śrī mahā gaṇapataye namaḥ
śrī sarasvatyai namaḥ
śrī pādavallabha narasimha sarasvati
śrī guru dattātreyāya namaḥ
I made a sankalpa to be here for Vinayaka Chaviti. There was a plan to land in Hyderabad so that we can go to Vijayawada; or land in London; but the attraction of Ganapati here was too great, so we are here.
Everyone should learn Kannada. If you pass the Kannada exam, we will give you certificate and a medal. So, everyone must learn Kannada in this 80th year. There are online classes going on, but no one seems to care. If you want to come to me, you must learn Kannada, there is no choice. If you want your worldly pains to go away, learn Kannada. Everyone must learn Kannada. You must converse with each other in Kannada, not in Telugu. Do not just do it for humor’s sake and laugh. You must correct yourself and speak in Kannada. Language is very important. In this Kannada state, you must speak Kannada. The people of this state take pride in their language.
Ganapati is Vighna Raja, the one who destroys and helps us out of obstacles. Ganapati is the first sound. Sound, water, fire are all Ganapati's forms. First, sound was born, and that is Ganapati's form. Ganapati is Omkara. One of the auspicious names of Ganapati in His Ashtottara (108 names) is sundarākārāya - the one who has a beautiful form. You may wonder why do they describe Ganapati as beautiful? When you write Om in Hindi and turn it sideways, put two dots as eyes, it shows the form of Ganapati. It is so easy to make the form of Ganapati. There are many forms of Ganapati we see on invitations for weddings, for house warming ceremonies, festivals etc. Those with big firms have interesting designs of logos with Ganapati's image embedded in them. The Lord's form has countless representations. He is the omnipresent Paramatma.
Ganapati is also Brahma. The Vedic verse states:
gaṇānā tvā gaṇapatim havāmahe
jeṣṭharājam brahmaṇām brahmaṇaspata ānah
shruṇvannūttibhih sīda sādanam
He is the first Brahma. In Shiva Panchayatana or Vishnu Panchayatana or Mother Goddess Panchayatana, Ganapati occupies the place of Brahma. He is the form of Parabramha because he has no Aakara (form). When Mother Goddess made Him, She made him even more beautiful than Krishna. She made Him with mud, poured life and kept Him near Her. Then, you know the story of how He stopped Shiva from entering in and got beheaded by Shiva. Then, Vishnu got the head of elephant that was lying north-facing. That head was attached to the beheaded body. We know the story of Gajasura where he requests his name to be used for the Lord. Then 333 crore Gods bestowed various boons on Ganapati per the command of Mother Goddess. That is why He has such a prominent place.
Mere mortals who struggle with education worship Ganapthi. Those who have too much Tamas tendency, who are very forgetful (who are struggling to memorize the Bhagavad Gita for example) will benefit from worshiping Lord Ganapati. Ganapati will give the power to memorize. Worship the Lord first before learning the Bhagavad Gita, and you will successfully be able to memorize.
Chant Ganapati shlokas such as:
gajānanam bhūta gaṇādi sevitaṁ
kapittha jambūphalasāra bhakshitaṁ |
umāsutam shoka vināshakāraṇaṁ
namāmi vighneshwara pādapaṅkajaṁ ||
This is a small and easy shloka. Memorise this one. Chant a shloka of Ganapati and simply chant “gam gaṇapataye namaḥ”. He will be with you, and protect you. Ganapati is Hanuman, Vishnu, Mother Goddess. Do not think He is different. If you remember Him, all obstacles are removed.
vighnadhvānta nivāraṇaika taraṇir vighnāṭavī havyavāṅg
vighnavyālakulasya mattagaruḍo vighnebha panchānanaḥ |
vighnotunga giri prabhedanapavir vighnābdhi kumbhodbhavaḥ
vighnāghaugha ghana prachaṇḍa pavano vighneshvaraḥ pātu naḥ ||
It is enough if you chant this shloka that was just chanted. It is easy. Vighnanaayaka, Ganapa...these names are adequate. It Is enough if you utter them. You can pray to Ganapati daily. Many suffer from poor memory. They struggle with memorizing and remembering their own tasks and lessons. So you attempt to memorize only two shlokas of Ganapati. Or just chant gam gaṇapataye namaḥ. He will protect you and will always be with you. Ganapati is everywhere.
ākāshāt patitam toyam yathā gacchati sāgaram |
sarvadeva namaskāraḥ keshavam prati gacchati ||
Lord is all pervading Brahma. Since Ganapati is Vishnu, no need for separate Vishnu bhajan. He is Shiva, so no need for separate Shiva bhajan. He is also Mother Goddess, He is all Gods. So, just chant gam gaṇapataye namaḥ. That is very powerful mantra of Ganapati.
In your Swamiji's life history, Ganapati did many miracles and brought Swamiji here to earth. Otherwise, I would not be here. I am here for a job, I have an order that needs to be fulfilled. It is not fulfilled yet, only 50% of my job is over, there is 50% remaining. It is difficult to explain about my job. My mother says not to explain about this janma (birth) or next janma (birth). Its i Her order and that is why I am not giving you any details but you can, with your own merit and penance find out. You must thank Ganapati for Swamiji being here. I do not need to reveal the secret of my incarnation. I am with you and you are with me. We have this big friendship. That is why today Swamiji is giving a powerful mantra - gam gaṇapataye namaḥ.
This mantra is enough. This is a beejakshara mantra. If you have any fear, chant this mantra. Test for yourself, you will find relief in 5 minutes. But you must chant with wholehearted devotion and affection, not mechanically chant the mantra. That will give you good outcomes with your work, health and other problems.
Ganapati is Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. You can see various other forms in His form. One side is Vishnu, one side Brahma, one side Shiva. It is up to you to see that, it is in your vision to see Him. Last night, I found a very rare Salagrama. How can Ganapati be in Salagrama? That is almost impossible. But take a look at this (Swamiji shows the Salagrama holding it in His hand). See the two ears of Ganapati, see his single tusk. This is very rare to see Ganapati in a Salagrama. It is proof that Ganapati's form can be seen in Salagrama. Salagrama is Vishnu's form. We do not see Mother Goddess or Shiva in Salagramas. There are certain rules for Salagrama as it relates to only Vishnu. Some people talk about Subramanya Salagrama, it makes me laugh, but I do not want to derail their devotion with argument. But this one is different - its very shape is like Ganapati. So we may just once refer to it as Ganapati Salagrama, even though it is not advised. But other names should never be uttered. Salagrama is allowed to have only Vishnu names - Keshava Namas. Salagrama is Vaasudeva alone.
We all know the story of Lord accepting a curse and the story Gandaki river. So Salagramas are found in Gandaki river. Salagramas always come from Vishnu. But this one has the form like Ganapati, but this is also a Salagrama (Vishnu) which has the shape of Ganapati who is also Parabrahma. You must never say "Ganapati Salagrama" or "Shiva Salagrama" or "Subramanya Salagrama" or "Jaganmata Salagrama”. Some people look at Bana Linga and call it Shiva Salagrama because of the ‘Akaara’ (Shape of A) inscribed on it. It would be a mistake to call Salagrama by these names. We can say Salagrama has a shape indicative of that deity but call it Salagrama only. Today we are seeing Ganapati everywhere.
The sight of Ganapati lingers in our eyes after we stare at his form for a long time, blink your eyes once and close them again. That image stays in the eyes and in the mind, even per science. Same with Venkataramana Swamy. We can use this science even in meditation (to focus on that image with eyes closed).
Swamiji came back here to see you all. That in itself is a miracle. In the US there was so much pressure to visit various places. Of course, why would anyone let go of the sugar candy in their hand? Regardless of how big that candy is, they would pop it in their mouth. They would not throw it away. Who would give up a golden coin?
May you be bestowed with auspiciousness. May all your difficulties be dispelled. May all your problems be removed. May Ganapati bless you all. Jaya Guru Datta.