[Advaita-l] Re: Bhutas and Tantra

bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Wed Aug 27 02:04:35 CDT 2003

In 9.25 Krishna Bhagvan is saying those who worship (other) Devatas go the
Devatas, those who worship the Pitrs go to the Pitrs and those who worship
the "Bhutas" go to them.

So to summarize it is those spirits and Godlings who are worshipped only
out of fear of some bad luck if they are ignored which is being called
Tamasic here.  We cannot reduce the whole figures of Mataji and Ganesh
Bhagawan to such minor status.

>  praNAm Sri Jaldhar Prabhuji
>  Hare Krishna

>  Thanks for your kind clarification.  Just I quoted 9-25 & shankara's
commentary on it as passing comments.  Swamiji of HN pur also not discussed
this issue in length.  He just says, vinAyaka, chaturbhagini, mAtru gaNa
etc. are the names appear in tantra shAstra.  I have checked other
commentaries also on this verse as well as 17-4 prabhuji.  In BG As It Is
srila prabhupad says it is evil spirits like bhuta, preta etc.  Chinamaya
also of the same opinion.  Sri Madhusudana Saraswati in guDartha dIpika
(English translation by Swamy Gambhirananda - RK Mission) while commenting
on this verse clearly says those who have the quality of tamas are
bhUtEjyaH, as you said above worshippers of beings, but these beings are
nothing but yakshas, the rAkShas, vinAyaka (pls. note the singular) & group
of mAtrukAs (16 in Nos.).

>  Well, shankara's bhAshya goes like this: bhUtAni vinAyaka mAtrugaNa
(*mAtru gaNa* shankara says while commenting on 17-4 as sapta mAtruka-s)
chaturbhaginyAdIni yAnti bhUtEjyaH bhUtAnAm pUjatAH..here ijyA (worship) in
bhUtEjya is very important prabhuji. it does not make any sense if we
interpret bhUta-s are mere evil beings which one worship (chinmayananda
comments on this verse it is only wicked persons like rowdies, goondas
etc.).  This has been discussed in gudArtha dIpika prabhuji.  In 17-4 it is
mentioned that brAhmins & others who fall from their caste, duties acquires
aerial bodies after the fall of their present bodies and they become ghosts
called ulkAmukha, kata, pUtana etc. pretAs are a class of piShacha-s (here
author quotes manu write of dharma shAstra).  So, it is clear that shankara
referring to bhUtas as tAmasi shanktis only which have been being
worshipped tAmasi people.

>  The VinAyaka is the popular synonym for ganEsha apart from vighnEsha,
gaNapati etc., Sri Varasiddi Vinayaka vrata is most popular festival in
South India.  So, there is no harm in guessing that shankara hailed from
South India may be referring to this vinAyaka only. In atharva veda there
is one Sri ganEsharthavashIrsham which says he is permanent resident in
mUlAdhAra chakra (tvam mUlAdhAra stitOsi nityaM) (Shat chakras i.e.
mulAdhAra, svadhishtAna, maNipura, anAhata, viSudda, AgnA chakras & related
kundalini yoga, as we know purely based on hatha yogic tAntric sAdhana).
Moreover, it is also interesting to be noted that gaNapati referred in Rig
vEda mantras such as gaNAnAntva gaNapatiM havAmahe (2.23.1) & Rig vEda
saMhita's ganapati sUkta (10.112.9) (AtUna indrakshumantam chitram grabham
sangrubhAya .....ni Shu sIda ganapate etc.) & the gaNapati what we are
worshipping today in a bizzare form are completely different. I request the
Sanskrit scholars in this list to highlight the difference what we can
observe by going through these mantras.

>  It is not that vinAyaka is a foreigner to tAntric sAdhana, as Sri Vidya
prabhuji mentioned all most all deities of hindu pantheon has tAntric
background.  So, our vinAyaka is not an exception to that. Apart from his
auspisious form (maNgala rUpa) there is a custom in tAntric tradition which
prefers worship of vinAyaka in rudra rUpa (source : yantra, mantra & tantra
- kannada book by shillela Basavaiah Shastri) & there is *siddhi mantra*
with bijAkshara also mentioned to get subtle powers (siddhis).  In tAntric
sAdhana vinAyaka worshipped as *shakti gaNapati* or vIra vignEsha with a
military form with 5 heads, ten hands holding various weapons.  Apart from
this various varieties of shakti ganapati well explained in tantra
shastras.  One of the forms this shakti ganapati is *ucchishtta gaNapati
which is completly in ugly form associated with unclean things like orts
etc. This type of deity specifically used to prophiate the vinAyaka in
vamAchAra mArga.

>  With the above, we can say that *vinAyaka* mentioned by shankara in his
commentary is one of the forms of vignesha used in tAntric sAdhana.

>  Now as regards mAtru gaNa & chaturbhagini, shankara says in 17-4 prEtAn
bhUtagaNAscha saptamAtrukAdInshcha anyE yajante tAmasA janAH..I've given
madhusudana's commentary above, so, who are these sapta mAtrukAs, these
matrukAs are nothing but aspects of mAta pArvati in durgA form (ravi
prabhuji kindly correct me if I am wrong) purANa story says that these
sapta mAtrukas are manifested from durgA mAta when she wants to tackle the
mAyA shakti of rakta bijAsura. The worship of these matrukas shankara says
will be done by tAmasa janAH.

The Vedic status of Devi is well established in Shri Sukta etc.  In
Chandogyopanishad Uma the dughter of Himavan is said to be the giver of
Brahmavidya.  Shankaracharya does not make any complaint in that regard.

>  shankara in his bhAshya on kena not categorically admits it is indeed
daughter of Himavanta.  He takes this as second option the word *athava*
(or) is important here.  Nevertheless shankara mentions in second option
she is wife of Eshvara.

> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
> humble praNAms once again prabhuji
> bhaskar

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list