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Valampuri Ganapathy

The son of Shiva and Parvati, Ganesha has an elephantine countenance with a curved trunk and big ears, and a huge pot-bellied body of a human being. He is the Lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles. He is also worshipped as the god of education, knowledge, wisdom and wealth. In fact, Ganesha is one of the five prime Hindu deities (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and Durga being the other four) whose idolatry is glorified as the panchayatana puja.

Ganesha's head symbolizes the Atman or the soul, which is the ultimate supreme reality of human existence, and his human body signifies Maya or the earthly existence of human beings. The elephant head denotes wisdom and its trunk represents Om, the sound symbol of cosmic reality. In his upper right hand Ganesha holds a goad, which helps him propel mankind forward on the eternal path and remove obstacles from the way. The noose in Ganesha's left hand is a gentle implement to capture all difficulties.

The broken tusk that Ganesha holds like a pen in his lower right hand is a symbol of sacrifice, which he broke for writing the Mahabharata. The rosary in his other hand suggests that the pursuit of knowledge should be continuous. The laddoo (sweet) he holds in his trunk indicates that one must discover the sweetness of the Atman. His fan-like ears convey that he is all ears to our petition. The snake that runs round his waist represents energy in all forms. And he is humble enough to ride the lowest of creatures, a mouse.

Ganesha is also the destroyer of vanity, selfishness and pride. He is the personification of material universe in all its various magnificent manifestations.

Thirty-Two Forms of Ganesha

Bala Ganapati

Bala Ganapati is "the Childlike" God of golden hue. In His hands He holds a banana, mango, sugar cane and jackfruit, all representing the earth's abundance and fertility. His trunk garners His favorite sweet, the modaka.

Taruna Ganapati

Eight-armed, Taruna Ganapati, "the Youthful," holds a noose and goad, modaka, wood apple, rose apple, His broken tusk, a sprig of paddy and a sugar cane stalk. His brilliant red color reflects the blossoming of youth.

Bhakti Ganapati

Shining like the full moon during harvest season and garlanded with flowers, Bhakti Ganapati, dear to devotees, is indeed pleasant to look upon. He holds a banana, a mango, coconut and a bowl of sweet payasa pudding.

Vira Ganapati

The "Valiant Warrior," Vira Ganapati, assumes a commanding pose. His 16 arms bristle with weapons, symbols of mind powers: a goad, discus, bow, arrow, sword, shield, spear, mace, a battleaxe, a trident and more.

Shakti Ganapati

Four-armed and seated with one of His shaktis on His knee, Shakti Ganapati, "the Powerful," of orange-red hue, guards the householder. He holds a garland, noose and goad, and bestows blessings with the abhaya mudra.

Dvija Ganapati

Four-headed Dvija Ganapati, "the Twice-born," is moon-like in color. Holding a noose, a goad, an ola leaf scripture, a staff, water vessel and a his japa beads, He reminds one and all of the urgency for disciplined striving.

Siddhi Ganapati

Golden-yellow Siddhi Ganapati, "the Accomplished," is the epitome of achievement and self-mastery. He sits comfortably holding a bouquet of flowers, an axe, mango, sugar cane and, in His trunk, a tasty sesame sweet.

Ucchhishta Ganapati

Ucchhishta Ganapati is "Lord of Blessed Offerings" and guardian of culture. Of blue complexion and six-armed, He sits with His Shakti, holding a vina, pomegranate, blue lotus flower, japa mala and a sprig of fresh paddy.

Vighna Ganapati

Vighna Ganapati, "Lord of Obstacles," is of brilliant gold hue and bedecked in jewels. His eight arms hold a noose and goad, tusk and modaka, conch and discus, a bouquet of flowers, sugar cane, flower arrow and an axe.

Kshipra Ganapati

Handsome, red-hued Kshipra Ganapati, "Quick-acting" giver of boons, displays His broken tusk, a noose, goad and a sprig of the kalpavriksha (wish-fulfilling) tree. In His uplifted trunk He holds a tiny pot of precious jewels.

Heramba Ganapati

Five-faced, white in color, Heramba Ganapati, "Protector of the Weak," rides a big lion. He extends the gestures of protection and blessing while holding a noose, japa beads, axe, hammer, tusk, garland, fruit and modaka.

Lakshmi Ganapati

Lakshmi Ganapati, pure white giver of success, sits flanked by Wisdom and Achievement. Gesturing varada mudra, He holds a green parrot, a pomegranate, sword, goad, noose, sprig of kalpavriksha and a water vessel.

Maha Ganapati

Accompanied by one of His shaktis, "the Great," Maha Ganapati, is red-complexioned and three-eyed. He holds His tusk, a pomegranate, blue lily, sugar-cane bow, discus, noose, lotus, paddy sprig, mace and a pot of gems.

Vijaya Ganapati

Four-armed, of red hue and riding His resourceful mushika, Vijaya Ganapati is "the Victorious" bestower of success. His insignia are the broken tusk, elephant goad, a noose and a lucious golden mango, His favorite fruit.

Nritya Ganapati

The happy "Dancer," Nritya Ganapati, is four-armed and golden, with rings on His fingers, holding a tusk, goad, noose and modaka sweet. He prances under the kalpavriksha tree, epitomizing exuberant activity and joy.

Urdhva Ganapati

Seated with one of His shaktis on His left knee, Urdhva Ganapati is "the Elevated" Lord of golden hue. In His six hands He holds a sprig of paddy, a lotus, the sugar cane bow, an arrow, His ivory tusk and a blue water lily.

Ekakshara Ganapati

Ekakshara, of "Single-Syllable" (gam), is three-eyed, of red complexion and attire. Crescent moon on His crown, He sits in lotus pose upon Mushika, offers the boon-giving gesture and holds a pomegranate, noose and goad.

Varada Ganapati

Varada Ganapati, "the Boon-Giver with prominent third eye of wisdom, holds a dish of honey, the noose and goad and encloses a pot of jewels in His trunk. His shakti is at His side, and the crescent moon adorns His crown.

Tryakshara Ganapati

Tryakshara Ganapati, "the Lord of Three Letters" (A-U-M), is gold in color and has fly whisks in His big floppy ears. He carries the broken tusk, goad, noose and mango and is often seen grasping a sweet modaka in His trunk.

Kshipra Prasada Ganapati

Kshipra Prasada Ganapati, "the Quick Rewarder," presides from a kusha-grass throne. His big belly symbolizes the manifest universe. He holds a noose, goad, tusk, lotus, pomegranate and a twig of the wish-fulfilling tree.

Haridra Ganapati

Haridra Ganapati, the golden one dressed in bright yellow vestments, sits calmly on a posh, regal throne. Along with His tusk and a modaka, He wields a noose to hold devotees close and a sharp goad to spur them onward.

Ekadanta Ganapati

Ekadanta, of "Single Tusk," is distinguished by His blue color and sizeable belly. The attributes of this murti are an axe for cutting the bonds of ignorance, prayer beads for japa, a laddu sweet and the broken right tusk.

Srishti Ganapati

Riding on His docile and friendly mouse, Srishti Ganapati is the lord of happy "Manifestation." This active God, of red complexion, holds His noose a goad, a perfect mango, and His tusk, representing selfless sacrifice.

Uddanda Ganapati

Uddanda Ganapati is the bold "Enforcer of Dharma," the laws of being. His ten hands hold a pot of gems, a blue lily, sugar cane, a mace, lotus flower, sprig of paddy, a pomegranate, noose, garland and His broken tusk.

Rinamochana Ganapati

Rinamochana Ganapati is humanity's liberator from guilt and bondage. His figure of alabaster skin is apparelled in red silks. He bears a noose and a goad, His milk-white tusk and a favorite fruit, the rose apple.

Dhundhi Ganapati

Red-hued Dhundhi Ganapati, "the Sought After," holds a strand of rudraksha beads, His broken tusk, an axe and a small pot of precious gems thought to represent the treasury of awakenings He saves for all ardent devotees.

Dvimukha Ganapati

Dvimukha Ganapati, called Janus by the Romans, with two divergent faces, sees in all directions. His blue-green form is dressed in red silk. He wears a bejeweled crown and holds a noose, goad, His tusk and a pot of gems.

Trimukha Ganapati

Trimukha Ganapati, the contemplative "three-faced" Lord of red hue, sits on a golden lotus, telling His beads, holding a noose, goad and vessel of nectar. He gestures protection with a right hand and blessings with a left.

Sinha Ganapati

Sinha Ganapati, white in color, rides a lion and displays another lion in one hand, symbolizing strength and fearlessness. He also holds a kalpavriksha sprig, the vina, a lotus blossom, flower bouquet and a pot of jewels.

Yoga Ganapati

Yoga Ganapati is absorbed in mantra japa, His knees strapped in meditative pose, hands holding a yoga staff, sugar cane stalk, a noose and prayer beads. His color is like the morning sun. Blue garments adorn His form.

Durga Ganapati

Durga Ganapati, the "Invincible," waves the flag of victory over darkness. This splendid murti is of deep gold hue, dressed in red, holding a bow and arrow, noose and goad, prayer beads, broken tusk and a rose apple.

Sankatahara Ganapati

Sankatahara Ganapati, "the Dispeller of Sorrow," is of sunlike hue, dressed in blue, and seated on a red lotus flower. He holds a bowl of pudding, a goad and a noose while gesturing the boon-granting varada mudra.



Ganesha Mangalashtakam


गजाननाय गाङ्गेयसहजाय सदात्मने
गौरीप्रिय तनूजाय गणेशायास्तु मङ्गलम् 1

Gajananaya Gangeya Sahajaya sadathmane,

Gowri priya thanhujaya Ganesayasthu Mangalam.

Mangalam to Ganesa,

Who has the face of an elephant,

Who is brother of Lord Subrahmanya,

Who is a great and pure soul,

And the favourite son of Parvathi.

नागयज्ञोपवीदाय नतविघ्नविनाशिने
नन्द्यादि गणनाथाय नायकायास्तु मङ्गलम् 2

Naga Yagnopavethaya , Natha vigna vinasine,

Nandhyahi gana nathaya, Ganesayasthu Mangalam.

Mangalam to Ganesa,

Who wears serpent as sacred thread,

Who destroys problems of his devotees,

And who is the leader of Nandhi and other Ganas.

इभवक्त्राय चेन्द्रादि वन्दिताय चिदात्मने
ईशानप्रेमपात्राय नायकायास्तु मङ्गलम् 3

Ibhavakthraya chendradhi Vandhithaya chidathmane,

Eesana prema pathraya , Cheshtadaayasthu Mangalam.

Who has the head of an elephant,

Who is being saluted by Indra and others,

Who understands our soul,

And who is the darling of Lord Shiva.

सुमुखाय सुशुण्डाग्रात्-क्षिप्तामृतघटाय
सुरबृन्द निषेव्याय चेष्टदायास्तु मङ्गलम् 4

Sumukhaya susundogro Kshipthamrutha ghataya cha,

Sura brunda nishevyaya, Sukhadayasthu Mangalam.

Mangalam to him who gives pleasures,

Who has a very pleasant face,

Who with his  trunk threw the pot of nectar,

And who is served by the group of all devas.

चतुर्भुजाय चन्द्रार्धविलसन्मस्तकाय
चरणावनतानन्ततारणायास्तु मङ्गलम् 5

Chathur bhujaya chandrardha Vilasan masthakaya cha,

Charanavanathananda Dayakasthu Mangalam .

Mangalam to him whose feet,

Grants happiness to his devotees,

And who has four hands,

And whose head shines because of the half moon.

वक्रतुण्डाय वटवे वन्याय वरदाय
विरूपाक्ष सुतायास्तु मङ्गलम् 6

Vakra thundaya vatave Vandhyaya  varadhaya cha,

Viroopaksha suthayasthu Vigna nasaya Mangalam.

Mangalam to him who destroys obstacles,

Who has a broken tusk, who is a Bachelor,

Who is saluted and who gives boons.

प्रमोदमोदरूपाय सिद्धिविज्ञानरूपिणे
प्रकृष्टा पापनाशाय फलदायास्तु मङ्गलम् 7

Pramodha modha roopaya Sidhi vijnana roopine ,

Prakrushta papa nasaya Phaladhayasthu Mangalam.

Mangalam to him, who always grants results,

Who is delighted with the form of Modhaka,

Who has the form of attainment of knowledge,

And who destroys very great sins.

मङ्गलं गणनाथाय मङ्गलं हरसूनने
मङ्गलं विघ्नराजाय विघहर्त्रेस्तु मङ्गलम् 8

Mangalam Gana nathaya Mangalam hara soonave,

Mangalam vighna rajaya , Vignaharthresthu Mangalam.

Mangalam to remover of obstacles.

Mangalam to the lord of the ganas,

Mangalam to the son of Lord Shiva,

Mangalam to the king of obstacles.

श्लोकाष्टकमिदं पुण्यं मङ्गलप्रद मादरात्
पठितव्यं प्रयत्नेन सर्वविघ्ननिवृत्तये

Slokashtakamidham punyam Mangala pradham aadharath,

Padithavyam prayathnena Sarva vigna nivruthaye.

He who reads with devotion,

These holy eight verses,

Which causes good,

Would without  effort,

Remove all obstacles in his way.


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