8 Interesting Facts About Lord Ganesha You May Not Know

Rishi Vyasa and Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha is the Son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Since he is born out of their union, he personifies life, duality, and manifestation in diverse aspects. Ganesha is highly charming and mesmerizing. He is the remover of problems and obstacles. Lord Ganesha is worshiped by both Jainism and Buddhism.

The head of Lord Ganesha symbolizes the Atman or the soul, considered the ultimate reality of humanity, and his human body symbolizes Maya, the trappings of earthly existence. Below are some of the interesting facts about Lord Ganesha.

Lord Ganesha Wrote the Mahabharata

It is believed that Rishi Vyasa requested Lord Ganesha to write the Mahabharata as he recited it. He decided to do it after Vyasa agreed to recite it without any interruptions, and Vyasa, in turn, made him promise he would understand what was being said before he wrote it down.

Rishi Vyasa and Lord Ganesha

Meaning of Ganapati

‘Gana’ means category. Everything we perceive through our senses or grasp through our mind can be expressed in terms of category. Ganapati, the Lord of categories, is the principle from which all such categories have manifested themselves. In effect, it means the origin of the whole creation, God Himself;

Lord Ganesh

Meaning of Gajanana or Gajamukha

A common Sanskrit word to denote elephant is ‘Gaja.’Hence the name Gajanana or Gajamukha (elephant-faced) for Ganapati. But the word ‘Gaja’ has a deeper connotation. ‘Ga’ indicates ‘Gati,’ the final goal towards which the entire creation moves. ‘Ja’ stands for ‘Janma’ or birth or origin. Hence ‘Gaja’ signifies God from whom the worlds have come out and towards whom they are progressing, ultimately dissolved in Him. The elephant head is thus purely symbolic and points to this truth;

Lord Ganesha Statue

A factor we observe in creation is its two-fold manifestation as the microcosm (Suksmanda) and macrocosm (Brahmanda). Each is a replica of the other. They are one in two and two in one. The elephant head stands for the macrocosm, and the human body for the microcosm. The two form one unit. Since the macrocosm is the goal of the microcosm, the elephant part has been given greater prominence by making it the head.

Elephant-Human form of Ganapati

Lord Ganesha Statue

The elephant-human form of Ganapati is the iconographical representation of the great Vedantic dictum, ‘tat-tvam-asi'(which means You, the limited individual, are the Cosmic Truth, the Absolute). The elephant stands for the cosmic, whereas the human stands for the individual.

Lord Ganesha in Buddhism

Lord Ganesha’s popularity isn’t restricted to Hindus alone — he appears as the Buddhist god Vinayaka in Mahayana Buddhism, too — and is often seen dancing. He has distinct regional characteristics in Tibet, China, and Japan. The earliest stone statue of the Elephant God in North China dates back to as early as AD 531.

Hindu God Ganesha

Indonesia prints Lord Ganesha on its 20,000 Rupiah note. Indonesia has strong cultural ties with India and Hinduism. Hinduism is practiced by 1.7% of the total population and by 83.5% of the population in Bali as of the 2010 census. Hinduism is one of the six official religions of Indonesia. In 2010, there was an estimated total of over 4 million Hindus in Indonesia.

Wives of Lord Ganesha

According to the scriptures, Lord Ganesh had two wives, Ridhhi (representing Prosperity) and Sidhhi (representing Intellectual Enlightenment). Furthermore, he had two sons – Ridhhi bore him Subha (representing Auspiciousness), while Sidhhi bore him Labha (representing Profit).

Birth of Lord Ganesha

According to Shiva Purana, it was Parvati’s friends Jaya and Vijaya’s decision to make Lord Ganesha. They had suggested to Parvati that Nandi and others only follow Lord Shiva’s instructions. Therefore, there should be someone who follows Parvati’s orders too. Hence, Parvati made Ganesha from the dirt of her body.

108 Names of Lord Ganesha

  1. Akhurath = One who has Mouse as His Charioteer
  2. Alampata = Ever Eternal Lord
  3. Amit = Incomparable Lord
  4. Anantachidrupamayam = Infinite and Consciousness Personified
  5. Avaneesh = Lord of the whole World
  6. Avighna = Remover of Obstacles
  7. Balaganapati = Beloved and Lovable Child
  8. Bhalchandra = Moon-Crested Lord
  9. Bheema = Huge and Gigantic
  10. Bhupati = Lord of the Gods
  11. Bhuvanpati = God of the Gods
  12. Buddhinath = God of Wisdom
  13. Buddhipriya = Knowledge
  14. Buddhividhata = God of Knowledge
  15. Chaturbhuj = One who has Four Arms
  16. Devadeva = Lord of All Lords
  17. Devantakanashakarin = Destroyer of Evils and Asuras
  18. Devavrata = One who accepts all Penances
  19. Devendrashika = Protector of All Gods
  20. Dharmik = One who gives Charity
  21. Dhoomravarna = Smoke-Hued Lord
  22. Durja = Invincible Lord
  23. Dvaimatura = One who has two mothers
  24. Ekaakshara = He of the Single Syllable
  25. Ekadanta = Single-Tusked Lord
  26. Ekadrishta = Single-Tusked Lord
  27. Eshanputra = Lord Shiva’s Son
  28. Gadadhara = One who has The Mace as His Weapon
  29. Gajakarna = One who has Eyes like an Elephant
  30. Gajanana = Elephant-Faced Lord
  31. Gajananeti = Elephant-Faced Lord
  32. Gajavakra = Trunk of The Elephant
  33. Gajavaktra = One who has Mouth like an Elephant
  34. Ganadhakshya = Lord of All Ganas (Gods)
  35. Ganadhyakshina = Leader of All The Celestial Bodies
  36. Ganapati = Lord of All Ganas (Gods)
  37. Gaurisuta = The Son of Gauri (Parvati)
  38. Gunina = One who is The Master of All Virtues
  39. Haridra = One who is Golden Coloured
  40. Heramba = Mother’s Beloved Son
  41. Kapila = Yellowish-Brown Coloured
  42. Kaveesha = Master of Poets
  43. Krti = Lord of Music
  44. Kripalu = Merciful Lord
  45. Krishapingaksha = Yellowish-Brown Eyed
  46. Kshamakaram = The Place of Forgiveness
  47. Kshipra = One who is easy to Appease
  48. Lambakarna = Large-Eared Lord
  49. Lambodara = The Huge-Bellied Lord
  50. Mahabala = Enormously Strong Lord
  51. Mahaganapati = Omnipotent and Supreme Lord
  52. Maheshwaram = Lord of The Universe
  53. Mangalamurti = All Auspicious Lord
  54. Manomay = Winner of Hearts
  55. Mrityuanjaya = Conqueror of Death
  56. Mundakarama = Abode of Happiness
  57. Muktidaya = Bestower of Eternal Bliss
  58. Musikvahana = One who has mouse as charioteer
  59. Nadapratithishta = One who Appreciates and Loves Music
  60. Namasthetu = Vanquisher of All Evils & Vices & Sins
  61. Nandana = Lord Shiva’s Son
  62. Nideeshwaram = Giver of Wealth and Treasures
  63. Omkara = One who has the Form Of OM
  64. Pitambara = One who has Yellow-Colored Body
  65. Pramoda = Lord of All Abodes
  66. Prathameshwara = First Among All
  67. Purush = The Omnipotent Personality
  68. Rakta = One who has a Red-Colored Body
  69. Rudrapriya = Beloved Of Lord Shiva
  70. Sarvadevatman = Acceptor of All Celestial Offerings
  71. Sarvasiddhanta = Bestower of Skills and Wisdom
  72. Sarvatman = Protector of The Universe
  73. Shambhavi = The Son of Parvati
  74. Shashivarnam = One who has a Moon like Complexion
  75. Shoorpakarna = Large-Eared Lord
  76. Shuban = All Auspicious Lord
  77. Shubhagunakanan = One who is The Master of All Virtues
  78. Shweta = One who is as Pure as the White Color
  79. Siddhidhata = Bestower of Success & Accomplishments
  80. Siddhipriya = Bestower of Wishes and Boons
  81. Siddhivinayaka = Bestower of Success
  82. Skandapurvaja = Elder Brother of Skand (Lord Kartik)
  83. Sumukha = Auspicious Face
  84. Sureshwaram = Lord of All Lords
  85. Swaroop = Lover of Beauty
  86. Tarun = Ageless
  87. Uddanda = Nemesis of Evils and Vices
  88. Umaputra = The Son of Goddess Uma (Parvati)
  89. Vakratunda = Curved Trunk Lord
  90. Varaganapati = Bestower of Boons
  91. Varaprada = Granter of Wishes and Boons
  92. Varadavinayaka = Bestower of Success
  93. Veeraganapati = Heroic Lord
  94. Vidyavaridhi = God of Wisdom
  95. Vighnahara = Remover of Obstacles
  96. Vignaharta = Demolisher of Obstacles
  97. Vighnaraja = Lord of All Hindrances
  98. Vighnarajendra = Lord of All Obstacles
  99. Vighnavinashanaya = Destroyer of All Obstacles & Impediments
  100. Vigneshwara = Lord of All Obstacles
  101. Vikat = Huge and Gigantic
  102. Vinayaka = Lord of All
  103. Vishwamukha = Master of The Universe
  104. Vishwaraja = King of The World
  105. Yagnakaya = Acceptor of All Sacred & Sacrificial Offerings
  106. Yashaskaram = Bestower of Fame and Fortune
  107. Yashvasin = Beloved and Ever Popular Lord
  108. Yogadhipa = The Lord of Meditation