Talk:Pañcopāsakas

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By Swami Harshananda

pañcopāsakas (‘five classes of worshippers’)

Hindus can generally be classed into three groups: śaivas (worshippers of Siva); śāktas (worshippers of Śakti or the Devī, the Divine Mother) and vaiṣṇavas (worshippers of Viṣṇu).

Śaṅkara (A. D. 788-820) during his days, attempted to unite the various mutually warring sects by introducing the practice of pañcadevatāpujā or pañco-pāsanā. Here he has added two more deities: Gaṇapati and Surya. The worshippers of these are called Gāṇapatyas and Sauras.

This takes the number of the sects to five.

These five classes of worshippers together are called ‘pañcopāsakas’ (pañca = five; upāsaka = worshipper).


References

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

OLD CONTENT

pañcopāsakas (‘five classes of worshippers’) Hindus can generally be classed into three groups: śaivas (worshippers of Siva); śāktas (worshippers of Śakti or the Devī, the Divine Mother) and vaiṣṇavas (worshippers of Viṣṇu). Śaṅkara (A. D. 788-820) during his days, attempted to unite the various mutually warring sects by introducing the practice of pañcadevatāpujā or pañco- pāsanā. Here he has added two more deities: Gaṇapati and Surya. The worship¬pers of these are called Gāṇapatyas and Sauras. This takes the number of the sects to five. These five classes of worshippers together are called ‘pañcopāsakas’ (pañca = five; upāsaka = worshipper).