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

  1. #21
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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    Quote Originally Posted by Omkara View Post
    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.
    Possibly. But he says that the worshippers of these deities go to these deities. Now, even avidhi pUrvakam, can only be interpreted as "doing vedic rites with wrong knowledge". Tantric rites are not considered vedic and hence, cannot be considered to yield even the trivial phalan of going to the worlds of those deities.

    There are differences between doing rites not prescribed by vaidikas and doing rites prescribed by vaidikas in a wrong manner. SrI rAmAnuja interprets those verses in the latter way - they worship without knowing these deities are my (nArAyaNa's) body and the worship goes to me. But that much only is their error - the rite itself is vedic.

    Now, the question is whether srI sankara bhagavatpAda considered the tantric rites to also yield the ephemeral phalan of going to the worlds of these deities? Because he says the worshippers of vinAyaka reach vinAyaka, etc.
    [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]

  2. #22
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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    But this rite has a vedic basis. It is also contained in the paippalada samahita of the atharvaveda. I will post references if there is interest.
    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

  3. #23
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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    After thinking over it a bit, my opinion is- There are pretas in the puranas called vinayakas, matrikas,bhaginis etc and it is possible that Shankarachary is referring to them. On the other hand, there is no evidence that worship of pretas was common in 8th century India, so it would be slightly unlikely that Shankaracharya is using a near-extinct tradition as an example.
    Both interpretations of Shankaracharya's words are feasible.
    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

  4. #24
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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    Quote Originally Posted by smaranam View Post
    According to Shrila PrabhupAd, there is a group called vinAyaka, refers to a kind of ghost-spirits and has nothing to do with VinAyaKa as in GaNesh or VishNu-gaNa.

    SB 10.6.27-29

    ḍākinyo yātudhānyaś ca
     kuṣmāṇḍā ye ’rbhaka-grahāḥ
    bhūta-preta-piśācāś ca
     yakṣa-rakṣo-vināyakāḥ

    koṭarā revatī jyeṣṭhā
     pūtanā mātṛkādayaḥ
    unmādā ye hy apasmārā
     deha-prāṇendriya-druhaḥ

    svapna-dṛṣṭā mahotpātā
     vṛddhā bāla-grahāś ca ye
    sarve naśyantu te viṣṇor
     nāma-grahaṇa-bhīravaḥ



    The evil witches known as Ḍākinīs, Yātudhānīs and Kuṣmāṇḍas are the greatest enemies of children, and the evil spirits like Bhūtas, Pretas, Piśācas, Yakṣas, Rākṣasas and Vināyakas, as well as witches like Koṭarā, Revatī, Jyeṣṭhā, Pūtanā and Mātṛkā, are always ready to give trouble to the body, the life air and the senses, causing loss of memory, madness and bad dreams. Like the most experienced evil stars, they all create great disturbances, especially for children, but one can vanquish them simply by uttering Lord Viṣṇu’s name, for when Lord Viṣṇu’s name resounds, all of them become afraid and go away.

    Context: PutanA vadh

    Since vinAyaka (plural) is clubbed with bhut rAkshas as well as the mAtrikA, in SB 10.6.27-29 as well as in Adi Shankara's commentary to BG 9.25, the answer seems to be 'plural'
    _/\_
    Namaste,

    nice catch Smaranam ji

    Adi Shankara would not condemn anything that complies veda-s and encourages practice of dharma, as evident from his commentary and Varttikas by Sureshvaracharya on Tai. Up 1/11, Satyam vada, dharmam chara, matru devo bhava ...

    since tantra-s are supplementary texts that comply and help practice veda-s, I do not think Adi Shankara's would have targeted pure tantra, but as Omkara has pointed out, it should point out to vAmachAri-s, who worship bhUta-piSAcA-s, etc.

    From Srila-PrabhupAda's translation of SB 11.3.47

    ya asu hrdaya-granthim
    nirjihirsuh paratmanah
    vidhinopacared devam
    tantroktena ca kesavam
    SYNONYMS

    yah -- one who; asu -- quickly; hrdaya-granthim -- the knot of the heart (false identification with the material body); nirjihirsuh -- desirous of cutting; paratmanah -- of the transcendental soul; vidhina -- with the regulations; upacaret -- he should worship; devam -- the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tantra-uktena -- which are described by the tantras (the supplementary Vedic literatures that give detailed instructions for spiritual practice); ca -- as well (in addition to those regulations which are directly vedoktam); kesavam -- Lord Kesava.

    TRANSLATION

    One who desires to quickly cut the knot of false ego, which binds the spirit soul, should worship the Supreme Lord, Kesava, by the regulations found in Vedic literatures such as the tantras.

    Purport not quoted

    EDIT: or may be it has something to do with Buddhists, but Buddhisim was already declining during Adi Shankara's time.

    http://kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part12/chap3.htm

    Aum
    Last edited by Amrut; 24 September 2013 at 02:10 AM. Reason: added link
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

  5. #25
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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    Quote Originally Posted by Omkara View Post
    After thinking over it a bit, my opinion is- There are pretas in the puranas called vinayakas, matrikas,bhaginis etc and it is possible that Shankarachary is referring to them. On the other hand, there is no evidence that worship of pretas was common in 8th century India, so it would be slightly unlikely that Shankaracharya is using a near-extinct tradition as an example.
    Both interpretations of Shankaracharya's words are feasible.
    In my opinion, he was talking about the pretas. I find it difficult to think of this as a form of tantric worship. The argument you give against it is not really an obstacle. srI rAmAnuja talks about worship of Indra, which, while possibly prevalent earlier, was not in his time.

    IMO, the worship of the pretas, like Indra is probably a vedic rite ( possibly considered tAmasic like the syena yAga), and Shankara was alluding to that indeed.
    [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]

  6. #26
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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    Just for record purpose, cross posting from another closed thread

    Sanskrit:

    भूतानि विनायकमातृगणचतुर्भगिन्यादीनि यान्ति भूतेज्याः भूतानां पूजकाः। यान्ति मद्याजिनः मद्यजनशीलाः वैष्णवाः मामेव यान्ति। 9.25

    Hindi

    भूतोंकी पूजा करनेवाले विनायक, षोडशमातृकागण और चतुर्भगिनी आदि भूतगणोंको पाते हैं तथा मेरा पूजन करनेवाले वैष्णव भक्त अवश्यमेव मुझे ही पाते हैं। 9.25

    Translation by Shri Goenka ji of Gita Press
    Aum
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

  7. #27
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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    Update on the bhagavata sloka:

    I asked a friend of mine, who is an erudite scholar on the issue. He says that he does not have the vIrarAghava bhAshyam either, but has interpreted the sloka from his own knowledge for me as follows:

    durgam vinayakam vyasam
    visvaksenam gurun suran
    sve sve sthane tv abhimukhan
    pujayet proksanadibhih

    In this sloka, "durgam" refers to vishNu durga only. The sloka is meant for offering respects and this is part of nitya karmas. vishNu durga, who obtained a boon from Krishna, is present in many vishNu temples facing bhagavAn and hence, respect is given to her.

    Now comes the part which surprised me. Vinayaka mentioned here is indeed gajanana! The relevant sloka as under, interpreted in this way by srI parAsara bhattar in his vishnu sahasranAma bhAshya:

    yasya dviradavaktraadyaaH paariShadyaaH paraH shatam .
    vighnaM nighnanti satataM viShvakasenaM tamaashraye'

    Meaning:
    gajAnana (the double-tusked elephant-faced nitya-sUri in vaikuntam) an hundreds of such sUris, who always remove all obstacles, form the members of the army commanded by Vishvaksena. I take resort to them.

    As you can see, GajAnana is interpreted to be the remover of obstacles, in addition to Vishwaksena, and hence, Vinayaka describes Gajanana. My friend says that in all vaishnava temples, there is a deity known in tamil as "thumbikkai azhwar" (meaning: devotee (azhwar) with a trunk) on the pillar facing the sanctum of bhagavan. Indeed, I have seen this myself in Thiruvallikeni near srI narasimha sannidhi. This "thumbikkai azhwar" is Gajanana, the remover of obstacles and a part of Vishvaksena's army.

    So, my earlier observation that Vinayaka is not a name of Gajanana was obviously wrong as per my friend's observation and I retract that statement.

    Durga, Gajanana, Vishvaksena are all seen to surround Vishnu in his temples, that is certainly a fact I have observed for myself. In place of vyAsa, we sri vaishnavas normally consecrate srI rAmAnuja, the azhwars and achAryAs. That is more than acceptable, obviously, for us.

    Now, I have asked some others for the vIrarAghavIyam (sri vaishnava commentary on bhagavatam by srI vIrarAghavAchArya of the 14th century) to get the achAryan's view in this matter. If it differs from my friend's opinion, I will post it here.
    [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]

  8. #28
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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor View Post
    Pranams,

    The question that came up is whether viNAyaka is taken in the singular sense, i.e. as referring to a specific deity by the name viNAyaka, or in the plural sense, i.e. as a category of entities known as the viNAyaka-s. Looking at the Sanskrit, it appears that "viNAyaka" is part of a tat-puruSha compound, and thus (if memory serves), can be taken in either (singlular, plural) sense, with the complete compound being declined in the plural. Thus, it is not clear to me from this commentary at least, that a single viNAyaka (aka gaNesha) is being referred to. It is clear, however, that shankarAchArya is criticizing those who do pUja to other deities, stating that the labor involved is same, and that the results are miniscule.


    Dear Phil,

    Bhutas can be translated as elements, spirits etc. But in the commentary Vinayaka also is included among the bhutas by the acharya. To millions in the world Vinayaka is nothing but God and therefore the translation of the word bhutas as spirit or element would result in wounding the feelings of many. To leave the word as bhuta itself seems to be harmless.

    Also any method of conduct in relation to the denial of a deity is not seen here; for we would rather prefer to see the message of this verse as something that is related to the vastness and the limitlessness of Vishnu, the Absolute of the Upanishad understood in the context of the Gita whose expansiveness is beyond the boundary of names and forms, against the other deities in the Hindu pantheon.

    Translation of the original text by V. Panoli:

    Worshippers of gods go to the gods; to the mane go the worshippers of the manes; sacrifices of the bhutas go to the bhutas; but my worshippers come unto me. BG9:25

    Those who have devotion and vows for the gods (Deva vtatas) go to the gods and those who are devoted to the manes, agnishvatta and the rest, and are enthusiastic in performing rites such as sraddha, go to them. Those who worship the Bhuta such as vinayaka, the Matrugana, and the four Bhaginis go to them. Those Vishnu-Bhakthas who are ever devoted to Me exclusively, owing to ignorance. Therefore they enjoy only little results. Bhashya

    Just an opinion alone. Love


    ॐ इदम् न मम
    be just l we happy

  9. #29

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

    Namaste, praNAm,

    my Conclusion:
    Just as
    Shiva = bhUtanAtha, Lord of, but not a bhUta Himself (bhuta pishacha kushmAnDa bhairav...?)
    GaNesh = gaNapati, controller of, but not a 'vinAyaka' as in goblin Himself, but vighna-nAshak (remover of obstacles).

    similarly
    Gauri = mAtR-jyeshTha-swAmini, Queen-Goddess of the semi-beings, but not one Herself (although she becomes KAli to the unrighteous - be they Her own devotees - ref: Jada Bharat story - Bhagvat canto 5).


    Below - explains my conclusion, (but Bramhan, your request for political correctness is noted)

    Gana and bhuta - the transcendental hooligans
    Srila Prabhupada, in his purport on Gita 9.25, explains the following:

    "If one has any desire to go to the moon, the sun or any other planet, one can attain the desired destination by following specific Vedic principles recommended for that purpose, such as the process
    technically known as darsa-paurnamasi. These are vividly described in the fruitive activities portion of the Vedas, which recommends a specific worship of demigods situated on different heavenly planets.
    Similarly, one can attain the Pita planets by performing a specific yajna. Similarly, one can go to many ghostly planets and become a Yaksha, Raksha or Pishaca. Pishaca worship is called "black arts" or "black
    magic." There are many men who practice this black art, and they think that it is spiritualism, but such activities are completely materialistic. Similarly, a pure devotee, who worships the Supreme Personality
    of Godhead only, achieves the planets of Vaikuntha and Krishnaloka without a doubt.

    In his Gita Bhasya, Shankaracharya described Bhutas as being "the hosts (ganas) of Vinayakas and Matrs, the Four Sisters, etc."

    The Yajnavalkya Smrti (Vinayaka Kalpa), 7th prakarana, mentions Vinayakas, describing a ritual for subduing these troublesome spirits, who cause much difficulty for humans who anger or disturb them. Ganesh is known as the Lord of the Ganas, and as the controller of obstacles, he is the commander of these transcendental hooligans.
    ---------------

    FYI: When Gauri (plural, 2) arrive during GaNesh festival, they are two Gauris called JyeshThA (older) and KanishThA (younger). This JyeshThA appears to be from that list - mAtRkA, pUtanA, jyeshThA, bhagini...
    Some articles on the net say mAtRkA are semi-demoniac (- good to good, bad to bad, bad on UmA's order, bad at night... ?). Also, didn't two bhaginis share Uma's blood when the three went out, the bhaginis were hungry and had no food, so Uma did this - She is annapUrNA after all. This could be symbolic, but all falls in one category which makes Adi Shankara mention it.

    _/\_
    Last edited by smaranam; 24 September 2013 at 08:19 AM.
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

  10. #30

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

    Regarding SB 11.27.29 (durga vinayaka vyasa vishvaksena sve sve sthane...), I see that we are back to what Shrila Jiva Goswami had been saying all along -
    http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/sho...75&postcount=7



    I still wonder (owing to personal experience) if these are not two sets of devas (spiritual and material), but it is [the eyes of] the sAdhak (aspirant) that makes them so. i.e. a tAmasic bhakta interacts with tAmasic aspects of devas in material world, sAttvic - sAttvic and nirguN nirguN.

    Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder after all. To put it in jagatguru Yogeshwar Shri KRshNa's language -
    BG 4.11
    ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham mama vartmānuvartante manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ

    As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pṛthā.


    namah: kamalanAbhAya namaste jalashAyine
    namaste keshavAnanta vAsudeva namostute _/\_
    Last edited by smaranam; 24 September 2013 at 08:10 AM.
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

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