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In Praise of Ganapati

Hari OM
'Text-days' are for delving into the words and theory of Advaita Vedanta.

This month we will investigate one of the most-used larger prayers, which masquerades as 'hymn' to some extent, and which offers deeper meanings beyond blessing of actions. It is chanted at every puja, before every endeavour of business or study or such; it is the Great Prayer of Sri Ganesha. The basic translation in verse form is provided HERE if you would like to take a copy.

ïI g[ezawvRzI;R>/ Shri GaneshaatharvashiirshaH

Now we go into the hymn 'proper'. Straight translation is sometimes a little tricky, therefore expansion of translation is given in parentheses to help set the scene, as it were. Remember, this is essentially a prayer and is therefore to be read with an inclination of surrender and supplication. Though there is a whole hymn, it is sometimes found that only the first twelve verses are chanted for short pujas. These will be given here today. Next week, the remaining five verses will be here. (All are chanted on that vid clip given previously.)

 नमस्ते गणपतये ॥१॥
Om Namas-Te Gannapataye ||1||

Om, Salutations to You, O Ganapati,

त्वमेव प्रत्यक्षं तत्त्वमसि 
त्वमेव केवलं कर्ताऽसि 
त्वमेव केवलं धर्ताऽसि 
त्वमेव केवलं हर्ताऽसि 
त्वमेव सर्वं खल्विदं ब्रह्मासि 
त्वं साक्षादात्माऽसि नित्यम् ॥२॥
Tvam-Eva Pratyakssam Tattvam-Asi |
Tvam-Eva Kevalam Kartaa-si |
Tvam-Eva Kevalam Dhartaa-si |
Tvam-Eva Kevalam Hartaa-si |
Tvam-Eva Sarvam Khalv-Idam Brahma-Aasi |
Tvam Saakshaad-Aatmaa-si Nityam ||2||

You indeed are the visible Truth Absolute (Conscious Essence underlying everything),
You indeed are the only Creator (Karta) (by Whose Power the Universe is Created),
You indeed are the only Supporter (Dharta) (by Whose Power the Universe is Sustained),
You indeed are the only Destroyer (Harta) (by Whose Power the Universe is finally Dissolved in its Conscious Essence),
You indeed are All This (The Universe); You verily are the Brahman (giving Consciousness to All),
You are the visible Atman, the Eternal (underlying Reality),

ऋतं वच्मि  सत्यं वच्मि ॥३॥
Rtam Vachmi | Satyam Vachmi ||3||

I declare the Rtam (Divine Law); I declare the Satyam (Absolute Reality) (that there is an Absolute Consciousness underlying everything, which I see as Ganapati),

अव त्वं माम् 
अव वक्तारम् 
अव श्रोतारम् 
अव दातारम् 
अव धातारम् 
अवानूचानमव शिष्यम् 
Ava Tvam Maam |
Ava Vaktaaram |
Ava Shrotaaram |
Ava Daataaram |
Ava Dhaataaram |
Ava-Anuucaanam-Ava Shishyam |

(Now) Protect me (Protect the Truth I declared),
Protect the Speaker (Protect the Teacher who declares this Truth),
Protect the Listener (Protect the Student who listens to this Truth),
Protect the Giver (Protect the Giver of knowledge who transmits this Truth),
Protect the Sustainer (Protect the Sustainer who retains this Truth in Memory),
Protect the Disciple (Protect the Disciple who repeats this Truth following the Teacher),

अव पुरस्तात् 
अव दक्षिणात्तात् 
अव पश्चात्तात् 
अव चोर्ध्वात्तात् 
सर्वतो मां पाहि पाहि समन्तात् ॥४॥
Ava Purastaat |
Ava Dakshinnaattaat |
Ava Pashcaattaat |
Avo-ttaraattaat |
Ava Chordhvaattaat |
Ava-Adharaattaat |
Sarvato Maam Paahi Paahi Samantaat ||4||

Protect this Truth from the East,
Protect this Truth from the South,
Protect this Truth from the West,
Protect this Truth from the North,
Protect this Truth from the Top,
Protect this Truth from the Bottom,
(Now) Please Protect me (Protect this Truth I declared) from all Sides,

त्वं वाङ्मयस्त्वं चिन्मयः 
त्वमानन्दमयस्त्वं ब्रह्ममयः 
त्वं सच्चिदानन्दाऽद्वितीयोऽसि 
त्वं प्रत्यक्षं ब्रह्मासि 
त्वं ज्ञानमयो विज्ञानमयोऽसि ॥५॥
Tvam Vaangmayas-Tvam ChinmayaH |
Tvam-Aanandamayas-Tvam BrahmamayaH |
Tvam Saccidaanandaa'dvitiiyo'si |
Tvam Pratyakssam Brahma-Asi |
Tvam Jnyaanamayo Vijnyaanamayo'si ||5||

You are of the nature of Speech, and You are of the nature of Consciousness (Chinmaya) (which is the source of all words)
You are of the nature of Bliss, and You are of the nature of Brahman (Brahmamaya) (which is the source of all Bliss) You are Sacchidananda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss), and You are the One without a second
You are the visible Brahman (manifested as the Universe)
You are of the nature of Spiritual Knowledge (Self-Manifesting within the Core of our Being as Bliss-Consciousness), and 
You are Vigyana (Giving the Spiritual Vision of the whole World from the standpoint of the Greater Consciousness),

सर्वं जगदिदं त्वत्तो जायते 
सर्वं जगदिदं त्वत्तस्तिष्ठति 
सर्वं जगदिदं त्वयि लयमेष्यति 
सर्वं जगदिदं त्वयि प्रत्येति 
Sarvam Jagad-Idam Tvatto Jaayate |
Sarvam Jagad-Idam Tvattas-Tisstthati |
Sarvam Jagad-Idam Tvayi Layameshyati |
Sarvam Jagad-Idam Tvayi Pratyeti |

The Entire Universe has Manifested (Born) from You (Therefore, O Ganapati, help us realize Your essence within the Core of our Hearts),
The Entire Universe is Sustained by Your Power (Therefore, O Ganapati, help us realize Your essence within the Core of our Hearts),
The Entire Universe will Dissolve in You (Therefore, O Ganapati, help us realize Your essence within the Core of our Hearts),
The Entire Universe will thus finally Return to You (Therefore, O Ganapati, help us realize Your essence within the Core of our Hearts), 

त्वं भूमिरापोऽनलोऽनिलो नभः 
त्वं चत्वारि वाक्पदानि 
Tvam Bhuumir-Aapo-nalo-nilo NabhaH |
Tvam Chatvaari Vaak-Padaani |

You have manifested as Bhumi (Earth),
You have manifested as Apas (Water),
You have manifested as Anala (Fire),
You have manifested as Anila (Wind),
and You have manifested as Nabha (Sky or Space),
You are the Four Types of Speech (Para - primal sound of the Universe, Pashyanti - 'inner' voice, Madhyama - mental voice and Vaikhari - actual speech),

त्वं गुणत्रयातीतः 
त्वं अवस्थात्रयातीतः 
त्वं देहत्रयातीतः 
त्वं कालत्रयातीतः 
Tvam Gunna-Traya-AtiitaH |
Tvam Avasthaa-Traya-AtiitaH |
Tvam Deha-Traya-AtiitaH |
Tvam Kaala-Traya-AtiitaH |

You are beyond the Three Qualities (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas)
You are beyond the Three States (Waking, Dreaming and Deep Sleep)
You are beyond the Three Bodies (Gross Body, Subtle Body and Causal Body)
You are beyond the Three Times (Past, Present and Future)

त्वं मूलाधारस्थितोऽसि नित्यम् 
त्वं शक्तित्रयात्मकः 
त्वां योगिनो ध्यायन्ति नित्यम् 
Tvam Muulaadhaara-Sthito-si Nityam |
Tvam Shakti-Traya-atmakaH |
Tvaam Yogino Dhyaayanti Nityam |

You always abide in the Muladhara (the base chakra),
You are the source of the Three Shaktis (Iccha Shakti, Kriya Shakti and Gyana Shakti - Will Power, Power of Action and the Power of Knowledge)
The Yogis always meditate on You (to realize Your Conscious Essence, which is the aim of Human Life),

त्वं ब्रह्मा त्वं विष्णुस्त्वं
वायुस्त्वं सूर्यस्त्वं चन्द्रमास्त्वं
ब्रह्म भूर्भुवस्सुवरोम् ॥६॥
Tvam Brahmaa Tvam Vishnnus-Tvam
Vaayus-Tvam Suuryas-Tvam Candramaas-Tvam
Brahma Bhuur-Bhuvas-Suvar-Om ||6||

You are Brahma, You are Vishnu, You are ...
 ... Rudra, You are Indra, You are Agni (God of Fire), You are ...
 ... Vayu (God of Wind), You are Surya (The Sun God), You are Chandrama (The Moon God), You are ...
 ... Brahman (Absolute Consciousness), You pervade the Bhur-Bhuvah-Suvar Lokas; You are the Om Itself (Parabrahman). 

गणादिं पूर्वमुच्चार्य वर्णादींस्तदनन्तरम् 
अनुस्वारः परतरः 
तारेण ऋद्धम् 
एतत्तव मनुस्वरूपम् ॥७॥
Ganna-adim Puurvam-Uccaarya Varnna-adiims-Tad-Anantaram |
Anusvaarah ParataraH |
Ardhendu-Lasitam |
Taarenna Rddham |
Etat-Tava Manu-Svaruupam ||7||

(The Mantra Swarupa of Ganapati is as follows) The first syllable of the word Gana (i.e. "G") is to be pronounced first; then the first varna (i.e. "A") should immediately follow (thus making "Ga"),
The Anuswara should follow next (thus making "Gam"),
Then it should be made to shine with the Half-Moon (i.e. the Nasal Sound of Chandrabindu, thus making "Gang"),
This should be Augmented by Tara (a Note signifying Om) (thus making "Om Gang"),
This is Your Mantra Swarupa (O Ganapati),

गकारः पूर्वरूपम् 
अकारो मध्यरूपम् 
सग्ं‌हिता संधिः ॥८॥
Ga-kaaraH Puurva-Ruupam |
A-kaaro Madhya-Ruupam |
Anusvaarash-Cha-Antya-Ruupam |
Bindur-Uttara-Ruupam |
Naadas-Samdhaanam |
Samhitaa SamdhiH ||8||

(In Your Mantra Swarupa) G-kara is the first form, ...
 ... A-kara is the middle form, ...
 ... And Anuswara is the last form (thus forming "Gam"),
Bindu is the form on the top (giving the nasal sound of Chandra-Bindu, thus forming "Gang"),
This is joined with Nada,
All the forms combine together (and when it finally ends with Nada, it gives the mantra a transcendental form),

सैषा गणेशविद्या 
गणक ऋषिः 
 गं गणपतये नमः ॥९॥
Saishaa Gannesha-Vidyaa |
Gannaka RshiH |
NichRd-gaayatrii-chcchandaH |
Gannapatir-Devataa |
Om Gam Gannapataye NamaH ||9||

This is the Ganesha Vidya (A path leading to the Knowledge of the Self through the worship of Ganesha through His Mantra Swarupa),
The Rishi who realized this Vidya is Ganaka Rishi,
The Chhanda (Metre) is Nicrdgayatri,
The Devata (God) worshipped is Ganapati,
Om Gang Ganapataye Namah (My Reverential Salutations to Ganapati), (I seek Your Blessings to practice this Vidya)

एकदन्ताय विद्महे वक्रतुण्डाय धीमहि 
तन्नो दन्तिः प्रचोदयात् ॥१०॥
Eka-Dantaaya Vidmahe Vakra-Tunnddaaya Dhiimahi |
Tan-No DantiH Prachodayaat ||10||

(NB this shloka is also the Gayatri of Ganapati and is often chanted as a single mantra by itself;)
(Let our mind go) to the Ekadanta (the One with a Single Tusk) to know (His Conscious Form deeply); (And then) Meditate on that Vakratunda (the One with a Curved Trunk) (to get absorbed in His Conscious Form),
May that Danti (One with a Tusk) awaken (our Consciousness),

एकदन्तं चतुर्हस्तं पाशमङ्कुशधारिणम् 
रदं  वरदं हस्तैर्बिभ्राणं मूषकध्वजम् 
रक्तं लम्बोदरं शूर्पकर्णकं रक्तवाससम् 
रक्तगन्धानुलिप्ताङ्गं रक्तपुष्पैस्सुपूजितम् 
Eka-Dantam Chatur-Hastam Paasham-Angkusha-Dhaarinnam |
Radam Cha Vara-Dam Hastair-Bibhraannam Muushaka-Dhvajam ||
Raktam Lambo'daram Shuurpa-Karnnakam Rakta-Vaasasam |
Rakta-Gandha-Anulipta-Anggam Rakta-Pushpais-Supuujitam ||

(The visible Form of Ganapati is as follows) His Face has a single Tusk (Ekadantam); He has Four Hands (Chatur-Hastam); with two of His Hands, he is holding Noose (Pasha) and Goad (Ankusha),
With His third Hand He is holding a Tusk (Rada), and with His fourth Hand He is showing the gesture of Boon-Giving (Varada Mudra); His Flag is having the Emblem of a Rat (Mushaka),
His Form is having a Beautiful Reddish Glow (Raktam), with a Large Belly (Lambodara) and with Large Ears like Fans (Shurpa Karna); He is wearing Red Garments (Rakta Vasam),
His Form is anointed with Red Fragrant Paste (Rakta Gandha), and He is worshipped with Red Flowers (Rakta Pushpa),

भक्तानुकम्पिनं देवं जगत्कारणमच्युतम् 
आविर्भूतं  सृष्ट्यादौ प्रकृतेः पुरुषात्परम् 
एवं ध्यायति यो नित्यं  योगी योगिनां वरः ॥११॥
Bhakta-Anukampinam Devam Jagat-Kaarannam-Acyutam |
Aavirbhuutam Cha Srshttya'adau Prakrteh Purushaat-Param |
Evam Dhyaayati Yo Nityam Sa Yogii Yoginaam VaraH ||11||

The Heart of this Lord throbs with the Devotees (with empathy, He being the in-dweller) (Bhakta Anukampinam); And He has descended for the Cause of the World (Jagat Karanam); He is Imperishable (i.e. Eternal) (Acyutam) (and takes the Devotees to the Eternal realm),
He manifested during the beginning of Creation (Sristhi Aadi) within the manifested Nature (Prakriti), (He manifested) from the Supreme Purusha (Purusha Param),
He who meditates on Him in this way everyday is the best Yogi among the Yogis,

नमो व्रातपतये 
नमो गणपतये 
नमः प्रमथपतये 
नमस्तेऽस्तु लम्बोदरायैकदन्ताय
विघ्ननाशिने शिवसुताय वरदमूर्तये नमः ॥१२॥
Namo Vraata-Pataye |
Namo Ganna-Pataye |
Namah Pramatha-Pataye |
Namas-Te'stu Lambo'daraayaika-Dantaaya
Vighna-Naashine Shiva-Sutaaya Varada-Muurtaye NamaH ||12||

Salutations to the Lord of all Human Beings,
Salutations to the Lord of all Ganas (Demi-Gods attending to Lord Shiva),
Salutations to the Lord of all Pramathas (Demons attending to Lord Shiva),
Salutations to You, the One with a Large Belly and a Single Tusk,
Salutations to the One Who is the Remover of all Obstacles, Who is the Son of Lord Shiva and is a personification of Boon-Giving.

[if chanting only to this portion, then here is appropriate to end with ShantiH, ShantiH, ShantiH.]

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