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Of Visvaksena and Ganesa

From: M. N.Ramanuja (
Date: Sat Jun 09 2001 - 04:42:51 PDT

Dear Srivaishnavas,
Adiyen's pranamams to all.
Regarding ganesa idol in Vishnu temples, there are references to elephant faced god in so many places. Eg, Yasya dwiradavaktrAdyA: ParishadyA: parassatam which everybody recites everyday. here the reference is to the elephant headed member of Vaikunta who is the chief subordinate of Viswaksenar. Sri Parasara Bhattar's SriRangarajastavam refers to the sloka
vidadhatu sukham vishvaksEnasya tE prathamE bhatA:
karimukha jayatsEnau kAlAhvasimhamukhau cha na:
jagati bhajatAm tattat pratyUha tUla davAnalA:
disi disi divArAtram SriRanga pAlana karmaThA:
Meaning:  The chief Generals of the commander-in-chief Sri VishvaksEnar,
namely Karimukha (elephant faced), JayatsEna, KAla and Simhamukha (lion faced) are ever vigilant day and night all around in guarding SriRangam. They remove the personal obstacles of the devotees of SriRanga. They are the forest fires for the cotton bales of impediments of the devotees. May they bless us with bliss.
this sloka refers to a ganEsa who removes impediments. Siva's son Ganesa also is also remover of Vighnas. Whether these two ganesas are same are different is not known.
But there is also a story referring to Ganesa whose cleverness helped us retain the Srirangaraja ("LabhdhvA Kuladhanam rAjA LankAm prAyAd vibhIshaNa:") in India from the hands of Vibheeshana to whom SriRama gave the SriRanga Idol. If anybody can throw more light on this aspect it will be interesting.
 Adiyen ramanuja dasan

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