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Ashtavinayak Indian Mythology

Mahaganpati – Lord Ganesha – Ashtavinayak temple

Mahaganpati Temple is the eighth and final temple to be visited in Ashtavinayak yatra. The temple is 50 kms from Pune on the Pune Ahmednagar highway in the village of Ranjangaon.

About Idol and Temple

Ganesha idol as Mahaganpati in this temple is in sitting position with crossed legs and is facing towards east. The trunk is pointing to the left, has a broad forehead adorned with ruby in eyes and naval.

Statue of Riddhi and Siddhi is on both side of Ganesha idol. The temple is so designed that when sun rises its rays falls directly on the statue. Mahaganpati Temple at Ranjangaon is the most powerful representation of Lord Ganesha.

Mahaganpati – Ashtavinayak Lord Ganesha temple at Ranjangaon

Legend

There was a sage named Gritsamad. One day he sneezed and from this was created a young boy. Sage brought him as his own son. He taught him Ganesha mantra. The boy started meditating intensely and pleased Lord Ganesha. Ganesha appeared before him and blessed him with three pura-s of gold, silver and iron. Thus the boy got the name Tripur, as he was owner of three pura-s. Ganesha also made him most powerful and he could not be defeated by any one except Lord Shiva himself. With this boon Gritsamad conquered Netherworld and headed towards heaven to conquer it. Gods were scared Lord Brahma hide in lotus and Lord Vishnu in Kshirsagar. Tripur took over mount Kailash and became the king of all the three world.  God were wondering how to get rid of Tripurasur. Lord Narad advised them to seek help of Lord Ganesha. Lord Ganesha agreed to help them.

Ganesha disguised as  brahmin went to Tripurasura and told him that he is very enlightened brahmin, he could make three planes for him so that he would be able to go any where he wished to within minutes. Lord Ganesha also asked him to bring statue of Chintamani from mount kailash.

Tripurasur went to get the statue but, Shiva refused to give the statue. This made Tripurasura angry. There was a fierce battle between the two. Lord Shiva too realised that he was unable to defeat Tripurasura because he did not paid his respect to lord Ganesha.

Then Lord Shiva invoked Ganesha and on dong so from his mouth emerged Gajanan, and granted him boon. Ganesha directed Shiva how he could kill Tripurasura.

Shiva was asked to recite the Sahastranam and then direct an arrow at the 3 pura-s of Tripurasur. Lord Shiva followed the instruction and finally Tripurasura was defeated and the place where Lord Shiva invoked Ganesha he created a temple for him. The place where Lord Shiva himself sought blessing of Ganesha and destroyed Tripurasura is called Ranjangaon.

 

This concludes the Ashtavinayak story of Lord Ganesha. Hope you have enjoyed. Please do send your comments.

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Ashtavinayak

Vighneshwar Temple – Ashtavinayak – Lord Ganesha

Vighneshwar Temple at Ozar is one of the ashtavinayak Temple of Lord Ganesha. This Ganesha temple is located at Ozar which is 85 kms from Pune situated at Pune Nasik highway on the banks of river Kukadi. This temple is 7th temple to be visited into Ashtavinayak yatra.

Legend

According to Puran, there was a king named Abhinandan, who performed a sacrifice in which he did not give any offering to God King Indra. The infuriated Indra ordered Kala to destroy the sacrifice . Kala take the form of  the demon Vighnasura and created obstacles and ruined it. He went  a step further and destroyed all vedic religious acts to answer the people’s prayer for protection, which created havoc in universe.

 

Sages worshipped Lord Ganesha to save them from Vighnasura. After a fierce battle, Vighnasura realised that it was impossible to win so he surrendered. Demon then begged and pleaded with Lord Ganesha to show mercy. Ganesha granted his plea on a condition that he will not go to place where Ganesha worshipping is going on . In return he asked for a favour that his name should be taken before Ganesha’s name. Thus Ganesha here is known as Vighnahara or vighneshwar Vinayak.

Vighneshwar – Ashtavinayak

 

About Temple and Idol

The temple  faces east and is surrounded by thick stone wall. The main hall is 20 feet long having entrance to north and south.too and has image of Ganesha. The inner hall is 10 feet long and has white marble mushika. The shikhar over the sanctum is covered with gold foil.

This is the only temple which has a golden dome with pinnacle.

 

Idol

The idol like all other ashtavinayak idols is self originated. The statue is east facing with trunk turned towards left, with rubies are studded in eyes , diamonds on forehead and some jewels in naval. Like all other idols of Ashtavinayak here also the idol is smeared with vermillion. Ganesha statue is surrounded with monkeys and parrots on trees. Idols of Riddhi and Siddhi are placed on two sides of Ganesha idol.

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Ashtavinayak

Girijatmaj temple – Lord Ganesha Ashtavinayak

Girijatmaj form of Lord Ganesha is important as he took this form to kill the demon Sindhu. It is believed that he spent twelve years of his life at lenyadri, then this place is considered as a holy place.

Girijatmaj Temple or Lenyadri Ganpati temple is 12 kms away from Narayangaon, which is 94 km from pune on Pune Nashik highway. This temple is one among the eight ashtavinayak temples. It is the sixth temple to be visited during ashtavinayak yatra.

It is the only temple located on mountain. There are various caves of Buddhist origin, among them 8th cave is the Lenyadri Ganpati temple. This temple is carved out of a single stone hill and has 307 steps.The temple has a wide hall of 53 feet long, 51 feet wide and 7 feet high dimension. A interesting fact about this hall is that the hall has no supporting pillars.

Girijatmaj – Ashtavinayak – Lord Ganesha

 

Idol and Temple

The idol of this temple is little different as it is not very well carved. The idol faces north with its back facing the worshipper. He face  is visible to the other side of the mountain. The  trunk is turned to its left with only one eye visible. Idol is covered with sindoor and is carved on the stone wall of cave.The temple facing east and has no electric bulb.  

Ganesha here is called Girijatmaj which means Atmaja or son of Girija or Parvati.

 

Legend

According to Ganesha purana, Parvati performed penance for 12 years in the caves of Lenyadri with the desire of having Ganesha as her son. Ganesha was pleased and granted her the boon she wanted. On Bhadrapada chaturthi, Parvati created a idol out of the sandal paste of her body. Suddenly the idol came alive. He was named Ganesha meaning a person who has control over all the three qualities Satva, Raja and Tama. Lord Shiva granted him a boon that whoever remembers him before any work will successfully complete the work. Ganesha grew up 15 years at Lenyadri, so this place is considered very holy.

He was born in Treta yuga to kill demon Sindhu. Demon king sent many demons like Krur, Balasur, Vyomasur, Kshmemme, Kushal etc to kill Ganesha, but Ganesha killed all of them in his childhood.

 

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Ashtavinayak Lord Ganesha

Chintamani – Ashtavinayak – Lord Ganesha

Chintamani

Chintamani is a form of Lord Ganesha. He is worshipped for unity, prosperity, learning and removing obstacles. Ashtavinayak is eight forms of Ganesha. All the eight temples of Ganesha are located in Maharashtra. All the idols of Ashtavinayak are self originated (swayambhu).

Chintamani Temple of Theur is a Hindu temple located 22 km from Pune, off the Pune Solapur highway. The village of Theur is situated at the confluence of three major regional rivers Mula,Mutha and Bhima. Chintamani Temple is one among eight temple of Ashtavinayak. People visit this temple after visiting Varad Vinayak temple.

Chintamani Lord Ganesha

 

Temple and Idol 

Main temple is north facing but the statue of Ganesha is east facing. The trunk of the idol is turned towards left with jewels studded in eyes. There is hardly any features visible, it is smeared with vermilion (sindur). The idol is interpreted to be sitting in crossed leg position.

 

The temple had a wooden assembly hall (sabha mandapa). Hall has a black stone water fountain. This temple has a separate section for meditation.

 

Legend

 

King Abhijit had a son named Ganasura. He was very strong but very greedy and hot headed warrior king. He pleased Lord Shiva with his worship. Shiva granted the kingship of the three world heaven, earth and underworld and also granted him a boon that nobody can defeat him.

Once Ganasura went to the ashram of sage Kapila, who owned a wish granting jewel Chintamani.

Sage Kapila served the prince and his army with delicious food created with the help of jewel. Greedy prince desire to acquire the jewel. When sage refuse to grant him the jewel Ganasura seized the jewel fro the sage.

Sage Kapila was a great devotee of Ganesha so he prayed him. Ganesha was pleased with the devotion and he brought the gem back. But sage refused to take it back instead he put that on Lord Ganesha’s neck. Thus the deity here is known as Chintamani Vinayak. This happened under a kadamb tree therefore Theur is also known as Kadambanagar.

Another Legend

 

Another legend says that name Theur originated from sanskrit word ‘Sthavar’, which means stable. It is believed that once Lord Brahma has meditated here so his restless mind became sthavar or stable because of blessing of Lord Ganesha. Since Ganesha helped Brahma to get rid of his chinta’s or worries, hence he is known as Chintamani.

There is one more interesting legend which says that Lord Indra has worshipped Ganesha under Kadamba tree to get rid off sage Gautama’s curse hence, the place is known as Kadamba Nagar.

In Ashvinayak Yatra, people visit this temple after visiting Varad Vinayak. After this people visit Girijatmaj.

 

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Ashtavinayak Lord Ganesha

Varada Vinayak – Ashtavinayak temple of Lord Ganesha

Varada Vinayak

Varada Vinayak temple is one among the Ashtavinayak temple, located in Madh village of Raigad district, Maharashtra. People visit this temple after visiting Balleshwar temple, and then proceed to the next temple which is Chintamani Temple, in Pune.

The Ganesha idol of the temple is self originated (swayambhu). The idol is facing east with its trunk turned to left. This temple also has idols of mushika, Navagraha devatas and Shivalinga. Temple also has four gates and idol of elephant is on each gate.

Varada Vinayak Temple

There is a lamp Nandadeep is said to be burning continuously since 1892. In this temple devotee can enter the Garbhagriha and pay their homage and respect to the idol personally.

Legend :

Bhima, king of Kaudamyapur was childless. He along with his wife met sage Vishwamitra. Sage gave them a mantra to chant. King was blessed with a son, they named him Rukmaganda. He grew into a handsome prince.  

Once he was hunting in a forest and reached a ashram of rishi Vachaknavi. When Rishi’s wife Mukunda saw Rukmaganda she fell in love with him and asked him to fulfill her desire. Rukmaganda refused to do so and left the ashram. Mukunda became lovesick. Lord Indra saw her plight so he took the form of Rukmaganda and made love to her. Mukunda became pregnant and gave birth to a son, Gritsamada.

When Gritsamada learned about the circumstances of his birth he cursed his mother to become unattractive thorny berry bearing ‘Bhor’ plant. Mukunda also cursed him that a cruel demon will be born from him. Suddenly, they both heard a heavenly  voice that Gritsamada was son of Lord Indra. Both were shocked after hearing this but, it was too late their curses could not be altered. Mukunda was transformed into Bhor plant and ashamed Gritsamada  went to forest to prayed Lord Ganesha for a reprieve.

Lord Ganesha was pleased by his penance and offered him a boon that he will have a son who would not be defeated by anybody except Lord Shiva. Gritsamada also requested Ganesha to bless the forest and stay there permanently. Gritsamada built a temple there.

Ganesha idol is called Varada Vinayak, forest is known as Bhadraka.

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Ashtavinayak Lord Ganesha

Ballaleshwar Temple – Abode of Lord Ganesha

Ballaleshwar Temple

Ballaleshwar Temple is located in village of Pali, in Raigarh district of Maharashtra. This is the only temple of Lord Ganesha which is famous by the name of his devotee. This temple is one among the eight temples of Lord Ganesha. This temple is to be visited after Siddhivinayak Temple by the devotees who are doing Ashtavinayak yatra.  

The original temple was made of wood, which was later renovated in 1760. It is built in shape of Shree and is made by mixing lead with cement during construction.

The idol of Ganesha in this temple is in sitting position with its trunk turned left. Idol has diamond in eyes and naval. Statues of Goddess Riddhi and Siddhi is on either side of Ganesha waving chamras (hand fan). The statue of Ganesha is east facing and i placed such that during sunrise and sunset sun rays falls directly on the statue.

Sri Ballaleshwar temple of Lord Ganesha

The temple has two sanctum one outer and inner. Outer sanctum has a statue of rat holding modak and facing Ganesha. Main hall has 8 pillars resembling cypress tree.

Legend

It’s a devotional story of a small boy Ballala.

Ballala was an ardent devotee of Lord Ganesha. He spent most of his time worshipping and influencing other friends to do so. Parents of other children were not very happy with this they though Ballala was misleading their children so they asked Ballala’s to restrain him.

One day Ballala was performing a special puja  and invited all his friends. The puja went on for several days and devoted children refused to go to home before completion of puja. This annoyed the parents they complained to ballala’s father about this.

Furious father, Kalyan seth went to the place were puja was being performed. He threw the Ganesha idol in forest and beat Ballala severely. Though Balallam was tired and injured but still continued chanting the name of Ganesha. Pleased with the devotion of the little boy Ganesha appeared before .Little boy Ballalla requested him to take abode at his village.

Ganesha said that he will also be known by his name, hence he is known as Ballaleshwar.

The stone statue which  Ballalla’s father threw on ground is known as  Dhundi Vinayak.

Today also this Swayambhu Murti is worshipped before Ballaleshwar.

 

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Ashtavinayak Lord Ganesha

Siddhivinayak – Lord Ganesha Temple

Siddhivinayak Temple

Siddhivinayak temple is located in Prabhadevi, Mumbai, Maharashtra. In Marathi, Siddhivinayak is also known as Navsacha Ganapati, Navasala Pavanara Ganpati which means Ganpati bestows whenever humbly genuinely prayed. It is believed that it was here on the Siddhatek mountain Vishnu acquired Siddhi and as such the idol of Lord Ganesha here is called Siddhivinayak. The temple was first consecrated on 19th nov. in 1801.  This is the second temple to be visited by the pilgrim in Ashtavinayak Yatra. Siddhi Vinayak is Ganesha who grants you wish. Today Siddhivinayak temple is considered as  richest temple in Mumbai.

Siddhivinayak – Lord Ganesha

That original temple was small, it consist of a hall, a sanctum sanctorum and some free open space. The temple administrative office was on the right side and a water tank was in the front.

The idol of shri Siddhivinayak is 2.5 feet wide and 2.5 feet high. It is carved in a single stone. The deity has a third eye on its forehead, which resembles third eye of Lord Shiva. The deity here has four hands (chatrabhuj). In the upper right hand Ganesha is holding a lotus, and a small axe in upper left hand. A holy beads or rosemary in lower right hand and a bowl full of modak in its lower left hand. The trunk of Ganesha in this form is slightly twisted towards right making it unique.  Around the neck deity has a snake like sacred thread. On both side are two idols of goddess Riddhi and Buddhi.

Legend:

When Lord Brahma was busy in creating the world. While this was going on Lord Vishnu fell asleep. Two demons, Madhu and Kaitabha emerged from his ears. Both the demons started troubling all Gods , Goddesses and sages. Lord  Brahma and other Gods requested Vishnu to kill the the demons. Though Vishnu fought for  5000 years but still was unable to defeat them. So Vishnu prayed to Lord Ganesha got siddhi and then killed the demon. Hence, the place where Vishnu performed penance is called Siddhatek and Lord Ganesha who conferred siddhi is known as Siddhivinayak.

Today the temple has undergone a complete architectural transformation. It took three years to renovate the 200 year old temple. Keeping the idol intact temple has been built into a unique multiangular six storeyed structure. That reaches to the sky. Temple has a main central gold plated dome, small crown that surrounds are made of gold and panchdhatu. Main stone used were marble and pink granite. The wooden doors of the sanctum are carved with images of ashtavinayak. Siddhivinayak Temple is a good example of fine architecture.

This temple is one of the main attractions Mumbai City. Lord Ganesha takes away all the pain of the devotee and showers his blessings.