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The Vinayaka Mahatmya

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Item Code: UBA933
Publisher: Dev Publishers And Distributors
Author: Greg Bailey
Language: English
Edition: 2023
ISBN: 9789394852242
Pages: 303
Other Details 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 480 gm
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Book Description

This book offers a translation of the Sanskrit Vinayakamahatmya with a transliterated version of the only printed edition of this text. It has no pretensions to reflect a detailed study of the manuscript material, but this is a desideratum. The translation itself has taken shape intermittently over the past eight years. Other projects have interrupted its progress and have meant that I have had to work on it on a fragmentary manner.

I wish to acknowledge the participants in my Sanskrit reading group at La Trobe University, with whom I read through certain chapters of the Vinayakamahatmya in 2014. Their questions about the text and calls for clarification have definitely improved the translation.

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe University provided me with financial support enabling me to visit manuscript libraries in India and Nepal.

Finally, I acknowledge the support of my family who always cheerfully put up with someone continually demanding time for academic work.


The Vinayaka Mahatmya is a short text of fourteen hundred and sixty-two verses divided into twenty four chapters telling the stories of seven of Ganesa's avataras. In the colophons of the individual chapters it claims to be part of the Skanda Purana. This I assume refers to the expanded Skanda Purana which seems to have developed sometime in the post- medieval period, not the earlier (6th-8th CE, shorter, SkP found in Nepal. The VM presents a summary of some of the avatara myths in the immensely long Mudgalapurana, the contents of which are also partially organized in a sequence of Ganesa's avataras, and in the Kridakhanda of the GnP which explicitly deals with his avataras, and also the Tamil Vinayakapuranam in its various versions. But it differs from both Sanskrit texts in being exclusively about Ganesa's avataras and telescoping the contents into a much smaller amount of text than we find in either of the two larger Puranas. This has the effect of considerably heightening the acceptance of Ganesa/Vinayaka functioning as an avatara, Visnu traditionally celebrated as performing this function. Its emphasis on his avataras is clarified in the final chapter of the VM where Skanda says, I have heard that twelve descents were made by Vinayaka. And that seven were the best, Mahadeva. And I have heard about six of these descents from your lotus-like mouth and I am very pleased. Now I want to hear the seventh as well, Sankara.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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