- Good beginner's course. Upanishad reveals Vedic thought. Ashta avatara section is an excellent tool for personality rehabilitation. Good for murthi and non murthi upasana.
Om Gum Ganapataye Namah
Introduction to 4 Lessons on Ganapathi
Welcome to this series on the divinity embodied in the form of Ganesh. We have here a very well established deity, who is popular not just in Bharat but also in other parts of the world. Statues of Ganesh have been unearthed in Afghanistan, South America and Japan.
In Bharat most temples have a spot allocated for him. It is very rare to walk into a house that does not at least have a picture of him. He is important not only to mainstream Sanatana Dharma but also to Jainism and Buddhism.
The most common approach to acquainting oneself with any deity is to read or listen to stories in connection with his or her birth and to the life and activities that they specialize in. Legends create the necessary imagery we need to connect the subconscious to the conscious through the media of stories. This facilitates the free flow of bhakti that is within each one of us. Legends also help us to open doors to abstract, subtle cosmic principles that form an integral part of the Intelligent factor that is part of the workings of this world. Legends are important in yet another way. They form an integral portion of a nation's exclusive culture. This portion remains valuable only as long as a sizable part of the nations keeps in touch with these stories. At any time if a large fragment of the nation becomes ignorant of these legends then external manifestations of these legends such as statues, paintings, dance and music become mere ornamentations. The only value that remains will be a commercial one. Sadly enough the most important aspect that of healing would be lost. This loss is due to the severing of vital connections to the subconscious.
Many of you are familiar with legends regarding Shri Ganesh. These legends do vary from place to place. They also vary from text to text. In its essence, these stories manage to maintain some common threads of symbolism. If the essence becomes our sole concern then differences will no longer bother or confuse us. As a matter of fact, these differences will only add to the beauty of the stories.
The purpose of these lessons is to introduce you to the tattvam or the essential reality of the truth that this deity represents. Legends take a secondary role, therefore. The lessons will concentrate on the first part on Shri Ganapati Upanishad also called Shri Ganapathi Atharvasheersha. The stress here is on focussing and tying up all threads of divine-knowledge-seeking to this devatha with a sense of immediacy in time and relevancy in space. This is done in the most amazing sense of brevity in this upanishad. In part two we will study the Eight Special Manifestations of Ganesh. These manifestations will help each one of us in a very practical way to deal with our nature. There will be two lessons to each part. A questionnaire will follow after the upanishad and another after the Manifestations.The study should be complete in four weeks.
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