Existence of Ganesha as Ishwara


Er. A. N. Pandey

Spiritual Awareness Program (SAP)


1. Introduction

While analysing the place of Ganesha, there are many scriptures which provides His existence by describing His role, nature of works and His action taken during creation. But His placement or His nodal Nuclei is made clear by a very important scripture known as Panchadashi. Panchadashi explains the complexity of Veda and Upanishad wherever the learned people are having some confusion. It is very interesting to note that commentary given by Swami Krishnananda, direct disciple of Swami Shivananda of divine life society at Rishikesh, provides a good clarity where lord Ganesha sits in universe as well as in Human body to provide the assistance to His mother ‘Bhavani’ or nature when she works as Maya. In this connection, verse number 236 of Panchadashi gives a very clear picture about Lord Ganesha who is known as Ishwara in Veda, Upanishad and also in Gita. Many scripture states Ishwara as “Param Brahma” or Truth or Absolute. This Ishwara namely Lord Ganesha should be taken for creation purpose whereas, Ishwara as a Brahman is taken when the particles (tool of action for individual God) related to individual God is purified and merged as Brahman.

2. Lord Ganesha as Baby of Nature (Prakriti)

The role of Ishwara is confusing one for most of the Hindu worshipers. This is because; the term Ishwara is used for Brahman (Supremo) and also for Lord Ganesha. Most of the worshipers before reaching to Supremo, worship Lord Ganesha as Ishwara who is a helping hands to nature (Bhavani) who is supposed to be the creator this Lord Ganesha (Ishwara). It is interesting to note that different Gods (other than the three) are created by Nature or Prakriti or Bhavani or Shakti. The confusion is further clarified in Panchadashi (very important and valuable document of Vedanta). 

The verse number 236 of chapter six in Panchadashi is as follows:

 If Maya can be regarded as a cow, Ishwara and jiva are the products, the two babies born to this Maya Shakti. Because of the fact that Ishwara is a reflection of Brahman through the Sattva Guna of Prakriti, and the jiva is the very same Brahman reflected through the rajas and tamas qualities of Prakriti, Prakriti is Maya from the Vedanta point of view. Hence, both the Ishwara concept and the jiva concept are possible only when there is a reflection of Brahman Consciousness through the qualities of prakriti.

That is why it is said that prakriti, which is Maya, is the mother, as it were, of these two babies that were born to it, Ishwara and jiva. Let these children, these calves born to this cow, drink the milk of duality as much as they can. Yet, non-duality reigns supreme. The very concept of duality implies a precedence of a Consciousness that itself is not dual, but non-dual purpose.

3. Position of Devas and Jiva in Human System

This resembles with the Bindu diagram which represents the nuclei of each deva and jiva existing in spiritual domain (Adhyatmik loka) and cosmic domain (Devik Loka). The existence of Lord Ganesha in Human system can also be established with the help of Yogic concepts. The image shows that Bindu number 1 is the nuclei for Brahman (consisting photon particle of science); Bindu number 2 is the nuclei for Shiva (consisting equivalent to proton particle of science); Bindu number 3 corresponds to nuclei of surya (consisting electron particle of Science); Bindu number 4 represents Bhavani or Shakti (containing neutron particle of science) and Bindu number 5 is Jiva or Jivatma (consisting neutrino particle of science).

 Lord Ganesha exists at Bindu number 4a as Ishwara (the part or ansha of Brahman) clarified by Panchadashi. This is because He is also known as “Ganapati”; which means that He is the controller of all Gana (which are incomplete in all limbs and senses). His role as Ganapati is explored in Sankhya philosophy given by Kapila Muni; where He is termed as “Mahat”. 

4. Role of Ganapati

Ganapati is known as Ishwara because He has two roles to play. The first role of Ganesha is to assist Maya by bringing the substances (particles in purest form) from Bindu number 2 (Swaroopa of Brahman or proton particle as per science) and 3 (Swabhava of Brahman or electron particle as per science) to Bindu number 4 (Nature or Prakriti or primordial matter or neutron particle as per science) for further creation by Maya. He (Ganesha) brings the purest form of ingredients (particles) before creation of any Jiva starts. That is why, He is known as Ishwara for Jiva. Another role of Ganesha is to control the functional substances or Gana or Tattva which plays a great role for along with Prarabdha karma of Jiva. The Ganas are the binding factors (knots) which are supposed to be resolved in evolution process.

They are of basically “Ashtadha Prakriti” (described in Bhagvad Gita) which covers the Jiva in day-to-day existence. The Ashtadha Prakriti in turn is of 23 elements which are namely i) Panch Gyan Indriyas ii) Panch Karm Indriyas iii) Panch Tanmatra iv) Three Antahkarna (Manas, Buddhi and Ahamkara) and v) Panch Maha Bhootas. Ganapati is supposed to be a controller of all these. That is why, Lord Ganapati is taken first to be worshipped before any Deva as He will remove the hurdles created by any Gana (Limbs of day-to-day life).

5. Ishwara (as Ganesha) and Jiva under the influence of Maya (nature)

About Ishwara, the Mandukya Upanishad speaks a lot. In it, the glory of this Great Being is sung in such words as: eṣa sarveśvara, eṣa sarvajñah, eṣo’ntāryami, eṣa (Ma.U. 6).There are two functions of Ishwara. They are namely i) His function in cosmic domain as “Virat” or Brahman and ii) His function in individual domain.

The functional aspect of Ishwara as Ganesha along with Maya (nature or prakriti) can be viewed with jiva. The difference between two actions could easily be viewed in the deep sleep. There is a tremendous difference between the cosmically causal condition of Ishwara and the individual causal condition of Avidya experienced by everyone in the state of deep sleep.

Ishwara in the form of Ganesha functions as a helping hand to Maya. This happens under the domain of Maya (a form of nature or prakriti).  In other words Maya is the medium through which Ishwara manifests Himself as the omniscient and omnipotent ruler. At the same time, the jiva, under the subjection of the rajasic and tamasic qualities predominant in Avidya, is subject to Avidya. In that state of deep sleep, which is the causal condition of individuality, we know nothing, whereas Ishwara, through Maya, which is the causal condition of the universe, knows everything.

There is a quite different experience in the state of the jiva, notwithstanding the fact it was in a causal condition; and Ishwara as Ganesha is also in a state of causal condition. The difference is that Ishwara’s causal condition is determined by Sattva Guna—the pure Sattva transparency quality or property of prakriti—whereas in the case of the jiva, or the individual, rajas and tamas are the medium. This is the difference between Ishwara and jiva. Ishwara knows everything; jiva knows nothing.

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