Sri Matre Namaha
Kameshwara-mukaloka-kalpita-sriganeshwara – The Seventy Seventh name in Lalitha Sahasranamam.
Kamesvaramukhasya alokabhyam (sakutamiksana candrikabyam) kalpitah (=utpaditah) sriman ganesvaro yasya sa
She whose (son) Ganesha was produced by Her glance at Kamesvara’s face
The mythological story in the Brahmanda P. is like this, “seeing the devas fettered by magical figures set up by daityas, Devi by merely looking at her husband, gave birth to the great Ganapathy whose mantra is of 28 syllables, by which the fettering influence of the magical figures were destroyed adn the devas released
kamesvarah (=kavalanirgunahsivah), tanmukhalokena (=tadanubhavena) kalpitam sriganeshvaratvam (=puryastakadhisvaratvam) yasya sa
Sri Ganeshvaratva i.e., the overlordship (adhisvaratva) of 8 cities of gunas, by looking at kamesvara who represents the pure nirguna aspect of siva. This means that when one realizes the nirguna siva his jivabhava disappears.
Here the word kamesvara means pure Siva. i.e., without attributes. Aloka=personal experience of him. Ganesvara = gana the city formed of eight things consisting of (1) Five karmendriyas 2) Five Jnanendriyas 3) Four Manas etc 4) Five Pranas. 5) Five Bhutas 6) Kama 7) Karma 8) Avidya. These eight are called Ganesa. Ganesa = Isvara = the lord (of his body), kalpita = attributed or imagined.
Ganesha was born out of a mere glance of Lalitha at Kameshwara. Ganesha is the first son of Shiva and Parvathi. Bhandasura during the war was witnessing the destruction of his army. In order to avoid further causalities to his army he ordered a yantra by name ‘jaya vignam’ to be kept in the midst of the army of Lalitha. Yantras are powerful, only if infused with mantras. When this yantra was kept, the army of Lalitha started losing their self-confidence. Mantrini devi, who is an authority of mantras, noticed this and reported to Lalitha.
This yantra can be removed by the one who has won over puryashtakam which consists of the following eight- 1) 5 organs of action (karmendriyas),2) 5 organs of senses (jnanaendriyas), 3) anthakkaranam (4 in numbers -manas, buddhi, Chitam and ahankaram), 4) 5 pranas (prana, apana, etc), 5) 5 elements (akash, air, etc) 6) desire, 7) ignorance and 8) karma. The total components of puryashtakam are 27 and with this the attributes of Shiva if added takes the total to 28. The moola mantra of maha Ganapathi is 28. When all the 27 components of puryashtaka are destroyed, it leads to attributes of Shiva. The attributes of Shiva (saguna Brahman) leads to pure Shiva or nirguna Brahman (Shiva without attributes). The bliss of realization is attained followed by emancipation. This nama talks about the stages that to lead to emancipation.
Sri Ganeshwara was formed by her glances at Kameshwara.Here Kameshwara is the pure siva without attributes. Ganesha is known by many other names such as Gajanana, Vinayaka, Vighneswara etc. Vighneswara is the Lord of all Obstacles, worshipped in the beginning of all rituals and ceremonies. Gajanana means one with an elephant face. Vinayaka means the supreme leader, literally one who has no leader but himself. As his name suggests Vighneswara removes all obstacles and helps us meet all challenges of life.Here is an intersting information from the Brahma vaivarta Purana about the birth of ganesha a story that is quite different from that of the other story from linga puranaand shiva purana. In this version Ganesh is considered like a Krishnâ embodiment. This purana narrates a different story regarding the origin of Ganapati. Shiva instructed Parvati, who wanted to have a son, to observe the puNyaka vrata for a year to propitiate Vishnu. On completion of the vrata by Parvati, it was announced that Krishna would incarnate himself as her son in every kalpa. Accordingly, Krishna was born as a charming infant, delighting Parvati who celebrated the event with great enthusiasm.
All the Gods arrived to have a look at the baby. But Shani, the son of Surya, did not look at him and stared at the ground instead. Upon Parvati’s questioning regarding his behaviour, Shani said that his look would harm the baby. Parvati, however, insisted that he should look at the baby. In deference to her wish Shani cast his eyes on the baby. Due to his malevolent glance, the baby’s head was severed and flew to Goloka, the abode of Krishna. Parvati and all the Gods assembled there, including Shiva, were grief-stricken.
Thereupon, Vishnu mounted Garuda and rushed to the banks of the Pushpa-bhadra river and brought back the head of a young elephant. The head of the elephant was joined with the headless body of Parvati’s son, reviving him. All the Gods blessed Ganesha and wished Him power and prosperity. Vishnu blessed Ganesha thus:
O Excellent God! O dear one! May Your pUjA be performed before that of any other God. May You be situated in all venerable beings and may You be the best among Yogis. This is My boon to You. Shiva made Ganesha the leader of his troops (gaNa), and also gave Him the following boon: All obstacles, whatever they may be, will be rooted out by worshiping Ganesha, even as diseases are cured by the worship of Surya and purity results when Vishnu is worshiped.
As Siddhidata, Lord Ganesha is the Giver of Success and is associated with bountiful harvests and general abundance in life. Lord Ganesha is the material manifestation of the ‘manas”, or mind, of his father Lord Shiva. He embodies the five elements- earth, fire, air, ether and water- and guides the elemental forces which produce and maintain order in the universe. Sometimes Lord Ganesha is depicted with two women Riddhi and Siddhi. Riddhi is prosperity and Siddhi is success. Ganesha is a celibate.
The symbols of Lord Ganesha have special significance. An elephant’s head on a human body is meant to represent supreme wisdom. The combination and animal in one body signifies divinity in all the beings. The trunk which springs from his head represents the intellect. His four arms stand for the four inner equipments of the subtle body, namely mind (manas), intellect (buddhi), ego (ahankar) and conditioned consciousness (chitta). Ganesha represents the pure consciousness, the Atanian (self). In one hand he holds an axe and in another a rope. The axe symbolizes the destruction of all desires and attachments. The rope is meant to pull the seeker out of his worldly entanglements. In the third hand he holds a rice ball (modak or laddoo). Modaka represents the joyous rewards of spiritual seeking. In the fourth hand he holds a lotus (Padma). The lotus represents the supreme goal of human evolution. His huge belly is indicative of contentment and inspires his devotees to develop contentment. It signifies that all things, the entire universe, are contained in him. Lord Ganesha occupies a unique place in the Hindu pantheon of Gods.
The eight incarnations of ganesha
INCARNATION 1 —- Vakratunda.
IN HIS FIRST INCARNATION, GANESHA WAS KNOWN AS VAKRATUNDA (THE CURVED TRUNK ONE). If you see Ganesha pictured with a curved trunk, you can assume this is a celebration of Ganesha’s first lifetime. Basically, Vakratunda was the Ganesha who slayed the demon Matsarasura, and his vehicle is the lion on which he is seated. Matsarasura (or Matsara) was (and still is) a symbol of jealousy. Thus symbolically, Ganesha/Vakratunda is the god who destroys and overcomes the destructive power of jealousy.
INCARNATION 2 —- Ekdunta.
IN HIS SECOND INCARNATION, GANESHA PLAYED THE ROLE OF “EKDUNTA”, WITH THE MOUSE AS HIS MODE OF CONVEYANCE. He fought the demon Madasur and managed to subdue him. Ekdunta (or Ekadanta) means “the Lord who has only one tusk”. Madasur (or Mada) was the demon of drunkeness. One question for the scholars: why does Ganesha have only one tusk? The reason for this, according to Padma Purana, is that one day when Lord Shiva was sleeping, sage Parashurama came to visit him.
However, Ganesha would not allow Parashurama in, for his father’s sleep would be disturbed. When Parashurama insisted he be permitted entry, a fight broke out. In the course of their struggle, Parashurama threw his axe at Ganesha. This axe had been given to Parashurama by Lord Shiva. Recognizing the axe and out of reverence for his father, Ganesha refused to intercept the weapon. He bowed and took its impact on one of his tusks, which broke. This broken tusk was used by him to write the epic, Mahabharata. Ganesha, the embodiment of wisdom, is also depicted as a scribe to whom sage Vyasa dictated the Mahabharata. He is accepted as the god of learning and the patron of letters.
INCARNATION 3 —- Mahodara.
IN HIS THIRD INCARNATION, GANESHA ASSUMED THE FORM OF “MAHODARA”, ONCE AGAIN USING THE MOUSE AS HIS VEHICLE. Mahodara contested the demon Mohasur, and won. In fact Ganesha/Mahodara was so successful that Mohasur became a staunch supporter, effectively won over to the Good Side of the Force. Ganesha/Mahodara also slew two other demons, Durbuddhi and his son Jnanaari.
This quote comes from Mahodara-Astha Vinayaka, concerning the fell dictatorship of the Demon Mohasur: “Mohasur (sic) worshipped the Sun God and attained the name of DaityaRaja meaning King of the Demons. He also conquered all the three worlds…
“All the gods, sages hid in caves and jungles in fear of him. There was anarchy all over. At this time Surya, Sun God advised all the gods to worship Mahodara.
“All the Gods and the Sages started worshipping Mahodara (he is really Ganesha, remember?) At last Mahodara/Ganesha was pleased with their devotion and blessed them, by saying that he would slay Mohasur himself.
“When Shukracharya heard this, he told Mohasur to surrender in front of Mahodara. Lord Vishnu also explained to Mohasur that if he surrendered he will not be killed or destroyed. That’s why he should accept the friendship of Mahodara. By saying this he started praising and singing the glories of Lord Lambodara.
“Listening to this Mohasur became frightened and he requested Lord Vishnu to bring Mahodara giving him due honour and respect.
“When Lord Mahodara arrived, Mohasur greeted and welcomed him with pomp and gaiety. He sang his praises and asked for forgiveness for his evil sins. Mohasur promised the gods that he would return them their Swargalok and assured that he would be always on the path of righteousness. He also assured them that henceforth, he would not a dare to harass the Gods and Sages.
“Listening to this Lord Mahodara was pleased and commanded him to go back to Pataal lok and never return again. All the Gods and the Sages were elated, They all started singing the praise of Lord Mahodara. (This tale) is situated in Taluka Kholapur, District Raigad.”
INCARNATION 4 —- Gajanana.
IN HIS FOURTH INCARNATION, GANESHA ASSUMED THE FORM OF “GAJANANA”, WITH THE MOUSE AS HIS VEHICLE. Gajanana made the demon Lobhasur or Lobha (son of Kuber) submit and surrender before him, before putting him to death. Gajanana means “the Lord with an elephant face”, and Lobha was the demon of greed.
INCARNATION 5 —- Lambodara.
THE LORD WITH THE PROTUBERANT BELLY, WHO MASTERED KRODHA, THE DEMON OF ANGER. Ganesha’s ever-present obesity is emphasized in this particular manifestation. For the Ganapatiya devotees, who consider Ganesha as the Supreme God and the Master of the Universe, the sweet given as offerings are seen like seeds of innumerable worlds inhabited by innumerable living creatures, and the god’s belly is large enough to contain within all these worlds and creatures.
INCARNATION 6 —- Vikata.
VIKATA (“THE MISSHAPEN”), WHO SUBDUED KAMA (KAMASUR), THE DEMON OF DESIRE. Interestingly, Ganesha traded in his Mouse Vehicle to ride a peacock in this manifestation.
INCARNATION 7 —- Vighnaraja.
VIGHNARAJA, THE 7th INCARNATION OF GANESHA, HAD AN EVEN MORE UNUSUAL MODE OF CONVEYANCE — a Sheshnaag or Shasha. In this lifetime Ganesha managed to subdue the demon Mamasur (also known as Mamtasur or Mama), the demon of the ego.
INCARNATION 8 —- Dhoomravarna.
IN HIS FINAL INCARNATION, GANESHA RETURNED TO HAVING A MOUSE AS HIS VEHICLE. His life mission this time around was to defeat the demon Ahamkarasur, the demon of self-infatuation.
It is worth noting that (as all India-philes must know!) the word “Aham” means the human ego. Aham is the demonic force which grips the human mind like a vice, with cruelty and deception, and never lets go until the very bitter end. Like a parasitic worm Aham is so entrenched in the psyche, the human host eventually thinks that this is all that s/he can identify with. This demon has also been called Ahamkarasur, or Abhimanasur, both words again pointing to the inextricable control of the ego on the human.