Heramba Ganapati is a five-headed form of Ganesha. This form is important in Tantric
rituals. According to the Mudgala Purana, it’s one of the most important forms of the
one-tusked god. It is especially popular in Nepal. The Sanskrit term Heramba is made up of
two words namely He and Ramba. He indicates weakness or helplessness, and Ramba
denotes protection. He-Ramba Ganapati is thus the compassionate Lord who protects the
weak. Heramba Ganapati also has the power to confer fearlessness and defeat the
In this beautiful stone sculpture, Ganesha has five elephant heads, four facing the cardinal
directions while the fifth at the top looking upwards. The colours of Heramba Ganapati's
heads are closely related to five aspects of his father Shiva – Ishana, Tatpurusha, Aghora,
Vamadeva and Sadyojata. The five heads symbolise his power. He rides the Vahana of his
mother - a mighty lion, representing his royal and fierce nature. He has ten arms. He holds a
pasha (noose), danta (his broken tusk), akshamala (rosary), a parashu (battle-axe), a
three-headed mudgara (mallet) and the sweet, modak. He also holds a garland and a fruit.
Two other arms in the front are held in Varada mudra and Abhaya mudra.
This lightweight Ganapati statue is set on a stone base. The entire masterpiece is carved out
artistically from the famous black stones found in Mahabalipuram in southern part of India.
This form of Heramba Ganapati is the same one that is also worshipped in the famous Kasi
Vishwanatha temple of Varanasi. Thiruvadhirai star, also known as Arudra Nakshatra, is also
related to this same form.
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