Lord Ganesha is one of the most prominent deities in Hinduism. Ganesha has the unique distinction that his name is always invoked before any other God's name in any prayer service. Legend has it that Lord Ganesha received this distinction as a blessing from his parents, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Lord Ganesha is designated as the chief (-eesha) of all of Lord Shiva's ganas (servers) - hence his name, Ganesha. We begin with an invocation to Lord Ganesha - he of the single tusk, whose vehicle is the mouse and he who penned the Mahabharata with his own hands.

Ganesh Mantra

    Vakratunda Mahaakaaya Suryakoti Samaprabhaa.
    Nirvighnam Kurumedeva Sarvakaaryeshu Sarvadaa.

    Meaning: Salutations to the supreme Lord Ganesha, whose curved trunk (vakra-tunda) and massive body (maha-kaayaa) shines like a million suns (surya-koti) and showers his blessings on everyone (sama-prabhaa). Oh my lord of lords Ganesha (kurume-deva), kindly remove all obstacles (nir-vighnam), always (sarva-) and forever (sarvadaa-) from all my activities and endeavors (sarva-kaaryeshu).

Prayer for Prosperity to Lord Ganesha (Shubh Laabh Mantra)

    Aum Shrim Gam Saubhaagya Ganpataye Varvard Sarvajanm Me.N Vashamaanya Namh

    Meaning: The prayer for prosperity is based on the word, gam, which is the beej (seed) mantra for Lord Ganesha. We ask for good fortune (sau-bhaagya) and many blessings and wishes (var-vard) for our current and future life-times (sarva-janam-me.n). We bow in homage (namH) to Lord Ganesha who protects us with long lives (avashamaanya) of health and happiness. A concise form of this mantra, suitable for multiple rapid repetitions is simply - "Aum gam ganpataye namah"

Ganesha Gayatri Mantras

    The Ganesha Gayatris are prayers to Lord Ganesha that are composed in the 24-syllable meter of the original Gayatri Mantra. Several variations of the Gayatri can be composed by invoking the various descriptive names of Ganesha in the appropriate place(s) of the original mantra.

    Aum Tadapurushhaaya Viddhamahe,
    Vakratundaaya Dhimahi, Tanno Danti Prachodayaat.

    Meaning: We pray to the supreme and perfect male (tadapurusḥāya) who is omnipresent (viddhamahe). We meditate upon and pray for greater intellect (dhīmahi) to the Lord with the curved, elephant-shaped trunk (vakratunḍāya). We bow before the one with the single-tusked elephant tooth (tanno danti) to illuminate our minds with wisdom (pracodayāt).