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Ganesha In Vedas – Ganpati As Mentioned in Vedas

The concept of Ganpati as a leader of the Ganas is found in the Vedic literature. Even today some of the Vedic hymns, such as ‘Gananam twa ganapatim havamahe’ of Rig Veda are included in ritual worship of Ganesha.

Some scholars trace the origin of Ganesha to Vedic Brahmanaspati or Brihaspati, god of knowledge.

In a collection of Vedic Mantras in Taittiriya Aranyaka there is a mystic prayer addressed to God Dantin. The mantra is - tatpurushaya vidmahe vakratundaya dhimahi tan no Dantih Prachodayat – x.1.5. (Alice Getty in her book Ganesha).

Danta (he of the tusk) seems to refer to the elephant-faced god, the mantra comes in the suite of mantras addressed to two deities, Kartikeya and Nandi.

N.P.Joshi in his Bhartiya Murti Shastra states that Ganesha as a god is very clearly mentioned in the Ganesha Gayatri in Maitrayani Samhita or in Ganpati Atharvashirsha. This means Ganapati was known to literature and scripture before the advent of modern calendar era.

In his book Vaishnavism, Shaivism, and Minor Religious Systems R.G.Bhandarkar has traced the evolution of Ganapati to the myth of the Vedic Rudra. According to him:
‘Rudra had his hosts of Maruts who were called his Ganas, and the leader of these Ganas was Ganpati. In the Atharvashirsha Upanishad, Rudra is identified with many gods and among those there is one called Vinayaka.

In the Mahabharata (Anushashanaparva 151, v 26) Ganeshvaras and Vinayakas are mentioned amongst the gods, who observe the actions of men and are present everywhere. Vinayakas are said to remove all evil from men when praised. Ganeshvaras or Ganapatis and Vinayakas are there represented, as the former are in Satarudriya, many in number and present everywhere.

From the archive