The great message of Ganapathi, whose advent we celebrate today: Ga stands for Intelligence (Buddhi), Na for Wisdom (Vijtlana), Pathi for Master. Ganapathi, therefore, is the Master of Knowledge, Intelligence and Wisdom. There is another relevant meaning of the word Ganapathi: it indicates that He is the Leader (Pathi) of the Heavenly Beings (Gana). He is also called Vinayaka, which means “He above whom there are no Masters”. He is the Supreme Master and is beyond the condition of absence of mind. He who has tamed the mind, it is not necessary that he has masters.
We think of Vinayaka’s physical form, with the head of an elephant and the body of a human being, without having understood this truth. Every time people want to start some activity, want to start studying music or fine arts, or dedicate themselves to some branch of knowledge, they offer, before starting, their cult to Vinayaka. Spiritual power (siddhi) and supreme intelligence (buddhi).
He is also called Lambodara, which means “Guardian of wealth”. In this case, the term lakshmi represents all wealth and prosperity, not just money, for which there is a different divinity, called Dhanalakshmi, one of the eight Lakshmi. In this case, wealth means joy and bliss. What is the point of having everything else if you do not have joy and bliss? Ganapathi is He who gives us spiritual power and supreme intelligence, called siddhi and buddhi, respectively. They are described as His two spouses. Since He is the Master of spiritual power and supreme intelligence, He is considered, in earthly terms, their husband. Vinayaka has no desires, therefore there is no need for him to have a wife and children.
Below is the complete Ganesh Chalisa in English
Jai jai jai vandan bhuvan,
Nandan Gauri Ganesh
Dukh dvandvan phandan haran,
Sundar suvan Mahesh
Glory be to You, Shri Ganesh Ji. You are Gauri’s son and the destroyer of all pain, suffering and difficulties. Hey Ganesh Ji, beautiful son of Shri Shiva Ji, glory be to you.
Jayati Shambhu-sut Gauri Nandan,
Vighna haran nasan bhav-phandan
Jai Gananayak jansukh dayak,
Victory on to you son of Shambhu (Lord Shiva) and Gauri. You are the remover of worries and destroyer of all fear. Victory is yours in all righteous battles for the safety and happiness of all. You are the destroyer of ignorance and the giver of knowledge.
Ek radan gaj badan birajat,
Vakratund shuchi shund susajat
Tilak tripundbhal shashi sohat,
Chhavi lakhi sur nar muni man mohit.
On your shoulders you carry a head with one tooth and a huge tusk. The three markings add grace to your forehead, charming warriors, mankind and even saints.
Ur mani-mal saroruh lochan,
Ratna mukut-shir shoch vimochan.
Kar kuthar shuchi subhag trishulam,
Modak bhog sugandhit phulam.
Wearing a garland of jewels, your eyes are like full blown lotus flowers and your head adorned with a jewelled crown. You, Shri Ganesh Ji, free your devotees from stress and worries. You wield a sacred axe and trident in your hands. Your favourites are sweet ladoos delicacy and sweet scented flowers.
Sundar pitambar tan sajit,
charan paduka muni man rajit.
Dhani Shiv-suvan bhuvan sukh data,
Gauri-lalan shadanan bhrata.
Dressed in yellow silk and wearing jewel studded wooden sandals, Hey Shri Ganesh Ji, giver of peace and happiness to the world; You are the son of Shiva and Gauri and brother to Kartikeya. You are Great.
Riddhi Siddhi tava chanvar sudharahin,
mushak vahan sohit dvarahin
Tav manima ko varne para,
janma charitra vichitra tumhara.
Riddhi (prosperity) and Siddhi (accomplishment) serve you by waving chanvar (fan) while your mushak (mouse) vahan (vehicle) adds splendour at the door. As for the mysterious and strange story of your birth, who can really describe your greatness?
Ek asur Shiv-rup banavai,
Gaurihin chhalan hetu tahan avai.
Yah karan te shri Shiv-pyari,
nij tan-mail murti rachi dari.
A demon, disguised as Shiva, repeatedly tried to delude Gauri Mataa, who in order to foil the demon’s attempts, moulded You, a divine form from the scurf of her body.
So nij sut kari grih-rakhvare,
dvar pal sam tehin baithare.
Jabahin svayam shri Shiv tahan aye,
binu pahichan jan nahin paye.
Gauri Mataa then assigned you to protect the home and stationed you at the door and when Shiva .. her husband … came, he was not recognised and was not allowed to enter.
Puchhyo Shiv ho kinke lala
bolat bhe tum vacnan rasala
Main hun Gauri-sut suni lijai
age pag na bhavan hit dijai.
Shiva asked, “whose son are you?” and you pleasantly replied: “I am Gauri’s son. Do not take even a single step beyond this point towards the house.”
Avahin matu bujhi tab jao,
balak se jani bat badhao.
Chalan chahyao-Shiv bachan na manyo,
tab hvai kruddh yuddh tum thanyo.
You asked Shiva to wait there “until you obtained your mother’s permission” instead of prolonging “talk” with “a child”, but Shiva attempted to enter and you challenged him.
Tathshan nahi kachhu Shambhu vicharyo,
gahi trishul bhul vashmaryo.
Siras phul sam shir kati gayau,
chat udi lop gagan mahan bhayau.
At that moment Shiva did not give a second thought and hurled his trishul .. trident .. at you, severing your head which soared into the sky and disappeared.
Gayo Shambhu jab bhavan manjhari,
jahan baithi Giriraj-kumari.
Puchhe Shiv nij manmuskaye,
kahahu Sati-sut kahan te jaye.
Shiva then entered and therein saw Gauri .. daughter of the Mountain King, Himalaya … seated. Shiva smilingly asked: “Hey Sati, tell me, how did you give birth to your son?”
Khulige bhed katha suni sari,
giri vikal giriraj dulari.
Kiyon na bhal svami ab jao,
lao shish jahan se pao.
At this stage, hey Shri Ganesh Ji, the story of your birth unfolded and Gauri learnt of what had happened to you. Your mother became distraught and fell to the ground. “You did not do good,” Gauri told Shiva and let him know that he should “go and bring my son’s head from wherever you find it.”
Chalyo Vishnu sang Shiv vigyani,
milyo na so hastihin shir ani.
Dhadh upar sthit kari dinhyon,
pran vayu sanchalan kinhyon.
Knowledgeable in all skills, Shiva accompanied by Vishnu searched for the head in vain and eventually, they brought the head of a baby elephant and placed it on your body, blew life into it.
Shri Ganesh Shiv nam dharayo,
Vidya buddhi amar var payo.
Bhe prabhu patham pujya sukhdayak,
vighna vinashak buddhi vidhayak.
Shiva Ji named you Shri Ganesha and blessed you with immortality, knowledge and wisdom. Shiva Ji also pronounced that You are the first among those who are worshipped and You remove all obstacles and bring joy and enhance the intellect.
Prathamahin nam let tav joi,
jag kahan sakal kaj sidh hoi.
Sumirahin tumahin milahin sukh nana,
vinu tav kripa na kahun kalyana
Hey Shri Ganesh Ji, whosoever takes thy name before embarking on a mission achieves success. Those who meditate on You enjoy happiness and peace and security, for without your blessing there is no success.
Tumharahin shap bhayo jag ankit,
bhadavan chauthi chandra akalankit.
Jabahin pariksha Shiv tuhin linha,
pradakshina prithvi kahi dinha.
It was your sraap .. curse .. that caused the moon’s face to be tarnished with the black reflection of the earth on the 4th day of the bright half of Bhadrapada (Bhado) so that none dare to look at it. And when Shiva Ji wanted to test your intellegence, he asked you to go around the earth.
Satmukh chalyo mayur udai,
baithi rache tum sahaj upai.
Ram nam mahi par likhi anka,
kinh pradakshina taji man shanka.
Your brother, Sadmukha … Kartikeya … jumped on his peacock and went to fly around the earth, You, hey Shri Ganesh Ji wrote Rama’s name … RAM … on the ground and meditating upon Rama circumambulated … went around … the name written on the ground.
Shri pitu-matu-charan dhari linhyo,
ta kahan sat pradakshina kinhyo.
Prithvi parikrama phal payo,
as lakhi suran suman varshayo.
Further, hey Shri Ganesh Ji you with utmost devotion grasped the feet of your parents … Gauri and Shiva … and circumambulated them seven times, thereby achieving the blessing equal to circumambulating the earth and so pleased were the gods that they showered flowers upon you.
Sundar Das’ das ram ke chera,
Durvasa ashram dhari dera.
Virchyo Shri Ganesh Chalisa,
Shiv puran varnit yogisa.
Sundardasa, a devotee of Rama while he stayed in Durvasa’s hermitage, composed this Shri Ganesh Chalisa just as the Rishis that composed the Shiva Poorana.
Nitya Gajanan jo gun gavat,
grah vasi sumati param sukh pavat.
Jan dhan dhanya-suvan sukh dayak,
dehin sakal shubh shri Gananayak.
Those who daily recite this Chalisa will enjoy intelligence and bliss. Shri Ganesh Ji is the bestower of wealth, progeny and happiness and every auspicious object upon his devotees.