[Advaita-l] Chronology and Traceability

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Apr 19 00:55:16 EDT 2021

On Sun, Apr 18, 2021 at 10:15 PM Anand N via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste,
> So can we do a bidirectional traceability between our current image of Gods
> and the Vedic Gods? Is there a clear chronological development and
> transformation of our Gods and our practices?

This can be admitted in the Vedic religion.  Shankaracharya, on the basis
of the Taittiriya Upanishad itself, has held 'ShiShTachaara' as an
important pramana.  That is, the conduct, actions, of 'noble minded'
persons, is authority for one to follow, emulate.  So, over time, Vedic
gods have got more defined forms, attributes, etc. which the 'shishTa-s'
have accepted, devised, etc. and put into practice.  One example is, for
instance, the Ayyappa worship.  One may not find Ayyappa in the Veda but it
is here for all to see, its impact, its acceptance, etc.  The Sringeri
Acharyas have visited Sabari Mala and worshiped the Lord there.  Another
instance is the 'Sapta Maatrika' worship.  While Shankaracharya in the Gita
Bhashyam has specified this Sapta Matrika group as 'bhUta, spirit', over
the centuries these Matrikas have evolved and graduated to mainstream
worship.  There are temples dedicated for Sapta Matrikas.  The earlier
Sringeri Acharya consecrated such a temple and gave a benedictory discourse
there imploring upon people to come and conduct religious activity there.
See here:  https://sreenivasaraos.com/tag/saptamatrika/         and

So, a clear cut chart may not be possible for us to prepare but an
evolution, over centuries, takes place, is not to be denied.

In all this, is the far reaching statement of Shankaracharya is to be seen
as the guiding factor:

Shankara says in the BSB, Brahman/Ishwara can and does take on a form to
bless/help an aspirant in his sadhana.:

स्यात्परमेश्वरस्यापि इच्छावशात् मायामयं रूपं साधकानुग्रहार्थम् ।
(1.1.vii.20) (Ishwara, out of compassion, takes on, by His Maya, a form to
grace the spiritual aspirant.)

There is simply no limit to such forms.


> Om Namo Narayanaya,
> Anand
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