Gana / Ganapati / Brahmānaspathim

Ganapati (CCO License Free Image)

The Rig Veda sings: “Oh Courageous (तवेषं) band/group (गणं) of Maruts“ RV5.58गणं (gana) means group, and these groups and their professions are explained in detail in Śrī Rudram of Kṛṣṇa Yajur Veda Taittirīya Saṃhitā 4.5. The leader of these groups is called Ganapati (gana+pati), meaning lord/abode of all groups. The Rig Veda also addresses the Maruts as vidatheṣu ā-bhuvaḥ, meaning born in knowledge, and brahmānaspathim, meaning lord/abode of knowledge RV1.38.13Brahmānaspathim is a very unique title in the Vedas assigned to a separate class of Divinities. Sri Aurobindo defines brahmāna as the Vedic Aksharas (word) and among all Aksharas “अ/a” is considered the foremost, hence AUM begins with . In Śrīmad Bhagavādgita Śrī Kṛṣṇa says “Among words I am the word अ“. Panini, the author of Sanskrit Grammar says, Maruts are Akshara of Varnamala (an eternal string of sounds), and Sukla Yajur Veda Śatarudrīya explains how Rudra and Gayatri Akshara emerged from Yagna. Sri Aurobindo includes both Brihaspati and Brahmā as brahmānaspathim. Similarly, T.V. Kapali Sastry, renowned student of Sri Aurobindo and Vedic commentator, says Ganapati – “Lord of all Ganas/Maruts” – is that brahmānaspati. Interestingly, the Rig Veda titles Viṣṇu as Evaya Marut RV5.87, meaning the “fastest Marut” who leads the Maruts into battle. This is a very interesting linkage of titles, like puzzles that fit together. Though Rudra Ganas are mentioned along with their leader, we are yet to find a reference of one with an Elephant face. Viṣṇu being Evaya Marut also declares Himself to be ŚipiViṣṭa (शिपिविष्ट) RV7.100.6 meaning the rays which permeate, this title is given to both Viṣṇu and Rudra TS4.5.5Aitareya Brahmāṇa 1.30 states that Viṣṇu is the leader of the Maruts and both Ashivns and Varuna who themselves being Rudras follow His lead.

Uma Maheshvara is worshiped by Devas, Ganas, and Ganga. 101a-10th Century Stone with gold leaf. Nepal Global Nepal Museum

Is there such a reference where Ganas are attributed to Maruts?

तम उ नूनं तविषीमन्तम एषां सतुषे गणम मारुतं नव्यसीनाम |य आश्वश्वा अमवद वहन्त उतेशिरे अम्र्तस्य सवराजः ||
तवेषं गणं तवसं खादिहस्तं धुनिव्रतम मायिनं दातिवारम |मयोभुवो ये अमिता महित्वा वन्दस्व विप्र तुविराधसो नॄन ||

Indeed we praise (एषां) thy mighty (तविषी) gang (गण) of Maruts today (नव्यसी)| Oh fierce (अमवद) racers of horses and chariots (आश्वश्वा) like the wind (वहन्त), bringing your containers filled with elixir of immortality (उतेशिरे अम्र्तस्य), you are dependent on none, self ruling (सवराजः)||
Oh courageous (तवेषं) band/group (गणं) of Maruts, adorned with bracelets/rings (खादिहस्तं), cometh with roaring sounds (धुनिव्रतम) of victory, bestower (दातिवारम) of all magical gifts (मायिनं) |
We sing to the brilliance, like fire (मयोभुवो) adorned with infinite might (अमिता महित्वा). We praise and worship (वन्दस्व), oh ever willing and passionate ones (विप्र) with roaring sounds (तुविराधसो). We follow you, oh leader (नॄन).

Rig Veda 5.58

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