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Who is Vinayaga ..? – Happy Vinayaga Chaturthi..
Vinayaga Chaturthi is being celebrated today with a lot of fervor today. Happy Vinayaga Chaturthi.
Vedic dharma in my view, if properly understood, is the most scientific and a rational dharma. Lot of interpretations and changes that happened in our dharma have obscured the real meaning, though they retain the essence. Worship of Lord Vigneswara or Ganapati is one such thing.
Who is the master (Easwara) of all our actions.. (Vigna)? It is our Brain. Brain is the lead/guide (pati) of all the attendant systems (Gana) of our body.
Lord Vigneswara or Ganapati is none but our brain.
That’s why wherever we need to invoke our brain, concentrate, focus, think and act, we invoke Ganapati or Vigneswara. This practice is not today’s practice. It is an age-old practice from Puranic days.
Be it War, rituals of birth and death, auspicious events or inauspicious events, we invoke Ganpati to invoke peace in our actions. We recite
Shuklam bhaRtram Vishnum Sasi Varnam ChathurBhujam,
Shuklam – Spotless, Pure bhaRtram – Preserving, Protecting Vishnum – Ever working Sasi Varnam – Reflecting (Moon colored) Chatur Bhujam – Four Lobed, Four sided Prasanna Vadanam – Pleasantly Expressed Dyayeth – Thoughts Sarva Vigna – In all actions Upa Santhaye – Invoke peace
The meaning of above is “With Pure, Conscience Carrying, Ever working, Reflecting, four lobed, pleasantly expressed thoughts, I Invoke peace in all my actions”
People interpret Sasi Varnam as the color of Moon. It is not. Moon only reflects the Sun. It has no light or color of its own. Like wise our thoughts need to reflect our conscience.
People interpret Chatur Bhujam as four arms. It is not. Bhujam means sides or lobes. Chatur Bhujam is four lobed. Our brain has four lobes Frontal (Responsible for motor actions), Parietal (Responsible for our senses), Occipital (audio processing) and Temporal (Visual processing). Chatur Bhujam simply means fully focussed, utilizing all parts of our brain focussed on an action.
People intepret Prasanna Vadanam as happy faced. It is not. Prasanna Vadanam means pleasantly expressed.
Is it not true that if we need peace in our actions, our thoughts need to be Pure, Reflecting our conscience, fully focussed on the job at hand, expressed pleasantly..? Can there be a better definition for having peace in our actions than this..?
Ever wonder, why we have Ganapati’s in Compound walls of houses facing street junctions..? Though the practice appears modern, the underlying concept of invoking Ganapati in brain-critical situations is very age-old and can be traced to Puranas.
We have Ganapati in compound halls of houses facing critical road junctions, as Lord Vigneswara is all about picking our brain to be more focused, to be more careful in negotiating the traffic junctions and avoiding accidents. Such junctions require us to be brain-critical and that’s why a Ganapati is there. People carry on this concept from their understanding of placing a Ganapati idols to avoid accidents/evils (without realising the brain-critical aspect of it), without understanding why they are doing so.
Ever wonder why we worship Ganapati before starting any new action.. (Learning, Business, Agriculture, War, Worship, Nitya Karmas, Pitr Karmas and even Love)?
Every action that we perform has to add to peace in our life. If they have to be peace-giving actions, then they need to be done with thoughts as described above (Pure, reflecting our conscience, fully focused, pleasantly expressed etc). We remind ourself of this before starting every action.
We have Ganapati’s in Wells, Fields, Lakes, Houses, Factories and in almost every place. Unlike any other god-form Ganapati can be placed anywhere. It is because Ganapati is about using our brain and where-ever we need to use our brain, Ganapati can be there.
Why is Ganapati associated with Chitti and Buddhi..? Chitti means thought. Buddhi means capability to analyze thoughts (intelligence). Brain is indeed associated with thoughts and capability to anaylze the thoughts (intelligence). Chitti and Buddhi are different from Manas, which is our conscience, that Vedas say is in our heart.
More about it later.
In the olden days, people spent time making clay idols of Vinayaga, from clay obtained in the lakes, rivers, wells and ponds (which served as a great action for dredging the lakes and ponds to prepare them for rainy seasons ahead) and later on returned those idols back to these reservoirs. Worshipping Vinayaga was the most brainy act then.
What we need to take away from Vinayaga Chaturthi is that, we are from a dharma that has a day dedicated for our brain. Our dharma talks about how to be peaceful in our actions and what kind of thoughts we need to invoke for peace in our actions.
Most of us and our youth in particular do not understand the science and rationale behind our dharma. I wrote this so that they appreciate and understand the true spirit of our dharma.