Most Powerful Shlokas on Ganesha- Meanings& Common Mistakes


We’ve seen in our video on yantras, how gaNEsha
is associated with the mUlAdhAra chakra. This is the energy center associated with
food and sleep, and is hence THE chakra to work on to overcome inertia which can manifest
as various kinds of obstacles, or vighnas in one’s life. Today, we are going to learn 3 powerful shlokas
on gaNapati, also known by the names vinAyaka and vighnEshwara. These shlokas are shuklAmbaradharam, vakratunDa
mahAkAya and agajAnana padmArkam. Many of you might already be familiar with
atleast one or more of these shlokas, but only a few really know their meaning, and
there are a lot of common mistakes which are committed when chanting these shlokas. In this video let’s look at how to pronounce
these shlokas correctly,learn their meanings and also look at some of the most commonly
committed mistakes which could ruin the meaning of these shlokas. The Sanskrit Channel is an effort to explore
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below. Let’s get started with perhaps the most popular
shloka on gaNEsha, which is shuklAmbaradharam. I’ve seen so many children and adults alike
giving a pause between shuklAm and baradharam.The correct gap between the words should be, shuklAmbara
dharam. Let us first look at how to pronounce this
shloka correctly. shuklAmbaradharam viShNum shashivarNam chaturbhujam
prasannavadanam dhyAyEt sarvavighnOpashAntayE The meaning of this shloka is something like
this. dhyAyEt=One needs to meditate upon
shukla ambara dharam=the one clad in white garments
viShNum=who is all pervading shashivarNam=who shines in the colour of
the moon chaturbhujam=the one who has four arms
prasannavadanam=and a pleasant face upashAntayE=in order to pacify
sarva vighna=all obstacles This process of reordering words so that they
can be easily understood, is called as anvaya krama. This process is extremely helpful in understanding
any sanskrit shloka in an easier way. Ofcourse with more practice and familiarity
with Sanskrit language, one can appreciate the original ordering of words in the shloka
even better. The gist of the first shloka is, One needs
to meditate upon the omnipresent, four armed form of gaNEsha, who has a pleasant face,
shining in the colour of the moon, and dressed in white garments in order to pacify all obstacles. Coming to the common mistakes while pronouncing
this shloka, the first thing as i mentioned before, is to give a pause at the right location. It is not shuklAm baradharam. shuklAmbara is white garments and dharam,
is one who wears them. So the correct spacing of words is shuklAmbara
dharam. One also needs to be mindful while pronouncing
the last word. It is not vignOpashAntayE, it is vighnOpashAntayE,
with a forceful expulsion of air. gna and ghna are two different sounds in Sanskrit
languge. Let’s now look at the correct pronunciation
of the second shloka. vakratunDa mahAkAya sUryakOTi samaprabha
nirvighnam kuru mE dEva sarvakAryEShu sarvadA The meaning of this shloka is
dEva=O Lord vakratunDa=with a bent trunk
mahAkAya=and a huge body samaprabha=with the same brightness
sUryakOTi=of a continuous array of Suns kuru=Please make
sarvakAryEShu=all actions nirvighnam=obstacle free
mE=for me sarvadA=always The gist of this shloka is, O lord with a
bent trunk and a huge body, shining with the brightness of an array of suns, please make
all my actions obstacle free all the time. We see that even this shloka appeals towards
the obstacle removing aspect of lord gaNEsha. Many people have a tendency to drag out the
“a” at the end of each word here.Only sarvadA has a long “a” sound in the end. The rest are not long deergha sounds like
prabhA, or mahAkAyA, they are short or a hrasva sounds like prabha, and kAya. This is because all of these names are being
used in sambOdhana, or as a form of addressing someone. You can listen to the shloka again to notice
this short endings more cleary. Let us now look at the correct pronunciation
of the last shloka. agajAnana padmArkam gajAnanam aharnisham
anEkadam tam bhaktAnAm Ekadantam upAsmahE The keyword to understand this shloka is the
verb upAsmahE, which roughly means approaching a diety through worship, but before we go
there, the word play in this shloka is absolutely beautiful. This really depicts the level of intricacy
Sanskrit is capable of when it comes to the beauty of both sound and meaning. The sound ga, means going, and denotes movement. a-ga is that which is unmoving and still,
which means a mountain, also called a parvatam. ja denotes jananam, or birth. a-ga-ja is born out of the unmoving mountain,
the daughter of parvata, who is pArvatI, who is lord gaNEsha’s mother. Anana is a face, padma is a lotus, and arka
is the sun, each with their own intricate origins, but notice what happens when you
bring all these sounds together: a-ga-ja-Anana-padma-arkam, The one who is
like a sun, to the face of pArvati, which is like a lotus. Which means, the one who brings joy to the
face of pArvati. While these sounds hold this beautiful meaning,
there is yet another layer of poetic beauty hidden within them. The same set of sounds agajAnana, also has
gajAnana, which means the face, Ananam, of an elephant, gaja. These kinds of wordplays are littered throughout
sanskrit literature especially in poetry. Imagine the kind of intellectual stimulation
and satisfaction, a reader can enjoy exploring Sanskrit literature, especially when it need
not be diluted by english translations like these. Anyways, getting back to the topic, the meaning
of this shlOka is: upAsmahE=We worship
aharnisham=throughout day and night, or uninterruptedly
tam Ekadantam=that lord with a single tusk anEka dam=who provides in plenty
bhaktAnAm=to his devotees gajAnanam=who has the face of an elephant
arkam=who is like the sun Ananapadma=to the lotus like face
agajA=of the daughter of the mountain, dEvI pArvatI The gist of this shloka is, We worship uninterruptedly,
that lord with a single tusk, who provides in plenty to his devotees, who has the face
of an elephant, who is like the sun to the lotus like face of the daughter of the mountain,
dEvI pArvatI The most common mistake committed here is
with the understanding of anEkandatam. This doesn’t mean anEka and dantam, meaning
many teeth.gaNapati has only one tusk as denoted by the word Ekadantam.anEkadantam is split
as anEka, dam, and tam. tam means “to him”, who gives many things “anEka dam”. I hope you are now able to memorize and recite
these shlokas more clearly and with a deeper understanding of their meanings. Share this video across with people who might
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where we explore hidden gems, in the Vast world of diverse sanskrit literature. See you in the next video, namaskaram