another hand holds a small pot containing precious jewels, which symbolizes prosperity. He fulfills his devotees’ wishes and bestows wisdom and wealth.

 Heramba Ganapati: This Ganpati has the lion as his mount. This is a rare form. He has 5 heads and 10 hands. The Sanskrit word ‘Heramba’ denotes ‘weakness’ or ‘helplessness.’ ‘Ramba’ denotes ‘protection.’ He-Ramba Ganapati is, therefore, one who protects the weak and the helpless.

 Lakshmi Ganapati: In this form, Ganesha is with his consorts, Goddess Siddhi (Achievement) and Goddess Budhi (Wisdom), sitting on his thighs. He has 8 arms and a white complexion. Lakshmi Ganesha bestows wealth, intelligence, prosperity, and a blissful life.

 Maha Ganapati: The 13th form of Ganesha has 3 eyes. Like Shiva, he has a crescent moon on his forehead.  One of his consorts sits on his left thigh. He is red in color and has 10 arms. In one, he holds his own broken tusk. Maha Ganapati is one of the most important and powerful among the 32 Ganesha forms. He blesses devotees with success in all their accomplishments.

 Vijaya Ganapati: This Ganesha is Chaturbhuj or 4-armed. He has a red hue and has a mouse as his vehicle. The mouse is rather big and appears to be galloping quickly with Ganesha sitting on its back. Vijaya Ganapati is the deity of achievement and success.

 Nritya Ganapati: This is an exuberant form of Ganapati, who dances with joy under a Kalpavriksha tree. He has 4 arms and a golden hue. He symbolizes the joyful form of the deity. Nritya Ganapati bestows artistic proficiency. His devotees often gain success and fame, especially those who are dancers.

 Urdhva Ganapati: This is also a Tantrik form of Ganesha. He has a golden hue and 8 arms. Goddess Shakti, his consort, sits on his left thigh. People who worship him can overcome their problems and boost their inner strength.

 Ekakshara Ganapati: ‘Eka’ denotes ‘one’, and ‘Akshara’ denotes ‘the letter’.  Thus, Eka Akshara suggests a single syllable that represents the seed letter (Beejakshara) called ‘Gam.’ He signifies the universal sound, ‘Om.’ He sits in Padmasana (lotus pose) and rides a mouse. He has a red hue, 3 eyes, and a crescent moon on his crown.

 Varada Ganapati: This form of Ganesha is a boon-giver. He has a third eye denoting wisdom, 4 arms, and a crescent moon on his crown. Goddess Shakti, his consort, sits on his left thigh,  holding a lotus and a flag. He has a red color and symbolizes generosity.

 Tryakshara Ganapati: This form represents the three-letter word ‘A-U-M’ or Om sound.  He has a golden color and a third eye on his forehead. He has 4 hands and large, floppy ears. His devotees will be blessed with spiritual knowledge and self-realization.

 Kshipra Prasada Ganapati: This Ganesha sits on holy Kusha grass. He has 6 arms and a crimson-red hue. His big belly represents the Universe. Kshipra Prasada Ganapati rewards his devotees more easily.

 Haridra Ganapati: This form is made of turmeric, so it is bright yellow. He has 4 hands. He has a noose in one of the upper hands, and in the other, an elephant Goad. This Ganesha uses the noose to hold his devotee close and the Goad to stimulate them to move ahead.

 Ekadanta Ganapati: Ekadanta denotes “single-tusked”.  In this form, Ganesha has a blue color and a very large belly, which suggests that the Universe exists within him. He has 4 hands. In one, he holds an axe, which severs the bond of ignorance.

 Srishti Ganapati: He is the creator of the Universe. He has a crimson-red color and 4 hands. He rides a mouse. Srishti Ganesha bestows on his devotees the power of judgment or discrimination.

 Uddanda Ganapati: This Ganesha has 12 arms, and Goddess Shakti sits on his left thigh. This is an aggressive form. He upholds Dharma and is a ruthless persecutor of evil.

Rinamochana Ganapati: This Ganesha helps his devotees free themselves from their karmic debts. He is white in color and has four arms. 

Dhundhi Ganapati: He holds Rudraksha beads and Shiva supposedly dwells in them. This form empowers the devotee’s spiritual knowledge. It guides them on the path of Moksha or liberation. He is red in color and has 4 hands. He holds a pot of jewels or Ratna Kumbha, which symbolizes the supreme consciousness.

 Dvimukha Ganapati: This Ganesha has 2 faces which denotes his ability to look at the Universe’s inner and outer aspects. He can see in all directions. He has a greenish-blue hue, 4 hands, and a bright gem-encrusted crown on his head. In this form, he protects his devotees from evil forces.

Trimukha Ganapati: This is one of the most revered forms of Ganesha. He has 3 faces, sits on a lotus flower and has 6 hands. Trimukha Ganapati ensures the well-being of devotees and their families. He has a red complexion, and has a pot of nectar in his left hand.

Simha Ganapati: He has 8 arms and the face of a lion. He strengthens the courage and core strength of his worshippers. Sometimes, he rides a lion or holds a lion in one of his hands.

Yoga Ganapati: This Ganesha is depicted as being in deep meditation with folded knees. He shines like a rising sun. Yoga Ganesha is linked to the base chakra called the Mooladhara chakra. Worshipping him can bring good health and progress in life.

 Durga Ganapati: This form has powers resembling those of Goddess Durga. He has immense powers to gain victory over evil. He has 8 arms and glows like gold. His devotees will be able to overcome all obstacles and emerge victorious in life.

 Sankatahara Ganapati: This is the 32nd form of Ganesha. ‘Sankathara’ means ‘removing all problems.’ This form of Ganesha removes all obstacles and hardships in his devotees’ lives. He has a radiant red complexion, and Goddess Shakti sits on his left thigh.

Conclusion

Each of the 32 forms of Ganesha has its own significance. Devotees worship them according to their needs and desires. For instance, some may seek good health, others want prosperity, and yet others may seek protection from evil forces.

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