Loka daivatanche vishwa
Book Abstracts »

Chapter 1

The ancient nature and tradition of Ganeshopasana

The entire gamut of various gods and goddesses in Indian pantheon has been subject to transformations and evolution in form and concept.

The very nature of Indian religious perception is such that it comfortably accepts the notion that one who creates, also destroys. It bows, surrenders, prays to and worships the creative as well as destructive strengths of the particular divinity. It is this acceptance which is seen in the realm of Ganeshopasana (worship of Ganesha).

Origin of the elephant -headed Ganesha, conclusively dates back to Vedic times, bolstered by recent absolute evidences. Recently (in 1970) an excavation in Luristan (Western Iran), a sculpture of a circular overall shape was found. Both Vanden Berghe and Jamnadas Bakhtar have analyzed this sculpture in their writings.

In this chapter Dr.Dhere differs from this analysis and inferences by taking cues from the standards and norms of Theogony. He discusses his differences and presents his own view point. According to him, the sculpture reveals the origins and spread of Ganeshopasana. He supports his thoughts by quoting references from Brahmanaspatisutra in Rig-Veda, Paribhashashesh sutra from Bodhayangruhya sutra, and Yadnwalkyasmriti.

Although he does not agree with them, he cites some work in this regard by Dr.V.V.Mirashi, Dr.M.K.Dhavalikar and Dr.Vasudevsharan Agrawal.He also cites some information recorded by the ancient traveler Huan Tsang.

Thereafter, in the chapter he discusses the contents of the tome ‘Sree Ganesh Kosh’ in Marathi, published by Mr. Amarendra Gadgil.He browses over the content of all seven volumes of this book and mentions some important points from them.

With all these references, he elaborates the evolution of Ganesha from an inauspicious god, to its presently venerated auspicious form.

He regrets that practically no one is attempting a firm comparative statement about the exact principles and the theoretical basis of Ganeshopasana by comparing the contents of Marathi research and original volumes of Sanskrit ‘Ganeshopasana’.

However, he mentions the curious fact that ardent votaries and followers of Ganeshopasana have a caste-conscious stand on the issue of ‘Guru deeksha-mutually choosing of one another by the Guru (mentor) and the disciple’ .In this regard, the votaries of Ganeshopasana believe that a ‘Guru’ cannot  and should not be from a so-called lower cast, howsoever enlightened or knowledgeable such a person may be.



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