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Ganesha or Ganapati

Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:16 am
by gingercatni
Hello

Can anyone explain to me what Ganesha or Ganapati (same person?) means in Buddhism? I read a rather horrible explanation that he is a form of Avalokitesvara who after killing Ganesha took his head and wears it as a protector. Is this true? I cannot imagine Avalokitesvara killing anything, he/she is a compasionate Bodhisattva, so were this story came from confuses me. I actually like Ganesha, so what he part he has in Buddhism would be very interesting.

Thanks

Re: Ganesha or Ganapati

Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:47 pm
by Konchog1
http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.ph ... t=Ganapati" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Re: Ganesha or Ganapati

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:35 am
by gingercatni
thanks but really didn't give me the answers I was after :smile: Was Ganesha really just brought into Buddhism to satisfy Hindu converts? I just don't understand his place in Buddhism.

Re: Ganesha or Ganapati

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:41 pm
by Nemo
The Buddha recommended the worship of Ganesha.

Re: Ganesha or Ganapati

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:49 pm
by Huseng
Nemo wrote:The Buddha recommended the worship of Ganesha.

Source?

Re: Ganesha or Ganapati

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:52 pm
by Nemo
Kanjur (Peijing # 338) Volume NG

Re: Ganesha or Ganapati

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:22 pm
by gingercatni
Nemo wrote:Kanjur (Peijing # 338) Volume NG
Homage to all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas


Thus have I once heard: The Blessed One was dwelling in Rajagriha together with a great community of 1250 monks and of Boddhisattva-Mahasattvas. At that time the Blessed One spoke to the Venerable Ananda: “O Ananda, the tasks of anyone who comprehends the Essence of Ganapati-Ganesvara will all be accomplished. One’s wishes are fulfilled by comprehending it and every mantra will bring attainment:


“Tadyatha/ Namo stute-maha-ganapataye svaha/Om kata kata/ Mata mata/ Dara dara/ vidara vidara/Hana hana/ Grihna grihna/ Dhava dhava/ Bhamja Bhamja/Stambha stambha/ Jambha jambha/ Moha moha/ Dehi dehi/Dapaya Dapaya/Dhana dhanya sidhi me prayaccha samaya-manu-smara maharudra vacaniye svaha/Om kuru kuru svaha/ Om turu turu/ Om muru muru svaha/Om bava samti vasu pushtim kuru svaha/Adguta bindu kshabhita mahavidara/ Sama-gacchati mahabaya/Mahabala/ Mahavarakra/ Mahahasti/ Maha-dakshini-ya praci-dayami svaha/Om kuru kuru/ Curu curu/ Muru muru/ Om ga ga ga ga ga ga ga ga/Om namo nama svaha/”



O Ananda, when any son of noble family, daughter of noble family, monk, nun, lay man or lay woman goes to a place of worship other than where the Three Jewels (are worshipped) or enters the palace retinue of a king and practices the mantras (recited in that place) and begins with this Essence of Ganapati-Ganesvara all one’s tasks will be accomplished. Have no doubts about it. If one is mindful (of this mantra) in fights, arguments, confusions, and wars, they will all be pacified. If you get up early each morning and recite it, you will attain learnedness. Yakshas, rakshasa and dakini will not rob your health but will promise to stay far away."


After the Blessed One proclaimed these things, the gathering and everyone in it, along with the world with its gods, men, demigods, and gandharvas, rejoiced and praised the Blessed One’s teaching.
This completes the Essence of Ganapati-Ganesvara Sutra.


Kanjur (Pejing#338) Vol NG



I cannot understand why the Buddha would expound a sutra to worship a god, isn't this something he debunked before? But in this sutra, Ganesh isn't in the same vain as he is in Hinduism right? confused :shrug:

Re: Ganesha or Ganapati

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:28 pm
by Norwegian
Atanatiya Sutta: Discourse on Atanatiya:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .piya.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Re: Ganesha or Ganapati

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:46 am
by Nemo
Ganapati has aided the Dharma since it's creation. He still aids Lamas today and often appears to them in pure vision.

He could not care less which religion you are. If that bother you perhaps you are the problem. Don't be such a fundamentalist zealot.

Re: Ganesha or Ganapati

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:56 am
by Rakz
gingercatni wrote:

I cannot understand why the Buddha would expound a sutra to worship a god, isn't this something he debunked before? But in this sutra, Ganesh isn't in the same vain as he is in Hinduism right? confused :shrug:
True. The historical Buddha rejected and denounced all worship of gods in the pali canon.

Re: Ganesha or Ganapati

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:38 am
by Nemo
Rejected it as a path to complete enlightenment. He did not refute their abilities to help and protect one on the path.

Since some Devas are long term practitioners why can't they be guides, teachers or protectors? Did we join a humans only club? I didn't get that memo.

Re: Ganesha or Ganapati

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:48 am
by Huseng
Nemo wrote:Rejected it as a path to complete enlightenment. He did not refute their abilities to help and protect one on the path.

Since some Devas are long term practitioners why can't they be guides, teachers or protectors? Did we join a humans only club? I didn't get that memo.
You're actually quite correct. Historically this has generally been the case in most Buddhist cultures as well. It is only in recent decades that many Buddhists have dropped deity veneration.

At the very least it has been considered appropriate to be a good neighbour and respect the local deities.

Re: Ganesha or Ganapati

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:22 pm
by Rakz
Nemo wrote:Rejected it as a path to complete enlightenment. He did not refute their abilities to help and protect one on the path.

Since some Devas are long term practitioners why can't they be guides, teachers or protectors? Did we join a humans only club? I didn't get that memo.
From an "early Buddhist" point of view this doesn't make any sense. Why would one seek teachings and guidance from unenlightened beings when one has full access to the teachings of a fully enlightened Buddha? Also seeking protection from gods is in direct contradiction with the law of kamma as taught by Shakyamuni as no god has the power to mitigate effects of bad kamma.

Re: Ganesha or Ganapati

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:33 pm
by Huseng
Nighthawk wrote: From an "early Buddhist" point of view this doesn't make any sense.
It depends on who you talk to.

A Theravadin bhikkhu in India once told me about how he was meditating out on some remote mountain and encountered "goddesses who were present when the Buddha was alive".
Why would one seek teachings and guidance from unenlightened beings when one has full access to the teachings of a fully enlightened Buddha?
In the case of said bhikkhu, he presumably could have asked the goddesses about what the Buddha had taught and clarified matters that are nebulous in our extant canons. If their memories served them correct, he could have obtained the Buddha's teachings as recollected by beings who had been actually present when Śākyamuni Buddha walked the earth.

Also seeking protection from gods is in direct contradiction with the law of kamma as taught by Shakyamuni as no god has the power to mitigate effects of bad kamma.
In the early canon we see deities volunteering to act as guardians of the sangha and even receiving teachings from the Buddha.

You can't "absolve" me from my past misdeeds, but you might be able to help me in worldly ways that make practice a lot easier. This is the case with deity veneration in Buddhism. They provide worldly aid.

Actually, one yogi in Nepal told me how it is important to enlist the support of guardian deities once your practice gets to a certain point as malicious entities will start coming after you otherwise. Having some worldly deities looking out for your best interests is not a bad idea, he advised me.

Re: Ganesha or Ganapati

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:41 pm
by Norwegian
Nighthawk,

Imagine if you had read the sutta I linked above.
"Bhante, may the Blessed One learn the Atanata[4] protection so that the displeased Yakkhas may be pleased, so that the monks and nuns, laymen and laywomen, may be at ease, guarded, protected and unharmed."

The Blessed One gave consent by his silence. Then the great King Vessavana, knowing that the Blessed One had consented, recited the Atanatiya protection: ...
"Who are the Yakkhas, mighty Yakkhas and commanders, and chief commanders (to whom such appeal should be made)?

49. Inda, Soma, and Varuna,
Bharadvaja, Pajapati,
Candana, Kamasettha too,
Kinnughandu, Nigahandu,

50. Panada, Opamanna too,
Devasata and Matali,
Cittasena and Gandhabba,
Nala, Raja, Janesabha,

51. Satagira, Hemavata,
Punnaka, Karatiya, Gula,
Sivaka, Mucalinda too,
Vessamitta, Yugandhara,

52. Gopala, Suppagedha too,
Hiri, Netti, and Mandiya,
Pañcalacanda, Alavaka,
Pajjunna, Sumana, Sumukha, Dadamukkha,
With these Serisakka.
"Learn by heart, monks, the Atanata protection, constantly make use of it, bear it in mind. This Atanata protection, monks, pertains to your welfare, and by virtue of it, monks and nuns, laymen and laywomen may live at ease, guarded, protected, and unharmed."
So, in short, from the Pali canon and onwards, there's never been a problem with this.

Re: Ganesha or Ganapati

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:54 pm
by gingercatni
so to invoke Ganesha, how do we do that? Do we recite the long mantra above in the sutra or is there another way? Also is the Hindu mantra the same as the Buddhist one? Are they the same Ganesha's? this confuses me because Hindu's are under the impression they are not. Thanks.

Re: Ganesha or Ganapati

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:50 pm
by Nemo
You need to be taught by a qualified teacher.

They are the same. Those blinded by religious intolerance may try to say otherwise. I prefer to believe the Buddha.

Re: Ganesha or Ganapati

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:52 pm
by Karma Dorje
They are the same, on account of having originated in the Vedic and tantric tradition in India and being "borrowed" by the Buddhist tradition. There is little explanation of the actual meaning of Ganapati's symbolism in Buddhist tantra, whereas it is spelled out fully in Śrī Gaṇapati Atharvaśīrṣa, Gaṇeśa Purāṇam and indeed throughout the Puranic and tantric literature. Mahagaṇapati is a major deity within the Hindu tantric tradition and only of minor importance in Buddhist sutra and tantra (though an important protector of the Sakya).

The mantras are not the same between Hindu and Buddhist forms. If you wish to practice the tantric Buddhist forms you would have to seek out a lama to give you the empowerment.

Re: Ganesha or Ganapati

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:32 pm
by pemachophel
Ganesh-Ganapati is considered a Protecting Deity in the forms of Nyingma that I am aware of. Many "Hindu" deities are also considered Buddhist Protectors: Lakshmi,Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu, Indra, etc.