[Advaita-l] sapta-mAtR^ika-s in ShAnkara GItA BhAShyam

Satish Arigela satisharigela at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 6 00:29:24 CDT 2011

{{{Although it is not explicitly said it seems what is the issue here is  not 
the nature of the matR^ikas themselves but that they are worshipped  with 
non-vegetarian sacrifices and contrary to Vedic methods.}}}

Maybe you forgot at the moment of typing this that there is nothing un-vedic 
about a non-vegetarian sacrifice?

The recent soma-yAga-s done in Andhra clearly involved a pashu bali. My own 
AchArya participated in this along with other somayAji-s.

Going by this, shankarAchArya should have also condemned the vaidika rituals 
which involve animal sacrifice? So is he saying then that it is okay to kill a 
pashu for a vedic yAga but not okay to do it in a tAntrIka context? If he says 
so, then on what authority he says that? Is he an authority on tAntrIka issues?

As an aside, what a tAntrIka does is between him and his AchArya and the 
particular devata or set of devata-s. No body else's business no matter who they 

All the above aside, the next shloka is talking about terrible practices. There 
isn't a clear link between sapta mAtR^ika-s worship and the next shloka.

I would request to look at both the wording and the spirit of the sentences in 
the bhAShya for 17.4.
He says very clearly that those with sattva worship the deva-s, and with rajas 
worship yakSha-s -- He is not explicitly talking about a rAjasic mode of worship 
of devata-s.

But it was rightfully pointed out by a few that one needs to look at the 
kenopaniShad bhAShya. I have no issues with the conclusions drawn from the same. 
But it raises other questions that bhAskar pointed out.
Of-course for argument sake one can say maybe kenopaniShad bhAShya is not by 
shankara then...but I wouldn't do that...as I feel that is going too far and not 
necessary at the moment.

Ramesh says:

>Therefore, there is a stronger case that he took a dim view of the system
>rather than individual deities. If the latter had been the case, he might as
>well have picked a few deities randomly rather than 3 who were connected by
>a particular upAsana system.

The other point Ramesh raised about having a dim view of a particular  system, 
does not take into account the fact that in vAmAchAra it is not  just the 
three(vinAyaka, bhagini-s, matR-s) which are worshipped, but almost every devata 
that we know of including viShNu, nR^isiMha etc. Now why pick this system in 
particular when there are many vAmAchAra sects, at that time?

In 17.4 he mentions just the sapta mAtR^ika-s. Almost(using this word because, I 
haven't read all 18 line by line) all purANa-s have a different opinion about 
the sapta mAtR^ika-s.

That would be all for now. Time to rest.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list