A single Ganesha Namavali consists of 108 names, one for each bead in the japa-mala or chain held while chanting his praises.
Ganesh is called Eshanputra – “the Son of Shiva”, a name bestowed upon him by his doting parents.
Ganesha’s best known weapon is the ‘gada’ or mace and hence the name Gadadhara, the divine Mace Wielder who destroys the most vile and terrifying of demons.
His elephantine form invites multiple, overlapping descriptions. He is Gajakarna, the elephant-eyed. While the large, round contours of his frame reflect his warmth and benevolence, the small, sharp eyes are all-seeing. Gajanana and Gajananeti stand for elephant-faced, a sign of auspiciousness that keeps ill fortune at bay.
Gajavakra points to his elephant trunk, a symbol of his limitless wisdom and capacity to discern. The curve of the trunk resembles the letter Om, reminding one of the universal life force residing within Ganesha.
Ganesha has the appetite and girth of an elephant, hence Gajavaktra or Elephant-mouthed. Metaphorically, his enormous belly signifies plenitude, while the modak resting in his hand is representative of the enlightened soul in all its purity and sweetness.