Ganesh Jee | Miscellanea-6

Om Shree Ganeshaaya Namah
Ganesh Jee-Miscellanea

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[From  Aangiras, p 119-120]

Goddess Vinaayakee or Ganeshaanee, also known as Gajaananee, Ganesharee or Vighneshwaree, is the feminine form of Lord Ganesh. Goddess Vinaayakee is the idol worshipped in Tamilnaadu. Vinaayakee or Ganeshaanee is considered as a form of Shakti rather than a Yoginee Devtaa.

Appearance of Goddess Vinaayakee:
While the Ganapati appears with elephant head and human body, Vinaayakee appears with the elephant head and a woman's body. In Madurai, Tamilnaadu, Vinaayakee is worshipped as ‘Vyaaghrapaad Ganapati. Vyaaghrapaad Ganapati
appears with female body and tiger feet (Vyaaghra = Tiger; Paad = feet).

Vigneshwaree or Ganeshaanee – Feminine Ganesh in Suchindram:
A feminine Ganesh in Sukhaasan pose is worshipped in Suchindram. A feminine Ganesh form is worshipped as Gajananee in Tibet.  Some Puraan and ancient scriptures mentioned the female Shakti of Ganapati as Vainaayakee or Ganeshinee. Several Puraan referred to Ganeshaanee or Vinaayakee as one of the Yoginee Shakti. But the worship of Ganeshinee is very less known in ancient rituals and Poojaa.

A village called Cigar in Rajasthan, the feminine form of Ganesh called Vighneshwaree is worshipped in an ancient Shiv temple. In the Ved, the appearance of Vidaya Ganapati is described as feminine form of Ganapati.

Vyaaghrapaad Ganeshaanee - Enigma of Lord Ganesha’s Female Form:
Perhaps the most famous Ganesh temple in India is the Uchi Pillaiyaar Koyil at Trichy. Uchi means “at the top”. This large temple (also known as the Rock Fort Temple) is built on a hilltop and commands a breathtaking view of the city and of the river Kaaveree. Another large Ganesh temple is the Pillaiyaarpatti Temple near Karaikudi in Ramanasthpuram District, also in Tamilnaadu. In New Delhi there is the Siddhi Buddhi Vinayagar temple situated in Vinaya Nagar. The Mukkurunee Pillaiyar inside the huge Meenaakshee Temple complex in Madurai, India, is also quite famous. This Moorti is 10-12 feet tall. Mukkurunee refers to a large measure of rice (about 40 pounds). Here the priests cook a huge Modak ball (Laddoo) for Ganesh using this measure. Hence the name Mukkurunee Pillaiyaar.

Also in Madurai, Ganesh is worshiped as Vyaaghrapaad Ganeshaani, in female form with tiger feet. Some say that this form belongs to the Rudra Gan. We also see the description of the female form of Ganapati in the Mantra Shaastra. This form is called as Vallabh Ganeshaanee. This form has not gained much popularity. The Ganeshaanee Moorti in Sukhaasan pose resides at Suchindram. There are two other temples in India with the female Ganesh form. One is at a tenth-century temple dedicated to sixty-four yoginis in Bheraghat, a village near Jabalpur. The other is the Tanumalaya Swaamee Temple in Suchindrum, Kerala. In Tibet She is worshiped as Gajananee.

Vinaayakee or Ganeshaanee, the Shakti of Vinaayak or Ganesh, is a comparatively less known goddess in Indian iconography. Even as the female energy of Vinaayak, one of the five major gods of the Hindu pantheon, her worship was not much popular in ancient India. It was probably due to the rise of the Ganapatya cult, Yoginee worship and
Taantrism that Vinayakee also came to be regarded as an important female deity during the early mediaeval period. Some Puraan and other scriptures mention Vinaayakee in the list of the Yoginee and other goddess. Several Jain and Buddhist literary works also enumerate interesting details about the goddess.

The well-known Chaunsath (64) Yoginee Temples at Rikhian, Bhedaaghaat, Heeraapur and Raaneepur-Jhariyaal enshrine the images of Vinaayakee along with other Yoginee. A few sculptures and bronzes discovered in various parts of India prove beyond doubt that she was also worshipped as a cult divinity by her devotees. Besides these, Vainayakee as a Buddhist Taantrik goddess Ganapati Hridyaa has also been found represented in the Taantrik paintings from Nepaal.


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Created on March 15, 2003 and Updated on May 17, 2013