(DISCOURSE BY N.R.SRINIVASAN, SEPTEMBER 2011)
This Upanishad is from Atharvaveda and of later origin. Rishi of this Upanishad is Ganaka, probably an assumed pen name. This Upanishad also employs one of the famous Shanti mantras of major Upaniishads. In its first part it repeats mantra (1 to 10) from Rigveda, Yajurveda and other Upanishads making them applicable to Lord Ganesha. Last four mantras deal with Phalasrutis or benefits to be derived from chanting this Upanishad or benefits to be derived by chanting them during Ganesha Homas. Normally Upanishads do not dwell on Phalsrutis but for Narayanopanishad and this Upanishad. Normally Upanishads deal with Brahmopaasana and Liberation. Many of the phalasrutis indicated have the same wordings in both Upanishads. Narayanopanishad is different from Mahaanaarayana Upanishad. This Upanishad also strongly urges to do homa with thousand modakas besides the usual homa with fagots. It also recommends fasting on Chaturthi day and chanting this Upanishad. Such a style is normal with slokas or Hymns in praise of the Lord. Fasting, chanting, sacrifices and fancy homas (with all sorts of material offered to the Lord) are common amongst Bhaktimaarga followers. This Upanishad also says that the mantras contained in it should not be imparted to undeserving candidates in the usual Vedic style.
It is strange there are no such Upanishads for Lord Kartikeya who is celebrated much earlier in Ramayana. Though celebrated in Ramayana Kartikeya is not at all popular in the North. Peculiarly there is no mention of Ganesha in Ramayana yet he is popular all over India. We can find a parallel to this Upanishad for Subhramanya only in Tamil scriptures like Thiruppugazh of Arunagiri Nathar. Thirimurugatruppadai which praises the glory of Lord Skanda by Nakkiraar is quite famous. Tamil Saivite Scholars of later days wrote only in Tamil language and so these scriptures are revealed to Tamilians only.
Nevertheless this Upanishad contains many mantras used in the worship and Fire sacrifices (Homas) directed to Lord Ganesha and therefore worth memorizing and chanting or use it for daily Paaraayana or recitation (mantras 1 to 10). Modaka fire sacrifice is also common in Ganesha Homas.
SRI GANESHA ATHARVASEERSHAM
Om bhadram karnebhih srinuyaama devaaah | bhadram pasyema akshabhir- yajatraah | sthirair-angaihs-tushtuvaa(ga)m sastanoobhih |vyasema devahitam yadaayuh | svasti nah indro vriddhasravaah |svasti nah pooshaa visvavedaah | svasti nah taarkshyo arishtanemih | svasti no brihaspatir-dadhaatu ||
Om saantih! saantih! saanth!
Om namste Ganapataye |tvameva pratyaksham tatvamaci |tvameva kevalam kartaaci |tvameva kevalam dhartaaci| tvameva kevalam hartaaci | tvameva sarvam khalvidam brahmaaci | tvam saaksaht aatmaaci nityam ||1||
Ritam vachmi satyam vachmi || 2 ||
Ava tvam maam | ava vaktaaram | ava srotaaram | ava daataaram | ava dhaataaram|avan-oochaa-namava sishyam | ava-paschaattaat | ava pursttaat | avottaraattaat | ava dakshinaattaat ava chordhvaattaat | avaadharattaat | sarvato maam pahi paahi samantaat || 3 ||
Tvam vangmaystvam chinmayh | tvam aanadamayastvam brahma-mayah | tvam sacchidaanandaa-adviteeyoci | tvam pratyaksham Brahmaaci | tvam jnaanamayo vijnaanamayoci || 4 ||
Sarvam jagadidam tvattoe jaayate | sarvam jagadidam tvattastishthati |sarvam jagadidam tvayi layameshyati | sarvam jagadidam tvayi pratyeti | tvam bhoomir-aapo-analo-anilo nabah | tvam chatvaari vaakpadaani || 5 ||
Tvam guna-traya-ateetah || tvam avasthaa-traya-ateetah| tvam deha-traya-ateetah | tvam kaala-trayaa-teetah | tvam moolaadhaara-sthitoci |tvam sakti-traya-aatmakah | tvaam yogino dhyaayanti nityam | tvam brahma tvam vishnustvam rudrastvam-indrastvam-agnistvam vaayustvam sooryastvam chandramaastvam brahma bhoorbhuvah suvarom || 6 ||
Ganaadim poorvam-ucchaarya varnaadeem stada-nantaram | anusvaarah paratarah | ardhendu-lacitam taarena riddham | etaat-tava manu-svaroopam | ga-kaarah poorvaroopam | akaaro madhyama-roopam | anusvaarascha-antya-roopam | bindur-uttarara-roopam | naadah sandhaanam |sa(ga)mhitaa sandhih | saishaa ganesavidyaa | ganaka rishih | nichrid-gaayatree-cchandah | ganpatir-devata | O(ga)m ganapataye namah || 7 ||
Ekadantaaya vidmahe vakratundaaya dheemahi | tannoe dantih prachodayaat ||8||
Ekadantam chatur-hastam paasam-ankusa-dharinam | radam cha varadam hastair-bibhraanam mooshaka-dhvajam | raktam lambodaram soorpa-karnakam raktavaasasam | raktagandhaanu-liptaangam raktapuspaih supoojitam | bhakta-anukampinam devam jagat-kaaranam-achyutam aavir-bhootam cha srishtyaadau prakriteh purushaat-param | evam dhyaayati nityam sa yogee yoginaam varah || 9 ||
Namo vraatapataye |namo ganapatye | namah prathamapataye | namstestu lambodaraaya ekadantaaya vighnavinaasine sivasutaaya varada-moortaye namoh namah || 10 ||
Etad-atharvaseersham yo–adheete sa brahma-bhooyaaya kalpate | sa sarvavighnair-na-baadhyate | sa sarvatra sukhamedhate | sa panchamahaapaapaat pramuchyate | saayamadheeyaanoe divasakritam paapam naasayati | praataradheeyaano raatrikritam Paapam naasayati | saayam praatah prayunjaano paapo-apaapo bhavati | sarvatraadheeyaano-apavighno bhavati| dharma-artha-kaama-moksham cha vindati | idamatharvaseersham-asishyaaya nadeyam | yo yadi mohaad daasyati sa paapeeyaan bhavati | sahasraavartan-aadyam yam kaamam-adheeyate tam tamanena saadhayet|| 11||
Anena ganapatim-abhishinchati sa vaagmee bhavati | chaturtyaamanasnan japati sa vidyaavaan bhavati | ityatharvanavaakyam | brahmaady-aavranam vidyaanna bibheti kadaachaneti || 12 ||
Yo doorvaankurair–yajati sa vaisravanopamo bhavati | yo laayair-yajati sa yasovaan bhavati | sa medhaavaa bhavati | yo modakasahasrena yajati sa vaanchitaphalmaaapnoti | Yah saajya samidbhir-yajati sa sarvam labhate sa sarvam labhate ||13 ||
Ashtau brahmanaan samyag graahayitvaa sooryavarchasvee bhavati | sooryagrahe mahaanadyaam pratimaasannidhau vaa japtvaa siddhamantro bhavati | mahaavighnaat pramuchyate | mahaadoshaat pramuchyate | mahapratyavaayaat pramuchyate | sa sarvavid-bhavati sa sarvavid bhavati | ya evam veda | ityupanishat || 14 ||
Om saantih! saantih! saantih ||
Bhadram karnebhihsrinuyaama devaah | bhadram pasyema akshabhiryajatraah \ sthirair angaih tushtuvaa(ga)m sastanoobhih | vyosema devahitam yadaayuh | svasti na indro vriddhasravaah | svasti nah pooshaa visvsvedaah | svastinah taarkshyo arishtanemih svasti noe brihaspatir-dadhaatu || Om saantih! Saantih! saantih!
Let us hear good things through our ears, see good things through our eyes and may we enjoy our life allotted to us offering praise to the Gods with our strong bodies. May the gods Indra, Puusha, Garuda and Brihaspati bestow blessings on us and protect us. May there be peace all around (both outside and inside us) and peace of God which passes all understanding!.
Om namaste Ganapataye | tvameva pratyaksham tattvamaci |Tvameva kevalam kartaaci |tvameva kevalam dhartaaci | tvameva kevalam hartaaci | tvameva sarvam khalvidam brahmaaci | tvam saakshaad-aatmaaci nityam || 1 ||
I bow to thee, Ganapati. You are personified form of the Brahman. You are the creator, protector and destroyer of all beings, You are the in-dweller eternal evident Self in all of us.
Richam vachmi |satyam vachmi ||2 ||
I shall speak the scriptural truth and experiential truth only.
Ava tvam maam | ava vaktaaram | ava srotaaram | ava daataaram | ava dhaataaram | avaan-oochaanam-ava sishyam | ava paschattat | ava purastaat | avottaraattat |ava dakshinaattaat | ava choerdhvaattaat | avaadharattaat I sarvatoe maam paahi paahi samantaat || 3 ||
Please, protect me, the speaker, the hearer, the teacher and the taught, and the giver | Please protect me from all sides and the directions (North, South, East and West).
Tvam vangmayas-tvam chinmayah | tvam aananda-mayastvam brahma-mayah | tvam sat-chit-aanandaa-adviteeyoci | tvam pratyaksham brahmaaci | tvam Jnaanamayoe vijnaana-mayoeci ||4 ||
You are the word, deed and thought. You are the truth, consciousness and bliss. You are the entire knowledge and science. You are the non-dual Universal Self. You are personified Brahma, appearing before us.
Sarvam jagadidam tvattoe chinmayah | saram jagadidam tvattas-tishthati | sarvam jagad-idam tvayi layameshyati | sarvam jagadidam tvayi pratyeti | tvam bhoomir-aapoe-analoe-aniloe nabhah | tvam chatvaari vaakpadaani ||5||
This world has been created by you, nourished by you and again destroyed by you. This world leans towards you. You are the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and ether. ou are the 4 -line stanzas of all hymns (four levels of speech).
Tvam guna-traya-teetaha | tvam avsthaa-traya-ateetaah | tvam dehaa-traya-ateetah | tvam kaalaa-traya-ateetah | tvam moolaadhaara-sthitoeci niy tyam | tvam sakti –tryaatmakah | tvam yoeginoe dhyaayanti nityam | tvam brahma tvam vishnis-tvqam rudras-tvam-indras-vamagnis-tvam vaayus-tvam sooryas-tvam chandramaas-tvam brahma bhoor-bhuvah svaroem ||6||
You are beyond the three Gunas (satva, rajas and tams), the three states (of awakening, sleeping and dreaming), and the three times (past, present and future) period. You are seated in the Moolaadhaara (pelvic region) from where the Kundalini shakti is aroused. You are being meditated by the sages. You are the Creator Brahma, the Protector Vishnu and the destroyer Rudra. You are the Indra, the Fire, the Air, the Sun, the Moon and the three worlds.
Ganaadim poorvam-ucchaarya varnaadeem stada-anantaram | anuswaarah paratarah | ardhendu-lasitam |taarena riddham | etat-tava-manusvaroopam | makaarah poorva-roopam | akaaroe madhyaroopam | anusvaaras-cha-antya-roopam | bindur-uttara-roopam | naadah sandhaanam | sa (ga)hitaa sandhih | saishaa ganesa-vidyaa | ganaka rishih | nichrid-gayatree-cchandah | ganapatir-devataa | Om ganapataye namh ||7||
Your name starts with the letter ”ga”, and ends with the letter “sa” and in-between come the letter “a” and anuswara “n”. These have symbolic meanings representing the “ganas” of prosody, and the letters and sounds of “akaara anuswara” of the language and the “sandhis” (letter combinations) of the grammar. The sage of this hymn is “ganaka”, its meter is “nichridgaayatree” and the presiding deity is “Ganapati. I pay my obeisance to the letter/sound “gam”'. The mantrabeeja “gan” with (n as Ardhachandrabinduviraama--half creascent moon with a dot) is described as the true form of Ganapati! This part is giving the deeper Vedic meaning of the mantrabeeja gan and is called the “ganesavidyaa”.
Ekadantaaya vidmahe vakratundaaya dheemahi tannoe dantih pracchoedayaat || (Ganesa Gaayatree)
We meditate upon that Purusha (Supreme Principle). For that purpose, we meditate upon Vakratunda-the Lord of the curved trunk. May the lord with the elephant face invigorate us
Ekadantam chatur-hastam paasam–ankusa-dhaarinam | radam cha varadam hastair-bibhraanam mooshaka-dhvajam | raktam lamboedaram soorpa-karnakam rakta-vaasasam | rakta-gandhaanu-liptaangam rakta-puspaih supoojitam | bhaktaanu-kampinam devam jagat-kaaranam-achyutam | aavir-bhootam cha srishty-aadau prakriteh purushaat-param | evam dhyaayate yoe nityam sa yogee yoginaam varah || 9 ||
That yogi who meditates on the Lord in the following manner is better than the other yogis who meditate otherwise: The Lord holding a tusk, a rope, and goad (ankusha) in three hands and a fourth hand showing the boon-giving posture and having his body smeared with a red fragrant paste wearing a red dress and being worshipped with red flowers, having the mouse as his carrier, a large belly (pounch) and long ears compassionate to the devotees, being the cause of this earth, the one who is primordial and Supreme Principle.
Namoe vraatapataye | namoe ganapataye| namah pramatha-pataye | namste-astu lamboedaraaya ekadantaaya vighna-naasine sivasutaaya varadamoortaye namah || 10 ||
Obeisance to the Lord of gods and the one governing abstinence and discipline and controlling pride; to that Lord who has the large belly and single tusk; to that Lord who is the remover of obstacles, the son of Shiva and the boon-giver embodiment.
Etad-atharvaseersha yoedheete sa brahmabhooyaaya kalpate | sa vighnair na baadhyate| sa sarvatra sukham-adheeyate | sa pancha-mahaa-paapaat pramuchyate | saayam-adheeyaanoe divaskritam paapam naasayati | praatar-adheeyaanoe ratrikritam paapam naasayati | saayam praatah prayunjaanoe paapoe-apaapoe bhavati | dharma-artha-kaama-moksham cha vindati | idam –atharvaseershaam-asishyaaya na deyaam | Yoe yadi mohaad daasyati sa paapeeyaan bhavati | sahasraavartanaadyam yam kaamam-adheete tam tam-anena saadhayet || 11 ||
Benefits of reciting the Hymns
Now for the benefits derived from reading these hymns: The reader becomes one with Brahma. He attains all happiness and is released from the five great sins. If one reads in the evening one is absolved of the sins committed during the day, if read in the morning the sins of the night are washed away, if read both times, one is totally absolved of all sins, read anywhere one is freed from all obstacles, one attains all the four goals in life Dharma, Artha, Kaama and Moksha (nobility, prosperity, fulfillment of wants and Liberation). One should not, however, teach this to the unworthy student; if done so through infatuation, the teacher will become a sinner. If one reads 1000 times, one achieves whatever one desires.
Anena ganapatim abhishinchati sa vaagmee bhavati | chaturthyaam-anasnan japati sa vidyaavaan bhavati | ityatharvana-vaakyam | brahmaady-aavaranam vidyaanna bibheti kadaachaneti || 12 ||
The devotee who chants these mantras fasting, becomes a master of speech, if read on the 4th day from New Moon/Full Moon (Ganesha chaturthi day), he becomes a great scholar and he knows no fear; never will he be.
Yoe doorvaangair–yajati sa vaisravanoepamoe bhavati | Yoe laajair-yajati sa yasoevaan bhavati | sa medhaavaan bhavati | yoe modaka-sahasrena yajati sa vancchita-phalam-avaapnoeti | yah saajya samidbhir-yajati sa sarvam labhate sa sarvam labhate || 13 ||
He who worships with “doorva flowers becomes equal to the lord of wealth (Kubera); the worshipper who uses puffed rice in fire sacrifice (homa), becomes a man of fame and scholarship; if one offers 1000 coconut-sugar mixed rice balls (modakas))in fire sacrifice (homa), he obtains whatever he desires; and one who uses ghee and fagots (samid) in the fire sacrifice ((homa) he attains everything, everything indeed.
Ashtau braahmanaan samyag graahayitvaa soorya-varchasvee bhavati | soorya-grahe mahaa-nadyaam pratimaasan-nidhau vaa japtvaa siddha-mantroe bhavati | mahaa-vighnaat pramuchyate | mahaa-doshaat pramuchyate | mahaa-pratyavaayaat pramuchyate | sa sarva-vit bhavati | ya evam Veda | ity-upanishat || Om saantih, saantih, saantih || 14 ||
By teaching this (atharva) to eight Brahmins properly, the scholar glows like the Sun ; if Ganesa is propitiated by chanting the mantra, at the time of the solar eclipse, by standing in a great river, one gets all the beneficial effects of the mantra; one gets released from great obstacles; great defects/imperfections; and great sins. May there be peace from internal disturbances, outside disturbance and disturbances from heavenly bodies!