Tag Archives: Characters of Lord Ganesha


The Mudgala Purana describes the eight incarnations of Lord Ganesha. Each incarnation was born to defeat a specific demon.  Although the purpose of the incarnations was the same their physical attributes and characteristics differ.

The main characteristics of Lord Ganesha’s avatars are given below in the tabular form.

Avatar Meaning of the name Symbolic meaning Demon killed by the avatar Symbolic win over Vehicle Colour of the body
Vakratunda The curved trunk one Embodiment of the form of Brahman Matsarasura Jealousy The Lion Flesh colour or yellow
Ekdanta The single tusked Embodiment of the essential nature of Brahman Madasura Arrogance The mouse Flesh colour
Mahodara The Big bellied one Embodiment of the wisdom of Brahman Mohasur, Durbuddhi and his son Jnanari. Delusion (Mohasur)Negative thoughts (Durbuddhi) and Ignorance (Jnanari) The mouse Red
Gajanana The elephant face one Embodiment of the absolute impersonal aspect of Brahmin Lobhasur or Lobha (son of Kuber) Greed The mouse Flesh colour
Lambodara The potbellied (large bellied) one Embodiment of the pure power of Brahman Krodhasura Anger The mouse Red/Orange
Vikata The misshaped one Embodiment of the illuminating nature of Brahmin Kamasur Desire The peacock Flesh colour
Vighnaraja the remover of obstacles Embodiment of the preserving nature of Brahman. Mamasur (also known as Mamtasur or Mama) Ego The Shesha (divine serpant) Flesh colour
Dhumravarna The smoke colour one Embodiment of the destructive nature of Brahman. Abhimanasur Pride The horse Grey


The above table gives us an overview on the main characteristics of the eight incarnations of Lord Ganesha. Lord Ganesha had the head of an elephant in each of the avatar but had different physical attributes and purpose of existence. In each life the deity fought to destroy a demon which symbolically represented a human weakness. This triumph over ego, greed, and jealousy etc., represents the power of Lord Ganesha to help his devotees tread the path of spirituality and virtue. The eight avatars of Lord Ganesha were born in different cosmic eras and convey intricate spiritual meaning.

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