Iconography of Vinayaka, Ganapati and Ganesa (Ganesha)

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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 star...Read more

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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.

About the Author

Dr. (Mrs.) Haripriya Rangarajan obtained her Ph.D. degree in Indian Culture from the Gujarat University in 1987. She specialized in the iconography of Visnu and has contributed articles to academic journals, national seminars and popular magazines. Her doctoral thesis was published in 1990 under the title Spread of Vaishnavism in Gujarat upto 1600 A.D. (A Study with Special Reference to the Iconic forms of Vishnu). Her book on Ramanuja Sampradaya in Gujarat: A Historical Perspective was published in 1996. Her third work entitled Varaha Images in Madhya Pradesh: An Iconographic Study was published in 1997 and the Asiatic Society of Bombay awarded the Silver Medal for the best book of the year in 1998. Her fourth book Images of Varahi: An Iconographic Study was published in 2004. Her fifth book Images of Skanda-Karttikeya-Murugan: An Iconographic Study was published in 2010.

She is a recipient of Indian Council of Historical Studies fellowship for her research studies. She is keen in organizing and participating in the academic activities. She has organized several seminars and workshops in close association with well-known museums and research institutions.

Details of Book :-

  • Author - Haripriya Rangarajan
  • Publisher - Sharada Publishing House
  • Language - English
  • ISBN - 9789383221004
  • Binding - Hardbound
  • Size - 25 cms x 20 cms
  • Pages - 292
  • Weight of book - 1300 grams


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