Ganesha chaturthi, legends, and prayers

Anand V. Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Sep 16 09:05:30 CDT 1999

On Wed, 15 Sep 1999 16:05:03 -0700, Ravi <miinalochanii at YAHOO.COM> wrote:

>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.

 There may be some significance attached to vakratuNDa's being the
 first to be mentioned in the dvAdasha-gaNesha stotra (praNamya ...).

 One significance I can think of: the Mudgala purANa is held in very
 high esteem by the gANapatyas, the followers of gaNapati. There is also
 a GaNesha purANa but the Mudgala seems to be the more important of the
 two. As per the Mudgala PurANa, there are many avatars of gaNesha of
 which eight of very important. These avatArs and the demons that
 gaNesha kills in these avatArs are all symbolic of destructions of
 enemies within ourselves. The first, and perhaps the most important,
 avatAr is vakratuNDa who kills the demon called matsarAsura, the demon
 of jealousy within us. This asura is said to have arisen from the
 jealousy of Indra which he felt towards others performing tapas, yajnas,

 Or, it may be due to the famous shloka that one utters before
 commencing any venture: "vakratuNDa mahAkAya sUryakoTisamaprabha..."


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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