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Thread: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    namastE astu bhagavan vishveshvarAya mahAdevAya tryaMbakAya|
    tripurAntakAya trikAgnikAlAya kAlAgnirudrAya nIlakaNThAya mRtyuJNjayAya sarveshvarAya sadAshivAya shrIman mAhAdevAya ||

    Om shrImAtrE namah

    sarvam shrI umA-mahEshwara parabrahmArpaNamastu


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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor View Post
    However, (and forgive me for asking the dumb question since my Sanskrit is rusty), grammatically speaking, with the above interpretation, wouldn't viNAyaka be in chaturthi-vibhakti (dative case)? Also, durgAM cannot be an adjective describing vyAsa if durgA refers to the fortress which the worship of vyAsa is meant to remove.

    regards,
    Sorry, I wrote that in a hurry and had not noted the entire sloka. That interpretation was not right. And yes, durgam is not an adjective of vyAsa - I had never intended it to sound like that.

    If I had the vIrarAghavIyam with me, I could probably check it up. As it so happens, I don't. But no matter, this is the position of sampradAyam anyway.

    EDIT: One thought occured to me that Durga could indeed be interpreted as "vishNu durga", who is often present in pAncarAtra temples as one who safe-guards the temple as a service to bhagavAn. She had a boon that she would be installed in all vishNu temples for her service to Krishna, so I believe it could very well be Durga indeed. If so, vinAyaka could indeed refer to a separate deity, although by sri vaishnava interpretation, it would definitely not be Ganesha - srI velukkudi swami himself has mentioned Ganesha is referenced nowhere in the bhagavatam in his lectures. Plus, unlike Durga, Ganesha is never installed in vaishnava temples

    I apologise for the earlier interpretation I gave without consulting my acharya's commentaries and looking at the verse properly. Will update if I get more information.
    [CENTER][COLOR="Black"][COLOR="Red"][COLOR="DarkRed"]No holiness rules over my freedom
    No commands from above I obey
    I seek the ruin, I shake the worlds
    Behold! I am blackest ov the black

    Ov khaos I am, the disobediant one
    Depraved son who hath dwelt in nothingness
    Upon the ninth I fell, from grace up above
    To taste this life ov sin, to give birth to the "I"[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR]

    [B]~ "Blackest Ov the Black" - Behemoth.[/B]

    [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3P-JdwtK1DY[/url] [/CENTER]

  3. #13
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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor View Post
    I agree, smaranam - that was a good catch. Thank you! Based on this information, I would tend to think that the bhAgavata and Adi shankara were referring to the same concept of viNAyaka-s and mAtrika-s.

    I had never heard of mAtrika-s and was not aware they (along with bhAginI-s) were forms of uma. Having said that, Adi shankara appears to be mentioning these forms in the context of commenting on the worship of bhUta-s as mentioned in the gItA shLoka. Would that not make it less likely that he was referring to forms of uma?
    Namaste, please read Satish Argela's posts on the thread I had linked. He makes it clear what Shankaracharya is referring to. A quote-
    Speculation is okay but it should have some basis. There is a good reason why gaNesha, mAtR^ika-s and chaturbhagini system is mentioned here. It is not coincidence that they are grouped together. The central devata of the chaturbhagini system is called tumburu rudra or tumburu shiva, a great form of parameshvara which belongs to the vAma srotas(not that in the great shaiva system originated from the vAmadeva mukha of the fived faced sadAshiva. The other four being gAruDa, bhUta, dakShiNa, and Urdhva srotas The names of the chaturbhagini-s are jayA, vijayA, ajitA & aparAjitA. In the middle of the four bhagini-s is seated the great form of parameshvara tumburu middle of the four bhagini-s is seated the great form of parameshvara tumburu shiva, holding a vINa among other things. The worship of tumburu along with the worship of these four bhagini-s is mentioned in the prapa~nchasAra tantra.(Does this ring a bell? I guess not - otherwise i would not be writing all these) Now in the matsya purAna a story is described on how shiva took a form holding a vINa and he danced along with the mAtR^ika-s. If you see various old sapta mAtR^ika panels, you will notice that on these panels the mAtR^ika-s along with gaNesha, and a vINa holding shiva(the central devata of the chaturbhagini system) are depicted on the same panel. In some panels instead of the vINAdhara shiva one sees vIrabhadra. Do you see the proper context now as to why the gaNesha, mAtR^ika and the chaturbhagini system are clubbed together? Now anybody who says the mAtR^ika-s on these panels and the gaNesha represented on these panels is different from popular gaNesha worshipped these days is going to make out of himself for obvious reasons Do you see now why it is not coincidence that these devata-s are mentioned together? We have rock solid(in both senses of the term) evidence in the form of sculptures. If you think about this, it is very clear which devata worship is shankara condemning in the b gIta bhAShya.
    namastE astu bhagavan vishveshvarAya mahAdevAya tryaMbakAya|
    tripurAntakAya trikAgnikAlAya kAlAgnirudrAya nIlakaNThAya mRtyuJNjayAya sarveshvarAya sadAshivAya shrIman mAhAdevAya ||

    Om shrImAtrE namah

    sarvam shrI umA-mahEshwara parabrahmArpaNamastu


    A Shaivite library
    http://www.scribd.com/HinduismLibrary

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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganeshprasad View Post

    Samaranam ji's post here is concise and to the point, makes it adequately clear what Sri pad Sankaracharya is alluding to, taking Bhutas in consideration it is very obvious but not for some, why?
    Anyone who has studied tantra will understand that it is Shaiva/Shakta practices being critiqued here, as Arigela points out.
    namastE astu bhagavan vishveshvarAya mahAdevAya tryaMbakAya|
    tripurAntakAya trikAgnikAlAya kAlAgnirudrAya nIlakaNThAya mRtyuJNjayAya sarveshvarAya sadAshivAya shrIman mAhAdevAya ||

    Om shrImAtrE namah

    sarvam shrI umA-mahEshwara parabrahmArpaNamastu


    A Shaivite library
    http://www.scribd.com/HinduismLibrary

  5. #15

    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    Quote Originally Posted by Omkara View Post
    Namaste, please read Satish Argela's posts on the thread I had linked. He makes it clear what Shankaracharya is referring to. A small quote-

    Speculation is okay but it should have some basis. There is a good reason why gaNesha, mAtR^ika-s and chaturbhagini system is mentioned here. It is not coincidence that they are grouped together. The central devata of the chaturbhagini system is called tumburu rudra or tumburu shiva, a great form of parameshvara which belongs to the vAma srotas(not that in the great shaiva system originated from the vAmadeva mukha of the fived faced sadAshiva. The other four being gAruDa, bhUta, dakShiNa, and Urdhva srotas The names of the chaturbhagini-s are jayA, vijayA, ajitA & aparAjitA. In the middle of the four bhagini-s is seated the great form of parameshvara tumburu middle of the four bhagini-s is seated the great form of parameshvara tumburu shiva, holding a vINa among other things. The worship of tumburu along with the worship of these four bhagini-s is mentioned in the prapa~nchasAra tantra.(Does this ring a bell? I guess not - otherwise i would not be writing all these) Now in the matsya purAna a story is described on how shiva took a form holding a vINa and he danced along with the mAtR^ika-s. If you see various old sapta mAtR^ika panels, you will notice that on these panels the mAtR^ika-s along with gaNesha, and a vINa holding shiva(the central devata of the chaturbhagini system) are depicted on the same panel. In some panels instead of the vINAdhara shiva one sees vIrabhadra. Do you see the proper context now as to why the gaNesha, mAtR^ika and the chaturbhagini system are clubbed together? Now anybody who says the mAtR^ika-s on these panels and the gaNesha represented on these panels is different from popular gaNesha worshipped these days is going to make out of himself for obvious reasons Do you see now why it is not coincidence that these devata-s are mentioned together? We have rock solid(in both senses of the term) evidence in the form of sculptures. If you think about this, it is very clear which devata worship is shankara condemning in the b gIta bhAShya.
    I will go over his postings in more detail. These are concepts with which I am not familiar. One question though - is it possible that the chaturbhAginI system is a concept later to the one mentioned in the bhAgavatam? I think knowing that would make a big difference in interpretation.
    Philosoraptor

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools speak because they have to say something." - Plato

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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    Now anybody who says the mAtR^ika-s on these panels and the gaNesha represented on these panels is different from popular gaNesha worshipped these days is going to make out of himself for obvious reasons Do you see now why it is not coincidence that these devata-s are mentioned together? We have rock solid(in both senses of the term) evidence in the form of sculptures. If you think about this, it is very clear which devata worship is shankara condemning in the b gIta bhAShya.
    Pardon me if I am wrong, but are we are to equate the ganesha with the vinAyaka mentioned in the bhAshya based on the panels? The actual purAna apparently doesn't say anything other than Shiva and the mAtrikas.

    Note, gAnapatyam is indeed an old sect and the worship of ganesha is old. But there are evidences that it fused with shaivam at a later date. Ganesha, while missing in the sangam literature of ancient tamils, is mentioned by avvaiyar, a later saivite/skanda worshipper. The same ganesha is not mentioned anywhere in the works of kAlidasa.

    So, I may be wrong, and this is clearly a befuddling subject for me, but do the presence of the panels have any impact on the bhAshyam? The panels could simply allude to the fusion of gAnapatyam at a later date with this story.

    To my mind, this still doesn't represent conclusive proof as the author claims.
    [CENTER][COLOR="Black"][COLOR="Red"][COLOR="DarkRed"]No holiness rules over my freedom
    No commands from above I obey
    I seek the ruin, I shake the worlds
    Behold! I am blackest ov the black

    Ov khaos I am, the disobediant one
    Depraved son who hath dwelt in nothingness
    Upon the ninth I fell, from grace up above
    To taste this life ov sin, to give birth to the "I"[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR]

    [B]~ "Blackest Ov the Black" - Behemoth.[/B]

    [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3P-JdwtK1DY[/url] [/CENTER]

  7. #17

    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    Quote Originally Posted by Sri Vaishnava View Post
    Sorry, I wrote that in a hurry and had not noted the entire sloka. That interpretation was not right. And yes, durgam is not an adjective of vyAsa - I had never intended it to sound like that.

    If I had the vIrarAghavIyam with me, I could probably check it up. As it so happens, I don't. But no matter, this is the position of sampradAyam anyway.

    I apologise for the earlier interpretation I gave without consulting my acharya's commentaries and looking at the verse properly. Will update if I get more information.
    Please let us know what you find - I would be very interested in a more erudite commentary on this verse. I can get vishvanAtha chakravarti's commentary, but it would be nice to get one from the Sri Vaishnava point of view.

    One thought I had - isn't durgA mentioned as one of the names of yOga-mAyA, the female deity who assists Sri Krishna just prior to His appearance, and takes the place of yashOda's female child? And is yOga-mAyA one of the nitya-siddhas?
    Philosoraptor

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools speak because they have to say something." - Plato

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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor View Post
    I will go over his postings in more detail. These are concepts with which I am not familiar. One question though - is it possible that the chaturbhAginI system is a concept later to the one mentioned in the bhAgavatam? I think knowing that would make a big difference in interpretation.
    According to indologist dating ( ) the chaturbhagini system is older.
    From a traditional Hindu perspective, I can't say.
    My personal theory is that in the time period in which Shankara lived, the matrikas, bhaginis and vinayaka must have been considered pretas by Vaishnavas and Smartas. In time the Shaiva position got gradually integrated into the mainstream.
    namastE astu bhagavan vishveshvarAya mahAdevAya tryaMbakAya|
    tripurAntakAya trikAgnikAlAya kAlAgnirudrAya nIlakaNThAya mRtyuJNjayAya sarveshvarAya sadAshivAya shrIman mAhAdevAya ||

    Om shrImAtrE namah

    sarvam shrI umA-mahEshwara parabrahmArpaNamastu


    A Shaivite library
    http://www.scribd.com/HinduismLibrary

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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor View Post
    One thought I had - isn't durgA mentioned as one of the names of yOga-mAyA, the female deity who assists Sri Krishna just prior to His appearance, and takes the place of yashOda's female child? And is yOga-mAyA one of the nitya-siddhas?
    I wrote that in the EDIT section. vishNu durga is indeed installed (although not worshipped) in pAncharAtra temples like Thiruvallikeni and Thirukkovalur. She performs the service of being the guardian of the temple. But she is not a nitya mukta. She is a baddha still operating in the field of karma (which is obviously why we don't worship her).

    I will get more information on the verse later. One point to note is we don't worship Durga, yet that verse talks of obeisances, so it will be interesting to see the commentary on that.
    [CENTER][COLOR="Black"][COLOR="Red"][COLOR="DarkRed"]No holiness rules over my freedom
    No commands from above I obey
    I seek the ruin, I shake the worlds
    Behold! I am blackest ov the black

    Ov khaos I am, the disobediant one
    Depraved son who hath dwelt in nothingness
    Upon the ninth I fell, from grace up above
    To taste this life ov sin, to give birth to the "I"[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR]

    [B]~ "Blackest Ov the Black" - Behemoth.[/B]

    [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3P-JdwtK1DY[/url] [/CENTER]

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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    Quote Originally Posted by Sri Vaishnava View Post
    Pardon me if I am wrong, but are we are to equate the ganesha with the vinAyaka mentioned in the bhAshya based on the panels? The actual purAna apparently doesn't say anything other than Shiva and the mAtrikas.

    Note, gAnapatyam is indeed an old sect and the worship of ganesha is old. But there are evidences that it fused with shaivam at a later date. Ganesha, while missing in the sangam literature of ancient tamils, is mentioned by avvaiyar, a later saivite/skanda worshipper. The same ganesha is not mentioned anywhere in the works of kAlidasa.

    So, I may be wrong, and this is clearly a befuddling subject for me, but do the presence of the panels have any impact on the bhAshyam? The panels could simply allude to the fusion of gAnapatyam at a later date with this story.

    To my mind, this still doesn't represent conclusive proof as the author claims.
    I should have made myself more clear. The panels depict a tantric procedure for the worship of tumburu rudra. It is this form of worship which Shankaracharya is criticizing, ie. ge is criticizing Tantric Shaiva/Shakta Ganesha worship.
    namastE astu bhagavan vishveshvarAya mahAdevAya tryaMbakAya|
    tripurAntakAya trikAgnikAlAya kAlAgnirudrAya nIlakaNThAya mRtyuJNjayAya sarveshvarAya sadAshivAya shrIman mAhAdevAya ||

    Om shrImAtrE namah

    sarvam shrI umA-mahEshwara parabrahmArpaNamastu


    A Shaivite library
    http://www.scribd.com/HinduismLibrary

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