Lord Ganesha - The Great Son of Shiva and Parvati
Nirvighnam kuru me deva
("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 considered god of wisdom in Indian mythology.
People mostly worship him asking for Siddhi (Prudence )and Buddhi (Intellegence) He is called Vighneshwara the destroyer of obstacles. His Mantra is "Om Gung Ganapathaye Namah."
Spiritual aspirants who worship Ganesha as their tutelary Deity repeat
this Mantra or "Om Sri Ganeshaya Namah."
The devotees of Ganesha also do Japa of the Ganesha Gayatri Mantra.
This is as follows:
"Tat purushaaya vidmahe
Tanno dhanti prachodayaat"
Etymologically, ganah in Sanskrit means "multitude" and isa means Lord. So, Ganesha means the "Lord of all beings. He is the God of knowledge. Ganesha is the first son of Lord Shiva, who is the supreme reality. This popular Indian God symbolises one who has realised the Reality, one who has discovered the godhood in him. Ganesha is also known by different names such as Ganapati, Gajanana, Vinayaka, Vighneshwara, Dhoomraketu, Sumukha, Ekadantha, Gajakarnaka, Lambodara, Vignaraja, Ganadhyaksha, Phalachandra, Vakratunda, Siddhivinayaka, Surpakarna, Heramba, Skandapurvaja, Kapila and Vigneshwara. He is also known by many as Maha-Ganapathi.
- Birth of Lord Ganesha:
The following story is narrated about His birth and how He came to have the head of an elephant:
Once upon a time, the Goddess Parvati (consort of Lord Shiva), while bathing, created Ganesha as a pure white being out of the mud of Her Body and placed Him at the entrance of the house. She told Him not to allow anyone to enter while she went inside for a bath. Lord Shiva Himself was returning home quite thirsty and was stopped by Ganesha at the gate. Shiva became angry and cut off Ganesha"s head as He thought Ganesha was an outsider. When Gauri came to know of this she was sorely grieved. To console her grief, Shiva ordered His servants to cut off and bring to Him the head of any creature that might be sleeping with its head facing north. The servants went on their mission and found only an elephant in that position. The sacrifice was thus made and the elephant"s head was brought before Shiva. The Lord then joined the elephant"s head onto the body of Ganesha.
Lord Shiva made His son worthy of worship at the beginning of all undertakings, marriages, expeditions, studies, etc.
Ganesha Upanishad describes Lord Ganesha in the following words:
Auspiciousness to those who hear - thus the Shanti.
Om Lam I bow to Ganapati.
You clearly are the tattva.
You alone are the Creator.
You alone are the Maintainer.
You alone are the Destroyer.
Of all this you certainly are Brahma.
You plainly are the Essence.
Always I speak amrita.
The truth I speak.
Protect me. Protect the speakers.
Protect the hearers. Protect the givers.
Protect the holders. Protect the disciple that repeats.
Protect that in the East. Protect that in the South.
Protect that in the West. Protect that in the North.
Protect that above. Protect that below.
Everywhere protect! Protect me everywhere!
You are speech. You are consciousness.
You are Bliss. You are Brahma.
You are Being-Consciousness-Bliss.
You are the Non-Dual.
You are plainly Brahma.
You are knowledge.
You are Intelligence.
You create this world.
You maintain this world.
This world is seen in you.
You are Earth, Water, Air, Fire, Aether.
You are beyond the four measures of speech.
You are beyond the three Gunas.
You are beyond the three bodies.
You are beyond the three times.
You are always situated in the Muladhara.
You are the Being of the three Shaktis.
You are always meditated on by Yogins.
You are Brahma, You are Vishnu,
You are Rudra, You are Agni,
You are Vayu, You are the Sun,
You are the Moon, You are Brahma,