[Advaita-l] Ganapati Sukta RV 8-81 Translation

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Mon Mar 7 22:54:31 CST 2011


Dear Srikrishna-ji,
I had written an article on Ganesha and His worship many years ago that includes information on the Ganesha sUkta, BrahmaNaspati sUkta, and atharva shIrSha. You will find it here:
Rig Veda 8.81 is technically addressed to Indra and finds application in shrauta rituals such as the atirAtra soma sacrifice as prescribed by the AshvalAyana shrauta sUtra. However, there is also a tradition of using the same sUkta in Ganesha worship, presumably because of the occurrence of the term "mahAhastI" in the first Rik. sAyaNAcharya interprets this term as "mighty handed" (Indra). But one could also interpret it as "the mighty elephant", thus establishing a connection with Ganesha. The word "mahAhastI" can mean either one who has a mighty hand or one who is a mighty elephant. 
Ganesha's identity with BrahmaNaspati is through the very first Rik of Rishi Grtsmada's sUkta in the second maNDala (2.23) which is in praise in BrahmaNaspati/Brihaspati. This is the famous "gaNAnAM tva gaNapatiM..."
|| HeraMbAya namo namaH ||

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