Iconography of Vinayaka, Ganapati and Ganesa
|Author||: Haripriya Rangarajan|
|Description||:xxviii+292 p., 102 b/w illus., Bibliography, Index|
About the Book
In the Hindu pantheon of gods, Vinayaka is the only deity who was born with a normal head, but beheaded by Lord Siva (his father) and again fixed with an elephant head to his body by the same Lord Siva. Then Lord Siva addressed him as Ganesa and blessed him that everyone including devas would pray to Ganesa before starting their work. This elephant god got the epithets, Vighnakarta and Vighnaharta. He is also called Ganapati.
The worship of Vinayaka has its roots in India from the very early period, 500 BCE. At that time, he was looked upon as an evil spirit by the brahmanical society and therefore, to save oneself from his wrath, his propitiation was prescribed in the household ritual manual called Manavagrhyasutra. However, after one thousand years, i.e. around 500 CE, the misconception about Vinayaka was rectified by a smrti called Yajnavalkya Smrti and He was identified as the son of Lord Siva and mother Ambika and was included in the Hindu pantheon of gods.
In this book, there are eight chapters which covers his earliest emergence in ancient historical period, different legends about his birth depicted in the puranas, the philosophical interpretations of Ganesa tattva, the continuity of his worship from the remote past till today and temples of Ganesa with special reference to Kasi and Maharashtra. The iconographical analysis of his forms cited in the various Silpasastras with his images in three postures and the images of Sakti Vinayaki are described with the help of 102 illustrations.