I’ve been, little by little, working my way through “Loving Ganesha,” a tome by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniya Swami. To be clear, I love it. I’ve come to a part of the book where Ganesha’s “five powers” are detailed and I thought to share some of that here. Before digging into the five shaktis of Ganesha, allow me to quote some background info from the book regarding them.
“…it is this understanding of the five powerful positive powers, or shaktis, of Lord Ganesha and their five pwerful asuric counterforces that makes religion a working part of the devotees life and stabilizing force within the extended familt – which embraces kindred, friends, community elders, and close business associates. This knowledge and practical experience has helped them understand just how intimately Lord Ganesha works with each of us every day even in our mundane life…Their positive vibratory rates can be felt through your astral and physical body and should always be with you. All holy men and women emanate all of thee shaktis and you can, too, some stronger than others. Shakti is divine radiation from the Third World through the Second World into the First World. The astral body is in the Second World and lives inside the physical body. It is through the astral body that the Shakti is felt. The shakti comes from the Third World and permeates the astral body in the Second World. This is why the physical body sometimes seems to feel “filled up” with shakti from deep within permeating to the outside of our skin.”
The chapter further indicates that deeply awakened souls experience a filling of this shakti even beyond their physical skin and into the colorful film of light that surrounds the body and is felt by other people at attributed to a personal darshan. These five shaktis can also well be called the “feet of the Lord” and it’s at these feet that we develop ourselves and are able to function more dharmically within this world.
The first shakti emanates the feelings of love and compassion. For Hindus, love and compassion, as starting with the nuclear unit, is of great importance. “If love abounds in the home and virtue prevails, the home is perfect and its end is fulfilled.”
The second shakti is the same feeling, except extended to other relatives, neighbors and friends. This shakti is more challenging to hold or maintain as conflicts often arise. Asuric forces often intervene and prevent the first shakti from growing into the second, however with steady and regular pujas and sadhanas, it is preserved and maintained and the vibrations of the first shakti merges with the second shakti, and bring in abundance the experience of the third shakti.
This shakti is beneficial on a greater scale and extends to everyone someone encounters in the external world. This often applies to honest and harmonious distribution of the world’s wealth. This is an immensely important vibration to be felt and maintained. Worldly forces will work against this shakti but once they are conquered, concerns are alleviated and heartfelt joy arrives. The Tirukural (120) states, ” Those business men will prosper whose business protects as their own the interests of others.”
As might be assumed, the fourth shakti is built upon the first three: a combination of the first two shaktis and stabilized by the third. This shakti brings the creative-intuitive-mind. This grows the love of culture, religious formalities, and appreciation for discipline. Here is found the vibration of religion and brings the boon of creativity in music, art, drama and dance. It also pertains to devotion toward one’s ancestors and and all forms of positive community participation, and also through which the refinements of the past are carried into the future.
Interestingly, this shakti is the combination of the first shakti and the third shakti. “Loving Ganesha with all your heart and soul is the combined merging of these five shaktis. This gives the added boon of being able to be charitable; for those who love God perfirm charity, build shrines and temples, and participate in the overflowing generosity from their resources, earning abundant punya, accrued for this life and passed into the next.”
The good Satguru later indicates that any Hindu who manages to cultivate these shaktis will joyously be able to maintain the Hindu Pancha Nitya Karmas, which earns one even more punya. He also indicates that that these primary shakti lead directly to three other, higher yet, shaktis respectively referred to as the sixth, seventh, and eighth shaktis.
The sixth shakti belongs to Murugan and pertains to Raja Yoga. This shakti is only felt in yogic meditation when the crown of the head becomes the temple and the high-picthed “eee” tone rings within the head like a temple bell – indicating kundalini has been awakened. After this point he merges into jnana and the akashic ether surrounding the mind is penetrated. The seventh shakti reveals spiritual teachings from the brink of the Absolute, where Shiva is directly met. The eighth shakti itself is the outpouring of power felt when the mind collects itself and comes out of the Self.
Subsequent pages detail a fivefold abyss and sealing off of the “Lower Realms.” I’ll not share those here.
Om Mahaganeshaya Namaha