Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ganesha: His Eight Names

Diwali, the festival of light, gives us another major opportunity to welcome the grace of Ganesha in our lives. While Ganesha’s remembrance can grant us learning in the areas of our choice, induce spirituality in our hearts, and rid our lives from hypocrisy and dishonesty, he can also purge our material suffering and give us comforts and luxuries.

According to the Brahmavaivarta Purana, the word Ganesha stands for the supreme lord of both spiritual knowledge (jnana) and liberation (mukti). While Ekadanta means “the possessor of a single tusk,” it also refers to “the most powerful,” an unsurprising quality for the kid of Shakti. He is called Heramb, for he nurtures and protects the weak and the three worlds. As Vighnanayak, he removes all obstacles. Ganesha is remembered as Lambodar for his big belly, which confirms that he wholeheartedly accepts all the Laddus that his devotees offer him. Because he has large ears to listen to our prayers, he known as Shurpakarna. His ears represent knowledge and bless his devotees with riches. His elephant-faced appearance, which resembles Omkar, makes him Gajanana. Finally, he is known as Guhagraja for being the elder brother of Kartikaye.

Happy Diwali!

*Ganesha has many more names. This group of eight is based on a stotra from the abovementioned Purana.

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