How exactly does Ghanapatha work and can someone point me to examples? I have heard that Ghanapatha is a very useful way of preserving information by combining phrases in different permutations. For instance, if we consider "1", "2," and "3" to be their own phrases, then ganapata would be something like 121323. But can someone provide more concrete examples and explanations?
Ghanapatha is one of the most advanced method of Veda Patha. Syllables are continuously repeated to and fro in a certain pattern. A syllable can get repeated upto 13 times in Ghana Patha. So, reciting Vedas in Ghanapatha gives fruit 13 times more than normal recitation. As I discuss in my answer here, Ghanapatha is one of the methods useful for presentation of Vedas.
The pattern for Ghana Patha is:
1-2, 2-1, 1-2-3, 3-2-1, 1-2-3 ।
2-3, 3-2, 2-3-4, 4-3-2, 2-3-4।
3-4, 4-3, 3-4-5, 5-4-3, 3-4-5।
4-5, 5-4, 4-5-6, 6-5-4, 4-5-6।
For eg. One of the popular Mantra of Rig Veda is Mahamrityunjaya Mantra of Lord Shiva.
It goes as:
tryambakam yajaamahe sugandhim pushTi vardhanam | urvaarukamiva bandhanaan mrutyor muksheeya maamrutaat ||
The Ghana Patha recitation of this mantra goes as:
tryambakam yajaamahe yajaamahe tryambakam tryambakam yajaamahe sugandhigm sugandhim yajaamahe tryambakam tryambakam yajaamahe sugandhim | tryambakamititri - ambakam || yajaamahe sugandhigm sugandhim yajaamahe yajaamahe sugandhim pushTivardhanam pushTivardhanagm sugandhim yajaamahe yajaamahe sugandhim pushTivardhanam | sugandhim pushTivardhanam pushTivardhanagm sugandhigm sugandhim pushTivardhanam | sugandhimitisu - gandhim pushTivardhana - mitipushTi - vardhanam || urvaarukamivevorvaaruka - murvaarukamiva bandhanaadbandhanaadi vorvaaruka - murvaarukamiva bandhanaat | iva bandhanaadbandhanaadiveva bandhanaanmrutyo - rmrutyo - rbandhanaadiveva bandhanaanmrutyoho | bandhanaanmrutyo - mrutyorbandhanaadbandhanaanmrutyo - rmuksheeya muksheeya mrutyo – rbandhanaad bandhanaan mrutyor muksheeya | mrutyor muksheeya muksheeya mrutyormrutyo - rmuksheeya maa maa muksheeya rmrutyormrutyo - rmuksheeya maa | muksheeya maa maa muksheeya muksheeya maamrutaadamrutaanmaa muksheeya muksheeya maamrutaat | maamrutaadamrutaanmaa maamrutaat | amrutaadityamrutaat ||
One can hear Ghana Path recitation of Mrityunjaya mantra in this YouTube video.
Thus a mantra becomes such long in Ghana Patha. It helps in both preservation of Vedas and generation of powerful vedic vibrations. Also here in this answer, I discuss about Ghana patha recitation of Gayatri mantra and English sentences also. Also one can listen Ghana Patha of Gayatri in this video, also GhanaPatha recitation of central Sri Rudram hymn having "Namaha Shivaya Cha" is available in this video.