A Hymn To Ganesha

A Renowned Five-Jeweled Hymn by
Sri Adi Sankara (798-820)
Free-Flowing Translation by J. Sethuraman

Maha Ganesa Pancharatna Stotram

I bow to Vinayaka
Who, with glee, holds a half-eaten modaka in His hand,
Who is the ever-present means of moksha
Who has the moon as an ear ornament,
Who protects all the worlds,
Who is the single leader for those who are lost without anybody to help them,
Who destroyed the elephant demon and
Who swiftly removes the blemishes of those who bow to Him.

I seek refuge of the great Lord Vinayaka
Who is higher than the highest,
Who is everlasting,
Who is ferocious to others than those that bow to Him,
Who is resplendent as the newly rising sun,
Worshiped by both demons and Gods,
The savior of those that bow to Him from all their miseries,
The lord of all the Gods,
The lord of all wealth,
The elephant God,
And Ganesvara, the lord of the ganas.

I bow to the resplendent one
Who bestows peace to all the worlds,
Who conquered the elephant demon,
Who has not a small belly,
The excellent one,
Who has a beautiful elephant face,
Who is eternal,
Who is kind,
Who is forgiving,
Who gives happiness,
Who bestows fame and
Who satisfies every wish of those that bow to him.

I worship the ancient elephant God
who shares the misery of the poor,
the fit receptacle of all the ancient prayers,
the first son of the enemy of the three cities (Shiva),
the shatterer of the pride of the demons,
the fierce destroyer of the worlds,
decorated by fire and other elements, and
whose elephant cheeks are flowing with must
(the rut that flows from the cheeks of male elephants.)

I constantly think of Him alone,
the single-tusked one,
With a lovingly brilliant tusk,
The son of the destroyer of the sacrifice (Shiva),
With a form that cannot be comprehended,
With no end,
Who tears asunder all doubts, and
Who is verily like spring to the yogis who hold Him in their hearts all the time.

One who repeats every day
The Maha Ganesha Pancharatna Stotram
With reverence
In the mornings or evenings
while holding Ganesvara in his heart
He, very quickly,
Will be joined by
Good health, blemishlessness, good fellowship, good children, long life,
and the eight vibhutis (powers).

from Loving Ganesa
by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami


Shri Ganesha Upanishad

Aum! Let us listen with our ears to that which is auspicious, adorable one. Let us perceive with our eyes what is holy and auspicious. With strong, stable body and limbs, may we seek the divine grace and accept the noble order of all our life.

I surrender to you, Lord Ganesha. You are the speaker. You are the listener. You are the giver. You are the sustainer. I am your disciple. Protect me from the front and back. Protect me from the north and the south, from above and below. Protect me from all directions.

You are full of perfect knowledge of truth and awareness. You are full of bliss and pure consciousness. You are truth, consciousness and bliss. You are the absolute awareness. You are full of supreme wisdom and knowledge.

You are the earth, water, fire, air and the space. You are the root foundation of speech. You are beyond the three gunas: sattva, rajas, and tamas. You are beyond the physical, mental, and causal bodies. You are beyond the three aspects of time: past, present, and future. You are eternally established in the muladhara chakra. You have three shaktis: action, knowledge, and will.

Salutation to the Ganapati whose seed mantra is Aum Gam. We know Ekadanta, the One-tusked God, the unique God. We meditate upon Vakratunda, the curved-trunk God. May that unique elephant God illumine our consciousness and direct us along the right track.

One should meditate upon Lord Ganesha having one tusk and four arms; holding the noose and goad with two of them; with the other two indicating varada, the giving of boons and blessings, and abhaya mudra, the fear removing gesture; having a mouse as the emblem on his ensign; possessing a big, beautiful belly and large, lovely ears which look like winnowing baskets; having a red cloth and His whole body covered with red sandalwood paste. He should be worshiped with red flowers. He manifests Himself as the universe and is beyond pakriti, matter, and Parusha, the manifest God. One who worships Ganesha in this way forever is the best of yogis.

Prostrations to Vratapati, the Lord of Plenty. Prostrations to Ganapati, the Lord of various groups of Gods. Prostrations to Pramathapati, the Lord of Shiva’s hosts. Prostrations to Lambodara, the full-bellied God with a single tusk, destroyer of obstacles, the Son of Shiva, the Bestower of all Blessings.

He who chants this Ganapati Upanishad will verily get established in Brahman, the pure awareness. He will never encounter any obstacles. He will be happy everywhere. He will be free from the five great sins and lesser ones. By reciting this in the evening, the day’s sins are destroyed.

By reciting this in the early morning, one becomes free from the sins committed at night in dreams. Reciting this morning and evening, one becomes totally free from all sins. He becomes totally free from all obstacles. He achieves the four divine ends of life: dharma, artha, kama, and moksha; virtue, wealth, pleasure, and liberation.

Aum Ganesha saranam saranam Ganesha.

Excerpted from Ganapatyatharsirsham
Translation by Dr. Vasant Lad


The Five Shaktis of Lord Ganesha

A Reverent Doxology by a Saiva Acharya

Loving Ganesha! Dear to Shiva’s men,
Within whose form the world of form resides,
Who earned the mango by a ponderous ken
And made the moon to wax and wane in tides.

Aum Ganesha! Loved by saints and sages,
Whose skillful arms five potent shaktis wield
To guide men now as in forgotten ages-
The seeker’s shield, the farmer’s fertile field.

Aum! Ganesha’s first shakti is home life,
Protection, harmony, fertility-
Respect becomes the man, as love the wife,
Obedience their cherished offspring’s glee.

Aum! Ganesha’s second shakti’s family –
By blood, by marriage and proximity.
Word and thought controlled, like minds agree,
While faithful friends preserve community.

Aum! Ganesha’s third shakti is the market,
Where commerce earns the earth stability,
Where forthright, selfless merchants, free from debt,
Conceive, produce, exchange prosperity.

Aum! Ganesha’s fourth shakti brings culture-
Refined expression, graceful artistry
In music, dance, in poetry and sculpture
Or common conduct performed consciously.

Aum! Ganesha’s fifth shakti is dharma-
Fair merit found in virtue’s charity
Where love of God does conquer ancient karma
And Liva’s slaves earn grace’s rarity.

Jaya Ganesha! Come, our hearts protect
From discord in the home, from strife with friend,
From business misfortune, from art’s neglect,
From soul’s dark night- these griefs asuric end.

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Victory to Ganesha, who when dancing makes a shower of stars fall like a rain of flowers from the sky by the movement of his trunk.  ~Somadeva

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