Difference between revisions of "Pañcāyatanapujā"

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<small>By Swami Harshananda</small>
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pañcāyatanapujā (‘worship of five deities’)
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The Rgveda (1.164.46) declares that ‘Sat’ or the Truth (= God, the Absolute) is one, but sages designate it by various names. Hence the various deities of the Hindu pantheon should be looked upon as various facets of one and the same God, generally called Brahman or Paramātman, in the Hindu scriptures.
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These deities can be classified into five groups, each group representing different aspects of one principal god. They are: Viṣṇu, Śiva, Devi, Gaṇapati and Surya.
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Gradually, various sects and cults grew round these deities. The votaries of these sects, forgetting the Rgvedic dictum and the philosophy of the one Supreme Being, became mutually exclusive or even hostile.
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To rectify their attitude and put them back on the right track, Śaṅkara (A. D. 788-820) is said to have evolved a method for harmonising them all. The result was pañcāyatanapujā or worship of all the five deities simultaneously, keeping the iṣṭa-
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clevatā (chosen deity of tRe worsliipper) in
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the centre and the other four in the four corners of a square.
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The diagram shown below gives details of such arrangements:
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These five deities may be worshipped either in their images of small size or through symbolic objects such as śālagrāma (round black stone) for Viṣṇu, bāṇaliṅga (of white quartz) for Śiva, metallic stone for Devī, red stone for Gaṇapati and sphatika (crystal) for Surya. Geometrical drawings (yantra) like square, hexagon or circle are also sometimes used to represent these deities.
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These five deities are represented as associated with the five cosmic elements:
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Gaṇapati with earth;
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Śiva with water;
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Devī with fire;
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Surya with air;
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Viṣṇu with ether.
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See also DEVAPUJĀ.
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==References==
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{{reflist}}
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* The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore
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== OLD CONTENT ==
 
pañcāyatanapujā (‘worship of five deities’)
 
pañcāyatanapujā (‘worship of five deities’)
 
The Rgveda (1.164.46) declares that ‘Sat’ or the Truth (= God, the Absolute) is one, but sages designate it by various names. Hence the various deities of the Hindu pantheon should be looked upon as various facets of one and the same God, generally called Brahman or Paramātman, in the Hindu scriptures.
 
The Rgveda (1.164.46) declares that ‘Sat’ or the Truth (= God, the Absolute) is one, but sages designate it by various names. Hence the various deities of the Hindu pantheon should be looked upon as various facets of one and the same God, generally called Brahman or Paramātman, in the Hindu scriptures.

Revision as of 09:19, 12 October 2014

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Pancayatanapuja, PaJcAyatanapujA, Paycaayatanapujaa


pañcāyatanapujā (‘worship of five deities’)

The Rgveda (1.164.46) declares that ‘Sat’ or the Truth (= God, the Absolute) is one, but sages designate it by various names. Hence the various deities of the Hindu pantheon should be looked upon as various facets of one and the same God, generally called Brahman or Paramātman, in the Hindu scriptures.

These deities can be classified into five groups, each group representing different aspects of one principal god. They are: Viṣṇu, Śiva, Devi, Gaṇapati and Surya.

Gradually, various sects and cults grew round these deities. The votaries of these sects, forgetting the Rgvedic dictum and the philosophy of the one Supreme Being, became mutually exclusive or even hostile.

To rectify their attitude and put them back on the right track, Śaṅkara (A. D. 788-820) is said to have evolved a method for harmonising them all. The result was pañcāyatanapujā or worship of all the five deities simultaneously, keeping the iṣṭa-

clevatā (chosen deity of tRe worsliipper) in

the centre and the other four in the four corners of a square.

The diagram shown below gives details of such arrangements:

These five deities may be worshipped either in their images of small size or through symbolic objects such as śālagrāma (round black stone) for Viṣṇu, bāṇaliṅga (of white quartz) for Śiva, metallic stone for Devī, red stone for Gaṇapati and sphatika (crystal) for Surya. Geometrical drawings (yantra) like square, hexagon or circle are also sometimes used to represent these deities.

These five deities are represented as associated with the five cosmic elements:

Gaṇapati with earth;

Śiva with water;

Devī with fire;

Surya with air;

Viṣṇu with ether.

See also DEVAPUJĀ.


References

  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

OLD CONTENT

pañcāyatanapujā (‘worship of five deities’) The Rgveda (1.164.46) declares that ‘Sat’ or the Truth (= God, the Absolute) is one, but sages designate it by various names. Hence the various deities of the Hindu pantheon should be looked upon as various facets of one and the same God, generally called Brahman or Paramātman, in the Hindu scriptures. These deities can be classified into five groups, each group representing diffe¬rent aspects of one principal god. They are: Viṣṇu, Siva, Devi, Gaṇapati and Surya. Gradually, various sects and cults grew round these deities. The votaries of these sects, forgetting the Rgvedic dictum and the philosophy of the one Supreme Being, became mutually exclusive or even hostile. To rectify their attitude and put them back on the right track, Saṅkara (A. D. 788-820) is said to have evolved a method for harmonising them all. The result was pañcāyatanapujā or worship of all the five deities simultaneously, keeping the isṭa- devatā (chosen deity of the worshipper) in the centre and the other four in the four corners of a square. The diagram shown below gives details of such arrangements: These five deities may be worshipped either in their images of small size or through symbolic objects such as śālagrāma (round black stone) for Viṣṇu, bāṇaliṅga (of white quartz) for Siva, metallic stone for Devī, red stone for Gaṇapati and sphaṭika (crystal) for Surya. Geometrical drawings (yantra) like square, hexagon or circle are also sometimes used to represent these deities. These five deities are represented as associated with the five cosmic elements: Gaṇapati with earth; Siva with water; Devī with fire; Sṅrya with air; Viṣṇu with ether. See also DEVAPUJĀ.