Random Musings- Part 13- Notes on Ganapati Atharvashirsha
Ganapati Atharvashirsha is one of the best compositions on Ganesha. It speaks of Ganesha in his Higher-Para aspect by identifying him with Para-Brahman.Ganesha is identified with different aspects of Universe and different deities and finally with Para Brahman itself. I have included explanations on some of its verses.
Verse 6- Tvam Bramhastvan, Vishnustvam, Rudrastvam, Indrastvam Agnistvam, Vayustvam, Suryastvam, Chndramastvam, Bramha Bhur Bhuva Svorom
Notes-Brahmaa,Vishnu, Rudra refers to Hiranyagarbha in his aspect of creator,sustainer and destroyer. Indra represents Ahamkara, Agni- Divine Will,Vayu-Divine Life force & Surya-Divine illumination. Alternatively, Agni- Bhu loka/annamaya kosha, Vayu-bhuvah loka/pranamaya kosha & Surya-Svah loka/manomaya kosha. Brahma used at the end refers to Saguna Brahman who exist as Hiranyagarbha & who has as limbs-bhu, bhuvah and svah lokas. So in short Ganesha is being identified with all deities governing various lokas,koshas & aspects of this created Universe.
Verse 6- Tvam Shakti Traya Atmakaha
Notes-1. Tri-shakti could also be Kriya, Icha and Jnana Shakti.2. In tripura rahasya,Tripurasundari is described as “tripura ananta shakti aikya roopini”-she who is combination of 3 shaktis.3. Similarly, here Ganesha is referred as shakti-trayaatmakah.4. This shows the sloka speaks about Higher/Para aspect of Ganesha that is same as Brahman.
Verse 6- Tvam Muladharah Stitosi Nityam
Notes- Muladhara= Muladhara chakra i.e.Bhu-Loka or Physical/Gross Existence. Ganesha in his lower aspect is identified as lord of/personification Physical Universe. In Upanishads, the Brahman in his aspect of being innermost Self of Physical Universe is called as Virat/Vaishwanara. It is this Virat called as Ganesha in his lower aspect.
Verse 6- Tvam Kala Trayaatitaha
Notes-That is beyond the limitation of time and hence of space too. Hence, Ganesha is identified as Para Brahman/Nirguna Brahman.
Verse 4- Tvam Vangmayastvam Chinmaya | Tvam Anandmayastvam Bramhamaya
Notes-Speech is fire refers to Gross Universe/Waking state. Mind refers to Subtle Universe/Dream state. Bliss is Unmanifested Prakriti/Deep sleep state. So, Ganesha is identified with whole Samsara.In Upanishads, Brahman Identified with Gross/Waking is Vishva/Virat. Brahman Identified with Dream state is Hiranyagarba/Taijasa. Brahman Identified with Unmanifested Seed is Ishwara/Prajna.Hence, here Ganesha is being identified with whole Samsara, all three states and hence with Saguna Brahman.It is for this reason, Ganesha is called Omkara, as Aum represents whole Cosmos with all three states.
Verse 1- Tvam Sakshadatmasi Nityam
Notes-“You are Verily the Eternal Atma” it means Ganesha is Brahman/Atman.Here, Ganesha is identified with Para Brahman, who in his Saguna aspect exist as Innermost Self-Atman of everything.