Avatar in Sanskrit means “descent”; in Hindu mythology, a deity descends from heaven to earth for a specific purpose. Sacred texts like the Ganesha Purana and Mudgala Purana state that Ganesha assumed eight avatars, each manifesting in a different epoch and descriptive of a single attribute. All the avatars had one purpose – to slay a demon.
- Vakratunda (Lord of the Twisted Trunk)
- Ekadanta (Lord of the Single Tusk)
- Mahodara (Great-Bellied One)
- Gajanana (Elephant-faced One)
- Lambhodara (Long-Bellied)
- Vikata (Misshaped One)
- Vighnaraja (King of the World)
- Dhoomravarna (Smoke-Colored)
In coming weeks, we will be discussing each of Ganesh Avatars in more detail.