[Advaita-l] Guru purnima
Jaldhar H. Vyas
jaldhar at braincells.com
Tue Jul 11 10:05:05 CDT 2006
Today, the purnima (full moon) of the month of Ashadha is called Guru
purnima. Sadhakas should consider this the holiest day of the year as
without the guidance of our Guru parampara, we would remain mired in ignorance.
According to the Dharmasindhu, the days puja is actually to a total
of 33 deities.
Vayu Soma Nirrti
Acharyadi Brahma Narayanadi Shiva Vyasadi
panchaka panchaka panchka
Varuna Guru Parampara Indra
Ishana Yama Agni
First one worships Ganesha Bhagavan as the remover of obstacles just like
in any puja.
Then Kshetrapala (Bhairava) to protect the place where learning takes
Then Durga mata to give strength to continue learning to completion.
Next Saraswati mata who is the personification of learning and wisdom.
Then the 8 lokapalas Indra etc. who protect the world.
After these preliminaries, the founders of the sampradaya are worshipped.
In the middle is Narayanadi panchaka arranged like this:
Pradyumna Narayana Vasudeva
At first this seemed a little odd to me. The four vyuhas or
manifestations of Shri Narayana play a central part in Shrivaishnavism.
In fact Shankaracharya criticizes the vyuhavada in Brahmasutrabhashya.
However there is shastra pramana for this in e.g. Bhagavata Purana and
even in the bhashya Shankaracharya emphasizes that it is the philosophical
aspects of this theory that he is against not the devotional ones.
In any case it should be emphasized that it is not a sectarian vision of
Vishnu but He who is "higher than the avyakta" -- Brahman who is being
worshipped here as the source and the goal of our tradition.
On either side are Brahma and Shiva who together with Narayana/Vishnu
make up the trimurti.
On the right is Vyasadi panchaka arranged like this:
Jaimini Vyasa Sumantu
Shri Veda Vyasa arranged the 4 Vedas and taught them to his 4 pupils as
mentioned in e.g. Vishnu Purana,
Sumantu - Rgveda
Vaishampayana - Yajurveda
Jaimini - Samaveda
Paila - Atharvaveda
He also wrote (or compiled) the fundamental text of Vedanta, the
brahmasutras and the 18 puranas and the Mahabharata which includes the
On left is Acharyadi panchaka arranged like this:
Totaka Shankara Padmapada
Shankaracharya was not the first teacher of Advaita Vedanta but he is the
most prominent. He put his 4 chief disciples Padmapada etc. in charge of
the 4 main mathas he started. (Though there is some confusion about which
shishya went to which matha.)
After paying respects to the founders and ancient sages of our sampradaya, the
historical lineage is worshipped.
First our own Gurus.
Then our Gurus Guru (paramaguru)
Then his Guru (parameshtiguru)
Then all the enlightened ones who have ever lived.
 Notes to my copy suggest that Shuklayajurvedis should replace
Vaishampayana with Yajnavalkya as he was the original teacher of that shakha.
 Another name for Sureshwara.
Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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