All of us aware of Lord Ganapati,Ganesha,who is invoked at the beginning of all auspicious occasions. Why Ganapati is given the Prime Position at the beginning,even though there are more powerful Devathas,including Brahma,Vishnu and Maheshwara?
Legend has it that Shiva Himself ordained that Ganapati must be propitiated first.
And Lord Vishnu,who is the Uncle of Ganesha,had also confirmed this on Ganesha’s Namakarana.
The Basic Mantras of Ganapati refer to Brahman,the Reality in its Apara,beyond the world,
Beyond the Attributes,Nirguna.
Ganapati is the Chief of Ganas of Shiva.
Gana also means count, numbers one to ten in Sanskrit.
|गण||gaNa||m.||verbclass [ classes 1 to 10 in Skrt. grammar ]|
Among other meanings,’Attendant of Shiva’
Reality is an abstract principle.
It can not be seen or perceived.
It can be Perceived only by Experience.
As it can not be Perceived , It can not be counted as a number.
This is the reason why Adi Shankaracharya called his system of philosophy as Advaita,non-two, but not as Ekam,which means One.
One becomes a Countable number and as Brahman,the Reality is beyond Perception, it can not be ascribed or described as a number.
Numbers, by nature are workable images,hypotheses to run our day to day affairs.
They are useful tools that help us comprehend things in the Universe.
But this has limitations.
When one talks of millions of Stars and other huge numbers,we do not really comprehend as we do,say one hundred thousand.
We know it is something huge.
So Reality can be expressed in such a way to indicate that it can not be counted a nd Itcis beyound ‘Count’
Ganapati is thus propitiated as the Brahman, at the beginning of every auspicious occasion.
This is in tune with the Vedic Concept of Reality.
The Reality is Beyond Attributes,Nirguna.
However,knowing the limitation of human mind,which can not concentrate on Vaccum principle,the Vedas prescribe the mode of worship through Gods,Saguna Upasna.
This is the first step.
As one advances in Spirituality,one can dispense with the worship of Gods with Names and Forms.
This worship of Gods,in the image of Man,Symbols,Geometric symbols,Yantra is like a preparatory course.
Once you pass through it,it looks redundant as LKG looks whenone gets a Phd.
One should never forget that without LKG,one would never have reached Phd level
Thus the mantra of Ganesha reflects on the Reality ,Ganan tvaa and als in Sukambaratharm vishnum.
।Shukla-Ambara-Dharam Vissnnum Shashi-Varnnam Catur-Bhujam |
Prasanna-Vadanam Dhyaayet Sarva-Vighno[a-U]pashaantaye ||
1: (We Meditate on Sri Vishnu ,,here the term Vishnu is used from its root Jisnhu,as onecwhich supports) Who is Wearing White Clothes, Who is All-Pervading, Who is Bright in Appearance like the Moon and Who is Having Four Hands,
2: Who is Having a Compassionate and Gracious Face, Let us Meditate on Him To Ward of all Obstacles.
* Note that there is no mention of a specific God.
ॐ गणानां त्वा गणपतिं हवामहे
कविं कवीनामुपमश्रवस्तमम् ।
ज्येष्ठराजं ब्रह्मणाम् ब्रह्मणस्पत
आ नः शृण्वन्नूतिभिःसीदसादनम् ॥
ॐ महागणाधिपतये नमः ॥
Om Gannaanaam Tvaa Ganna-Patim Hava-Amahe
Kavim Kaviinaam-Upama-Shravas-Tamam |
Jyessttha-Raajam Brahmannaam Brahmannas-Pata
Aa Nah Shrnnvan-Nuutibhih-Siida-Saadanam ||
Om Mahaa-Ganna-Adhipataye Namah ||
1: Om, O Ganapati, To You Who are the Lord of the Ganas (Celestial Attendants or Followers), we Offer our Sacrificial Oblations,
2: You are the Wisdom of the Wise and the Uppermost in Glory,
3: You are the Eldest Lord (i.e. ever Unborn) and is of the Nature of Brahman (Absolute Consciousness); You are the Embodiment of the Sacred Pranava (Om),
4: Please come to us by Listening to our Prayers and be Present in the Seat of this Sacred Sacrificial Altar.
5: Om, our Prostrations to the Mahaganadhipati (the Great Lord of the Ganas).
The Mantra occurs in the Rig Veda 2.23.1.
The Mantra drashta (the visionary) was Rishi Gritsamada.
“We meditate on you Ganapathi, leader of the countable hordes, a seer superior to all other seers,
who causes the hearing of the divine inspiration, who is the Para-Brahman the presiding deity of the Mantra;
May He hear us;
May He repose on the seat within, so that He may increase our awareness.
Mantra translation from,