As we approach Jagatguru, Adi Shankaracharya’s Jayanti or birthday, we are full of reverence for his pivotal role in strengthening Sanatana Dharma. While he wrote the bhashya, commentary of the teaching of the Gita, Upanishads and Brahmasutras for those who were committed to the moksha pursuit, he wrote many beautiful and stotrams in praise of different devatas, to seek blessings for all pursuits Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha pursuits. We sing these even today, more than 1200 years later.
Even then there were conflicts about whose deity was more superior to the other. In response, Adi Shankaracharya established shanmata system of worship. In this, the six main deities – Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti, Ganesha, Surya and Skanda are all collectively worshipped.
It is absolutely fine to have an ishta devata amongst all these or to worship any of these during special times of the year.
We recognise that all the devatas are manifestations of the one Brahman. Additionally Bhagavan Krishna tells us in the Bhagavad-Gita:
`However they worship me, I make their shraddha strong and bless them.
One of the many stotra-s by Adi Shankaracharya is Ganesha Pancharatnam. Ratnam meaning jewels and Panchratnam means five jewels in praise of Bhagavan Ganesha. These words are similar to words in Mudgala Purana, an ancient Hindu scripture. The first five paragraphs are in praise of Lord Ganesha and the last para speaks of the blessings in singing this stotra everyday. You will notice the beauty of the words, their placement in the verses and how they lend themselves to a simple, rhythmic melody.The precious and valuable words of this stotram are offerings of gems unto Ganesha.
According to the Puranas, Ganesha – the Lord of the Ganas – the attendants on Siva – is a unique manifestation of Brahman. Even the devas seek his blessings.
मुदाकरात्तमोदकं सदा विमुक्तिसाधकं
कलाधरावतंसकं विलासिलोकरक्षकम् ।
नताशुभाशुनाशकं नमामि तं विनायकम् ॥१॥
mudākarātta mōdakaṃ sadā vimukti sādhakam
kaḻādharāvataṃsakaṃ vilāsilōka rakṣakam
anāyakaika nāyakaṃ vināśitēbha daityakam
natāśubhāśu nāśakaṃ namāmi taṃ vināyakam
1.1: (Ganesha) Who holds the divine joy in His hand as modaka (a sweetmeat) and who sadā vimukti sādhakam always helps to accomplish the liberation of His devotees towards that ultimate joy,
1.2: Who holds the digit of the moon as His ornament and with a joyful spirit protects the world,
1.3: Who is anāyakaika nāyakaṃ without any master but is Himself the only master for His devotees; Who natāśubhāśu nāśakaṃ protects us by destroying the (inner) demons,
1.4: To those who surrender to Him, he destroys the inauspicious tendencies quickly; I salute Sri Vinayaka and surrender to Him.
नमत्सुरारिनिर्जरं नताधिकापदुद्धरम् ।
सुरेश्वरं निधीश्वरं गजेश्वरं गणेश्वरं
महेश्वरं तमाश्रये परात्परं निरन्तरम् ॥२॥
natētarāti bhīkaraṃ navōditārka bhāsvaram
namatsurāri nirjaraṃ natādhikāpadudḍharam
surēśvaraṃ nidhīśvaraṃ gajēśvaraṃ gaṇēśvaram
mahēśvaraṃ tamāśrayē parātparaṃ nirantaram
2.1: To those who do not bow down to God out of arrogance, He takes a frightening form; (Please note that whenever Bhagavan is mentioned as frightening, it is not referring to personal motivation but the way he is looked upon by the jiva who is afraid of experiences of dukkha in his life). His benign form is नवोदितार्कभास्वरं like a newly-risen sun,
2.2: (Ganesha) nirjaraṃ Who is always fresh without any decay, and who namatsurāri is saluted reverentially by the devas and the devoted persons; natādhikāpadudḍharam Who releases those who surrender to Him from distressing crises,
2.3: Who is the God of the devas (Sureshvara), Who is the God of prosperity (Nidhishvara), Who is the God with an elephant face (Gajeshvara) and Who is the God of the ganas (celestial attendants) (Ganeshvara),
2.4: Who is the great Lord (Maheshvara); To His refuge, Who is superior than the best, I continually place myself in devotional surrender.
दरेतरोदरं वरं वरेभवक्त्रमक्षरम् ।
कृपाकरं क्षमाकरं मुदाकरं यशस्करं
मनस्करं नमस्कृतां नमस्करोमि भास्वरम् ॥३॥
samasta lōka śaṅkaraṃ nirasta daitya kuñjaram
darētarōdaraṃ varaṃ varēbha vaktramakṣaram
kṛpākaraṃ kṣamākaraṃ mudākaraṃ yaśaskaram
manaskaraṃ namaskṛtāṃ namaskarōmi bhāsvaram
3.1: (Ganesha) samasta lōka śaṅkaraṃ who is the auspicious power behind all the worlds and nirasta daitya kuñjaram who removes the mighty (inner) daityas or asuras or those not in line with dharma;
3.2: Whose huge body signifies prosperity and the giver of boons, boon-giving and whose beautiful face reflects His imperishable nature.
3.3: Who showers grace (Kripakara), who showers forgiveness (Kshamakara), who showers joy (Mudakara) and who showers glory and fame (Yashaskara) to His Devotees,
3.4: Who bestows intelligence and wisdom (Manaskara) to those who salute Him with reverence; I salute His shining form.
पुरारिपूर्वनन्दनं सुरारिगर्वचर्वणम् ।
कपोलदानवारणं भजे पुराणवारणम् ॥४॥
akiñchanārti mārjanaṃ chirantanōkti bhājanam
purāri pūrva nandanaṃ surāri garva charvaṇam
prapañcha nāśa bhīṣaṇaṃ dhanañjayādi bhūṣaṇam
kapōla dānavāraṇaṃ bhajē purāṇa vāraṇam
4.1:(Ganesha) akiñchanārti mārjanaṃ Who wipes out the sufferings of the needy who take His refuge; chirantanōkti bhājanam Who is praised by the ancients
4.2: purāri pūrva nandanaṃ Who is the elder son of Shiva who killed Tripurasuras , and surāri garva charvaṇam Who chews down the pride of the devas.
4.3: prapañcha nāśa bhīṣaṇaṃ Who wields terrible power to destroy the delusion of the five elements constituting the world (from the mind of His devotees); dhanañjayādi bhūṣaṇam Who Himself is adorned with the powers (behind the five elements) as well as Dhananjaya, Arjuna.
4.4: From whose cheeks flow down the juice of grace; Namaskaara to Him Whose praise similarly flows down like juice from the Puranas.
हृदन्तरे निरन्तरं वसन्तमेव योगिनां
तमेकदन्तमेव तं विचिन्तयामि सन्ततम् ॥५॥
nitānta kānti danta kānti manta kānti kātmajam
achintya rūpamanta hīna mantarāya kṛntanam
hṛdantarē nirantaraṃ vasantamēva yōginām
tamēkadantamēva taṃ vichintayāmi santatam
5.1: (Ganesha) Whose beautiful form of Ekadanta (one tooth) has much lustre is very much dear to His devotees, and
Who is the son of the One (referring to Lord Shiva) who put an end to (i.e. restrained) Antaka (i.e. Yama, god of death).
5.2: achintya rūpamanta whose essential form is inconceivable and without any limit, and who cuts through the obstacles of His devotees,
5.3: hṛdantarē nirantaraṃ vasantamēva yōginām who continually abides in the cave of the heart of the yogis.
5.4: I continually reflect upon Him who is Ekadanta which is another name for Sri Ganesha.
प्रजल्पति प्रभातके हृदि स्मरन् गणेश्वरम् ।
अरोगतामदोषतां सुसाहितीं सुपुत्रतां
समाहितायुरष्टभूतिमभ्युपैति सोऽचिरात् ॥६॥
mahāgaṇēśa pañcharatnamādarēṇa yō’nvaham
prajalpati prabhātakē hṛdi smaran gaṇēśvaram
arōgatāmadōṣatāṃ susāhitīṃ suputratām
samāhitāyu raṣṭabhūti mabhyupaiti sō’chirāt
6.1:Those who read the great Ganesha Pancharatnam (five Jewels in praise of Sri Ganesha) with reverence
6.2: And utter this in the early morning contemplating on Sri Ganeshvara in their hearts
6.3: Will be free from diseases and defects, will get good partner and good children
6.4: And with it he/she will get long life and the eight powers soon.
We pray to Ganesha and seek his blessings for all our pursuits.
- Anima: The power of reducing one’s physical self to the size of an atom
- Mahima: The power of growing one’s physical self to incredibly large size
- Garima: The power of making one’s physical self so heavy as immovable by others
- Laghima: The power of becoming almost weightless
- Prapti: The power of being able to go/travel wherever one wants
- Prakamya: The power of being able to obtain whatever one wants
- Ishitva: The power of overlordship
- Vashitva: The power of being able to control the minds of others