|Jay Ganesha !|||| Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti-sama-prabha Nirvighnam kuru me deva Sarva-karyeshu sarvada |||
'Oh, the curved-faced, gigantic Lord Ganesha, you are like a million suns in brilliance; always kindly free us from hurdles in all our endeavors.'
Ganapati is the Hindu elephant-headed God, Ganesha (or Ganesh) is known (by various names in different parts of India and on different occasions) as the Remover of Obstacles, the God of domestic harmony and of success. He is the most beloved and revered of all the Hindu Gods, and is always invoked first in any Hindu ceremony or festival. He is the son of Parvati (the wife of Shiva, the Destroyer, the most powerful of the Hindu trinity of principal gods).
There are many stories about how Ganesha got his elephant head, and about his exploits and antics. He was created as an ordinary boy, but was decapitated in battle. Shiva's emissaries were sent into the forest and told to get the head of the first animal they found and to fit that head onto the boy's neck. They found a little elephant, and it worked!
This God of knowledge and the remover of obstacles is also the elder son of Lord Shiva. Lord Ganesha is also called Vinayak (knowledgeable) or Vighneshwer (God to remove obstacles). He is worshipped, or at least remembered, in the beginning of any auspicious performance for blessings and auspiciousness
A unique combination of his elephant-like head and a quick moving tiny mouse vehicle represents tremendous wisdom, intellegence, and presence of mind.
Shri Ganapati Atharvashirsha occurs in the atharva veda . It is considered to be most important text on Lord Ganesha Atharva means firmness, oneness of purpose, while shiirshha means intellect (directed towards liberation).
Whenever Lord Ganesh is worshipped Atharvarshirsh' is chanted. It starts with 'Om Namaste Ganapataye' and ends with 'Varadamurtaye Namo Namaha'.
If it is chanted once, one circle is completed. Chanting for twenty one times is called as 'Ekadashani. Some devotees chant it for 108 or 1000 times.
Atharvashirsh ends with 'Falshruti', which says importance of chanting Atharvashirsh.
The first person to observe the 'vrat' (vow) of Ganesh Chaturthi was Chandra - the moon. Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival in Lord Ganeshas honour and is
celebrated in the states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. This festival also inspires devotees to inculcate two virtues; obeying
the commands of God and His choicest devotee, and consolidating faith in them, just as Ganeshji had faith and trust in Parvati regarding circumambulating
Lord Ganesha is one of the five gods known as Panch Devtas. There are 8 idols of Lord Ganesh, which are famous by the name of Vinayak, and they are known as ‘Ashta Vinayak’. All the 8 idols of Lord Ganesha are Swayambhu meaning evolved by themselves.The names of them are as follows.
* Vakratunda (Shri Chintamani)
* Shri Mahodara (Shri Varadvinayak)
* Lambodara (Shri Baleshwar)
* Vignaraj (Shri Vighneshwar)
* Ekdanta (Shri Siddhivinayak)
* Shri Gajanan (Shri Mahaganapati-Ranjangaon)
* Vikat Ganapati (Shri Mayureshwar)
* Dhoomravarna (Shri Girijatmaj)
Symbolism and Importance
Since Ganeshji represents auspiciousness, his whole being has symbolic imports for devotees:
Large ears - signify listening to God's katha with great zeal.
Small eyes - to do the Lord's darshan minutely.
Large forehead - to develop great intellect to realise God.
Large stomach - depicts his great capacity to empathise with the woes of devotees.
Short legs - depicts patience.
Long trunk - symbolic of his deep scriptural wisdom.
Mouse as vehicle - a hyperactive creature, symbolic of our indriyas. Therefore Ganesh sitting on such a vehicle represents a deity of control over the indriyas.
Four arms - which hold: 'ankush' - symbol for control over the mind
'ladu' - for happiness
'pash' - axe to punish the indriyas and antahkaran
'ashirvad mudra' - blessings for the well being of hum
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