Tinted in a beautiful combination of bronze and seafoam, the idol of Lord Ganesha sits regally in his Panchamukhi (five heads) form. At his feet stands the supplicant body of Mushak, his vahan (vehicle). In this form, he becomes the bringer of joy and peace. All his heads are crowned beautifully and his head is framed by a gleaming halo.
His five heads represent the five sheaths (Pancha koshas) that build up the human physique—Annamaya (food), Pranamaya (vital energy), Manomaya (mental), Vijnanamaya (wisdom), and Anandamaya (cosmic). The sthapathi, who creates these beautiful idols of gods in the style that hails from the town of Swamimalai, has carved him in his potbellied, childish form with four hands. In his hands, he holds a battle-ax, a noose, and a modak, which is his favorite sweet. His remaining hand is facing towards the devotees, blessing them with wisdom and good luck. He is the one who destroys any obstacles that cross his devotees’ paths. The ones who devote the time of the day to him and pray with a clear heart and conscience are able to control the five sheaths that make up their bodies. He is truly celestial in this form.
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