[Advaita-l] 'VinAyaka' in ShAnkara GItA BhAShyam

Satish Arigela satisharigela at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 1 07:33:38 CDT 2011


>The term 'vinAyaka' therefore should refer to some spirit/ugra devatA.  

What is the basis for making this jump or assumption?

> In this connection it is said that the name
>'vinAyaka' of an ugra devatA is stated. On a search as to whether such a
>devataA exists, we find, for example, in the agni purANa: (pl. see verse
>marked 11cd)

I just looked at what you quoted. Let me state that what you quote happens to be 
out of context.

What you quoted is part of an esoteric and a great tAntrIka concept. I am 
talking about the
nAdiphAnta system that was part of your quote. To understand this, one will 
special training in the tantra shAstra or a very dedicated academic study of the 
same. This is not something that can picked and quoted by a search option.

If understanding this esoterica is something one seeks I recommend studying the 
PhD Thesis "The yoga of the mAlinI vijayottara tantra" by Prof. Somadeva 
Vasudeva student of the great scholar Dr. Alexis Sanderson. Otherwise I would 
recommend staying out of this, as that is deep and a very specialized topic 
treated in very important shaiva texts like mAlinI vijayottara tantra.

{{{{It is quite common in the Hindu scriptures to have names of sattva-devatAs
also appearing in the list of ugra-devatAs.  Krishna, for example, is the
most familiar God.  Yet there is a Krishna who is a demon.  So with
'vAsudeva'.  In fact this very agni purANa contains several verses, in great
detail, about the worship of the Parameshwara-putra 'vinAyaka' too (one can
search for these verses in the above URL of agni purANam).  The name of the
ugra devatA 'vinAyakaa' in the feminine gender in the agni purANa is no
matter of concern for us. }}}} 

Much speculation I see here. I have nothing to add to this.

>The Gita commentary expression of Shankara
>विनायकमातृगणचतुर्भगिन्यादीनि could be seen as a total compound of all 
>ugra-devatA in the feminine.

Speculation is okay but it should have some basis. There is a good reason why 
gaNesha, mAtR^ika-s and chaturbhagini system is mentioned here. It is not 
coincidence that they are grouped together.

The central devata of the chaturbhagini system is called tumburu rudra or 
tumburu shiva, a great form of parameshvara which belongs to the vAma srotas(not 
to be confused with vAmAchAra). vAma srotas means those forms and tAntrika texts 
that in the great shaiva system originated from the vAmadeva mukha of the fived 
faced sadAshiva. The other four being gAruDa, bhUta, dakShiNa, and Urdhva srotas

The names of the chaturbhagini-s are jayA, vijayA, ajitA & aparAjitA. In the 
middle of the four bhagini-s is seated the great form of parameshvara tumburu 
shiva, holding a vINa among other things. The worship of tumburu along with the 
worship of these four bhagini-s is mentioned in the prapa~nchasAra tantra.(Does 
this ring a bell? I guess not - otherwise i would not be writing all these)

Now in the matsya purAna a story is described on how shiva took a form holding a 
vINa and he danced along with the mAtR^ika-s. If you see various old sapta 
mAtR^ika panels, you will notice that on these panels the mAtR^ika-s along with 
gaNesha, and a vINa holding shiva(the central devata of the chaturbhagini 
system) are depicted on the same panel.  In some panels instead of the vINAdhara 
shiva one sees vIrabhadra. Do you see the proper context now as to why the 
gaNesha, mAtR^ika and the chaturbhagini system are clubbed together?

Now anybody who says the mAtR^ika-s on these panels and the gaNesha represented 
on these panels is different from popular gaNesha worshipped these days is going 
to make out of himself for obvious reasons

Do you see now why it is not coincidence that these devata-s are mentioned 
together? We have rock solid(in both senses of the term) evidence in the form of 
sculptures. If you think about this, it is very clear which devata worship is 
shankara condemning in the b gIta bhAShya.


 > - The ShAnkara BhAshyam is not referring to the Ishwara-putra, ambAsuta,
 > vinAyaka.

No. He is very specifically referring to Ishvara putra, ambAsuta and I have 
shown this along with textual and archeological evidence above. Such evidence 
has more weight than speculation.

 > - The reference is to a tAmasic deity, a 'ugra devatA'.

That is speculation at best

  >- The Acharyas of the Shankara-established Peethas who have carried on
  >the tradition of according a duly important place for the LalitAsahasranAma,
  >the worship of Ganapati, etc. have definitely not defied Shankara (the
  >bh.Gita bhashya referenced vinAyaka or mAtR-gaNas).

I have just shown above that they deviated from shankara on this aspect with 
evidence but not with speculation.

I am well aware of some of the incidents you mentioned below and so nothing to 
add. That some great people of our time like HH abhinava vidyA tIrtha and his 
immediate predecessors practiced something today does not necessarily mean their 
predecessors did so 1000 years back. These things change with time and that 
change is natural. There is no need cover it up and strain with speculations and 
far fetched explanations to show continuity. I for one am very glad to note that 
the current AchArya-s do not stick to the outdated(mark the usage of this word, 
i did not say incorrect or wrong for a strong reason, though in an extreme sense 
I can say it is wrong) views of Adi shankara on this particular topic.

  {{{{- In fact Jagadguru Sri Abhinava VidyAtirtha MahaswamigaL once
  inaugurated a temple of 'saptamAtRtka-s' near Mysore and in His benedictory
  address chanted the names 'brAhmI mAheshwarI.....chAmuNDaa..' and exhorted
  the people in that locality to regularly come to the temple and engage in
  sat-sang and other religious activities and elevate themselves.  I have
  heard this speech. Every navarAtri srI ShAradAmbaa in Sringeri and Bangalore
  takes the form of these mAtrkaa-s every day for all the aastikas to witness
  - Jagadgurus Narasimha BhArati swaminaH, Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati
  swaminah, Sri Abhinava VidyAtirtha MahaswamigaL and Sri BhAratI Tirtha
  SwaminaH who have devoutly worshiped DevI LalitA/ambA and Ganapati and even
  composed soul-stirring hymns on these deities, are never objects of our
  'pity' for Their 'misconceived notions' about Devi and Ganapati in 'gross
  defiance of Bhagavatpada Shankara's teachings.  These luminaries are
  regarded as BrahmajnAnis by the tradition.  No one in the tradition
  considers Them as having met the fate of भूतानि यान्ति भूतेज्या: On the
  other hand They are regarded as examples of यान्ति मद्याजिनोऽपि माम्.}}}}

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