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

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 5 23:30:55 CDT 2011

*Satish Arigela wrote:*
>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.

This is getting ridiculous. The emphasis of both 9.25 and 17.4 is on the
Worshipper, not so much on the Worshipped. In fact, as MadhusUdana's
commentary on 17.4 says, pUjAtraividhyena jIvAnAM niShThAtraividhyaM
jnAtavyam. The whole idea of 17.4 is to show how we can infer the sattva, or
other guNas in a person, by looking at what he worships. If he worships the
Gods he is sAttvika, if he worships Yakshas, etc. he is rAjasika, and if he
worships Pretas and Bhutas, he is tAmasika. Now, what you seem to have done,
creating all this fuss, is to turn the gItA verse and its bhAShya  on its
head and got down to the business of identifying specific bhUtas such as
sapta mAtrikas and Vinayaka with popular deities and saying shankara is
inimical towards those deities! Wow! First, you quote shankara to say
sAttvikas worship devas, etc. Then you say Vinayaka and the sapta Matrikas
are clubbed with the pretas and bhUtagaNas. And then you pronounce this
"contradiction" between shankara and the Puranas, which treat the sapta
Matrikas as aspects of the devI. The resolution of this "contradiction" is
quite simple. shankara clearly does not include the beings sapta mAtrikas
and Vinayaka among the devas. However, Vinayaka and sapta mAtrikas, are
treated as devas in the Puranas. The only logical conclusion is that the two
sets- that mentioned by the shankara and that mentioned in the Puranas- are
not the same. The Vinayaka mentioned in the BhAShya (9.25) as a bhUta is not
the same as the God Vinayaka/Ganapati of the Puranas. Why? Because, as
MadhusUdana says, devas are sAttvika, Yakshas and Rakshasas are rAjasika,
and Pretas and Bhutas are tAmasika. The deva Vinayaka, a sAttvika, cannot be
the same as the bhUta Vinayaka, a tAmasika. The same logic holds for sapta
mAtrikas as well. Furthermore, accepting your positon that shankara
prohibits the worship of some deities, leads to a tAratamya among Gods,
reminiscent of some of the Vaishnava schools. This is also inconsistent with
the advaitic position.


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