BLOG STATUS: Updated 26 June 2017. New article "Criticism of Vishishtadvaita Vishleshana Vivecanam" Read here

A note to our readers


As most people can see, this blog is aimed at establishing that the parabrahman of the vedanta is none other than the Lord of Lakshmi, Srinivasa, otherwise known as Vishnu, Vasudeva and Narayana and that the ultimate purushartham of the Vedanta is to serve him and his devotees.

Obviously, some people who worship devas other than Vishnu are bound to judge this blog as professing enemity towards them. Considering that some of the comments in this blog are somewhat acerbic, it is possible that this has certainly been a resentment inducing factor, particularly among Shaivas and Shaktas.

Some of the accusations aimed by frustrated people at Vaishnavas are as follows – 1) We are shiva dvEshIs, 2) At a time when Sanatana Dharma is under attack by Abrahamic religions, we are unnecessarily bickering with our fellow hindus, 3) We are intolerant and close minded, etc.

Let us address this one by one. Firstly, we have the utmost respect for Mahadeva, who is a devotee of Vishnu (vaishnavam yatha sambhuh, jnanam icchet sankarath). He obtained his knowledge from Hayagriva and teaches the sanat kumaras, rishis, devas about Vishnu along with his consort Uma, as evidenced in the Kenopanishad itself. That being the case, we would never hate him, but respect him greatly. However, this respect is different from tall claims equating shiva to Narayana or placing him higher than Narayana (who alone is Parabrahman). So, we are only establishing the truth of the Vaidika marga – that Shiva is NOT parabrahman, that Narayana ALONE is parabrahman and that Shiva is a devotee of Vishnu. So, we are not Shiva dveshis. Saying that he is a jiva does him no insult. After all, the likes of Valmiki, Vyasa and Narada are also jivas and are they not revered?

Secondly, we accept that all sects of what is known as Hinduism today need to unite against our common enemies. But that doesn’t mean we compromise on the truth. We will spare nothing to protect the truth of the Vedas that it is Sriya Pathi who is Parabrahman. But at the same time, we will definitely unite with Shaivas for social and political causes – and have done so in the past. For instance, just because we are Vaishnavas and oppose the concept of Shiva as parabrahman does not mean we don’t support a Government for India led by pro-Hindutva parties, even though a majority of them were ”all gods are the same” type of followers! And just because we say that Shaiva agamas and hence, Shiva temples are unvedic does not mean we will not help if a Shiva temple requires some monetary assistance, or if there is a transgression of Shaiva Agamas in Shiva temples by atheist pseudo-secular pro-Christian/Islam governments/groups. Notable vaishnava kings like Krishnadevaraya have donated generously to Shiva temples. From the standpoint of vaidika dhanam, it is our duty to help Shaivas and live in harmony.  But this also does not involve compromising our stand on the Vedic truths.

Even today, Sri Ramanuja’s tradition gives honor to any Madhva guru or a Shankaracharya if they visit our sri vaishnava temples and vice versa. The same goes for Shaivas and Shaktas. The difference is only philosophical, there is no personal or social or political animosity.

Lastly, those who call us close-minded have no claim because they say this without pramanas. There is a negative perception about monotheism because of the spread of certain Abrahamic religions like Islam. Let us clarify. Monotheism without a stand in the Vedas is rabid, intolerant and nonsensical. The monotheism of the Vedas is a fact, on the other hand, and allows us to co-exist with other sects, nAstika and Astika, with all quarrels restricted to philosophical speculation and not conversion by sword.  Also, those who say we are close-minded are themselves close-minded as they refuse to acknowledge our views as valid!

From a social and heritage standpoint, we also are proud of the great traditions of Shavism, Shaktam and even for that matter avaidika religions like Buddhism, Jainism, etc and acknowledge that these traditions are superior in intellect to foreign religions. But we are more prouder that the ultimate truth, ie, Vedanta,  which is synonymous with Vaishnavism, is the matham we have been blessed to be born in by Sri Lakshmi Narayana and Sri Ramanuja . Thus, this blog is aimed to show that this Vaishnava Vedanta is the crest-jewel that towers like the Himalaya above all the other traditions propagated by various personalities.

We hope this clarifies everything for some undoubtedly frustrated readers.

Important information about posting comments: We would like the readers to note following guidelines while posting comments. If you violate them, it is possible that the comment will be rejected and hence you may risk wasting your effort and time invested in writing the comment.


  1. All readers: All comments, criticisms, and appreciations are welcome, but do not post comments that are off-topic.
  2. All readers: No personal attacks against anyone. Please maintain decorum while commenting. However, you are free to say that the opinions,words, or statements are "foolish", "idiotic", etc.
  3. Vaishnavas, aspiring Vaishnavas, Vishnu devotees, and Hindus in general:
    1. Please do not treat this blog as a one-stop solution for your general queries about Vaishnavism. We will not entertain general queries that are unrelated to this blog's theme and/or individual articles.
    2. We will also not entertain requests to counter the arguments/attacks of non-Hindus, such as (but not limited to) the alleged condemnation of 'idol worship' in the Vedas or the alleged non-Hindu origin of Vegetarianism because Sri Rama ate meat, etc.
    3. Again, comments must be related to the articles/published comments and not off-topic.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the authors (Humble Bhagavata Bandhu and Aaryamaa) are based on their own careful reading of Vedic scriptures and the works of Vaishnava pUrvAchAryas. We do not claim that our work is flawless and welcome corrections, suggestions, and feedback from all. Reader comments should also be treated that way, unless the readers specifically identify themselves in a verifiable manner. We request readers not to judge AcAryas (preceptors) of any sampradAya based on reader comments.

81 comments :

  1. Here is the Banasura episode from Padma Purana - Uttarakhanda chapter 250 (Verses 21 onwards)

    It clearly confirms Krishna and Balarama defeating Siva, his sons and entire Siva gana completely and squarely. Parvati had to plead with Krishna to save her husband's life.

    I am not able to paste the sanskrit text, due to paucity of time and also due to some technical reasons.
    Please refer to the following link for actual sanskrit verses.

    Link details : http://is1.mum.edu/vedicreserve/puranas/padma_purana_6uttara.pdf

    (Verses 21-25)
    Then Krishna, having learnt through Sage Narada, mounted on Garuda along with Balarama, Pradyumna and the yadava army to cut off Bana’s multiple arms.

    Bali’s son (Bana) had adored Siva and received a boon that Siva will guard Bana’s city from any enemy who attacks his city. Shankara agreed and remained at Bana’s gate with his weapons his sons and attendents.

    Seeing the angry Krishna approaching the Bana’s city with the Yadava army, Siva got on Nandi (bull) well decked with all the weapons, along with his sons (Ganesha and Kartikeya) and other saiva ganas went out to fight Krishna.

    Krishna also looking at Siva who wore elephant hide, skull, serpants, having three eyes , carrying trident etc, who was surrounded by his sons (Ganesha and Kartikeya) and other siva ganas, kept his army far behind and accompanied by Balarama and pradyumna wore a smile and started the fight with Siva and his retinue.

    (Verses 26 – 38)

    A fierce war took place between Krishna and shankara with arrows of destruction being discharged from the Shankara’s bow (Pinaka) and Krishna’s bow(Saranga).

    Balarama started fight with Bana and Pradyumna with Kartikeya.

    Vinayaka or Ganesha attacked Balarama. Balarama took a musala and struck vinayaka. Vinayaka’s tusk broke and vinayaka boarded the mushika (Rat) and fled from the battlefield. Since then Ganeshwara has a broken tusk. This is why he is called Ekadanta.

    Then Balarama attacked the entire siva gana fiercely and made them run (flee) away from the battle field.

    Siva then attacked Krishna with Siva jvara which was countered by Krishna by Narayana jvara. Narayana jvara neutralised the siva jvara. Those who listen to this episode will have no fear from fever or torment and reach Vishnu’s abode.

    Then Hrishikesha (Narayana/Krishna) took a deluding weapon and discharged it towards Siva. Siva was struck by this weapon and constantly started yawning and fell down unconscious. Seeing his father Siva, defeated by Krishna, Karthikeya attacked Krishna with Shakti weapon. Krishna, just by sound “hum” thwarted Kartikeya and made him flee from the battle field.

    (Verse 39 to 45)

    Having vanquished the three eyed god, Krishna blew his conch. Bana began to attack Krishna. Krishna employed sudarshana chakra which cut off the multiple arms of Bana.

    Parvati the consort of Siva rushed with folded hands and started praying to Krishna as follows: (Verses 46 to 49)

    Krishna, Narayana, Ocean of compassion, best of yadus, lord of gods, I (parvati) was your female servant previously and at that time you gave me a boon that I would be having the perpetual companionship of my husband living. All sages declared that I was blessed by you by taking one principle name of your thousand names. Govinda, Lord who rides Garuda, therefore please make that boon come true. Please give life to my husband, Siva.

    Rudra said: (Verses 50 to 51)

    Pleased with the prayer of Parvati, the lotus eyed lord Krishna withdrew the weapon which threw Siva into unconsciousness… Having freed by Krishna from the effects of the weapon, Siva woke up and joined his palms and started praying the Lord of worlds (Krishna)

    The actual Sanskrit verses can be checked on the following link, chapter 250
    http://is1.mum.edu/vedicreserve/puranas/padma_purana_6uttara.pdf

    Thanks & Rgds,
    VM

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    1. Dear Sri VM, thank You very much for posting this detailed and highly useful information. i never knew the true reason behind Ganesha's broken tusk and the fact that Parvati had prayed to the Lord to save Shiva's life!! i now fully understand why our Preceptors quoted this incident to prove the Lord's paratvam.

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    2. That bAnAsura charitrA has a lot of inner meanings. It is not just this reason why our pUrvAchAryAs quoted it. We plan to publish an article explaining the entire meaning of the incident soon.

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    3. Oh that would be wonderful indeed, Respected Sri Aaryamaa. Can hardly wait. :-)

      Wonder what Vishnudveshis say to this episode - hope they don't resort to the tiresome this-is-interpolation stance.

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  2. As a note - we would like to express our condolences to the people who lost their lives during the Nepal earthquake and also for the destruction of priceless monuments and temples. By bhagavad sankalpa, the Pashupatinath Temple has withstood the disaster, just as Kedarnath during the Uttarakhand floods. That should give hope to all.

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  3. Could you please clarify on the abheda of Vishnu and Shiva because when I perform my sandhya I am instructed to recite Sivaya Vishnu rupaya, Shiva rupaya Vishnave...." and though in many places paramesvara is referred to which is commonly used to mention Siva, Vishnu is mentioned again. So doesn't it signify abhedam?

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    1. The recitation of "shivAya viShNu rUpAya" etc., is not universal even among smArtas. I know for sure that some families do not have this shloka. Mine is one.

      "parameshvara" is not referred to in "many places". The word occurs only in sankalpam as "parameshvara prItyartham". "parameshvara" is a generic term which means "Supreme Lord" and does not mean the devatA Rudra who is kailAshavAsin and pArvatIpati.

      Please refer to the article on Sarvajnatman and search for the term "parameshvara" there to see what it means when vaidikas say "parameshvara prItyartham" in sankalpa.

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    2. // The recitation of "shivAya viShNu rUpAya" etc., is not universal even among smArtas.//

      What I am saying is that these are later-day additions.

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    3. That verse "shivAya viShNu rUpAya" is recited by us, Kannada smartas, during our daily sandhya.. Telugu smartas too recite this verse during sandhya vandanam. Sandhya vandanam is a practice coming down from time immemorial. I am told that Tamil smartas do not recite this verse. However, they have the 'namaḥ savitre jagadeka chakShuShe ...where occurs the 'virichi nārāyaṇa shankarātmane' proclaiming the trimurti tattva. There are sampradaya differences among smartas across various regions. For example we invoke 24 names of Vishnu during an āchamanam while Tamil smartas have only 12. That way there are quite a lot of differences among us smartas during a typical pooja, neivedyam, aarathi, etc. across regions. Even the way women wear the traditional kacche differs.

      Also to be noted is the 'parameshvara preethyartham' of the smartas. It is well known that Parameshwara refers to Shiva, where the name occurs in Kalidasa's famous verse 'vAgarthAviva samprktau...' and the Kaivalya upanishad too. It is only upon this consideration that when Srivaishnavas broke away from smartas, they decided to have 'nArAyaNa preethyartham'. So, to say that the "shivAya viShNu rUpAya" is a later day addition would not be correct since we do not know how sandhya vandanam existed at any earlier day.

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    4. If I may point out, you are only contradicting yourself:

      First, you say:

      // Sandhya vandanam is a practice coming down from time immemorial. //

      and then you say:

      // we do not know how sandhya vandanam existed at any earlier day. //

      In your second statement, you yourself have accepted that we cannot determine what is authentic based on the various practices existing among smArtas. Practices get corrupted, well I agree, and that is why I do not base anything on the extant popular beliefs/practices. However, your original question posed took this "shivAya viShNu rUpAya" practice as the *main point*.

      trimUrti *tattva* is accepted by all vaiShNavas, and the shloka "namaH savitre..." does not contradict it. All it says is that one paramAtmA appears as brahmA (in association with rajas), shiva (in association with tamas) and Vishnu (in association with shuddha-sattva). shAstras say so, and also say in addition that this one paramAtmA is none but Sriman Narayana:

      sRRiShTi sthityantakAriNIM brahmAviShNushivAtmikAM
      sa saMj~nAM yAti bhagavAn eka eva *janArdanaH*

      However, trimUrti *aikyatva* is not accepted by true Vaidikas. Shankara himself says brahmA is a jIva who obtains his powers through the grace of the Supreme Lord. Just do a search here and you will find crystal-clear evidence in the bhAShyas.

      If kAlidAsa is your prime authority, I have nothing further to say. Vaidikas do not consider poets etc. to be their prime authorities. In any case, since the word "parameshvara" can be interpreted as a yogapada (etymologically) as well as yogarUDhi, you have to see the context to determine whether it is the pArvatIpati Rudra or the idea of Supreme Being (Saguna Brahman) conveyed by it.

      Shankara has everywhere used the "Ishvara" and "parameshvara" nAmas (where it is used to convey the idea of a Supreme Being) to refer to Sriman Narayana only in the prasthAna trayI bhAShyas (see for eg., gItA bhAShya).

      // It is only upon this consideration that when Srivaishnavas broke away from smartas, they decided to have 'nArAyaNa preethyartham' //

      It seems that you rather go by hearsay and "grandfather tales" rather than go by scholarly research into matters. I can only advise you to do your own study properly and neutrally, instead of go by the opinion of "elders" and "shAstrins" who are only interested in maintaining "sva-kapola kalpita" versions of history. With all humility, I would ask you to start with the Frequently Asked Questions section of this site (to be posted in a week's time... keep checking) before posting any further comments on this topic.

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    5. It is very interesting you think sri vaishnavas "broke" away from smartas. Pray tell us how, when the first vishishtadvaitins in kali yuga (the azhwars) predate even Shankara?

      "Paramesvara" not only occurs in the sahasranama aa a name of vishNu, it is used everywhere in the shastras to denote him. And as HBB pointed our earlier, ancient advaitins interpret "paramesvara" in the Sandhya as Narayana only. We quote the commentary of from our own articles, which you don't have the patience to read:

      To Sarvajnatman's words "bahiraṅga sādhanam aśeṣaguroḥ parameśvarasya caraṇāmbujayoḥ", this is what the commentator Rama tirtha says:

      "While performing karmas, one should have the following sankalpa (resolve) in the beginning: ‘I give up the desire for the fruits and the notion that I am the doer. Instead, I am going to perform these actions as an act of worship of Shriman Narayana, the Yajnasvarupi, who exists as (the antaryAmin of) different devas.’ and in the end, ‘I dedicate the action, along with the credit for performing these karmas and all the karmaphalas (fruits of action) to Shriman Narayana.’ By taking resolve as per the rules, the karma is dedicated.”

      [karmaṇi kartṛtvābhiniveśaṃ phalāsaktiṃ ca hitvā kevalaṃ yajñātmakasya nārāyaṇasya tat-tad devatādi rūpeṇāvasthitasya samārādhana rūpam idaṃ karmaṃ kariṣye iti prārambhe, śrīman-nārāyaṇe bhagavati sakārakaṃ saphalaṃ cedaṃ karmās tu idaṃ yathoktaṃ karmaṃ kṛtaṃ nārāyaṇārpaṇam-astv iti vā 'nte ca saṅkalpa rūpo niyamas tasmān niyamāt samarpitam ity arthaḥ]

      So I suppose now you are going to say smartas broke away from sri vaishnavas?

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    6. //It is well known that Parameshwara refers to Shiva, where the name occurs in Kalidasa's famous verse 'vAgarthAviva samprktau...' and the Kaivalya upanishad too//

      The kaivalya upanishad only glorifies Narasimha by the name of paramesvara, nIlakaNtha, etc. We have provided a commentary for it in the "absurdity of Shakta interpretations" article. Your problem if you don't have the patience to check the facts first.

      //That verse "shivAya viShNu rUpAya" is recited by us//

      Let us leave aside the fact that it is bogus. Even if we take it as authentic, it can be easily interpreted in the light of vishNu paratva only. Vishnu resides in the form of shiva as the latter is the body of vishnu and Shiva's true nature (rupa) is Vishnu only as the latter is the antaryAmin and hence the essence of shiva.

      That should be enough.

      //we invoke 24 names of Vishnu during an āchamanam while Tamil smartas have only 12. That way there are quite a lot of differences among us smartas during a typical pooja, neivedyam, aarathi, etc. across regions. Even the way women wear the traditional kacche differs. //

      The differences however, do not extend to invoking different deities. A boudha and a jana cannot be called two different sects of a same matha.

      One can say Govinda in tamil Nadu and Krishna in Andhra. That is acceptable. Or, one can say paramesvara preetyartham and another can say narayana...that is also acceptable as both denote narayana. However one cannot worship Shiva as supreme and Vishnu as supreme and claim it's a "cultural difference". That last bit is a philosophical difference and cannot be reconciled.

      Delete
  4. I will respond in a day or two. Thanks for your patience. Please clarify in the meantime whether you are posing a genuine question or if it is a close-minded rhetoric intended to troll us.

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    1. I do not see any contradiction. The second statement does not contradict the fact of the practice of sandhyavandanam which alone the first one says . I am not the one who posed the original question. I happened to see your replies and thought I shall give some clarifications about the recitation of that verse. I did not know about your hatred for 'shAstrins' which category includes a Rama Subba Sastrin too whom you seem to promote. About the Kaivalyopanishat, or the shivAya verse, I am not obliged to take what you say as 'facts'. Shankaracharya has cited that upanishad in the Vishnu sahasra nama bhashya and said it is a teaching of abheda. Everyone need not accept your strained interpretation of that upanishat. Contrary to what you say, the verse only says: (obeisance to) Shiva who is of the form of Vishnu (nowhere it says 'residing in') and (obeisance to) Vishnu who is of the form of Shiva. In any case the smartas recite this not with the your interpretation in mind. We do not stop at just that verse. We continue with the rest of what we chant every day, thrice is: yathA shivamayo viShNurevam viShNumayaH shivaH. yathAntaram na pashyAmi tathA mey svastirAyuShI. http://www.vignanam.org/veda/nitya-sandhya-vandanam-kannada.html You may not know to read Kannada, I just gave the URL which contains the entire set of verses. Also, you say vaidikas use Parameshwara preethyartham on the strength of a commentary of Sarvajnatman's work. If that is the case why and from when did the srivaishnavas and madhvas who also call themselves vaidikas prefer to abandon that and switch to nArAyana preethyartham? It is nice to know that the name Parameswara is not vaishnava unfriendly. Is this a household name just as it is among smartas of all regions?

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    2. You are welcome to waste your time posting irrelevant stuff (and btw, we won't publish repetitive comments that are unrelated to the article).

      We are too busy taking a neutral stance and laboring to present information neutrally.

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    3. Talking of ignorance, you do seem to have plenty of it. You don't even seem to understand that in order to refute us, first you have to address our views. By claiming you don't have to accept our facts and yet pushing your own agenda which we have already addressed through our facts, you are just proving yourself to be a prize ---insert name--- here.

      About the Kaivalya Upanishad, it is the interpretation given by Rama Subbu Shastri himself and accepted by Shankara, who quotes the "sa brahma, sa siva..." in his vishNu sahasranAma bhAshya. And as explained countless times, abheda in advaita is only at the paramArthika sath and Shankara himself recognises bhEda at the lower reality.

      \\ (obeisance to) Shiva who is of the form of Vishnu (nowhere it says 'residing in') and (obeisance to) Vishnu who is of the form of Shiva.//

      The verse is bogus, so dunno why you are persisting with it. But anyway, what does "form" stand for? The word "rupam" means form or body. So, using that, it means Shiva is the body of vishNu. Perfectly acceptable as per "yasya atma sarIram". As the body serves the soul, so does shiva serve vishNu. And rupa also means "nature". So, saying vishNu is shiva's rupa means vishNu is the true nature of shiva, which is that he is shiva's antaryAmin or essence.

      So, our interpretation is gramatically correct.

      //yathA shivamayo viShNurevam viShNumayaH shivaH. yathAntaram na pashyAmi tathA mey svastirAyuShI.//

      Well, again a bogus verse. But not necessarily incongruent. That which is "shivamaya" or full of auspiciousness is the jIvAtma called "vishNu" as it is everywhere and that which is full of "vishNu" (vishNumaya) that is the all-pervasive dharma bhUta jnAna, that is indeed Shiva or the jIva which is auspicious by nature.

      Nobody sees a difference etc as one is the body and the other is the self.

      See how easy it is? Let me tell you why it is child's play to interpret bogus verses in a genuine manner. Because those interpolators, while making up bogus verses, draw inspiration from genuine parts of shastra, and hence by sheer accident, those bogus mantras and slokas become amenable to a vedAntic interpretation.

      However, we only did it to shut you up. We and no self respecting vedAntin cares two pence about such spurious insertions.

      // In any case the smartas recite this not with the your interpretation in mind.//

      Smartas like you do a lot of things with no mind at all. That is why we have this blog to dispel the brainless activities that they get up to.

      //Also, you say vaidikas use Parameshwara preethyartham on the strength of a commentary of Sarvajnatman's work. If that is the case why and from when did the srivaishnavas and madhvas who also call themselves vaidikas prefer to abandon that and switch to nArAyana preethyartham?//

      Genius, you do not perhaps get the fact that some vaidikas use paramEshvara preethyartham since ages and some have always used narayana preethyartham. Sri Vaishnavas and Madhvas did not "abandon" Parameshvara and randomly switch to Narayana, just as Advaitins never abandoned Narayana and switched to Parameshvara randomly; both were in vogue.

      As an example, some temples follow pAncarAtra Agama and others follow vaikhAnasa. There are several differences in rituals, but it does not mean the philosophy differs, The differences seen are miniscule and yet lead to the same truth.

      And both Sarvajnatman and Rama Tirtha were indeed "smartas" - so you cannot dodge the meaning they give - the simple meaning that paramEsvara is nArAyaNa. When vaidikas are divided into different gotras, and follow different rishis, such miniscule differences in practices are acceptable.

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    4. Contd..

      \\It is nice to know that the name Parameswara is not vaishnava unfriendly. Is this a household name just as it is among smartas of all regions?\\

      It is very nice to know that like a proverbial tortoise coming out of its shell, you now realise that our acharyas have praised Narayana by the names of Ishvara, ParamEshvara, etc very frequently. Do you want to know why we do not name ourself that way? Because these terms are quite general and can denote everything. "Parameshvara" meaning "Supreme Ruler" denotes Vishnu. "ParamEshvara" meaning "Master of the Supreme Knowledge (of Vishnu)" denotes Shiva. "Parameshvara" meaning "The highest ruler" can denote the individual self which is higher (paraM) than prakrti (Gita calls the jIvatma as paramAm gatim).

      Similarly, "Shiva" as the auspicious one by nature denotes vishNu. "Shiva" as the one who became auspicious by the grace of vishNu denotes pArvati pati. "Shiva" meaning "auspicious" denotes the essential nature of the jIvatma and also anything that is generally regarded as auspicious.

      For all these reasons, vaidikas prefer direct names like "Rama", "Krishna" etc which are more commonly applied to Brahman. In this "Krishna" is an exception as it can denote anyone or anything black, but due to the krishnAvatAra being celebrated as GitachAryA, and the name celebrated as that of Varaha by the Mahanaraya upanishad, vaishnavas name themselves that.

      What about vaishnava advaitins? Yes, they were vaishnavas too. But they named themselves as "parameshvara" etc because for them, saguna brahman is a lower reality and they do not have that level of recognition with respect to importance of names. However, they clearly differentiated vishNu as saguna brahman as compared to other deities.

      Now, stop spouting garbage in your hatred of vaishnavas. It is laughable that you, being unable to accept the strong statements of Rama Tirtha and Sarvajnatma (the supposed precursors of your "shastris"), cling to something as flimsy as "shivaya vishnu rupAya" etc without noticing that the same shiva is declared to have a karmic birth in the shastras.

      Lastly, let us clarify one thing. When we say "Shastris" derisively, we refer to modern day "advaitins" like this poster who have no clue about shastras and talk about different sarees worn by women as part of his arguments, and also those posing as "vidwans" who heap abuse on vaishnavism without knowledge. However, there are genuine "Shastris" like Ramasubbu Shastri and one Mahadeva Shastri of the 1900s who have propagated the truth - that advaita was and is (should be) a vaishnava sect like vishishtadvaita and dvaita.

      Now, we leave you to your ignorance.

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  5. Dear HBB and Aryamaa,
    Very good replies to the sandhyavandanam queries raised by obnoxious oops.. anonymous. Some of the pseudo modern so called smarthas dont know the source of their statements, but question the ways of Vaishnavas. In hindi there is saying that "ulta Chor, kotwal ko dantay" roughly translates as " a thief trying to question the police" Only, a true Vishnu and vaishnava dveshi like anonymous can only question " Narayana preethyartham.." Poor anonymous, Vaishnava dveshi thinks he is secular and doesn't know that he doesn't have patent on words like parameshwara, isvara etc.

    Rgds,
    VM

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  6. You claim to be neutral but are only totally biased. Whatever is not palatable to your avaidika vaishnava agenda you dub as interpolation or bogus. You want Shankara to accept Ramasubba sastry’s interpretation!! You can never succeed in showing anything of any Sastry’s work that is contradicting Shankara. Do not forget that your own ancestor could very well have been a sastry. First of all you have nothing to do with Shankara as you have declared yourself as his adversary and only carry on an agenda that Shankara denounced. You ask others to do research like a scholar before saying anything. But what have you done? You did not even know that the Tamil smarthas as a whole do not recite that verse during the sandhya vandanam and acknowledged that ignorance by saying ‘My family does not have that verse’. So much for your ‘research.’ You could not find out that that verse is recited by all Kannada and Telugu smarthas who put together exceed the Tamil component.
    Your ‘explanation’ of the verse is unacceptable. Shankara has used terms like AtmarUpeNa and BrahmarUpeNa which mean ‘as Atman’, ‘as Brahman’ qualifying in those very places as ‘kevalenaiva’ /paramarthatayA. So there is no need to dilute the verse by bringing in wrong interpretations just to accommodate unvedic views . The verse simply teaches the abheda of Shiva and Vishnu as taught by the Mahabharatha. That is the only way one can avoid seeing difference. Sharira and Atma are always different. One is jaDa and the other is chaitanya. The Upanishads teach us to see this difference and be free of samsara.
    You claim to ‘prefer’ ‘direct’ names. What about LoganAthan, DevanAthan, AlavandAr, AnDAL, LokAchAriar,etc. all of which can also indicate Indra, BrahmA, Shiva, PArvathy etc. also. ‘Rama’ too is not any different. It simply means beautiful. RAmasubrahmanyan, etc. are names which have no reference to Seethapathy. VAsudeva for Advaitins is not any vaishnava. In fact Madhusudana Saraswati has said that Advaitins alone are true vaishnavas in the Siddhanta Bindu. So, do not spout ignorance and claim to be neutral, well-researched etc. about your blogs.
    And Alladi Mahadeva Sastri is the one who showed that the VinAyaka in the BG 9.25 of Shankara commentary is in the plural, thereby dashing the hopes of your ilk that Shankara is favourable to your misguided agenda. And for your information, he was a Telugu smartha and donned the vibhuti which is a disqualification to be an advaitin of your ignorance. I know his family. And you do not even know that smarthas do not do the rudrabhishekam to Krishna on the Jayanti or Rama on the navami. They know and observe the vyavaharika bheda between Shiva and Vishnu and the verse therefore is a teaching of their pAramArthika abheda, which by no means is an agreeable proposition to avaidikas like you. It is one truth appearing as two. So you have added nothing in bringing in Rama Subba Sastry here. I shall leave you to your ignorance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There you go. The snake rears it's ugly head when it is unable to give a coherent answer. This will be our last reply.

      //You claim to be neutral but are only totally biased. Whatever is not palatable to your avaidika vaishnava agenda you dub as interpolation or bogus. //

      Showing the work of advaitins like sarvajnatma and Rama tirtha where they clearly identify the deity invoked in the Sandhya as sriman nArAyaNa is biased to you? Still no answer to that, huh?

      And you call us biased.

      //You want Shankara to accept Ramasubba sastry’s interpretation!! You can never succeed in showing anything of any Sastry’s work that is contradicting Shankara. //

      Can't understand basic English? I said, "Rama subbu sastri gives this interpretation and it is accepted by Shankara". Meaning, this interpretation of Rama subbu sastri is one that is accepted by vaidikas like Shankara (and hence Rama subbu shastri is following Shankara).

      We of course, accept that shastris who contradict Shankara are unvedic. That is why we have showed that the likes of Raju Shastri, Subramanya Shastri etc who are just shaivas like you are unvedic in their thinking. Shankara was a vaishnava, no two ways about it.

      //Do not forget that your own ancestor could very well have been a sastry. First of all you have nothing to do with Shankara as you have declared yourself as his adversary and only carry on an agenda that Shankara denounced.//

      The first bit is so funny that I will let it slide. As for the second part, only hopeless losers like you who have zero knowledge of shastra would now try to claim "you have nothing to do with Shankara, so stay away". Yes, we reject advaita vedanta. Yes, we reject dvaita vedanta. However, we accept the vaishnavatva of Shankara, just as we accept the vaishnavatva of Madhva.

      As vaidikas, we thus have a right to faithfully represent their works in a manner acceptable to true followers. Note, true followers, not shaivas like you.

      Cont'd. .

      Delete
    2. //You ask others to do research like a scholar before saying anything. But what have you done? You did not even know that the Tamil smarthas as a whole do not recite that verse during the sandhya vandanam and acknowledged that ignorance by saying ‘My family does not have that verse’. So much for your ‘research.’ You could not find out that that verse is recited by all Kannada and Telugu smarthas who put together exceed the Tamil component. //

      I think HBB will answer this, as he gave the explanation in the first place. However, if I an correct, he only said that all smArthas do not recite this and not that Tamil smArthas do not.

      I any case, what is the point of this nonsense? This verse is clearly bogus and a later insertion. When modern day smArthas have successfully hidden the truth and depicted adi shankara as some sort of shaiva, when bogus works like "soundarya lahiri" are authored by inferior people and attributed to him unscrupulous ly, it's hardly a surprise that this verse is recited by smArthas.

      So you dumb logic would be to ignore what advaita acharyas state in their prasthAna-trayI Bhashyas regarding the supremacy of vishnu and go by a bogus verse recited by your new age clan according to their free will. Nice.

      Cont'd. .

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    3. //You claim to ‘prefer’ ‘direct’ names. What about LoganAthan, DevanAthan, AlavandAr, AnDAL, LokAchAriar,etc. all of which can also indicate Indra, BrahmA, Shiva, PArvathy etc. also. ‘Rama’ too is not any different. It simply means beautiful. RAmasubrahmanyan, etc. are names which have no reference to Seethapathy//

      Once again, you arguments have the IQ of a grand total of perhaps 10. Since you have no knowledge of the Bhashyas, you focus on idiotic statements like "my grandfather's aunts uncle's name is ramasubramanya". Fine, let us humor you. I will explain even this childish nonsense for the last time:

      1) Names are divided into vyapaka and a vyapaka. Vyapaka names are more important.

      2) vyapaka names are narayana, vishNu and Vasudava. All other names are avyapaka.

      3 ) Of the vyapaka names, narayana is mukhya as it is complete in all respects. But vishNu and Vasudava are higher than the avyapaka names.

      4) avyapaka names are divided into mukhya and gowna. Mukhya includes krishna, Rama etc. Gowna includes shiva, indra, Brahma , Ishvara etc.

      5) Sri vaishnavas prefer vyapaka and mukhya avyapaka names.

      6) advaitins and madhvas don't have a preference.

      7) Names like AnDAL, lokacharya, sadagopa, etc are names of acharyas and due to respect for them, these are preferred by sri vaishnavas.

      8) Names like lokanathan, DevanAthan, etc are indeed gowna avyapaka. But still an exception is made because these names are highly mentioned in the divya prabandham. As sri vaishnavas revere the divya prabandham and the azhwars have praised the Lords of various sthalas by these names, we name ourselves that way. This is again due to our high regard for the azhwars as gurus.

      9) Subramanya is a name that occurs in Vishnu Sahasranama and so your logic that ramasubramanya cannot denote vishnu is wrong. However we agree that this name is more of a modern day concoction as late as the 17th century. Even Rama subbu sastri has that name, though he did not subscribe to its modern say connotations.

      10) Advaitins and dvaitins regard shiva as a guru who leads them to vishNu. So they sometimes name themselves after shiva too, in respect. However this is guru bhakti only. Sri vaishnavas do not regard shiva as a parama guru and do not name themselves after him.

      So much for that.

      Cont'd. .

      Delete
    4. //VAsudeva for Advaitins is not any vaishnava. In fact Madhusudana Saraswati has said that Advaitins alone are true vaishnavas in the Siddhanta Bindu.//

      Haha...so you accept that madhusudhana calls advaitins vaishnavas. What a self defeating argument!

      Of course, each sect claim they are the best vaishnavas. That is due to philosophical differences. The idea is that all 3 sects worship vishnu only; each claim the other two worship him wrongly. Obviously, MS does not claim advaitins are the best shaivas/Shaktas or hari-hara aikya vadins...because they are not.

      "VAsudeva" in advaita is that saguna brahman who is the Lord of lakshmi who is verily nirguNa brahman under sattva upAdhis. Or, he is that nirguNa brahman who is the Lord of lakshmi under sattva upAdhis. Both definitions are given by advaitins.

      We have proven this umpteen times in our articles. So stop raising veerashaiva's defeated arguments here.

      Delete
    5. Alladi Mahadeva Sastri is the one who showed that the VinAyaka in the BG 9.25 of Shankara commentary is in the plural,//

      Was not talking about alladi mahAdeva sastri. Sri pba swami in his magazine names a swami Athan iyer and a mahAdeva sastri in 1905 roundabouts. Of course, not possible to research who they were but he quotes their words.

      In any case, nobody cares if it's vinayaka in plural or singular. You shaivas have bigger problems when adi shankara declares vishNu to be "rudratmana" in the sahasranama bhAShya and rudra to possess tamo guna, that paShupati is a creation of Brahma in the upanishad Bhashya and that worship of rudra, etc is not acceptable as the highest in many places. We have already shown in many places how Sridhara, Sarvajnatman, Rama tirtha, jnanottama, Madhusudhana and others echo the same views.

      Similar quotes are available for brahma too. Vishnu alone is unequivocally declared as saguNa brahman by all advaitins.

      When that is established, why bother about a minor devata like Ganesha, who may or may not have been mentioned by Shankara in passing?

      Cont'd. ..

      Delete
    6. //And you do not even know that smarthas do not do the rudrabhishekam to Krishna on the Jayanti or Rama on the navami.//

      Er, what relevance does this have to do with anything? Are you trying to qualify as a "vaadhyar" or something?

      The amount of irrelevant junk in your posts is astounding indeed.


      //They know and observe the vyavaharika bheda between Shiva and Vishnu and the verse therefore is a teaching of their pAramArthika abheda, which by no means is an agreeable proposition to avaidikas like you. It is one truth appearing as two.//

      Haha...at the paramartha sath, even you and me are the same as vishnu according to Shankara. It is one truth appearing as many and not just two due to maya. No special status to Shiva in paramartha according to advaita itself.

      What we are concerned about therefore is the vyavaharika, where shiva is a jiva under tamo guna upAdhis whereas vishNu is saguNa brahman under sattva guNa upAdhis. It is clear that modern day pseudo followers of adi shankara do not follow this.

      And I forgot to mention this:

      //The verse simply teaches the abheda of Shiva and Vishnu as taught by the Mahabharatha. That is the only way one can avoid seeing difference. Sharira and Atma are always different. One is jaDa and the other is chaitanya. The Upanishads teach us to see this difference and be free of samsara. //

      The mahAbhArata and neither do advaitins teach identity of vishNu and shiva at the vyavaharika sath. We have already proven this, so bleating the same incessantly does not good for you.

      SharIra and atma are two, but in oneness, they are denoted by the same name. "I am devadutta" - "I am refers to the atma residing in the sarIra.

      This is abheda or oneness due to aprtak siddhi or inseparability. All this is way over your confused head, so I don't think you need to bother.


      //So you have added nothing in bringing in Rama Subba Sastry here. I shall leave you to your ignorance.//

      So far, your arguments range from describing meaningless and inane practices of telugu/tamil/malayala smarthas to women wearing sarees to sandhya to whatever - you have shown zero quotes from shastra or the prasthAna-trayI Bhashyas of advaitins...and you have not read or have the capacity to understand a single word of our articles. And you have the cheek to accuse us of ignorance?

      The only shastris who should be rejected are the likes of Subramanya Shastri, mani dravid shastri etc who propagate misinformation and not genuine ones like Rama subbu shastri. We have some material on that anyway which we will publish later.

      Typical frog in the well, aren't you? Leave it at that. Don't bring your trash here unless you have a semblance of logic in your statements. We have been too patient already with ignoramuses.

      Delete
    7. Respected Sri Aaryamaa,

      // Subramanya is a name that occurs in Vishnu Sahasranama

      i think Subramanya does not occur in Vishnu Sahasranama.

      Kindly validate and oblige.

      Delete
    8. Respected Sri Aaryamaa, it was enthralling to know the reason behind Sri Vaishnavas preferring specific names. Reading just the admin comments in this blog are sufficient to provide a lot of education to interested Sri Vaishnavas! Pallaandu Pallaandu!

      Delete
    9. Its there. "brahmaNya" is a name occuring in the sahasranAma. "subrahmaNya" is nothing but the same name with a "su-" prefix added to it to indicate the auspicious nature or general goodness of bhagavAn. The meanings are the same, just as saying "nArAyaNa" is the same as saying "sriman nArAyaNa". Just as Lakshmi is never separate from him even if we do not use "sriman", auspiciousness is never separate from him even if we say "brahmaNya" instead of "subrahmaNya".

      SrI bhattar also thinks along the same lines because he interprets this nAma as "he who is beneficial for big things like the jIvAtma and prakrti (as he is the cause for existence and enjoyment) is brahmaNya". Here, the suffix "ya" indicates good for Brahman.

      The meaning remains the same if we add the prefix "su-" as it would stress that the nature of him being beneficial is indeed more pleasing and auspicious than any other entity. So, the two names are the same.

      It is not just the sahasranAma. There are certain purAnic stOtrAs where bhagavAn is praised directly by names like "ardhanArIshvara" and "subrahmaNya". All these are his names only. Its a work-in-progress, so we will update it on the blog in future.

      Delete
    10. Respected Sri Aaryamaa, heartfelt gratitude for the patient clarifications. Understood now. Eagerly awaiting the article. :-)

      Delete
  7. ADD: Missedthis one:

    //Your ‘explanation’ of the verse is unacceptable. Shankara has used terms like AtmarUpeNa and BrahmarUpeNa which mean ‘as Atman’, ‘as Brahman’ qualifying in those very places as ‘kevalenaiva’ /paramarthatayA//

    Firstly, that verse (if you are referring to the shivAya vishNu rUpAya and not the kaivalya upanishad) is bogus and unacceptable to all vaidikas. Secondly, even if we consider it for name's sake, you have not given a single argument to refute our interpretation, so no-one cares if you accept it or not.

    Thirdly, if it is the kaivalya upanishad, Shankara does accept a dual definition of Ishvara as saguNa brahman (vishNu) whose essence is verily nirguNa and hence usage of such terms does not negate identification of terms like "paramEshvara", "vAsudeva" etc with saguNa brahman, vishNu alone.

    "paramEshvara" in his brahma sUtra bhAshya is clearly defined as that nirguNa brahman who is saguNa ishvara under upAdhis. Anandagiri in his tika clarifies that this Ishvara is under "suddha sattva upAdhis". Agnicit puruSottama mishra (and indeed Anandagiri elsewhere) clarifies this as vishNu, who is saguNa under sattva upAdhIs, as does Shankara himself in the BSB and VSB.

    That should do. Be blissful in your ignorance.

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    1. Shri Aaryamaa has done more than what was necessary to shut this "anonymous" viShNu-dhveShi up. Let me just add the following concluding note:

      From his latest response (which I have decided not to approve), he has regurgitated our old viShNu-hating troll's (read: admin of adbhutam.wordpress.com) nonsense. So it's either that person posting anonymously (and surprisingly, he has finally become computer literate by figuring out how to post comments without using the contact form), or him doing proxy trolling through some junior version of him, or some junior viShNudhveShi desperately adopting the grand viShNu dhveShi's lines. Vishnu dhveShis are driven to netherworldly tactics, being unable to bear the divya tejas of Sriman Narayana and bhagavad rAmAnuja.

      His line of questioning ("we recite this and that during sandhyAvandanam" etc.) is similar to the now-familiar-to-us grand Vishnu-hater who tried to pass off irrelevant stuff like "some smArta family in Govindapuram has a picture of Rama donning bhasma as their family deity" as if this was some clinching evidence!

      And now, he does not even understand what I mean by "research". I am hardly interested in researching current-day practices. They are not the litmus test in determining tattva, but themselves must be subject to the litmus test of authentic scriptures and works of AcAryas like the prasthAna trayI bhAShya. And similar to our old adversary, he claims that we cannot speak about advaita because we have not studied "under a traditional AcArya!" Wow... if the study under a "traditional Advaita AcArya" leads one to make statements contradicting Shankara himself and become a Vishnu-dhveShi, then we know what agenda gets passed of as "tradition" by these "traditional AcAryas" ruling the roost today in smArta circles!

      I will spare my audience from the headache of reading Mr Anonymous' latest catcalls that are interlaced with anger-filled language. Every time Vishnu-hating shaivAdvaitins lose in a debate, they resort to such tactics. These are of zero intellectual worth, no better than graffiti scribblings (and hence do not deserve the attention of this site).

      I would instead request our readers to direct their attention to the new FAQ section which is to be posted in a few days (keep checking the green status line every now and then).

      Delete
    2. Respected Sri HBB,

      // being unable to bear the divya tejas of Sriman Narayana and bhagavad rAmAnuja.//

      Your love for Lord Sriman Narayana and Swami Ramanuja is really wonderful.

      This concluding note is very good because it conveys the message in a crisp way and we can only hope that Vishnu haters finally get it. Quoting modern day practices, rituals, etc. as irrefutable (!) counterarguments to prasthAna thraya bhAshyA quotes is indeed exasperating. Yet it is very much a sad reflection of the low intelligence levels of today's society. :-(

      In that context, Your objectivity, observation skills and patience to learn the truth are refreshing. Really, i admire Your jivatma's journey. Pallaandu Pallaandu!

      Delete
    3. // grand Vishnu-hater who tried to pass off irrelevant stuff like "some smArta family in Govindapuram has a picture of Rama donning bhasma as their family deity" as if this was some clinching evidence! //

      // if the study under a "traditional Advaita AcArya" leads one to make statements contradicting Shankara himself and become a Vishnu-dhveShi, then we know what agenda gets passed of as "tradition" by these "traditional AcAryas" ruling the roost today in smArta circles! //

      Advaithi Yagnyamurthy (who became the great Devaraja Muni) was able to offer intellectual and philosophical counterarguments to Swami Ramanuja for 17 days. However, nowadays, there need not be a decent basis for "proving" Shiva parathvam. For example, a very popular so-called traditional advaita (?) guru of recent times was asked why toddlers are being taught to refer to bhagavAn as "ummAcchi" and the reply was "It is Uma and Shiva merged into a single word." And, without even thinking for a second, umpteen number of people are ready to marvel (!) at the intelligence (?!) of the reply and treat the reply as though it were a shloka from Sama Veda. No wonder the counterarguments of Vishnu haters are of the same mould. :-|

      Delete
    4. ADDENDUM: I have checked two sandhyA vandanam books in Telugu published prior to 1920. One is called "purANokta sandhyA vandanam" and the other one is called "kRRiShNapaNDita viracita taittirIya-sandhyA bhAShyam". Both of them deal with the Andhra paddhati smArta sandhyA. Neither of them have the "shivAya viShNurUpAya..." etc. verses.

      I have also checked the "sandhyA bhAShya samuccaya" published in Devanagari by Anandashrama press. This one neither contains the contentious verses.

      So much for taking the current practices of smArtas as parama-pramANa!

      Delete
    5. ... as regards the theory that "Ramanuja changed 'parameshvara prItyartham' to 'nArAyaNa prItyartham'", we have the advaitin Vidyasankar Sundaresan's own words recorded in the internet:

      //For that matter, there is a large section of smArtas whose sankalpam for sandhyA-vandanam has SrIman-nArAyaNa prItyartham instead of SrI parameSvara prItyartham.//

      Delete
    6. It's becoming very easy to pinpoint bogus practices of modern day smArtas by mere intuition even without research thanks to the absurdity evident in those practices. That's the sad state of their "sampradaya" at the monent - any which way except Adi Shankara's way. HBB however is just being meticulous with the research aspect as well.

      Also the absurd practice of claiming sri ramanuja "invented" practices wherever these smartas find a contradictions with their own spurious rituals. This is just like how appayya Dikshita accused Madhva of falsifying pramAnAs when in reality even madhusudhana Saraswati had quoted the same pramAnAs. A true vaidika accepts the pramAnAs of these 3 acharyas as authority simply because integrity was an essential commodity to ancient debates.

      For those who do not know, Sri Vidyasankar is the person running the official advaita website. While he too subscribes to the modern day shaiva advaita viewpoint, we believe that he is more honest in quoting Shankara and his gurus - for example, he does not get up to ridiculous hi-jinks such as claiming "vishNu" refers to nirguNa brahman, etc.

      Of course, we have not interacted with him personally and have no plans to, so we cannot say if he will be another one like Veerashaiva (Subbu), whom we believed to be genuine at first, but is in reality an ignorant and deliberate viTanda vadin. It's hard to tell nowadays.

      Delete
  8. Dear Readers,

    This is a rare notification from me that is unrelated to the topic of the blog. Yet the subject matter is so serious, we, as Sri vaishnava, felt a need to clarify.

    There are some Sri vaishnavas and madhvas on the net who intentionally or otherwise, abuse a most revered and beloved comfort of Bhagavan, namely Sri Radha. They claim that she is a figment of imagination and not mentioned in scriptures, mostly in debates with Gaudiyas/ISKCON.

    Now,I will not comment on what madhvas believe. But this blog issues a strong condemnation of such views as apachara of the highest order. These Sri vaishnavas appear to be unaware that Sri Radha is accepted by all vidhwans and hinted at by purvacharyas.

    The pramana is in the Yadavabhyudaya of Sri Vedanta desikan:

    devaki danuja sthuna divyam Diana vrajankanam rama radhadhayscheti rashi bhedaihi na bhidyase

    Meaning: There is no difference in the (states of) the Lord associated with Lakshmi (Ramaa), Radha or other consorts, or as being born as the Son of Devaki or being born from the Pillar as Narasimha, or living in Vaikunta or Vrindavan.

    The meaning here is, although Vrindavan is in the material plane, it is equal to Vaikunta due to association with Sri Krishna. Similarly, the Pillar which have birth to Narasimha, despite being indenting, enjoys the same status as Devaki, as the "mother" of Vishnu. And again, Radha, an elevated jivAtma, by virtue of association with bhagavan, is equal to Lakshmi.

    Other acharyas like periyavacchan pilli have also indirectly praised Radha in their commentaries. Let there be no apachara. Before we make accusations, one must understand our own acharyas position first.

    We shall publish some articles in the coming days.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Apologies for the rather amusing autocorrect errors in the above post. I think you can make out that it should be "divyam dhama" (not diana), "consorts" (not comforts), "insentient" (not indenting) and "pillai" (not pilli).

    Hope that clarifies.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Dear Readers,

    I was just going through some stuff the other day and remembered this interesting issue, so thought of sharing it. I had already discussed it elsewhere in the past, but debate always persists.

    The issue is to do with the famous Chandogya Upanishad declaration on Ghora Angirasa and Devaki Putra Krishna:

    taddhaitadghor āṅgirasaḥ kṛṣṇāya devakīputrāyoktvovācāpipāsa eva sa babhūva so'ntavelāyāmetattrayaṃ pratipadyetākṣitamasyacyutamasi prāṇasam̐śitamasīti tatraite dve ṛcau bhavataḥ ॥

    The meaning of this mantra as given by shrI shankara and shrI madhva differs from that of shrI rAmAnuja. shrI shankara says:

    "Ghora Angirasa, after having communicated this (view of the sacrifice) to Krishna, the son of Devaki -- and he never thirsted again (after other knowledge)--said: 'Let a man, when his end approaches, take refuge with this Triad: "Thou art the imperishable," "Thou art the unchangeable," "Thou art the edge of Prâna."' (source: net translation of shankara bhAshya)

    Note that here, "Krishna, the Son of Devaki" is considered a student of Ghora Angirasa according to this interpretation. shrI madhva gives the same interpretation and he adds, "Vasudeva’s son, Krishna was the resplendent Lord himself, while there was some one else who was the son of one named Devaki, with the same name who was an ascetic. " (Source: Sonde's publication of mAdhva bhAshya).

    While shrI shankara does not identify who "devaki putra krishNa" is, it is possible he regarded him as saguNa brahman krishNa himself. Because krishNa being a student does not reduce his brahmatva. Or, maybe shankara thought he was someone else. The fact that he didn't comment shows the acharya's lack of interest in the issue anyway. madhva sampradaya strongly hold the view that it was some rishi of the same name as bhagavAn.

    Now, shrI ranga rAmAnuja muni, who belongs to the vishishtadvaita school and who has faithfully adhered to the view of shrI rAmAnuja, disagrees with both the interpretation of the upanishad by the other two gurus and also the idea that "devaki putra krishNa" is someone other than bhagavAn. There is really no need to take it as any other person considering that the theme of the upanishad is "upAsaNa" and the reference to "devaki putra" could easily be interpreted as an indication of the auspicious guNas like sousIlya, saulabhya, etc of the Lord which are important for upAsaNa.

    srI ranga rAmAnuja muni derives the meaning another way as follows:

    "The rishi Ghora Angirasa practiced this Purusha Yajna with the dedication as "This is sub-servient to Krishna, the Son of Devaki". That Ghora Angirasa had not thirst, as he came upon BrahmavidyA through this. At the last moment of his life, he said to Brahman, "you are eternal, you are full of auspicious qualities, you are the subtle truth enlivening this universe".

    The acharyan explains "KrishnAya" as "KrishnaseshabhUta" - for the sake of Krishna (the essential nature of the jIvAtmAn is seshatva or servitude to devaki putra krishNa).

    One must note that even in mantrAs, the "Aya" shabda denotes "for the sake of-", or service performed for the deity.

    ityuktvA means anusandhAna, which is bhakti yOga or upAsaNa. Constant meditation on devaki putra krishNa and oneself as being his dAsabhUta by nature is thus recommended.

    People are free to choose whatever interpretation they like based on their inclinations, but in my humble opinion, the sri vaishnava view is matchless and true to the actual intent of the Upanishad.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What is the meaning of Charu Vikramaya namaha in Siva Ashtothram? Two names dear to me are used in this ashtothram in a puzzling way. As a srivaishnavam I may have to take issue with the traditional meaning given to it. Keep the debate alive. The opponents arguments are also posted in a 45-page documented in google drive. The opponents dwells on Siva Sahasranamam and the like. Vedic and vedantic traditions starting with Atreya Brahmana 1.1, krishna yajur veda 5.5.1, etc. seem to extol vishNu and even charaterize Him as yagyovai vishnuhu, etc. Saiva agamas and siddhantas seem to keep the fissure alive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Firstly, Siva Ashttotara is not a pramAnA for anything and is not our concern.

      Secondly, nobody needs to address the Internet's resident veerashaiva, subbu and his meaningless 45 page, 100 page documents of trash as they do not have substance and have been refuted many times already.

      Thirdly, as HBB said, you are not echoing the words of Sri vaishnava acharyas and your fixation on aitreya brahmana etc is not needed as it is not a prerequisite for vishnu paratva.

      Fourthly, please note that while we are Sri vaishnavas, the blog is aimed to be neutral and cater to vaishnavas of all sects. So, exclusively Sri vaishnava issues are used sparingly when needed. I am saying this aimed specifically there have been debates on sharIrAtma bhAva etc recently here.

      Lastly, as HBB said, please study the works of purvacharyas before making conclusions ala "aitreya brahmana is crucial for vishnu paratva", "Vedas have nuggets of sattva" etc.

      No offense intended. We believe your intentions are good, but your approach is frankly wrong.

      Delete
    2. Ok. adiyen stands corrected, partly.

      In vedantic traditions only the gyanakandam from the vedas is important. The debate should emphasize the shrutis here. Acharyas use mainly only upanishad vakyas in explaining the brahma sutras.

      Yet vishNu as a deity has been recorded prominently in the karma kanda and brAhmanas and our daily practices and nithya karmas follow the traditions derived from karma kanda. I am citing only such recorded statements.

      The parabrahma swarupam of vishNu can be more aptly understood from the upanishads and puranas ( including Srimad Bhagavad Gita ) and aagamas. Aagmas interestingly enough are partly based on karma kandam if I am right.

      Coming to Siva Sahasranama, I personally have no objection to it except when it has a few contradictory statements. Also note the opponent cites it as more important because it occurs early in mahabharata. By the token we can take agni as paramathma because It occurs first in the (Rg) veda. But we don't. So what is coming first is less important than more considered reasoning and acceptable practices recorded in the karma kanda and gyana kanda and agamas. The opponent seems to be missing the point.

      Continue your good work and add more solid commentaries and translations in this blog to benefit all vaishnavas.

      Delete
    3. You are again mostly wrong in your approach and have not understood the true difference between karma and having jnana kanda.

      But let's leave it at that. You are welcome to your opinions.

      Delete
  12. Are the verses claiming that Lord Shiva states the Shiva Purana is tamasic interpolated?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where do these verses occur? Can you give more specific details?

      Delete
    2. No I am stating that there are people who state Shiva purana is not tamasic and the famous verse in padma purana uttara kandha chapter 236 18-21 where Lord Shiva gives the division of 18 puranas and states Shiva purana among others are tamasic is a vaishnava interpolation

      Delete
    3. As far as I know, pUrvAcAryas have not quoted it. mAdhva writers have not quoted it either. I have only seen Sri Puthur Swamy quote them. We cannot say whether those verses are interpolated or not.

      However, there are different pramANas for example in the 290th chapter of Matsya purANa quoted by Sri ALavandAr in AgamaprAmANyam and Swami Ramanuja in Vedartha Samgraha. See our article on the tAmasa purANas where we have explained them.

      Delete
    4. Who exactly is Sri Puthur Swami? Iskcon people also quote them. The quote that I was referring to is below.

      divisions of the eighteen Puranas is defined by Lord Siva to Uma in the Padma Purana (Uttara Khanda 236.18-21):

      vaisnavanam naradiyam ca tatha bhagavatam subham
      garudam ca tatha padmam varaham subha-darsane

      sattvikani puranani vijneyani subhani vai
      brahmandam brahma-vaivarta markandeyam tathaiva ca

      bhavisyam vamanam brahmam rajasani nibodha me
      matsyam kaurmam tatha laingam saivam skandam tathaiva ca

      agneyam ca sad etani tamasani nibodha me

      " O beautiful lady, one should know that the Visnu, Naradiya, Bhagavata, Garuda, Padma and Varaha are all in the mode of goodness. The Brahmanda, Brahma-vaivarta, Markandeya, Bhavisya, Vamana and Brahma are in the mode of passion. The Matsya, Kurma, Linga, Siva, Skanda and Agni are in the mode of ignorance."

      Now you were referring to the 290th Chapter of the Matsya Purana, however I found the following from Matsya Purana below. If you have the translation etc from the 290th chapter of the Matsya Purana that would be great.


      Matsya Purana (53.65, 68-69) states –

      pancangam ca puranam syad akhyanam itarat smrtam
      sattvikesu ca kalpesu mahatmyam adhikam hareh

      rajasesu ca mahatmyam adhikam brahmano viduh
      tadvad agnes ca mahatmyam tamasesu sivasya ca

      sankirnesu sarasvatyah pitrnam ca nigadyate

      " A Purana consists of five elements, as opposed to an Akhyana. 6 The sattvika Puranas glorify Hari; the rajasika Puranas glorify Brahma, and the tamasika Puranas glorify Siva and Agni. Puranas dealing with mixed modes of nature glorify Sarasvati and the fore-fathers.

      Thanks

      Delete
    5. Puthur Swami was a towering vidvAn in the Srivaishnava Sampradaya, and was the editor of the "Srivaishnava Sudarshanam" magazine. He has published many pUrvAcArya granthas. His own work "Sri Vishnuchitta Vijayam", "Saathi matha ArAychchi", "Sangak kAla thamizhar samaiyam" etc. are noteworthy.

      The quote from Matsya purANa chapter 290 is almost similar to the one you quoted from 53.65, 68-69. However, the one I mentioned is the version quoted by Sri ALavandAr and Sri Ramanuja in their works (Agama prAmANya, vedArtha saMgraha, etc.)

      Delete
  13. Pranamams,

    I am a telugu guy , looking for english or telugu translations of Puttur Swamy's works but couldn't find any, can you please point me to some online resources or forums where I can atleast read enligh translations of his works.

    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Namaskaram. As far as I know, there are no such translations. One has to read them in Tamil and if not, consult a person who is well-versed in Tamil with these works.

      Delete
  14. Dear Readers,

    As an update, we are working on a rather complicated article which will be published in an estimated time of 1-2 weeks. Request your patience.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hare krishna

    I,am a gaudiya vaishnava, and really appreciate the work you are doing in establishing the supremacy of lord narayana. However, I,am worried about the large amount of of wrong beliefs being spread on internet and other religious websites,which claim to be hinduism, but their philosophy is more or less a blend of smarta and advaita. I wanted you to explain you about the two important points regarding the concept of ista devata and arthavada (exxageration).
    Current Neo-hindus says that you can take form as you wish as your ista devata,and worship in complete devotion. But while worshipping one should respect the other ista devatas ,and should not deingrate them ,otherwise it would lead to extreme fanaticism and fight.

    Secondly about arthavada, many hindus says that there are many gods who are eulogized as supreme is different scriptures. devibhagavatam says adi sakti is supreme, and under his order ,brahma vishnu and shiva works. similarly ,other scripture like vaishnava puranas hold vishnu as supreme and consider shiva to be a great devotee. similarly some quote from shaiva puranas,and hold lord shiva is supreme, and vishnu is just and another amsa of shiva. So what current hindus do to explain this varieties is that different prayers of supremacy offered by various rsis are just arthavada. The main point is any devata can be worshiped and one can attain mukti.They often talk about how adi sankaracharya offered prayers to vishnu, where he considered lord vishnu to be parabrahman, but at other places ,he offered prayers to lord shiva like shiva bhujanga prayata stotram, where he considered shiva to be supreme, and said that even lord vishnu cannot understand him. so this contradictory prayers offered by adi sankaracharaya,they consider it to be simply arthavada.This arthavada is used by the scriptures so that people of different faith and inclinations can be boosted to take their ista devata and worship them.whatever ista devata ,one takes, he will find verses supporting their supremacy.So ultimately these smartas use this as a means to go to advaita vada, where they consider be various forms to be an imaginary(assumed as the concept of ista devata) manifestations of formless brahman.They say that ultimately ,one should go from forms to formless,all these deity worship is for less intelligent person, who cant perceive god in formless aspect. But when becomes matured, he can see god in his own atman.
    so these types of views are being cultured nowadays by many hindus, so how should we understand this in a proper light? (note: none of these are my opinions, it is based on the mindset of the modern hindus)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have asked:

      // so these types of views are being cultured nowadays by many hindus, so how should we understand this in a proper light? (note: none of these are my opinions, it is based on the mindset of the modern hindus) //

      Krishna has the answer in BG 7.20-7.23, 9.23-9.25:

      kAmaistaistair hR^itaj~nAnA prapadyante 'nyadevatAH |
      taM taM niyamam AsthAya prakR^ityA niyatAH svayA ||

      yo yo yAM yAM tanuM bhaktaH shraddhayA 'rcitumicChati |
      tasyatasyAcalAM shraddhAM tAmeva vidadhAmyaham ||

      sa tayA shraddhayA yuktastasyArAdhanamIhate |
      labhate ca tataH kAmAn mayaiva vihitAn hi tAn ||

      antavattu phalaM teShAM tadbhavatyalpamedhasAm |
      devAn devayajo yAnti madbhaktA yAnti mAmapi ||

      ye tu anyadevatAbhaktAH yajante shraddhayAnvitAH |
      te'pi mAmeva kaunteya yajantyavidhipUrvakam ||

      ahaM hi sarvayaj~nAnAM bhoktA ca prabhureva ca |
      na tu mAmabhijAnanti tattvenAtashcyavanti te ||

      yAnti devavratA devAn pitRR^in yAnti pitR^ivratAH |
      bhUtAni yAnti bhUtejyaH yAnti madyAjino 'pi mAm ||

      Delete
    2. A simple thing to note is that there is a wholesale abuse of arthavada. If we were to use arthavada for whatever suits our fantasies, we can simply claim that glorification of an entity called "Brahman" in upanishads is "arthavada" to simply get us to do rituals and make us hope for something beyond mundane life.

      "Arthavada" applies only when a statement directly contradicts perception or truth- eg., "Cows walk upside down" and such. It cannot be applied to philosophical sections expounding the hierarchy of devatas.

      Delete
  16. A few comments got deleted accidentally. A reader by name "Keshav Kashmiri" posted the below question:

    //
    Hare krishna
    I believe that lord Narayana is the proper noun,as you have described it using the panini's grammer. But I found one article on the following link which proves that narayana may not necessarily be a proper noun.
    http://www.advaita-vedanta.in/authenticity-of-puranas#TOC-nArAyaNa-and-the-Na-factor

    However I,am no expert in technical nuances of panini's grammar,but the advaita vedantist had used the same logic of panini's asthadyayi to prove that lord narayana may not necessarily mean the proper noun. So would you please explain this.I Would like you to counter their views.The reference for the link is provided above.
    //

    My response is as follows:

    The author of the aforementioned page is clearly ignorant of Sanskrit grammar and fails to understand what Panini says with regard to proper nouns in that rule. The rule says that, in a compound word, the na in the second word can be changed to 'Na' as per the rules for a non-compound word **only if** saM~jA i.e., rUDhi or proper noun is intended (in addition to the condition that the first word does not end with ga).

    We do not need to worry about every silly objection of this kind found on the digital/internet world that is predominantly filled with idiots. Kindly perform the required austerity with discipline i.e., reading and understanding the works of pUrvAcAryas. Only then we can arrive at clarity. Otherwise, we will tend to be bothered by these unnecessary distractions like the contents of the web page you linked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To the last paragraph in the above response, I would like to add as below:

      If you are not able to read the pUrvAcAryas' (by this, here I mean not only Vishistadvaita [VA] but also A and D AcAryas) works, at least read the parts that we have quoted and discussed throughout this site. And if you are unable to read the contents of this site fully, at least read the FAQ page fully. Then reflect upon what you have read. I am not boasting about our work, but saying in all humility that there is a good chance all your doubts can be assuaged this way. Same goes for the other queries such as the one you have posted that I am reproducing below:

      //
      I had certain questions regarding hara hari aikya vada. I agree that most of those who claim that there is no difference between hari and hara are actually shaivas or advaitas in garb. But there are certain scriptural verse which do support this aikya vada. I,am vaishnava and doesn't support this aikya vada, but I,am asking out of curiosity and need an explanation for same. FOLLOWING ARE THE VERSES :

      markendeya proclaims the nondifference between lord vishnu and lord shiva as follows in harivamsa, mahabharata

      vishnu parva

      shivaya vishnurupaya vishnave shivarupine
      yatha antaram na pasyami tena tau dishatah shivam


      Shivaaya Vishnu Roopaaya Shiva Roopaaya Vishanave |
      Shivasya Hrudayam Vishnur Vishnuscha Hrudayam Shivaha ||
      Yatha Shivamayo Vishnuhu Yevam Vishnu Mayaha Shivaha |
      Yathaantharam Na Paschyaami Thatha Me Swasthi Ra Yushi || (PADMA PURANA)

      I have many other quotes from skanda purana, padma purana, narada purana, varaha purana, brahma purana,kurma purana which talks about this nondifference, if required I can quote the specific verses found in those puranas.

      I,am confused by this verses ,and really want to know the proper understanding of such verses in the scriptures
      //

      Delete
    2. In addition to HBB's comments, I would like to point out that we have shown on the blog that acharyas did not consider NArAyaNa being a proper noun alone as the most important proof, but rather that it is a final clincher for our position. Brahma, Rudra and other gods are openly declared inferior to nArAyaNa in several places, while vishNu is identified with nArAyaNa.

      We have covered this half a dozen times. I reteirate HBB'S request to first scour the blog to see if your question has already been answered, before raising it in the comments.

      Delete
  17. hare krishna

    I would like you to ask you on the authenticity of srimad bhagavatam over devi bhagavata purana. There are many websites nowadays like mahapasupatastra and websites of sakta worshippers which say that devi bhagavata purana is a real bhagavata purana.srimad bhagavatam is bogus and fake purana.they say that srimad bhagavatam was not authored by vyasa and it contradicts many a times with a mahabharata like in story of parkishita maharaja. The mahabharata is the primary tool used by them to prove how parikshita didnt heard the bhagavata purana.suka already attained moksha,so he could not have recited srimad bhagavatam to parikshita. I understand that there are many puranas which glorify srimad bhagavatam. Also it has been commented by many acharyas of the past. Whereas devi bhagavata purana was never commented by major acharyas except very few.but still ,how can one reconcile the contradiction of the story of parikshita mentioned in mahabharata and bhagavatam. if these can be reconciled,it would be great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As mentioned elsewhere in this site before, such apparent contradictions are to be reconciled through kalpa and yuga bheda.

      Delete
    2. As mentioned elsewhere in this site before, such apparent contradictions are to be reconciled through kalpa and yuga bheda.

      Delete
  18. A few readers are airing their views in the comments section of this site, such as "Oldest vedas praise only Indra and Agni, while Vishnu and Shiva are shown as minor gods", "why should Shaivas, Shaktas, and smArtas give special importance to Ramanuja or Madhva who were only 1000 or less years old, while sanAtana dharma is more than 3500-5000 years old", "there are Vaishnava interpolations in the Mahabharata too" etc.

    Kindly note that if such is your opinion, you are free to draw your own conclusions. However, this site is not the place to air/record your opinions if they are out of the scope of the discussions/articles we intend.

    We summarily reject indology and neo-Vedanta schools without any consideration. This should be no surprise at all to anyone who has been following the site. The reasons are as follows:

    1) We have bigger fish to fry in our limited time, i.e. in explaining shAstra to true jij~nAsus who have shraddhA.

    2) Indological, 'humanist' neo-Vedantic, intellectual, leftist, post-modern and the like interpretation of our shAstra may be "modern" and their practitioners may have better access to scientific knowledge about the material world. Some of their methods may also be scientific (but most of their methods are arbitrary). However, their seed premises are either biased or arbitrary, and mostly unscientific. For example, which supernatural agent taught them that when the Veda says "indro mAyAbhiH pururUpa Iyate", "the thunderbolt-wielding deity Indra" is referred to here, as against taking "indra" as an adjective of the supreme deity?

    3) There is no hard evidence to show that the Vedas can be classified as "older" and "newer" ones.

    4) brAhmaNas, AraNyakas, and upaniShads that show Vishnu as supreme are also part of the Vedas, we say. However, indologists will tell you that they were composed later. Again, with zero hard evidence.

    5) It is the conclusion of Veda vyAsa himself, who compiled the four Vedas, that Vishnu is the supreme: "AlODya sarvashAstrANi...", "satyam satyam punaH satyam...", "nAsti nArAyaNasamam na bhUto na bhaviShyati..." etc.

    6) Indologists' theories cannot explain many important evidences that they do not consider -- such as the classical Tamil sangam literature praising Vishnu alone as the supreme being, and that there is no ancient literature, in Tamil or Sanskrit, that claim Indra, Agni, or Varuna as supreme.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These things have been spread by westeners who don't know anything about vedas that lord vishnu was a minor diety as per vedas. Lord vishnu in one of his avatar played role of Upendra ( younger brother & supporter of Indra ) . That does not means that lord Vishnu was subservient to Indra. Probably in vedas , Lord suryanarayan & upendra (amsha of lord vishnu ) are sometimes referred as a supporter of Indra who make his victory possible. But some people after reading " wiki pedia " misunderstand that lord vishnu was a minor deity in vedas. LORD VISHNU IS PARAMATMA & SUPREME & his abode is desried by yogis ( Vishnu param pada )

      Delete
    2. "Indra" means wealthy. Sriman Narayana is called Indra in the vedas because he pervades all, by virtue of which everything becomes his property and hence his wealth.

      The Indologists, as HBB said, Base their opinions on faulty assumptions. For example, they take a statement such as the following in support of their claim that a race of "Aryans" existed:

      "Indra, for the sake of the Aryas, killed the Dasyus".(or something like this, rough approximation off the top of my head).

      So, Aryans are a race who invaded India while Dasyus are dark skinned natives (sort of like the US history of Colombus and Native Americans).

      What these fools don't realise is that Indra refers to the Lord who pervades all, "Arya" refers to the noble ones surrendered to him and "Dasyus" refer to prakrti or avidya which is darkness.

      Their fundamental premise itself of assuming that the veda describes races and geography is wrong, so what to speak of their "interpretations". The vedas do not talk of historical places much (except perhaps the rivers). If a term like "panchanadam" occurs in the veda, it can be interpreted as the five indriyas as opposed to the modern state of Punjab and deriving geography out of it!

      They misinterpret the Vedas like this and then claim that certain portions conflict with other portions (which is ironically only due to their misinterpretations) and thus classify some portions as interpolations or more recent as compared to others.

      On the other end of the spectrum, the likes of RSS etc are also foolish to interpret "vimAna" as aeroplanes, claim "vedic mathematics" existed, etc.

      My advice? Chuck these theories in the rubbish bin where they belong.

      Delete
  19. To add to HBB's comment, that person also said the following to us:

    [Quote]So in a sense, the modern Hindus have got it right by not focusing on the names and forms, which in the larger scheme of things are irrelevant.[Unquote]

    I am just curious to know who died and made this person an authority to decide what is "relevant" or "irrelevant" to the "larger scheme" (whatever that may be, seems like something larger than Parabrahman apparently exists as a scheme!)

    We do get some absolute self-righteous weirdos on our blog at times. It's fairly entertaining.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Namaste. There were some recent comments that were published today, but deleted shortly ago.

    We will not tolerate any comments that allude to the 'kalai' difference issues in Srivaishnava sampradAya hereafter.

    I reiterate also that comments should be relevant to the contents of the page it is being posted under, either in the form of genuine questions or information that adds value.

    No unwarranted abuses/pinpointing/complaint thrown against anybody, whether it is hurled at shaivas or vaishnavas.

    Please read the article in this page titled "a note to our readers" carefully before posting. Let us please maintain proper decorum and not make this blog just another Hinduism discussion page filled with jalpa, vitaNDa, kutarka, and dog fights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also apologise if any readers were distressed from reading the recently deleted comments. I should not have approved them in the first place.

      Delete
    2. Some readers are also using the comments box to send us greetings on festive occasions. We thank you for your wishes. But this blog is not meant for such interactions and we strictly refrain from publishing such comments.

      Delete
    3. Some readers are also using the comments box to send us greetings on festive occasions. We thank you for your wishes. But this blog is not meant for such interactions and we strictly refrain from publishing such comments.

      Delete
  21. Dear all,

    This is just to say that we have been "cleaning up" some of our older articles on the blog. Some translation errors have been corrected in the Keshi suktam and the "prayers of Sri Krishna to shiva" section.

    We sometimes lack the time to proofread, so some grammatical errors do tend to creep in. This is especially so for our earliest articles. However, there are no drastic changes and the meanings remain pretty much the same even after corrections.

    Going forward, we might make a few small corrections to other articles like the Rudram as well.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Dear Swamy,

    Srimathe Ramanujaya Namah,

    Humble Pramanams to Devareers. Thank you very much for this marvelous blog. adiyen is slowly go through it and learning more.

    Just one small question. How does one be both mayavadi in philosophy and at same time be Vaishnava in religious practise ? If we are worshipping Vasudeva as the Supreme meaning we are His Servants and owned by Him and our purpose is to serve Him. Then philosophically, how the parabrahmam, and the jiva be one and the same?

    Can Devareers please briefly enlighten adiyen on this small doubt.

    Thanking you,
    Gautam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have answered this earlier. Advaita posits the Self as the sole reality only in the pAramArthika sath. However, until such realization occurs, duality exists in the vyAvahArika sath. Within this lower level of reality, every being is distinct from each other and as such, there exists an Ishvara, sriman nArAyaNa, who resides in Sri Vaikunta, who is sarvAntaryAmin and has everyone as his vibhUtIs, who is to be resorted to for attaining the ultimate state.

      As an analogy, bhakti towards Ishvara in advaita is like a dream. Until you wake up, it is real and thus whatever you do is taken as valid. I know saying it is like a dream is not entirely doing justice to advaita's concepts of mithya (of which I frankly haven't delved much into), but as a rough example, it will serve.

      Thus, until advaitins attain the "perfect jnAna" by their philosophy, they are vaishnavas who serve vishNu with bhakti just like any other vishishtadvaitin or dvaitin. That vishishtadvaitins and dvaitins criticize them by saying they are inferior does not undermine their vaishnavatva in anyway.

      Shankara identifies only vishNu as this Ishvara is seen by his commentary on the nAma "kathitaH" in the sahasranAma as follows:

      vedAdibhir-ayameka eva paratvena kathita kathita iti kathitaH | sarvairvedaiH kathita iti vA kathitaH | "sarve vedA yatpadamAmananti", "vedaishca sarvairahameva vedyaH", "vede rAmAyaNe puNye bhArate bharatarSabhaH! adau madye tathA cAnte viSNuH sarvatra gIyate" iti shruti-smRtyAdi-vacanebhyaH |

      Translation: He (Vishnu) is known as kathitaH since He alone is declared as supreme by the Veda and Vedic texts; or He who is described by all the Vedas. The following statements from the shruti (Vedas) and smRtis confirm this:

      "All the Vedas describe His status.." (Kathopanishad 1.2.15),

      "I alone am to be known from all the Vedas" (Bhagavad Gita 15.15),

      "Vishnu is sung everywhere at the beginning, middle, and end of the Vedas, the holy rAmAyaNa and the mahAbhArata, O Best of the lineage of Bharata!" (Harivamsa, 3.132.95).

      "He who has sound intellect as his charioteer and controlled mind as the bridle, reaches the end of the road, which is the highest place/state of vishNu (katOpanishad, 3.9).

      Note that Shankara even quotes the katOpanishad's "paramaM padaM" with reference to vishNu as saguNa ishvara, identifying both sri vaikunta as an abode and the higher state of pAramArthika.


      Delete
    2. Thank Aaryamaa Swamy very much for the detailed reply. It was very enlightening. adiyen is slowly going through all blog pages and learning more. Thank you very much creating such a detailed and researched blog by grace of Azhwars and Purvacharyas.

      Delete
  23. Namaste,

    One of the comments here says - //Also to be noted is the 'parameshvara preethyartham' of the smartas.//

    While people here have correctly clarified that parameshwara here does not mean Parvati pathi, I want to make a different point. We are smArtas from Andhra region and on my wife's family side, the sankalpa includes - "Sri Ramachandra preethyartham" rather than "parameshwara preethyartham". This is to show that variants exist even within smArtas.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Dear All,

    Our next article might take awhile due to some other commitments, but in the meantime I have something to share.

    There is a section in the mahabhArata (Link: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m03/m03132.htm) where Vandin, an arrogant scholar in the court of Janaka, debates with Ashtavakra in a "game of numbers". Vandin and Ashtavakra each take up a number and debate by elaborating tattvas. The statements they string during the argument superficially make no sense and appear random, but the inner meaning is full of vedAntic truths.

    I have written a commentary on this since a lot of wrong translations are floating on the net and also because this is a very interesting section of the great ithihAsa. However, we are not uploading this commentary on the blog as it is not related to vishNu paratva. Rather, if you are interested to read it, please access the document through the following link:

    http://docdro.id/jP2h05v

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  25. Dear Sir,

    I have one question to ask regarding the authenticity of the Ramanandi sect,which is claimed to be one of the branch of sri sampradaya. Are the teachings of the ramanandi sampradaya agreeable with the original teachings of Ramanujacharya.or it is a deviant sect?

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    1. Ramanandi was certainly influenced by the works of Sri Pillai Lokacharya. That sect accepts Lokacharya's teachings on the rahasya mantras and attaining Bhagavan through Lakshmi to some extent. But they cannot be considered as sri vaishnavas.

      A point to note is that Ramanandi was particularly enthralled by the manner in which acharyas like Lokacharya and Periyavacchan Pillai eulogised Sri Rama. Thus, Ramanandi loved Rama so much that he did not adhere to Vishishtadvaitic principles which declare that the highest name of Parabrahman is nArAyaNa and considered "Rama" as the topmost name. The rahasya mantras were also modified by him to replace "sriman nArAyaNa" with "sita-rAma". This is not too dissimilar to how ISKCON consider rAdha-krishNa as the topmost form of Parabrahman.

      You cannot say they were sri vaishnavas because - 1) Though clearly inspired by sri vaishnava acharyas, Ramanandi did not declare allegiance to their teachings, 2) He deviated in the manner of worship, 3) I believe their views on caste violate vishishtadvaita as well, ie, they say anyone can become a brahmaNa etc. Not sure on this though.

      However, the influence can't be denied. Tulsidas was a disciple of Ramanandi sect and though he was not a vaishnava, his Rama bhakti is the reason that Rama Nama is prevalent in North India. We can thus say that Rama bhakti in the North owes its roots to Sii Ramanuja only. Kabir Das, another disciple, met Sri Varamangai Muni, the sishya of Manavala Mamunigal. But Kabir is not considered a hindu in the first place despite his admiration of Ramanandi, as he rejected "idol worship". Him meeting our acharyas has no consequence for us.

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  26. Should be "Ramananda" and "Ramanandi sect". Typing via mobile, minor error.

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  27. I am not sure I am posting this comment/question in the right section. I was always curious to know about the Anusandhana a non-Vaishnava Pravachanakartha does Srimad Bhagavatha Saptaha. There are many Advaitins (e.g: Chinmaya Mission) and Smarthas who do Srimad Bhagavatha pravachanas. As we all know Srimad Bhagavatham is all about the Supreme Entrity Sriman Narayana. There are verses which categorically inform us that He is the Supreme Lord and there is absolutely no one equal to Him. So, how can a smartha person (an Iyer) or an Advaitin ever preach Srimad Bhagaatham. I also heard that most smarthas in general are Rudra oriented. Can anyone comment on this aspect.

    Note: One Advaita Telugu Pandit starts his Bhagavatha pravacahans by saying "Vishnu roopaya Namah Shivaya". I wonder where he got that from :) Most likely from a simple juxtaposition of appropriate Sanskrit words of which the only absolute true word is Narayana !

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    Replies
    1. What can we say, other than laugh out loud at such stupidity! We cannot change certain people.

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  28. //So, how can a smartha person (an Iyer) or an Advaitin ever preach Srimad Bhagaatham.//

    Advaitins can preach, as they are vaishnavas. Modern day smartas are shaivas hiding under the garb of advaitins. They would ideally like to stick to tAmasa purANas alone, but what can they do? All the ancient advaita gurus have commented on only these sAttvika purANAs only, so they have no choice but to refer to these purANAs.

    They may call themselves as aikya vAdins, but reveal their true colors at times. When I visited the Chidambaram temple to worship Lord Govindaraja, there was an upanyAsam going on by a smArta scholar. Gist of what he said - "VishNu offered his eye to Siva and received the Chakra. This incident shows "Siva Peruman" alone is supreme. Without Siva, VishNu cannot exist".

    So much for Hari-Hara aikya then. Atleast he's being honest in his allegiances to Shaivism.

    I can only smile at this, considering the fact that even in the Chidambaram Temple, Govindaraja's shrine is more elevated than the Nataraja shrine, and the Lord's lotus feet are directly pointing towards Nataraja's shrine. Thus pratyakSha itself shows, between Govindaraja and Nataraja, who is the master and who is the servant worshipping the master!

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