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The Lord is one but His forms are many. The formless reality assumes a form owing to one’s own identification with a form. Hence the formless Lord is attributed with a form owing to one’s association and identification with a form and name. Let us look into the eight important forms of Lord (Ashta Ganapati ) and celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi delving into their meaning. The eight formsand are manifestations to quell the eight human weaknesses by understanding them and worshipping the Lord.


Ekadanta or the single tusked, the form of Lord Ganesha is the conqueror of Moda or arrogance and is blue coloured with a big belly and a broken right tusk. He holds an axe for severing the bonds of ignorance, prayer beads for japa or chants and a sweet laddu or Modak .


The term Dhumra means smoke. Dhumravarna means, one who is smoke coloured. Smoke is also the transitory state between the unmanifest (Nirguna Brahman) and the manifest (Saguna Brahman-in a solid state) and hence the first form of materialisation. It reveals the fact that the Lord is the primal and the only reality whether manifest or unmanifest. Lord Ganesha in this form reigns over pride.


The term Vakratunda means a curved trunk. Lord Ganesha as Vakratunda is the vanquisher of jealousy. He sets one on the path of righteousness checking the faults and evil doings.


Mahodara means big belly as Lord Ganesha holds the entire universe in Him. He is the destroyer of Moha or infatuation which veils the ultimate truth.


The elephant faced one, the form of Lord Ganesha who vanquishes Loba or greed which keeps the mind racing outwards not turning it inwards to get established in peace and contentment.


The one who has a corpulent belly and the destroyer of Krodha or anger. Lord Ganesha simply devoures the negative emotion, anger without a trace.


Vikata would mean the deformed one, called so owing to His unusual form. His unusual form reveals the fact that one cannot conceive the actual form of the Lord with the limited entity, the mind. He is the conquerer Kama or lust.


The one who removes the obstacles. Lord Ganesha as Vignaraja reigns over egotism. Though we may normally understand it to be the obstacles that we face in our material pursuits, in the truest sense it is the greatest obstacle, the ego which has to be removed to realise the greatest blessing of Self realisation. Knowing one’s true self alone confers eternal bliss.
May we thus surrender to the Lord on Ganesh Chaturthi understanding the essence of His manifestations and overcome our shortcomings to abide in eternal bliss.

Source: by Priya Devi R