Sunday 31 March 2024

Mangalacharan 2

वर्णानामर्थसंघानां रसानां छन्दसामपि।
मंगलानां कर्त्तारौ वन्दे वाणीविनायकौ॥1

भावार्थ:-अक्षरों, अर्थ समूहों, रसों, छन्दों और मंगलों को करने वाली सरस्वतीजी और गणेशजी की मैं वंदना करता हूँ॥1॥ BK. Sh.1

The very first verse of Goswamiji's Mangalacharan offers his praises in reverence to Goddess Saraswati and Lord Ganesh.

Saraswati is not just the Goddess of wisdom, but also the Goddess of Speech. Speech is not just about some sounds being uttered, but it's about the pronunciation emanating from the 'Varna' or the sound; it is also about the meaning /s and their connotations; the feelings these words invoke; the poetry that gets created in the process and the beauty, the exalted bliss and the auspiciousness of every spoken or written word and every thought.

It is very intriguing to note that while Saraswati is the Goddess of wisdom and intelligence, She is rarely worshiped alone. Almost as a rule, She is worshiped with Lord Ganesh.

In fact there are instances in epic scriptures where the Gods and Goddesses have prayed to Saraswati to manipulate a certain human, demon or another God. While in the longer run, it always serves a larger purpose; the fact remains that it is possible to drift away from a wise choice despite intelligence.

However, Lord Ganesh is different. He is the epitome of goodness, auspiciousness and everything that is ‘Shubh’. He also happens to be the God blessed by all Demigods alike to be the first among peers. He is the first one to be worshiped in all auspicious rituals and activities.

Despite this – Sri Tulasi Das addresses Goddess Saraswati before Lord Ganesh. Or is it that the acharya is addressing both of them equally in the single phrase ‘VaniVinayakau’?

As a poet, his obvious leaning would be to the Goddess of Speech, but as a devotee he realizes that it is possible to lose humility, or focus or the clarity of thought to intelligence and so he invokes Saraswati with Ganesh in the same phrase; to ensure that his poetic Endeavor remains auspicious.

This verse indicates the importance of realizing the difference between intelligence and wisdom. Intelligence is obtained by learning and applying it, but wisdom will always need what we call 'Vivek' loosely meaning ethics. It is only when combined with the right ethics and morality that knowledge can become wisdom and lead to auspiciousness.

© Anupama 2016

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