Ganesha chaturthi, legends, and prayers

Ravi miinalochanii at YAHOO.COM
Wed Sep 15 18:05:03 CDT 1999

--- Vivek Anand Ganesan <v_ganesan at YAHOO.COM> wrote:
> >   prathamaM vakratuNDaM cha ekadantaM dvitIyakaM  |
> >   tR^itIyaM kR^ishhNapi.ngAkshhaM gajavaktraM chaturthakaM || 2 ||
> >
> >   (Now the twelve names of Ganesha are mentioned. One  must
> >    utter) first the name Vakratunda, One with a curved trunk,
> >    second ekadanta, the single-tusked One, third Krishnapingaksha,
> >    the black and red-eyed One, fourth gajavaktra, the God with the
> >    face of an elephant,
>   I remember a mantra that goes :
>     EkadantAya Vidmahe VakratundAya dhImahI
> Looks like the order is inverted in the first two invocations.
> Any reasons?

As it was pointed out, you are referring to one variant of ganesha
gAyatri, but the other one I have known is

tatpurushhaaya vidmahe vakratuNDAya dhiimahi |
tanno dantiH prachodayaat.h ||

Regarding your question on  the order of names in
praNamya ... shlokam,  it may be just for poetic beauty. Other
possibility is something subtle and very important may be coded in that
poem, so that it could serve a mnemonic. Like the verse 32 of
saundrayalahari has panchadashi coded in it.

I learnt this by memory (thanks to Anand posting in 1996), but I find
the sequence of this number and names makes it difficult to convert it
into nAmAvaliH like format. OTOH, verses like rAmAya rAmabhadrAya .. or
laitAsahasranAmam (where the names are just stringed together) render
themselves easily for such a conversion. One can memorize sahasrnAmam,
and then say AUM shrImAtre namaH , AUM shrImahArAjn~yai namaH, .. and
so on. But this one even though it is brief, makes me pause a lot.

In anycase, these shloka-s are a delight to memorize and especially
considering our sequential access in brain working more efficiently
that the random access.

BTW, Giri page has a detailed meaning on this praNamya verse (was it
based on Grimes' book?)


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