Why is the Sloka “Suklambaradharam Vishnum…” used as Ganapaty Dhyanam when it is clearly a Dhyana Sloka for Lord Vishnu?
शुक्लाम्बरधरम् विष्णुम् शशि वर्णम् चतुर्भुजम् |
प्रसन्नवदनम् ध्यायेत् सर्व विघ्नोपशान्तये ||
"shuklamvaram dharam vishnum sashivarnam chaturvujam |
prasanna vadanam dhyayet sarva bighnopashantaya ||"
Let's examine each word of the sloka:
शुक्लाम्बरधरम् = शुक्ल + अम्बर + धरम्
Shuklamvaradharam = white+cloth+wearing
ie, White cloth wearing
Vishnu is especially called पीताम्बरम् (Pitamvaram)
ie, Yellow cloth wearing
विष्णुं = Lord Vishnu / All pervading, Omniscient
(Let's discuss it later below)
शशिवर्णम् = शशि + वर्णम्
Sashivarnam = Moon (White) + Colour
ie, who have moon (white) coloured body.
Vishnu is depicted as मेघवर्णम्( Meghavarnam) ie, Whose colour is like raining cloud ie, dark blue complexion. For eg. After the dhyan shlokam of Vishnu Sahasranaamam Lord Vishnu is called Meghavarnam Subhangam
चतुर्भुजम् = चतुर् + भुजम्
Chaturvujam = Four + Hands
Both Lord Vishnu and Lord Ganesh have four hands.
प्रसन्नवदनम् = प्रसन्न + वदनम्
Prasannavadanam = Delightful + face
ie, Having delightful face
(Both Lord Vishnu and Lord Ganesh have delightful face)
ध्यायेत् = (I) meditate
सर्व विघ्नोपशान्तये = सर्व + विघ्नोप + शान्तये
Sarva Vighnopasantaye= All + obstacle + pacifier (remover)
(Both Lord Vishnu and Lord Ganesh have power to remove obstacles)
Now Lets form the complete sentence..
First See Lord Vishnu here
1) I meditate upon delightful face of four handed Lord Vishnu who wears white clothes, who is of white complexion and who removes all obstacles.
This description doesn't so much fits with Lord Vishnu. It should have been like this to exactly fit:
"I meditate upon delightful face of four handed Lord Vishnu who wears yellow clothes, who is of dark blue complexion and who removes all obstacles"
Now let's use Omniscient /pervading lord
2) I meditate upon delightful face of that four handed Omniscient (all pervading) Lord who wears white clothes and is of white complexion and who removes all obstacles.
Now let's check it for Lord Ganesh:
1) Ganesha is generally first invoked in every ceremony. This is also first sloka of Vishnu Sahasranaam.
2) Omniscience of Lord Ganesha:
Everyone knows Ganesh is omniscient. Here is also a verse of Mahabharat which tells Ganesh is omniscient.
Mahabharat Adi Parva Section I
"From the mysteriousness of their meaning, O Muni, no one is able, to this day, > to penetrate those closely knit difficult slokas. Even the omniscient Ganesa took a moment to consider; while Vyasa, however, continued to compose other verses in great abundance."
3) Removal of obstacles : Ganesh is famously known for removal of obstacles. He is also known as Vighnaharta. His another name is Vinayak which also means remover of obstacles.
Hence it refers to Lord Ganesha who is first invoked, who is remover of obstacles, who is omniscient, whose colour is white and who wears white/bright clothes.
But, You may also refer this to specific form of Lord Vishnu when he is in white and when his complexion is white as it is not always necessary that Lord Vishnu always wears yellow and his complexion is always dark blue.
But this Shloka is not Dhyana Shloka of Vishnu Sahasranaamam.
The Dhyana Shloka is:
kshIrodanvat-pradese suchi-mani-vilasat-saikate mautikAnAm
mAlA-kliptA-sanasthaH sphtika-mani-nibhaiH mautikaiH manditAngaH
Subhrair-abhrair-adabhraiH upari virachitaiH mukta-pIyUsha-varshaih
AnandI naH punIyAdari-nalina-gadA-Sankha-pAniH mukundaH.
May mukundA, with the discuss, mace, conch and lotus in His hands, purify us- mukundA who is seated on a seat of garlands of pearls, in the region of the milky ocean with the sand shining by the light from pure gems; who is adorned by pearls transparent like crystals; and who is enjoying ecstatic bliss on account of pure white clouds overhead, raining showers of nectar.
bhUH pAdau yasya nAbhir-viyada-suranila-candra-sUryau cha netre
karNa-vASaH Siro-DyauH mukhamapi dahano yasya vAsteyam abdhiH
antas-stham yasya viSvam sura-nara-khaga-go-bhogi-gandharva-daityaiH
chitram ramramyate tam tribhuvana-vapusham vishNum Isam namAmi.
I bow to Lord vishNu who has the three worlds as His body. The Earth is His feet, and the sky His navel. Wind is His breath, and the Sun and the Moon are His eyes. Directions are His ears, and the Heaven is His head. Fire is His face and ocean His abdomen. In Him is situated the universe with diverse kinds of Gods, men, birds, cattle, serpents, gandharvas and daityas (demons)- all sporting in a charming way.
Note: “The question: Why is the Sloka ‘Suklambaradharam Vishnum…’ used as Ganapaty Dhyanam when it is clearly a Dhyana Sloka for Lord Vishnu?” is licensed by Stack Exchange Inc (https://hinduism.stackexchange.com/); user contributions licensed under CC BY-SA.