Can someone please refer to a scripture which describes the Smarta god and the 5 main forms. Also a scripture which adds Skanda as a form.

Clarification: I mean Nirguna Brahman and learning about the metaphysics of Ishvara, but I want advaitic secular sources and not puranas which can be attributed a variety of ways. Think of works like Yatindramatadipika a Vishistadvaitic work, but for Advaitans and Nirguna brahman primarily.

2 Answers 2


In the maṅgalācaraṇa of Tattvabindu, Vācaspati Miśra offers namaskāra to the pañcadevatās -

ahaye budhnyāya namo bradhnyāya namo namo'stu gaṇapataye /
āryāyai bhāratyai namo namo viṣṭaraśravase //

ahaye budhnyāya refers to Śiva, bradhnyāya refers to Sūrya, gaṇapataye refers to Gaṇapati, āryāyai bhāratyai refers to Devī, viṣṭaraśravase refers to Viṣṇu. Here all the pañcadevatās are namaskṛta in the following order - Śiva, Sūrya, Gaṇapati, Devī, & Viṣṇu.

In Bhāmati's maṅgalācaraṇa on Śāṅkarabhāṣya (on Brahmasūtras), Vācaspati Miśra offers namaskāra to four of the ṣaṇmata devatās (including Skanda) -

mārtaṇḍatilakasvāmimahāgaṇapatīn batam /
viśvavandyān namasyāmaḥ sarvasiddhividhāyinaḥ //
brahmasūtrakṛte tasmai vedavyāsāyāvedhase /
jñānaśaktyavatārāya namo bhagavato hareḥ // 

Mārtaṇḍa (Sūrya), Tilakasvāmin (Skanda), Gaṇapati and Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Vyāsa (author of Brahmasūtras) as an avatāra of jñāna śakti of Hari (Viṣṇu), are namaskṛta here together.

Even though Ṛṣi Veda Vyāsa is an avatāra of Hari (also stated in the ślokas), still he is of manuṣya yoni and is namaskṛta primarily because he is author of the Brahmasūtras (to which Vācaspati was writing a subcommentary), and so if one doesn't take him as part of the namaskāra to devatās, then only three of ṣaṇmata (Sūrya, Skanda, Gaṇeśa) are namaskṛta here.

  • Very good, but is their one invocation which includes all 6 of them. The latter one is more indirect.
    – Haridasa
    Mar 18 at 0:23
  • It's direct, because it's a part of maṅgalācaraṇa at the start of the commentary. Usually, six together aren't namaskṛta afaik in any śāstra. @Haridasa
    – Bingming
    Mar 18 at 0:23
  • Well, your answer sure does answer and a very good answer as well as a further continuation is there any primarily devotional text with all these characters being equally praised?
    – Haridasa
    Mar 18 at 0:27
  • within a single śāstra, it would be rare to find all six being praised. I am not yet aware. @Haridasa
    – Bingming
    Mar 18 at 0:28
  • 1
    I respect that and thank you for your answer the effort is what matters and I understand an answerer cannot be 100% perfect to the questioner's demands. I just posted another question regarding Varna if you have time, please answer as it is of more urgent importance, other than that have a great rest of your day :)
    – Haridasa
    Mar 18 at 0:30

Since you are not looking for Purana references, but you are looking for references from advaitic sources, here is one reference from Gudarthadipika (Gita bhAshya) of Sri Madhusudhana Saraswati that mentions the 5 forms.

śaivāḥ saurāśca gāṇēśā vaiṣṇavāḥ śaktipūjakāḥ. bhavanti yanmayāḥ sarvē sōhamasmi paraḥ śivaḥ৷৷

I am that Supreme Auspicious One (Siva) in whom get identified all the followers of Shiva, Surya, Ganesha, Vishnu and worshippers of Shakti.

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