About Ganesha

Ganesha, also spelt Ganesh, also called Ganapati, elephant-headed Hindu god of beginnings, who is traditionally worshipped before any major enterprise and is the patron of intellectuals, bankers, scribes, and authors. … Like a rat and like an elephant, Ganesha is a remover of obstacles.

Ganesha is the elephant-headed God of Hindus. He is the Lord of power and wisdom. He is worshipped first in all auspicious occasions, religious worships and festivals. All Tantric and spiritual worship in the Hindu tradition begins with the invocation of Ganesha Stuti (Prayer). Ganesha is the destroyer of evils; remover of all obstacles; sources of all bliss and success in all undertakings. He is also worshipped as the god of education, knowledge, and wealth. Moreover, Ganesha is one of the five prime Hindu deities (Surya, Durga, Vishnu, and Shiva being other four) whose idolatry is glorified everyday as the Panchadeva Puja.

Ganesha is the eldest son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and brother of Skanda or Kumar Kartikeya. Ganesha is usually seen with four hands; each one has a special symbolic object in it. One holds a goad, the second holds an axe made from his broken tusk, the third holds a lotus flower, and the fourth holds a rosary. Multiple hands symbolize Ganesha’s multiple powers. Lord Ganesha has thousands of names. He is also popularly know as Ganapati, Vinayaka, Gajanana, Mangalmurti, Vakratunda, Ekadanta, Lambodara, Vignaraja, Vigneshwara and many more.

Ganesha became the Lord of all existing beings (Gana) after winning a contest from his brother Kumar Kartikeya. The story tells Ganesha and his brother Kumar Kartikeya once had a dispute that who was the elder of the two. The matter was referred to Lord Shiva for final decision. Shiva decided that whoever would make a tour around the world and come back first had the right to be the elder. Kumar Kartikeya flew off at once on his vehicle, the peacock, to make a circuit of the world. Ganesha did not start the race like his brother did, but simply walked around Shiva and Parvati, both his father and mother as the source of all existence; who also represent the entire manifested universe. Lord Shiva was pleased with Ganesha’s intelligence and declared him as a winner. He then was blessed as the Supreme God of the universe. Thus; the dispute was settled in favour of Lord Ganesha, who was thereafter acknowledged as the elder of the two brothers.

Ganesha Festival

Ganesha Chaturthi is celebrated as an occasion or a day on which Lord Ganesha makes his presence on earth for all his devotees. The festival is observed according to the Hindu calendar in the month of Bhaadrapada (around August and September), starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). It is among the most celebrated festivals in Nepal and South India, especially in western states of Maharashtra and Goa where the festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Ananta Chaturdashi.

Rituals: During the festivals a special puja to the lord Ganesha is performed by households. The worship of the deity involves getting ready to receive the god. Ganesha is invited with a special mantras and offerings. It involves the panchamrit (five nectars), which includes milk, curd, ghee, honey and jaggery, with which the god’s icon is bathed, cleansing in between with water.

Ganesha is then given a red garment and the sacred thread. He is then smeared with red sandal paste and offered red or yellow flowers. A diya lamp is lit, bells chime and food is offered in six symbolic mouthfuls. During the festival, puja is performed twice every day – in the morning and in the evening. Ganesha is offered special leaves and flowers and Durva grasses. The Ganesha mantra is chanted, followed by a Ganesha prayer.The main sweet-dishes during the festival period are Modak and Karanjis. (Literally meaning of MODAK is that which gives (or brings) happiness. There are also public celebrations of the festival, with local communities (mandals) vying with each other to put up the biggest idol. The festival is the time for a lot of cultural activities like songs, dramas and orchestra. The festival ends when the idol of the Ganesha is immersed into water (Visarjana), accompanied by loud shouts of Ganapati Bappa Moraya!

Ganesha Mantras and Stotras

Ganesha is an extremely generous God of Hindus. People mostly worship him asking for success in all new undertakings and for removal of obstacles. His Mantras and Stortas are chanted for wealth, good education, knowledge and intelligence

Ganesha Prayer:

“Vakratunda mahakaye kotisurya samaprabha”
“Nirvighnam kuru me deva sarvakaryeshu sarvada”

वक्रतुण्ड महाकाय कोटीसुर्य समप्रभ ।
निर्विघ्नं कुरूमे देवं र्सवकार्येषु र्सवदा ।। 

Meaning: O Ganapati, One with a curved trunk, a large body, and a brilliance equal to a crore (10 million) suns! O God, please make all my undertakings free from obstacles always.

Ganesha Mantra:

“Om Gang Gang Gang Ganapateye Namah”

ॐ गं गं गं गणपतेय नमः ।। 

Ganesha Gayetri:

“Lambodaraye Vidmahe Mahodaraye Dhimahi Tanno Danti Prachodayat”
(Source: Agni Purana)

।। लम्बोदराय विद्महे महोदराय धीमहि तन्नो दन्ती प्रचोदयात् ।।                                                           

अग्निपुराण ७१ अध्याय

“Ekadantaya Vidmahe Vakradundaye Dhimahi Tanno Danti Prachodayat”
(Source: Ganapatyatharva Shirsha)

।। एकदन्ताय विद्महे वक्रतुण्डाय धीमहि तन्नो दन्ती प्रचोदयात् ।।

– गणपत्यथर्वशीर्ष

Ganesha Stotra:

।। श्रीसंकष्टनाशनं गणपतिस्तोत्रम् ।।

श्रीगणेशाय नमः

Shri Ganapati Strotram

प्रणम्य शिरसा देवं गौरीपुत्रं विनायकम् ।

भक्तावासं स्मरेन्नित्यमायुः कामा sर्थसिद्धये ।।१।।
प्रथमं वक्रतुण्डं च एकदन्तं द्वितीयकम् ।

तृतीयं कृष्ण-पिङ्गाक्षं गजवक्त्रं चतुर्थकम् ।।२।।

लम्बोदरं पञ्चमं च षष्ठं विकटमेव च ।

सप्तमं विघ्नराजं च धुम्रवर्ण तथा sष्टमम् ।।३।।

नवमं भालचन्द्रं च दशमं तु विनायकम् ।

एकादशं गणपतिं द्वादशं तु गजाननम् ।।४।।

द्वादशैतानि नामानि त्रिसन्ध्यं यः पठेन्नरः ।

न च विघ्नभयं तस्य र्सवसिद्धकरं परम् ।।५।।

विद्यार्थी लभते विद्यां धनार्थी लभते धनम् ।

पुत्रार्थी लभते पुत्रान् मोक्षार्थी लभते गतिम् ।।६।।

जपेद् गणपतिस्तोत्रमं षड्भिर्मासैः फलं लेभत् ।

संवत्सरेण सिद्धिं च लभते ना sत्र संशय ।।७।।

अष्टानां ब्राह्मणानां च लिखित्वा यः र्समर्पयेत् ।

तस्य विद्या भवेत र्सवा गणेशस्य प्रसादतः ।।८।।

।। इति श्रीनारदपुराणे संकष्टनाशनं गणपतिस्तोत्रम् सम्पूर्णम् ।।