Meaning of ¡§Asta Vinayaka¡¨ ¡V the 8 Swayambus of Shri Ganesha





(1)                    What Shri Mataji said (Quoted from Her talk in America Tour , 16-9-1983 - ¡§Advice given at C.G. Jung Society¡¦s Hall¡¨. Printed in ¡§Nirmala Yoga¡¨, vol.5 May-June 1985)


¡§¡KNow in the Ten Commandments it is said ¡§Whatever is created by the Mother Earth should not be reproduced and then it should not be worshipped.¡¨ Now we should find out, what is created by the Mother Earth? This point we miss. Whatever is created by Mother Earth , that Mother Earth Herself has produced something Divine. Now in India people know about it, that it is so. (¡K)

        ¡Kso there ¡§are¡¨ places created by the Mother Earth, ¡§already¡¨, to vibrate the Divinity, to purify, the whole expression of Her compassion and love for human beings. But unless and until you are a realized soul you cannot feel them and understand tem. Only a realized soul can feel them and understand them. For example Stonehenge (¡K) is the same stuff. But the problem with them is that the people (¡K) doing all this worship don¡¦t know what it is. They don¡¦t know how to use it. So in this way the Mother Earth has also created so many such places which have come out of the Mother Earth and they are there. In India there are many places like that. Like in Maharashtra we have Ashtavinayakas ¡V eight of the symbols of the innocence Deity as you say. Now because people are not realized souls, one cannot talk to them. ¡K¡¨



(2) Sahaja Yoga Russia Web page: (

 ¡§¡Ksvayambhoo in Siddhivinayaka temple in Mumbay, vibrated personnaly by H.H. Shri Mataji¡¨








Vinayak is another name for Ganesh, the god loved and worshiped by Hindus all over. Lord Ganesh is the protector of his devotees. Eight (Astha) naturally-formed sculpted stone statues have been housed in old temples at the places where these statues were first found. The Ashta Vinayak temples are within the range of 20 to 110 kms of each other. 



(4) ¡§Preface¡¨ of ¡§Shree Ashtavinayaka Darshan¡¨, Edited by Ms Hemangi P. Rele, Mumbai 1998 )

 [webmaster remarks : this English text booklet with some Sanskrit and map and photos, standard price 30 Rupees only, less than one US dollar, can easily be found in vendors around the 8 sites, highly recommended ]



¡§¡KAmong the numerous holy abodes of Lord Ganesha eight places are considered to be more holy & effective in fulfilling the desires of his devotees. These temples are called ¡§Ashta Vinayaka¡¨ temples & are all situated around Pune. Just as Shiva¡¦s twelve jyotirlingas & 52 peethas of Devi are considered important, similarly these eight abodes of Ganesha are also considered very ancient & Swayambhu ( i.e. self emanated ). The names of these eight kshetras (shrines) as enumerated in the following Shloka:


The abovesaid shloka is called as Mangalashtka & is always said in religious ceremony. By saying this mangalashtaka Shri Ganesha is given invitation for the ceremony.

        According to this shloka if you have to do Ashtavinayaka yakra (Pilgrimage) then go to Mayueshwar of Morgaon & have his blessings first, then go to Siddhatek & have darshan of Siddhivinayak, Ballaleshwar of Pali is on third place & Varadvinayak of Mahad is on fourth place. Then come to Theur & have darshan of shree Chintamani & get rid of all your Chintas (worries). Then come out of Pune & go to Girijatmaj on Mountain Lenyadri near Junnar & then have darshan of Vighneshwar of Ozar. After this go to Ranjangaon & have darshan of Mahaganapati & then again come to Morgaon & complete the pilgrimage.

        This type of Prigrims though scientific is not convenient . As such Pilgrims adopt convenient road rout.

        Though the Ashtavinayaka temples are all very ancient & find mention in Ganesha & Mudgala Purana. Still, devotees will be surprised to see the construction of these Shrines to be of recent origin. The reason is that most of these Kshetras (Shrines) were re-built & & renovated during the period of Peshwas, who were his ardent devotees¡K.A Pilgrimage to the Ashtavinayaka or eight important Ganapati shrines ensures the Pilgrim ever lasting bliss As such everybody wishes to go for this Pilgrimage at least once in their life time¡K¡¨




(5)            from non-Sahaj material  (On Lord Ganesha)


¡§This God of knowledge and the remover of obstacles is also the older son of Lord Shiva. Lord Ganesha is also called Vinayak ( knowledgeable ) or Vighneshwer (god to remove obstacles). He is worshipped, or at least remembered, in the beginning of any auspicious performance for blessings and auspiciousness¡K¡¨



(6)       Ganesha Shrines and Ashta Vinayaka

Quoted from non-Sahaj book :"Ganesha - The Auspicious...The Beginning", (Vakils, Feffer & Simons Ltd, Bombay, 1995, p.70 )


Maharashtra¡¦s public celebration of the annual festival of Ganesh Chaturthi  has few parallels in India (except possibly Durga Pooja in Bengal).  But equally important are the innume4rable shrines to the elephant-headed god who is greatly loved in this part of the country.


Ashta Vinayak

Of these the most important to Ganesha devotees are the eight Ganesha shrines, the Ashta Vinayak. (Several of the legends pertaining to these shrines are given in Chapter III ¡V Ganesha in Puranic Lore).


These eight forms of Ganesha are swayambhu, self-made, and not made by man. This gives added religious significance for Ganesha worshippers.  These images are large sigle pieces of stone (monoliths) in which traces of an elepant-head, trunk and Ganapati¡¦s form can be discerned.  To the faithful, the powers of these icons is limitless.


These eight shrines are located in Maharashtra.  The most popular is the one at Morgaon, south-east of Pune, where Ganesha, riding a peacock and taking the form of Mayureshwar or Moreshwar, is believed to have destroyed the demon, Sindhu.


Close to Pune, at Theur, is the image of Ganesha as Chintamani.  Ganesha is believed to have got back the precious Chintamani Jewel from the greedy Guna for Sage Kapila at this spot.


At Ranjangaon is the shrine of Ganapati as Mahaganapati.  The legend here referes to Shiva worshipping Ganesha before fighting the demon, Tripuraasura.


At Siddhatek stands Ganesha as Siddhivinayak.  It was here that Vishnu was remined to pray to Ganesha before his fight with the demons, Madhu and Kaitab.  By doing so, he achieved success, or Siddhi.  This icon has a right-turned trunk.


At Ojhar is the shrine of Vighnahara or Vighneshwara, a form taken by Ganesha to destroy a deomn named Vighnaasura created by Indra.


At Lenyadrai nearby is Ganesha in the form of Girijatmak or Girijatmaja, son of Girija (Parvati).  It is believed that Parvati performed penance here to beget Ganapati as her son.


At Pali near the Bombay-Goa road is the shrine of Ballaleshwar, where Ganesha saved his devotee, a boy, Ballal, who was beaten up by villagers ofr his single-minded worship of Vinayaka.


At Mahad, near Khopoli, is the form of Ganesha as Varad Vinayak, the giver of bounty of success.  A lamp, Nandadeep, is kept permanently lighted here and has been shining since 1892.  




 Compiled by Edwin Hou, Sahaja Yoga Hongkong  2005/2/15














 (that S.Yogis will be interested to know before going for an Indian tour):


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