Goddess Vinayaki or Ganeshani, (Gajanani, Ganeshari or Vigneshwari), is the feminine form of Lord Ganesha. Goddess Vinayaki is the idol worshipped in Tamil Nadu. Goddess Vinayaki or Ganeshani is considered as a form of Shakti rather a Yogini Devata.
Appearance of Goddess Vinayaki:
While the Ganapati appears with elephant head and human body, Vinayaki appears with the elephant head and a woman body. In Madurai, Vinayaki is worshipped as ‘Vyagrapada Ganapati. Vyagrapada Ganapati appears with female body and tiger feet (Vyagra = Tiger; Pada = feet).
Vigneshwari or Ganeshani – Feminine Ganesha in Suchindram:
In Suchindram, a feminine Ganesha in Sukhasana pose is worshipped. In Tibet, the feminine Ganesh form is worshipped as Gajanani. Some Puranas and ancient scriptures mentioned the female Shakti of Ganapati as Vainayaki or Ganeshini. Several Puranas referred Ganeshani or Vinayaki as one of the Yogini Shaktis. But the worship of Ganeshini is very less known in ancient rituals and pujas.
A village called Cigar in Rajasthan, the feminine form of Ganesha called Vigneshwari is worshipped in an ancient Shiva temple. In the Vedas, the appearance of Vidhya Ganapati is described as feminine form of Ganapati.