Rushikesh K. Joshi rushi at BRONTO.IITM.ERNET.IN
Mon Feb 10 09:57:16 CST 1997

>    aavaahaye taM gaNaraajadevaM raktopalaabhaasam-asheshhavandyaM |
>    vighnaantakaM vighnaharaM gaNeshaM bhajaami raudraM sahitaM cha siddhyaa||
>    I invoke Ganesha, the Lord of Shiva's gaNas, whose body appears like
>    a red lotus, and who is saluted by all.  I worship Ganesha, the son of
>    Rudra (Shiva), who terminates and eliminates obstacles, and who is
>    accompanied by His spouse Siddhi (success).
>   Anand

Who is Ganesha ?

Thanks for your posting on Ganesha.

There are stories about the origin of the Ganesha form.
I have come to a conclusion that these stories do not throw much
light on the nature of Ganesha and the origins of Ganesha worship.
They mislead.

Here are some hints on what Ganesha is:

The Omkar or the Pranava is the Brahm-vachak shabda.
Pranava is in non-animate form. If Brahman has to be worshiped
in form, what kind of human figure should be drawn ? Just write a big
Omkar and draw an eye in its head part to make it alive.
You will get the side view of Ganesha. Kindly do this experiment
on your note pad and see that Ganesha figure appears from the Omkar.
You get the trunk too. This view can be also be verified by
looking at the wonderful verses of the Ganapti Atarvashirsha
Upanishad. Since Ganesha is nothing but the Omkar,
we worship him first before all Gods.

"TvaM saakshaat aatmaa asi nityaM" - Ganaptyatharvashirshopanishad

If I get some time, I will post the translation of this
beautiful Vedic prayer to Ganesha. It never tells the popular stories
about him, but says something else ! Is the translation already
present somewhere ?

- Joshi

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