August 26, 2009 – Special Discourse on Lord Ganesha

The day after the immersion of Lord Ganesha idols turned out to be a very special one. As the bhajans began, Swami came out as usual for darshan. The crowds were surprisingly present even though it was the middle of the week. The youth from Orissa too had arrived for their “Parthi Yatra” and they had occupied a large portion of the Mandir.

Swami completed the darshan round and made a brief visit to the Bhajan Hall. Then He arrived on stage and something seemed to be running through "His mind". He looked to the left and right and asked a professor nearby as to what he was holding.


He was shown the map of the villages where the Grama Seva this year would be conducted. Swami blessed him and sent him back. Then He asked for the mikes and podium to be brought! He said that He would speak and instantaneously everyone in the audience was positively thrilled.

Swami began with the first few lines of a poem describing the glory of Bharat. The exhaustive summary of the discourse is given below.

Vinayaka Chaturthi celebrated yesterday was one of andha (beauty) and ananda (bliss). Vinayaka is the one who is the Master of the whole Universe and has none above Him. It is a misfortune if one forgets Him. He eats only those foods that are oil-free and made only from steam. They are called Udumu and Undraalu in the local languages. They are made by powdering nine types of grains which are available everywhere, mixing them in water and steaming them. Vinayaka accepts only these.

There are two wives (of Karthikeya) - Valli and Devayani who also partake the same food like Him. He has two children - Vidya and Siddhi. They stay with Him and learn from him. Vinayaka never commands orally and communicates through Mounam (silence). His gait is soft. He manifests before whomsoever prays to Him wherever he may be. He is Universal and not restricted to the Bharatiyas alone. He is the master of the Universe and He destroys all your sins if you think of Him.

Vinayaka has a trunk - not the one you use to carry your clothes when you roam! The trunk does everything - breathing, drinking and eating. It is foolishness to think of Him as an idol, for He is present as the breath in all. He has been there from the beginning of creation. So Vinayaka is in you, around you, below you and above you.

Yesterday all of you brought Him in a chariot procession and immersed the idol in the Chitravati. The significance of that act is that just like sugar dissolves in water to become omnipresent, Lord Vinayaka is also omnipresent. (The form which arose of mud returns to mud, symbolic that in our spiritual journey we identify the formless God with a form and then realize His omnipresence!) Even there His children are with Him. They are His only property. Consider your children as your own property. And never forget your mother and father who are most important. Vidya (Buddhi) and Siddhi come from parents.

When you begin any task or eat any food pray to Him. It is essential for Bharatiyas to worship Him first always. When a temple is built He is worshipped first. It is the same when singers sing and even when our boys sing too. Without Vinayaka, there is no Nayaka (master). Do not restrict Him to the idol alone or to the period of Chavithi alone.

It is important that you worship Him on Chavithi but the 3, 5 or 10 day ritual is based on convenience because people cannot eat that type of food that Ganesha likes for a long time. Vinayaka's food is special but simple. He has nothing that has to do with fire or oil - only steam. So Vinayaka never falls sick.




People sing about Him as the one with a big stomach. But the stomach is full of air and nothing else. He never accepts anything from anyone though He moves about everywhere. God is also like that. Whoever may offer, He will bless but not receive.

Life is under His control otherwise everything will get destroyed. It is only because of Vinayaka that vinasha (destruction) is prevented. Whether you know it or not and see it or not, He is with you always. Man cannot stay without breath and breath is Vinayaka. Air is life. Without our inhalation and exhalation, there is no life




Breathing is Soham. It has three parts - pooraka (inhalation), Kumbhaka (retention) and Rechaka (exhalation). These three happen as per the will of God. These were also taught by Vinayaka and propagated by his daughters - Vidya and Siddhi. So He is called Siddhivinayaka. There is none to explain this secret.

The elephant is the most powerful and its footprints wipe out those of the lions and tigers too. It also clears thick forests making them habitable. After the elephant has moved, buses, cars and trains too can move in that path! Even the procession of King Dasharatha which had horses and chariots was headed by elephants. They are path makers. That’s why every temple too has an elephant. Even the trumpet of the elephant is special. It shuts up all the dogs on the street.


While considering divinity, remember that only the form has birth and death. Who is Brahma? Who are you? Aham Brahmasmi. Brahma is the breath and has no form. He has no birth and so no death. So too it is for Aum. Pain and pleasure are only for the one that is born and has death. Who is God? God is the underlying Unity in the apparent diversity. That is Brahman. Do not keep dolls and call them as Ganesha, Krishna or Rama. These forms are all derived from Ravi Verma paintings which he too imagined. He has not seen divinity. None have seen God in reality.

At the same time, the physical aspect has a meaning and the form should not be neglected. The form will take you towards morality. But do not forget the spirit. Seeing the display yesterday, I was so enthused. I was pleased about the spirit.

Without the spirit, you cannot understand divinity. Know the significance that Vinayaka stands for the absolute Master. Understand the festival and understand the significance.




Swami concluded the discourse with the bhajanVinayaka Vinayaka Vighna Vinashaka Vinayaka…. After singing two lines, Swami again stressed the fact that Vinayaka refers to one who has none above Him. Then He said, "My throat is not proper. You boys sing." The same bhajan, "Vinayaka Vinayaka" began and needless to say, it had a very enthusiastic following.

Swami sat for three bhajans swaying rhythmically and keeping beat. After that, Swami received aarthi and joined everyone in the chants of Samastha Lokaha Sukhino Bhavanthu. Then He retired to Yajur Mandir.

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