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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Girijatamak Ashtavinayak Temple, Lenyandri

Lenyadri is situated on the North-West bank of river Kukadi, at 94 kms from Pune. Nearby, convenient railway stations are Pune and Talegaon. Buses do also provide easy approach to the place.

Lenyadri is the only place among Astavinayaka places,which is situated on a mountain, in the vicinity of famous buddhist caves. GirijÃĒtmaja Vinayaka is enshrined here : He is believed to be a manifestation of Ganapati as an infant.

The legend

With a desire of having Vinayak as her son, Parvati performed penance for 12 years in the caves of Lenyadri. Ganapati was pleased and gave her the boon she wanted . On one Bhadrapada Shudh Chaturthi, Parvati scrapped the scraf from her body, mixed it with oil and ointment and formed an idol of Ganesh. She was performing pooja of that idol, suddenly the idol became alive and told Parvati that as desired by her he has taken Avatar in her house. On 11th day he was named Ganesh meaning a person who keeps three qualities Satva, Raja and Tama under control. Lord Shiv Shankar gave him boon that whosoever remembers Ganesh before starting a work, will successfully complete the work. Ganesh grew up for 15 years at Lenyadri. Demon king Sindhu who knew that his death is in the hands of Ganesh, sent demons like Krur, Balasur, Vyomasur, Kshemma, Kushal etc. to kill Ganesh on Lenyadri. Instead Ganesh killed all these demons in his childhood. Ganapati also performed many Balleelas in this place. Hence Lenyadri is considered holy place .At the age of six, Vishwakarma worshipped Ganesh and endowes him with Paasa (noose), Parasu (axe), Ankush (hook) and Kamal (Lotus). Parvati's second name is Girija, her Aatmaj means son Ganesh is therefore called as Girijatmaj.

The murti

Girijatmaja's murti faces east. Parvati consecrated Ganesh it in the cave where in she had performed penances. This is not a separate and distinct statue. It has been carved on a stone wall of the cave. Previously, the God was covered with an armour. Now, since the armour is fallen, Girijatmaj's image with neck turned to left side can be seen. As such, only one eye can be seen. In this small sanctum, anybody can perform Girijatmaj's pooja on its own.

The temple

Out of 18 Buddhist caves on mountain, Girijatmaj Vinayak's temple is in the eighth cave. These caves are also called Ganesh caves. The entire temple is carved out of single stone and is facing south. In front of the main mandir, there is a huge Sabhamandap (Hall) which is nearly 18 meters long and about 17 meters broad and, surprisingly, there is no any single pillar in that Sabhamandap. It has 18 small meditation rooms. Shri Girijatmaja's abode is the central one. The sabhamandap, about 2 meters high, has six stone pillars decorated with cow, elephant, etc. carvings.

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