Dharam (clad or dressed)
Vishnum (all-pervading, omni-present)
Sasi Varnam (Grey colored, like the Moon)
Chathurbhujam (with four hands and)
Prasanna (elephant, also means pleasing)
Dhyayethu (upon my meditation)
Sarva (all, each and every)
Upasanthaye (be removed, remedied)
I meditate upon the all-pervading, Moon-like complexioned, four-armed Vighneswara, clad in white with very a pleasing elephant face, to remove every obstacle on my way.
Every Sahasranama Sthothram, or any ritual for that matter, begins with this Slokam. This slokam has great significance with respect to successful completion of any task that is begun.
Vinayaka removes all kinds of obstacles in one’s social, personal, family, educational, career and spiritual life. Vinayaka represents the base of the Kundalini or Mooladhara. The journey to Realization of the Self begins here. You can never reach the destination without this beginning. And, Vinayaka is the one who removes the obstacles as you begin this journey.
The real obstacle in one’s life is lack of exposure to true knowledge that can help one reach the state of Superconsciousness. Vinayaka helps you meet the ideal Guru who can re-orient you towards the right direction. There is no other God or Divinity in the entire Hindu pantheon who has such a variety of interpretations and such a spectrum of legends as those associated with Lord Ganesa. He is one of the six major Divinities of Hinduism, namely, Surya, Sakti, Vishnu, Ganesa, Subrahmanya and Siva. However, He is the one Divinity who is always invoked at the commencement of any worship. Be it a secular function, a religious ritual, a marriage ceremony, an auspicious undertaking or any individual or collective enterprise, He is propitiated first in order to have all obstacles removed. There is no greater authority than Ganapati. Worshipers of other Divinities have to worship Him first. But to worship Him, one is not obliged to worship any other deity. He is the Lord Special. Therefore He is Vinayaka. Everything about Him has an esoteric or philosophical meaning in addition to the mundane legends associated with him.
He is the Absolute. Vinayaka is the embodiment of Om or AUM, the subtle symbol for the Absolute. With his right tusk broken, this elephantine Divinity represents the female principle by his right half and the male principle by his left half. He represents the Transcendental Absolute which is beyond sex. The Absolute is also beyond Man and Animal and Vinayaka signifies this by his animal face and human limbs. The Absolute is the Overlord of all the senses and their activities. Ganapati is the chief of all Ganas (divine soldiers) who constitute the dynamics of divine action and management. Ga means intellect, Na means wisdom and Pathi means master. Hence, Ganapathi means the master of intellect and wisdom. Gana also means category. Ganapati is the Lord of the category of comprehension or consciousness. Though He holds the Modaka in his hand, His trunk is never shown as putting the Modaka in His mouth. He just holds them. He watches. He is witness to everything. He does not Himself consume or experience. He is the witness of consciousness in each one of us. He is the symbol of Primordial Power of consciousness.