Ganapati; Elephant-headed God

Posted: November 22, 2015 in education, inspiring, philosophy, sanatana dharma, sanskrit
Tags: , , , , ,


Gaņapati Mantrā
Rig Veda
(Mandala 2, Sūktā 23, Mantrā 1) 

गणानां त्वा गणपतिं हवामहे  (gaņānām tvā gaņapatim havāmahe
कविं कवीनामुपमश्रवस्तमम् । (kavim kavīnām upamashravastamam)
ज्येष्ठराजं ब्रह्मणाम् ब्रह्मणस्पत (jyeşhţharājam brahmaņām brahmaņaspata)
आ नः शृण्वन्नूतिभिःसीदसादनम् ॥ (ā naĥ shŗņvan ūtibhiĥ sīda sādanam)

We invoke the lord of the hosts of mantras,
Seer among all the seers, supreme in all hearings,
The eldest king and the lord of all the mantras.
Hearing our invocations, may he fulfill us and manifest his powers in our bodies.

This deity is addressed as Gaņapati, the leader of the heavenly hosts. Gaņa means a host, or host of mantras. Brahma in the vedas also means mantra, or the potent word. This deity is the Lord of all mantras when the mantra is recited with full understanding of its meaning. It enters our subtle bodies and releases the concealed powers in us. The prayer here is “May he hear us and manifest his powers in us“.

In later purāņas and in present times, the deity Gaņapati is the elephant-headed god, son of Shiva and Parvati, patron of studies and art, scribe of the epic mahābhārata, etc. However, there is no need to bring in such descriptions in the vedas because purāņas came several millennium after the Rigveda, and the purāņas express the truths of Rigveda, diluted as it were so that they are easily accessible to the common person.

The symbolic representation of Gaņapati interpreted to foster self development is depicted in the following picture:



Further reading:

  1. TheMonk says:

    Reblogged this on The Monk and commented:
    So much knowledge

  2. Vamagandhi says:

    ऊँ गं गणपतये नम:

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