[Advaita-l] Categorization of devatAs and bhUtAs

श्रीमल्ललितालालितः lalitaalaalitah at gmail.com
Sun Aug 21 13:43:12 CDT 2011

There was a discussion in this group about vinAyaka,etc.
bhAShyam of shrI sha~Nkara-bhagavatpAda on gItA has counted either one or
more of : vinAyaka, sapta-mAtR^ikA, rudra-pArShada, mAtR^i-gaNa,
chaturbhaginI, yakSha, rakShaH, pishAcha, bhadrakAlI, durgA - as bhUta-gaNa
or bhUta.

   1. Now, people following vedas have a view that vinAyaka, etc. said as
   bhUta-gaNa are different from vinAyaka, etc. who are famous as devatA.
   2. People having inclination towards tantra say that commentators (mainly
   sha~Nkara-bhagavatpAda) is against upAsanA of gaNesha, etc.
   3. Their is another view : even if vinAyaka, etc. are counted as both
   devatA and bhUta, it doesn't prove that vinAyaka is more than one. It just
   says that vinAyaka, etc. are subject of worships both as devatA and bhUta
   according to wish of worshiper. Commentaries of gItA just say their upAsanA
   as bhUta is tAmasa.

This created big confusion.

After reading many posts with little useful information, I came to know that
talking without proof is useless in this case and most are doing the same.

So, I checked all commentaries of gItA which were available. All say the
same thing and repeat it at other places too. So, I can say that they were
firm on their view. It proves that they had access to some standard text
according to which they categorized vinAyaka, etc. as tAmasa.

I want to know definitions of devatA, preta, bhUta, gaNa, etc., with quotes
from scriptures, dictionaries, etc. So, please post whatever you know and is

After getting these definitions,

If devatA and others are proved far different, and vinAyaka, etc. are
counted as both devatA and bhUta, then view of vaidikas will gain some

Even if vaidikas don't get any clear classification, tAntrikas have to show
that their view of holding vinAyaka, etc. as devatA only has some proof.
They may say it's popular belief or it is said as such in tantra, we
remember vinAyaka, etc. as devatA in viniyoga, etc. of mantra ; but even
then the cause of all commentaries being in same line will need explanation.
In fact, commentaries of old people with same explanation will prove their
view false and based on rumors, lack of deep study, etc.

Third view fits more than other views in present condition. But, any proof
of two vinAka, etc. will be enough to make it wrong.

Please share your views regarding this. Arguments based on scriptures are
most welcome.

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

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