We salute and congratulate Samuel upon completion of his adventurous feat.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Understanding the Vighnaharta


Vighna (विघ्न) + Ish (ईश) = Vighnesh (विघ्नेश). The word ‘vighna’ is derived from the Sanskrit term ‘Visheshen ghanati’ (especially the distress). The Ish (God) of obstacles, distress, meaning, He who controls and destroys obstacles is Vighnesh. The obstacle in this context refers to getting surrounded by the 360 (Raja-Tama) and 108 (Sattva) waves. This is against a devotee’s aim of becoming trigunatit. The word Isha (ईश) is a combination of I (ई) + sha (श). I (ई) denotes ikshate (ई-इक्षते), meaning, to watch and sha (श) denotes shamayate (शमयते), meaning, to cool down. Thus, Isha is He who keeps a watch on and destroys the heat generated by the 360 and 108 waves. 

Vighnaharta (Vanquisher of obstacles) is another Name of Shri Ganapati. Since Shri Ganapati gets rid of obstacles, He is worshipped before performing any auspicious religious ceremony.

The Significance of Vighnaharta

We have a temple dedicated to this form of Ganesha. The Vigneshwara Temple or Vighnahar Ganapati Temple[1] of Ozar (also spelt as Ojhar or Ojzar) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom. The temple is one of the Ashtavinayaka, the eight revered shrines of Ganeshain Maharashtra, India. The Ganesha form worshipped here is called Vigneshwara (spelt also as Vigneshvar(a), Vigneshwar : "Lord of obstacles") or Vignahar (spelt also as Vignahara, "Remover of obstacles") and is associated with the legend of Ganesha defeating Vignasura, the demon of obstacles.

The Story of Ozar

Ozar is prescribed to the seventh temple to be visited in the Ashtavinayak circuit. The folklore of Ozar is as follows -

King Abhinandana performed a sacrifice in which he did not give any offering to the god-king Indra. The infuriated Indra ordered Kala (Time/Death) to destroy the sacrifice. Kala takes the form of the demon Vignasura (obstacle-demon) or Vigna (obstacle), who created obstacles in the sacrifice and ruined it. Further, he created havoc in the universe, creating obstacles in the good deeds and sacrifices of sages and other beings. The sages asked god Brahma or Shiva for help, who advised the worship of Ganesha. Hearing the prayer of the ascetics, Ganesha began to battle the demon, who soon realized that it was impossible to win and surrendered to his opponent and agreed not to harass the beings of the world. It was arranged that Vigna (obstacles) would be dwell only in places where Ganesha was not invoked or worshiped. In some versions, the remorseful Vigna was made an attendant of Ganesha, who would trouble those who fail to worship his Lord. Vignasura also requested Ganesha to take the name Vigneshwara (The Lord of Vigna/obstacles) to commemorate the event. The relieved sages consecrated an image of Ganesha as Vigneshwara at Ozar to mark the event.

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