[Advaita-l] paJNchAyatana pUja

Viswanathan N vishy1962 at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 6 00:10:33 CDT 2006

Shri Reddygaru, Pranams
  Your posting on Puranas and istadaivats are very relevent and valid one. Even I came across these questions within in myself. Esp, about purana charecters and their inconsistencies....While  telling bedtime storeis to children and when they raise certain logical questions on puranic charecters.
  I felt that these puranas are told to just to drive / uphold some moral values and nothng more. The story tellers were different and were just using the same names/ charecters in thier stories without botheirng much about their role in earlier stories. So we need to see the final moral of the story rather than the charecters.
  Istadevata.... When we start our sadhana towards realising niguna Brahman, to begin with, project some object to concentrate on and we have to drop this too in course of time. This is what I have understood  by the incident in shri. Ramakrishna's life involving 'kali' and his guru     " Totapuri". Since we have grown up hearing about and beleiving certain images of Gods,its better to start with them and nothing more. As you said, if some one had developed the image of Jesus as God, sure he can start with Jesus as istadevata. Beyond a point we have to realise only the nirguna Brahmaan without form/shape/beginning/end/attributs, that too in our ownself. Rather realise 'you are that'. Thats the 'End' rest all are just 'means'
  These are my interpretations without reference to any scripture or source. Hence request the pardon of learned members if I have errored.
  Pranams again

Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy at gmail.com> wrote:
  praNAM all,
I was reading the following article on paJNchAyatana pUja:
and I had a few questions:

-- 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?

-- 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?

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


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