[Advaita-l] Who is Vighneshwara?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Sep 4 17:42:23 CDT 2016

There is a Kannada poetical work of a Madhva scholar-Haridāsa Sri
Jagannātha dāsa called 'Harikathāmṛtasāra'.  It contains a chapter called
'Ganapati sandhi' containing 21 verses:


Some of the features thereof:

1. Ganapati is admitted to be the scribe for Vyāsa in writing the Mahabhrata

2. Krishna instructs Yudhishthira to perform Ganapati puja

3. Sri Rāma performed the Ganapati puja before building the bridge to

4. In this work Ganapati is spoken of as the younger brother of Skanda

5. In a certain limited sphere, Ganapati is admitted as even jagat sṛṣṭi

6. Verses from the Skanda purāṇa are cited in the above context

One can see some similarities in the ancient Advaitic work 'Sankṣepa
śārīraka' of Sarvajñātman 9-10 CE. An article detailing this aspect is
available here for download:



Some other important features of Ganapati worship that are relevant to the
traditional follower of Shankara are:

1. The Ganesha Gāyatri is a part of the Taittiriya Āraṇyaka - Mahanarayana

2. The Bhāmatī (9 CE) pays obeisance to Ganapati and Subrahmanya

3. Amaḷānanda, commenting on the above, cites the Yajnavalkya smriti

5. Padmapāda, Shankara's immediate disciple, in his invocation to the
Panchapādika admits Vināyaka as part of the Śiva parivāra

6. Rukmini, in Srimadbhāgavatam, visits the temple of Shiva, Parvati and
Ganapati-Subrahmanya on the eve of her wedding. A Srivaishnava scholar, Sri
Virarāghavāchārya, has clarified this in his commentary.

7. Shankara's famous work 'mudā karātta modakam' is an enchanting prayer
featuring Ganapati as even vimuktidāyaka.

'Vināyaka' is both vighna kartā and vighna hartā just like Viṣṇu is both
bhayakṛt and bhayanāśana. For this reason sometimes Vinayaka is featured as
a deity along with yakṣas, etc.

There is a separate category of 'vināyaka-s' who are evil spirits featured
in the Srimadbhāgavatam several times and in some other puraṇas. This
should not be confused with the Ganapati. Shankara, the vaidika, in his
Gita bhashya is referring to the above group of vinayakas only.


Om Tat Sat

On Sun, Sep 4, 2016 at 11:44 AM, Venkatesh Murthy via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste
> शुक्लाम्बरधरं विष्णुं शशिवर्णं चतुर्भुजम् ।
> प्रसन्नवदनं ध्यायेत् सर्वविघ्नोपशान्तये ॥
> One Srivaishnava scholar has written the Suklambara Sloka is saying
> Vishnu is the destroyer of Obstacles but not Ganesha. When Siva and
> Parvati were getting married there was no Ganesha at that time. The
> gods prayed to Vishnu only to remove all obstacles like we are praying
> to Ganesha today as Vighneshwara. Therefore there is no necessity to
> worship Ganesha because Vishnu will do the job.
> But there is a fault in this logic. Vishnu may be Obstacle remover
> before Ganesha. When Ganesha's head was cut off and joined with
> Elephant head Siva only gave a boon to Ganesha saying He will be
> Prathama Poojya and Remover of Obstacles in all good works. Therefore
> from that time Ganesha got the Vighneshwara status.
> Because Siva has given Him that boon we have to follow it and worship
> Ganesha for removing obstacles. Ganesha is Vighneshwara. Before
> starting any good work we have to first worship Him. After Him we can
> worship other gods.
> --
> Regards
> -Venkatesh
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