BLOG STATUS: Suspended indefinitely starting 18 Jan 2020. See journal page for details.
Last new article published: 18 Jan 2020, "Ishvara Gita: Chapters 1-11": Read here

Subscribe to updates here.

Saguna Brahman and Krama Mukti in Shankara's Advaita Vedanta - Part 4 (Addenda)

Previous parts: [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3]

Addendum 1: vAsudeva/viShNu as paramArtha tattva

It has thus been established clearly in this four-part series thus far that Shankara’s advaita vedAnta accepts none other than Lord Vishnu to be the saguNa brahman.

Frivolous objections against this, such as pointing out that “viShNu” is explained as “vyApanashIla” (all-pervading) by Shankara to ‘establish’ that lakShmIpati is not meant, do not hold any water. Shankara’s insistence on the samAkhya (appellation/proper noun) “vAsudeva” when he explains “viShNoH” as “vyApanashIlasya… vAsudevAkhyasya” instantly sets aside such gibberish. No serious devotee of Vishnu understands Him to be limited in space and time and “not vyApanashIla”.

Then comes the genius of a contention that none other than jnAnottama, the author of the candrikA commentary on Sureshvara’s naiShkarmyasiddhi, is wrong in explaining “Vishnu” found in the verse dedicating the work to His guru:

viṣṇoḥ padānugāṃ yāṃ nikhila bhava nudaṃ śaṅkaro'vāpa yogāt
sarvajñaṃ brahma saṃsthaṃ munigaṇaiḥ sahitaṃ samyag abhyarcya bhaktyā ।
vidyāṃ gaṅgām ivāhaṃ pravara guṇa nidheḥ prāpya vedānta dīptāṃ
kāruṇyāt tām avocaṃ jani mṛti nivaha dhvastaye duḥkhitebhyaḥ ॥

(Naishkarmyasiddhi, 4.76)

viṣṇorvyāpino jagatkāraṇasya padamadhiṣṭhānaṃ saccidānandaikarasamanugaccatīti viṣṇoḥ padānugā vidyā । gaṅgāpi viṣṇoḥ puruṣottamasya caraṇamanusṛtya gaccatīti "vāmapadāṅguṣṭhanakhasroto vinirgatām"-iti smaraṇāt ।

(Jnanottama’s Chandrika on the above verse)

It is no surprise, considering it is coming from a person who considers Narayana Bhatta and Deshamangala to be petty peddlers and for whom even Panini is guilty of making errors. Coming back, the above verse by Sureshvara is a beautiful word play comparing Ganga to Vedantic knowledge, and is also a double entendre on the name 'Shankara', which stands for both the name of the Acharya as well as Rudra who bears the Ganga as his crown. So is "padAnuga" too a word play dwelling on two meanings - Ganga's abiding place (lotus feet of viShNu) as well as the supreme inherent nature (adhiShThAnam)  as nirguNa caitanya that the saguNa brahman (viShNu) abides in (by virtue of sattva upAdhIs).

padam - refers to seat or basis (adhiSThAnam) of this saguNa brahman, whose only essence (ekarasaM) is the reality-consciousness-bliss (sacchidananda) i.e., paramArtha sat/nirguNa tattva.

Hence, "padAnugA" refers to that brahma vidyA that "follows" (figuratively, as it were) the reality-consciousness-bliss, the true nature of (viShNor vyApanashIlasya jagatkAraNasya) the saguNa-brahman Lord Vishnu, who is the all-pervading creator of the universe. (nirguNa brahman cannot have attributes such as sarvavyApakatva and jagatkAraNatva).

Jnanottama’s commentary continues further thus:

yāmevaṃvidhāṃ vidyāṃ gaṅgāṃ ca bhagavatpādācāryaḥ parameśvaraśca yogasāmarthyādavāpa tamācāryaṃ sarvajñaṃ brahmasaṃsthaṃ munigaṇaiḥ sahitaṃ bhaktyā samyagabhyarcya tasmātpravaraguṇanidher ācāryāt tāṃ vedāntadīptāṃ parameśvaraṃ samabhyarcya tasmādbhagīratho vedāntadīptāṃ sitāsite "imaṃ me gaṅge" ityādi vedāntapratipādyāṃ gaṅgāmiva sākalyena ahaṃ prāpya ārthibhyaḥ sakāraṇasaṃsāra nivṛttaye avocam ityarthaḥ ।
(Jnanottama’s Candrika)

Here, a few things are to be noted:

1) By comparing Shiva and Adi Shankara and saying both are subordinate to Vishnu, jnAnottama establishes that Shiva is only a realised guru according to advaita tradition. It is of no use to say that a realised guru is equal to Brahman, because even according to advaita tradition, these gurus - Shiva and Adi Shankara - are realised because they are saguNopAsaka-s and meditate on Vishnu. Just because they understand the nirguNa tattva does not mean they become saguNa brahman or that their bodies are worthy of meditation in the same manner as saguNa brahman.

2) Note that jnAnottama uses "bhagavadpAda" and "parameshvara" as comparable names of Adi Shankara and Shiva. Here, "bhagavadpAda" denotes the jnAna (by the definition of “bhagavAn” in Vishnu Purana) and viShNu-bhakti of Adi Shankara by which he became famously known. So, a comparison only implies that the name "parameshvara" for Shiva also has the same meaning, ie, Shiva is called "parameshvara" because he has the parama-aishvaryam of jnAna and viShNu-bhakti. Therefore, this "Ishvaratvam" of Shiva is NOT saguNa-Ishvaratva of viShNu, but only in terms of jnAna.

Therefore, when Shankara uses the term "sarvaj~na Ishvara" in the kenopaniShad for Shiva, he implies that Shiva is a realised guru due to his jnAna and not that he is saguNa Ishvara.

There is no conflict whatsoever with Shankara’s explanation in Katha Upanishad 1.3.9. And it is of no avail to lament that this interpretation unnecessarily induces an intermediate state in KU 1.3.9, and that this is damaging to our position since it would mean that the “Purusha” described in 1.3.11 is not Vishnu, since:

  1. There is no problem because this Highest State is described as that of i.e., associated with/belonging to vAsudevAkhya viShNu, and NOT as “Higher than vAsudevAkhya viShNu” (which by the way, was the interpretation resorted to only by Appayya Dikshita etc  and even by this mistaken interpretation, Appayya himself has accepted that “vAsudeva” refers to the Lord of Lakshmi only and not a nirguNa tattva, as he was trying to prove something higher than that vAsudeva existed. Thus modern day shaivAdvaitin-s are contradicting their paramaguru as well by claiming the opposite!).

  1. Moreover, for the name “kathitaH” in Vishnu Sahasranama Bhashya, Shankara asserts that the shruti passage in contention “puruShAnna paraM ki~ncit kAShThA sA parA gatiH” (KU, 1.3.11) is associated with Lord Vishnu only.

Even in Kathopanishad Bhashya for the verse in question (KU, 1.3.9), Shankara associates an abode with Saguna Brahman Vishnu who has the name Vasudeva. In the commentary, Shankara explains “padam” as “sthAnaM” i.e., place as well as “satattvamityetat”, i.e., the nature of the Highest self:

vāsudevākhyasya paramaṃ prakṛṣṭaṃ padaṃ sthānaṃ satattvamityetadyadasāvāpnoti vidvān

This again points to kramamukti in Advaita Vedanta, where the knower of (Saguna) Brahman attains sthAnam, a realm beyond saMsAra, and reaches final liberation there, reaching the satattvam, true nature, of the all-pervading Saguna Brahman Vishnu. If “padam” only meant a “state”, the usage of “sthAnam” would be redundant.

In Shankara’s advaita, it is indeed saguNa brahman Lord Vishnu who is Ishvara and whose essential nature as nirguNa brahman is rather unsullied by His association with shuddha-sattva upAdhis. On the other hand, jIvas from Brhma, Rudra, Indra, upto grass, who though non-different from that nirguNa brahman, are created beings conditioned by upAdhis of rajas and tamas and subject to the effects of puNya and pApa.

This is the reason why we find statements such as “paraM brahma vAsudevAkhyam” (the Supreme Brahman, called vAsudeva - BG, 10.8), “viShNorvAsudevAkhyasya paramaM padaM” (Katha Up. 1.3.9) etc. in Shankara’s commentary. Again, what is meant here is that the Highest pure consciousness devoid of all limiting adjuncts, can indeed be described as the Highest Lord who bears the name viShNu, nArAyaNa etc., because the upAdhi-s that differentiate the former from the latter are of the nature of pure sattva. Shankara/Anandagiri (in the kAryAdhikaraNa section of the Brahma Sutra Bhashya) and other advaitic authors such as Agnicit Purushottama Misra (in the commentary to the first verse of Sarvajnatman’s Samksepa Sariraka) have stuck to this position.

There is no need anymore for us to repeat this crystal-clear siddhAnta of Shankara in many different ways.

Addendum 2: Purushottama in Bhagavad Gita Bhashya, the issue of loka-prasiddhi

Using the same line of argument, we can settle yet another silly objection raised by small-minded people: That the being described as “Purushottama” in Bhagavad Gita (15.18)  is not any saguNa deity Vishnu, but nirguNa brahman. The reason given by them is that the verse in question describes this Purushottama as Higher than ‘kShara’ and ‘akShara’, and that Shankara says the verse describes Parabrahman as nirupAdhika. The following is conveniently ignored, without any explanation:

The fact that Shankara mentions that this name Purushottama of the Highest Being is popular among His devotees and poets. Madhusudana as well refers to the verse “hariryathaikaH puruShottamaH smR^itaH” of kAlidAsa describing Lakshmipati Vishnu in Raghuvamsa.

Even a novice in these matters will find it absurd to assert that poets sang about nirguNa brahman with names like “puruShottama” and that these names are reverentially used by a brand of nirguNa-upAsakas described as “bhakta-janAH” who have nothing to do with the worship of Lakshmipati Vishnu!

How are we to explain this apparent anomaly? We need to resort to the logic used in Addendum 1 again: That these vyutpatti-s, describing the nirupAdhika nature of paramArtha-tattva, are befitting to the name “Purushottama” of Lord Vishnu the Lakshmipati, since His essential nature is unsullied owing to the purity of the associated upAdhi-s. Only in this manner, the whole portion of the commentary to BG 15.18 can be satisfactorily explained.

Addendum 3: On the issue of samAkhya and lakShmIpatitva of viShNu in Shankara’s works

We have also repeatedly pointed out the following fact: While words like “vAsudevAkhya”, “viShNvAkhya”, “nArAyaNAkhya” etc. are used by Shankara to describe the Brahman of the Upanishads, the names popularly associated with anya-devatas are never used.

It is amusing to see those full of avarice, in response to the above insurmountable challenge of ours, going to great lengths to show how Shankara uses such terms as “shiva” (an adjective, which means ‘pure/auspicious’) to describe the Upanishadic brahman, while our original challenge was to show, if there exist, references to “shivAkhya”, “rudrAkhya”, “maheshvarAkhya” etc in Shankara’s works. Acting as if there is no difference between qualifying something as “shiva” and “shivAkhyaH” will be of any avail in front of a knowledgeable unbiased audience. The former warrants an etymological (yaugika) interpretation as “auspicious”, while the latter warrants the interpretation “that which bears the name shiva” which would have been a clear reference to the trident-bearing consort of pArvatI as the Highest.

Such persons who are incapable of seeing these intricacies or deliberately play-act in a manner to divert their audience’s attention from these finer points do not deserve to be called an ‘opponent in debate’!

Equally deserving of ridicule is the statement that Shankara does not intend Lakshmipati since he does not refer to lakShmIpatitva while explaining the name ‘viShNu’ in Vishnu-Sahasranama Bhashya. There are a number of references in the Sahasranama Bhashya itself to show that the being held by Shankara to be ‘Vishnu’ is none but the consort of Lakshmi:

“maheśvāso mahībhartā śrīnivāsaḥ” - yasya vakṣasyanapāyinī śrīrvasati saḥ śrīnivāsaḥ

  • He is Srinivasa, in whose chest Sri i.e., Lakshmi, who never separates from Him, resides.

śrīvatsavakṣā śrīvāsaḥ” - śrīvatsasaṃj'jaṃ cihnamasya vakṣasi sthitamiti śrīvatsavakṣāḥ। asya vakṣasi śrīranapāyinī vasatīti ṣrīvāsaḥ

  • He is Srivatsavaksha,  in whose chest the mark called ‘Srivatsa’ is located. He is Srivasa, since in that mark Sri (Lakshmi), who never separates from Him, resides.

“nārasiṃhavapuḥ śrīmān” - yasya vakṣasi nityaṃ vasati śrīḥ saḥ ṣrīmān

  • He is Sriman, in whose chest Sri (Lakshmi) always resides.

“sarvalakṣaṇalakṣaṇyo lakṣmīvān” - lakṣmīrasya vakṣasi nityaṃ vasatīti lakṣmīvān

  • He is Lakshmivan, in whose chest Lakshmi always resides.

“mādhavaḥ” - māyāḥ ṣriyāḥ dhavaḥ patiḥ mādhavaḥ ; madhuvidyāvabodhyatvādvā।

  • He is Madhava, who is the husband of mA the Goddess Shri, and also because He is to be known through the Madhu Vidya of the Upanishads.

It is foolish to expect Shankara to specify lakShmIpatitva and other form-related characteristics of the Highest Lord while explaining every name. According to the bhAShya, each name signifies only certain characteristics, though they all belong to the One Being called Lord Vishnu who possesses innumerable characteristics. Hence, only those qualities that are considered to be based upon the vyutpatti (etymology/inner meaning) of the name viShNu are explained under viShNu, while lakShmIpatitva and other characteristics related to rUpa are described elsewhere wherever it is warranted.

Also, take a look at Shankara’s explanation for “mAdhavaH”. He says that the being who is the Husband of shrI/mA/lakShmI is the Being who is to be known through the Upanishadic madhuvidyA. What more is needed for a neutral reader to be convinced that the Upanishadic Saguna Brahman is none but Lakshmipati for Shankara?

It would be a fruitless and endless effort to keep shooting down red herrings thrown at us by those who can be best described as bhagavattattvAsahiShNavaH - those who do not tolerate the Truth about Bhagavan Sriman Narayana.


  1. Being his usual self, Subbu has come up with a long-winded nonsense of a response to the above article of ours, in the link below:

    And as we had promised before, we are not going to answer his 'objections', which in reality do not address the core of the arguments in this article series, and dwells on utter asAra.

    However, he engages in character assassination of Srivaishnava AcArya, Sri Ramanuja and casts aspersions on our intentions. This sort of venom should not go unanswered.

    // The blogger, ganged up with Ramanuja, has badmouthed Advaitins in the above cited

    URL //

    He first claims that we are calling "all advaitins" as "bhagavat-tattvAsahiShNavaH". This shows his dishonesty and his raging hatred clouding his chitta.

    We only coined the term "bhagavat-tattvAsahiShNavaH" to describe persons like Subbu who says "shiva is sarva-samhAraka and destroys everything including Vishnu and his lokas during pralaya". Sincere advaitins do not doubt that Shankara meant Lord Vishnu of caturbhuja-rUpa only when he used Vishnu/Narayana/Vasudeva, or that the pA~ncarAtra adhikaraNa addresses Saguna-Vasudeva worshipers only.

    This does not amount to selectively "ganging up" with Ramanuja, but only rephrasing Shankara's statement in the Gita Bhashya 18.67:

    na ca yo māṃ vāsudevaṃ prākṛtaṃ manuṣyaṃ matvā abhyasūyati ātmapraśaṃsādidoṣādhyāropaṇena īśvaratvaṃ mama ajānan na sahate, asāvapi ayogyaḥ, tasmai api na vācyam।

    as well as Madhusudana's statement

    dveṣṭi yastasmai śrīkṛṣṇotkarṣāsahiṣṇave'tapasvine bhaktāyāśuśrūṣave'pi na vācyaṃ

    and again Madhusudana's statement that those who do not tolerate the greatness of Sri Krishna (like Subbu, who denigrated Krishna's rAsa-leela act) deserve hell:

    vaṃśī-vvibhūṣita-karān nava-nīradābhāt
    pītāmbarād aruṇa-bimba-phalādharauṣṭhāt |
    pūrṇendu-sundara-mukhād aravinda-netrāt
    kṛṣṇāt paraṃ kim api tattvam ahaṃ na jāne || iti |

    pramāṇato 'pi nirṇīyaṃ
    kṛṣṇa-māhātmyam adbhutam |
    na śaknuvanti ye soḍhuṃ
    te mūḍhā nirayaṃ gatāḥ ||

    And then he goes to accuse none other than AcArya Sri Ramanuja, by quoting his statement:

    //See what badmouthing Ramanuja in his ‘Śrībhāṣyam’ indulged in against Shankara extending to Sureshwara and Sarvajnātman:

    तदिदमौपनिषदपरमपुरुषवरणीयताहेुतुगुणविशेषविरहिणां अनादिपापवासनादूषिताशेषशेमुषीकाणां अनधिगतपदवाक्यस्वरूपतदर्थयाथात्म्यप्रत्यक्षादिसकलप्रमाणवृत्त-तदितिकर्तव्यतारूपसमीचीनन्यायमार्गाणां विकल्पासहविविधकुतर्ककल्ककल्पितमिति न्यायानुगृहीतप्रत्यक्षादिसकलप्रमणवृत्तयाथात्म्यविद्भिः अनादरणीयम् ।

    (as quoted by MM Śrī S.Subrahmaṇya Śāstri in his foreword to the book ‘Upaniṣad bhāṣyam’ published by the Mahesh Research Institute, Varanasi)

    First of all, see how subbu even lacks basic comprehension of Sanskrit, and is only parroting the Vishnu/Vaishnava-dveshis of his mettle. "aupaniShada-parama-puruSha-varaNIyatA-hetu-guNavisheShavirahiNAM" means

    "those who are destitute of those particular qualities which cause individuals to be appointed by the Supreme Person revealed in the Upanishads"

    However, subbu renders this as:

    //As those devoid of appreciation for the auspicious attributes of the Lord//

    If he cannot even do a basic simple translation, where is the question of taking what he says regarding Shankara Bhashyas seriously?

    (contd. in next post)

    1. (contd. from above)

      He then makes a major objection to Sri Ramanuja's statement that those who do not interpret the Upanishads correctly as "anādipāpavāsanādūṣitāśeṣaśemuṣīka".

      Let us answer this, since neutral readers can be led astray by such remarks. An advaitin may make the same remark about a dvaitin or a Vishistadvain, and a Vishistadvain may make the same remark about a dvaitin (and in fact, this is the case, when we see the works of Sri Doddacharya etc.). No sincere scholar would take great exception to such remarks like subbu does.

      The reasoning is simple. Wrong interpretation is due to pramAda (carelessness) and ignorance (aj~nAna), and can only be a product of tamoguNa. However small it might be, in comparison with avaidikas, for an incorrect interpreter of the shAstra, it is still tamoguNa only and can only be the result of deeds opposed to puNya in anAdi-samsAra.

      Hence, an AcArya belonging to one darshana cannot sincerely think that an AcArya of another darshana is unaffected by ignorance etc. And this is pointed out in the bhAShyas to emphasize a certain point. Such remarks can never be taken as character assassination.

      Let us move on. Subbu next attributes evil intentions to our work:

      Both the blogger and Ramanuja agree that Advaitins starting from Shankara, Sureshwara and Sarvajnātman, up to the present Acharyas, owing to their ‘beginningless sinful tendencies’, are ‘intolerant of the true nature of the Lord’.

      Such being the case, the bloggers, in blatant defiance to their Founding Acharya, are putting up Shankara, Sureshwara and Sarvajnatman and others as their brand ambassadors, having realized well that Ramanuja is a failed champion of Vaishnavism. So much for their ‘staunch’ following of their school. They spend a lot of time ‘researching’ advaitic works and write nonsense in the name of ‘authentic’ blogs.

      First of all, it is stupid to call Ramanuja as a failed champion of Vaishnavism. Authentic Vaishnavism is very much alive and is having very great visibility and impact. Advaita was never a challenge in the history of Srivaishnavism after Sri Ramanuja, and this is evidenced by the proliferation of AzhvArs' prabandhas among the masses up to the 20th century.

      (The problems faced by traditional Vaishnavism today are mainly due to westernization, indology, neo-Hindu-psueod-Vedanta etc. is common to all traditional Hindus, including traditional smArtas).

      Secondly, as we pointed out in the main page, the reason why we took to showing portions from the commentaries of Shankara and other Advaitins is to counter the following tactic of modern shaiva/shAkta-advaitins: that Sri Ramanuja, Madhva etc. out of hatred started preaching that Shiva is inferior to Vishnu.

      By quoting Shankara etc., we intended to given them a slap in their face by showing that:

      1) Even Advaita was originally a Vaishnava-darshana only, just like all other Vedantic schools,

      2) Even Swami Desikan vouches for this (Tatparya Chandrika, 18.66) by exclusively naming Shankara as a Vishnu-para, in spite of his authoring of Shata-dhUShaNi etc.

      2) Exclusive worship of Vishnu and rejecting ArAdhana of devatAntara-s as tAmasic was the norm during Shankar's times, and

      3) It is the shaivAdvaitins who are claiming a fake "tradition" and their claim of being "flag-bearers of Shankara's siddhAnta" is illegitimate, and their stories of "Shanmata sthApana by Shankara" etc was only created by petty-minded ones for political reasons (i.e., increasing the number of followers) to avoid demise in the face of criticism by Vishistadvaitins and Dvaitins.

      We do not think for a moment that a sincere and neutral jij~nAsu will need anything more than Sri Bhashyam and Nambillai's eeDu vyAkhyAnam for just one pAsuram "onRum thevum" to convince himself that the original authentic vedAntic view is Vishistadvaita-Srivaishnavism only.

  2. Dear Readers,

    Here is the typical response from very typical "advaitins" of the day who fail to understand our articles. Just highlighting it to show you how blind they remain to the truths and how low their understanding is, its hardly worth our notice:

    [QUOTE] Sri.Subbuji is doing yeoman service with his patient answers.[/QUOTE]

    That's got to be the joke of the day, of course. If you are curious as to the IQ of the type of people who read subbu's garbage, here it is:

    [QUOTE]And the irony of the narayanastra blog is that without knowing the basic knowledge of sanskrit, they are trying to judge Acharya Sankara and His literature[/QUOTE]

    Anyone reading our articles can tell us whether we do not have "basic knowledge of sanskrit". Even that mahapashupatastra author is not so stupid to make this claim!

    [QUOTE]and went to the extent of judging the genuinity of Sankara literature by studying a single book "narayaneeyam" of Shri. Narayana Bhattatri.[/QUOTE] we actually studied a "single book" of shri narayana bhattadri (who was insulted by Subbu) to write articles quoting Adi Shankara, Sureshvara, Sarvajnatman, Rama Tirtha, Nrsimhasrama, Citsukha, Jnanottama Mishra, Madhusudhana Saraswati and more.

    Okay then.

    [QUOTE]When I pointed out this comment to a sringeri tarka vidvAn who is friend of mine, he was laughing.[QUOTE]

    Unless laughing boy was laughing at the idiotic opinions of this person, we wouldn't consider him a "vidvAn". Obviously, to ignoramuses who are deeply rooted in the notion that Shankara advocated shanmatha etc and cannot look beyond the modern day peeThAdhipathi-s who spread the same notion, the truth of Shankara's vaishnavatva is of course, unbelievable, isn't it?

    Let him come and prove his "vidvat" to us if he wishes.

    [QUOTE]mahAmAya viSwaM bhramayasi parabrahma mahiSi.....[/QUOTE]

    krishNa uvAcha - mama mAya duratyaya mAm eva yE prapadyantE mayam etam taranti tE. Read the commentaries of Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhva on this. But of course, you won't - or you will ignore it selectively because your "tarka vidvAn" laughed at it.

    Funny people.

  3. Dear Swami,

    Did sankaracharya compose any stotras on Thiruvarangan other than Ranganaadhaashtakam? Adiyen heard from Chinna Jeeyar's discourse on "Divya Suri Charitam" the below sloka describing one who sheds mortal coils in Sriranga kshetram will take form of Srimannarayana.

    इधम् च रङ्गं त्यजथामिहाङ्गम्
    न विध्यथेअङ्गम् यधि जाथुचाङ्गम्
    पाणोउ रथाङ्गम् सयाने भुजङ्गम्
    याने विहन्गं चरणेअम्भु गाङ्गं

    Kindly clarify.

    ADiyen Lakshmi Nrisimha Ramanuja Dasan

    1. It is not entirely impossible for Shankara to have composed stotras on Vishnu (as long as it reflects his prasthAnatraya positions on philosophical matters). However, none of the stotras (Ranganatha Ashtakam, Bhaja Govindam, Vishnu Shatpadi, Lakshmi Nrsimha Karavalamba) are mentioned/quoted in any earlier literature prior to 16th century, nor given commentaries by Sureshvara, Anandagiri etc. Based on this criterion, it is quite likely that these stotras are incorrectly attributed to Adi Shankara.

      As an aside, we request users to use correct spellings if pasting quotations in Indic scripts.

  4. Dear all,

    While contuining my tour of that excuse for a forum they call the "advaita list", I came across this:

    This is a discussion of padmapAda's invocation on Adi Shankara - the slOka where he salutes Shankara in this manner:

    namAmyabhogiparivArasampadaM nirastabhUtiM anumArddhavigrahaM
    anugraM unmR^iditakAlalA~ncanaM vinAvinAyakaM apUrvashaN^karaM

    The above sanskrit verse is a double entendre. Each word/sentence can be interpreted in two ways:

    apUrva shaMkaraM namAmi = I salute the new Shankara who is different from the commonly known Shankara (Shiva)

    abhogiparivAra sampadaM = He is surrounded by sages (abogi-s or those who do not indulge in “bhoga” or enjoyments) / he is not surrounded by snakes (bhogi-s)

    nirasta bhUtiM = He has got no material wealth (bhUti) (as he is a sannyasi) / he is devoid of ashes (bhUti)

    anumArdha vigrahaM = He has logic (anumA) as his other half / he does not have Uma as his other half

    anugraM = He is not fierce

    unmR^idita kAla lA~ncanaM = He has surpassed the mark of time (ie., samsara, as he is a jIvanmukta)/ he is devoid of the black-mark (on the throat)

    vinA vinAyakaM = He is not accompanied by vinAyaka

    Now, we have two "advaitins" arguing against this here. One is Veerashaiva, a bitter old man who has an incurable OCD to keep repeating flimsy arguments endlessly and the other is a new one "Venkatraghavan".

    Let us demolish their opinions as well.


  5. Cont'd...

    These advaitins are trying to refute the fact that this sloka says that shiva has bhUti (ashes) while Shankara is devoid of ashes nirasta bhUti). That is the topic of discussion.

    Now, our "advaitin", Venkatraghavan tries to explain this sloka as follows:

    //Having read the vyakhyA to panchapAdika provided by Smt Gayatri, it is my view that Sri PadmapAdachArya is using the double meaning device as follows - in each case, when referring to Lord Shiva he is using the direct meaning of the word (vAcyArtha) and when referring to Shankaracharya, he is using the indirect meaning of its opposite word (lakshyArtha).//

    So this person claims that the direct meaning of the words only applies to shiva, while the indirect meaning only applies to Shankara.

    This person lacks a fundamental understanding of what constitutes a double entendre. We have person A and B. Each term has a direct meaning (x) and indirect meaning (y). So, a double entendre is this - If Person A has x, he has y too. If Person B lacks x, he lacks y too.

    The logic of a double entendre is simply that both the inner and outer meanings apply.

    So, this person not only lacks a knowledge of his own guru who was a vaishnava, he also us lacking in fundamental logic.


  6. So now this Venkatraghavan says:

    //So when he says नमामि अभोगिपरिवारसंपदं - when referring to Shiva he says he is भोगिपरिवारसंपदं and Shankara is अभोगिपपिवारसंपदं. Here Bhogi's direct meaning is snakes and indirect meaning is enjoyers of material wealth. भोगिपरिवारसंपदं means he who is surrounded by snakes and अभोगिपपिवारसंपदं is he is who is surrounded by ascetics.//

    Wrong-o. As per the logic of double entendre, both meanings apply. Shiva is surrounded by snakes. The snakes are called "bhogi-s", one meaning of which is material enjoyments. So Shiva is surrounded by snakes/surrounded by those who seek material enjoyments -- the various devotees who seek material boons from him.

    In contrast, Shankara does not have snakes/he is surrounded by renunciates (a-bhOgis).

    It is a fact that Adi Shankara does not wear snakes, correct? So how can one deny that the visible, pratyaksha pramANa of seeing his guru not be surrounded by snakes while knowing shiva is surrounded by snakes, not inspire padmapada to create this slOka?

    Basic IQ.


  7. Cont'd from above.

    //Coming to अनुमार्धविग्रहं, he is referring to Shankara as अनुमार्धविग्रहं and Shiva as उमार्धविग्रहं. Here by the word उमार्धविग्रहं he is meaning the direct meaning - Shiva, who has Parvati as half his body. By अनुमार्धविग्रहं he takes the indirect meaning - Shankaracharya, who places equal importance to anumAna (logical reasoning) along with Shruti in his bhAshya//

    Again, its' a two way street.

    Shiva is "umArdha" - he has given one half of his body to umA. This is out of kAma or desire. As the gIta says, desire clouds the intellect and thus, it deprives logical reasoning.

    Adi Shankara, as proven by pratyaksha, is devoid of umA devi. Which means, he is also bereft of lust and hence has logical reasoning.

    Note that this does not mean Shiva is insulted. This follows "nahi ninda nyAya"- where one is praised by denigrating the other.


  8. Cont'd from above.

    Our resident smArtha adds:

    //Coming to निरस्तभूतिं. Taking the direct meaning of भूति as ashes he applies this to Shiva as he who is covered in ashes and indirect meaning of भूति as wealth he applies to Shankaracharya.//

    Just as Shiva has snakes/devotees seeking aishwarya and Shankara has no snakes/devotees who do not seek aishwarya, just as Shiva has umA devi/desire/lack of discriminatory intellect (nahi ninda nyAya) and Shankara has no umA devi/no lust/unclouded reasoning ---

    Shiva has ashes and also material wealth in the form of occupying the position of destroyer and a viShvEshvara - rudra padavi is classed along with brahma padavi etc as samsAric wealth in purANas like varAha, etc. Hence, Adi Shankara is the opposite -- he lacks ashes and such material wealth.

    Seems like whenever truth is revealed, the smArtas become conveniently "umArdha" too ( lack of logical reasoning).

    First read up on how a double entendre works, for goodness sake.


  9. Cont'd from above,

    If that were not enough, Veerashaiva slithers in to add his two cents:

    //First he gives the meaning for the word 'bhūti' of the verse to apply to Shiva: bhūtiḥ=bhasitam. Then he says: tadanuliptāgāraḥ = Shiva is the one whose body is smeared with bhasma. Then the vailakshanya is brought out:Shankara, on the other hand, is devoid of the bhūti that is aishvarya. Nowhere does this mean that the commentator is holding that 'Shankaracharya is without bhasma.'//

    What about the other commentary then? Look at what it says:

    The Riju Vivarana by Vishnu Bhatta comments on it as follows: nirasta bhUtiM - bhasma-rahitam, nirasta aishvaryaM vA" [Without ‘bhUti’ = devoid of wealth (or) devoid of ashes]

    In other words, it means both.

    Now, Veerashaiva clings onto the other commentary by saying:

    //The commentary is not saying this at all. If it is indeed saying that, the construction of the sentence should have been: aishwaryabhūtibhyām vidhuraḥ. The vigraha of this compound would be: aishvaryam tathā bhūtiḥ = aishvaryavibhūtī. tābhyām (dual number) vidhuraḥ. But the actual sentence found there is: aishvaryalakshana bhūti vidhuraḥ. The word lakshana is the one that indicates the adjective for bhūti. Since the word bhūti has both the meanings: bhasma and aishwarya, the commentator is specifying that it is the latter (in the case of Shankaracharya) in order to ward off the former meaning.//

    As usual, this deluded old fool is simply spouting a lot of hot air. Look at the commentary:

    bhUtiH = bhasitam, tadanuliptagAtraH saH, ayaM tvaishvaryalakShaNabhUtividhuraH"

    [He (the other well-known Shankara) has a body smeared in ashes; This one though, is devoid of wealth.]

    The context makes it clear. Just as it is well-known that Adi Shankara does not have snakes surrounding him, does not have uma for his wife etc, him not wearing ashes is well-known. It is for that reason that the commentator akhaNdAnanda has specified the inner meaning for Adi Shankara.

    The same akhaNDAnanda has already clarified in his commentary that the message of the verse is two-fold: to differentiate from the other well-known “Shankara” i.e., Rudra (“prasiddhashaN^karAt vilakShaNam”) as well as to explain the qualities of the “Shankara” in consideration i.e., bhagavatpAda AcArya ("paramahaMsaparAyaNam shaN^karAcAryam").

    So what does this imply? The fact that he mentions "Shiva wears ashes" is a case of prasiddhashaN^karAt vilakShaNam" - differentiating the ashes wearing Shiva from Shankara who dies not wear ashes. The fact that he mentions "no material wealth" is an explanation of the quality of Shankara, the guru.

    Thus, the same meaning is implicit in this commentary. It is only brought out even more clearly by Vishnu Bhatta who says  "nirasta bhUtiM - bhasma-rahitam, nirasta aishvaryaM vA"

    Veerashaiva is a pensioner who seems to have too much time on his hands and simply plays around on the net trolling and posting absurdities. Wonder if he actually has any relatives, need to seek a cure for OCD in his senile age.


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:

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.