Shakti Sadhana

** VIGNESHWARI Devi **

In Tamil Nadu, Vigneshwari is not considered a Yogini, but rather a Shakti. She is called Sree Vanja Kalpalatha Maha Ganapathi. As expected, this form of Ganapathi [the South Indian name for Ganesh] has the head of an elephant. But the rest of the body -- neck, shoulders, chest, etc. -- is that of a woman!

It is said that people troubled by disease, marriage strife or accidents should pray to this form of Ganapathi, also known as Ganeshini.

The Ganeshini Pooja Mantra is considered very difficult; one must remain focused and free of diversions while reciting it; only then can one expect Ganeshini to give results. But those who successfully comple Her sadhana will gain power, and God will always be with them; the sadhak becomes Sree Vidya Ganapathi Herself! This is confirmed by the Vedas and Shastras.

We can actually pray to those who have obtained the power of Sree Vidaya Ganapathi, and obtain their blessings to solve our problems. These people also gain the power to predict the future. In the Veda, we can also find Sree Vidaya Ganapathi depicted as being female, seated with Her left leg folded beneath Her and Her right leg hanging. She is said to have ten hands and to hold a vessel filled with water in one of Her right hands. ... The fact that Ganeshini is a mixture of Lord Shiva and the Goddess gives Her more power. In the 15th Century Sasidenra Danamalays Perumal Temple, we again see the elephant/female visage of Ganeshwari.

This Ganeshwari is also known as Vigneshwari. She has four hands, and is sitting in a relaxed position with one leg folded beneath and the other leg pointing downward. Because Vigneshwari has female features, She is also called Sree Vidyaa Ganapathi. …In Rajasthan, in the north of India, sits the tenth-century Lord Shiva Temple in the city of Ciggar. In this temple, again we find Vigneshwari, crowned and wearing lots of jewelry around Her neck. People used to pray to Her by putting kumkum [vermillion] and tumeric powder on Her idol's chest. ... In addition, there exist in the museums several old Pahari and Nepali drawings of Ganeshini/Vigneshwari.

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(Picture and text taken from the September 2002 edition of the Tamil- language magazine, "Kumutam Bhakti" Translated into English for the "Shakti Sadhana" Group by Mr. S. Rajah (PPT), of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.)

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