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Introduction to Shrī Ganesha Ārādhanā
Shrī Ganeshāya Namah. “I bow to Shrī Ganesh.”
Lord Ganesh, the elephant-headed son of Lord Shiva and Devī Pārvatī, is the embodiment of compassion and auspiciousness. Lord Ganesh is the lord of new beginnings and the remover of obstacles. He is lovingly entreated by those seeking his blessings at the start of every new day, every new project, every new journey, every significant event. I have found that when I worship Lord Ganesh, I always experience the power of his calm, compassionate, and focused gaze, which gives me strength and a resolve to carry on my daily activities with renewed vigor. In honor of Ganesh Utsava—a festival dedicated to Lord Ganesh—you may wish to perform worship to Lord Ganesh by reciting mantras, performing mental worship, and singing his name.
The Ganesha Purāna, an ancient scriptural text from India, explains that there are two modes of worship of Lord Ganesh. One approach is meditation and contemplation of Lord Ganesh in his nirguna, or “formless,” aspect as supreme Consciousness. The other is to worship the saguna, the “form” of the deity by decorating his mūrti, his “image,” with offerings of flowers, fruits, and sweets, and by performing pūjā. By worshipping the form of Lord Ganesh, we can experience his formless, transcendent aspect and, in this way, experience ourselves as one with the Lord.
In honor of Ganesh Utsava, I invite you to participate in Shrī Ganesha Ārādhanā, “worship of Lord Ganesh.” This worship is available in a video format. Here is the sequence of elements:
The worship will last for approximately thirty minutes. The lyrics of the mantras and the āratī will be available as part of the video.
In closing, I want to share with you a verse from a beautiful prayer to Lord Ganesh, Ganesh Stavam:
चिदाभासकं सर्वगं ज्ञानगम्यम् ।
परब्रह्मरूपं गणेशं भजेम ॥ २॥
cidābhāsakaṁ sarvagaṁ jñānagamyam ।
parabrahma-rūpaṁ gaṇeśaṁ bhajema ॥
We worship Lord Ganesh,
whose nature is beyond the material attributes of nature;
who is the form of joy and Consciousness;
who is the effulgent Consciousness, the all-pervading, approached through knowledge;
who is the object of meditation for sages, formless like sky;
who is Supreme Brahman.1