BLOG STATUS: Updated 18 Nov 2016. New article on "Harim Harantam" Shruti - Read here

Rudra in the Upanishads: An analysis

Note 1): This page is a contribution of the Srivaishnava sampradAya follower who represented the side of Vaishnavism with me against the author of the mahapashupatastra blog page.

Note 2): There are innumerable verses found in Itihasas, Puranas, and other Smrtis that explain that all the dEvatAs' names belong to none other than Vishnu only, because of etymology. Here are a few examples:

Pramana #1, from Mahabharata Shanti Parva (credit goes to Sri Krishna Kadiri for pointing out this to us. He is a learned contributor to the dvaita list at
Arjuna uvAcha:
vedeSu sapurANeSu yAni guhyAni karmabhiH
teSAM niruktaM tvatto.ahaM zrotum icchAmi kezava
na hy anyo vartayen nAmnAM niruktaM tvAm Rte prabho

[Arjuna Said: 'O holy one, O Supreme ordainer of the Past and the Future. O Creator of all Beings, O immutable one, O Refuge of all the worlds, O Lord of the universe, O dispeller of the fears of all persons, I desire to hear from thee in detail, O Kesava, the significance of all those names of thine, O God, which have been mentioned by the great Rishis in the Vedas and the Puranas in consequences of diverse acts of thine. None else than thee, O Lord, is competent to explain the significations of those names.']

Sri Krishna uvAcha:
Rgvede sayajurvede tathaivAtharvasAmasu | purANe
sopaniSade tathaiva jyotiSe.arjuna |
sAMkhye ca yogazAstre ca Ayurvede tathaiva ca | bahUni
mama nAmAni kIrtitAni maharSibhiH
gauNAni tatra nAmAni karmajAni ca kAni cit | niruktaM
karmajAnAM ca zRNuSva prayato.anagha

[Krishna Said: 'In the Rigveda, in the Yajurveda, in the Atharvans and the Samans, in the Puranas and the Upanishads, as also in the treatises on Astrology, O Arjuna, in the Sankhya scriptures, in the Yoga scriptures, and in the treatises also on the Science of Life, many are the names that have been mentioned by the great Rishis. Some of those names are derivable from my attributes and some of them relate to my acts. Do thou hear, with concentrated attention, O sinless one, what the import is of each off those names (in particular) that have reference to my acts. I shall recite them to you.']

Pramana #2, occurs in Brahma Purana, quoted by Madhva in his Brahma Sutra Bhashya at 1.3.3 (courtesy:
caturmukhaśśatānando brahmaṇaḥ padmabhūriti /
ugro bhasmadharo nagnaḥ kapālīti śivasya ca /
viśeṣanāmāni dadau svakīyānyapi keśavaḥ //
iti ca brāhme
Kesava has given special names, which are also his names, to Brahma as caturmukhaH, shatAnandaH, and padmabhUH, and to Siva, the names such as ugraH, bhasmadharaH, nagnaH, and kapAlI.

Pramana #3, occurs in Brahmanda Purana, quoted by Madhva in his Brahma Sutra Bhashya at 1.3.3 (courtesy:
brahmāṇḍe ca -
rujaṃ drāvayate yasmādrudrastasmājjanārdanarḥ /
iśānādeva ceśāno mahādevo mahattvataḥ //
pibanti ye narā nākaṃ muktāssaṃsārasāgarāt /
tadādhāro yato viṣṇuḥ pinākīti tataḥ smṛtaḥ //
śivaḥ sukhātmakatvena śarvaḥ śaṃrodhanāddhariḥ /
kṛtyātmakamimaṃ dehaṃ yato vaste pravartayan //
kṛttivāsāstato devo viriñcaśca virecanāt /
bṛṃhaṇādbrahmanāmāsāvaiśvaryādindra ucyate //

Translation by Prof. Pandurangi:

Janardana (i.e., the redeemer, Vishnu) is called Rudra; for He cures the disease (of life).
He is Ishana (the ruler) for He rules the lords of the world;
He is Mahadeva; for He is great and splendid;
He is known as Pinakin; for those that have crossed the sea of life and obtained release, take their stand on Him and drink in pure pleasure.
He is Siva, for, He is absolutely blissful.
Hari is Sarva, for He closes (the gates of) happiness against (the wicked).
The Lord is called Krittivasa, for He shelters or dwells in the body covered over with skin, to guide it in life.
He is called Virincha; for He produces the world out of Himself;
He is Brahma, for He is perfect and He is Indra (the wealthy), for He is the sole Lord

This article is to be seen in light of the above pramANas, and it will be clear that this is not  'Vaishnava sectarian jugglery'.


This is an article that expounds the meaning of the rudra mantras in svetAsvatArA and mahAnArAyaNa upanishads.

As has been explained already in this website, the terms such as ‘Rudra’, ‘Shiva’, ‘Akasa’, ‘Shambu’, ‘Indra’, ‘Agni’, ‘Isa’, ‘Prana’, etc  which occur in the Upanishads are common nouns and hence, apply to the supreme brahman only. That this supreme brahman is Sriman nArAyaNa only and not other devatA-s has been established on this website, both through the words of authoritative acharyas as well as shruti and smriti pramAnAs. 

Thus, it stands to follow, that the Rudra of the Upanishads is sriman nArAyaNa and not the well known pArvati pati, as the latter has been declared to be 1) absent during pralaya in the mahOpanishad, 2) born of karma in the satapatha brahmana and 3) born of nArAyaNa in the nArAyaNopanishad and smritis. These pramAnAs have already been mentioned in the satarudriya section of the website.

In addition, the etymological meaning of Rudra is as follows, which had also been explained in the Satarudriya section:

1) rum drAvayati iti rudra: - He is Rudra as he is the destroyer of the disease of SamsarA.

2)    rOdayati iti rudra:  - He is Rudra as he makes one shed tears of joy by enjoying his kalyAna gunams.

3)   rudya vAgrUpAya, vAkyam, prApayatEti rudra: - He is Rudra as he is the one who gives the vedic speech to Brahma before creation.

Thus, Rudra is a name of nArAyaNa and occurs in the vishNu sahasranAmA as well. SrI parAshara bhattar gives the above meanings for the name.

The vedA mainly dwells on the kalyAna gunas he exhibited in rAmA and narasimhA avatArams because as rAmA, he revealed all his kalyAna gunAs to their fullest extent and as narasimhA, he proved that the purpose of his activities was only to protect his devotees such as prahlada and his avatAram was spontaneous. So, often these sections relate to Narasimha or Rama only as Rudra. The two avatAras are even related – SrI rAmA addresses himself as one who can kill his enemies by his nails in the vAlmiki rAmAyaNa!

Having said that, let us understand the true meanings of the mantras addressed to this parama purushan known as Rudra, ie, nArAyaNa.


There are three Rudra mantras in this Upanishad known as tvaritharudra mantrAs. These are recited for fulfilment of one’s desires.

Mantra 106

sarvo vai rudra-stasmai rudraaya namo astu | purusho vai rudra-ssanmaho namo
namah | vishvam bhootam bhuvanam chitram bahudhaa jaatam jaayamaanam cha yat |
sarvo hyesha rudra-stasmai rudraaya namo astu ||
Meaning: Rudra is verily everything. Let our obeisance be to that Rudra. Possessing all valor, Rudra is verily the great. Obeisance unto him again and again. All this universe, all these entities, all the wondrous worlds that were variedly born or are being born – all that is verily this Rudra alone. To that Rudra, our obeisance is offered.

The etymology of the term ‘Rudra’ has already been explained and here it denotes nArAyaNa. Because of the statements like ‘sarVo vai rudrO’ and ‘purushO vai rudrO’, vyAsArya interprets ‘Rudra’ as paramAtma only and not the well known pArvati pati.
 Ranga rAmAnuja muni states that Rudra is known as ‘Sarva’ because he is carrying on this world, ie he is jagathnirvAhaka.  The name ‘Sarva’ occurs in the sahasranAma as ‘sarva sharva shivas sthAnur’ and SrI parAshara bhattar commenting on ‘sarva’ gives the meaning as ‘One who is the creator and destroyer of all, the ruler of the universe and supremely omniscient. Being the origin and end of jivAs and prakrti, he knows all and hence, is Sarva.

The Bhagavad Gita is sufficient pramAnam to show that vAsudeva krishNa is indeed ‘Sarva’ – It is doubtful anyone, even a layperson, is ignorant of the relevant gita slokas declaring krishNa as the creator, destroyer, etc and I do not need to quote them here.
PurushO vai RudrO can be interpreted in two ways. The meaning of ‘Purusha’ is ‘sarvavIryasampaNam’ and hence, the valor, ie, vIryam, of the parama purushan is mentioned here. We are reminded of the valor of SrI rAmA. vAlmiki asks, ka: vIryavAn. One of his names is mahAvIra. In this respect, vide the following slokas in the introductory portion of rAmAyaNa (slokas 1.1.8 to 1.1.18):

samudra iva gAmbhIrye dhairyeNa himavAniva|  vishNunA sadRSo vIrye… (vAlmiki rAmAyaNa)

Meaning: rAma has gAmbhIrya like an ocean, dhairya of himavAn and vIrya of vishNu.

But if we take the word ‘Purusha’ as ‘vedAhamEdham purusham mahAntam’, then it simply refers to Rudra (nArAyaNa) as the parama purushan of the vedA.

Mantra 107

kadrudraaya prachetase meeDhushTamaaya tavyase | vo chema shantamagm hrude | sarvo hyesha rudra-stasmai rudraaya namo astu || 

Meaning:  He functions as a creator and hence is a creaton (kan). May we utter a pleasing praise to Rudra who is acutely intelligent, who drenches the world with rain and others, who is an ascetic and who is pleasing to the heart.

‘kam ivAcharathIthi kan’ – He acts like chaturmukha brahma (Ka) and hence, he is the creator.
‘prachEtasE’ means ‘prakrushta buddhishAlina’. He is intelligent because he understands the sufferings of the jivAs very well and knows how to protect us. Indeed, there is a slOka in the rAmAyaNa, where the citizens of ayOdhyA say to DasarathA regarding SrI rAmA, the following:

vyasaneshu manushyANAm bhrusham bhavati du:khita:, utsaveshu cha sarveshu piteva paritushyati (vAlmiki rAmAyaNa)

Meaning: SrI rAmA suffers greatly when he sees someone suffering and is very happy upon seeing others’ happiness.

Thus, he is well aware of the sufferings and joys of the chEtana and knows their desires, hence is extremely intelligent.

 mEdhushtamA means ‘sektRthmAya’. The shAstra says that rains must occur 3 times a month for a conducive atmosphere to undergo vaidika anushtanams. As he is parabrahman, he is the giver of these rains. This is the interpretation of sri ranga rAmAnuja muni. Or, it could be taken that the ‘rains’ refer to Bhagavan granting all sorts of purushArthams as per Gita, ‘chatuvidA bhajantE mAm…’ sloka.

He is an ascetic as evidenced in the rAmAyaNa again as follows:

Vyaktamesha mahA-yogI paramAtmA sanAtanah (yuddha khAnda 114.4)

These are the words of mandOdari who recognises SrI rAmA as the parama purushan. The term ‘mahA yOgI’ refers to srI rAghavan’s determination to protect the world, being his only goal always. He is always meditating on ways to save the jivAtmA and grant moksha.

Alternately, he is also a yOgI because he meditates on his own kalyAna gunAs and derives anandam from himself as per the pramAnAs such as ‘anandamaya’.

Also, refer the Vishnu SahasranAmA which says that he is ‘mahat tapaH’. The ‘tapas’ refers to the ability to direct and order others, ie, he is the supreme ruler of all.

Lastly, he is indeed very pleasing to the heart . ‘shantham’ means ‘manaH sukhAvaham stOtra’. The very name ‘rAmA’ means ‘one who gives pleasure to everyone’. Hence, he gives ananda to everyone and we praise him.

Mantra 108

namO hiranyabAhavE hiranyapatayE umApatayE ambikApatayE namO namaha:
Meaning: Obeisances to Rudra, who is the consort of Ambika and/or Uma, whose arms are bedecked with gold ornaments and who is the master of riches.

‘HiranyabAhavE’ occurs in the Satarudriyam as well. Only nArAyaNa is referred to in both the Rudraprashnam as well as in this mantra.

AmbikapatayE, umApatayE is repeated because of the great respect the Upanishad has for this Bhagavan. VyAsArya interprets Rudra as nArAyaNa here as well. The terms ‘umApati’ and ‘ambikApati’ are related to srI narasimha as revealed in the narasimha tApanIya Upanishad which also calls him Shankara and Nilalohita. ‘UmapatayE’ simply refers to the Lord of great splendour (Uma being a common noun) and similarly for Ambika.

At this juncture, it would be pertinent to mention that the narasimha tApanIya Upanishad is indeed accepted by all vaidikas and has been quoted by Shankara, Sureshvara, Vedanta Desika, Vidyaranya, Madhva and Ranga Ramanuja Muni. Hence, it is indeed an authentic Upanishad. This is meant to address those who may not be familiar with this Upanishad. It is accepted in its present form by all Advaitins,  Vishishtadvaitins and Dvaitins.

The vedA bhAshyakArars make a reference to narasimha tApanIya while commenting on this famous mantram of Satarudriyam:

stuhi shrutaM gartasadaM yuvAnaM mR^igaM na bhImamupahatnumugram.h |
mR^iLA jaritre rudra stavAno .anyaM te asman nivapantu senAH || (Satarudriyam 10.8)

Meaning:  Praise the famous Rudra who dwells in the cave of the heart, who is eternally young, and who is fierce like a lion. O Rudra! Being praised by our words, confer happiness to us who have been afflicted by having a body subjected to old age and death. Let your forces annihilate others who are Your enemies and spare us.

As established in the Shri Rudram section of this website, the entire Rudraprashnam is a praise of nArAyaNa only. Note that this same mantra occurs in the narasimha tApanIya, with a slight modification:

stuhi srutam gartasadaM yuvAnaM mrgam na bhImamupahatnum ugram.h |
mrDA jaritre simha: stavAno .anyam te asmin nivapantu senAH | (Nr.Tap. Up. 2.1)

The word ‘Rudra’ is replaced by the word ‘Simha’ in the tApanIya. This is enough to show that the Rudra of the Upanishads and Satarudriyam is none other than nArAyaNa.
Vedanta Desika mentions in his kAmAshikAshtakam that Sri Narasimha is the essence of the uttara bhAgam of the VedA, ie, the Upanishad and is revealed by the tApanIya. He has also explained the mantra rAja pada portion of the Upanishad.

Mantra 134

There are 5 mantras beginning from 134 in this Upanishad which are interpreted by other commentators such as bhatta bhAskara as referring to the 5 faces of pArvati pati (Sadyojata, Vamadeva, Aghora, Isana and Tatpurusha). Sri ranga rAmAnuja muni states that this is not the correct interpretation as these mantras are referred to as ‘pancha brahma mantrAs’ and hence, must only refer to the parabrahman, who is nArAyaNa.  The Upanishad only refers to parama purushan by all these names. Sri ranga rAmAnuja muni further states that srutis and smritis support the interpretation of these mantras as nArAyaNa and quotes them in defence of the interpretation. These will be indicated below.

In addition, these mantras occur after some prayers to Medha for jnAnA. Medha here refers to Lakshmi. Once jnAnA is attained from Lakshmi, Vishnu is resorted to and hence, these mantras are positioned after Medha Sukta in the mahAnArAyaNa Upanishad. Taking all these factors, these mantras refer to nArAyaNa only.
That being said, let us take a look at the 134th mantra:

sadyojaataM prapadyaami sadyojaataaya vai namo namaH|
bhave bhave naatibhave bhavasva maam.h . bhavodbhavaaya namaH||

Meaning: I surrender to SadyojAta, who was born at the moment of his will. Obeisance to Sadyojata, who was born at will. May I not be born in births after births. Do bless me. Obeisance unto him from whom all effects emerge.
‘SadyojAta’ is a name of Vishnu. The Narasimha tApAniya refers to Narasimha as ‘IshAnas sarvavidyAnAm’ and hence, ‘Sadyojata’ is a suitable name of Narasimha. Furthermore, the nirvAna khAnda of Skanda Purana refers to SrI rAmA as ‘Sadyojata’ and gives the following etymology – ‘SadyojAta pravrtti sattvam IshIshE kshEtrarakshaka’.

As mentioned previously, the vedas glorify parabrahman in his Rama and Narasimha avatArams primarily.

The vedA here states that he was born at the moment of his will. This refers to satya sankalpatvam. As per the pramAna ‘sambhavAmi yugE yugE’, bhagavan takes avatArams out of his will and never due to karma.

The Vishnu sahasranAmA contains the nama ‘SambhavO bhAvanO bhartA’. Bhattar interprets ‘SambhavA’ as ‘Like a hidden treasure, he is One who manifests himself at will, at any place and time, and in any form such as matsya, kruma, narasimha, etc to those who sincerely seek him’.

This mantra in particular can refer to Narasimha because he exemplified being born at the moment of his will, ie, manifesting in that pillar exactly at the moment when Prahlada mentioned him to be there.

Sri Ranga Ramanuja Muni adds – Sankalpasamaya eva karanAntara nairapEkshan chidachidrUpEna bhagavathO jAthvAth sadyojAthathvam, nAthibhavE – athishayEna nothpadhEya, mAm bhajasva – mAm anugrahAna.
Bhavasya – kAryavargasya uRdhvaH yasmAth thadrushAya namaH.

Mantra 135

vaamadevaaya namo jyeshhThaaya namaH| shreshhThaaya namo rudraaya
namaH kaalaaya namaH| kalavikaraNaaya namo balavikaraNaaya namo
balaaya namo balapramathaaya namaH| sarvabhuutadamanaaya namo
manonmanaaya namaH||

Meaning: Obeisance to vAmadEva, the auspicious God. Obeisance to the eldest (jyEshta). Obeisance to One who drives away the disease of samsArA (rudra). Obeisance to the destroyer (kAla). Obeisance to him who is the cause of causing the divisions of moment, muhurtA, etc of time. Obeisance to the One who strikes even the mighty. Obeisance to the One who subdues all living beings. Obeisance to the One who is the disturber of the mind.

‘vAmadEvA’ is mentioned to signify SrI rAmA as well in the nirvana khAnda of the skanda purAnA as follows - ‘vAmadEvaH praTishtAyA vAsanAm tanumAsritam’. He is vAmadEvA as he is auspicious. He is manomanAya pertaining to his nAmam as ‘hrshikEsha’. He is the destroyer (kAla) as per the Gita 11.32 ‘kAlosmi lOkakshaya’.

The purpose of this mantra is to show that paramAtma is the supreme ruler and the master of the universe. None can oppose him. His power is immeasurably greater than others, He saves his devotees from migration in samsArA. Nobody can stand before him as an equal and he crushes the asurAs ruthlessly as he did hiranyakasipu, rAvana and the entire kaurava army.

Mantra 136

aghorebhyo.atha ghorebhyo ghoraghoratarebhyaH | sarvataH sharvasarvebhyo namaste astu rudraruupebhyaH||

Meaning: O paramAtmA known as Sarva! Obeisance to those auspicious forms of yours that are not terrible, or terrible or terribly terrible. Obeisance to you, who has these forms bestowing good.

The terms ‘aghOrEbhyO’, ‘ghOrEbhyO’ and ‘ghoraghoratarebhyAH’ signify all the Universes and all the things, ie, sentient and insentient that are present within these universes, which are classed as terrible, auspicious, or terribly terrible and these are saluted as the body of sriman nArAyaNa. This is as per the brihadAraNyaka which states ‘yasya AtmA sarIram’ and ‘yasya prithvi sarIram’, and the subalOpanishad, which states ‘esha sarvabhUtAntarAtma apahatapApma divyO deva eko nArAyaNaH’.

This mantra confirms that the universe and all within it constitute the body, ie, the forms of Bhagavan. Thus, all these forms are forms of Rudra (rudrarupEbhyaH). Rudra denotes nArAyaNa as does Sarva. These names has been explained earlier.

Mantra 137

tatpurushhaaya vidmahe mahaadevaaya dhiimahi . tanno rudraH||

Meaning: We meditate upon that Purusha (nArAyaNa) (OR) we meditate on that pArvati pati rudra who belongs to nArAyaNa. For that we pray to mahAdEva (pArvati pati rudradeva). May that Rudra fulfil it by motivating us.

Here, the Rudra gAyatri is mentioned because the shAstras say that pArvati pati Rudra grants knowledge of Brahman. So, the Upanishad exhorts the upAsaka, ie, the bhakti yogi, to pray to pArvati pati and attain the knowledge of nArAyaNa through him.
Bhagavatam says ‘vaishnavam yatha shambhu:’ Uma is a teacher of the devas in the kenOpanishad. We also have shAstra vAkyams like ‘shankarOpAsanasya bhagavathupAsanahEtuthvAth’ and ‘jnAnam iccheth sankarAth’. So, pArvati pati imparts jnAnA about nArAyaNa to the upAsakAs.

The relevance of praying to pArvati pati rudra for brahma jnAnam is also established in another way by Vishnu and Garuda purAnAs. The Vishnu Purana says Narasimha is an amSha of Samkarshana vyUha of BhagavAn. The Garuda Purana declares that pArvati pati rudra is in the penultimate stage of bhakti yOgA presided by sankarshana murthi (known as prajna in the mAndukya Upanishad). So, as the Upanishad mantras talk of narasimhA and pArvati pati is meditating on Sankarshana, the context is established.

‘TatpurushA’ is interpreted in two ways. If we take it as ‘sa chAsou purushashcha’, it refers to nArAyaNa, who is the purusha of the veda. If we interpret ‘Tatpurusha’ as indicating pArvati pati rudra directly, it is taken as ‘tasya paramAtmanaH purushAya’, ie, ‘Rudra, who belongs to that paramAtmA’. As per ‘yasya AtmA sarIram’ all entities are the body of nArAyaNa and are vibhUtIs belonging to him. ‘Tat’ signifies nArAyaNa, the parabrahman only as per ‘Om tatsadhithi nirdeshaH’.

The grace of pArvati pati is invoked by bhakti yOgIs to progress in their bhakti towards nArAyaNa. Note that the Vishnu gAyatri, unlike the other gAyatris contains ‘nArAyaNa’ and not ‘tatpurusha’ thereby identifying vishnu with nArAyaNa himself.

Mantra 138

iishaanaH sarvavidyaanaamiishvaraH sarvabhuutaanaaM|
brahmaadhipatirbrahmaNo.adhipatirbrahmaa shivo me astu sadaashivom.h||

Meaning: The Lord of all branches of knowledge, the Lord of all living beings, the Supreme master of the vedas, the Lord of Chaturmukha Brahma, the One who has Brahma as his body, the One who is ever free from anything defiling, the One who is signified by the syllable OM, may he be the bestower of good for me.

As mentioned previously, the Narasimha tApAniya refers to Narasimha as ‘IshAnas sarvavidyAnAm’. SadAshivaH means sarvadA niravadhyaH. BrahmA means one who has BrahmA as his body (yasya AtMA sarIram – br.Up and jagath sarvam sarIram tE – vAlmiki rAmAyaNa). shivOmeastu means shivapradhOstu. OM refers to praNavavAchyan, who is nArAyaNa. Or, OM also means the one (nArAyaNa), whose name is praNava.

This ends the pancha brahma mantras. It may be remarked that after this, the next mantra belonging to the couplet known as trisuparna mantras address BhagavAn as ‘Soma’. This name too is a name of nArAyaNa as ‘Soma’ means – southi uthpAdaya thithi sOmaH and hence denotes paramAtmA. Sri ranga rAmAnuja muni adds – yA prajAH tAH sarvO tE tava sEshabhUthA ityartha.

Even the meaning ‘Sa Uma’ for Soma denotes nArAyaNa as mentioned previously in ‘umApatayE ambikapatayE’.


Here there are some mantras that designate paramAtmA as Rudra. These too refer to nArAyaNa only. Since a detailed explanation has already been provided, a brief account will suffice here.

Mantras 3.5 and 3.6 are also part of Shri Rudram and have been explained in the Shri Rudram section. They will not be explained here.

Mantra 3.4

yo devaanaaM prabhavashchodbhavashcha vishvaadhipo rudro maharshhiH |
hiraNyagarbha.n janayaamaasa puurva.n sa no buddhyaa shubhayaa sa.nyunaktu ||

Meaning: May that Rudra, who is the cause of the origination of gods, who is the cause of their glory, who transcends this entire world, who is a great seer (ie, omniscient) and who created Hiranyagarbha first, unite us with an auspicious mind.

The etymological meaning of Rudra has already been explained and this is a name of nArAyaNa (rudrO bahushirA babhru: as per Vishnu SahasranAmA). And we have pramAnAs like nArAyaNat brahma jAyatE to show that Brahma was born of nArAyaNa only. He is called ‘maharishiH’ as he is omniscient.

Mantra 3.11

sarvaanana shirogriivaH sarvabhuutaguhaashayaH |
sarvavyaapii sa bhagavaa.nstasmaat.h sarvagataH shivaH||

Meaning: Having the faces, heads and necks of all as his, he resides in the cave of the hearts of all entities. Bhagavan is pervading everything. Therefore he is everywhere and also auspicious.

As per ‘yasya AtmA sarIram’ and ‘yasya prithvi sarIram’ (Br.Up), all bodies are his bodies and hence, he has all faces, heads and necks.  The term ‘shiva’ signifies he is free of all defects. Shiva is a name of nArAyaNa (sarvaH sharvaH shivassthAnu in the Vishnu sahasraNAma).

Mantra 4.10

maayaa.n tu prakR^iti.n vidyaanmaayina.n cha maheshvaram.h |
tasyavayavabhuutaistu vyaapta.n sarvamida.n jagat.h ||

Meaning: Prakrti is to be known as mAyA. The great Lord (MaheshwarA) is the mover of mAyA. All this universe is pervaded by the jivAs (ie, they fill the universe) who are his inseparable attributes.

‘MahEshwarA’ is also a name of nArAyaNa which simply means ‘great lord’. Furthermore, since nArAyaNa alone is signified by AkAra  (akArasya visnoH), he is denoted by the meaning of the name ‘mahEshwara’ and hence, that name belongs to him.

The words of Krishna are relevant in this context, vide, mama mAyA durataya (Gita – 7.14) and sarva loka mahEshwaram (Gita – 5.29) which establish beyond a doubt that nArAyaNa is referred to by this mantra as mahEshwara.

Mantra 4.21

ajaata ityeva.n kashchidbhiiruH prapadyate |
rudra yatte dakshiNaM mukha.n tena maaM paahi nityam.h ||

Meaning: O Rudra (driver of the disease of samsArA), knowing that you are unborn, I, a cursed one, afraid of samsArA, meditate upon your face that is full of compassion. Save me always from samsArA, being pleased with this meditation.

‘Rudra’ means ‘samsArarugdrAvakaH’ and hence, the term ‘Rudra’ refers to nArAyaNa. He is ajaata, ie, not subject to birth and others. ‘DakshinaM mukhan prapadyathe’ is the prose order - ‘dAkshinyashAli prabuddhamugdhAmbhujachArulochanam’ and ‘shuchismitham komalagandamunasam lalAtaparyanthavilambithAlakam mukham dhyAyAmi’. ‘prapadyatE’ means ‘prapadyE’.

Mantra 4.22
maa nastoke tanaye maa na aayushhi maa no goshhu maa na ashveshhu riirishhaH |
viiraan.h maa no rudra bhaamito vadhiirhavishhmantaH sadaamit.h tvaa havaamahe ||

Meaning: O Rudra (driver of the disease of samsArA), do not harm us, we who are interested in our children or longevity of life of interested in cattle or in horses. Being angry, do not harm the vigorous ones such as jnAnA and vairAgya. We do worship you alone always bringing oblations in the assembly.

The meaning of this mantra is that the seeker of brahman asks nArAyaNa to not harm him (ie, bind him to samsArA and the chains of punya/pApa karmas) even if he (the upAsaka) desires children, cattle or horses. This is because articles such as children, cattle or horses are required as accessories for the development of bhakti yoga. Since bhakti yoga has karma and jnAna yoga as ancillaries, these items come in use for the performance of karma yoga. The upAsaka further says that “You (nArAyaNa) are also worshipped by the kamya karmas”.

bhaamith: refers to the anger of bhagavan on account of our offenses.

This ends the article. I hope readers find it informative. It is an unbiased interpretation, fully compatible with accepted rules of grammer, adhering faithfully to context, supported by quotations from authentic texts and provided by srI ranga rAmAnuja muni, whose knowledge and status among vedAntins is unquestionable.


  1. O Paramatma...Save Sanatana Religion....Why fight on Shaiva or Vaishnava....Ekameva Advitiyam Bramha..Ekam Sad vipra Bahuda vadanti..

    1. Dear Ram Nireja,

      I guess you are one of those neo-Hindus who are self-proclaimed custodians of 'Sanatana Religion'. Neo-interpretations such as these have nurtured a generation of people who just take pride in their 'Hindu identity', but have no real passion for the shAstras and lack bhakti. This has made them tame, helping the missionaries to convert them easily. Why is this so? Becuase you say that all gods are one and they are forms of paramAtmA... it then becomes easy for an abrahamic person to say that this paramAtmA is none but the holy spirit. Taking the position that 'worshiping a specific form', 'idolatry' is condemnable is easy if you say that none of the deities represent paramAtmA entirely.

      Coming back... There is no 'fight' here. What is going on in this site is intellectual debate. Why not go through my main page completely, and read what I have to say in this subject, as I have given innumerable references with links?

      And kindly do not pull out verses from out of context and twisting its meaning to benefit your favorite position. Ekam Sad vipra Bahuda vadanti.. Do you know the proper meaning of this verse is? You have to take into consideration shruti vAkyas like "nArAyaNAd rudro jAyate", "bhIShAsmAd vAtaH pavate", "eSha AtmA apahatapApmA", "angAni anya devatAH", "yo devAnAm nAmadhA eka eva", etc. to arrive at a meaning that is consistent with the entire Veda. Certainly, I presume you are not smarter than Shankara, Ramanuja, and Madhva who proclaim unanimously that the all the Vedas proclaim Sriman Narayana only, and that Rudra (Siva) and others are his vibhUtis (possessions under his control). Again, I would ask you to read the main page of this blog in its entirety before responding...

    2. sir, i've a question can u please answer me? please reply soon as possible it's an important question :)

    3. Sir, those illiterate shaivas are claiming that srimad-bhagwatam is a bogus text because sukadev (the narrator of SB) died before bhisma-pitama. so how can he narrate SB to parikshit (who was the grandson of arjun i guess) recently some shaivas have been asking this question but we all know SB isn't a bogus text. it's a mahapurana. but shaivas are asking this silly question and trying to mislead what do u have to say about this question ?.....

    4. What shaivas of today think is not important. Many respectable scholars today and in ancient times have held bhAgavatam as an authentic purANa. The discrepancy with regard to the departure of Shri Shuka can be explained by kalpa bheda.

  2. Pranams for this nice article on the analysis of the word 'Rudra'. It is written in the artilce that the Narasimha Tapaniya Upanishad is quoted by all acharyas. Just a small query on this. Does Adi Shankara quotes it anywhere in his bhashyas? Can you please give the reference of where he quotes this upanishad?

    there is a commentary on the Narasimha Purva tapaniya Upanishad whic is attributed to him but this view is contested by most scholars.

  3. Dear Anonymous,

    Thank you for your response. Credit goes to the guest blogger who wrote up this.

    You are right in saying that the Narasimha Purva Tapaniya Bhashya attributed to Shankara is not widely accepted.

    According to Swami Madhavananda's translation of Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Bhashya, Shankara does quote it. I am saying this since this is found in the list of references:

    I myself have not been able to locate that verse, but am inclined to think that Madhavananda is not mistaken. I myself would not assert that this is 100% sure.

  4. Dear Anonymous,

    May I seek your help in publicizing this blog, Vaishnavas and especially Smarthas who are inclined towards Vishnu? I would appreciate this very much.

  5. Dear Sir,
    My sincere pranams and many thanks for the answer on the quotation of Narasimha Tapaniya Up. I will try to refer the Brhad Aranyaka commentary and locate this verse. Also does Sri Shankara quotes this upanishad in his brahma sutra bhashya?

    I will share with my friends who share similar interest in this subject.

  6. Dear Harikumar,

    Thank you for the response. I do not think Shri Shankara quotes this Upanishad in the Sutra Bhashya.

    Have you read the main page of this blog and the page on Puranas? Eager to hear your feedback on those.

  7. Dear Sir,
    Pranams. Yes I read the arcticle on Narayana's Supremacy and the article on Puranas. They'e very enlightening and its a real great effort. One point though the puranas. The rajasic and Tamasic puranas cannot be set aside as invalid in totality. They've got lot of sattvic portions in them glorifying Sri Hari. Those have been accepted by acharyas like Madhva fore.g. Skanda purana contains Bhagavata mahatmyam, glory of the karthika month which are accepted by all acharyas.Even Sattvic puranas like Varaha puranas contaion some sections which are to be set aside or to interpreted in consistency with Vedas.

    Kindly correct me if my understanding is wrong.

    Also regarding explaining the word Rudra, I was reading the commentary on Maha narayana Up by Dr NSA based on ranga ranamuja Swami's commentary. There he uses the tapaniya upanishad (as mentioned in this article) to interpret that the mantras referring to Lord Siva basically refers to Narayana. But he does not do so while interpreting the mantras ascribed to other deities like Agni. Any idea why is it so?

    1. Dear Sir,

      Regarding the following question:

      Also regarding explaining the word Rudra, I was reading the commentary on Maha narayana Up by Dr NSA based on ranga ranamuja Swami's commentary. There he uses the tapaniya upanishad (as mentioned in this article) to interpret that the mantras referring to Lord Siva basically refers to Narayana. But he does not do so while interpreting the mantras ascribed to other deities like Agni. Any idea why is it so? //

      I am afraid I do not have the knowledge to ascertain why this is so, but still here is my take... my basic understanding is that there are multiple layers of interpretation that are possible for Shruti. I believe this is in harmony with the term "Chandas" in Sanskrit and "Marai" in Tamil for Vedas - both mean concealing, and concealing is also in the form of one layer of interpretation covering inner rahasyArthas.

  8. Dear Sir,

    Thank you for the feedback and appreciation.

    I believe I have made the point in the Puranas articles. Here is an extract:


    The same tAmasa purAnAs that belittle Vishnu also contain statements like ‘In Sri Vaikunta, the supreme abode, the liberated serve the Lord and his devotees’ (shiva purAnA)’. Similar statements like ‘Achyuta is superior to Brahma and Rudra’ occur in other tAmasa purAnAs.
    This shows that these purAnAs are confused with respect to the knowledge they advocate. They mix the right meanings of ShAstra (such as the above quotes) now and then with the largely tAmasic portions. In contrast, the sAttvika purAnAs like Vishnu and Bhagavata PurAnAs are consistent with respect to the supremacy of Vishnu.

    Since confusion arises from and is a form of tAmas, these purAnAs are classified as ‘tAmasa purAnAs’.

    %%% Note: In this context, I would like to point out the following extract from Madhva's Brahma Sutra Bhashya (Translation by Prof. Pandurangi) first adhyaya, first pada, first sutra (1.1.1) :

    "Also in the Skanda Purana celebrating the supremacy of Siva, this is said:

    'O, Undecaying One, the moment thou shouldst, in wrath, turn thy face away from them, Brahma, Isana, and other gods would be doomed to miseries worse than those inflicted upon the basest of the base';

    and in the Brahma Vaivarta Purana which seeks to extol Brahma, it is said:

    'Neither I nor Siva nor others can lay claim to even a small fraction of his power. As a child sports with its toys, so does Achyuta with us.'

    And no such statement is to be found in the works declaring the supremacy of Vishnu,..."

    1. I would also like to bring to your attention the following section in that article:


      But this does not mean we must reject the tAmasa purAns wholly. They are authoritative so long as they do not contradict shruti.

      Puranas are classified into Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. The Rajas and Tamas puranas are not authentic because they are veda virodha. But this does not mean they are entirely to be rejected. There are often sattvik portions in rajasa and tamasa puranas which are accepted. Examples include the ones stated in point 4) of this article, such as praise of Vishnu as parabrahman as well as some portions such as Sri VenkatAchala mAhAtmyam and BrindAranya Kshetra mAhAtmyam in BrahmAnda purAna and others. Indeed, sri rAmAnuja, sri parAshara bhattar as well as srI mAdhva have quoted these sAttvic portions from the tAmasa purAnAs.

      Similarly, the sAttvik puranas are not of the form of pure sattva, but only mishra sattva (sattva mixed with rajas and tamas). So, even the sAttvik puranas may contain a little amount of Rajas and Tamas. For instance, some chapters of Padma Purana are veda virodha. But for the greater part, that purana is sattvik. Since the tamasic and rAjasic portion of this purAnA are minimal, and sAttvik portion is greater, the purAnA is classified as ‘sAttvik’ overall.

      This is also why Vishnu and Bhagavata Puranas are praised as the greatest of even the Sattvik puranas, because they are the most sattvik of all. The tAmasic/rAjasic content in them is almost nil.

      Have I made the points clearly? Or is there anything more to add? I would like to know if there is anything that I wrote that was misleading.

      Pardon adiyen for any confusion caused.

  9. Dear Sir,
    this is absolutely brilliant explanantion. Please share your email ID so that we can stay in touch.

    1. Dear Sir,

      I would like to maintain anonymity in public. However, you can contact me personally by using this form in the link below. Do remember to provide your email address though:

      Once I get the email notification, I will reply to the email address you provide.

    2. Dear Sir,

      I did not see your reply to my comment. I did not mean any offense. I will share the email address with you in private once you contact me with the form at the address specified above. Apologies if you found my comments otherwise. Looking forward to your email.

  10. Dear Sir,

    Do acharyas in the Sri and Madhva Sampradaya accept the Gopal Tapaniya Upanishad as shruthi?
    By the way I am very much happy to read your answer clearing misunderstandings on Vaishnava siddhanta and silencing Vaishnava dweshis like the Mahapashupati blogger. I had visited their page and felt very much sad after going through one of the articles. I wanted to silence them but i felt I shouldnot since I am not qualified. Thank you for protecting the honour of Vaishnavas and Sri Hari,the Supreme parabrahman in the Vedas! please keep us enlightened with the teachings of all the four Vaishnava Sampradayas:Sri,Brahma(Tattvavada & Gaudiya),Rudra and Sanat Kumara.
    May Janardana blss you!

    1. I am pleased to read your note of appreciation to my writings. As I said in the main page, I am just an instrument at the hands of Sri Hari.

      Have you read all my pages, including the home page? Kindly also forward to your acquaintances (Saivas/Vaisnavas/Smarthas) who are interested in this topic.

    2. Thank you for raising the question about Gopala Tapaniya Upanishad. As far as I know, it has not been mentioned/quoted by Acharyas in the Madhva sampradAya. It has also not been quoted by Ramanuja Sampradaya Acharyas.

  11. Dear Sir,

    Do Vaishnavas of Ramanuja and Madhva line accept the Gopala mantra found in the Gopala Tapaniya Upanishad?
    The mantra is: Klim Krishnaaya Govindaaya Gopijanavallabhaya Swaha. The other two sampradayas:sanat kumara and rudra aswell as gaudiya branch of madhva sampradaya accepts the Upanishad and the mantra as shruthi mantra. I have heard that a scholar called Sri Narayana Bhatta accepted the Upabishad to be shruthi.And what are your views on the Sharabha Upanishad?
    And I thank you for your kind reply!

  12. Vaishnavas of Ramanuja lineage have not mentioned this mantra. As far as I know, traditional Vaishnavas of Madhva lineage also do not mention it.

    'Sharabha Upanishad' is an entirely bogus scripture and is only 300-400 years old. It is not shruti.

  13. Dear sir,

    Could you please explain how HRI referred to in the purusha suktam refers to Bhu devi and not Durga(bija mantra HRIM)? Please explain in detail,sir!

    1. I guess the "HRI means Durga" idea was posted it in one of the Advaita forums, and you want to refute it here. Let me consult a few people and books and let you know soon.

      For a start, neither Sayana nor Bhattabhaskara Mishra (both Siva devotees) identify "HRI" Durga. They say "HRI" is the Goddess of Modesty (implying Bhudevi) and Shri is the Goddess of Wealth (Lakshmi). Hence, this "HRI = Durga" identification is modern and is not accepted by prAchInas.

      As I said, I will get back with further details.

    2. It is actually a matter of anusandhaana since all these forms are expansions of Sri Lakshmi - which is why in different traditions of Purusha Sookta hri and shri are interchanged. Sri Lakshmi expands in multiple forms to please SrimannArAyaNa. The problem is only with those who have no, or more dangerously, half knowledge. Because even a devout ShAkta whose ultimate tantra is Sri Vidya has to humbly accept "Shri" - irrefutably Sri Lakshmi - as the prime sAdhana toward attaining SrimannArAyaNa. But for the veera shaivas there weren't any vedic scholars who had any confusion on hari sarvottamatva - and it is sometimes unfortunate to see even the vedic advaitins intellectually subdued by veerashaiva Avesha! AS with the tAmasI purANAs, the difficulty is in understanding them properly so as to not contradict the shruti pramANAs as described in several places in the blog. Even then, for those with good understanding of import of shrutis and an open mind, not just the tamasI but even the tantras give immense knowledge on strengthening our sAdhAna towards haribhakti. Like in the samudra manthana the kaalakoota of confusion, doubt, and disbelief do arise, and only shiva can contain it, but shiva too will do so only for hari preeti (refer bhagavatham). Continued sAdhana in understanding the import of shrutis will eventually open up a multitude of meanings with no contradictions. No external answer can ever satisfy as much as internal experience of the mantra - so do meditate and pray to antaryAmi nArAyaNa for guidance.
      यदेव विद्यया करोति श्रद्धया उपनिषदा तदेव वीर्यवत्तरं भवति ।

  14. Dear sir,

    I have one more question. What is the position of Srimati Lakshmidevi in Sri Vaishnava and Tattvavada sampradayas. Do they accept lakshmi as equal to Narayana or the highest nitya siddha jiva? I have heard that in Mthe madhva line, they take Lakshmi to be a nityasiddha jiva.

    1. Dear Nripendra,

      In both sampradAyas, Lakshmi is not held equal to Narayana, but as the divine consort who is beyond the realm of prakRti/samsAra.

      The role of Lakshmi is different in the two traditions, though. Kindly get this clarified with learned members on the internet who formally belong to either sampradAya. I do not formally belong to Ramanuja/Madhva sampradAyas, though I accept Sri Ramanujacharya as the ultimate Acharya.

  15. Dear sir,

    I'm having a doubt. Recently I had come across a statement that there is no worship of sri murti in the four vedas! Is it true?How can vaishnavas defend their worshipping of murties of Vishnu? Is there any statemnt in the Vedas which supports the worship of sri murti?

    1. Dear Munshi,

      I have referred to a book (in Tamil) called "Vishnu Chitta Vijayam, Part 4", published by Srivaishnava Sudarsanam/Srivaishnavasri, Srirangam (page 120) in which the following convincing argument is given:

      "It is the opinion of the ignorant that there is no Murti Puja in the Vedas. There are many places in which the Vedas talk about Murti Puja. For example, in the Rigveda (Mandala X, Sukta 130, Mantra 3), we have the statement 'kAsIt pramA pratimA' which means 'what was the size and what was the deity form (mUrti form) of that God?'. Sayana's Bhashya for 'pratimA' here goes as 'pratimA means the vigraha form which the God takes in order to accept the sacrificial offerings in a yajna' (haviH prati yogitvena mIyate nirmIyata iti pratimA devatA'.

      In addition, there is a description of the yajna called 'iShTishayanaM'. (Taittiriya Samhita 5.2.7) There is an instruction to conduct the yajna with a form similar to that of Garuda using bricks. Here, we also find the following statement: 'If one worships the golden mUrti of Purusha seated on the mUrti of that bird, the conductor of the sacrifices (yajamAna) obtains all glory'. This is an obvious reference to Lord Vishnu seated on His mount, Garuda."

      In addition, it is said in the Ramayana that Rama worshiped Lord Vishnu (Himself) in the mUrti form inside ayodhya (in Ayodhya Kanda). In this worship, Valmiki states that Lord Rama performed a Vedic yajna in the temple for the purpose of this worship. In addition, when Rama goes to the hermitage of Agastya (in Aranya Kanda), he finds that Agastya, the sage, had consecrated the mUrti forms of many Vedic devatas. These two incidents also support the fact that mUrti pUja is supported by the Vedas.

  16. Dear Sir,

    I am disturbed by a certain comment by a saivite person.The comment runs like this:
    " The great Guru of that chain Gorakshanath Babaji still appears infront of these shishyas even now and all in this chain could achieved Nirvikalpa samadhi like Narayana rishi who wrote Purushsooktham of Shiva in Rig Veda-10.90 (Who later took birth as Krishna together with his shishya Nara rishi as Arjuna). "
    I am fully aware that the purusha suktam is fully devoted to Narayana only.But I am having a doubt on the Nara Narayana issue.Are they really Krishna and arjuna?Why did they perform Purushamedha yajna for Five nights(Does this have anything to do with the Pancharatra Agamas?) and why did they want to become all beings,supreme,etc.If that sage Narayana is Parabrahma Krishna Himself,why did he have to do that yajna and desire to be all creation/beings?Also this Nara Narayana story is I think present in the mahabharata also.Also, I would be grateful if you enlighten us more abou the Hri=Bhudevi issue as you promised to Mr.Niladri. Please reply soon, thank you!

    Your servant.

    1. Dear Munshi Padma,

      There are many instances in the Shanti Parva section of the Mahabharata which assert that Nara and Narayana are indeed Arjuna and Krishna respectively.

      Do not worry about the comments of anti-Vishnu folks. They will never understand the avatAra tattva properly without shedding their hatred.

      I clarify your other questions soon.

      Your servant

  17. Sir is Rudra Hridaya Upanishad which claims shockingly that MahaVishnu is the resul of union between Rudra and Sakti is inauthentic?What are its reasons?

    1. It is inauthentic because it contradicts many statements in the Vedas that declare Mahavishnu as supreme and aprAkRta (eg., Narayana Upanishad, Mahopanishad, Subala Upanishad, Narayana Suktam, Purusha Suktam, etc. etc.). This also contradicts many statements in the two itihAsas -- Srimad Valmiki Ramayana and Mahabharata -- where there are innumerable statements of Vishnu's supremacy over Brahma and Siva.

  18. Dear sir,
    I would be grateful if u give the Vaishnava interpretation of this Harivamsa statement:

    “ahaM brahmA kapilo yo.apyanantaH | putrAH sarve brahmaNashchAtivIrAH |
    tvattaH sarve devadeva prasUtA | evaM sarveshaH kAraNAtmA tvamIDyaH |” (Harivamsa Parva 2-74-34)
    “O the lord of lord! Myself (Krishna/ Vishnu), brahma, kapila, ananta (sheSha), all the valiant sons of brahma who conquered over the internal enemies - all are created from you. Hence you are the lord of all. Hence you, the lord of all, are worthy of praise”.
    A Saivite told me that Vishnu(Krishna) is adressing it to shiva.

    And one from Mahabharata:
    “sa e?a rudra bhaktas ca kesavo rudra sa?bhava? |sarvabhutabhava? jñatva li?ge 'rcayati ya? prabhum | tasminn abhyadhika? priti? karoti v??abhadhvaja? |” (MBH 7:172:89-90)
    “Kesava is that devoted worshipper of Rudra who has sprung from Rudra himself. The Lord Kesava always worshipped Siva in the phallic emblem as the origin of all creatures. The God having the bull for his mark cherisheth greater regard for Kesava”.

    Could you please remove my doubts and clarify it to me?

    1. That chapter/some verses in it is/are an interpolation. Challenge your Saivite friend to show any Shaivite scholar before 15th century referring to that verse.

      On the other hand, we have chapters in Harivamsa proclaiming the supremacy of Vishnu that have been quoted by none other than Shri Shankara Bhagavatpada Acharya.

    2. The second verse that you quoted also seems to be an interpolation in the Drona Parva section of the Mahabharata. In many ways, it resembles the spurious Upamanyu interpolation in Anushasana Parva.

  19. It is possible that it may be an interpolation. NeelakaNtha dikshitar was not above inserting spurious texts. But we need not assume it to be so. It does not hurt our sampradAya one bit to accept that claim as genuine.

    Fact is, the sAttvika purAnAs say that Shiva worshipped Vishnu and asked him for a boon. The boon asked by Shiva is that in one of his avatAras, sriman nArAyaNa must worship him so that he (Shiva) will be highly respected by the manushyas and devas. Obviously, BhagavAn agreed to this request.

    Now, the only avatAra in which bhagavAn actually worshipped Shiva was in Krishna avatArA. And even in that avatArA, he says that when he worshipped Shiva, he worshipped the antaryAmin of shiva and not shiva, the devatA per se. That's the key to interpreting that incident.

    If we assume that incident is not an interpolation, we can easily link it to Krishna's explanation of his worship of Shiva in the Santi Parva. In which case, look at the slokas Krishna used to worship Shiva. These can be easily explained as follows:

    rudro devastvaM rudanAdrAvaNAchcha
    rorUyamANo drAvaNAchchAtidevaH |
    bhaktaM bhaktAnAM vatsalaM vatsalAnAM
    kIrtyA yu~NkShveshAdya prabhavAmyantareNa ||2-74-22

    shrIkR^iShNa said:

    Lord! you are lord rudra since you are the one who cries, you cause crying, you destroy the world appearing in the form of birth and death. You are the primal god. I am the devotee of your devotees, I am the affectionate of your affectionate. Please make me partake the fame of victory. Today I seek refuge in you, the ultimate refuge.

    Here, Krishna is referring to the antaryAmin of Rudra by the pretext of worshipping Shiva. It is nArAyaNa who is known as Rudra. Instead of interpreting it as he "cries", we can say, he "roars" as explained in that his roaring scares the asuras. All these are general attributes and can refer to nArAyANa as Rudra.

    grAmyAraNyAnAM tvaM patistvaM pashUnAM
    khyAto devaH pashupatiH sarvakarmA |
    nAnyastvattaH paramo devadeva
    jagatpatiH suravIrArihantA ||2-74-23

    Lord of lords! You are the lord of those who have denounced the pleasures of life. Hence you are famous by the name, lord of living beings. This entire world is your creation. There is no one above you. You are the lord of the world and the slayer of the enemies of valiant deva-s.

    This is again a general meaning. The upanishads refer to dva bird does not eat, but looks on. nArAyaNa is apahatapApma. So, he is paShupati and Sarvewswara.

    bhavAnAdyaH prItidaH prANadashcha |
    tasmAddhi tvAmIshvaraM prAhurIshaM
    santo vidvAMsaH sarvashAstrArthatajj~nAH ||2-74-24

    You are the lord of lords and the great ones. You are the primal person, you provide pleasure and you provide life. The good and the wise, knowledgeable about the meanings of all scriptures pronounce you as the god and the lord.

  20. Contd...

    Aloka sarva sAstrAni vichAreta...dhyEyo nArAyaNo hari. He is Isvara as per vishnu sahasranAmA. Again, this connotes the antaryAmin only.

    bhUtaM yasmAjjagadatyantadhIra
    tvatto.avyaktAdakSharAdakSharesha |
    tasmAttvAmAhurbhava ityeva bhUtaM
    sarveshvarANAM mahatAmapyudAram ||2-74-25

    You are the ultimate. You are the one who prompts the intellect. You are the lord of the imperishable. You the incomprehensible, the one who does not have destruction, the supreme lord who creates the world. Hence the wise call you bhava. Actually, you are eternally accomplished. You are highly benevolent even towards the great gods.

    Bhava is interpreted as a name of nArAyaNa in the upanishads by srI ranga rAmAnuja muni. The rest of this verse resonates with the Gita sloka, "Param Brahma Param Dhama..." as stated by Arjuna about srI Krishna. Thus, these refer to nArAyaNa only.

    yasmAjjitairabhiShikto.asi sarvai-
    rdevAsuraiH sarvabhUtaishcha deva |
    maheshvaraM vishvakarmANamAhu-
    stvAM vai sarve tena devAtideva ||2-74-26

    Lord! All the deva-s, asura-s (demons) and the entire living entities, conquered by you, have anointed you as the great lord. All the wise call you, the lord, the creator of the world, as the great lord or the lord of the gods.

    The meaning needs no explanation. It is srI hari who is praised by srI krishna!

    pUjyo devaiH pUjyase nityadA vai
    shashvachChreyaH kA~NkShibhirvaradAmeyavIrya |
    tasmAdvikhyAto bhagavAndevadevaH
    satAmiShTaH sarvabhUtAtmabhAvI ||2-74-27

    O great lord! The one who is enriched with immeasurable valiancy! the one who provide boons! The gods, always wishing for the auspicious, always worship you, the supreme lord, to be worshipped. You are famous as the lord, the lord of gods. You are the god preferred by the good men. You create the entire physical world within yourself.

    The reference to the deity being a varaprasaddhi could be Krishna's way of indicating that he is worshipping himself through Rudra because he gave that boon to Rudra!

    bhUmitrayANAM deva yasmAtpratiShThA
    punarlokAnAM bhAvanAmeyakIrtiH |
    tryambaketi prathamaM tena nAma
    tavAprameya tridisheshanAtha ||2-74-28

    O lord whose form is immeasurable and who is the lord of deva-s like brahma! O the lord who promotes the welfare of the world! O the one who creates the world! You are the refuge of the three worlds (earth, the nether world and heaven). Hence your primal name is tryambaka (the three eyed lord). Your fame is immeasurable.

    Note the cleverness of Krishna here. Bhagavan has given his own interpretation of the name "Tryambaka". If he had interpreted it as the 3 eyed one, it might have caused a doubt - because although we can take "3 eyed one" as Narasimha, the deity who is standing in front of Krishna also has 3 eyes! So, he provides a more general explanation which clearly shows that he is referring to the antaryAmin!

  21. Contd...

    sharvaH shatrUNAM shAsanAdaprameya-
    stathA bUyaH shAsanAchcheshvareNa |
    sarvavyApitvAchcha~NkaratvAchcha sadbhiH
    shabdasyeshAnaH shrIkarArkAgryatejAH ||2-74-29

    You are called sharva since you are the destroyer. Since you rule over the entire enemies, you are enriched with immeasurable power. Since you rule over the entire world in the form of lord, you are immeasurable. Since you are all pervading and auspicious for the good men, you are immeasurable. O the supreme lord! O the one who makes the accomplishment of wealth possible! You are the lord of all voices. Your splendour is greater than the sun.

    All this requires a deeper interpretation, but I have no time. But "sarvam sharva shivas sthAnur" should explain that sarva is a name of vishnu as per sahasranAmA.

    saMsaktAnAM nityadA yatkaroShi
    shamaM bhrAtR^ivyAnyadvyanaishIH samastAn |
    tasmAddevaH sha~Nkaro.asyaprameyaH
    sadbhirdharmaj~naiH kathyase sarvanAthaH ||2-74-30

    You always provide comfort and peace to your devotees. You punish all the demons who oppose you as enemies. Hence you are called sha~Nkara having immense power. Good men who are fixed in dharma call you the lord of all.

    Shankara is a name of Narasimha as per the narasimha tApanIya. We know that Rudra is always meditating on Sankarshana and the amsam of Sankarshana, ie, Narasimha as his antaryAmin. Shiva, as Ahirbudhnya, worshipped Narasimha with the mantra rAja pada stotra. This is thus, a clear reference to Narasimha as the antaryAmin of Rudra.

    dattaH prahAraH kulishena pUrvaM
    taveshAna surarAj~nAtivIrya |
    kanThe nailyaM tena te yatpravR^ittaM
    tasmAtkhyAtastvaM nIlakaNTheti kalpaH ||2-74-31

    O highly valiant lord! Long ago, the king of deva-s, indra struck your neck with vajra. Hence there was a mark of blue. Hence you became famous as the one with blue neck. You perceive all. Even then you pardon all such deeds.

    Once again, Krishna shows his cleverness. Shiva attained the name of nIlakaNtha when he drank the poison. He attained the name of SitikaNtha when his neck turned black because he was strangled by nArAyaNa. Avoiding the poison incident to ensure there is no confusion, Krishna addresses the antaryAmin.

    We can interpret this incident the following ways - 1) Either Indra, at some point, hit nArAyaNa on the neck which turned his neck black (not blue, as I don't agree with the interpretation above) and we don't have the text, 2) Or, it could actually be a reference to nArAyaNa strangling shiva's neck, turning it black. SurarAja or Indra is a name of Vishnu and Vajra is always a general reference to his ayudhams (in the rAmAyaNa, Upendra, an avatAra of Vishnu, is hailed as Vajra pAni Indra!). So it refers to Shiva being strangled by Vishnu and attaining the name of nIlakaNtha/SitikaNtha (Note, both names can be interpreted as Black necked).

    Since Shiva is the body of Brahmam (yasya AtmA sarIram, anganyAnya devata), this name denotes first shiva, then principally the antaryAmin. But the mention of such an incident also shows that Shiva is NOT the supreme being, as he attained the name and fame due to nArAyaNa.

    Such, is the intent of Krishna.

  22. yalli~NgA~NkaM yachcha loke bhagA~NkaM
    sarvaM soma tvaM sthAvaraM ja~NgamaM cha |
    prAhurviprAstvAM guNinaM tattvavij~nA-
    stathA dhyeyAmambikAM lokadhAtrIm ||2-74-32

    O Soma! The fixed and movable entities of this world marked by masculine and feminine genders, are the manifestations of both of you. The wise brahmins, knowledgeable about the principles, call you the one with qualities and worship ambikA, as the mother of the world.

    Soma means "One who is like nectar" as per sahasranAmA "somapo amritapas somah" and another interpretaion of the name is given by srI ranga rAmAnuja muni, which can be seen in this article. Also, even if we take Soma as "One who is with Uma," we remember that Narasimha is referred to as UmApati in the tApanIya upanishad. UmApati = Lord of Fame.

    vedairgItA sA hi tattvaM prasUtA
    yaj~no dIkShANAM yoginAM chAtirUpaH |
    nAtyadbhutaM tvatsamaM deva bhUtaM
    bhUtam bhavyaM bhavadevAya nAsti ||2-74-33

    The same mother (ambikA) is described in veda-s. She is the mother of the prime principle. You are the wealth of those who offer sacrifices. You are the wealth of yoga, who perform yogas. By the worldly form, you are the divine idol. There is no one else most wonderful and similar to you in the past, present and future.

    This can be taken as Lakshmi (Narasimha is known as Ambika pathi, though the actual sloka does not refer to Ambika by name and need not be taken as such). Lakshmi is the jagan mAtha. The rest of the verse describes Vishnu only.

    ahaM brahmA kapilo yo.apyanantaH
    putrAH sarve brahmaNashchAtivIrAH |
    tvattaH sarve devadeva prasUtA
    evaM sarveshaH kAraNAtmA tvamIDyaH ||2-74-34
    O the lord of lord! Myself, brahma, kapila, ananta (sheSha), all the valiant sons of brahma who conquered over the internal enemies - all are created from you. Hence you are the lord of all. Hence you, the lord of all, are worthy of praise.

    This is absolutely true. In addition to Brahma, Kapila, Ananta, the Sons of Brahma (includes Rudra-pArvati pati himself, Prajapatis and the sanatkumaras), BhagavAn nArAyaNa is worshipped by Krishna as well. The bhagavatam contains a story of how Arjuna and Krishna worshipped Mahavishnu in the milk ocean. SrI rAmA worshipped srIman nArAyaNa in his home (who is srI ranganatha).

    Thus, these slokas pose no problems at all. Note that among the boons granted by shiva after Krishna finished his stuti, Shiva says to Krishna,

    avadhyastvamajeyashcha mattaH shUratarastathA |
    bhavitAsItyavochaM yattattathA na tadanyathA || 2-74-38

    You can not be killed, you can not be conquered, you will be more valiant than me. All this will happen as told by me. None will be able to change this.

    If he was the supreme deity, no-one would be able to become more valiant than him, even if it was a boon granted to a devotee. One might ask, if the deity is omnipotent, can he not make the boon receiver greater than him? Answer provided by kuresar is that omnipotence means - "doing whatever is possible and whatever exists to be done". The existence of an entity with valor greater than Brahman is impossible and hence, an impossible thing does not exist to be accomplished by omniscience.

  23. Note the following that Shiva says,

    bilvodakeshvaro nAma bhavitAhamihAnagha |
    deveshvara tvayAsthApi devasiddhopayAchanaH ||2-74-40

    O the one without any sin! O lord of lords! O lord! I will remain here by the name of the lord of bilva and water (bilvodakeshvara) as you installed me. According to me, all requests made from here will become fruitful.

    Note that Shiva calls Krishna as Deveshwara! If he really had been the recipient of the stuti, no-one would call his devotee that way.

    Shiva will stay with that name and everyone can worship him to get jnAnam about Vishnu. That is what he means by saying "all their requests will be fruitful". Bilva is, as per the purAnAs, also a favorite of Lakshmi and can be offered to Vishnu and it is indeed being offered to srInivAsA at Tirumala. So, one can worship the antaryAmin of shiva with Bilva as well. If one regards shiva as a guru, he can worship shiva directly as a guru with bilva.

    The mode of prathishtai of course, is not saiva agama, but pAncharAtrA, which allows installation of Lingam if it is done with the right mindset of Shiva as a bhakta of Vishnu. We can see Shiva in many vaishnava temples installed in this manner.

    ihasthopoShito vidvAnbhaktimAnmama keshava |
    trirAtramIpsitA.NllokAngamiShyati janArdana ||2-74-41

    O keshava! O janArdana! The wise person who worships me with devotion, fasting for three nights, will attain the worlds desired by him.

    In what manner must the wise person worship shiva? Shiva himself uses the Keshava and Janardhana namas to indicate this. Keshava means "Lord of Brahma and Rudra", Janardhana means Lord of all. So, the wise man who knows the intent of Krishna's stuti to Shiva will worship Shiva for attaining knowledge of Vishnu. That is the intent here.

    This much explains the verses. Elsewhere, Shiva explictly says that Hari, the Lord of all worlds, the supreme thief (of the jivatma) is actually worshipping a lesser deity like himself (shiva) and is overwhelmed by it. The exact harivamsha quote of this can be provided if needed.

    Of course, this could be an interpolation as well. The end of the chapter does no describe anything about Shiva appearing in front of Krishna but only talks about the mountain being blessed by Krishna in the phala sruti. But we vaishnavas need not fear even such texts - none of them contradict shruti.


    I forgot to address one point:

    ahaM brahmA kapilo yo.apyanantaH
    putrAH sarve brahmaNashchAtivIrAH |
    tvattaH sarve devadeva prasUtA
    evaM sarveshaH kAraNAtmA tvamIDyaH ||2-74-34

    O the lord of lord! Myself, brahma, kapila, ananta (sheSha), all the valiant sons of brahma who conquered over the internal enemies - all are created from you. Hence you are the lord of all. Hence you, the lord of all, are worthy of praise.

    Here, it is mentioned that Krishna, in addition to others, is created from the supreme being. How can we interpret this? There is no problem. The atharvasiras, quoted by srI rAmAnuja, states the following:

    "Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Indra are all effects. One must worship the Cause, which is Shambhu."

    SrI rAmAnuja interprets Shambhu as Narayana and says that sruti enjoins meditation on the jagath kAranan, nArAyaNa. Brahma, Rudra and Indra are all creations. Vishnu is mentioned as created and effect only because he is a manifestation of nArAyaNa in the material world and is included in the effects category. But Vishnu alone among these devas is identical to nArAyaNa as evidenced by Vishnu Gayatri. The Vishnu Purana itself says, "The same Janardhana has become Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva", so it is normal to include Vishnu among these other lesser deities. As per "ajAyamAno bahudA vijAyatE", he, though being unborn, is born of his own will among the created ones.

    Similarly, the sloka addresses the antaryAmin of Rudra and says, "Oh BhagavAn nArAyaNa, also known as Shambhu in the Atharvasiras, who stands as the antaryAmin of Rudra! You are worshipped by Myself, Brahma, etc, who are created by you!"

    Here, we use the nyAya elaborated earlier and interpret that Krishna, who is identical to the antaryAmin of Rudra, is including himself in the category of created beings by virtue of being born of his own will (and not of karma).

  25. ADDENDUM 2

    I paid a closer attention to this sloka and would like to rephrase my earlier explanation as follows. The sloka does not mention anything about Indra or Vajra, its just the commentator (nIlakaNtha) reading such irrelevant things here:

    dattaH prahAraH kulishena pUrvaM
    taveshAna surarAj~nAtivIrya |
    kanThe nailyaM tena te yatpravR^ittaM
    tasmAtkhyAtastvaM nIlakaNTheti kalpaH ||2-74-31

    For this sloka, please take the following meaning and not the one I gave earlier.

    O highly valiant lord! Long ago, sUrarAja (rishi nArAyaNa), struck your neck with his valor (surarAjnAtivIrya). Hence there was a mark of black. Hence you became famous as the one with black neck. You perceive all. Even then you pardon all such deeds.

    Once again, Krishna shows his cleverness. Shiva attained the name of nIlakaNtha when he drank the poison. He attained the name of SitikaNtha when his neck turned black because he was strangled by nArAyaNa. Avoiding the poison incident to ensure there is no confusion, Krishna addresses Shiva as the one whose neck was strangled to a black color by nArAyaNa. nIlakaNtha also means "black neck".

    sUrarAjA denotes the Lord of jnAnIs or the Lord of Nitya Suris (Adi Sesha, Garuda, etc) and it is a reference to rishi nArAyaNa. The mahAbhArata describes the incident of Shiva's fight with Nara-Narayana rishis and how the latter strangled Shiva's neck to make it black.

    Throughout the stuti, the antaryAmin was referred to directly. In this sloka, Bhagavan refers to the antaryAmin (Vishnu) as One who has the black necked shiva as his body. As per yasya atma sarIram, anganyAnya devata, all the devas are the body of Brahman. So, just as the names of the body pertain to the soul, the names of the devas pertain to Brahman. This sloka refers thus, to the antaryAmin, who has NilakaNtha as his body and hence can be referred to as NilakaNtha.

    By referring to the black neck, Krishna has pointed out that Shiva attained this neck-color and fame on account of rishi nArAyaNa. In this particular sloka, therefore, he is emphasising that the being standing before him, whose antaryAmin he is praising, is a vibhUti of nArAyaNa and has attained all his fame due to nArAyaNa's grace. Hence, here too, Krishna is worshipping himself.

    One must also note that throughout this stOtra, bhagavan does not glorify well-known lakshanas of Shiva's body such as matted locks, crescent, cobra around neck, the damaru, the trident, etc. And he does not mention Shiva's chief exploits like tripurAsura vadham, andhakAsura vadham, swallowing hala-hala, etc (although even these incidents were accomplished by Shiva with the grace and assistance of nArAyaNa only). In contrast, most shiva stutis seen in tAmasa purAnAs and shaiva works dwell on such things. That is enough to show that the stuti is about Vishnu, the antaryAmin of Shiva, only.

    Lastly, BhagavAn also does not practice humility. He does not say, "I am an inferior, ignorant, so save me, etc" which is seen in most stOtrAs where the author expresses his humility and helplessness towards the deity he is invoking. That is because BhagavAn is praising himself. While Vishnu is fully capable of worshipping himself, he cannot practice humility towards himself!

  26. And lastly (and this really is the last post), I must state clearly that Ambika is a name of Lakshmi. I had not mentioned that properly in the previous slokas, though I had stressed that Narasimha is known as Ambika pathi. Ambika just means "mother" or a uttama strI with all lakshanas, hence, it refers to Lakshmi here.

    JitantE pundarikAksha!

  27. UPDATE: I have written a detailed and more accurate commentary on those verses of Krishna supposedly praying to Shiva. Coming soon as a separate post on this blog.

  28. On the "gaNapati" mantra in the Rg Veda that I had interpreted recently - a few notes. Since it does not fit into an article, I thought of posting it as a comment.This section is probably appropriate.

    Om Gannaanaam Tvaa Ganna-Patim Hava-Amahe
    Kavim Kaviinaam-Upama-Shravas-Tamam |
    Jyessttha-Raajam Brahmannaam Brahmannas-Pata
    Aa Nah Shrnnvan-Nuutibhih-Siida-Saadanam ||

    Meaning: AUM (praNava denoting seshatvam), unto you, sriman nArAyaNa, (tvA), we offer sacrifice, ie, self-surrender (havAmahE) who are known as the lord (pati) possessing multitudes of auspicious attributes (gaNa), of the class of prapannas (gaNanAm), the wisdom of the wise (who have knowledge of liberation), ie, you are the means or upAyam as well since knowledge is dependent on your grace and the wise are your vibhUtIs (kavim kavInAm), the highest (upama) and most desirable (tamam) fame of being the refuge of all, hence you are the end or puruSartham too (shravas). The one who is older than even Brahma (jyEshta), supremely independent (rAjam), the form of the vedas (brahmaNAm), the lord of Brahma (brahmaNaspati), hearing our supplication for protection (shrNvaNUtibhih), destroy (sAdanam) that which covers, ie, ignorance that hides knowledge of our true self (sIdati iti sad).

  29. Now, the icing on the cake for sri vaishnava readers. This mantra should indeed remind you of the followng pasurAm in the thiruvAimozhi:

    uyarvu aRa uyar nalam udaiyavan yavan avan*mayarvu aRa madhi nalam aruLinan yavan avan*
    ayarvu aRum amarargaL athipathi yavan avan*thuyaraRu sudar adi thozhuthezhu enmananE! (~thiruvAimozhi 1.1.1)

    The superficial meaning of this pAsuram (translation from the internet) is: Oh my mind! you attain salvation by prostrating at the bright shining Lotus Feet of the One,- the unparalleled one, who has got all auspicious attributes, who has blessed me, out of his own volition, with gnAnam and Bhakthi which destroys my "agnAnam" (ignorance and wrong knowldege) completely- who is the Chief of immortal dEvAs."

    Note now the correlation. We take the last line of the pAsuram in conjunction with the first 3 lines as that is the intent of Nammazhwar:

    Om Gannaanaam Tvaa Ganna-Patim Hava-Amahe - uyarvu aRa uyar nalam udaiyavan yavan avan, uyarvu aRa uyar nalam udaiyavan yavan avan

    Both have the meaning: We surrender to the Lord of infinitely auspicious attributes

    Kavim Kaviinaam-Upama-Shravas-Tamam - mayarvu aRa madhi nalam aruLinan yavan avan , thuyaraRu sudar adi thozhuthezhu enmananE!

    Both have the meaning: We surrender to the Lord, who out of his own volition gave the jivA unparalleled knowledge which makes him the means to moksha (which again is attaining him).

    Jyessttha-Raajam Brahmannaam Brahmannas-Pata - ayarvu aRum amarargaL athipathi yavan avan, thuyaraRu sudar adi thozhuthezhu enmananE!

    Both have the meaning: (We surrender) to the Lord of the Devas (thiruvAimozhi) or the Lord of Brahma who is supremely independent ( Rg Veda)

    Aa Nah Shrnnvan-Nuutibhih-Siida-Saadanam - thuyaraRu sudar adi thozhuthezhu enmananE!

    Both have the meaning: Accepting our Prapatti (Self-Surrender), destroy our sorrows arising from ignorance.

    I thought this would interest the public. For general readers, I would like to remark how amusing it is that this mantra with so many deep meanings is so popularly dedicated to ganEsha by a face value reading of “gaNapati”.

    For sri vaishnavas, this would now make everyone understand why srI parAsara bhattar describes the Divya Prabandham as follows:

    rishim jushAmahe krshNa trshNaa tattvam ivOditam | sahasra SakhAm ya: adrAkshit drAviDeem brahma samhitAm

    Meaning: We lovingly pay obeisance to the one, much-honoured, Rishi, who was a visible manifestation of the truth called 'krishna-trishna' (Intoxicated by love for Krishna) had taken, who 'saw' (as the vedic seers) and gave to the world, the Veda Upanishad of a Thousand verses in Tamil, as they were, a thousand shakhas of the Veda (ThiruvAimozhi) that praises Brahman.

    A lovely sloka from a great acharya on another.

  30. are there any verses in svetAsvatArA up. which refer to more specific names of vishnu such as narayana or unique chacteristics attributed only to him...?

    1. Of course, there is:

      mahān prabhur vai puruṣaḥ sattvasyaiṣa pravartakaḥ / (3.12)

      This is none but Vishnu, as He alone is shuddha-sattva among the trimUrtis. This is well known not only in the sAttvika purANas, but also in shruti such as Maitrayani Upanishad which specifies Vishnu as the sAttvic one among Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra.

    2. "unique chacteristics attributed only to him...?"

      Dunno what you mean by that. All characteristics in the Veda described as attributes of Brahman are unique to him, namely, vishNu. There is no question of another sharing or possessing his qualities. Names like Rudra, Purusha, etc denote nArAyaNa only in the svEtAsvatAra.

      A long, long time ago - Long before modern day Shaivas and Veerashaiva-advaitins took to the internet and started writing asinine articles, it was well accepted by vedAntins, non-vedAntins, secular poets and all that the term "puruSha" and "puruShottama" in the context of Brahman denoted only vAsudeva and no-one else. This is mentioned by srI yAmunAchArya, srI parAsara bhattar and by non-vaishnavas like Kaalidasa as well as by secular scholars of science like Aryabhata, etc.

    3. thanks for answer...i m just an infant in serious study of vedas....just trying to understand...

  31. Sabash!
    Aitreya Brahmana Verse 1 is written to portray the all-encompassing nature of vishnu. All arguments can be settled from vedic perspective an in favor of vishnu and with due respect to all other devatas.

  32. Also, adiyen came to know that going by the anukramani index for Rg Veda, the "Om Gaananam tvaa ganapati ...." has nothing to do with MahaGanapati/Ganapati/ Vinayaka, son of Parvati and Siva. As per anukramani index, it refers to Bruhaspati, the Deva guru. Also, one can say that Lord Vishnu being the Guru of all Gurus ( Lord Hayagriva), even in that sense it can be made applicable to Narayana. Anyway, ultimately as per your beautiful explanation, as antaryami of all devathas, it is completely and comprehensively applicable to Sriman Narayana alone.

    Similarly there is another verse in Rg book 10 verse 112 verse 9 :

    ni su sīda ghanapate ghanesu tvāmāhurvipratamamkavīnām |

    Even in this verse as per anukramani, it refers to Indra and not Ganapati or Vinayaka.

    Again may be using your wonderful explanation it can be made to refer to Narayana alone.

    Thanks a lot to Aaryamaa and HBB for wonderful explanation.

    BTW, adiyen got this anukramani info from Hinduism stack exchange where an answer was provided by a member called Keshav Srinivasan using the Anukramani details.

    1. Gananam tva ganapatim havamahe and ni Su sida ghanapate are included in Brahmanaspati suktam of Rg Veda. ayam mE hasto bagavAn ayam mE bagavatharaja rik is included in this suktam. Many mantras in Sri Rudram are also in pancha rudram of Rg veda. It looks like at latter times these riks are adapted in saiva worship.

  33. Also sandyavandana mantras provide another pramanam for claiming primacy for vishNu's and nArAyana's in vedic tradition.

    You can hear a lot of vishnu namas in this yajur veda nitya vidhi mantras.

    Vedic tradition has settled on vishNu, nArAyAna, madhava, and govinda as worthy of maximum worship on a daily basis.

    Advaitam, vishishtAdvaitam, and dvaitam take the same perspective. Contrary opinion is not in line with vedic tradition.

    Rudram itself provides an ancient perspective on how rishis felt about the viswam and vishNu. This is a very ancient perspective. We have a more refined and divisive perspective even starting with latter vedic period. Yet common practice starting with sandyavandanam provides proof as to what rishis thought. We need to reflect on these symbolisms and hierarchize the devatas according to primary vedic tradition.


Please click here and read the information in red carefully before posting comments

Kindly also check if we already have an answer to your question, in the FAQ section of this blog: