According to the Hindu Mythology, Lord Ganesha is the God of intellect and wisdom and the destroyer of pain. Ganesha Purana is the religious text dedicated to this mighty lord. According to this text, Earth is blessed with four incarnations of Lord Ganesha in four different millennia namely, namely Satyuga, Tretayuga, Dwaparyuga and Kaliyuga. The four incarnations of Lord Ganesha are:
* In the Satyuga, Lord Ganesha was known by the name ‘Mahotkata’, taking a seat on the lion’s back, he incarnated to kill two demon brothers named Narantak and Devantak. Born to Sage Kashyap and his wife Aditi, he instated Righteousness in the world.
* In Tretayuga, he was known by the name ‘Mayureshwara’, consort of Shiva and Parvati, he incarnated primarily for the purpose of killing the demon Sindhu. He is seen mounted on peacock and at the end of this incarnation, Ganesha gives it away to his younger brother ‘Kartik’, who rides it as his vehicle thereon.
* During Dwaparyuga, he was again born to Parvati and Lord Shiva and known by the name ‘Gajanana’. Seen at most fierce self with red complexion and riding a mouse, Ganesha is incarnated during this yug for killing the demon Sindhura, post which he is also known as ‘Sindoora’.
* Further, according to Ganesha Purana, Lord Ganesha will be incarnated as ‘Dhumraketu’ at the end of the present era, Kaliyuga. Adorning the colour of ash and riding a blue horse, he would be responsible to put an end to all the prevalent evil practices to set up a new world.
However, we also have a parallel religious text, Mudgala Purana, according to which Lord Ganesha had eight incarnations. They were:
* ‘Vakratundya‘, the lord with curved trunk, who killed the demon of drunkenness, Mada.
* ‘Mahodara‘, the lord with the huge-belly who had a battle with the demon of illusion, Moha.
* ‘Gajanana‘, the elephant-faced lord, who killed the demon of greed, lobha.
* ‘Lambodara‘, the huge-bellied lord, who mastered the demon of anger, krodha.
* ‘Vikata‘, ‘the lord who over-ridded misshapes’, who subdued the demon of desire, Kamasur.
* ‘Vighanraja‘, the lord king of obstacles, who destroyed the demon of ego, shasha.
* Finally, ‘Dhumravarna‘, who killed the demon of self-infatuation, Ahamkarasur.
According to the religious text, Ganesha Purana, Lord Ganesha had been given 108 names, out of which there are 12 significant names. Lord Ganesha is honoured with all these names across India. These names have been attributed to him considering various characteristics that Lord Ganesha has. They twelve names of Ganesha are:
* Sumukha, the graceful lord.
* Kapila, God with tawny colour.
* Ekdanta, the one-tusked lord.
* Lambodara, lord with huge-belly.
* Vikata, the ferocious and dreadful God.
* Gajakarna, the elephant-eared lord.
* Ganadhipa, the protector of Gana.
* Dhumraketu, the lord of smoky colour.
* Ganadhyakshya, the minister of Gana.
* Bhalachandra, the lord who wears crescent moon on his head.
* Gajanana, the elephant faced lord.
* Vighananasaka, the destroyer of all the obstacles and evils.