Dancing Ganesha is an exceptional form of Ganesha. Dancing Ganesha is also called as Nritya Ganpati. Nritya Ganpati is the 15th form of the 32 forms of Lord Ganesha. Nritya Ganpati literally means ‘Happy Dancer’. Lord Ganesha appears in a golden hue complexion in the dancing posture on one leg. The posture shows him dancing under a Kalpavriksha Tree (Wish Fulfill Tree). He has four hands in this form. In his main right hand, he can be seen holding the tusk and in the upper hand with an elephant goad. In the left upper hand, he is holding a battle ax and in the main left hand a noose. His fingers are adorned with rings of precious stones and his curled trunk with his favorite modak (sweet delicacy).
Magha Nakshatra (a constellation in Indian astrology that corresponds to Regulus) is related to this form of Ganesha. Devotees worshipping this form of Ganesha is believed to give proficiency and success for fine arts. Nritya Ganpati is ardently worshipped by devotees inthe field of arts, music and dancers.
There is truly adorable story behind this form of Ganesha. As per the legend one of Ganesha’s roles was to please, amuse and entertain his parents Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Along with the ganas (Shiva’s companions), Lord Ganesha also loved to dance for the entertainment of his parents. The act of dancing has been extremely significant to the Hindus. The dances are related to the eternal cycle of design and demolition. They also call it as samsara (universe) and from which we, the human beings try to flee. We can imagine his oversized ears floating when he would make a move, his long trunk and potbelly bouncing gently. Even though Ganesha’s form appears to be bulky, his movements seems to have buoyancy. One can often see him dancing on either feet and propelling his hips outwards. This creates a strong sense of action. Perchance, this light and imperceptible dance is to amuse his parents.
There are remarkably less temples where Dancing Ganesha or Nritya Ganpati is worshipped. Nritya Ganpati is worshipped at Arulmigu Marudeshwar temple in Kodumudi, Tamilnadu. There are temples in Chamrajanagar and Nanjangud in Mysore districts in Karnataka which have all the 32 forms of Lord Ganesha. Pazhavangadi Ganesh Temple in Trivandrum also has Nritya Ganpati idols.
As every form of Ganpati has a mantra with it, Nritya Ganpati form too has a mantra associated with it.
Kalhaara shali kamalekshuka chapa bandanta
Alinganaodhatakaro harithangashtaya devya
Karotu shubhaha murdhva ganadhipo mey!!
Meaning: The Nritya Ganpati is standing under the Kalpavriksha Tree (Wish fulfilling tree). He has four arms and is golden in color. He holds single tusk, the elephant goad, the noose, the parashu (battle ax), and a kuthara (hatchet) in his four hands. Oh Lord Ganesha! We pray you to do auspicious and beneficial for us.