00
 
00
 
-
 
 Hindu Heritage Study Program  
\
\0
\
A Companion to the Study of Hinduism - Part I
0
HR 255.01
Principles and Practice of Hindu Dharma
~ Level - 2
Devotional and Ritualistic Paths of Religious Practices
0
Paths of Rituals, Devotion, Prayers and Surrender
0
\ 
\
Lesson
- 07 -
Principles of Sri Ganesha Avathar
Principles behind the Practice of Ganesha Pooja
Companion
Part - I

 

 

Sri Ganesha worship is one of the oldest form of practice in Hinduism, mentioned in the Vedas and Agamas. The Supreme Reality, manifests Himself ["Itself"] in the various forms of Avathara, without ceasing to be Himself. Ganesha is a manifestation of the Supreme Reality, for the protection of the pious and destruction of the evil in the forms of many "Asuras." He represents the Pranava Manthra "OM" and is called "Pranava Swaroopa." He is also called "Jyeshta Rajan" and Brahmanaspathi." He is said to have started the languages, the written scripts and written the Mahabharatha for Sri Veda Vyasa with His tusk. According to the Upanishads and Puranas, He is said to have had several manifestations, some even before the Trinity of Gods, Siva, Vishnu and Brahma, at the early time of the creation of the Universe. Some of these manifestations are described as Ganesha, the Son of Sri Parvathi and Sri Siva. Some of them are depicted with two consorts, Siddhi and Bhuddhi. Here, as Sri Ganesha is said to represent the Jñana or wisdom, Siddhi is Kriya Sakthi or the actions or deeds and Bhuddhi is the Iccha Sakthi or knowledge.

Sri Ganesha is worshipped from the Vedic period. He is prayed specially before the beginning of all actions including any new rituals and prayer services according to Veda and Agama, to remove the obstacles and protect the devotees in the performance of all their activities. There are several days in the month according to the Phase of the moon or star position which are important for each of the Deity we worship. The Fourth day after New Moon every month [Sukla paksham] - Chathurthi is very important for Sri Ganesha. The Fourth day after the Full moon day [Krishna paksham] is called Sankatahara Chathurthi day and is auspicious for special pooja and Havan [Homam] for Sri Ganesha. The Sukla Chathurthi day of the month Bhaadrapada is celebrated as Sri Ganesha Chathurthi day, an annual festival of one to ten days, to mark the day of one of the manifestation of Sri Ganesha. Sri Ganesha accepts prayers with offerings of all types of flowers, leaves, grass and all fruits and foods. However, He is not offered Thulasi for prayer at any time except on Ganesha Chathurthi day. Modhakam is a sweet of special importance for this Pooja.

\ 
\ 
\ 
Lesson
- 08 -
True Meaning of the Ithihasas and Puranas.
Stories and Explanation of the Philosophy.
Companion
Part - I
Sri Rama's Story in Ramayana was written in 24,000 verses by Sage Sri Valmiki. It is said in historical documents that the story of Ramayana was in existence for many centuries as folklore before it was written as the Ithihasa --meaning "It happened thus". Ramayana is the story of Sri Rama as an ideal human being, with every aspect of His life in perfection. Sri Rama is described as an ideal man who is married only once and gives up the kingdom, which was rightfully His, to His brother Sri Bharatha and goes to the forest to fulfill the wishes of His father and step-mother. He is shown here as a "role model" for humanity. Mahabharatha and all the 18 Puranas were written or organized by Sage Sri Vyasa [Sri Krishna Dwaipayana]. As these documents were passed on for many years by traditions of recitations, they were kept very well. However, it is possible that mild variations could have been inserted by some over the years. The stories of Sri Krishna as a child is mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatha Purana. Here also, these stories were popular for many centuries before they were written and organized.
Sri Krishna, knowing fully well of His Divine Nature shows His followers the true meaning of devotion and total surrender "Saranaagathi". The Divine Incarnation, even though looks like playing for fun, makes His appearance in the phenominal world and remembers that He is Divine. In this Purana, various forms of devotion known as Vatsalya Bhava, Sakhya Bhava, Kantha Bhava and Madhurya Bhava are explained. These are devotion to the Supreme like the love for one as a child, as a family member or friend, as a lover and as a husband are explained. People who have not attained this level of devotion can not understand this. So, Sri Krishna, in the form of a Child, asks the devotees, in the form of young women playing with a child, to get out of the bondage and give up all their attachments, greed and all possessions including their "self pride" to reach the ultimate salvation. It is not acted as a real happening, but through His Divine "Lila" and His "Yoga Maya" creates a feeling of total surrender. Here the individual souls as "Jivas" who are covered by the sheaths of Avidhya called Upaadhis are asked to remove these coverings of ignorance to get ultimate liberation and eternal bliss, to unite with "Paramathma" the Divine Soul.
\ 
\
\ 
Lessons: - 01 , 02 , - , 03 , 04 , - , 05 , 06 , - , 07 , 08 , - , 09 , 10 , - , 11 , 12 , - , 13 , 14 --

00