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Vināyakī is an elephant-headed Hindu goddess. Her folklore and iconography are not obviously characterized. Little is told about her in Hindu sacred writings and not many pictures of this divinity exist.
Because of her huge highlights, the goddess is for the most part connected with the elephant-headed divine force of shrewdness, Ganesha. She doesn’t have a reliable name and is known by different names — Stri Ganesha (“female Ganesha”), Vainayaki, Gajanani (“elephant-confronted”), Vighneshvari (“Fancy woman of hindrances”) and Ganeshani, every one of them being ladylike types of Ganesha’s designations Vinayaka, Gajanana, Vighneshvara and Ganesha itself. These distinguishing pieces of proof have brought about her being expected as the shakti — female type of Ganesha.
Vinayaki is in some cases likewise observed as the piece of the sixty-four yoginis or the matrika goddesses. In any case, researcher Krishan accepts that Vinayakis in early elephant-headed matrikas, the Brahmanical shakti of Ganesha, and the Tantric yogini are three unmistakable goddesses.
In the Jain and Buddhist customs, Vinayaki is a free goddess. In Buddhist works, she is called Ganapatihridaya (“heart of Ganesha”).
The most punctual known elephant-headed goddess figure is found in Rairh, Rajasthan. It is a disfigured earthenware plaque dated from the primary century BCE to the principal century CE. The goddess is elephant-confronted with the storage compartment going to one side and has two hands. As the images in her grasp and different highlights are dissolved, an away from of the goddess is absurd.
Other elephant-headed figures of the goddess are found from the tenth century onwards. One of the most renowned models of Vinayaki is as the forty-first yogini in the Chausath Yogini Sanctuary, Bhedaghat, Madhya Pradesh. The goddess is called Sri-Aingini here. Here, the goddess’ twisted left leg is bolstered by an elephant-headed male, probably Ganesha.
An uncommon metal model of Vinayaki is found in Chitrapur Math, Shirali. She is full-breasted, yet slim, in contrast to Ganesha. She wears the Yajnopavita (“holy string”) over her chest and two neck adornments. Her two front hands are held in abhaya (“dread not”) and varada (shelter giving) mudras (signals). Her two back arms convey a blade and a noose. Her trunk is gone to one side. The picture is most likely tenth century from north-western India (Gujarat/Rajasthan) and having a place with the Tantric Ganapatya faction (who viewed Ganesha as the Incomparable God) or to the vamachara (left-gave) Goddess-loving Shakta order.
A Pala Vinayaki from Giryek, Bihar, is likewise not pot-bellied. The four-equipped goddess conveys a gada (mace), ghata (pot), parashu (hatchet) and conceivably a radish. A Pratihara picture shows a pot-bellied Vinayaki, with four arms holding a gada-parashu blend, a lotus, a unidentifiable article and a plate of modak desserts, which the storage compartment snatches. In the two pictures, the storage compartment is gone to one side. Harmed four-furnished or two-outfitted Vinayaki pictures are likewise found in Ranipur Jharial (Orissa), Gujarat and Rajasthan.
In another picture from Satna, Vinayaki is one among five theriocephalic goddesses. The focal figure, the cow headed yogini, Vrishabha, holds the child Ganesha in her arms. Vinayaki, a minor figure, is pot-bellied and conveys an ankusha (elephant drive) like Ganesha. In this design, Vrishabha might be considered as a mother of Ganesha and different goddesses, along these lines implying a kin connection among Vinayaki and Ganesha. Another understanding recommends that all the female gods, including Vinayaki, are moms of the baby god.
A comparable picture of Ganeshyani is additionally observed at the Bhuleshwar Sanctuary of Shiva, close to Pune, Maharashtra.
In Cheriyanad Sreebalasubramaniya Swamy Sanctuary, thought about the Desadeva (Divine force of Region) of Cheriyanad town, has a wooden sculpture of Vinayaki which is arranged in “Balikal Pura” of Sanctuary.
Elephant-headed females showing up in the Puranas are demonesses or reviled goddesses. In a story about Ganesha’s introduction to the world, the elephant-headed demoness Malini brings forth Ganesha subsequent to drinking the shower water of Parvati, Ganesha’s mom. In Skanda Purana, Lakshmi, the goddess of riches, is reviled to have an elephant head, which she disposes of by satisfying the god Brahma by atonement. These are not called Vinayaki and are remotely connected to Ganesha as a mother (Malini) or a partner (Lakshmi in certain symbols). The Harivamsa, Vayu Purana and Skanda Purana likewise portray elephant-confronted Matrikas (“Moms”), grahas (seizers) and ganas, who bear names like Gajanani (“elephant-confronted”), Gajamukhi (“elephant-confronted”) and Gajasya (“gigantic”). Notwithstanding, Krishan relates these Matrikas to Jyeshtha, the goddess of incident who is depicted as elephant-confronted.
Vainayaki, not expressly identified with Ganesha, likewise shows up in the Puranas. In the Matsya Purana (aggregated c. 550 CE), she is one of the Matrikas, made by the god Shiva – Ganesha’s dad – to vanquish the evil spirit Andhaka. In this unique situation, she might be considered as a shakti of Shiva, instead of Ganesha. Just the name “Vainayaki” signifying “having a place with Vinayaka/Ganesha” may propose an affiliation. She likewise figures in a rundown of shaktis in the Linga Purana. The Agni Purana (incorporated in the tenth century) is the principal Purana that rundowns the shaktis of Ganesha; in any case, Vainayaki isn’t one of them, nor are any of them elephant-confronted. Vainayaki figures in a rundown of sixty-four yoginis in a similar Purana.
Notwithstanding, the upapurana (lesser Purana) Devi Purana unequivocally recognizes Gananayika or Vinayaki as the shakti of Ganesha, described by her elephant head and capacity to evacuate obstructions like Ganesha, and incorporates her as the ninth Matrika. In spite of the fact that for the most part the quantity of Matrikas is seven in model and writing, nine Matrikas got mainstream in eastern India. Aside from the old style seven, Mahalakshmi or Yogeshvari and Ganeshani or Ganeshā were included as eighth and ninth Matrika separately.
The Medieval content Gorakshasamhita portrays Vinayaki as elephant-confronted, pot-bellied, having three eyes and four arms, holding a parashu and a plate of modaks.
Srikumara’s sixteenth century iconographical treatise Shilparatna portrays a female type of Ganesha (Ganapati) called Shakti-Ganapati, who dwells in the Vindhyas. The god has an elephant head and two trunks. Her body is of a young lady, vermilion red in shading and with ten arms. She is pot-bellied and with full bosoms and wonderful hips. This symbol presumably has a place with Shaktism, the Hindu Goddess-adoring group. Be that as it may, this structure is likewise deciphered as a composite of Ganesha and his shakti, because of the nearness of the twin trunks.
In a Buddhist book called Aryamanjusrimulakalpa, the goddess is known as the siddhi of Vinayaka. She acquires a large number of Ganesha’s qualities. Like Ganesha, she is the remover of snags and has an elephant’s head with just one tusk. She is likewise called the little girl of the god Ishana, a part of Shiva.
Vinayaki if famous deity worship in Cheriyanad village in Kerala state of India. It lies in the Central Travancore Region, and specifically comes under Chengannur taluk in Alappuzha District.