Vinayaka, aka: Vināyaka, Vināyakā; 13 Definition(s)


Vinayaka means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Buddhism, Pali, the history of ancient India. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Dharmashastra (religious law)

Vināyaka (विनायक) is the name of a deity to be invoked in a certain ritual, according to the Mānavagṛhyasūtra 2.14. Accordingly, the deity is prescribed when one suffers from possession by the Vināyakas, Śālakaṭaṅkaṭa, Kūṣmāṇḍarājaputra, Usmita and Devayajana. The Baijavāpagṛhyasūtra replaces the names of last two vināyakas with Mita and Sammita. According to R. C. Hazra in his Gaṇapati-worship, “this rite is both expiatory and propitiatory in nature and in which various things including meat and fish (both raw and cooked) and wine and cakes are to be offered”..

The gṛhya-sūtras are a branch of dharma-sūtras and refer to a category of Vedic literature dealing with domstic rites and rituals. The Mānava-gṛhya-sūtra belongs to the Kṛṣṇa-yajurveda. The Baijavāpa-gṛhya-sūtra is known only through references to it in other works (eg., Vīramitrodaya-Saṃskāra).

Source: The religion and philosophy of the Veda and the Upanishads (dharmashastra)

Vināyaka (विनायक).—The Baijavāpa-gṛhya (quoted by Aparārka p.563 on Yāj. I.275) says that there are four Vināyakas:—Mita, Sammita, Sālakaṭaṅkaṭa and Kuṣmāṇḍa-rāja-putra and describes seizure by them and its effects in the same way as the Mānava-gṛhya. These two show the first stage in the development of the cult of Vināyaka. Vināyakas are at this stage malevolent spirits who cause dangers and obstacles of various kinds. In this cult various elements from the terrific aspects of Rudra were probably first drawn upon and amalgamated with oth er elements drawn from aboriginal cults

Source: History Of Dharmasastra Vol II Part I
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Vinayaka in Purana glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

1) Vināyaka (विनायक).—A devatā of the Gaṇas (guards of Śiva). (Mahābhārata, Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 150, Stanza 25).

2) Vināyaka (विनायक).—Gaṇapati.

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

Vināyaka (विनायक).—The Skanda-purāṇa 4.2.57 gives the locations of the fifty-six Vināyakas at Kāśī (Vārāṇasī). These Vināyakas are arrayed at the eight directional points in seven concentric circles centring around Ḍhuṇḍhirāja near the Viśvanātha temple, as follows:

Circle I: (SE) Arka, (S) Durga, (SW) Bhīmacaṇḍa, (W) Dehalī, (NW) Uddaṇḍa, (N) Pāśapāṇi, (NE) Kharva, (E) Siddhi.

Circle II: (SE) Lambodara, (S) Kūṭadanta, (SW) Śālakaṭaṇṭaka, (W) Kūṣmāṇḍa, (NW) Muṇḍa, (N) Vikaṭadvija, (NE) Rājaputra, (E) Praṇava.

Circle III: (SE) Vakratuṇḍa, (S) Ekadanta, (SW) Trimukha, (W) Pañcāsya, (NW) Heramba, (N) Vighnarāja, (NE) Varada, (E) Modakapriya.

Circle IV: (SE) Abhayada, (S) Siṃhatuṇḍa, (SW) Kūṇītākṣa, (W) Kṣipraprasādana, (NW) Cintāmaṇi, (N) Dantahasta, (NE) Picaṇḍila, (E) Uddaṇḍamuṇḍa.

Circle V: (SE) Sthūladanta, (S) Kalipriya, (SW) Caturdanta, (W) Dvituṇḍa, (NW) Jyeṣṭha, (N) Gaja, (NE) Kāla, (E) Nāgeśa.

Circle VI: (SE) Maṇikarṇa, (S) Āśā, (SW) Sṛṣṭigaṇeśa, (W) Yakṣavighneśa, (NW) Gajakarṇa, (N) Citraghaṇṭa, (NE) Sthūlajaṅgha, (E) Mitra.

Circle VII: (SE) Moda, (S) Pramoda, (SW) Sumukha, (W) Durmukha, (NW) Gaṇanātha, (N) Jñāna, (NE) Dvāravighneśa, (E) Avimukta.

Ḍhuṇḍhi-vināyaka alias Ḍhuṇḍhirāja has a prime position at the centre of Kāśī. He is to be worshipped by pilgrims on entrance to Kāśī.

Source: Skanda Purana, vol. 11

Vināyaka (विनायक) refers to a group of deities once worshipped in ancient Kashmir (Kaśmīra) according to the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—The frequent mention of Vināyakas indicates the popularity of Vināyaka-worship in early Kaśmīra. Vināyaka appears as the giver of success in one’s undertakings and is stated to be worshipped along with his gaṇas, on the eighth day after the full-moon day of Jyeṣṭha, with heaps of sweetmeats and other eatables. Fourth day of a fortnight is prescribed for pilgrimage to Vināyaka’s temple. The verses 990-94 mention eighteen places in Kaśmīra, sacred to Gaṇeśa or Vināyaka.

Source: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study

1a) Vināyaka (विनायक).—A name of Vighneśvara or Vighneśa (s.v.)1 in charge of Kailāsa hill2 a graha.3 Asked Paraśurāma not to enter Śiva's abode as he was with Umā. When he forced entry, Vināyaka made him wander all the seven worlds. Paraśurāma knocked his teeth with his axe to the enragement of Pārvatī. Śiva thought of Kṛṣṇa who appeared on the scene with Rādhā. Kṛṣṇa said that Vināyaka should be remembered on all auspicious and other occasions to bring out the desired results. The Śaiva Gaṇeśa became Vaiṣṇava:4 worshipped in all ceremonials as preliminary, in the Bhīṣma dvādaśi, in grahabali;5 when Umā made out of earth an elephantfaced doll and threw it in the Ganges, it became a huge figure, adopted as son both by Umā and Gangā; came to be known as Gāngeya and Gajānana; invested with overlordship of all Vināyakas.6 Icon of, with mūṣika mount Ṛddhi and Buddhi on either side; worship of;7 elephant shaped.8

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XI. 27. 29.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 25. 30.
  • 3) Ib. III. 7. 161.
  • 4) Ib. III. 41. 17-32, ch. 42, 44. 23.
  • 5) Matsya-purāṇa 58. 26. 69. 27; 93. 16.
  • 6) Ib. 154. 505; 230. 8.
  • 7) Ib. 260. 19, 52-5: 261. 38: 266, 42; 269. 56; 274; 15; 289. 7.
  • 8) Vāyu-purāṇa 30. 311; 54. 35; 106. 57; 109. 23.

1b) A tīrtha sacred to Umā.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 13. 41.

2a) Vināyakā (विनायका).—A variety of evil spirits;1 a group of Bhūtas, followers of Śiva2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa II. 10. 38; VI. 8. 24; X. 2. 33; 6. 27.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 25. 114; III. 10. 52.

2b) Different gaṇas like Kūṣmāṇḍa, Gajatuṇḍa and Jayanta; described as having faces of lion and tiger, short and crooked, etc.1 a devagaṇa.2

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 183. 63-4.
  • 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 72. 50.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Vinayaka in Hinduism glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

Vināyakā (विनायका, “queen of knowledge”):—Another name for Unnati (the wife of Garuḍa), acording to the Purāṇas.

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Vināyaka (विनायक).—The total number of vināyakas is 56. It refers to the divine guardian concept. The guardian deity (Śiva, or Gaṇeśa/ Vināyaka) at the junction of eight cardinal directions in all the seven layers of the atmosphere (8x7) protects human being from obstacles. This in itself presents a model of the cosmos.

Gaṇeśa/ Vināyaka, with his 56 forms, protects the dwellers or visitors to this city (Kāśī, Vārāṇasī) from obstacles at eight cardinal directions in all the seven layers of the realm between earth and heaven (symbolically representing seven layers of the atmosphere). They serve as lokapala, the directional guardians of the universe who reside at all the cardinal junctions. The number and location of 56 vināyakas can be represented in a spatio-cosmological model showing the eight directions, seven layers, three sacred segments of Vārāṇasī and the interlinking routes of pilgrimage journeys in sprial form.

The sequential arrangement of 56 vināyakas, is arranged in a model as described in the mythologies and followed by the pilgrims performing the sacred journey. The arrangement symbolises the concept of universe within universe, i.e., interconnecting macrocosmos, mesocosmos, and microcosmos. This can be experienced and revealed only by eternal sense, soul—a subject beyond the bodily experience; it is the complement of spiritual experience which some of the pilgrims receive, of course there is no language for expressing the ultimate nature of revelation and eternal experience.

Source: Google Books: Banaras: Making of India’s Heritage City

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Vinayaka in Jainism glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

Vināyaka (विनायक) is the name of a class of rākṣasas according to both the Digambara and the Śvetāmbara traditions. The rākṣasas refer to a category of vyantaras gods which represents one of the four classes of celestial beings (devas). The rākṣasas are black and their caitya-vṛkṣas (sacred-tree) is Kaṇṭaka according to the Digambara They are white and have a fierce appearance according to Śvetāmbara.

The deities such as the Vināyakas are defined in ancient Jain cosmological texts such as the Saṃgrahaṇīratna in the Śvetāmbara tradition or the Tiloyapaṇṇati by Yativṛṣabha (5th century) in the Digambara tradition.

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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India history and geogprahy

Vinayaka (“ganesa”) refers to one of the gotras (clans) among the Medaras: workers in bamboo in the Telugu, Canarese, Oriya and Tamil countries. The Medara people believe that they came from Mahendrachala mountain, the mountain of Indra. They are also known as the Meda, Medarlu or Medarakaran.

Source: Project Gutenberg: Castes and Tribes of Southern India, Volume 1
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Vinayaka in Pali glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

vināyaka : (m.) a great leader; the Buddha.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Vināyaka, (fr. vi+) 1. a leader, guide, instructor M. II, 94; Vv 167 (=veneyya-satte vineti VvA. 83); ThA. 69. ‹-› 2. a judge J. III, 336. (Page 624)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Vinayaka in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

Vināyaka (विनायक).—

1) A remover (of obstacles).

2) Name of Gaṇeśa; विनायकं प्रकुर्वाणो रचयामास वानरम् (vināyakaṃ prakurvāṇo racayāmāsa vānaram) Subhāṣ.

3) A Buddhist deified teacher.

4) Name of Garuḍa.

5) An obstacle, impediment.

6) A spiritual preceptor.

7) A leader, guide.

Derivable forms: vināyakaḥ (विनायकः).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Relevant definitions

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Siddhivināyaka (सिद्धिविनायक).—a form of Gaṇeśa.Derivable forms: siddhivināyakaḥ (सिद्धिविनायकः...
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Vinayaka Chaturthi refers to one of the festivals of the Nambutiris. During Vinayaka Chatu...
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Pramodavināyaka (प्रमोदविनायक) is short for Pramoda (extreme joy), one of the fifty-six vināyak...
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Gaṇanāthavināyaka (गणनाथविनायक) is short for Gaṇanātha (lord of gaṇas), one of the fifty-six vi...
Sumukhavināyaka (सुमुखविनायक) is short for Sumukha (beautiful-face), one of the fifty-six vināy...
Śālakaṭaṇṭakavināyaka (शालकटण्टकविनायक) is short for Śālakaṭaṇṭaka (enemy to boasting), one of ...
Vikaṭadvijavināyaka (विकटद्विजविनायक) is short for Vikaṭadvija (hideous Brahmin), one of the fi...
Rājaputravināyaka (राजपुत्रविनायक) is short for Rājaputra (prince), one of the fifty-six vināya...
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Gajavināyaka (गजविनायक) is short for Gaja (elephant-form), one of the fifty-six vināyakas accor...

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