Friday, April 24, 2009

Mahaganapathim Manasa Smarami


There are 32 forms of Sri Ganapathi also known as Ganesha and fondly called as 'Pillaiyar' in Tamil (தமிழ்)

Ganesha s also called Vinayaka - Nayaka means Hero / Leader and Vi means without. There is not further hero / leader to Vinayaka because He is the Supreme!

He is one of my favorite deities who responds in a trice to all His devotees, even if they don't ask for help explicitly to Him! He is considered by many as the primary deity of the Hindu pantheon.

I was listening to 'Maha Ganapathim Manasa Smarami' set in Nattai ragam and Rupaka Talam and composed by the Genius - Sri Muthuswamy Dikshitar.

Pallavi
Sri Maha Ganapathim Manasa Smarami

In the first line of the pallavi, Sri Dikshitar asks his mind (manasa) to think / remember (smarami) about the (glory of) Sri Maha Ganapathi.

Vasishta Vamadevadi Vandita (Maha Ganapathim)
Sri Ganesha is extolled to praised by great Rishis like Sri Vashishta and Sri Vamadeva.


"Sri Maha Ganapathim Manasa Smarami
Vashishta Vamadevadi Vandita

Oh Mind! Please meditate on the glory of Sri Maha Ganapathi, who is extolled by Sri Vashishta and Sri Vamadeva"


Anupallavi
Mahadeva Sutam
Lord Shiva is the Supreme(Maha) of Gods(Deva) - Lord Ganesha is His Son (sutam)

Guruguhanutam
His younger brother Guruguha (or Kartikeya or Murugan) always praises His brother. The term Guruguha is also the signature (mudra) of Sri Dikshitar. [There is a deep link between Sri Subrahmanya / Murugan and Sri Dikshitar - I'll discuss it sometime later]

Marakoti Prakasham
Of all devas, Manmatha / Mara (Cupid) is claimed to be the most beautiful one. But, here Ganesha shines (prakasham) like koti/crore (10 million) Maras! (mara koti) - Sri Ganesha's form should be a delight to behold!

Shantam
Sri Ganesha is also the epitome of peace. Shantam (peace) is His Nature.

Mahakaavya Natakadhi priyam
Sri Ganapati takes a strong liking (priyam) to great literature (maha kaavya) and drama (nataka). May be that's why he volunteered to be a scribe for Mahabharata when Vyaasa was set to compose it.

Mooshika Vahana
The Big Elephant has a small mouse (mooshika) as his mount (vahanam) - The mooshika was actually an Asura named 'Kayamukhasura' who had the blessing of immortality from Shiva. When the asura turned evil, He defeated Him and changed him to a mouse and made him His Vahanam.

Modhaka Priyam
Modhakam is a kind of sweet also called 'kozhukkattai' (கொழுக்கட்டை) in Tamil. Ganesha loves this sweet - So, it is traditional to offer this sweet to Him on Ganesha Chaturtthi.

I have no idea why this song doesn't have Charanam. May be the experts who know can share it with us all.

May Sri Maha Ganapathi bless us all!

35 comments:

Meenakshi Sankaran said...

How many times have I sung that song without actually thinking about the words? Too many times....Thank you, Sriram, for the fantastic analysis of the song. Pillayar is indeed one of my favorite deities.

Sriram V Iyer said...

Hi Meena: Thanks! Needless to say, tons of encouragement from you during my previous US trip sent me back to Carnatic music :-) (I was listening but not singing :D) - Spl thanks to Chitra/Ravi and Naari too!

All said, Pillayar is a cool dude :-) - And one of my permanent favorites!

Venkat.R said...

Dude.

I like this one a lot.
Keep blogging!

Venky

Sriram V Iyer said...

Thanks, Venkat! :-)

Meenakshi Sankaran said...

Sriram,

Check out the link below to receive your award.

http://blog.richmondtamilsangam.org/2009/08/blog-post_29.html

Sriram V Iyer said...

Thanks for the Award, Meena!

Mathi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mathi said...

Hi Sri,

Wonderful article and excellent analysis of the song.. Let me search for the song and listen to it straight away! (or you can mail me :-))...

Regards
Mathi

Sriram V Iyer said...

Singa Mathi, I'll sure send you the link with the song! I thought I'd sing and record and send it to you :D

But did not want to spoil your day! :D

Kaushik said...

Very nice. :) I came across your blog while searching for the "Maha Ganapathim" song from Amarkkalam. This wasn't what I was looking for, but it definitely is more than that, and worthwhile too. :)

Sriram V Iyer said...

Thanks Kaushik! I didn't know one could land on this blog that way :D - Good to know you and glad you liked!

rashmi said...

hi thanks a ton i was teaching my six year old son mahaganapatim manasa smarami analysis of the song by u has made my job easier i can tell him the meanin of the song word 2 word in such a easier way that he has learnt the song very soon with the meanin thanks

Anonymous said...

Namaste Sriram,

I was so worried to have this song danced in a temple without knowing the complete meaning. Now that i have understood, i can hold my mudras according to each and every word with my inner most bakthi.

Thank you so much. Maha Ganapathi...here i come.......bless me oh removal of obstacles.

Vijay
(Malaysia)

Sriram V Iyer said...

Rashmi:I am so glad that this post helped you and your 6 yr old son!

Vijay: As you rightly pointed out, understanding the verse is the best way to bring out the 'bhaavam' - May Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles bless us all!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this worthy article, it's very much conspicuous blogs

Vishy said...

Fantastic and brilliant. Pls write more!

Sriram V Iyer said...

Hi Vishy: Thanks! :) Planning to write on 'Paahimam Shri Rajarajeshwari' next :)

The Dark Lord said...

SP Balasubrahamanyam sang this kriti in a movie called "Indra" and made mincemeat of it ... filmy singers shud stick to filmy songs n not try to be a "jack of all trades" ...
btw, just a small correction on ur take on ganesha volunteering to be vyasa's scribe. Vyasa went to Brahma n told him that he had composed of a mahakavyam but he was unable to find a scribe. Brahma then asks him to go to Ganesha n request him to be the scribe.

Sriram V Iyer said...

@The Dark Lord (nice name btw!) - Thanks for your inputs! Didnt know that SPB sang this as well :D

Anonymous said...

it is great to know the meaning of the composition while listening to it.
it was very helpful in understanding each part of the composition.

god bless!!!!

Srini said...

Thank you Sriram for the meaning of Maha Ganapathi Song. God(Lord Ganesha) Bless you.

Srini said...

Thanks a lot Sriram for providing the meaning of 'Mahaganapathim Manasa Smarami'. God(Lord Ganesh) bless you always.

Ram said...

The inner meaning of Modhaka Priyam can also be interpreted like: Modhakam also means Anandha / Supreme Bliss. So, Vinayaka is the God who always wishes Anandha.. Priya in sanskrit also means, favourable, companion, etc. Hence, Modhaka Priyam also can be known as "One who is favourable / companion / always in fond of Anandha"... Gaanaapathya Upaasakaas always worship Ganapathi as the supreme and granter of Supreme Anandha..

And yes of course, Modhakam also means the famous and delicious Kozhukattai.. :)

Felt like sharing this Vedantic aspect of this naamaa, which Dikshitar has used..

Sriram V Iyer said...

Ram Sir, That was brilliant - Again!

The inner meaning of Modhaka is indeed Bliss. Like Ambal (Svatmarama), Ganesha also is in a state of Permanant bliss and grants the state of Highest Bliss.

Anonymous said...

I want the "SWARAM"
of maha ganapathim. Plzz....

ramachandran narayanasamy said...

excellent. Thank you. This helps me to sing with understanding.

Sriram V Iyer said...

@Ramachandran: Glad you liked it. Thanks for the feedback

@Anonymous: I am the wrong guy to ask for Swarams :-)

Chakradhar.G said...

It may be impertinent to ask this here...but couldn't resist. I have been trying to know the meaning of the following mantra which is recited to praise Sir Arthur Cotton during sankalpam for godavari snanam. Hope you can translate it. The hymn is

Nitya Godavari Snana punyadoyomahamathihi
smaramangleya desiyam cottonum tham bageeratham

Ramesh Krishnamoorthy Rao Rao said...

Hi Sriram...Yes, I too have heard quite a lot of times, because of Ilayaraja's beautiful composition and the excellent base voice of Yesudas... Every time I listen or any number of times I listen, I am mesmerised by the simple background (accompaniment)of Ilayaraja's music and the base voice of Yesudas, but never did I realise to understand the meaning. Suddenly, just this morning when I felt an urge to listen to this song, there was an equivalent urge in me to know the meaning, and to my surprise, I found the beautiful / deeper meanings of the song and the glory of Ganesa, through you.. Great work, Sriram, keep it up..Also, go on exploring and upload the meanings of many Carnatic Songs for the benefit of such listeners like me... Ramesh

Ramesh Krishnamoorthy Rao Rao said...

Hi Sriram...Yes, I too have heard quite a lot of times, because of Ilayaraja's beautiful composition and the excellent base voice of Yesudas... Every time I listen or any number of times I listen, I am mesmerised by the simple background (accompaniment)of Ilayaraja's music and the base voice of Yesudas, but never did I realise to understand the meaning. Suddenly, just this morning when I felt an urge to listen to this song, there was an equivalent urge in me to know the meaning, and to my surprise, I found the beautiful / deeper meanings of the song and the glory of Ganesa, through you.. Great work, Sriram, keep it up..Also, go on exploring and upload the meanings of many Carnatic Songs for the benefit of such listeners like me... Ramesh

Sriram V Iyer said...

Dear Ramesh,
Glad you liked the meaning of the song - I have written about few other songs as well. I'll keep writing!

Thanks for stopping by and passing on your feedback.

Regards
Sriram

bharathy balu said...

Thank you very much for the detailed analysis and meaning. It helped us choreograph meaningfully.

Deepa Bharath said...

Hi Sriram,
Very very detailed and beautifully explained word to word meaning of the song. This is the first song I probably learnt from my Guru while learning music and now, I just stumbled upon this site when I was digging the internet to understand the meaning to teach my dance students.
As Vijay says earlier, knowing the meaning makes u emote the right emotions of the song and does justice to the composer of the song.
Great Analysis and keep going! :)

I might request the meanings of few more songs soon. Hope that's okay!

Regards
Deepa

Deepa Bharath said...

Hi Sriram,
Very detailed and beautifully explained meanings of the song. This was the first song I learnt from my Guru way back in the 90's and it is very close to my heart.

Infact, I stumbled upon this site when I was searching for the meanings to teach the song for a performance to my dance students. As Vijay rightly said earlier, knowing the right and deeper meanings, help emotions to come out more from the heart.
Thank you so much again!

Would it be okay, if I request for meanings of few more songs later?

Regards
Deepa

Sriram V Iyer said...

Deepa,
Glad you liked this - I have a few more songs written already (Akhilandeshwari, Meenakshi Me Mudam Dehi) - I'll write more soon. Took upon a project to write on Kandhar Anubhuti and it is languishing for time too.

https://kandhar-anubhuti.blogspot.in/

Regards
Sriram