“Eshwara’” is the embodiment of all riches – physical beauty and strength, knowledge, wisdom, material wealth, spiritual enlightenment. “Vighna” translates as an unforeseen obstacle or impediment. Indeed, Vighnasura was a demon created by Brahma to block King Abhinandan’s overweening ambition of ruling the heavens. But Vighnasura, after killing Abhinandan, ran amok himself and could be thwarted by none, except Ganesha. Ganesha spared Vighnasura’s life, on the condition that the demon would not appear in any place where Ganesha was worshipped. Before disappearing, the demon extracted a promise from Ganesha, that he incorporates his name with that of the Lord. Thus, Ganesha acquired the name Vighneswara or “Destroyer of Obstacles”.
Ganesha is invoked as Vighneswara at the start of all activities, be it a journey, a new business venture or an examination, in order that he may clear the path ahead, and provide us with the strength and skills needed to succeed in all our worldly enterprises.