Hindu Gods · Hinduism

Vināyakī – A feminine form of Lord Ganesha

Vināyakī is an elephant-headed Hindu goddess.Her mythology and iconography are not clearly defined. Little is told about her in Hindu scriptures and very few images of this deity exist.

She does not have a consistent name and is known by various names — Vainayaki, Gajanani (“elephant-faced”), Vighneshvari (“Mistress of obstacles”) and Ganeshani. These identifications have resulted in her being assumed as the shakti of Ganesha.

Vinayaki is sometimes also seen as the part of the sixty-four yoginis or the matrika goddesses. However, scholar Krishan believes that Vinayakis in early elephant-headed matrikas, the Brahmanical shakti of Ganesha, and the Tantric yogini are three distinct goddesses.

In the Jain and Buddhist traditions, Vinayaki is an independent goddess. In Buddhist works, she is called Ganapatihridaya (“heart of Ganesha”).

How many of you know about the feminine form of Lord Ganesha? Yes! A feminine form of Lord Ganesha was born (for a purpose), and that divine power got named as Shakti-Ganesh, Vainayaki, Vinayaki, Ganeshwari, Gajamukhi and many more.

Of the many forgotten female powers, Vainayaki is one such form.

According to the Matsya Purana and Vishnu-Dharmottara Purana, Vinayaki was created when a vicious demon, Andhaka tried to kidnap Goddess Parvati to marry her.

The demon was attacked by Lord Shiva, however, every drop of his blood that fell to the ground turned into another Andhaka.

As every divine being is a mixture of female and male forms, where the male form represents the mental potential and female form represents the Shakti; Maa Parvati, hence, called out to all the divine powers to unleash their female forms (Shaktis) so that whenever the blood droplets of Andhaka is about to fall on the ground, the feminine forms(Shaktis) of the Gods would consume those thereby preventing the formation of more Andhakas; that was when Ganesha released his female form Vinayaki!
This feminine form of Lord Vinayaka is worshipped as Vyagrapada Ganapathi in Madurai(India); as Ganeshani in Tibet; and as Ganendree in Bali(Indonesia).

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