Friday, March 25, 2011

Meaning of Ganesha Shloka - Shukalmbaradharam


Shuklambaradharam Vishnum 
Shashi Varnam Chaturbhujam
Prasanna Vadanam Dhyayet 
Sarva Vighnopashantaye

śuklāmbaradharam viṣṇum 
śaśi varṇaṁ chaturbhujam
prasanna vadanam dhyāyēt 
sarva vighnōpaśāntayē

शुक्लाम्बरधरं विष्णुं शशिवर्णं चतुर्भुजम्
प्रसन्न वदनं ध्यायेत् सर्वविघ्नोपशान्तये 
Click on the Arrow to Listen the Shloka

Word to Word Meaning:

Shukla = white;  Ambara = cloth or sky; Dharam = wearing; *Vishnum = pervading or omnipresent; #Shashi = moon; Varnam = color; Chatur = four; Bhujam = shoulder; Prasanna = smiling or pleasant;  Vadanam = face;  Dhyayet = I meditate upon;  Sarva = all; Vighna = obstacle or hindrance or block; Upashantaye = remove or abate or pacify.

Meaning:  I meditate upon the Lord Ganesha who is clad in white garment (dhoti), who is pervading, who is as bright colored as Moon, who has a smiling face, having four shoulders (or hands), and who is the remover of obstacles.

*Several people assume that the word Vishnum referes to Lord Vishnu, which is not true. In this context it means pervading or present everywhere. However, this confusion does not come for North Indians, some of whom say "Suklaambaradharam Devam".  Ganesha is called as the remover of obstacles.
#The word 'Shashi' actually means rabbit, since you see a shape of rabbit in the moon.  This is why in old CHANDAMAMA books you will see the picture of rabbit inside the moon.


  1. చాలా మంచి ప్రయత్నం సూరిగారూ.మీకు అభివందనాలు.

  2. సత్య గారు, ధన్యవాదాలు

  3. prasanna vadanam, here prasanna means gaja as a kosha gives "prasanna dviraja gaja are common names of elephant"

  4. Mr. Vulimiri,
    Thank you for the translation. I was looking for the English translation of Vishnu Sahasranama and came upon this page. Thanks again for the effort in creating this and keeping it online.

  5. Thanks a lot sir. Your work is very helpful.

  6. sashi varnam refers to the color of the moon - white, and therefore cool. have never heard of the explanation that it refers to a rabbit. in my understanding, the rabbit in the moon was an old english story told to children

  7. shasha is rabbit, shashi is moon

  8. Thank you for this translation....It is very helpful

  9. This sloka is meant for Vishnu and His Senapathy Vishwaksena. and always followed by
    Yasya Dvirada VaktradaH ParishadyaH Parassatam
    Vighnam Nighnanti Satatam Vishvaksenam Tamashraye
    Vishvaksena is the chief lieutenat of Lord Vishnu's army. He resembles Ganesha with an elephant face. However, he differs from Ganesha in having two tusks. Hence, many people mistake him as Ganesha. Vishwaksena is the deity you will definitely see in Vaishnava temples, such as Lord Venkateswara (Balaji) temple. Vishvaksena is also remembered for protecting the devotees, providing them shelter and destroying the obstacles
    Yasya Dvirada VaktradaH ParishadyaH Parassatam
    Vighnam Nighnanti Satatam Vishvaksenam Tamashraye
    यस्य द्विरद वक्त्रादाह पारिशाद्याह परश्शातम
    विघ्नं निघ्नन्ति सततं विश्वक्सेनाम तमाश्रये
    Word to word meaning: yasya = where; dvi = two; rada = tooth (tusk); dvirada = two-tusked, meaning elephant; vaktra = face; aadyaH = having / possessing; paari = remove; shadyaH = immediately ; paraH = other; shatam = hundred; vighnam = obstacle; nighnanti = kills; satatam = always; Vishvaksenam = Vishvaksena, who is the chief of lieutenant of Vishnu ganas (army); tam = them; aashraye = seek shelter.
    Meaning (Taatparyam): I seek shelter of Lord Vishvaksena, the elephant faced God who possesses two tusks, and who always removes another hundred obstacles.

    1. Dear Map Enthusiast (Sorry I do not know your real name). Thanks for your comment. As you said the Shloka, Suklambaradharam is about Ganesha not Vishwaksena. The next shloka Yasyadvirada is about Vishwaksena. I am aware of the information you provided. Thanks for your response.