Ganapatihridaya (Art Print) – Tilly Campbell-Allen
A silk painting of the Buddhist deity Ganapatihridaya (“heart of Ganesha”), otherwise known as Vinayaki in Buddhism and Jainism.
The original is on fine ahimsa silk that ‘floats’ over a gilded artist oil board with the edges varnished down to hold the silk taut. The gold shimmers through the silk as the light changes and angle of the onlooker. 24ct gold is also used as sacred highlights on the painting.
As ever, there is little literature about this female Ganesha within the texts of patriarchal Hinduism. So I have been drawn to paint her and bring this beautiful energy back into the fore. Before I include a little of what Wiki. has to say about the elephant headed goddesses, I will say this. To me, I concur with the idea that she is the heart of Ganesha. She is no consort nor a female version of Ganesha. She is a powerful independent goddess energy that resides in love, without whom Ganesha would be nothing but brute force.
“The earliest known elephant-headed goddess figure is found in Rairh, Rajasthan. It is a mutilated terracotta plaque dated from the first century BCE to the first century CE. The goddess is elephant-faced with the trunk turning to the right and has two hands. As the emblems in her hands and other features are eroded, a clear identification of the goddess is not possible. Other elephant-headed sculptures of the goddess are found from the tenth century onwards. One of the most famous sculptures of Vinayaki is as the forty-first yogini in the Chausath Yogini Temple, Bhedaghat, Madhya Pradesh. The goddess is called Sri-Aingini here. Here, the goddess’s bent left leg is supported by an elephant-headed male, presumably Ganesha. A rare metal sculpture of Vinayaki is found in Chitrapur Math, Shirali. She is full-breasted, but slender, unlike Ganesha. She wears the Yajnopavita (“sacred thread”) across her chest and two neck ornaments. Her two front hands are held in abhaya (“fear-not”) and varada (boon-giving) mudras (gestures). Her two back arms carry a sword and a noose. Her trunk is turned to the left. The image is probably 10th century from north-western India (Gujarat/Rajasthan) and belonging to the Tantric Ganapatya sect (who regarded Ganesha as the Supreme God) or to the vamachara (left-handed) Goddess-worshipping Shakta sect” (Source).
Original size: 12″ x 16″ (31cm x 40.5cm).