The look on your faces seems to give me the impression that you are examining & questioning the fruits of your Sankalpa-vow, the one year of the many thousands upon thousands of Ganesh Gayatri that you recited in mind & heart. Question only – have I deeply felt something? Examine only – have I observed some changes in myself.

Let us look again and remind ourselves once again of the purpose of the mantra, and the vow of your one-year dedication and efforts.

ॐ गं गणपतये नमः । Om Gaṁ Gaṇapataye Namaḥ ।

Lord Ganesha, the divine force who is the remover of obstacles in our life, in our sadhana; and provides the physical and emotional stability that we all aspire for by removing such obstacles, resistances, and conflicts enhancing our clarity and spiritual understanding lighting and enlightening our path of sadhana.

Lord Ganesha represents firm determination. Whenever our mind is resolute, it is also fearless. By letting go of fear all our obstacles are systematically overcome.

Ganesha, the lord of the ‘Adhara’, allows the Muladhara to form a stable platform, an essential foundation for your personality, thus establishing inner strength and conviction for all your choices, all your decisions, and a base of intelligence.

Your practice, your meditations, become regular and consistent and carry prominence in your daily routines. Meditation makes time for itself. Through this deepening awareness and the depth of this stabilizing force, your transformation is self-inspired through the fruits of divine light, innate wisdom unshakable faith, and the grace-filled presence of the divine force,

The ajapa-japa of the Ganesha mantra provide an abundance of grace, by way of purification leading to pacification along with determination and aspiration that leads to Self-Realization.

The global sangha mantra contributes to the collective intention. Last year with the Ganesha Gayatri japa and this year with the essential Ganesha mantra we are bought together into the collective mindfield of our Tradition. That collective heart of hearts in which the Gurus of our living tradition will “speak” when we choose to listen and embrace the Ganesha mantra with full faith, sincerity and humility. Let Go of expectations, fears, and anticipations, and let the Guru-Light of Love shine on your Buddhi as you become still and silent.

You have prepared the soil nicely through the past year’s japa of Ganesha Gayatri. This has been the test for soil well-nurtured, mind well prepared and polished by the ajapa-japa. Your purification has transformed your buddhi through refining your inclinations and redefining your habits in more sattvic ways.

Please Remember and let me remind you:  there is a deeper natural inclination – the inclination for Moksha – far deeper than any instinctual urges, far deeper than any emotional needs and desires is that burning determination of knowing thyself and thereby lighting the lamp of buddhi to reflect the pure Self-Atman. Your meditation IS the very reminder and the very act of lighting the lamp. And thus experience the most natural state of your mind as enlightened, the Samadhi state.

The theme of this sangha, Aapo Deepo Bhava, reminds you to recognize the journey, recognize the goal. Let your japa become your journey and your ajapa-japa become your goal. And thereby recognize that which is ever pure, ever wise, and ever free as the most natural state of your being. Through the grace of God, Guru and Self, you now recognize yourself and the true Self of your pure Being. You have nothing to “do”, nothing to achieve, other than letting go. Just “Let Go”.  Swami Rama reminded us again and again, “All you need to do is let go and re-attach here. Let go of the attachments of this shore and simply reach the other shore.”

And we will use the mantra as a vehicle for this coming year, along with your personal mantras, plus honoring the commitments you have made as the purascharanas of your specialty mantras.

So, as we prepare, bring your mind’s awareness into the meditative state. Prepare the inner eye and look within. Prepare with a pure heart, to empty and thereby to receive from within. And now, return to the source. Follow the spoken word that becomes the thought, the thought that becomes the wave, the wave of that feeling, the immersion of that awareness into the unified consciousness.

Breathing out and breathing in where that life force is measured by the flow of this prana stream. Regulating that flow as the pillar of our personality, a pillar-like stream of light as the central-stream, the sushumna awakens. Let it flow from the very crown of your head to the very base of your spine and the aadhara.  In that sushumna stream, in that flow, the light of wisdom is revealed. Your entire being becomes an ear, becomes an eye, so as to open our hearts and invite, open our minds and embrace that light of grace as our diksha.

The essential Ganesha mantra is given:

ॐ गं गणपतये नमः ।

Om Gam Ganapataye Namah

ॐ गं गणपतये नमः ।

Om Gam Ganapataye Namah

ॐ गं गणपतये नमः ।

Om Gam Ganapataye Namah…

And now: nonverbal speaking with only the tongue with lips sealed;

Now, tongue stilled observing the words in the mind as a mental recitation;

now, that flow of the mind, mantra, prana and breath: inhaling thinking the mantra, exhaling thinking the mantra; inhaling & exhaling, inhaling & exhaling, breathing in and out, maintaining the mantra in the mind along with your breathing.

And now as a wave of memory-like thought flowing, again and again in your mind where the mantra is no long a cognitive thought.

Now, the wave that was a memory, a semblance of cognition, now subsides into presence, the unified field of awareness and remains still and silent. Where each fiber of your body, each strand of your personality, now echoes that vibratory quality of your mantra as unity, harmony, stability, and strength.

Remaining the observer, remaining the witness, returning to the pillar of light and from the crown of the head to the base of the spine, breath, mantra and mind’s awareness flow as that illuminating central stream of the sushumna flow.

Receive guru’s grace as the illuminating quality-prakasha, as the mental state of your mantra.

Slowly make your transition, feeling the gentle movement of your navel region, as you mentally recite –

ॐ गं गणपतये नमः ।

Om Gam Ganapataye Namah

Gently open your eyes, yet the mind remains attuned to Om Gam Ganapataye Namah, as you now pay tribute to the long lineage of sages and resolve in your mind that each mental recitation is a blessing of Lord Ganesha, providing stability and illumination to your buddhi to reveal your true nature, transform your personality and guide you throughout this year of 2023.

Let me simply remind you of our renewed sankalpa that we have taken with the Ganesh Gayatri now absorbed into this essential Ganesh mantra.

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 in 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, protection, and security through freedom from all fears and their evolutes. What are the evolutes of fear? They are such dangers as: worries, anxieties, anger, hatred, bitterness, envy, prejudice, revenge, and so forth. We resolve again that this mantra is a spark, an illumination of the spirit which has been gifted to us.

As with all mantras, we begin with the invocation. This invocation was given to us by Swami Veda and can be recited or simply remembered as a way to prepare the mind for japa.

This is the invocation of Mother Divine, as the source of all mantras by way of Nada and Hiranya-garbha.

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।

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 endeavour) be (accepted as my) surrender and offering to Brahman.

For your purascharana, you will complete four malas per day, four hundred recitations per day over period of this year. The mantra is shorter no doubt. So, put this japa into the routines of your daily practice and also give it some extra attention throughout your day. During times when emotional stability is needed, this divine force will help you. As you become familiar with it, the speed, the rhythm and frequency will become more subtle and within 15 minutes you can easily recite your 400 mantras. Remember to make the offering na-maha, not me and not mine. I surrender the fruits of this mantra for the Sangha members, for the sake of humanity’s suffering, for the sake of humanity seeking kindness and compassion. Resolve that through the blessings of this mantra there will be a refinement of buddhi and in your emotions that will be reflected in the transformation of my behaviours and attitudes with my family, friends and with others.

ॐ गं गणपतये नमः

Om Gam Ganapataye Namah,

In service of our Himalayan Lineage,

Swami Ritavan Bharati