Ganesh Chaturthi 2011

The Utsav of Ganesh begins with Ganesh Chaturthi (4th day) and ends on Ganesh Charurdashi (14th day). This year, Ganesh Chaturthi is on September 1. We extend our humble wishes to our Readers for this Dhaarmic and Joyous Ganesh Utsav.

Last year, we featured a clip of श्री गणेश अथर्वशीर्षम or Shree Ganesh Atharva-Sheersham by Shree M.N. Venkat Shastry. We chose this because of his superb pronunciation. We include it this year as well.

For those who would like to see the words visually and be able to sing along, we include another clip of Atharva Sheersham below.

The Shanti-Paath from Prasna UpaNiSad

It is customary to begin the Atharva Sheersham with the Shanti-Paath or Shanti-Mantra from the Prasna UpaNisad. We include it below with an English Translation by the noted S. Radhakrishnan, the first Vice President and second President of India:

ॐ भद्रं कर्णेभिः श्रुणुयाम देवाः, भद्रं पश्येमाक्षभिर्यजत्राः

Aum, bhadram karnebhih srunuyama devah, bhadram pasyemaksabhir yajatrah

Aum, May we, Oh Gods, hear what is auspicious with our ears, Oh Ye, who are worthy of worship, may we see with our eyes what is auspicious.

स्थिरैरन्ङ्गैस्तुष्टुवासस्तनूभिः, व्यशेम देवहितम् यदायुः ।

sthirair angais tustuvamsas tanubhih, vyasema deva-hitam yad ayuh

May we, enjoy the life allotted to us by the Gods, offering praise with our bodies strong of limb.

स्वस्ति न इन्द्रो वृद्धश्रवाः। स्वस्ति नः पूषा विश्ववेदाः ।

swasti na indro vrddha-sravah, swasti nah pusa visva-vedah;

May Indra, of increasing glory, bestow prosperity on us, May Pushan, the knower of all, bestow prosperity on us.

स्वस्ति नस्तार्क्ष्यो अरिष्टनेमिः । स्वस्ति नो ब्रिहस्पतिर्दधातु

swasti nas tarksyo arista-nemih, svasti no brhaspatir ddadhatu

May Tarksya of unobstructed path bestow prosperity on us. May Brhaspati bestow prosperity on us.

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः

Aum, santih, santih, santih

Gandhiji used to say See No Evil. Hear No Evil. The source of that proverb is the above Shanti-Paath of Prasna UpaNisad.

As an aside, Pushan is one of the Aditya praised in the Rg-Ved. Tarksya is a divine horse who epithet is “artista-nemi” or one of unobstructed path. Later, the name Tarksya was also used for Garud and the epithet arista-nemih was interpreted to mean Remover of evil.

May we recommend you try to say aloud the above Shanti-Paath as you watch the Atharva Sheersham clip below. It is not easy but you will find it deeply satisfying once you master it.  

We also include the Atharva Sheersham by M. N. Venkat Shastry below.

The Ganesh Puja traditionally ends with the Mantra Pushpa-Anjali or the offering of Mantra-Flowers with open hands joined together (Anjali). A clip of Mantra-Pushpanjali is below:

Shree Krishna said in the Bhagwat Geeta that there is no end to His Vibhuti or Representations. That is an essential aspect of Eternal Dharma. As you study the various aspects of Ganesh, you will be amazed at the various Representations of Ganesh.

A simple yet profound book on Ganesh is by Shakuntala Jaggannthan and Nandita Krishna. The book is easy to read and detailed. The book includes exquisite photos of the various forms of Ganesh as well. It was published by Vakils, Feffer & Simmons Pvt. Ltd. We include a photo of the cover below:

Again, we wish you Swasti during this Ganesh Utsav and forever.

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