May 26, 2009
You can call Lord Ganesh by any name and He will still pay close attention to everything you say and convey to Him. The hundred eight names of Lord Ganesh help us in understanding His potential and power over the material world. Some of His fierce qualities destroy evil while His divine compassion enriches the life of his devotees.
Many devotees understand the power of these names and use it to name their children. The power of the names blesses the child daily and calling out to him or her also remind us of the Lord in good times and bad. The names always make us aware that His Kripa is always around us.
1) Akhuratha – This refers to the one who has the mouse as his vehicle. Here it brings a comparison of sizes. The tiny mouse versus the larger body of his rider is what we all notice. But the physical body which is of no importance. What matters the most is the soul. This is the true essence of the life force.
2) Alampata – This means eternal. His governance over the cosmic world is unlimited and unbound.
3) Anantachidrupamayam – This denotes the infinite and the consciousness personified. Lord Ganesh resides in all our hearts but we are incapacitated with delusions of the material world. But he can be achieved through devotion and meditation.
4) Amit – This stands for the one who is beyond comparison. Lord Ganesh is the only god to be associated in a “physical” sense with the primordial sacred sound Om (Aum). Thus he is beyond comparison.
5) Avaneesh – This stands for the master of the whole earth. He is the protector, the healer and protector of all.
6) Avighna – Lord Ganesh as the avighna removes all the obstacles that come in the path of his devotees. He fulfils the desires of those who remember Him and chant His holy name fervently.
7) Balaganapati – This is child form of Lord Ganesh. His beloved form revered by all the Gods.
8) Bhalchandra – Bhal refers to the part of the head above the eyebrows. Chandra represents the moon. The frequencies arising from the moon are of affection, mercifulness and motherly love so the one who adorns such a ‘crescent moon’ on the forehead is Bhalchandra. This name is used for Lord Shiva. Since Lord Ganesh is his son, it is also linked with him.
9) Bheema – This means gigantic.
10) Bhoopati – This represents the lord of the lords. He is also the master of the ganas or celestial beings and is worshipped by the gods of all the three worlds.
11) Bhoovanpati – He is the lord of the universe whom the trinity pay their obeisances. The trinity represents Lord Brahma (the creator), Lord Shiva (the destroyer) and Lord Vishnu (the protector).
12) Buddhinath – He is the lord of wisdom (buddhi). His knowledge is unfathomable and leaves other gods in awe.
13) Buddhipriya – He bestows knowledge to his worshipper. He controls the Mooladhara chakra or plexus from where the kundalini rises. Through his blessings the devotees is able to channelize this energy.
14) Buddhividhata – He is the god of wisdom who blesses those who chant his name with unwavering faith and devotion.
15) Chaturbhujeti – Chatur means four and Bhuj means armed. The four arms of Lord Ganesh symbolically represent the four castes that classify the Hindus- Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra.
16) Devadeva – He is the lord of all the lords. He is called upon first before any auspicious event/ceremonies and worshipped by all the gods and goddesses of the three worlds.
17) Devantakanashakarin – This denotes as the destroyer of demons. Thus he maintains peace and harmony in the three worlds.
18) Devavrata – He accepts all penances from his devotees. All the austerities performed with pure faith and devotion never go unnoticed. All wants and desires are fulfilled.
19) Devendrashika – This means he is the protector of the Gods. He helps anyone who calls upon him in danger and maintains peace everywhere.
20) Dharmik – He favours the one who is charitable. He guides his devotees on the right path and helps them to imbibe some of his divine qualities like forgiveness, compassionate and goodness.
21) Dhoomravarna – Dhumra means smoke. The smoke is the first state of materialization. It is the transitory state between the solid manifestation (sagun) and the unmanifested (nirgun) state. Thus the one who possesses such a smoky complexion is called Dhumravarna.
22) Durja – Lord Ganesh is invincible. He is all pervading and has no beginning and no end. He is omnipresent.
23) Dvaimatura- He is said to be the son of two mothers- Goddess Parvati and Mother Ganga (the river).
24) Ekaakshara – Eka means one and akshara means the single syllable. He is the symbol of Om that resonates the sound of purity.
25) Ekadanta – Eka represents one and danta means teeth (tusk). It is symbolic of the singular Brahman. He is the one who shows the direction to acquire the spiritual experience of the non-dual Brahman. Ekadanta also teaches us to let go of our ego.
26) Ekadrishta – Lord Ganesh is the controller of all directions. As Ekadrishta he tells us to be a one-pointed devotee who doesn’t get distracted with temptations.
27) Eshanputra – He is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. He is their beloved and enchants everyone with his divine qualities.
28) Gadadhara – Gada means mace (weapon). He uses this to fight and destroy the evil demons.
29) Gajakarna – This is known as elephant-eyed. His small yet powerful eyes watch over all the creatures without discrimination.
30) Gajanana – This means elephant-faced. He is the lord of all auspicious things and wards away evil. He radiates the power of wisdom yet his gentleness makes him everyone’s favorite deity.
31) Gajananeti – Lord Ganesh with the head of an elephant is beyond the rules of cosmic orderliness. He is the embodiment of peace and tranquility.
32) Gajavakra – The curved trunk of Lord Ganesh is shaped in the form of Om. The trunk symbolizes knowledge, power of discrimination which one requires to progress on the spiritual path.
33) Gajavaktra – Gaja means clouds. He represents the dyu lok (the place where the Gods reside). Vaktrat means mouth. Thus he is the one whose mouth constitutes the dyu lok.
34) Ganadhakshya – Gana means the celestial hordes and Adhakshya means leader. He is the commander of the celestial beings and is worshipped by mortals and immortals.
35) Ganadhyakshina – He is the lord of the celestials.
36) Ganapati – Lord Ganesh is also known as Ganapati- the nurturer. This supreme deity is the master of the entire cosmos.
37) Gaurisuta – Gauri is the other name of Goddess Parvati and Suta means son. He is Parvati’s divine son who was created from the surface of her body.
38) Gunina – He is the lord of all virtues. His supreme form radiates divine powers and fills the hearts of all with devotion.
39) Haridra – This refers to the one with the golden complexion like the gleaming glaze of the sun’s rays.
40) Heramba – He is the beloved and virtuous son of his mother. His radiant ethereal form is adored by all.
41) Kapil – This tawny-coloured deity fulfils all the desires of the people, reminding them that the path of salvation is near; all they have to do is use their wisdom and devotion to reach it.
42) Kaveesha – This stands for the lord of the poets. As he is also the lord of wisdom, he instills faith and courage among those who call upon him before writing. This helps them to express themselves and he removes all obstacles.
43) Kirti – This represents the Lord as a lover of music (Nada Brahman). One derives the knowledge of music by his divine Grace.
44) Kripakaram – Kripa means mercy. He is merciful to those who reflect on their sins and ask forgiveness.
45) Krishapingaksha – This word is derived from Krushna which means the one with a dark complexion, pinga refers to the smoky and aksha means the eye. Symbolically this means that dark complexion is the earth and the smoky refers to the clouds. So he has the earth and clouds in his eyes. Thus he can perceive everything that happens on earth as well as in the clouds.
46) Kshamakaram – Kshama means to forgive. Realizing our sins and asking for his forgiveness with humility will take us to his abode of forgiveness. He is compassionate and ever-forgiving.
47) Kshipra – Those who regularly pray, sing his glories and chant his divine names are always under his protection. Whenever they are in need he quickly (kshipra) comes to their aid.
48) Lambakarna – This means the one with the large ears. His winnowing ears tells us to listen to what is crucial for salvation and chaff away the remaining unwanted information.
49) Lambodara – Lambodar is derived from lamba (large) and udar means belly/stomach. According to Saint Eknath this means that the entire visible and invisible creation dwells in Ganesh. So he is called Lambodar.
50) Mahabala – His large physique denotes his immense strength. He has the power to assimilate the information of the entire cosmos.
51) Mahaganapati – Lord Ganesh is omnipotent and his powers are unlimited and beyond the perception of the mortal beings.
52) Maheshwaram – He is the lord from whom the universe was created. He represents the eternal Brahman.
53) Mangalamoorti – This auspicious form is worshipped and called upon by all gods and goddess in their time of need, seeking power and strength in their fight and attain victory against all evil. Like Lord Shiva called Lord Ganesh to give him power to destroy the demon Tripurasur, Lord Vishnu asked for his might when he was tying King Bali, Lord Brahma need him when he was creating the world and his mother needed his help when she was fighting the demon Manisha.
54) Manomay – His adorable form, grace-filled, compassionate eyes captures the hearts of those who look upon him. He conquers the hearts of his devotees and fills them with pure love.
55) Mritunjaya – He is immortal. Mritu means death and Jaya denotes to the one who has victory. So he is the one who has conquered death.
56) Mudakaram – He is the abode of joy. By chanting his holy name with devotion, he bestows upon people the wealth, wisdom, good fortune and looks after their well-being.
57) Muktidaya – He is the giver of eternal peace and liberates the soul on death.
58) Musikvahan – Musik means the mouse and Vahan is a vehicle. The mouse symbolically represents our senses which tend to go overboard with our desire for unlimited materialistic demands. Thus praying to Ganesh helps us in controlling these undesirable traits.
59) Nadapratithista – He is the lover of music and is seen holding a veena (musical instrument) in his hands.
60) Namasthetu – He is known to destroyer all the sins and uplift those to take his refuge.
61) Nandana – He is the eldest son of Lord Shiva and was created by his mother Parvati.
62) Nideeswaram – He is the master of all kinds of treasures. He is abound with the knowledge of all the three worlds and his divine qualities make him all pervading.
63) Pashin –This represents as one who sits like a rock. He is the repository of knowledge, unshakeable and focused in doing what is best for mankind. He is unwavering and solid like a rock.
64) Pitambar – Pitamber denotes the yellow colour. He is dressed in this colour which personifies purity.
65) Pramod – As the lord of the place, He provides shelter to the homeless. This symbolically means those who have lost their way in this world and want to seek salvation but don’t know how seek his refuge. He gives them support and helps them to come home to him.
66) Prathameshvar – Pratham means first. He is the lord of auspicious who is worshipped in the beginning of every event of one’s life. He is revered first by every god in the cosmic system.
67) Purush – He has supreme authority over the universe. He is invincible and his eternal spirit is changeless.
68) Rakta – This denotes the bright red colour (blood like) of his complexion.
69) Rudrapriya – Rudra is the other name of his father Lord Shiva and priya means lovable/beloved. He is Shiva’s adorable son.
70) Sarvadevatman – Whatever is offered to Lord Ganesh he willingly accepts them and showers his blessings, whether the offerings are from ordinary mortals or celestial beings. He treats everyone equally.
71) Sarvasiddhanta – Those who worship him in full faith and devotion are always provided with support and guidance. Whenever a devotee calls him, he comes to his rescue with adeptness and transforms the anxiety into happiness.
72) Sarvatman – He is omniscient and rules over the entire universe. He provides salvation to those who desire it and keep unfathomable faith in him.
73) Shambhavi – This stands for Parvati’s son. His parents feel proud of him because of his infinite wisdom and his adorable ways of teaching people how to respect to their elders.
74) Shashivarnam – This denotes to the one who has the complexion of that of the moon. He radiates the luminance of the full moon which brings peace and joy to the people who seek comfort. It also indicates enlightenment.
75) Shoorpakarnai – This describes him as the one with large ears. He uses these to attentively hear all our prayers and sorrows. He is all pervading and always listening.
76) Shuban – No task is completed without calling upon him as he stands apart from the rest as the Lord of Auspiciousness. He removes the obstacles that may come in the way and secures the completion of all tasks.
77) Shubhagunakanan – Divine virtues encompass him as He is the symbol of perfection.
78) Shweta- This means white colour. He also appears radiant in this complexion keeping his devotees in awe when they worship him.
79) Siddhidhata – He bestows success to those who are fervent in their devotion and do not waver in their chosen path.
80) Siddhipriya – He is easily pleased with devotion and fulfils all the desires and wants of his followers.
81) Siddhivinayaka – He is the lord of compassion and never disappoints anyone who seek him. He bestows his devotees with success, wisdom and sometimes gives them more than they have asked for.
82) Skandapoorvaja – Lord Ganesh is the older brother of Lord Skanda (his other names are Kartikay, Subramanium). His virtues are insurmountable.
83) Sumukha – His unique features attract us to him and his trunk forms the auspicious sign of Om.
84) Sureshwaram – He is the lord of all the gods and celestial beings.
85) Swaroop – He is the lover of all the beautiful things in the cosmos and it is he who has created them with perfection.
86) Tarun – This is the youthful form of Lord Ganesh who is depicted in red complexion, representing strength and power.
87) Uddanda – He is ever-forgiving to those who solemnly seek his forgiveness, but he also punishes the wrong doer. Thus helping the sinners to realize their mistakes and evil deeds.
88) Umaputra – The other name of Goddess Parvati is Uma. This obedient and virtuous son was created by her alone.
89) Vakratunda – This stands for the one with the skewed trunk. He punishes those who follow the wrong (unrighteous) path and leads them to the righteous path.
90) Varaganapati – The compassionate Lord never discriminates and showers the wealth of knowledge, wisdom, luck, material comforts to those who come to him humbly.
91) Varaprada – He never turns his back to those who seek his refuge, whether one seeks materialistic pleasures or path of salvation.
92) Varadavinayaka – He is the eternal giver and bestows everyone with the desired boons.
93) Veeraganapati – He is the form of a valiant warrior who destroys evil and maintains peace and harmony. He has eight pairs of arms holding weapons for destruction.
94) Vidyavaridh – He is the lord of knowledge and wisdom. He is the master of eighteen vidyas.
95) Vignahara – He destroys evil and maintains peace and harmony in the cosmos.
96) Vignaharta – Chanting His holy name removes all the impediments that one tends to face in life.
97) Vighnanashin – Vighna stands for obstacles and Nashin refers to the one who destroys. Thus he is called the destroyer of obstacles. He brings happiness, fulfillment and instills faith in those who call upon him.
98) Vighnaraja – The invincible lord shows his mercy and helps us progress in our path by removing all the obstacles, making it easier to get closer to him.
99) Vighnarajendra – He is the lord of all obstacles. He vanquishes the demons and enemies which disrupts our lives. He also tests to see how much we love him – whether we think of him only in our bad times or also when celebrating our happy days.
100) Vighnavinashanaya – He takes this form to destroy the afflictions of our lives.
101) Vigneshwar- The one who controls and destroys obstacles is called Vighnesh.
102) Vikat –Vikat means the one who generates frequencies in a specific manner and endows the final liberation.
103) Vinayaka – This means the one who is endowed with all the qualities of a leader. He is the supreme leader of all the ganas and celestial demigods.
104) Vishwamukha – He is supreme and is present in every soul. As the lord of the Universe, he is boundless and one can never get tired of chanting his divine names.
105) Yagnakaya – The kind-hearted Lord readily accepts everything that is offered to him with love and devotion, including sacrificial fires.
106) Yashaskaram – Yash stands for fame. He grants fame and glory to those who seek him.
107) Yashvasin – There is no end to the glories of Lord Ganesh. Those who sing his praises can only experience the bliss of his divinity.
108) Yogadhipa – His name should be chanted before every task to seek his blessings including meditation. He represents eternal truth and reality.
©Nayna, 2007-2009. All Rights Reserved.
May 22, 2009
Diet plans, weight loss programs, fitness equipments, weight loss testimonials and diet foods all govern our daily lives. There is not a single person in this world that has not gone on a diet at least once in their lifetime.
Earlier weight loss programs were meant for those ailing from some health conditions. They were expected to lose weight and that too were under constant supervision of their doctor. Now losing weight has become part of life.
Teenagers have become more weight conscious than adults to follow fashion trends. They look up to models and movies stars as their fashion icon and role models. Rarely do they consult licensed health practitioners instead try out diet fads passed on by friends and gym buddies.
Water diet, fruit diet, detox diet, all protein diet and the list of diets are endless. They seek instant results without giving a second thought to their age, nutritional requirements and metabolic rate.
According to new research, we all can lose weight if we get a good night sleep. Sounds unbelievable? But it’s true.
An international team in Washington, Walter Reed Army Medical Centre, has found that lack of sleep can affect a person’s hormone levels which may trigger hunger. This tends to slow down metabolism and could thereby cause them to eat more thus enhancing the process of easy weight gain. The research explains that the body mass index of a person is directly associated to the length and quality of sleep. The longer the subjects in the test slept, the slimmer they were.
The best way to reap the benefits of this research is to sleep on time. If nothing else, you will wake up fresh, energized, stress-free and ready to tackle the hurdles of the day. There are foods available in the market that helps to induce sleep. Besides, there are techniques like sound meditation, breathing exercises and sleep audio CD’s that help to sleep. Once the sleep cycle is set then undisturbed sleep is guaranteed.
©Nayna, 2007-2009. All Rights Reserved.
May 18, 2009
Paranormal anomalies follow me everywhere. One of my globe-trotting adventures enticed me to Tibet. To reach this destination, I had to pass the Chinese border and complete the immigration formalities. After several hours of waiting in line at Nepal, my passport details were finally entered into their system and I crossed to the other side.
The rest of my group didn’t want to proceed ahead until they had tucked in authentic local cuisine. They stumbled upon the first restaurant in sight and with feasting eyes surveyed the menu. Few of them, couldn’t wait to order while others were discussing the specialty of the day.
I ordered soup and decided to freshen up. I left my backpack with my friends to regain the flexibility of my spine. The restaurant didn’t seem to display any signs or symbols indicating a restroom so I went to inquire at the reception. The lobby was buzzing with backpackers, all waiting endlessly to check in. Though the place was a little shabby, (Well, one can’t expect Hilton at the border of two countries) but the people around didn’t seem to mind and many waited to get a table at the restaurant.
“Excuse me, Can you tell me where the restroom is?” I asked.
A woman behind the counter pointed upstairs. I dashed up the carpeted stairway only to find a blind turn. I followed it and found a landing. To my left and right, there was continuous array of rooms. The corridor was pitch black and silent. It didn’t seem like the rooms were occupied. Only the landing where I stood was lit up. I couldn’t even hear the buzz of chatter from the reception. It just didn’t feel right.
I ran down the stairs, contemplating whether I really needed to use the facilities. Then I calculated the distance and hours we needed to travel to reach the base camp by sunset, and of course, I had ordered soup.
I walked up to the lady again, “I can’t find it. Can you show me?”
She kept pointing up. I shook my head. “I can’t find it.” I said, repeatedly. But the woman didn’t seem interested to climb the twenty odd stairs and help me out
A young waitress passing from the kitchen, decided to intervene.
“Follow me,” said the doll-faced waitress.
She took me to the same landing and then took a left turn. We walked in complete darkness and found light at the end of the corridor. She smiled, bowed and left.
I stepped into the lighted restroom. Two sinks with dripping taps broke the intimidating silence. I pushed open the slightly ajar bathroom stall only to retreat instantly. It wasn’t fit for use. So I waited hoping the other shut stall would soon be vacant. I coughed, hoping that the user of the second stall would understand that someone was waiting for their turn. I paced the floor, glancing time to time at the gloomy mirrors.
To my surprise, I noticed that the entrance of the restroom didn’t have a door. Neither did it have a sign nor a picture depicting ladies or gents. Now, the muscles of my kidneys were getting strained and they definitely needed to relax. I tapped lightly on the bolted stall door. But there was still no answer. The dripping taps made things even worse. I had to go and there was no turning back. I took deep breaths- inhaled, exhaled, then held my breath and walked in. I really had to get over with it. In situations like these, I wished that I was a man.
The floor was slippery but I managed to maintain my balance. Next, the door wouldn’t shut. I pushed it, but it returned to its original position, slightly ajar. I thought maybe it would be okay, since there wasn’t a soul around. Then I realized that this could be a unisex bathroom. I pushed hard and pounded with all my strength and finally managed to close the door. I couldn’t help but turned around to see the stall. The area was really large and it was one of those facilities where the commode was embedded in the floor.
An unusual feeling swept over me. My attention was drawn to a corner of the stall and in a split second, I saw a girl sitting there with dark, flowing hair. She looked almost like Samara in the movie, The Ring. Goosebumps prickled my skin. I squatted on the floor to empty my bladder. Suddenly, I got a feeling that whoever was in the adjoining stall would spread their arms and grab my legs. Things got even worse; my kidneys were planning to set a new world record of storing over ten gallons of fluid and the water was trickling out at a very slow pace. My inner voice was ordering me- Get Out Now.
I hurriedly zipped up and tried to dash out, but the door was stuck. There was no handle from the inside. I was trapped. Like a fool, I had left my waist pouch in my backpack. It had my cell phone and prayer beads. Fear was slowly creeping in. A part of me dismissed that I had seen that girl who resembled Samara. But why would I think of the movie now. I stood calmly for a second and rationalized my thinking- “I am in China and the girls at the reception looked like movie characters.”
I was terrified to bang the door. I didn’t want to disturb the tranquility of the space and I was afraid that the banging could jam the door further. The eerie feeling lingered and something was forcing me to turn back at the wall. I didn’t want to witness what had flashed in front of my eyes few seconds ago. I felt helpless but I refused to give in. I stood on my toes and tried pulling the door from the edge. I struggled and struggled until my sweaty palms finally felt the wooden door loosen.
I ran. I stumbled in the pitch black corridor but never looked back. My heart was pounding while the veins in my temples were throbbing. Mentally I visualized my escape route. My freedom was destined if I took the first right turn. And I succeeded. I retraced my way down the stairs. Breathless and sweating profusely, I reached to my seat.
“Where were you?” asked Sage. “Sorry, we started without you.”
I collapsed on the chair and sat in silence. I skipped lunch, making an excuse that it was cold.
As I write this incident, that feeling of dread creeps in and prickles my skin again. I know whatever was lingering in that bathroom stall was certainly real.
©Nayna, 2007-2009. All Rights Reserved.