In Hinduism the formal way to worship a deity is to recite a hymn or a specific prayer in their name. This is called a mantra. A mantra is mostly in Sanskrit and has a spiritual meaning. Every deity has a specific mantra and Lord Ganesha is no exception. With Ganesha’s being one of the most important and powerful deities in Hindu culture the Ganesh mantra or Ganapati mantra has significant importance for the devotees.
The Ganapati mantra is recited not just in honour of Lord Ganesha but also for overcoming obstacles, attaining prosperity, wealth and knowledge. It can be as simple as saying “Shri Ganeshaya Namah” or “Om Gang Ganadhirajaay Namah”, to chanting elaborate mantras. The popular ones with their meanings are given below.
This is one of the most important Lord Ganesha’s mantra. It is recited for Lord Ganesha and Riddhi and Siddhi. The reason for its incantation is to attain prosperity and wealth. It is believed by the priests that recitation of this mantra 1, 25,000 times brings wealth, prosperity and knowledge. All one needs to do is believe and be dedicated to reciting the mantra the given number of times.
“Om Hreeng Greeng Hreeng”
This mantra is also known as the Shaktivinayak mantra. This is recited primarily for financial prosperity.
A Tantrik mantra this is again recited for financial and materialistic prosperity.
“Om Ganesh Rhinam Chhindhi Vareniyam Hung Namah Phutt”
A Rhinaharta mantra, it is recited to keep poverty at bay.
“Om Shreeng Hreeng Kleeng Glaung Gang Ganapatye Var Varad Sarvajanmey Vashmanay Tha Tha.”
This Ganesha mantra is one of the most important Ganapati mantra. Most of the important occasions of worshipping Lord Ganesha start with this mantra. This is recited to worship the Lord who removes obstacles.
“Rayaspaushasaya Dadita Nidhido Ratan Dhatuman Rakshohanovalaghano Vakratundaay Hung”
Not as popular with the devotees, this mantra is more popular amongst priests.
“Om Shreeng Gang Soumyaay Ganapatye Var Varad Sarvajanmmey Vashmanay Swaha”
This is a mantra that is dedicated to Goddess Laxmi and Lord Ganesha. Since it has the power to invoke the two Gods of financial prosperity , it is believed to be effective in that regard.
“Vakratundaikdaikdanshtraay Kleeng Hreeng Shreeng Gang GanapatyeVar Varad Sarvajanam mey Vashmanay Swaha”
This mantra is known as the Trailokya Mohan Kar Ganesha Mantra. It is believed to bring peace to the one who recites it.
“Om Hung Gang Glaung Haridra Ganapatye Var Varad Sarvajan Hridayam Stambhay Stambhay Swaha”
This mantra is known as Haridra Ganesh Mantra. This mantra is recited for marital happiness. It is specifically recited to remove impotency and bless the devotee with a child.
“Om Namo Siddhivinayakaay Sarvakaryakartrey Sarvavighanprashamnay Sarvarjya Vashyakarnaay Sarvajan Sarvastree Purushakarshanaay Shreeng Om Swaha.”
This mantra is known as the Siddhi Vinayaka mantra. As the name suggests it brings in Siddhi which is spiritual prosperity. It is believed to bring the devotee peace and spiritual happiness if recited 108 times every day.
The mantras stated above are some of the most popular mantras not just with the devotees but also the priests. These are recited particularly on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi and (or) otherwise.
Aum or Om is the sound of divinity in Hinduism. According to the Katha Upanishads (I) whoever recites and believes in this syllable gets what they desire. Aum acts as a support for those who want to accomplish and fulfil their desires. It is a sacred symbol that represents Brahman. It is considered the supreme symbol in Hinduism. It is considered the source of the universe. It is incomprehensible, omnipotent and omnipresent. Alternatively Aum is called Pranava, one which pervades life. According to Madukya Upanishad, Aum is the eternal syllable which encompasses the history, the present and the prospect.
Aum is the primal sound which, like music, transcends boundaries and language. It is the primordial language that everyone can understand. It is a combination of three Sanskrit words, Aa, Au and Ma, which combine to give the sound Aum. “aa” signifies the beginning of the universe, “Au” represents the life period and “Ma” signifies the destruction of the universe. Therefore Aum signifies the three acts of Gods that complete the circle of life. It is believed to be the source of all sounds on earth and is considered a prayer in itself. The sound resonates throughout the body and is believed to stir the Atman (or the soul). The holy book of Hindus, the Bhagavadh Gita, urges devotees to utter the sound with the thought of God. Once someone does that they supposedly reach the state of nirvana.
Aum is believed to project the mind beyond the obvious, to the abstract. Aum helps in not just visioning but also contemplating the inexpressible. It also constitutes all that is substantial and material. This duality to the syllable makes it encompass all that there is and that can be. During meditation the utterance of Aum attunes oneself to the universe.
Aum has four planes of existence. “A” the physical plane constitutes the wake state of the mind. “U” the astral plane constitutes the dream state of mind. “M” the casual state constitutes the dream less state of mind. The fourth plane is the unspoken sound referred to as Turiya. Turiya constitutes the enlightened state.
Though Aum is omnipresent and omnipotent in nature, it is identified with Lord Ganesha. One of the 108 names of Ganesha is Omkara which literally means’ like Aum’. The name is coined because Lord Ganesha’s body looks like the symbol Aum (in Devanagari and the Tamil script) when viewed from the side.
Recitation of the syllable Aum brings prosperity and peace. It is also believed to bring intelligence and spiritual progress which eventually leads to enlightenment.
The origin of this word comes from Hinduism and Buddhism. The literal meaning of mantra is a word which is repeated continuously during the course of meditation to aid concentration. It is a collection of words which have a monotonous sound and denote spiritual meaning. Mantras originated in the Vedic scriptures of Hinduism. A single word “Om” (Aum) is also considered a mantra as per the Upanishads. It is known as the pranava mantra (the source of all mantras). Each mantra has a profound meaning, but the meanings differ from one tradition to another. The meanings also differ across time periods.
Initially the mantras were found written in Hinduism. This was because of a unified language of communication in the culture (Sanskrit). The word mantra also comes from Sanskrit literally meaning “instrument of thought”. There are many Latin, Indo-Iranian and Chinese words which have mantra as the root word. The writing of mantras became a practice in Buddhism after Chinese achieved a cultural unity through language. The first record of inscriptions of mantras in both culture are found on barks and stones.
The Vedas have the first record of mantras. Although many mantras exist as single lines or even a single word, most mantras follow a two-line pattern. In Hinduism, Om is the seed syllable from where all the other mantras are derived. While some mantras are specific to invoking and inviting a particular God, the basic mantras resonates the message of The One reality. There are three major mantras in Hinduism, “Om”, the Gayatri mantra and the Shanti mantra. Bhajans, Kirtans, the Guru mantra (recited by the teacher before starting to teach the student) and the Bija mantra are also several forms of mantra. The Vedic sages werethe first to practice “mantra japa”. It involved a series of mantras recited together as prayers to invoke any Hindu deity. The number of repetitions of mantra varies from japa to japa but the most common number is 108. A Rudra mala is used to do japa. Each mala contains 108 beads to help in the count.
In Buddhism, the use of mantras became popular during the rule of emperor Shunzhi. The monks Yulin and Kukai were the main contributors in etching out the important mantras in Buddhism. Yulin was responsible in etching out the ten basic mantras along with the Great Compassion Mantra, and the heart sūtra, which were popular in the reign of Shunzhi. Kukai was responsible in advancing the general theory of theory with the help of mantra.
Although mantras in Sikhism and Taoism are fundamentally different from those in Hinduism and Buddhism, their purpose is the same. In Sikh religion a mantra (or a mantar) is a word or a hymn from their holy book (Adi Granth). In Sikhism, mantras are taught more openly compared to other religions. Hinduism and Buddhism assign the task of reciting the mantras to specific people, who are considered messengers of God. Mantras in Taoism are mostly words and not sentences as in the case of other religions.
Lord Vinaygar is the name by which South Indians lovingly call Lord Ganesha. According to the South Indians Lord Vinaygar is the eldest son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. He is the elder brother of Lord Murugan (Skanda or Kartikeya). Lord Vinaygar was created by his mother Goddess Parvati.
Ganesha is popularly known by many names, but the most popular among them are Ganjan, Ganpati, Vinayak and Vinayagar. The easily pleased Lord Vinayagar has many stotras and mantras which his devotees sing in order to invoke him. The most influential among all his mantras and Stotras is the Lord Vinayagar Stotra.
Offering flowers and leaves to God
Shri Mahaganapatim Bhajeham Shivatmajam Sanmukhagrajam
I am praying to Lord Mahaganpati who is the dear son of Lord Shiva who is directly standing in front of me.
Repeat offering of flowers
Shrta Ganasevitam Vighna Nashakam Shigra Vara Prasada Dayakam
I pray to the Lord who is the remover of obstacles and who gives boons easily to his devotees
In between the prayers
Sadayam Kapila Muni Varadayakam Guru Seva Shaktam Herambam
He who the great saint Kapil Muni always prays to. He says Ganesha is a hero in himself, and he is the one who gives boons and listens to the prayers of his devotees
Offering prayers to the feet of Lord Ganesha
Jnana Mudralankrtam Muladhara Nivasinam
The one who is decorated with a mudra (dance form) of knowledge and who is the inhabitant of the root chakra (Muladhara or root chakra is symbolized by a lotus with four petals and the color red) of life.
Offering prayers to the feet of Lord Ganesha
Gajaranya Vasinam Jyotirmayam Upanisad Saram Panca
Bhutatmakam Sindhura Priyam Pancamatanga Mukham
The one who likes being as an elephant, the one who is abounding with stars, who knows the whole Upanishads, who consists of the five elements of life (panch mahabhut), who loves sindura (vermillion) and who is panch matanga mukham (five faces depicting five elephants)
Offering prayers to the feet of Lord Ganesha
Kamesha Nayana Hladakam Nagalinga Vara Putram
Shri Vidya Cit-Prabhananda Raja Yogindram Sannutam
The one with exceptionally beautiful and attractive eyes, who is refreshing and is the son of the one who is in the linga roopam (phallus) with a snake adorning it. The one who has all the knowledge of sciences and who popularly known as the master of yoga, I bow to that deity.
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