Child’s first prayer | Prayer to Sri Sri Ganesh to ward off difficulties
For the full text of the Stotra, please click here.
At some point in my infancy, Grandfather decided that I had mastered the “gu-gu | ga-ga” school of baby talk. I was ready to transition from free-form sound to structured voice. My path for manipulating mouth, tongue, throat and breath to produce communicable utterances would be the one that generations of my family had perfected for their young-ones: the Sankatanasana Ganesha Stotram (सङ्कटनाशन गणेशस्तोत्रम्).
From letters (प) to conjuncts (प्र) to words (प्रणम्य). Then a phrase. Two or three phrases of precisely eight letters, a verse (प्रणम्य शिरसा देवं). Two verses in a line, sixteen exacting letters (प्रणम्य शिरसा देवं गौरीपूत्रं विनायकम्). Two such lines. In the lilting rhythm of अनुष्टुप छन्द (metrical form referred to as anustup), I made my way from rank ignorance to cognition. Those would be the first steps in a lifetime journey of knowledge.
That the journey of, into and for knowledge may be without hindrances is the assistance I seek from Sri Sri Ganesh in this prayer. My children make their own entreaties today. If this video can be of assistance to you and yours as you make your own pitches to Sri Sri Ganesh for a life sans difficulties, great!