Avatars of Lord Ganesha
The Mudgala Purana depicts the most important 8 incarnations of Lord Ganesha. The manuscript is structured into segments for each of the eight avatars. These incarnations are different from the four avatars of Lord Ganesha which are mentioned in the Ganesha Purana. These 8 avatars materialized in different cosmic eras. The Upapurana untilises the incarnations to represent intricate philosophical concepts that are linked with the
The Mudgala Purana uses these incarnations to express intricate philosophical concepts associated with the dynamic creation of the world. Each of the 8 avatars portrays a phase of the absolute which unfolds into creation. The different incarnations are mentioned as follows-
The first incarnation is Vakratunda, meaning twisting trunk, is a personification of the form of Brahmin. It represents the absolute as the aggregate of all bodies. In the Vakratunda avatar, his vahana is a lion. Ganesha took this incarnation with the objective to defeat the demon Matsaryasura, the demon of jealousy and envy.
Ekadanta avatar, which signifies single tusk, is an embodiment of the essential nature of Brahmin. It signifies the aggregate of all individual souls. A mouse is depicted as his mount or vahana in this incarnation. He was incarnated to eradicate the demon Madasura, which represents conceit and arrogance.
The incarnation of Mahodara, meaning big belly, is a manifestation of the wisdom of Brahman. It is a combination of Ekadanta and Vakratunda. This avatar is the absolute as it enters into the creative course. His vahana is a mouse (shrew) in this avatar. Ganesha was incarnated as Mahodara with the objective of slaughtering the demon of confusion and delusion, known as Mohasura.
The avatar of Gajavaktra or Gajanana, meaning elephant head, is equivalent to the Mahodara avatar. Lord Ganesha mounts a mouse in this incarnation. He is incarnated to triumph over Lobhasura, the demon of greed.
This incarnation is similar to Shakti(Sakti), the pure power of Brahmin. He uses a mouse as his vahana as Lambodara. The objective of this avatar is to eradicate the demon Krodhasura, the demon of anger.
This incarnation, which means abnormal form, is equivalent to Surya. Vikata is a manifestation of the illuminating nature of Brahmin. A peacock serves as Ganesha's vahana in this incarnation. He was incarnated to eradicate the demon of lust, Kamasura.
Vighnaraja or the king of obstacles is a personification of the preserving nature of Brahmin. Ganesha corresponds to Lord Vishnu in this stage. Shesha, the divine serpent is his mount in this incarnation. Lord Ganesha is born as Vighnaraja to overcome Mamasura, the demon of possessiveness.
This is the last avatar mentioned in the Mudgala. Dhumravarna, meaning grey colour, is the manifestation of the destructive nature of Brahmin. A horse is shown as his vahana in this incarnation. It is equivalent to Lord Shiva. The objective of this avatar of Ganesha is to annihilate the demon Abhimanasura, which represents attachment and pride.