[Advaita-l] sapta-mAtR^ika-s in ShAnkara GItA BhAShyam

श्रीमल्ललितालालितः lalitaalaalitah at gmail.com
Sun Aug 21 12:49:49 CDT 2011

*श्रीमल्ललितालालितः <http://www.lalitaalaalitah.com>
lalitAlAlitaH <http://about.me/lalitaalaalitah/bio>*

On Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 17:57, Satish Arigela <satisharigela at yahoo.com>wrote:

> So AchArya is basically clubbing brAhmI, vaiShNavI, etc
> with preta-s, bhUtagaNa-s


> i.e. or in other words he is saying they are not
> deva-s, neither do they belong to type of yakSha-s, rakSha-s but even lower
> than
> them.

He is saying that they are one of bhUta-gaNas and not that they are lower.
There seems no categorization of worshiped devatA, yakSha, bhUta, etc. here
as low or high. bhAShyam just says that different people worship different
If you infer that being worshiped by good people makes worshiped high in
rank, then yes sapta-mAtR^ika gain less points.

Keep in mind this distinction: The statements are not talking about
> sAttvika,
> rAjasa, tAmasa worship of devata-s. It is clearly saying those with rAjasic
> nature worship yakSha, rakSha-s so on so forth.

Correct. But, it doesn't say that devatA are high ranked ones too. bhAShyam
says that different people worship different subjects.

 Is this not clear that he has a very poor view of the sapta mAtR^ika-s like
> brAhmi etc.?

His view are confirmed by other commentators. Every other commentary speaks
in such way. Some say bhadrakAlI as bhUta, some say durgA, and so on.
So, all of commentators speaking in same line prove that they had access to
some text which categorized devatA, etc. clearly.

> But of-course the mArkanDeya purANa(devI saptashati) along with other
> purANa-s
> do not give any support to shankarAchArya's view on this one, as they
> mention
> the sapta mAtR^ika-s as aspects of devI.

Mentioning sapta-mAtR^ika as aspects of devI doesn't prove them devatA or
sAttvika. rudra aspect of shiva is known as tAmasa by all.

> Hence this personal(because the
> bhagavadgIta does not single out vinAyaka and saptamAtR^ika-s) view of
> AchArya
> is clearly in conflict with purANa-s.

There is no clear conflict. I'm able to see that you have some respect
towards mAtR^ikas which is making you argue to prove them devatA or

> Or it is just that by sapta mAtR^ika-s, shankarAchArya means something else
> other than brAhmI, vaiShNavI etc.. . Anyone ever heard of a different set
> of
> sapta mAtR^ika-s? I did not(simply because I did not do enough research).so
> if
> any one did, please inform with references.

So, after reading your and others' post I can say that we need definition of
devatA, yakSha, rakSha, bhUta, etc. according to different scriptures and
dictionaries. Then we need to know which is sAttvika, rAjasika, etc.
according to shAstra. Then, whether vinAyaka, etc. are counted as both
devatA and bhUta or not. If yes, are they different or they are same and
worshiped in different ways.
Untill we get answers of these questions, you can not conclude that
bhAShyakAra is biased. Other commentaries prove him non-biased.
On the other hand your view of considering vinAyaka, etc. as devatA or
sAttvika needs some proof other than tales, and viniyogas of mantras.
In viniyoga of mantras even pishAchIs are called devatAs. So, devatA there
means subject of worship only and is unable to categorize them.
Being an aspect of devata is not enough too as I said.
Another thing, those who consider kAlI, etc. tAmasa will also consider her
aspects tAmasa. So, you need to search for definitions of devatA, etc.

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