Translation of Ganapati-Atharvaśīrsa-Upanisad

Translation of Ganapati-Atharvaśīrsa-Upanisad
Translation of Ganapati-Atharvaśīrsa-Upanisad

Ganapati-Atharvaś īrsa-Upanisad is associated with Atharvaveda. It is reportedly one of the central texts of Gānapatya sampradāya. It is the most widely recited Sanskrit text among devotees of Ganeśa in Maharashtra. Govind Sadashiv Ghurye notes its emergence in the early 19th century, corresponding to the rise of the Ganapati worship in Maharashtra among the brāhmanas centered in Pune, but the text is probably somewhat older, dating to the 17th or 18th century. It is not part of the Muktikā Upanisad list of 108 Upanisads compiled in the mid 17th century. However, it is mentioned by Upanisad Brahmayogin (in mid 18th century) in his commentary on the 108 Upanisads.


o bhadra karnebhiś-śrunuyäma devā |
bhadra  paśyemāksabhiryajatrā |
sthirair-agaistustuvāg sastanūbhi |
vyaśema devahita yad-āyu ||

– Atharvaveda, Praśna, Mundaka, Māndūkya Upanisad

O Gods! May we listen with our ears, to what is meaningful.
May we see with our eyes, things that are blemish-free.
May we enjoy our complete lives,
glorifying You with the Vedic mantras, with strong limbs.


svasti na indro vrdhhaśravā | svasti na pūsā viśvavedā |
svasti nas-tārksyo aristanemi | svasti no-brhaspatir-dadhātu ||
o śāntiśśāntiśśānti ||9|
– gveda-I.89.6

– also in Atharvaveda, Praśna, Mundaka, Māndūkya Upanisad

May Indra, who is profusely praised by the devotees through sacred hymns (or frequently worshipped with oblations) bless us with well-being/ auspiciousness.

May the omniscient Pūsan (Sun deity) bless us with well-being/auspiciousness.

May Tārksya (son of Trksa) i.e. Garuda, of unobstructed flight bless us with well-being/auspiciousness. May Brhaspati (the preceptor of the gods) bless us with well-being/ auspiciousness.

Om Peace, Peace, Peace. (9)



o namaste ganapataye |
tvam-eva pratyaksa  tattvam asi |
tvam-eva kevala kartā’si |
tvam-eva kevala  dhartā’si |
tvam-eva kevala hartā’si |
tvam-eva sarva khalu-ida brahmāsi |
tvaà sāksād-ātmā’si nityam ||1||

My prostrations to Lord Ganapati.
You are indeed the Reality manifest before us (as the universe).
You are indeed the Creator.
You are indeed the Sustainer.
You are indeed the annihilator.
All this is Brahman, and You are the Brahman.
You are indeed the time-less Ätmā.

rta vacmi, satya vacmi ||2||

I declare (You as) the Truth (Cosmic Order).
I declare (You as) the Truth. (2)

ava tva mām | ava vaktāram | ava śrotāram |
ava dātāram | ava dhātāram |
avānucānam ava śisyam |
ava purastāt | ava paścāttāt | avottarāttāt | ava daksināttāt |
ava cordhvāttāt | avadharāttāt |
sarvato mā pāhi pāhi samantāt ||3||

Protect me. Protect the teacher (of this Upanisad).
Protect the one who listens (to this Upanisad).
Protect the one who initiates the devotees into your worship.
Protect the one, who commits this (Upanisad) to memory.
Protect the student who recites this (Upanisad) after the teacher.
Protect the student who studies (the meaning of this Upanisad).
Protect me from whatever (adversity) that is attracted from the front (east), back (west), north, south, from above, and from below. Protect me without fail (from obstacles that may rise) from all directions and in all possible ways. (3)

tva vāg-mayas-tva cinmaya |
tvam-ānandamayas-tva brahmamaya |
tva saccidānanda’dvitīyo’si| tvaà pratyaksa brahmāsi |
tva jñānamayo vijñānamayo’si ||4||

You are in the form of the sounds/words (or the Vedas).
You are in the form of Consciousness.
You are in the form of Happiness.
You are Brahman, the Absolute Existence,
the source of all existence in this creation.
You are the non-dual Existence-Consciousness-Limitless.
You are the manifest Brahman (Saguna Brahma) before us (as the universe).
You are in the form of the awareness and consciousness. (4)

sarva jagad-ida tvatto jāyate | sarva jagad-ida tvattas-tisthati |
sarva jagad-ida tvayi layam-esyati | sarva jagad-ida tvayi pratyeti |
tva bhūmir-āpo’nalo’nilo nabha | tva cattvāri vāk padāni ||5||

This entire universe originates from You.
This entire universe exists in You.
This entire universe resolves in You.
This entire universe finally becomes one with You.
You are the earth, the waters, fire, air, and the space.
You are the speech, limited to four kinds of words. (5)

tva guna-trayātīta |
tva avasthā-tryayātīta |
tva deha-trayātīta |
tva kāla-trayātīta |
tva mūlādhāra-sthito’si nityam |
tva śakti-trayātmaka |
tvā yogino dhyāyanti nityam |
tva brahmā, tva visnus-tva rudras-tvam-indras-tvam-agnis-tva
vāyustva sūryas-tva candramāstva brahma bhūr-bhuvas-suvar-om ||6||

You transcend the three gunas (sattvarajastamas of Māyāśakti).|
You transcend the three states (of waking, dream, and deep-sleep).
You transcend the three bodies (physical, subtle, and causal).
You transcend the three periods (past, present, and future).
You always abide in the base of the spine.
You are manifest as the three-fold power (icchā-śakti, jñāna-śakti, kriyā-śakti).
The Yogis always contemplate upon You.
You are Brahmā, You are Visnu, You are Rudra, You are Indra, You are Agni, You are Vāyu, You are Sūrya, You are Candra, You are all, You are the earth, the intermediate space, the heaven, and Om (All). (6)

ganādi pūrvam uccārya varnādīs-tad-anantaram |
anusvāra paratara | ardhendulasitam | tārenrddham |
etat-tava manusvarūpam | ga-kāra pūrva-rupam |
a-kāro madhyama-rūpam | anusvāras-cāntya-rūpam |
bindur-uttara-rūpam | nādas-sandhānam | saghitā-sandhi |
saisā ganeśa-vidyā | ganaka rsi | nicrd-gāyatrīcchanda |
ganapatir-devatā | o, ga ganapataye nama ||7||

The first syllable of the word gana, i.e. ‘g’ has to be pronounced first, followed by the first of the vowels (a). That has to be followed by the anusvāra (the sound ‘m’), embellished by the crescent of the moon (which represents the nasal sound). All this has to be made auspicious (or more powerful) by pronouncing the sacred sound Om (in the beginning). This is the true description of Your mantra.

The first syllable is ‘g’, the middle syllable is ‘a’, and the last syllable is ‘m’. The last syllable progresses into a nasal sound called bindu, and is further pulled into a lengthy sound callednāda, which unites all these parts into a mantra. All these individual sounds are pronounced sequentially in unison (sahitā), when the mantra is complete.

This is the mental worship of Lord Ganapati. The seer of this mantra is Ganaka. The metre is NicrdGāyatrī. The invoked/presiding deity is Ganapati.

O ga, my prostrations unto Lord Ganapati. (7)

ekadantāya vidmahe vakratundāya dhīmahi |
tanno danti pracodayāt[1] ||8||

May we know the One-toothed, For that may we meditate on the curved-trunk One, may the Possessor of Tusk propel us towards it.

ekadanta catur-hasta pāśam-ankuśa-dhārinam |
rada ca varada hastair-bibhrāna mūsaka-dhvajam |
rakta lambodara śūrpa-karnaka rakta-vāsasam |
rakta-gandhānuliptāga rakta-puspai supūjitam |
bhaktānukampina  deva jagat-kāranam-acyutam |
āvirbhūta ca srstyādau prakrte purusāt-param |
eva dhyāyati yo nitya, sa yogi, yogīnā vara ||9||

The Lord has one tusk and four arms; carrying the noose, the goad, with his hands dispellingfear and granting boons, with the symbol of a mouse on His flag.

The red-hued Lord with the potbelly, with ears like winnowing baskets, wearing red clothes, with limbs smeared with red sandal paste, is worshipped with beautiful red flowers.

A merciful Lord to the devotees, Origin of this universe, infallible, who is manifested in this form at the time of creation, superior to the Prakrti (Māyā), and the individual jīva. One who contemplates upon the Lord thus everyday, is a true seeker; he is the foremost among the devotees. (9)

namo vrātapatye | namo ganapataye | nama pramathapataye |
namaste’stu lambodarāyaikadantāya vighnavināśine śivasutāya (śrī)varadamūrtaye namo nama ||10||

Salutations to You, the Lord of all deities.
Salutations to the Lord of the Ganas.
Salutations to the First Lord.
Salutations to the pot-bellied one, with one tusk, who destroys all obstacles, son of Lord Śiva, salutations to the Giver of boons, salutations, salutations. (10)

By: Swamini Atmaprajnananda Saraswati