Saturday, November 27, 2010

श्री गणेश गायत्री (shrI gaNesha gAyatri) ...

In this post, I will present the Ganesha Gayatri, the Gayatri Mantra addressing Lord Ganesha to remove all obstacles and to succeed in all endeavours. While the other posts contain Slokas, this is a Mantra. The essential difference is that Mantras have an associated length and meter (chandas), just like poetry. Depending on their type, Mantras contain a certain fixed number of syllables and are meant to be repetitively chanted, sometimes at a prescribed frequency for attaining the complete vibrational benefits (the word Gayatri itself means rhythm or meter). Therefore, it becomes very important to chant the Mantra correctly. Each syllable of the Mantra is referred to as a Beeja, a sound-seed that represents energy, and the Beejas form the building blocks of the Mantra itself. The Gayatri Mantras contain a sequence of 24 Beejas, 3 lines of 8 Beejas each. Every Gayatri Mantra has an associated rishi, chandas and devata (God it addresses).

The most popular of the Gayatri Mantras is the one that addresses the transcendental divinity, the giver of all energy, light and the life force itself (sometimes said to the the Sun). This Mantra is considered be amongst the highest and most powerful of all the Mantras and is also sometimes referred to as the Ved Maata (Mother of all Vedas). Apart from this Mantra, there are individual Mantras set to the Gayatri meter addressing different Gods such as Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesha and so on. The Ganesha Gayatri has Ganaka rishi as the associated rishi, Gayatri as the associated chandas, and Lord Ganesha as the devata. The Mantra is the following:

ॐ एकदन्ताय विद्महे
वक्रतुण्डाय धीमहि।
तन्नो दन्ति प्रचोदयात्॥

Om ekadantAya vidmahe
vakratUnDAya dhImahi |
tanno danti pracodayAt ||

ॐ - the Pravana Mantra, referring to the all-pervading divinity in this universe. This Beeja Mantra is an extensive topic in itself and it is impossible to even begin explaining it here. More importantly, I am in no way qualified to do so, but I will during some other post point to some very interesting resources that will shed more light on the topic.
विद्महे - praise/worship of the Lord
धीमहि - meditate upon
तन्नो  - One who is to us
दन्ति - the tusked One
प्रचोदयात् - impel us forward towards realization

I worship You, O’ single-tusked Lord, One with a twisted trunk. I meditate upon You, the tusked One, to impel me towards awakening my consciousness and realizing my Self.
The other variations of Ganesha Gayatri are the following:

ॐ तद्पुरुशाय विद्महे
वक्रतुण्डाय धीमहि।
तन्नो दन्ति प्रचोदयात्॥

Om tadpurushAya vidmahe
vakratuNDAya dhImahi |
tanno danti pracodayAt ||

ॐ लम्बोदराय विद्महे
महोदराय धीमहि।
तन्नो दन्ति प्रचोदयात्॥

Om lambodarAya vidmahe
mahodarAya dhImahi |
tanno danti pracodayAt ||

All 3 versions stay true to the objective of the Mantra itself, differing only in their praise for Lord Ganesha’s attributes.

Over the series of posts, I have tried to compile short stories behind all of Lord Ganesha’s unusual attributes. He may have a peculiar, if not grotesque form that defies all sense of proportion and surface beauty. However, it does not invoke a repulsion of any kind. In fact, if anything, it brings a sense of joy and awe in his devotees. Like I alluded earlier, all of His features serve a deeper philosophical purpose. The elephant-head signifies a certain calmness and majesty; the large ears represent his ability to listen to all of his devotee’s pleas; the disproportionate body represents maaya or illusion that illustrates that outer beauty or lack of it is no indication of what lies beneath; large belly represents contentment; the twisted trunk can represent various levels of Self realization depending on the depiction; the weapons He carries represent his control over the different material aspects of life; the laddus or modakams represent fruits for sincere efforts; and, last but by no means the least, the mouse represents his control over illusion and ignorance.

I have just scratched the surface of the huge collection of Slokas and Mantras devoted to Lord Ganesha. I will move on to Slokas devoted to other Gods and Goddesses, but this is by no means the final post on Lord Ganesha! I will keep coming back to him whenever I am able to post any Sloka and/or Mantra with fair confidence.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jagadish... You are doing a great job... keep it up. I was searching for Ganesha shlokas and mantras in sankrit and their meaning. Thanks a lot :)