Eight Swayambhu idols of lord Ganesha or commonly known as "ASHTAVINAYAKAS" to all of us, is the most visited pilgrimage in western maharashtra, by people of all religions and faith. It is believed that all the eight ganeshas are Jagrut. Together they for the "ASHTAVINAYAK", ASHTA meaning eight, and VINAYAK is the name of Lord Ganesha. At all these places Lord Ganesh is known by different names, they are Moreshwar at Morgaon, Siddhivinayak at Siddhatek, Varad Vinayak at Mahad, Ballaleshwar at Pali, Chintamani at Theur, Girijatmak at Lenhyadri, Vighneshwar at Ozhar and Mahaganpati at Ranjangaon.
It is very much believed to visit these places in the above given order and then again visiting Morgaon, although due to lack of time and location constraint tourist generally visit Varad Vinayak, Ballaleshwar, Vigneshwar and Girijatmak together as these are on one side of Pune and the rest together, as they fall along the other side. The entire eight Ganeshas are spread over Pune, Ahmadnagar and Raigad district. According to Shastra, first you have to visit Moreshwar of Morgaon. Then visit Siddhatek, Pali, Mahad, Theur, Lenyadri, Ozar, Ranjangaon and then again Morgaon will end your Ashtavinayaka Yatra in true sense.
The 8 original idols of Lord Ganesha in the state of Maharashtra are called Swayambhu effigies or the self-existent in Sanskrit. This is to indicate that no human created these murtis, they were found completely formed by nature.
Invoke the blessings of unique Ashtavinayak pratima in copper by installing this pratima in your puja altar, prayer room, office cabin or living area.
Design: Made embossed image made in copper plate. Dimansions: 3.1 Inches (W) x 3.1 Inches (H)
Copper is well known for its grasping capacity. It grasps the divine spirit (sattvikta) upto 30%, when compared to other metals. Copper can destroy bad spirits like Raj & Tam (i.e. darkness & bad behavior). The spiritual vibrations are attracted towards copper items easily. Just as copper has the ability to absorb the sattvik frequencies of deities, it has also capacity of transmitting them. Thus it becomes rich in divinity in a short period.
Importance of Idol worship: Idols are not the idle fancies of sculptors, but shining channels through which the heart of the devotee is attracted to and flows towards God. Though the image is worshipped, the devotee feels the presence of the Lord in it and pours out his devotion unto it. Regular worship, Puja and other modes of demonstrating our inner feeling of recognition of Divinity in the idol unveils the Divinity latent in it. This is truly a wonder and a miracle. The picture comes to life. The idol speaks. It will answer your questions and solve your problems. The God in you has the power to awaken the latent Divinity in the idol. The lives of Mirabai, Sant Tukaram, Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Shri Yogananda are a few instances to prove the point. They proved beyond doubt that idol worship has its own brighter side and through simple faith and intense devotion one can realize God through it.
Idols are the "finite representation of the Infinite". As per Vishnu Samhita (ch 29, v 55-7), persuasively endorses the use of imagery (idols) and puts it: "Without a form how can God be mediated upon? If (He is) without any form, where will the mind fix itself? When there is nothing for the mind to attach itself to, it will slip away from meditation or will glide into a state of slumber. Therefore the wise will meditate on some form, remembering, however, that the form is a superimposition and not a reality."
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