“Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
Nirvighnam Kurume Deva Sarva kaaryeshu Sarvada“
What it means:
O Lord Ganesha, you having a Curved Trunk, Large Body,
possessing the Brilliance of a Million Suns,
Please remove all obstacles to my work, at all times.
Lord Ganesh, son of Lord Shiva and Parvati, God of Wisdom, Knowledge and new beginnings and remover of obstacles is worshipped by the whole Hindu community in and outside India. Lord Ganesha, elephant headed God, is traditionally worshipped before worshipping other gods. Ganesha is potbellied and generally depicted as holding in his hand a few round Indian sweets (Modak), of which he is inordinately fond of.His vehicle is the large bandicoot rat. Lord Ganesh’s belly represents generosity, arms represent protection and one tusk represent one pointedness.
Lord Ganesha is
- Achintya – beyond thought
- Avyakta – beyond expression
- Ananta – eternal
Ganesh Chaturthi is the special festival dedicated to Lord Ganesha and celebrated with lot of fervour, especially in Maharashtra. A clay or mud idol of Ganesha is brought at home and worshipped for ten days and immersed in water on the tenth day. The whole ten days are funfilled with salient features like devotional songs, aarti, bhajans, delicacies, get together, music and dance while visarjan (immersion of idols).
The festival is believed to be celebrated publicly from the era of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (1630-1680) but was restricted to homes during the British rule and then again revived and made public by the well known Indian freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak as a means to vent their anger against the rulers and instill unity amongst Indians.
One can find mention of Lord Ganesha (Temples of Lord Ganesha Depicted in Ganpati Stotram) in Rigveda, mahabharata, Skanda Purana, Narada Puran, etc and many more scriptures. Since then enumerous Vedic chants(mantras), devotional songs (Bhajans), prayers have been composed by famous saints of India on Lord Ganesha. The Puranas are actually stratified literature or libraries. Each titled work consists of material that has grown by numerous accretions in successive historical eras. Thus no Purana has a single date of composition. It is as if they were libraries to which new volumes have been continuously added, not necessarily at the end of the shelf, but randomly. Ganesh purana and Mudgal Purana are two ancient scriptures which are dedicated to Lord Ganesha and describe his stories, importance, puja rituals, stotras , mantras and what not. Mudgal Purana, a devotional literature, depicts Lord Ganesha in 32 forms like Bala ganesh, Taruna Ganesha, Bhakti Ganesh, Vira Ganesh, Shakti Ganesh, etc.The encyclopedic sections of Naradiya Puran discusses subjects such as the six vedangas, Moksha, Dharma, monastic life, a secular guide with methods of worship of Lord Ganesha, Shiva, Vishnu, Laxman, Goddess Mahalaxmi, etc.
The most famous and well known avatars of Lord Ganesha are the Ashtavinayak (eight forms ) taken to kill demons and finally protect people from 8 kinds of doshas – Kaam, Krodh, Mad, Lobh, Matsar, Moh, Ahankar and Agyan. Names of Ashtavinayak forms of ganpati are Vakratunda, Ekdanta, Mahodara, Gajanana, Lambodar, Vikat, Vighnaraj and Vighnaharta.The Ashtavinayak Yatra or pilgrimage to eight Ganesha temples in Maharashtra is considered very important. Each temple has a distinct idol of Ganesha. The yatra, which begins and ends at Mayureshwar Mandir in Morgaon near Pune, is completed in one go.
Om Gam Ganapathiye Namo Namah
Shree Siddhivinaayaka namo namah
Ashta Vinaayaka namo namah
Ganapati Bappa Mauriya
What it means:
Wake up to the secret power-packed sound of Ganesh, who is the breaker of obstacles, the one who grants Siddhi (or success) to all and the one who is worshipped in eight exalted forms. Dear father Ganapati, I request you to come back to me
For complete information about the twelve forms of Lord Ganesha do check my latest blog Temples of Lord Ganesha Depicted in Ganpati Stotram. Signing off!!!