Friday, September 14, 2012

Sri Mahaganapathi Mantra & Meditation

When imparting mantras during initiation in Srividya Sysytem,it is typically the Mahaganapathy mantra that is first given to the seeker by the Guru, along with the Gurupaduka and Bala mantras.
The process of meditation begins with imagining the form of the deity as described in the meditation verse, called the dhyana sloka.
The dhyana sloka of Mahaganapathy describes His ten-armed form (eleven including His trunk), with His Shakti (wife), Siddhalakshmi, seated on His left lap. She wears lustrous ornaments, and embraces Him with one hand while holding a lotus in the other. The weapons in the Lord’s arms are (sequentially clockwise, from the right lowermost arm to the left) the pomegranate, mace, sugarcane, trident, and discus; and (descending now from the left uppermost arm) lotus, noose, blue lily, paddy and a broken tusk. In His trunk is a jewel-studded ornamental pot filled with nectar.

What follows is a method to help us to visualize Mahaganapathy’s form while chanting His mantra, which consists of 28 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet:

Let us pray to the lineage of Gurus from Ananada Bhairava  (one’s own Guru), to dispel the clouds of darkness by the winds of grace.
Om Srim Hrim Klim Glaum Gam Ganapataye Varavarada Sarvajanam Me Vasamaanaya Svahaa...

1. First, while repeating Om, mentally imagine the beautiful elephant face of the Lord.

2. Srim indicates the divine couple, Lakshmi and Narayana. Imagine in Mahaganapathy’s right uppermost arm the discus of Narayana and in the left uppermost arm the lotus of

Laksmi. They represent Time and the Earth (in its gross aspect), respectively. This appears to us as the Time-Space continuum (the sthiti), which prevents an individual from  experiencing the eternal. We can here interpret this as relating to an individual in the world and his seeking of a Guru to him experience the unlimited.

3. HrIm indicates the divine couple, Gauri and Sankara. Imagine in the second-from-the-top right arm the trident of Sankara, and in the corresponding left arm the noose of Gauri. They represent the removal of triputi (the three stages of experience- the seen, the seer and the act of seeing) and of desires respectively. This is the annihilation (samhara), which is the removal of the individual ego by the grace of a compassionate Guru.

4. Klim indicates the divine couple, Rati and Manmatha. Imagine in the third-from-top right arm the sugarcane bow of Manmatha, and in the corresponding left arm the blue lily of Rati. They represent pure mind and secret spiritual knowledge, respectively. This may be likened to creation (srusti) of a new field of experience for the blessed aspirant by the Guru, in directing him to follow a given path (sadhana) to attain a constant experience of the eternal.

5. Glaum indicates the divine couple, Bhumi (Earth) and Varaha (the boar-faced avatar of Vishnu). Imagine in the fourth-from-top right arm the mace of Varaha, and in the corresponding left arm the paddy, indicative of Earth’s fertility. They represent action and cycle of life (cyclic in the sense of sowing, reaping, and again sowing), respectively.
Though this may be likened to veiling of the universal experience (tirodhana), for an aspirant it is more akin to being led by the Guru to complete detachment, in renouncing all fruits of his actions.

6. Gam indicates the divine couple, Siddhalaksmi and Mahganapathy. Imagine in the right-lowermost arm the pomegranate, representing different universes stacked like pomegranate seeds; and in the corresponding left arm the tusk which represents the fruit of all sadhana, Ekam sat, the One Truth, which is the experience of unqualified, undivided Brahman as Bliss. This verily is the grace (anugraha) whereby the seeker dives into a deep state of samadhi upon constant practice and the grace of the Guru, who merges into him.

7. Ganapataye is the form for invoking the Lord. Imagine your head resting upon His feet. This implies a continuance of the above-noted state of Samadhi

8. varavarada is a prayer to the Lord to bestow upon us the best boons and blessings. Meditate here upon the ornamental pot of nectar held by His trunk. Imagine that He is showering it over you and you are drenched. The best of boons is the experience of the Unlimited Bliss that leads to immortality; amruta. This may represent the sahaja state, wherein the realized one goes about his daily chores but remains aware of his blissful state always. (The dhyana sloka ends with a prayerto the Lord – who is the creator, sustainer and annihilator ofthe world – to bestow our cherished boons.)

9. sarvajanam me vasamAnaya means “let all people be subjugatedto me.” We find the clue for our meditation in the word “people,” which indicates the Universe. The embrace of Siddalakshmi can be interpreted as the creative urge and the lotus in the other hand as the manifest (gross) Earth (the last subtle element; the result by default of mixing the other four previous subtle elements). Hence we meditate on Siddhalakshmi – the Creatrix of the Universe, seated on the left lap of the Lord – with a firm conviction that the world, the divine couple and the self are One.

10. Finally, svahaa indicates an offering into the fire (here we are also reminded of the fire sacrifice, ganapathy homam). Since whatever is offered into the fire becomes one with it,

meditate upon the above truth and try to be in that experience for a moment .