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

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 4 08:57:49 CDT 2011

*Satish Arigela* satisharigela at

>Have been seeing over the past many years. Every time it is shown that this is
>somehow untenable citing various reasons, showing various evidence, the usual
>answer is to quote this again and again. Amazing!

Does it occur to you, before making allegations, that your line of reasoning
of questioning shankara and his tradition as it exists today, for whatever
reason, can be extended to your own conclusions? If one wears a skeptic hat,
one has to do a thorough job of it and not make assumptions to suit one's
conclusions. For example, if one were to view everything about shankara's
tradition with a skeptical eye, there are scholars who question the
authorship of the gItAbhAShya itself and doubt that it was the same shankara
who wrote the Brahma Sutra Bhashya. So, you see, whatever issue you are
making of Vinayaka in the gItAbhashya instantly becomes irrelevant,
according to this view! And there are scholars who think that the gItA
itself  contains many contradictions, that it was originally a smaller
version and much text was added later under Vaishnava influence. If the gItA
itself is a text constructed from multiple sources, where does it leave
shankara's bhAShya? Do you see where all this is leading to? These
controversies are not going to get resolved any time soon, perhaps not even
in our lifetime. Such being the case, is it not wise on our part to accept
shankara's tradition as it has been handed down to us? So we accept shankara
wrote the gItA bhAShya but must have meant some other being when he
commented on Vinayaka, not the Vinayaka Ganapati celebrated in the Vedas,
Upanishads, and the Puranas. It also makes sense to assume that shankara is
critical of the tAmasika form of worship because his comment about Vinayaka
and the others points to tAmasika worship. He is not against any particular
deity. The same deity can be worshipped in sAttvika, rAjasika, and tAmasika
modes. What is to be avoided are the rAjasika and tAmasika modes of worship.


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