In the Ganesha Sahsranama, Lord Vinayaka is hailed as “Vignaraja” — the Lord of Obstacles. Like a mother, Vinayaga Peruman can remove obstacles as well as place them, for our very own growth. Across the Indian traditions first obeisance is always paid to Vinayaga Peruman. The Tamil culture hails him as “முழ முதற் கடவுள்” (Muzhu Muthar Kadavul meaning the complete and first God).
Shanmata Sampradaya(six schools of worship) as established by Adi Sankarcharya also lists the school of worship of Lord Ganesha — Ganapathyam as the first of its six branches. Many great shlokas and chants too begin with prostrations to Lord Ganesha.
At Anaadi Foundation, we too begin every day and begin every initiative, bowing down to Lord Ganapathi, who is manifest here as “Yoga Vidya Ganapathi”. We perform abishekam, pooja and offer neivedhyam at our ashram everyday. Vinayagar Chaturthi is celebrated on the chaturthi or “fourth day” after the new moon in the Tamil month of Avani. At the Ivarmalai Ashram premises, today we celebrate Vinayagar Chaturthi offering special pancha-abishekam and pooja to Yoga Vidya Ganapathi.
Yoga Vidya Ganapathi, Ivarmalai, Anaadi Foundation
Yoga Ganapathi — Manifestation
A few months back, it has been the Grace of Vinayaga Peruman Himself that we received the beautiful and powerful vigraha of Yoga Ganapathi and established the Yoga Vidya Ganapathi shrine at our ashram premises with due processes.
Mudgala Purana gives the 32 forms of Ganapathi and their Dhyana Shlokas. Yoga Ganapathi is the 30th among the 32 forms. In this form, Yoga Ganapathi is absorbed in mantra japa. His knees are strapped in meditative pose, hands holding a yoga staff, sugar cane stalk, a noose and japa mala beads. The color of his skin is like the morning sun and blue garments adorn his form.
atha yOgagaNapatidhyAnaM || mudgalapurANe || yOgArUDhO yOgapaTTAbhirAmO| bAlArkAbhashcaMdranIlAMshukADhyaH| pAshEkShvakShAnyOgadaMDaMdadhAnaH| pAyAnnityaZM yOgaviGnEshvarOnaH ||30|| raktavarNaH
The dhyana shloka means:
He has four arms. He is red in colour. His legs are surrounded with the meditation girdle (yogapatta). He is engrossed in yoga and is strapped in a yoga posture. He looks beautiful and shines like the rising morning sun. He is adorned with a colored robe which is shining like blue sapphire. His hands hold the rosary, the elbow-rest or the walking-stick (a yoga wand), the noose and the sugar-cane stalk.
Śrītattvanidhi (“The Illustrious Treasure of Realities”), an iconographic treatise compiled in the 19th century in Karnataka, India, by order of the then Maharaja of Mysore, Krishnaraja Wodeyar III has a collection of 32 forms in illustration visualized as per the Mudgala Purana’s details.
Yoga Ganapathi illustration from the Śrītattvanidhi (Wikimedia Commons)
In every sadaka’s path to Yoga and Vidya, many challenges may spring. One can be certain that — with the blessings of Vinayagar Peruman all challenges shall be won over. On this auspicious day, we pray and seek the blessings of Yoga Vidya Ganapathi for loka sangraha (universal well-being). May Yoga Vidya Ganapathi’s Grace guide us in both Jnana and Dhyana.
Aum Tat Sat.