Vatapi ganapatim

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vAtApi gaNapatiM bhajE'ham
vAraNAsyaM varapradaM zrI
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I pray to Lord Ganapathi Who hails from Vatapi;
He Who has an elephant face, and showers His devotees with boons.


(madhyama kAla sAhityam)
vItarAgiNaM vinata1-yOginam
vizwakAraNaM vighnavAraNam
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The ghosts and demons who accompany Shiva worship His feet, and surrender themselves to Him.
He pervades the world of the Five Elements.

He is beyond desires, and is glorified by all the yogis.
He causes creation, and destroys all obstacles/sadness.


purA kumbha-sambhava-munivara
prapUjitaM trikONa-madhyagatam
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He Who is worshipped by the Sage Agastya;
He Who resides in the center of the mystic triangle;
One worshipped by Lord Vishnu and other important Gods
One Who is present as an important deity in all places.
parAdi catvAri vAgAtmakam
praNava-swarUpa vakratuNDam
nirantaraM niTila candrakhaNDam
nija vAmakara vidhRtEkSudaNDam
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He Who is present in the four variations of sound beginning with para.
He Who possesses a twisted trunk and an original form of a 'pranava'.
He who permanently bears a crescent on His forehead and
He Who holds a sugarcane with His left hand.

(madhyama kAla sAhityam)

kaluSa-vidUraM bhUtAkAram
haMsadhwani bhUSita hErambam
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In His lotus-like hands, a noose, a goad and fruits.
He drives away all evil and has a gigantic form.
His form is adored by Hara, Guruguha and others.
He Who is the Lord Heramba decorated by the Raga Hamsadhwani.


  • 1vinata - vinuta


  • Kshetram - tiruvArUr
  • Vatapi, a place near present day Badami in Karnataka.

This is one of the most well-known compositions in all of Carnatic Music. Mutthuswami Dikshitar's father Ramaswamy Dikshitar invented the raga Hamsadhwani (Voice of the Swan). It is said that this kriti is considered auspicious to be sung or heard in the dawn when the sun is visible on the horizon. Vatapi is a reference to the present day Badami in Karnataka. When the Pallavas invaded the Chalukya kingdom, they brought the idol of Ganapati from Badami and installed it in the Tiruvarur temple. Dikshitar Swami glorifies this Ganapati.

ParAdi CatvAri VAgAtmakam refers to the fours types of speech (vAk) described in the SAstrAs: parA, vyKhari, madhyamA and paSyantI.

Ganapati is the Lord of the mUlAdhAra Cakra, located at the base of the spine in the coccyx. There, He resides on a red lotus with four petals, wearing red clothes and jewels with red gemstones. He holds a sugar-cane ( vidhRtEkSudaNDam ) and guards the KunDalinI SaktI . The bIja mantra of this Ganapati is gam . This is significant because Dikshitar begins this kriti with a Gandhara.