[Advaita-l] Re: paJNchAyatana pUja

Abhishek RK rkabhi at gmail.com
Tue Sep 5 10:16:20 CDT 2006


On 9/5/06, Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy at gmail.com> wrote:
> -- The article says "We believe it was established by Shankaracharya
> himself." Are there any differences over the issue. Is this supposed to have
> been the tradition in AmnAya maThas? Are there no written records of
> shaN^karAchArya instituting this practice?

ShaNmata sthApanAchArya is a traditional title of bhagavAn shrI
Adisha~NkarAchArya. But this may relate to iShTa devata and may not be
related to pa~nchayAtana pUja. devatArchana or pUja is considered a
devayaj~na (agnihotra, aupAsana and other yaj~nas are also called
devayaj~na), one of the pa~nchamahAyaj~nas to be performed by dvijas,
as described in the smR^itis.

> -- The mAyA paJNchakaM in the article seems to state that brahma, viShNu,
> shiva are non-different from Ishvara (saguNa brahma). Is this the advaita
> vEdAntic position in the vyavahArika world that all the three Gods are
> different names of the same entity? How about dEvI, gaNEsha, sUrya etc.? Are
> they also supposed to be the same entity (Ishvara) being assigned a
> different name? Or are they supposed to be different entities with equal
> powers (in which case some of them must be different from Ishvara, and could
> not have equal powers)? Or is the idea that when one of the deities is
> worshipped, the nirguNa brahma in that deity is being worshipped?

Looking at the number of questions you have asked, I feel it is upto
the *worshipper* to imagine all these qualities or more upon the
paramAtma to begin worshipping. :)

> -- Can the ishTa dEvata be anybody? For example, is Jesus Christ acceptable?

The accepted category for a devata to be worshipped is it should be
mentioned in the vedas and shAstras. Even Christianity is divided over
whether Jesus was human or divine. As per history, there are many
unsavourable incidents related with this personality too. For an iShTa
devata to be worshipped as per the rules of pUja, we should hold the
shAstras as pramANa.

tasmAttvamuttiShTha yasho labhasva
jitvA shatrUn bhu~NkShva rAjyaM samR^iddham|
mayyaivaite nihatAH pUrvameva
nimittamAtraM bhava savyasAchin||11.33||
-bhagavAn shrIkR^iShNa, bhagavadgIta

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