[Advaita-l] discussion about panchayatan puja
krunalmakwana at hotmail.com
Thu Mar 2 07:39:18 CST 2006
> i had a question on puja described by shri
> Bagawan Krshna says in Gita
> " Those who worship devas they go to devas, those who
>worship pitris go to them those who worship butas go to butas and those who
>worship me will come to me."
> 1> As said by bagawan krsna he is the supreme lord why shri shankara
>told to worship other gods such as Lord Shiva and Ganapati?
clue as to his views can be given by examining the bhashya on Gita 10.24 (I
think that's the right shloka, I don't have a copy with me at the moment.)
Here Krishna Bhagavan says (very rough translation):
Those who sacrifice to the Devas go to the Devas, those who sacrifice to the
Pitrs go to the Pitrs, those who sacrifice to the Bhutas go to the Bhutas
and those who sacrifice to me come to me.
Lets' start with the Bhutas. This word is often translated as "ghost" and I
have even seen some Gita translations say "evil spirits" but this
misleading. Shankaracharya glosses it as beings like Vinayakas, Matrkas,
etc. Other commentators have slightly different lists but the gist is it
refers to the host of minor divinities which are still widely worshipped at
the popular level of Hinduism today.
It is wrong to call them evil. The problem is not they are evil but
capricious. You can worship them and they might be favorably disposed to
you or on a whim they may not. An interesting thing for me is how
universal this idea of mischief making spirits is. I actually grew up in
a village in England and despite the fact that my neighbors were nominally
Christian they also had a lot of folk tales about "faeries", who if not
treated with the proper respect could cause all kinds of bad luck to
happen. I think this is a reflection of the precariousness of life most
humans have had to live with until recently. One bad harvest, or failed
monsoon, or cholera epidemic could spell total disaster. Thus the Gods of
the farmer are as unpredictable as nature.
Back to Shankaracharya, he classifies this kind of worship as Tamasic
because it is not based on love of God, but fear of punishment. It may lead
to good results or it may not. One never knows in advance.
The Pitrs are our own divinized ancestors. They have worshipped the Devas
properly through Vedic means and have reached their exalted position in
Heaven due to their good deeds. However they have attempted to strike
deals. They said "I will worship you if you give me this reward in return."
whether the reward is wealth or progeny or heaven etc. it is selfish.
Thus this type of worship is considered Rajasic.
The worshippers of the Devas are those who do so simply out of love and
duty. They ask for nothing and accept what comes or does not with a steady
mind. This form of worship is Sattvik and leads to purification of the
self. However it still has one flaw in that it considers the worshipper and
worshipped to be seperate.
The highest are those who are beyond the three gunas, who know Bhagavan in
His true form and as not seperate from their own self.
So we can see a clear progression from chaos to (external) order to
> 2>Here another question is when the person goes to loka to whom he
>worships then why Swami Vivekananda told that all path lead to one goal?
Yes all paths lead to the paramArthika plane of advaita vedanta. Swami
Sivananda is his description of all the philosophies says that sAdhak goes
through all the philosophies e.g. 1. dvaita 2. VashishthAdvaita etc but
finally realises kevalya advaita. It logical and rational. When a baby prays
to the lord, there is a dualistic emotion, when he/she grows up they feel
that they are a part of god and when realisation takes place on brahman
Forgive me for saying this but bUddha bhagwAns 'shUnyatA' was Sankara's
'Kevalya Advaita' BUT due to time and circumstances the buddha avatar came
to refute the veda because of corruption and etc. BhagavatpAda then came to
give the supreme authority of the Vedas and refuted the 'shunyatA VAda' of
buddha so that people would then believe in brahman. So for BhagavatpAda to
show people the true Sanatan Dharma, he had to refute all other philosophies
this the reason Shankara critised 'shunyatA'.
I would like to share something with the group, once when listening to a
buddist monk, he was asked the question, 'does buddhism believe in God?', he
replied with 'buddhism does not deny the existance of God and does not
refute the concept BUT the monks duty is to reach nirvAna by
I know that i may have stirred some controversy about the advaita vs
buddhism debate again, and i apologise if i have. The above is my
understanding of Advaita, and to be a true Advaitin (in my opinion) accept
all philosophies as leading to Advaita. Instead of refuting the other
philosophies see what is good in them and apply that to your life.
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