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

Satish Arigela satisharigela at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 5 03:09:52 CDT 2011

From: Anand Hudli <anandhudli at hotmail.com>
>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?

Instead of parroting some of my phrases, in a tit-for-tat manner, why don't you 
be clear with questions?
I am not saying what I say is absolutely correct though my tone may not reflect 
it  :-)
Some people tried to give explanation but it seemed there were good and 
thoughtful indeed, but they were either incomplete or that the explanations gave 
rise to more questions on closer observation.

I did question my conclusions more than once and as I mentioned in a private 
mail to another member, if there is a better explanation I would definitely 
reconsider my position. By explanation I definitely do not mean the kind of 
repetition of the same things like you were doing yesterday.

The questions came because of a perceived inconsistency over a period of some 
years.. not because, one fine day I decided to be skeptical about some topic and 
started writing about it? Or is it that the respect for the tradition has made 
you numb to any line of reasoning/evidence which disagrees with tradition?

It is just that a certain practice and certain view seemed to diverge in time a 
bit  and that divergence was pointed out in half argumentative/confident and 
half "seeking clarification" tone.

{{{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! }}}

I am indeed aware of such skeptics who doubt if shankara ever wrote a gItA 
bhAShya. Their reasons did not(at-least for now) seem convincing. This is a case 
where it seemed reasons were found because they were doubtful.

In the current topic, doubts arose because there existed some non-clarity in the 
original comments under discussion. 

{{{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? }}}

Yes some indologists did make such claims. But what is wrong if a text is 
constructed from multiple sources? All our excellent and useful itihAsa-s & 
purANa-s were of-course constructed from multiple sources over a period of some 
centuries. By shankara's time supposedly the gItA was in one piece...This does 
not necessarily lead us to where you think it does.

>Such being the case, is it not wise on our part to accept
>shankara's tradition as it has been handed down to us? 

Yes. But what that has to do with pointing out that some views differed or 
evolved over a period of time and that the earliest views and current ones do 
not necessarily match?

Why is there a need to get worked-up about this?

>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

Finally we come to the core point. I recommend that you follow the thread once 
more then. It looks like shankara is of the opinion that some forms of devata-s 
are tAmasika as opposed to criticizing tAmasika worship in general.

>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.

Yes. I did not say anything different on this one.


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