A single Ganesha Namavali consists of 108 names, one for each bead in the japa-mala or chain held while chanting his praises.
Some names evoke Ganesha’s physical attributes, while many praise his qualities.
- As Dharmik, Ganesha embodies righteousness, gently prodding followers with his goad onto the path of truth, mercy and compassion.
- Dhoomravarna refers to his body, said to be the color of smoke. In some descriptions he is compared to a red lotus.
- As Durja, he is the Invincible One. He is eternal and therefore, indestructible.
- Ganesha is Dvaimatura, or ‘son of two mothers’. Parvati created him from her body, but the river Ganga nurtured him; hence, both claim him as their own.
Three of his names begin with the word ‘Ek’ or ‘One’ – aptly so, for Ganesha is one of a kind.
- He is Ekaakshara, the personification of OM, the sound of the Universe.
- Ekadanta describes him as the Single-Tusked One, a unique attribute that hints at his being above the laws of the world.
- ‘Drishti’ means ‘direction’; as Ekadrishta, Ganesha has a wide vision, but having decided on a course of action, remains unwavering.