Saturday, January 25, 2014

Matrikas and Ganesha

The Matrika goddesses, Brahmi, Vaishnavi, Maheshwari, Kaumari, Varahi, Indrani and Chamunda is narrated in Devi Mahatmya, and also found in ancient Puranas, such as Varaha Purana, Matsya Purana, Markandeya Purana etc. The Gandhara period (1st century B.C. to 5th century A.D.) was the period when one could find sculptures of mother goddesses exhibit aesthetic maturity and divine charm. A sculpture of this period is found to represent Matrikas with Ganesha.
Often the Saptamatrika panel begins with Ganesha, and it is explained, is prompted by the faith that Ganapati would remove obstacles; help the devotee in his pursuit; and guide him along his endeavor. According to a 11th century text, the Ishana-Shiva-gurudeva-paddhati, Ganesh invoked as Vinayaka is able to removes all the obstacles which could prevent the cult rendered to the Mothers. Because of that, the god is viewed as patron of the Matrika. Accordingly, Ganesh is often represented whis them in the Shiva temples. In the Vamanapurana, Shiva, after the Ganesh birth, requests the Matrika and the awfull dead spirits to serve the son of Parvati at all times. The Suprabhedagama explains that Ganesh must be standing up when he escorts the Saptamatrika. However, most often, we find him seated and even dancing. He is generally nearby to Chamunda. This arrangement is also found in my loved Ellora, in the caves № 14, 16, 21 et 22.
Whatever there were reasons of that iconographic representation, the connection between Shakti and Ganesha is obvious and indissoluble.

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