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Ucchishta Ganapati

 

There are repeated queries regarding the upAsanA of ucChiShTa mahAgaNapati and we have already responded to the extent we think is permissible on a public forum. There was one recent query on the relation between this form of gaNapati and sarasvatI.

It is said that the mUla virAT signifying the supreme kAmakalA and devoid of names and forms, known as brahma vastu (or as svAnandesha by the gANapatya-s), manifests as saguNa-brahman named guNesha and from him originate the personifications of guNas: brahmA, viShNu and rudra. ucChiShTa gaNapati represents a mUrti which encompasses in himself both these aspects - saguNa and nirguNa. Thus, the gANapatyas describe the origin of ucChiShTa gaNapati from guNeshvara while the shAkta visualization of this form is simply the same as shrI lalitAmbikA and kAmeshvara. The gaNas of which he is the pati represent the limitless vidyA-vrttis which aid the upAsaka in overcoming various vighnas that hinder Atma-vichAra. The same is stated in the yAmaLa:

utkR^iShTAshchApi shiShTAshcha praLaye nAshavarjitAH |
gaNA ucChiShTasaMjnADhyAsteShAM cha patirIshvaraH |
ucChiShTagaNapashcheti guNeshasambhavaH smR^itaH ||

A similar explanation can be seen in the rahasya-hR^idaya of this special form:

utkR^iShTAH j~nAninaH siddhAH kAraNabrahmalokagAH |
praLaye nAsharahitAH shiShTAste yogapAragAH |
ucChiShTAshcheti kathitAH teShAM cha pataye namaH ||

He is said to have chosen as his shakti sarasvatI, the daughter of brahmA and shAradA and puShTi-lakShmIH, the daughter of mahAviShNu and ramA:

sarasvatIM brahmaputrIM puShTilakShmIM hareH sutAm |
jagrAha vidhipUrvaM tu devocChiShTagaNAdhipaH ||

This simple story which is representative of the gANapatya view should be sufficient to dispel confusion in the minds of beginners; further on, direct upAsanA is the only way to understand the true essence of this mUrti and his shakti. It should however be understood that there are various aspects of this gaNapati as also of his shakti. The tantras and purANas describe various accounts of ucChiShTa gaNapati:

- As the adhipati of chidAkAsha or parachidvyoma, he is stationed in chintAmaNi dvIpa as shabda-brahma mUrti, united with his shakti like shabda and artha. 
- Incarnated as the son of shrI mahAtripurasundarI from chidagnikuNDa and is stationed on a rakta-padma in amR^itAbdhi. This form was worshipped by mahAvidyA bhuvaneshvarI. 
- He is stationed in the loka of kubera along with his shakti ucChiShTa-chANDAlinI or madhumatI, engaged in surata-krIDA. It is this form which is worshipped through vAmAchAra with peculiarities such as ucChiShTa japa etc. 
- He is accompanied by mahAvidyA nIlasarasvatI or tArA as his shakti in his own loka; this mahAvidyA not only accomplishes paravidyA-stambhana, sabhA-jaya etc. but also illuminates in one svAtmavidyA. 
- His shakti mahAsarasvatI represents the mAyA shakti of buddhi-devI who is the jananI of brahma-patnI sarasvatI. 
- He appears in twenty-eight forms in different varNas with a different shakti in each of these forms such as mohinI, yoginI, mahAvANI, puShTiH, sanjIvinI, vainAyakI etc. The AchAra or mode of worship of each of these forms are different.

The importance given to this form of gaNesha among the sixteen chief forms - be it in the gopura of shrIkAmAkShI at kAnchI, the shrine of tyAgarAja at kamalAlaya or the shrine of kamalAmbikA, the shrines of chidambareshvara or of jagannAtha at purI and pashupatinAtha at nepALa - speaks a lot.

Moreover, who does not like easy benefits in the current age?

alpAyAsairvinA kaShTairjapamAtreNa siddhidaH |
gurusantuShTimAtreNa kalau pratyakShasiddhidaH ||