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

  1. #41
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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    Namaste

    Advaita is a philosophy and religion based on the Vedas that teaches among other things the non-duality of the individual soul and God. Shankaracharya is an exponent of this.

    In this spirit, Sankara wrote eulogies of praise to a number of the well known and cherished Hindu Devatas as a path to such unity including Ganesha as exampled in the Ganesha Pancharatnam. I already asked why a single quote, a single verse, of Sankara which in my opinion is being misrepresented is being used as the sole arbitrator for an agenda to belittle Ganesha who is beloved by millions of Advaitans, ignoring the Ganesha Pancharatnam where Sankara gives praise to Ganesha and Vinayaka and whether some claim this work Ganesha Pancharatnam by Sankara is a forgery of another author. There was no response.

    I believe this thread is authored by those who do not ascribe to Advaita philosophy, It is simply an attempt by a few Vaishnavas (not all Vaishnava responders) to continue harping on belittling Lord Ganesha, couched under the agenda of a single, misrepresented, verse of Adi Sankara and actually has nothing to do with Advaita which I believe the OP does not adhere to in the first place. Therefore I request this thread be moved out of the Advaita forum and into the Vaishnava forum where it belongs.

    In the Deodar Forest Darukavana, some sages had performed black magic to invoke an elephant-demon called Gajasura who was a vinayaka. Vinayakas are a type of demon, as documented in the Manava Grhyasutras.
    Shiva slayed this demon and became known as Gajasurasamhara the slayer of the elephant-one sura. Some Saivas traditions hold that the head of an elephant, or even this very demon, was placed on the Son of Shiva and Ganesha became the Commander of Shiva's Ganas. There are also vinayakis or female forms on lists of matrikas. Ganesha is not a demon, He wears the head of an elephant. He is certainly a destroyer of such demons or can even change their hearts and enlist them as a Gana, and He removes their obstacles . Such elephant demons are commonly known and found in ancient sculptures (I read a very interesting archeological analysis which included discussion of vinayakas).

    According to the advice of monks of an ancient Sampradaya, they recommended to me "not to associate" (including on the internet) with those who make a habit to belittle Lord Ganesha and wasting their life in such matters instead of glorifying the Name of their own Lord. I would pass on this advice to other Saivas.

    I would again like to request this thread to be moved to the Vaishnava forum where it belongs.

    Om Namah Sivaya

  2. #42
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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    Ok, touchy. One last post - my final reply on this thread, as I am being branded a ganesha dveshi.

    I do not deny that Ganesha is a hindu god. He is very much a god for shaivas and according to shaiva philosophy, and even mAdhvas, nimbarka sampradaya etc., he is the son of shiva.

    I was merely stating the sri vaishnava view-point, which everyone is free to disagree with.

    However, in respect of sentiments, I post no more. If anyone wants the opinion of my sampradaya, send me a PM. I had indeed earlier discussed with Omkara that this thread was likely to rub people the wrong way.
    [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. #43
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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    I wanted to post this in the Ganapathi Pooja thread before it got closed and have been waiting ever since. When a notable Sri Vaishnava scholar says that Lord Ganesha does not have a proper reference in the Vedas(and 18 Puranas), he does not mean that Ganesha does not exist. Nor does that mean that the devotees are interacting with an imagined deity or that he is not a respected hindu god. It just means that when we hear accounts like him having defeated Lord Shiva, Vishnu etc, or with Aiyappa swami being the son of Vishnu/Shiva, we don't integrate it into our philosophy. But not all Vaishnavas accept all accounts and not all Hindus accept Vaishnava philosophy. Hundreds are Vishnu and Shiva GaNAs and various are the PramAn and interpretation upheld by various Hindus.

    That there's no one falsifying Ganesha in Sri Vaishnavam is apparent by seeing so many iyengars still worshipping him. One can imagine as to what reactions an iyengar would face if he goes to a church for e.g.

    So, lets not think that SriVaishnavas hold that any Hindu deity is a false god.

    I apologize much for the derail.

  4. #44
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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    Quote Originally Posted by ShivaFan View Post

    In this spirit, Sankara wrote eulogies of praise to a number of the well known and cherished Hindu Devatas as a path to such unity including Ganesha as exampled in the Ganesha Pancharatnam. I already asked why a single quote, a single verse, of Sankara which in my opinion is being misrepresented is being used as the sole arbitrator for an agenda to belittle Ganesha who is beloved by millions of Advaitans, ignoring the Ganesha Pancharatnam where Sankara gives praise to Ganesha and Vinayaka and whether some claim this work Ganesha Pancharatnam by Sankara is a forgery of another author. There was no response.
    As has been previously discussed, the consensus among scholars is that only the prasthana trayi bhasyas of Shankaracharya can be unambiguously considered genuine. Some scholars even go so far as to question the authenticity of the gita bhashya.

    This is my last post on this thread too.
    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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  5. #45

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Sri Vaishnava View Post
    Before trying to be sarcastic,
    I wasn't being sarcastic. It was an honest question.
    Secondly, even if we interpret durga and vinayaka as "vishNu-durga" and "gajanana", it doesn't agree with srila prabhupada's theories of an "original durga" and a "original ganesha" at all.
    That is Jiva Goswami's theory, not PrabhupAd's. Jiva is one of the famous shaD-goswAmI. He says this DurgA and vinAyaka are eternal associates of NArAyaNa in VaikunTha. To be so, they have to be liberated.

    The vishNu durga is still a baddha jivA as per sri vaishnavas.
    Then how can she be in VaikunTha or be a nitya sUri? This VishNu-Durga is YogamAyA, the internal potency, not the external potency - acc. to GauDiya AchArya, the kAtyAyani that the Gopis worship is also YogamAyA is also subhadrA.

    The new VaishNo-devi mandir in VrindAvan has SubhadrA as the Devi (YogamAyA), and a Baal Gopal next to Her.

    To me however, it is the same Deity, who reciprocates differently with different devotees - predominantly sattvic, predominantly rajasic, tamasic or nirguN. Those interested can see post #30 on page 3 regarding that.


    _/\_
    Last edited by smaranam; 24 September 2013 at 01:22 PM.
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

  6. #46

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Omkara View Post
    There is a goddess called Bhairavi, but she is not one of the Matrikas.
    I Understand. I was just giving an example of shakti associated with a Shiva's associate, form, devotee, gaNa...

    Hare KRshNa
    Last edited by smaranam; 03 October 2013 at 06:11 AM.
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

  7. #47
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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    Namaste all,
    Ganesha is getting bad press on an exclusive hindu forum, can things get any worse than this? As pointed out above, this thread should be relocated to vaishnava forum (anti shaivas thrive there).

    This ongoing diatribe is like some bad chest infection, no signs of remission for crying out loud. This is yet another thread attempting to throw poor Ganesha under the bus, a third thread in just as many weeks. In fact affable Ganeha gets more respect and cheer in Non Hindu threads. With Venkateswara as our family deity, I must say, some vaishnava’s are no different than some abrahamics. Looks like they hate anyone and everything that are not directly a part of Srimad Bhagavatam or Vishnu purana.

    Answer a simple question- would you like to have a Ganesha’s murti in your homes or not, if the answer is in the negative just back off and talk about something else. Why so? Because enough is already said about Ganesha , especially efforts to downsize His importance in Hindu faith were firmly in place with a textual frame work supporting the animosity (sic). What more would you like to accomplish, if this thread gets closed , would starting a 4th thread makes the counter rebuttal appropriate? What are the objectives in that case over and above the ones already accomplished?
    Presumably, the message from Admin was to exercise restraint, and not to bring in some more interpolations to substantiate meaningless claims as to which Gyani (wise man) belittled Ganesha when and where. Consider this then, many said wrong things about Vishnu and Krishna as well, does it mean we run a 200 post thread ‘beefing up’ on those intolerant assertions against Vishnu. Think!

  8. #48
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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    I posted the thread 'Ganesh puja in Vaishnavam' without any intention of ridiculing the importance of Sri Ganeshji, it was a genuine question intended to know other Vaishnavas' stand on the point, stemming from their belief gained through scripture or otherwise. But I have to admit I do get a strange feeling of having put down this great and beloved god of many, although I am not sure what is the reason behind this, as I had no such intention. I think it is not of good taste to bring up such discussion when among Ganesh ji worshipers, maybe posting them in an exclusive Vaishnava community is the choice. So I am writing this note, sorry I had no other place to put it except here, seemed to have started off of the stopping point of the Ganeshji thread..

    Ganapathi Bappa Moraya!

    May Sri Mahaganapathi bestow all of us with the right guidance in our spiritual quest:

    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

  9. #49

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

    I thought this was a fascinating discussion until certain intolerant individuals started up with the whole "don't talk about that... it hurts my feelings!" angle.

    Look, what Adi shankara did or did not think about viNAyaka is fair game in a forum where advaita philosophy is discussed. Though I'm still leaning towards the view that he was not referring to gaNesha in gItA 9.25 bhAShya, I found the shaivite point of view on this very interesting to say the least. It honestly never occurred to me that shaivites had an issue with Adi shankara's gItA commentary. Where do I go to learn about such things if not on a Hinduism forum?

    The existence or non-existence of gaNesha is somewhat tangential to the topic of this thread. I don't have a strong opinion on it one way or another, but I thought smaranam's question about vyAsa's scribe was a good one, and I found Sri Vaishnava's answer to be quite interesting. I was totally unaware that the verses mentioning gaNesha were considered by some Hindu scholars as interpolated. Again, where do I go to learn about such things if not on a Hinduism forum?

    Personally, I would rather that we discuss these theories here, among insiders, rather than being exposed to them for the first time in other forums where people inimical to Hinduism are lurking. You can't say to such people, "You can't think those thoughts... they will offend millions of Hindus!" There has to be a place where such things can be examined in light of the evidence, the views for or against can be aired, and people be allowed to make their own decisions about what to believe, hopefully coming out stronger for it. If all such discussions are going to be branded offensive, then we should just tell practicing Hindus who have any knowledge about the subject to get lost, and let rowdy people who want to control discussion content by shouting down those they don't like run everything.

    I very specifically asked that those not interested in a discussion about the subject matter to exclude themselves from this discussion. Still, troll-like, they came uninvited, and now one very knowledgable participant has already left as a result. When I ask myself who I would rather listen to: (1) an intelligent person who disagrees with me but is well-read and can cite evidence to support his position, and (2) an armchair vedantist who demands that all views which don't match his own be suppressed, I am forced to admit that (1) is what I come here for. I am disappointed once again that (2) has reared its ugly head, ever ready to lay down the standards of political correctness for one and all to follow.
    Philosoraptor

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

  10. #50
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    Re: Adi shankarAchArya's views on anya-devata worship

    Namaste Omkara and Smaranam

    I didn't realize scholars considered most of the so-called writs of Adi Sankara as later forgeries, thanks for this information.

    Makes me wonder if even the one writ or commentary is 100% legit as well, I may do some of my own research.

    But to tell the truth, I am not much interested in Sankara's "writs", in terms of Saiva I look to the writings and scriptures of Nandinatha Sampradaya, their Saints and Satgurus, and in terms of Vaishnava I look to the writings and commentaries on scriptures from Prabhupad, and in terms of all-purpose including Shakta and others the commentaries of Jayaram V.

    In relation to the Saiva Siddhanta tradition, and also the writings of Jayaram V, Ganesha is greatly adorded and respected. Prabhupad is also fair in terms of calling Shiva the Greatest Devotee.

    So this one verse from Sankara means not much to me, other that it seems to be totally misrepresented by some (but not all), vinayakas and such elephant demon manifestations are (or should be) well known (perhaps not by some Vaishnavas) and it clearly means that one should not worship demons and has nothing to do with Ganapati who just happens to be sporting the elephant head of a other. I should point out, that not all demons are forever bad, some change and are even recruited as Ganas. Actually, I wouldn't mind being a Gana in Shiva's army under the command of Ganapati for the battles to come.

    Namaste Viraja

    Yes, I know that. You are a great devotee, and Narayana is your Guide.

    Namaste Others

    This has nothing to do with hurt feelings. I am too much of an action verse emotion based jiva to get feelings hurt. It has to do with Hinduism, and I stand by my statements that this thread actually has nothing to do with Advaita, actually is not in the spirit of Advaita, and is an exercise of not glorifying one's Lord but trying to marginalize another.

    In one way, it has reawaken a relook, and dynamic in my personal path, of the valid reasons behind Advaita aspects of Saivism as I am a dualist, and searching out an Advaita framework that does not tend to try and divide Hindus.

    This thread should be moved to the Vaishnav forum where it better belongs.

    Om Namah Sivaya

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