ॐ अखण्डमण्डलाकारं व्याप्तं येन चराचरम्।

तत्पदं दर्शितं येन तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः॥

Om akhaṇḍa-maṇḍalākāraṁ vyāptaṁ yena carācaram,

Tat-padaṁ darśitaṁ yena tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ.

हिरण्यगर्भादारब्धां शेषव्यासादिमध्यमाम्।

स्वामिश्रीरामपादान्तां वन्दे गुरुपरम्पराम्॥

Hiraṇya-garbhād ārabdhāṁ śeṣa-vyāsādi-madhyamām,

Svāmi-śrī-rāma-pādāntāṁ vande guru-paramparām.

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

Om Shanti! Shanti! Shanti!

ॐ  Om

By way of Mother Divine’s Grace and Guru’s blessings, we are gathered tonight as well as with many of our Sangha members from around the world. So, we are gathered for a purpose tonight. A purpose that is actually a moment of transition. For as we gathered yesterday, and had our Purnahuti for our Saumya-Tara mantra. Once again, bring that beautiful ‘Saumya’ essence back to our minds, that has been imbued with thousands and thousands of japa over this three-year period.

सौम्या सौम्यतराशेष सौम्येभ्यस्त्वतिसुन्दरी ।

परापराणां परमा त्वमेव परमेश्वरी ॥

तारे तुत्तारे तुरे स्वाहा ॥

Saumyā saumyatarāśeṣa saumyebhyas tvati sundari.

Parāparāṇāṁ paramā tvameva parameśvarī.

Tāre tut tāre ture svāhā.

And in that sentiment of Svaha, a surrender of giving, of giving of our entire ego and personality by way of a purification so that that purification of mind reveals the essence of our nature, the beauty of our being.

Three years of practice, a groove has been created in our collective mind-field, in our minds for such a prayer, such a practice that has given both the feeling of mother in our lives and the purpose of living for her love and in that way, sharing that same love of Mother Divine with others.

There was a question asked of me, and it gave me pause to think about… “Oh, you did a peace mantra. But there’s no peace in the world. It’s even more disruptive. Three years, what has the world become? This problem, that problem; the next day another problem; more conflict, more adversity; what is the purpose of such mantras?” To that, I simply reflect back on our beloved Swami Veda who wanted to make an emphasis of what is right with the world.

Yes, we can look at what is negative, what is a problem, what is the conflict, but if we look at what is beautiful, what is harmonious, what is beneficial, what is the quotient of happiness. That is also something to measure. We find that yes, there is much beauty, much wisdom in the world and in that way much love. So let us take a grander view of mantras. Mantras are those vibratory qualities that are not just simply words spoken.

So, we are once again here to bring about the birth of our Sangha mantra and it has been a continuation for over two decades now that every two-three years, Swami Veda would introduce a mantra for our collective family. Here at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, every morning we do the Havana with that Sangha mantra and throughout the globe, whether you’re sitting in your home or together with the members of your centre, this Sangha mantra is present.

So once again, we’re bringing back the birth of a new mantra, by way of that same process of initiation, where mind interacts with mind. Mind speaks to mind, heart to heart, soul to soul, in that meditative state, that which is revealed has become the new mantra for us.

So, from our Saumya-Tara mantra, we will now practice, we will now ask for the opportunity to have Ganesha’s presence.

Our new AHYMSIN Sangha Mantra will be the Ganesha Gayatri Mantra.

ॐ तत्-पुरुषाय विद्महे

वक्रतुण्डाय धीमहि ।

तन्नो दन्ती प्रचोदयात्॥

Om tat-puruṣāya vidmahe

Vakratuṇḍāya dhīmahi ।

Tanno dantī pracodayāt ॥

Swami Veda has beautifully explained this mantra –

This Mantra is the mantra of stability and of removing the obstacles from someone’s path. If one is planning to do a long undertaking, a long observance of a mantra like Gayatri, sometimes one is faced with karmic obstacles. This mantra will prepare your karmic field so that some of those obstacles coming in the way of your spiritual progress will not hinder you excessively.  It is the mantra of the Ganesha; type of mantra known as Gayatri, not the regular gayatri that you know, but a specialized Gayatri. There are many hundreds of these kinds of Gayatris.

This is Ganesha Gayatri. Now Ganesha is the divine force as it operates in the Muladhara chakra to stabilise, not only to make one sit in a stable way but also to have stability in life. The exact translation of the mantra does not matter because behind each word, there is a mystery and behind that, there is another mystery. For example, the figure of Ganesha is quite a little bit like the figure of the way we right the sound of ‘Om’.

In this [mantra] the figure is mentioned as having a curved trunk like that of an Elephant. This actually refers to the little piece that sticks out of the sound of ‘Om’, when the word ‘Om’ is written.

Tat-puruāya vidmahe (we seek to know that supreme divine person)

Vakratuṇḍāya dhīmahi (we meditate upon the one with a curved trunk, remember the curved trunk represents the base of consciousness as seen in the writing of the letter ‘Om’)

Tanno dantī pracodayāt (may that one who has one tooth, that one tooth of Ganesha on one side of the Elephant like trunk represents the principle whereby dualities are merged into oneness. May that one, the one with the one tooth – Pracodayāt – inspire us).”

Lord Ganesha scaled

Lord Ganesha, who is the remover of all obstacles in our life, in our sadhana. He provides physical and emotional stability that we all aspire for by removing the obstacles, the resistances, the conflicts of our spiritual life, of our relationships.

Lord Ganesha represents firm determination. Whenever our mind is resolute, it is also fearless. And then, all our obstacles are automatically overcome.

Ganesha the lord of the ‘Adhara’. You’ve heard Swamiji speak so much about that firmness of that seated pose. He would say that he would just sit and it would be like he was a rock, earth upon earth. In fact, we even have his words to share with you tonight.

Swami Veda Bharati says:

“Ganesha is a deity of the Muladhara chakra. “Mula” means root, “Adhara” means base, substratum. If you see the pictures of various chakras in the Kundalini books, you will see a little Ganesha drawn in the Muladhara because bottom heavy. There is a word in yoga called “asana-siddhi”. Asana-siddhi means accomplishing an asana, meaning you can stay in an asana, let us say your meditation asana, unmoving for as long as you wish without feeling disturbance and without feeling discomfort. As I’ve been telling you, I can sit for five hours in the same position lecture and it is through the grace of Ganesha.

There was some particular sadhana my master gave me at one time, fire offerings to a particular Ganesha Gayatri and after that – steady, that is one part. The other part it is not easily visible. It’s anthropomorphic representation of “Om” and the trunk curls this way, that way, and that laddoo (that round sweet) that is the bindu (the point of concentration). The representation of “Om” in the Tamil script, you know there’s so many scripts in India. In Tamil script, the representation of Om is much closer even to the figure of Ganesha.

It’s always a multi-layered thing, nothing is unilateral. So, it can it can be a yantra, it can be a mantra, it can be in iconographic form, anthropomorphic form, zoomorphic form, and they are all superimposed one upon the other, just like your brain has a limbic system and a cortical system and has the figures and the mantra and the thought all in unitary address in different parts of your, your being and should not be taken just as one as it is seen. But for me, it is just the six layers.

You know the story of Mahabharata? After the war and so on, Sage Vyasa (the father of Shukadeva) he wanted to dictate his book. So, he put an ad in the galactic times. It described – ‘to take the dictation of a nonstop Epic’. Ganesha is also in India God of script. So, Ganesha applied, who else but Ganesha.

If you go to the Badrinath temple, up in the mountains, at the border with the China, which is now closed for the winter, to the Mana village, there’s a cave of Vyasa and a cave of Ganesha. Ganesha said “Okay, I would like to take the job, on one condition.” “What?” “Well, you know, I’m Ganesha. I am the master of Asana. Once I say sit down, I sit down. So, if you are dictating, if you stop, I quit. If you make a stop anywhere, I quit.” He says, “Okay, agreed?”

Vyasa says, “Okay, I have one condition too. Whatever I’m dictating, you must understand before writing it down.” He says, “Alright. Set. Ready.” So, every now and then, Vyasa’s composition, in composing instantly a hundred thousand verses, without stopping. You know, it’s even for Vyasa, it’s a little hard, you know. So, every now and then, he is dictating. He throws, when he feels that he might stumble and he might have to stop, he’s not sure. So, he creates a verse which is very difficult to understand. These are known as “Kuta shlokas”, cryptic, cryptic, shlokas, cryptic verses. So he throws in one or two cryptic verses, this ishe says, “Wait, I have to understand it.” While Ganesha is busy understanding, he is composing in his mind. Tricky, tricky fellow.”

Lord Ganesha, Lord of the Adhara, this seat, this stability, this firmness of conviction. When I sit for my meditation, mind you are with me. Mind, why are you over there, over here? Here today gone tomorrow? Mind, listen to my direction and with that firmness, the buddhi is purified, its ability to decide, to make the judgment – “Is this the correct thought, appropriate thought, necessary thought at this time?” “No?” Okay, then leave. That buddhi is Ganesha.

When we begin any kind of quest, or journey, or take on any kind of vow, a marriage, bringing a child into the world, during such decisions, we ask for Lord Ganesha to be there with us to make that firmness of that decision, of that sankalpa, of that intention to be pure, and thereby to bless us. He is the destroyer of obstacles and gives the way in which one can begin major endeavours. He grants wisdom and skill, the two qualities needed for any endeavour to succeed.

Let us once again understand the purpose of the new mantra – the “Ganesha Gayatri Mantra”. Our purpose, our sankalpa – you take a resolve with that intention and these are the intentions that I will provide for the Sangha, but each of you will have your own personal intention then that you’ll establish for your practice.

Collectively, as the Sangha, we vow towards a pillar like stability and stillness in mind and emotion, perseverance in asana, daily meditation (same time, same place), removal of obstacles and sadhana and in daily life and in relationships, purification of buddhi, resolved on enlightenment, harmony with Mother Earth with a resolute commitment to Ahimsa and non-violence (Mother Earth has suffered enough and we can play our part, even more so now), protection and security through freedom from all fears. Everyone is seeking security from the unknown, from the complex, from the animosities, the greed, the hatred. That protection, that security is necessary for us to feel grounded and stable, to be able to move into our higher realms of life, with relationships and our service to humanity.

The new mantra will be the Ganesha Gayatri mantra for the next one year, until the Mahashivaratri next year in 2023.

Now this mantra like all the Gayatri mantras has the three segments of eight syllables each to have a total of 24 syllables. And, there are many Gayatris, as Swami Veda has said before. Of course, we have our famous one –

ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् ॥

oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ tat savitur vareṇyaṃ bhargo devasya dhīmahi dhiyo yo naḥ prachodayāt.

Yet with this Ganesh Gayatri mantra, we have a specific purpose and a specific emphasis.

ॐ तत्-पुरुषाय विद्महे

वक्रतुण्डाय धीमहि ।

तन्नो दन्ती प्रचोदयात्॥

om tat-puruṣāya vidmahe

vakratuṇḍāya dhīmahi ।

tanno dantī pracodayāt ॥

In the clarity of your own mind, you will accept the blessing of this special mantra, and set the determination of its presence in your life. Again, one of the ways is through Japa. Which mala to use for the Ganesha Gayatri mantra? You can use the Rudraksha mala. Whether you do the 108 beads, seeds as recitations or how may malas you will decide to do. If you do about 4 malas per day, then you will complete the purash-charana in one year. This undertaking will be for one year, until the Mahashivaratri of next year.

Or, whether you are simply able to do the one mala a day. You will then do a mala of the Ganesha Gayatri mantra every day. If you are saying, “Oh Swamiji, I just can’t do this long mantra. This is just too hard for me.” Swami Veda would also say, “Simplify. But be ambitious.” So, search in your hearts for that ability, that inner strength, to be ambitious. And, with that sankalpa, with that intention, set a commitment. Accordingly, set a time and place, and begin.

Let us explore the transformative effect of the Ganesha Gayatri mantra on all our relationships through japa, through self-observation, reflection, and through your spiritual diaries that we may keep, that also give us that mirror to look at ourself.

Now, it is important that you begin with a certain attitude. Many times, we rush to our meditation seat, “oh, I have to go somewhere. I have to rush to get somewhere. Let me at least sit for 5 minutes.” Where is your mind? Before beginning, there is a small prayer, either the pure intention of it, or you can read it in Sanskrit or translate in your mother-tongue.

Our beloved Swami Veda had composed a prayer for those who aspire for purification, through the intention of the Gayatri Prayer. And, it can be repeated each day before one begins there japa. Swamiji wanted all of us to memorize and to use it as part of our daily meditations.

गायत्री मातः। हे गुरो। श्री गुरो।

सद् बुद्धिं मे प्रयच्च।

चित्तं मे निर्मलं शान्तं प्रसन्नं भूयात्।

सर्वे मे भावाः शुध्यन्ताम्।

मैत्री भावनया क्षमां याचितुं आत्मबलं मे देहि।

ॐ तत्सद् ब्रह्मार्पणम् अस्तु॥

gāyatrī mātaḥ | he guro | śrī guro |

sad buddhiṁ me prayacca |

cittaṁ me nirmalaṁ śāntaṁ prasannaṁ bhūyāt |

sarve me bhāvāḥ śudhyantām |

maītrī bhāvanayā kṣamāṁ yācituṁ ātma balaṁ me dehi |

om tat-sad brahmārpaṇam astu ||

Mother Gayatri, Oh Gurudeva, Shri Gurudeva

Grant me pure buddhi.

May my mind become immaculate, quiet, peaceful, clear and pleasant.

May all my emotions be purified.

Grant me the spiritual strength to ask for forgiveness with a sentiment of amity.

Om. That (alone is) Real.

May (all this endeavor) be (accepted as my) surrender and offering to Brahman.

Swamiji has said,

“Continue to remember this prayer throughout the day. Better would be to get a book and write this prayer a few times in the day so that you will know the purpose of the Gayatri japa. And reflect on the purpose while reciting the mantra, ‘grant me the spiritual strength to ask for forgiveness.’ Not spiritual strength to forgive – the spiritual strength to ask for forgiveness. Everyone thinks of themselves as innocent. You do not intentionally do harm to others, but you find yourself helpless by the samskaras, by the imprints, by the angers, by the self deficiencies, and insecurities that cloud your buddhi, your faculty of discrimination.

So my prayer for you is for the strength to unscrupulously dig out and face your own transgressions and along with your Gayatri practice ask for strength, spiritual strength to ask for forgiveness.”

So, this is a simple prayer that can be either quickly thought of or can also be recited by way of a paper that you will have at your meditation seat, then engage in the steps of your meditation – centering, breathing, establishing shushumna, inviting the sentiment of the divine to come forward as mantra.

Now you may have other mantras, and you say, “What about the purasha-charana that I am already doing?” Here again, you can reduce slightly, but keep it as the continuity of your present discipline that you are in the midst of. Some of you are in five years or even longer, these larger maha-purasha-charanas. So, you say, “What about the other mantras? What about the Saumya mantra?” Yes, remember it, seven times, 11 times, may be just at least check-in on that continuity of that mantra which you have already practiced. You have your own personal, Guru mantra. Yes, honor that. And, give time for yourself to be in the presence of your own Guru mantra. A special healing mantra that you are doing for someone, the Mahamrtyunjaya mantra, for a special purpose for a family member, yes then honor that as well.

You say, “Ha! I don’t have five hours. I don’t live in an ashram all the time.” Yes, be practical, but “be ambitious”, says Swami Veda. So, work out the details, you miss a day, you are sick, you are overworked, you are exhausted, you sleep longer, fine. Swaha…surrender. The next day, can’t use the excuse two days in a row, can you? Ok. Two days, alright, not three days. Just work out the details, please.

And, in that way, Guru’s Grace, Lord Ganesha’s blessings will be with us. I say, “us”, because we are all doing this practice together. And, it is not just the residents, when I say ‘us’. It is all of you, all the students that come in here, all the students in all the regions of the Globe, some in Asia, some in Europe or Africa, some in North or South America. Everyone is part of our Sangha family.

So, again, I thank you all.

We will come to the awareness of, again that inner stillness and through that stillness, that inner observation, and through that observation, that fine line, the thread of life and consciousness, that is running through this personality, that has been given the name of who we identify with, my name. Yet that name is simply a symbol of that one life force, that one consciousness force, that sings through us, as we breathe, that vibrates within us. As the nada, the vibration of the life force in each heartbeat.

So as together now, with one voice, one intention and as that collective mind field, inviting the presence of the Guru…

तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः॥

Tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ.

ॐ तत्-पुरुषाय विद्महे

वक्रतुण्डाय धीमहि ।

तन्नो दन्ती प्रचोदयात्॥

om tat-puruṣāya vidmahe

vakratuṇḍāya dhīmahi ।

tanno dantī pracodayāt ॥

With the blessings of the lineage, the presence of our beloved Swami Veda, passing on his next Sangha mantra through, to us all, by way of the grace of Mother Divine, we invoke the presence of Lord Ganesha.