The Upanisads represent a glorious religious-philosophical thinking that is at the core of the Indian tradition. An important Upanisad is the Ganapati Upanisad, found in the concluding part of the Atharvaveda, which deals with the worship of Isvara and reveals the nature of the ultimate Reality in which everything resolves.
The book presents the text of the Ganapati Upanisad along with its transliteration in Roman script which is followed by a detailed commentary on its meaning that takes up each line for critical analysis. Beginning with a general discussion on the Upanisads, their association with specific Vedas and their main purpose, Swami Tattvavidananda examines the nature of the Cosmic Power and the universe, propitiation of God, the purpose of living, concepts of ananda and others as explained in the Ganapati Upanisad. He explains the derivative roots of many words so that the concept may be better understood by the readers. The commentary, in a language that demystifies esoteric concepts, includes many cross-references.
The book will be extremely useful to scholars of Vedantic thought and Indian religious and philosophical traditions as well as general readers.
Swami Tattvavidananda Saraswati, a Sannyasi-scholar, is a noted teacher of the Vedas, the Vedantic literature, the epics and Sanskrit literature. His discourses and courses conducted in gurukulas have been a source of inspiration to national and international audiences. An author of several works on Hindu religion and philosophy, he has been honoured with the title of Vidya Nidhi by Sri Sankaracharya of Pushpagiri Matha.
My family's association with Pujyasri Swami Dayananda Saraswati goes back a number of years and it was, therefore, natural for me to seek out the Arsha Vadya Gurukulam when we moved to New Jersey. It was in the hallowed precincts of the Gurukulam that we had the good fortune to listen to Sri Swami Tattvavidanandaji unfold Vedanta for the first time.
Sri Swami Tattvavidanandaji is one of Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati's foremost disciples, and one of the most authoritative exponents of Vadanta. We can abserve the grace with which he conducts himself, and the obvious guru saraddha that pervades his attitude. Sri Swami Tattvavidanandaji's use of simple language engages all levels of learners and his obvious mastery of the subject shines through in his teaching. We have all grown to enjoy his erudition, and learning from him is a memorable experience.
Sri Swami Tattvavidanandaji unfolded the meaning of the ganapati Upanisad over the course of three lectures in New Jersey, in early 2002. At the end of each teaching session, Sri Swamiji patiently clarified doubts on a wide range of topics related to Vedanta.
Working with Sri Swami Tattvavidanandaji's lectures proved to be a wonderful way to revisit every word of his explanation of the text, and dwell upon each concept that he has so brilliantly explored. The exactitude of Sri Swamiji's language as he demystified esoteric concepts opened up a fascinating new world of Vedantic thought. I consider the time that I spent transcribing and editing this manuscript to be the period of my true introduction to Vedanta. I am grateful to Sri Swami Tattvavidanandaji for this valuable initiation.
In this book, Sri Swami Tattvavidanandaji carefully examines every line of the Ganapati Upanisad and gives extensive cross references with respect to meaning and usage that enable the reader to appreciate the beauty of the text. He also explores the derivative roots of many words that occur in the text so that the concepts may be understood better.
Sri Swami Tattvavidanandaji wishes to acknowledge, particularly, the contributions of Sri Mohan Bhujle of Holmdel, New Jersey, and Sri Puppal B. of Brahma Vidya Kuteer, Secunderabad, A.P., India, for their scholarly examination of this manuscript. Their invaluable comments and suggestions have greatly enhanced the value of this book.
Sri Swami Tattvavidanandaji and I would like to thank Sri Krishnakumar (KK) S. Davey of Livingston, New Jersey. It is his painstaking endeavour to make lectures such as these and other important teachings more widely available through publication. Our thanks also to Smt. Bindu Bhatt of Old Bridge, new Jersey for help with the publication of this and other books.