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Meaning of Ganapati – Why is Ganesha referred as Ganpati?

The meaning of Ganapati – Gan means ‘samooh’ or society and pati means ‘Swami’ or leader. Ganesha is referred as Ganpati because he is the leader or commander of the society.

In human body, there are five Jnanendriyas (five sense of organs), 5 Karmendriyas (five organs of action) and 4 antahkaran – mind, ego, intellect and memory. These powers are controlled, maintained and executed by 14 deities. These 14 deities arise and fall in Ganesha.

The most popular story on birth of Ganesha in Puranas suggest that Shiva made Ganesha the commander in chief of Ganas and therefore he is known as Ganapati.