Pureprayer offers best wishes on the occasion of Varasiddhi Vinayaka Chaturthee!
Let’s worship Lord Ganapati seeking his benevolence. Lord Ganesh is explained as the Muladhar Shakti (energy) represented by Beejakshar and Swastik in Tantra methods. He is said to be pleased by offering twenty one Namaskarams and sweet treats made from Bengal gram dal and jaggery.
This festival season, let us take Spiritual Journeys to get Darshan of twenty one special Ganeshas all over seeking the benevolence of the Universal One present everywhere.
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In a small village near Kolhapur, A tall Ganesha idol made of concrete has been installed on a pedestal. Named as Chinmaya Ganadhish, the image is 66 feet high and the pedestal is 24 feet high. This is in the Sandeepany Chinmaya Ashram which is an organisation belonging to Chinmaya Mission. This was consecrated in the year 2001.
Ganesh is revered as Phra Phikaneth in Thailand by devotees. The other name is Phra Phikanesuan which could be a corruption of Vara Vighneswaran. His shrines are all over Thailand. Buddhists of Thailand worship Ganesh before any venture such as business, exams, overseas journey, constructions or even marriage. Elephant-headed god is incorporated into the emblem of Department of Fine Arts, can show the devotion, love and respect of Thais to Lord Ganapati. Massive celebrations take place at Shiva temple in Bangkok and Utthayan Ganesh temple in Nakhon Nayok worshipping the remover of obstacles.
Wat Saman Rattanaram is home to Thailand’s largest image of Ganesha, the elephant-headed deity. He reclines on a pedestal in the river bank, impressing devotees with sheer size (16 metres tall, 22 metres long) and color.
Tibetans worship Ganesh as Ganapati-Maharakta with an opinion of the color-complexion of the lord. He is worshipped with a reference to the letter GaH or GaM using red flowers. Ganesh is a three-eyed god with a goad, noose and tusk giving the assurance of Abhaya (Meaning: Protection). A large belly and red garment with rat present complete the image. He is even anointed with Rakta-Chandan (Meaning: Red fragrant paste). Ganapati Atharva Sheersha is a scripture on worship of Lord Ganapati, which mentions a procedure similar to this and states that a person who takes up such worship invoking the lord is bestowed with all the Siddhis.
The belief in Myanmaar (erstwhile Burma) is that Lord Ganapati is none other than Lord Brahma with an elephant-head. A Brahma called Arsi once lost a wager with Lord Songkran or Indra. Songkran decapitated Brahma. However, the removed head requested the lord to attach some other head so the functions can continue. Songkran agreed to this and placed an elephant-head to Arsi’s body. The head cut off was thrown into the sea. The sea dried up. The head was thrown on the land, but the land was scorched. The head was thrown into air would produce flames, heat and smoke that troubled everyone. Songkran ordered that Brahma’s head be carried by Princesses taking turns every year. This is how Ganesh became the creator.
A Ganesha idol from the 1st Century CE was found on the summit of Mount Raksa in Panaitan Island of West Java.
Sanjaya kings of the present day Java built many temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, Ganesh and Goddess Durga during 7th and 8th centuries. A three metres high image of Lord Ganapati is worshipped in Bara temple of East Java. This temple was built in 1239 CE.
Close at home, Hampi the capital of Vijayanagar Empire has two shrines with images of Ganesh popular as Kadalekaalu Ganapati and Sasivekaalu Ganapati, which are much sought after places of visit. Kadalekaalu Ganapati (Meaning: Bengal Gram) is a 15 feet high image carved out of a boulder. Sasivekaalu Ganapati (Meaning: Mustard seed) is eight feet high image. He is sitting in Goddess Parvati’s lap. This can be seen only by going round the Mantap.
MahaGanapati of Gokarna in the Mahabaleshwara temple is connected with the great epic of Ramayan scripted by Sage Valmeeki. It can be recalled that Lord Ganapati tricked the demon king Ravan in handing over the Atmalinga.
This consecration of Lord Shiva’s Atmalinga is believed to have taken place in 23rd Tretayuga, when Star Vishakha was in Meena Lagnam and Solar month of Tula. It was a Sunday of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) in Karteeka Masa of Ishwaranama Samvatsar.
Ganesh temple in the village Gulur near Tumakuru relates to an incident that took place when Sage Agastya visited the region. Lord Ganapati appeared in the dreams of a poor Brahmin and ordered him to carry out his worship. Sage Agastya helped the poor farmer in the worship for thirty days. The poor man built an image in clay from a nearby lake. This convention has been continued even in modern times at Gulur. Work is begun collecting clay on Ganesh Chaturthi and the celebration is carried out on Bali Padyam and goes on for a month. Images of sage Agastya and Lord Ganapati can be seen in the temple of Gulur.
Shenbakkam near Vellore famous for Nava Brindavanam, has a very old temple where eleven self-manifest Ganapatis have been installed. The name of the region is believed to be a corruption from Swayambhuparshvam. The installation was found during the Maratha rule in the province. It is said that the axle of Thukoji’s chariot broke down here. He had to stay the night in the place. They discovered the temple tip hidden in the earth which caused the accident. The temple was unearthed and worships began again.
Pillayarpatti Vinayagar temple in Shivaganga district of Tamil Nadu is said to have the installation of a six feet tall Ganapati that belongs to 4th Century CE. Lord Ganapati is with to arms and in Ardha Padmasanam posture. There are 14 inscriptions in this rock cut temple of Pallava period. ‘Ekkattur Koon Peruparanan sculpted this image of Ganesh and Shiva’ is mentioned in an inscription. The lord is known as Karpaga Vinayakar as he grants the desires of devotees like the Kalpavriksh (Meaning: Sacred wishing tree).
Kutchery Vinayagar of Cheyyur is fond of concerts. The image of Lord Ganapati has been carved with his head tilted, as if he is listening to music. He holds Akshamaala in his hand against the norm of noose.
Kanipakam Vinayaka temple on the banks of Bahuda River situated near Tirupati was built by Kulottunga Chola during 11th Century CE. Kanipakam means water flowing into a wetland. A legend says that three brothers who were mute, deaf and blind came across the self-manifest image, while digging a well. When the tool hit a hard rock, blood stated gushing out and their deformities disappeared. They understood what must have happened. They gathered up fellow villagers who reported the matter to the king and a temple was built. Even now the presiding deity is in water as the sanctum is a part of the well.
A rare image of Ganesh found in a cave at Kombeng in Borneo is an idol with four arms. He can be seen holding a Parashu (Meaning: axe), Akshamaala (Meaning: beaded chain) and wearing a Jatamukuta in the head.
Khade Ganeshji in Rajastan is a three eyed version of the lord, which is believed to be a very ancient installation still in worship.
Many Ganesha images can be found in Afghanistan. A sixth century image of Ganesh is now seen placed in Darga Peer Rattan Nath in Kabul.