Greetings and Namaste. As Vinayaka Chaturthi falls on Monday (09-Sep-2013), I am glad to share a couple of rare hymns on Lord Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles and the Prathama Pujitha (one who is prayed first among all other deity forms).

1. Vinayaka Stuti from Varaha Puranam - this is very short and sweet prayer from Varaha Purana, Chapter 23 which delineates the origin of Lord Vinayaka. A brief description below.
2. Vallabhesha Hrudayam/Kavacham from Vinayaka Tantram - a hymn taken from a digital image of handwritten manuscript (Vinayaka Tantram).

Both of the above, when chanted regularly, are said to remove all obstacles and bestow one's rightful wishes.

As usual, a few snippets:

1. Varaha Purana furnishes a different story relating to Lord Vinayaka's origin. When the saints, sages, Devas and manes began to do things to gain results, they faced numerous impediments while the unrighteous were unimpeded. They approached Lord Brahma for a solution who in turn went to Mount Kailash seeking his intervention. Lord Rudra created a beautiful form of himself in the sky (element) through his mouth (laughter). The water that fell from his body gave birth to numerous Vinayakas. Lord Brahma requested that the one who was created from Lord Rudra's mouth be known as Ganapati embodying the sky element (Akasha tattva). Lord Rudra later blessed Vinayaka and enacted that he be worshipped first in all sacrifices and propitiations. The attached hymn was sung by Devas upon Lord Rudra's blessing.

2. Though different purans give different stories (of almost every event), the overriding theme is pretty simple and is as clear as a pikestaff - that the deities merely are the various forms of the one and only one Brahman. Though there are perhaps hundreds and hundreds of places where such a message is given, no other statement than the one from Varaha Purana, Chapter 57 (Kanti Vrata) can explain this succinctly.

na viShNor vyatiriktaH syAd daivataM nRRipa sattama
nAma bhedena sarvatra saMsthitaH puruShottamaH || 57 - 18 ||

Meaning : "O King! There is no God other than Vishnu. All The Other Gods Are Himself In Different Forms".

In Chyutapuri Mahatmyam (of Shiva Purana), Lord Vishnu mentions :

ahaM eva ca sA gaurI gauryevA.ahaM mahAphaNim |
umAyA yAnti mad bhaktyA umA-bhaktAsh ca me padam ||
umayA me cA.abhedena dhRRitas strI-nara-veShayoH |
ubhayor bhedamuttavA tu prApnuyAn narakArNavam ||

Meaning : "... Therefore I am indeed Gauri and Gauri indeed is myself. The place where my devotees and Gauri's devotees end up is one and the same. Although we seem to be in masculine and feminine forms, the one who sees difference between us will surely end up in Naraka..."

In Vinayaka Tantram, Siddhi and Buddhi are personified as Lakshmi and Sarasvati respectively. Further, the Tantra also prays to Lord Ganesha in the form of Sharadesha (Lord of Sharada) with separate Ashtottara.Trishati and Sahasranama.

Last year, we have also seen the statement from Gauri in Narada Pancharatra (a Vaishnavite Agama) that she indeed is Lakshmi and takes different forms during the Avatars of Vishnu. In short, though Purans may extol a particular form in a particular context, they never fail to reiterate that is ineptitude to inculcate/perceive any differences in various deity forms.

It is the wasteful and egoistic endeavour of small minds to presume that :
1. we know the vital statistics of various gods (I don't know what they are - perhaps height, weight, Godly power?) but Paramatman is avyakta too.
2. such vital statistics may be measured
3. And, more importantly, we are qualified to measure them!!

What a waste of time - if only a fraction of such precious time be spent on true devotion, that might perhaps elevate our souls several rungs !

3. Lord Vinayaka worship extends far beyond the shores of India and Hinduisim - I read somewhere that Lord Ganesha's idols were found as far away as Latin America.

May Lord Vighnesha remove all the obstacles that come in our way - be it mundane or be it spiritual!

With Pranams and Best Regards,
K. Muralidharan Iyengar

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