Lord Ganesh is the guardian of prosperity, beauty, grace and compassion. He is revered at the starting of all spiritual ceremonies and rituals in deference to his creation of new auspicious beginnings. He is also the embodiment of three virtues namely Siddhi, Buddhi, and Riddhi known as spirituality, wisdom, and prosperity.
He is referred to as the one with the single tusk, the one who has a mouse as his vehicle and the one who penned the Hindu text Mahabharata.
In the Hindu sacred scriptures, it is written that Vighneshwar can be impressed when an individual devotes himself to Lord Ganesha and submits to a noble, generous, life. Additionally, He shall not only reward your efforts (in spiritual practice) but accelerate your progress, remove obstacles, and help you become a better person in life.
Lord Ganesha is the son of lord Shiva (a member of the holy trinity of Hinduism) and Goddess Parvathi, and the brother of Lord Kartikeya (also knowns as Murugan). But it is said that Lord Ganesha was not born out of conception.
Goddess Parvathi made him out of clay from her body and gave him life. Some sacred texts say that He was actually born with his elephant head, though in most stories He acquires the head later. He is commonly known as Gajanana, Ganapati, Ganesa, Lambodar, Vighneshwar, Pillaiyar, Ekdantaaya and Ganaraja.
Some scholars have even claimed to have seen similarities between the shape of Lord Ganesha’s body and the shape of symbol Om (Aum) in the Tamil and Devanagari scripts. With this in mind, many amazing ornamentations have been made shaping Lord Ganesha in the calligraphical form of the sacred symbol.
He is also the focal point of a festival occurring in late summer (between late August and mid-September for 10 days) called Ganesha Chaturthi. Many devotees start preparation of the puja a month or week before the exact date of the festival. They give offerings (especially Modak), sing devotional songs, and chant mantras. This amazing festival culminates on the day of Ananta Chaturdashi when the images of Lord Ganapati are paraded through the streets and then immersed into water, be it an ocean, river or even a tank, where they quickly dissolve. Also, the Ashtavinayak Yatra or pilgrimage to 8 Lord Ganesha temples in Maharashtra is considered auspicious.
Lord Ganapati is depicted with a human body and having an elephant head. He is portrayed with four hands (the number of Lord Ganesha’s hands varies between 2 and 16, though he is commonly pictured with 4, which is codified as a standard form in some iconographic texts) and carries a noose and a goad in upper hands. One of Ganesha’s lower hands is shown in the mudra of fearless, while in the other lower hand Ganapati holds a bowl full of Modaks. In the earliest known images, Vighneshwar is described without a Vahana (mount), an omission highly uncharacteristic of most Hindu deities.
Ganesh Mantra translation in English:
„Invocation to Lord Ganesh, son of Lord Shiva, who is the remover of obstacles, who guards the doorway to the enlightened realms. His blessings are essential for good beginnings.”
Mantra meaning on syllables:
- Om – is the pranava mantra. The term oṃkarasvarupa in connection with Lord Ganapati refers to the belief that He alone is the personification of the primal sacred sound.
- Gam – represents the secret power sound of Vighneshwar. It is His bija syllable. When you chant ”Gam”, you are reciting ”Ganesha.” In addition, it represents that part of you that is powerful and wise yet still deeply sweet.
- Ganapataye – represents another name of Lord Ganesh, the breaker of obstacles.
- Namaha – translates as ”to honor” or ”to salute.”
Chanting Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha Sharanam Ganesha benefits:
Mantras are normally of Sanskrit origin, which are power-packed formulas, highly compressed and charged with a magical healing potency and deep meaning. It relieves us from the sights and sounds and stimulation of the material world and delivers us into a spiritual sacred space. Also, reciting mantras can protect us from evil, cure diseases, help us to gain wealth and prosperity, or to get moksha – liberation.
This is Ganesh mantra from Ganapati Upanishad. It is considered that this mantra should be chanted before starting new projects (including those of spiritual nature), like entering a business deal or signing a contract so that Ganapati brings wealth, success, prosperity, good luck, and peace.
In addition, reciting the mantra regularly and with sincere devotion improves discipline, and removes fears and phobia.
”All those devotees who regularly repeat the Ganesha Mantra -Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha elevate themselves spiritually and become eligible for attaining Brahmatva, the state of Self-Realization… When you are in constant worship of Lord Ganesha and when you continually chant the mantra, He will not let any obstacles come in your way.” – Sri Ganesha Upanishad.