[Advaita-l] Re: Bhutas and Tantra

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Tue Aug 26 13:50:51 CDT 2003

>Thanks for this.  so, it means...Vinayaka gana Mathru ganascha.  is it so 

That is how I take it, according to the following vigraha-vAkya. 
vinAyaka-gaNAS ca mAtR-gaNAS ca vinAyaka-mAtR-gaNAH. vinAyaka-mAtR-gaNAS ca 
catur-bhaginy-AdiS ca vinAyaka-mAtR-gaNa-caturbhaginy-AdIni. The whole thing 
is one compound.

Of course, it is grammatically possible to take vinAyaka in the singular and 
the others in the plural, i.e. vinAyakaS ca mAtRganAS ca chatur-bhaginy-AdiS 
ca vinAyaka-mAtRgaNa-caturbhaginy-AdIni. However, given that the dominance 
of the plural number in the compound, plus the fact that tAntric texts are 
known to mention hosts of vinAyaka-s along with the saptamAtR-s, it makes 
more sense to me to take every term in the compound as plural in number.

>Ganesha is also a Tantra shastra deity. Tantras are also known as Agamas.
>Ganesha does appear in the Shaiva Agamas or Tantras.
>best regards,
>K Kathirasan

Yes, almost all the deities in our religious landscape seem to have a Vedic 
background and a Tantric background. It seems clear that the latter method 
(and particularly what is known as left-handed tantra, vAmamArga) is being 
decried, even in the gItA itself (a-vidhi-pUrvakam). The same holds true for 
the mention of ancestors (pitR) in the same gItA verse. The Vedic SrAddha 
offered to dead ancestors during the day, in the presence of witnesses, is 
different from Tantric rituals involving dead ancestors, which are typically 
performed in secret, in cremation grounds and in the middle of the night. 
Ritual itself is conceptually subordinated in advaita vedAnta, but it goes 
without saying that Tantric rituals are especially frowned down upon, as 
they incorporate many elements of what is normally taboo in society.

Best regards,

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