A devout Hindu begins all activities with prayer to Lord Ganesa, who is the remover of all obstacles. Ganesa worship is central to all Hindu rituals as well.
Of the Ganesha shrines existing in Sringeri two are very significant One is the icon of Torana Ganapati adjacent to the temple of Goddess Sharada. Here the Lord occupies the door frame (toranam); and there is no shrine as such. The 32nd Acharya of the Peetham, Jagadguru Sri Nrisimha Bharati Mahaswamigal, used to observe his anushthana and perform his personal worship staying in the vicinity of Torana Ganapati Once there was a grave issue at the Math that was about to pave the way for great peril. The Acharya offered a dhurva and prayed to Torana Ganapati and the issue was quickly resolved. To this day, devotees have flocked to this deity to have their desires fulfilled. Important/v. it is customary for devotees and pilgrims visiting Sringeri to first have darsan of Sri Torana Ganapati and then proceed to have the darsan of Goddess Sharada and His Holiness.
The second shrine is on the hillock housing the ancient temple of Lord Malahanikaresvara. In the 17th century, the 24th Acharya of the Peetham, Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Nrisimha Bharati Mahaswamigal, noticing the absence of a shrine for Ganesa at the temple, drew a figure of Ganesa with a piece of turmeric on one of the front pillars and worshipped it.
Ever since, the outlines of Ganesa have been gradually bulging out, presenting a has-relief and the granite stone behind it sounds hollow inside, even as the rest of the pillar remains solid The Svayambhu icon came to be known as Stambha Ganapati and is worshipped by the presiding Acharya on important occasions.
Ganesa worship is popular all over the country and literature around him is also enormous. It is a matter of gratification that Tattvaloka, a publication of Sri Sharada Peetham, has come out with this book, Jai Ganesa. His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji has blessed this endeavour and the people behind it. Sri Sham Chellaram of Hong Kong, a donor and well-wisher of Tattvaloka, has sponsored this publication and His Holiness has blessed this gesture also.
Any number of books is not sufficient to sing the glory of Lord Ganesa. His prowess is so great, kindness so deep, intellect so sharp, power so immense and legends so many that volumes and volumes are not enough to give a complete picture of even one aspect of this many-splendoured godhead.
Tattvaloka gives in this book, Jai Ganesa, a glimpse of some of these aspects with rare and rich colour illustrations. Ganesa worship is widespread and predominant in Mabarashtra, when be is as much flared as adored During the Ganesa festival lasting ten days, discipline and serenity mark the behaviour of every member of the household. This aspect and the eight scenic locations of famous shrines in that region are vividly described in an article, The Favorite God of Maharashtra.
In a series of articles--First in the Galaxy, The Many Names of Ganesa, Master of the Word and The Worship of Lord Ganesa--the author explores the Vedic and Puranic concepts of Lord Ganesa, introducing the reader to the subtleties of a tradition that originated in the Vedic age and holds sway even today.
Some legends around Lord Ganesa give misleading information. Through one example, Why Ganesa Stopped Mahesvara’s Chariot?, presenting the unknown information in the known puranas, the writer dispels the wrong impression about the divine hero.
In Smarami Maha Ganapatim, selections from musical tributes are presented to Lord Ganesa by the legendary Muthuswamy Dikshitar in kritis which are rich in mythology, nuances of worship and moods of quietude.
Ganesa has transcended national and geographical barriers. An essay’, Ganesa in Foreign Countries, describes the forms in which he blesses devotees in countries, such as Japan and neighbouring areas. An example of how this wide/y travelled Ganesa chooses his own abode is shown in the article, Lord Ganesa Comes to North America, printed courtesy Saiva Siddhanta Church, Hawaii, USA.
Adi Sankara and other sages have sung his glory in rich and rhythmic Sanskrit slokas. Sri Ganesa Pancha Ratna, a hymn by him, is reproduced hem with English translation. Also included are Sri Ganadhipa Pancha Ratnam by His Holiness Sri Sacchidananda Sivabhinava Nrisimha Bharati Mahaswamigal and Sri Ganesa Stutimanjari by His Holiness Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati Mahaswamigal, both of Sri Sharada Peetham.
|Message from Sharada Peetham, Sringeri||5|
|Rationale behind Ganesa||20|
|Symbols of Ganesa||29|
|First in the Galaxy||44|
|The Many Names of Ganesa||50|
|Master of the Word||59|
|The Worship of Ganesa||66|
|A Variety in Vahanas||72|
|The Significance of Ganesa Chaturthi||77|
|The Favourite God of Maharashtra||79|
|Lord Ganesa in North America||97|
|Smarami Maha Ganapatim||113|
|How Ganesa Won the Mango||127|
|Why Ganesa Stopped Mahesvara’s Chariot?||131|
|Saint Avvayar on Ganesa||138|
|Sri Ganesa Pancha Ratnam||144|
|Sri Ganadhipa Pancha Ratnam||148|
|Sri Ganesa Stutimanjari||152|