Ganesha – He Who Removes Obstacles – Religion

A Mantra to Remove Obstacles and help guide us on the path to Enlightenment. Visuals created by IndiaJiva, featuring images from Varanasi, Rishikesh and the South Pacific. A haunting and captivating rendition, sung in Western style,  keeping true to the original Mantra meaning. – From the album Universal Mother.

Meaning of this mantra is “let this World and all people of this world be good and have a good life” Om, Shreem and Hreem are beeja mantras which are there to give energy to the MantraOm( ऊँ) the beeja mantra of supreme godShreem ( श्रीं ) is the beeja mantra of MahalaxmiHreem (ह्रीं) is the beeja of Shiva…here ‘H’ is shiva ‘R’ is adishakti and ‘een’ is the shakti with active gunas

I love looking at statues of Ganesha.  He is considered to be  the remover of all obstacles. Ganesha is the aspect of God known to help resolve our problems.  Ganesha comes in many forms, is known by many names and his attributes are many. I dare say people in the West find the idea of praying to an Elephant God  weird, although Ganesha, like all Hindu Gods is one of many from the myriad of Gods and Goddesses in the Hindu Faith. Hindus acknowledge that, at the most fundamental level, God is the One without a second — the absolute, formless, and only Reality known as Brahman, the Supreme, Universal Soul. Brahman is the universe and everything in it. Brahman has no form and no limits; it is Reality and Truth.

Thus Hinduism is a pantheistic religion: It equates God with the universe. Yet Hindu religion is also polytheistic: populated with myriad gods and goddesses who personify aspects of the one true God, allowing individuals an infinite number of ways to worship based on family tradition, community and regional practices, and other considerations.

Lord Ganapati Mantra and Prayer

Lord Ganesha , son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, are worshiped in Hindu Religion as the god of beginnings, knowledge, wisdom, intellect and remover of obstacles. One always starts any prayer, ritual or occasion by worshiping the Beloved Elephant God. Lord Ganesh blessings are also sought before starting any new venture. Lord Ganesha is also referred to as Ganapati, Gajanana, Vinayaka, Vighneshawar and Pillaiyar. Ganesh Mantras can be found in the Ganesh Puran /Ganapati Upanishad.


Ganesha, the global traveler! Besides His more celebrated attributes, He could well be called the Peripatetic One, given His large footprint in other lands and religions. How and why did this happen? Because He is the Lord of adaptability who defies quick definition. His multiple and often contradictory qualities make it easy for Him to cross cultural and religious borders, synthesize local sentiments and assume new forms. This traveler has many tales to tell.

Ganesha is widely worshipped by Jains, though there is no mention of him in early Jaina religious writings. He first emerges in a 12th century literary work by Hemachandra, a Jain scholar, philosopher and historian who variously names Ganesha as Heramba, Vinayaka and Ganavignesa. Between the two historical Jaina sects – Swetambara and Digambara – it was the more liberal Swetambaras who embraced Ganesha, along with other Hindu deities. Swetambara texts extol Ganesha as a deity whom even other gods propitiate to attain their wishes. Swetambara Jains observe the Hindu practice of commencing all auspicious ceremonies and new enterprises with obeisance to Ganesha.

A 9th century Jain temple at Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) has the earliest known image of Ganesha in this religion, along with Ambika (another name for His mother, Parvati). Several temple images of Vinayaka are also found in the Jainism dominated states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Travelers to Mumbai can find a Ganesha carving at the beautiful, marble Jain temple in Walkeshwar.

Typically, Ganesha is looked upon as a guardian and not a principal deity in Jainism – hence, His image on door frames or basements of Jain temples.

Somewhere between the sixth and tenth century, ancient India saw a surge in trade and commercial activity. This period coincided with a rise in Ganesha worship among the merchant community – early inscriptions suggest that the practice of ‘Ganesha first’ originated with traders. It’s also possible that Ganesha took on some of the functions traditionally associated with Kubera, the god of wealth and naturally, became attractive to merchant communities.

Ganesha travelled into neighboring Asian countries along with merchants seeking new markets – this is based on the finding of fifth or sixth century Ganesha images in Myanmar, where Mahayana Buddhism had taken root. In Nepal, Heramba a 16-headed form of Ganesha was popularly worshipped.

Ganesha plays a dual role in Buddhism – a Buddhist god in His own right, as well as a Hindu deity, known as Vinayaka. The Buddhist Vinayaka assumed the form of Nritta Ganapati or Dancing Ganesha, whose popularity in North India spread into Nepal and later, Tibet.


Stone and bronze statues found in excavations suggest that Ganesha arrived in Cambodia around the 6th or 7th century, long before the vast, powerful Khmer Empire co-opted Hinduism and Buddhism as its official religions. Temple inscriptions in eastern Cambodia’s Champa region suggest that Shiva worship was widely prevalent.

Cambodia’s early Ganesha closely resembled Gupta representations – large, fan-shaped ears, no headgear, two arms and only slightly pot-bellied. Strangely, other Indian representations like the Nritta Ganapati, Ganesha with his consorts or parents failed to reach Cambodia during the Khmer era.

Innumerable Ganesha idols have also been unearthed in Vietnam, once part of the Khmer Empire. They can be seen in the Cham Museum of Art, Danang and Saigon Museum. In both Cambodia and Vietnam, Ganesha continues to inspire artisans who produce images in varying forms.


Tibetan Buddhism, with its strong Tantric leanings, took a fascinatingly ambivalent view of Ganesha. Robert L. Brown (Ganesh: Studies of an Asian God) says these sharply contrasting versions can best be understood by seeing Ganesha as a Janus-like deity, rather than two different gods. As Lord of Obstacles, He controls impediments in their entirety. In His negative – read Tantric – aspect, He creates or chooses to condone the existence of problems. The benign Puranic Ganesha, removes obstacles or refrains from creating them. Seventh and eighth century Buddhist texts from China, originally authored by Indians, state that Ganesha started off as an obstacle-creator – vigna-karta – who had to be ritually appeased so He would keep away. Around the sixth century, this willful, dangerous being metamorphosed into a benign vigna-harta or obstacle-remover and entered the Hindu pantheon!

In Tibetan Buddhism however, the Tantric, malevolent Ganesha prevailed over the kindlier version. Tibetan iconography shows Him being trampled underfoot by Mahakala, the Protector of Dharma. He is known as Maha Rakta Ganapati, a fearsome emanation of Avalokiteswara, with a red body, three eyes and twelve hands holding various weapons as well as skull cups filled with human flesh and blood.

I must Thank Ganesh Blog for the various images of Ganesh.

Ganesh wood carving. Japan. Early Buddhist brought Ganesh to Japan.
Ganesh wood carving. Japan. Early Buddhist brought Ganesh to Japan.

The Tantric Ganesha found in other Southeast Asian countries has echoes in Java as well. A 13th century Ganesha statue from Bara in east Java represents him as both Creator and Destroyer of Obstacles. Over the years, excavations have thrown up several Ganesha images all over the island.
The Tantric Ganesha found in other Southeast Asian countries has echoes in Java as well. A 13th century Ganesha statue from Bara in east Java represents him as both Creator and Destroyer of Obstacles. Over the years, excavations have thrown up several Ganesha images all over the island.


More details for those of you who are curious..

A  Hindu version of the Mantra. This is performed by children but has something very special about it. I like both versions. The mantra is powerful and inviting and for me a deep reminder of my days in an Ashram.

Whether you recite, whisper or utter them silently to yourself, mantra japa or repetitive chanting is said to be the simplest way to access God. The 15 Ganesha mantras are described as ‘siddhi mantras’ (siddhi in Sanskrit  varyingly means “perfection”, “accomplishment” or attainment of spiritual power.), with each one containing powers attributed to the elephant God. Meditating on these awakens our own untapped potential for accomplishment in varied endeavors. Regular chanting will also enhance one’s ‘psychic body’, energizing the kundalini or subtle energy that lies coiled at the base of the spine. Thus, the worshipper is freed from negative thoughts and emotions; at the same time, his mortal body too is cleansed of toxins.

Om shrim hrim klim glaum gam ganapataye… 
vara varada sarva
janamme vashamanaya svaha

The bell-like tones of this mantra bring forth a shower of blessings from Ganesha. In uttering them, the worshipper surrenders his ego to the Lord, seeking His protection and grace at all times.  Notice the first line which contains several seed (in Sanskrit, “beej”) mantras, single syllabic utterances from Vedic texts whose meanings vary depending on their intonation and the purpose of incantation. ‘Om’ for instance, is an affirmative sound, one which fuels our energies and is associated with divine protection and benevolence. ‘Shrim’ invokes love and beauty; it concerns the heart and hence, both physical and emotional health. ‘Hrim’ is associated with Maya, a syllable that empowers us to see through the illusory nature of the world. ‘Klim’ is forceful, stimulating and energizing; symbolically, it is represented by a thunderbolt that destroys lowly ignorance. ‘Glaum’ is the earth element while ‘Gam’ is the primal Seed, Ganesha himself. In chanting this mantra, the devotee seeks the grace of Ganesha in his present life and all future lifetimes.


4 thoughts on “Ganesha – He Who Removes Obstacles – Religion

  1. Om shrim hrim klim glaum gam ganapataye…
    vara varada sarva
    janamme vashamanaya svaha

    I chanted this mantra 440 times before sunrise and before sunset for 41 days and I have experienced earth water fire air spece heaven and highest experience within.
    If not experienced by 50 days then chant 5000 mantra of chamunda or shakti ma, and 5000 mantra of shiva. Om namah shivai

    May God, Goddess and Ganesh shower blessing upon you.

    If I can be of any help contact me

    Jai Shri Krishna


Hope to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s