Lord Ganesha, the one tusked pot bellied Hindu deity, starts all things auspicious in the Hindu culture. He is worshiped for the said wisdom, prosperity and luck he bestows on his devotees. Looking at the idol of Lord Ganesha, the potbelly, the humble mouse as the vehicle, the large ears, the elephant’s head and the broken tusk, we can wonder how this deity is considered to be one of the most strongest God.
In our lives we encounter questions every day. Questions that bog us down and make us feel how to overcome problems and lead a happy life. Lord Ganesha’s ideologies are not esoteric and can be implemented easily if we go by his example.
In his physical form Lord Ganesha is pot bellied and has large ears but he has used his stomach to gobble demons and all the food that the arrogant Kubera served. He has large ears and an elephant’s trunk, but he uses the ears to listen to the woes of the world and the trunk to remove obstacles. He uses a humble mouse as his vehicle to travel around the world but the humble mouse can carry the mighty Lord. These ideologies help us deduce that in life all of us will have limitations. Limitations may not just pertain to what we are born with but also the situation life puts us in. It is solely up to us to use them to our advantage.
Lord Ganesha is the God of wisdom. He exhibits other qualities like prosperity, wealth and knowledge too. But the reason he is primarily known to be the one with the most wisdom is because a man may have intelligence and wealth, but without wisdom he wouldn’t know how to direct the two into something fruitful. Lord Ganesha had the wisdom to write what was dictated to him by sage Vyas. He also had the wisdom to break his own tusk and write the Mahabharata, when his pen broke. The text is considered to be one of the most holy texts in the Hindu literature. The noteworthy aspect of this attribute exhibited by Lord Ganesha is that, it is important to finish what one commits oneself to. We might leave a task in the middle and not mind that it is unfinished if we face a hurdle. If we overcome the fear we may achieve something that is beneficial to us in the long run.
Lord of the “Ganas”, destroyer of arrogance, vanity and other inner demons, remover of obstacles, he represents wealth and propagates spirituality. This encourages us to attain the balance between spiritual growth and the material desires. The desire of wealth and prosperity is not evil, but having no purpose for it for others, who live around us, makes it useless.
Being on the most powerful Hindu deities he is perhaps the most approachable God. Due to his countenance and his lessons it becomes easy for everyone to understand and feel secure about embracing his faith. Though Ganesha’s lessons are tough to implement but the nature in which they have been preached by Lord Ganesha makes it easy for us to understand them.
GanaNayaka Ashtakam is the eight part Stotram (hymn or verse) of Lord Ganesha. This Ashtakam is used for invoking Lord Ganesha.
You are one tusked, have a massive, enormous and a hot-golden colored body. You have a large pot like belly, beautiful eyes and I bow to you the leader of ganas (followers of Lord Shiva)
The one who is victorious and has the color of his body as Krishna varnam (smoke-hued) and who uses snake as yagnopaveet (janeu; a holy thread that is tied around the belly). The one who has a waxing moon on his head, I bow to you the leader of the ganas.
The one who makes a picture perfect pose, who has a garland adorning around his neck and who takes the form of Kama Roop (the form which is immensely attractive), I bow to you the leader of ganas.
The one who has a face of an elephant and still considered the best, who is beautifully adorned with karnchamra (cowrie, which is used as an ornament for the ear of an elephant) and who holds Pashan and Kusha (weapons used in war), I bow to the leader of the ganas.
The one who uses mushika (mouse) as his chariot, the one who is prayed by everyone and the one who is a mahaveer (extremely brave), I bow to that Lord Ganesha.
The one to whom yaksha, kinnera and gandharva (semi-Gods) pray, who is the one who has the vidya (teachings) to acquire Siddhi (opulence), whose stuti (prayers) people sing by heart and who has strong arms, I bow to the leader of the ganas.
The one who is dear to the mother, who is always at mother’s service, who is dear to his devotees and who ends the wars, I bow to the leader of the ganas.
The Lord who takes all our problems, who diminished all the obstacles and problems coming our way and the one who gives all types of Siddhi (opulence), I bow to the leader of the ganas.
This GanAshtakam gives the virtue to those who read it with Bhakti (devotion), this Ashtakam proves beneficial to those who read it and make the person intelligent and wealthy.
Iti Sri GanaNayAshtakam
I bow to the one who removes obstacles, who holds modaks (sweet delicacies) in his hands, who leads us towards the path of salvation, who has a crescent moon on his head, who defends and guards the mottled and assorted world, who is the head of the ganas (followers of Lord Shiva), who assassinate asuras (demons) and who demolish and wreck everything that is not virtuous and noble.
I bow to the one who is the supreme of all the Gods, who creates horror among fiends, who glistens and shimmers as sun, who is saluted by Devtas (gods) and Asuras (devils), who is the remover of obstacles from the path of his devotees, who is the Lord of all devtas, who is the Lord of opulence, who is the Lord of all elephants and who is the one who leads the army of ganas.
I bow to the Lord who glitters like the ball of fire i.e. Sun, who bequeath tranquility to all the three Loks i.e. Dev Lok (Abode of heavenly creatures), Mrityu Lok or Prithvi Lok (Earth where human beings reside and Pataal Lok (where asuras stay), who eliminated Gajamukhasura demon from this world, who had a pot belly like structure, who has an elephant like structure and sanctify people, who is benevolent, who gives boons and who showers eminence among his devotees and to all those who salute Him.
I salute the ever eternal Elephant God, who gives to the wants of his devotees, who is worshipped by many for centuries, who is the son of the Lord Rudra (Lord Shiva, who is called as the destroyer), who consumes the arrogance of the foes of Gods, who is beyond belief, who has a serpent as an ornament and wears it around his waist like a jewel and who is ferocious as an elephant in a fury.
I always worship the single tusked God, whose ever glistening tusk is always glossy, who is the son of Lord; who slaughtered the God of Death, who has a figure beyond anyone’s prospects, who is aadi–anadi (endless), who rips off all hindrances and hurdles and who stays forever in the heart of Rishi–Munis (sages) just like the season of spring.
The one who chants this Ganesh Panchratnam enjoys the following benefits:
The ones who remember these five gems of Lord Ganpati every morning with utmost devotion and who contemplate in their hearts about the leader of ganas, will be blessed with ecstatic and jovial life. Their lives will be free from all troubles, will be bestowed with salvation, a healthy family and both spiritual and physical type of wealths.
Stotra or Stuti are the verses that devotees sing to please Gods and Goddesses. They may be in two lines or can extend to many paragraphs. Stotra mainly are in Sanskrit Language but can be in the local language or Hindi too. One of the Ganesh Stotras that devotees sing in order to please Lord Ganesha is as follows:
Om Pranamya Sirasa devam Gauri Puthram Vinayakam
Bhaktavasam Smarennithyam Ayuh Kamartha Siddaye ! (1)
Prathamam Vakrathundam cha Ekadantham Dvithiyakam
Thrithiyam Krishna Pingaaksham Gajavakthram Chathurthakam (2)
Lambodaram Panchamam cha Shashtam Vikatameva cha
Saptamam Vighna Rajam cha Dhoomravarnam thathashtakam (3)
Navamam Bhala Chandram cha Dasamam thu Vinayakam
Ekadasam Ganapathim Dwadasam thu Gajananam !! (4)
Dwadasaithani Namaani Thri Sandhyam Yah Pathennarah
Na cha Vighna Bhayam thasya Sarva Siddhi karim Prabho! (5)
Vidyarthi Labhate Vidyam Dhanarthi Labhate Dhanam
Puthrarthi Labhate Putraam Mokshaarthi Labhate Gatim (6)
Japeth Ganapthi Stotram Shadbhirmaasai Phalam Labheth,
Samvatsarena Siddhim cha Labhate Naathra Samsayaha ! (7)
Ashtabhyo Brahmanebhyash cha Likhitwa yah Samarpayeth
Thasya Vidya bhavetsarva Ganeshasya Prasadathaha !! (8)
Ithi Sri Narada Purane Sankashta Nashana Ganapathi Sthothram Sampoornam.
Shree Ganeshay Namah!