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Bhagavad Gita: Shiva in the Vibhuti Yoga and Vishvarupa Chapters

As is well known , ancient shaivas, despite being averse to Vishnu's supremacy in the Vedas, atleast abided by standard norms of debate. They did not consider vedAnta as their domain, and were content with glorifying their deity according to Shaiva Agamas and portions of certain purANas, independent of the vedAntic tradition.
Based on available evidences, we can confidently state that this scenario changed dramatically since the 16th century.  Today's Shaivas, all the way from the scholarly ones like Appayya Dikshita down to the digital-age gurus and "experts" of miniscule knowledge seen on internet blogs. Having distorted the meaning of Vedic verses such as the Rudram, they have butchered the meaning of mahAbhArata by resorting to interpolated verses denying the supremacy of Vishnu. At the same time, they ignore the innumerable verses that talk about the supremacy of Vishnu, whose authenticity is established by the observation that even Adi Shankara has quoted them. Having done this, they then obscured the narrative of rAmAyaNa, a foremost Srivaishnava shAstra, by claiming rAma worshipped shiva. Finally, they have proceeded to claim that Shiva is praised "in all the 18 Puranas", while resorting to nothing but the alleged episodes in tAmasa purAnas that claim shiva to be “matsyEswara”, “kUrmEswara”, “varAhEswara”, “sharabhEswara”, etc.
And not content with what was done so far, they now try to torture the text of the Bhagavad Gita with their distortions. Their main issues with the Gita are as follows:
  1. In the vibhUti yOga, when krishNa says “rudrAnAm sankarAs casmi” (Bhagavad Gita, 10.23), they claim that he is not talking about pArvati pati, but only about one of the 11 rudras. According to them, the 11 rudras are manifestations of pArvati pati and hence he himself cannot be counted as one among them. In other words, krishNa is only referring to a particular rudra named “shankara” here and not to the well-known pArvati pati as his vibhUti, they say.

  1. The second instance occurs in the viSvarUpa adhyAya. The sloka “brahmanam isam kamalasana-stham” (11.15) is the bone of contention. They claim that “isam” here does not refer to rudra but is an adjective of Brahma. They contend that the above interpretation alone, supported by Adi Shankara, is impartial and that the bhAShyas of  rAmAnuja and mAdhva are biased against Shaivism.

Let us examine their claims.

“rudrAnAm sankarAscasmi” – All acharyas interpret the “shankara” here as pArvati pati. So, the claim that it doesn’t refer to pArvati pati stands refuted. In fact, Adi Shankara does not add any statement here, unlike the modern-day Shaivas, that the "shankara" here refers to some being other than pArvati pati.
It is true that the names of the 11 rudras change during each kalpa. But pArvati pati is the leader of the 11 rudras, the presiding deity of the mind and hence is the 11th Rudra. It is precisely because of the names changing in various kalpas that bhagavAn uses the name “shankara”. The name means “sam karOti iti sankaraH”. In other words, pArvati pati is called "shankara" because he provides bliss (of the knowledge of vishNu) and is a lokaguru. Or, he is the presiding deity of the mind and enables control of the mind.
Also, here, by saying Shankara, bhagavAn indicates that the ability of pArvati pati to cause bliss by imparting knowledge of vishNu, comes from vishNu himself and thus is a vibhUti of vishNu.
Therefore, he is the 11th rudra and bhagavAn specifically uses the name “shankara” to avoid any form of confusion with the other rudras whose names change every kalpa. Among the 11 rudras, it is only pArvati pati who is called Shankara, owing to sAstra vAkyas like “jnAnam icchet IshvarAt”, “tatpuruShAya vidmahe mahAdevAya dhImahi tanno rudraH prachodayAt” and him being the controller of the mind.
So, the argument that Shankara, or pArvati pati is not among the 11 rudras is quashed.
However, let us parody our opponent’s argument. Even if we assume that pArvati pati is not among the 11 rudras, that still does not change the meaning that “Shankara” here refers to pArvati pati only. Consider the following gita slOka,
“nakshatrAnAm ahaM sasi”.
BhagavAn says he is the moon among the stars. Bhagavad rAmAnuja points out that the moon is not a star. Yet, bhagavAn names it among the stars. So, Acharya interprets it as follows, “I am the moon, the leader of the stars”. In the shAstra, Chandra devatA is the leader of the Nakshatras. And hence, when bhagavAn says “among stars, I am the moon”, it does not mean moon is a star, but that moon, which leads the stars, is a vibhUti of bhagavAn.
Similarly, even if we take the shaiva argument that pArvati pati is not among the 11 rudras, he still leads them. So, “rudrANAm shankarAshcAsmi” only would mean, “I am shankara (pArvati pati) who leads the 11 rudras”.
Thus, the Vaishnava interpretation remains validated. It is an irrefutable conclusion that, 1) bhagavAn specially uses the "shankara" nAma to denote pArvati pati, 2) That pArvati pati is different from bhagavAn and is a vibhUti of bhagavAn.

Let us consider the following verse,
“brahmanam isam kamalasana-stham”
Here are the interpretations of the 3 acharyas:
Shankaracharya – “I see Brahma, the Lord of all Creatures (Isham), seated on the lotus”.
Ramanujacharya - “I see Brahma and Siva who abides by the directions of the lotus seated Brahma”.
Madhvacharya – “I see Brahma and Siva who is seated in the lap of the lotus seated Brahma”.
Let us show how shaivas cannot resort to any of these interpretations, nor can reject any of them.
Shankaracharya’s interpretation
Shaivas of course, jump onto Shankaracharya’s interpretation because they think the Acharya shows some inclination towards their sect. Well, if they accept Adi Shankara’s interpretation, then they will also have to accept the fact that Shankaracharya has himself declared in several places that 1) Worship of vishNu is superior to Rudra (Gita Bhashya, 6.47), 2) Narayana is Parabrahman and the ruler of Brahma and Rudra (many instances in the vishNu sahasranAma bhAshya), 3) Pasupati was created among the Kshatriya varga by Brahma (brihadAranyaka bhAshya, 1.4.11).
So, going by these comments of Shankaracharya, even his statement in the gita bhAshya does not accord any special status to pArvati pati. When Shankaracharya says “Brahma, Lord of all creatures”, from his other statements on the birth of Rudra, we can easily understand that Brahma is the Lord of all creatures including his son Rudra who was created by him. This is the opinion of Adi Shankara.
To argue against this would mean a biased attempt to selectively quote Shankaracharya and reject the rest of his works. Hence, Shaivas cannot take shelter of Adi Shankara here since the latter was a Vaishnava guru as is evident by his works.
Madhvacharya’s Interpretation
srI mAdhva takes the pramAnam that Shiva was born of Brahma to say that he (Shiva) was seen seated on the lap of his father (Brahma). While it is true that Shiva is Brahma’s son, this blogger humbly feels that Shiva is no longer a kumara, so I leave it to the mAdhvas to justify their acharya’s interpretation.
Ramanujacharya’s Interpretation
Now, we come to the part where it will be proven how bhagavad rAmAnuja has given the right meaning for this sloka. Both Adi Shankara and Madhva have given grammatically correct meanings which are also perfectly in tune with the shAstra. But Acharya Ramanuja goes one step further as his meaning resonates with the intention of BhagavAn.
Acharya gives the following meaning,
"tatha ishaM kamalasana-sthaM kamalasane brahmani sthitam IshaM tanmate avasthitam"
Meaning: Lord! I behold in Your body all gods and all classes of living beings as also Brahma, the four-faced ruler of the cosmic egg. So too Shiva (Isa) who is seated in the lotus-seated Brahma, meaning that Siva abides by the directions of Brahma.
In other words, when it is said, “Shiva is seated on Brahma”, it means that Shiva is always dependent on Brahma’s guidance and obeys the dictates of Brahma. So, the words “kamalAsanE brahmani sthitham” mean that pArvati pati is always situated in a state of mind where he abides by the directions of Brahma.
Now, in what way does Shiva obey Brahma as stated by srI rAmAnuja? Fact is, it is everywhere in the shAstra.
It is well known that Shiva is a yogi par excellence and always meditates on vishNu. But the nature of yOga is that it is fickle. The purpose of upAsaNa is to remain in a preponderance of sattva. But due to the strenuous nature of the path, sometimes the tAmasa and rAjasa guNas, which are kept in control by yOga, overcome the yOgi.
This can be seen in various instances of rishis like vishwAmitra succumbing to kAma and krOdha. Shiva is no exception as well.
When Shiva is overcome by rajO and tamO guNams, he has always fought against vishNu without knowing the supremacy of the latter. There are several instances when this happened:
  1. Shiva fighting Krishna in the bAnAsura yuddham.
  2. Shiva fighting the nara-nArAyaNa rishis in badrikAshramam.
  3. Shiva fighting Vishnu in the rAmAyaNa as narrated by paraShurAma.
  4. Shiva in the form of Sharabha being destroyed by Narasimha. 

Except in the Sharabha incident, where Shiva was decimated by Narasimha and resurrected upon the prayers of pArvati, it is Brahma who has always interrupted the battle. Brahma speaks words of advice to Shiva, reminding him that he is fighting against nArAyaNa. Then, Shiva immediately obeys Brahma and stops fighting. (See the commentary to Shloka 12 of Kuresar's atimAnuSha stavam here for the Sharabha-Narasimha incident as per the sAttvika purANas.) 
The pramAnas are as follows
Incident One: Shiva abides by the directions of Brahma during bAnAsura yuddham, the fight with krishNa (quoted from harivamSha)
During the battle with bANAsura, Brahma interrupts the fight saying the following:
Note: Translation is not accurate and is pasted from the net. I do not intend to a translation myself since this rough internet translation is enough to get the points across.
dR^iShTvA tu bhagavAnbrahmA rudraM vachanamabravIt |
sR^iShTo mahAsuravadhaH kiM bhUyaH parirakShyase ||2-125-16
Translation: The lord brahmA looked at rudra (shiva) and spoke the following words: "The destruction of great demons has started now (with your consent). Then why are you protecting them?"
na cha yuddhaM mahAbAho tava kR^iShNena rochate | 
na cha budhyasi kR^iShNaM tvamAtmAnaM tu dvidhA kR^itam ||2-125-17
Translation: "O the one with great arms! I do not like your fighting with kR^iShNa. Also you are not understanding kR^iShNa with your intellect. You are divided in mind (ie, confused between sAmAnya dharmam and viShesha dharmam, due to rajo/tamO gunam)."
tataH sharIrayogAddhi bhagavAnavyayaH prabhuH |
pravishya pashyate kR^itsnAMstrI.NllokAnsacharAcharAn ||2-125-18
Translation: (vaishampAyana continued: O janamejaya!) When he was advised thus by brahmA, the lord (shiva), the lord who is changeless in yoga, entered his (own) body by yoga and visualized the entire three worlds along with all the moving and fixed beings.
pravishya yogaM yogAtmA varAMstAnanuchintayan |
dvAravatyAM yaduktaM cha tadanusmR^itya sarvashaH |
jagAda nottaraM kiMchinnivR^itto.asau bhavattadA ||2-125-19
Translation: shiva, the soul of yoga, entered the state of yoga and thought about the boons he had given earlier (to bANa) and remembered all that he spoke in the city of doors (dvAravati).
(Considering all this) he (shiva) did not say anything in answer. Then he (shiva) retreated from the battle.
AtmAnaM kR^iShNayonisthaM pashyata hyekayonijam |
tato niHsR^itya rudrastu nyastavAdo.abhavanmR^idhe ||2-125-20
Translation: Through the discriminating power of buddhIyOgA (bhakti), Rudra realised his source to be the same as Krishna (ie, Krishna is the AtmA of Rudra). Then, without any arguments, he retreated from the battle.

brahmANaM chAbravIdrudro na yotsye bhagavanniti | 
kR^iShNena saha sa~NgrAme laghvI bhavatu medinI ||2-125-21
Translation: Then rudra (shiva) told brahmA: O lord! I will not fight the battle with kR^iShNa. Let the earth become light.
Incident Two: Shiva abides by the directions of Brahma during the fight with nara-nArAyaNa (quoted from mahAbhArata)
When nArAyaNa strangled Shiva and turned the latter’s neck black-blue, Brahma appeared and again put an end to the fight (quoted from mahAbhArata):
When such dire omens appeared everywhere, O son of Pandu, Brahma surrounded by all the deities and the high-souled Rishis, soon arrived at that spot where the battle was raging. The four-faced Brahma, capable of being understood with the aid of only the Niruktas, joined his hands and addressing Rudra, said,--
Let good happen to the three worlds. Throw down thy weapons, O mahEswara, from desire of benefiting the universe. That which is unmanifest, indestructible, immutable, supreme, the origin of the universe, uniform, and the supreme actor, that which transcends all pairs of opposites, and is inactive, has, choosing to be manifested, been pleased to assume this one blessed form, (for though double, the two but represent the same form). This Nara and Narayana (the displayed forms of Supreme Brahman) have taken birth in the race of Dharma. The foremost of all deities, these two are observers of the highest vows and endued with the severest penances. Through some reason best known to Him, I myself have sprung from the attribute of His Grace. You (Rudra) too are born of his (nArAyaNa, as the indweller of brahma) wrath, being ancient (sanAtana) as you are prior to the creation of Brahma such as the prajApatIs etc. (pUrvasargE) With myself then, these deities, and all the great Rishis, do thou adore this displayed form of Brahman, and let peace be unto all the worlds without any delay.

The above slOka by brahma is a direct upabrahmaNa of the following shruti vAkya describing Rudra:

"virUpAkShAya brahmaNa putrAya jyEshtAya shrEshtAya"

Meaning: Rudra, the one with dissimilar eyes, is the eldest and most celebrated son of Brahma.
So, going back to the above slOka, we can correlate it with the shruti vAkya:

- "brahmaNa putrAya" in the shruti vAkya is indicated by "krodhaja" - Rudra is born of Brahma's wrath.

- "jyEshta" in the shruti vAkya is correlated with "sanAtana" in the above slOka. "sanAtana" means belonging to an ancient time. It does not indicate eternality in all contexts, but is used to indicate someone who has just been around for a very long time. As Rudra was one of Brahma's earliest sons, he is called "jyEshta" and hence, the term "sanAtana" refers to Rudra being very ancient in that sense.

- "shrEshta" in the shruti vAkya is correlated with "pUrvasargE" - As Rudra is prior to the creation of brahma such as the prajApatis, it also implies he is the most celebrated of Brahma's sons. "pUrva" can also mean he is the first of brahma's sons in terms of jnAna, ie, he is the most distinguished of them all and hence is "shrEshta".

The section continues as follows:
"Thus addressed by Brahma, Rudra forthwith cast off the fire of his wrath, and set himself to gratify the illustrious and puissant God Narayana. Indeed, he soon placed himself at the disposal of the adorable boon-giving and puissant God Narayana. That boon-giving God Narayana, who hath his wrath and the senses under control, soon became gratified and reconciled with Rudra."
Incident Three: Shiva abides by the directions of Brahma in the fight with vishNu (in the rAmAyaNa)
Now, here the situation shifts. For we see that, Shiva not only obeys Brahma in good matters (like stopping his fight with Narayana), but also obeys Brahma blindly when he is motivated to fight against Narayana!
Note what the rAmAyaNa says,
adaa tu devataaH sarvaaH pR^icChanti sma pitaamaham || shiti kaNThasya viShNoH ca bala abala niriikShayaa |abhipraayam tu vij~naaya devataanaam pitaamahaH || virodham janayaamaasa tayoH satyavataam varaH |
Translation: Once, all the gods were asking the Grandparent, Brahma, as to who is powerful and who is less powerful among the blue-throated Shiva and Vishnu... but the Grandparent Brahma on inferring the intent of gods started to create adversity among those two, Shiva and Vishnu, for the Grandparent is the best adherer of truthfulness, as truth cannot be demonstrated on hearsay evidence...
Parashurama says that it was Brahma who induced both Shiva and vishNu to fight to show the devas that vishNu alone was supreme. Obviously, vishNu being parabrahman, is sarvaj~na and knows the intent of all the devas very well, so he condescended to fight.
Shiva was overcome by tamO guNa and ahamkAra after the tripurAsura vadham and hence fought against nArAyaNa. It was Brahma who coaxed Shiva to fight with sweet yet poisonous words inducing ahamkAram in Shiva. But it must be understood that Brahma did it to show only the supremacy of vishNu.
And the fact that Shiva was swayed by Brahma’s words shows his inclination to obey Brahma again.
Incident Four: Shiva obeys Brahma during the TripurAsura vadham (quoted from mahAbhArata)
Brahma requests Shiva to undertake the war against the tripurAsurAs in the karna parva of mahAbhArata. Here, Brahma praises Shiva as the lord of all and one who is above himself (Brahma).

However, the key word here is "Loka hitavachah". It does not mean "for the benefit of the universe". "Loka" means shastra or the veda, so it means "agreeable to the veda". Brahma praises shiva and tells him it was by his grace that Brahma attained his position of prajapati. So, "lokahitavachah" implies Brahma said this in a manner agreeable to the veda, ie, He was referring to the antaryAmin of Shiva here.
This explanation is validated by subsequent statements such as “vishNu is the inner self of Bhava” and Shiva’s own statement that Brahma should be his charioteer as the latter is his (Shiva’s) senior (as mentioned previously, the inner tattvam is that the acharya, who is senior, guides the yogi). Obviously, this admittance is enough to show that Brahma’s words were directed at the antaryAmin of Shiva, in a manner that is agreeable to the veda.
And the fact that Shiva obeyed Brahma shows that he abides by the latter's directions.
The  Bhagavatam shows how Shiva obeyed Brahma even from the time of his birth:
maitreya uvaca ~ evam atmabhuvadishtah parikramya giram patim badham ity amum amantrya vivesa tapase vanam
Translation: Sri Maitreya said: Thus Rudra, having been ordered by Brahma, circumambulated his father, the master of the Vedas. Addressing him with words of assent, he entered the forest to perform austere penances.
This shows very clearly how Shiva holds Brahma in high regard. Be it flattery or genuine advice, he ALWAYS obeys Brahma, even though he cut off Brahma’s head once in a fit of anger.
This shows that bhagavAn krishNa, by saying “brahmanam isam kamalasana-stham” is showing how Shiva always remains in bhakti towards nArAyaNa thanks to the timely directions and guidance of Brahma. This is even illustrated in the Tripura Samhara where Shiva asks Brahma to be his charioteer as the latter is his senior. The inner meaning – Shiva is the upAsaka and Brahma is the Acharya who guides the yOgi.
And the same pArvati pati also obeys Brahma blindly even when the latter misleads him or speaks flowery words to goad him!
So, the conclusions are:
  1. Adi Shankara has stated the birth of Rudra and his subordination to nArAyaNa in many places. So, resorting to Shankara bhAshya does not provide any relief to Shaivas since they will have to accept Shiva as a creation of Brahma and hence “Brahma, lord of all creatures” would include Shiva among the creatures.

  1. Even if Shiva is not mentioned by bhagavAn, that does not mean he was not present. For that matter, even Indra is not mentioned specifically.

  1. However, the truth is that “isam” refers to Shiva. He is mentioned along with Brahma in the vein of the mahOpanishad which says “eko ha vai nArAyaNa asIt, na brahma, nEshana…”

  1. The interpretation of yatirAja, that “isam” refers to Shiva who always abides by the directions of Brahma, has been conclusively established.


  1. Dear sir,
    I found another commentary on the same verse of Gita (11.15) which does not follow Shankara and after what what you have said about Sri Ramanuja and Madhva's commentary, it seems that it doesnot follow them as well. The commentary goes like this:

    kim abhaashata tad aaha pashyamiti saptadashabhih |
    tathaa bhoota-visheshaanaam jaraayujaadinam samghaan pashyaami |
    brahmaanam chaturmukham kamalaasane chaturmukhe sthitam
    tad-antaryaaminam isham garbhodaka-shayam urugaan vasuki-aadin sarpaan

    As i am not very good in interpreting Sanskrit, I would humbly like to ask you to tell me the meaning of this commentary.
    Thank you for your lovely articles, may Sri Hari bless you for your service to the Vaishnavas.

    Your servant.

  2. Dear Shri Niladri Chowdhury,

    Thank you for the appreciation of our work. As per your request, here is a rough translation of what you gave:

    kim abhaashata tad aaha pashyamiti saptadashabhih = "what Arjuna spoke is spoken of in the next 17 verses"

    tathaa bhoota-visheshaanaam jaraayujaadinam samghaan pashyaami = " 'Thus, I see the hordes of beings -- viviparous and others'"

    brahmaanam chaturmukham kamalaasane chaturmukhe sthitam tad-antaryAmiNam Isham garbhodaka-shayam As per what you have given, it reads as "(I see) Brahma, the four-faced, and the Lord who reclines in the ocean of the universe, seated (sthitam) as the in-dweller inside Brahma"

    uragaan vAsukyAdIn sarpaan = "(I see) the snakes such as vAsuki".

  3. Dear sir,
    Thank you for your explanation.I found that this commentary on the Gita verse(11.15) is by the Gaudiya Vaishnava Vedantaacharya, Sri Baladevah Vidyabhushana. He interprets the word "isa" to mean Sri Pradyumna (Garbhodakashayi Vishnu) who is known to be the antaryamin of Brahma.

  4. The author of the Mahapasupatastra makes the claim that Lord Shiva is not present anywhere in the Viswarupam that Krishna displays in the Bhagavad Gita.

    However, his claims are completely punctured by the Udyoga Parva of the Mahabharata. There is a display of Krishna's viswa rupam in the Udyoga Parva in the Kuru court, which only Drona, Bhishma, Vidura and the Rishis are able to see.

    Here is the link in Sanskrit -

    And here is Sri Ganguli's translation -

    tasya brahmā lalāṭastho rudro vakṣasi cābhavat....

    "And on his forehead appeared Brahma, and on his breast Rudra...."

    This clearly shows that Shiva is considered as a part of Krishna, something which the Mahapasupatastra blogger has denied.

    There is also a comment in the blog which says that the Viswa rupam is the form of the Kalagni Rudra. This claim is also punctured by the Udyoga parva. It says that Krishna's Viswarupam had sankha, chakra, gadha and saranga -

    śaṅkhacakragadāśaktir śārṅgalāṅgalanandakāḥ....

    "And on his diverse arms were seen the conch, the discus, the mace, the bow called Saranga, the plough, the javelin, the Nandaka....."

    Hence, there is no question of this Viswarupam belonging to Shiva. It belongs to Vishnu alone.

    1. We have a separate article on this. Please check it out. It proves shiva was seen in the visvarUpa. They cannot also take shelter of Shankara's commentary since by saying "brahma, lord of all" - that includes shiva, his son as well.

      Now, a clarification. Forget the shaiva claims for a moment, these people are ignorant of the fact that even the deity who is displaying the visvarUpa is also present in it. Because the visvarUpa shows everything as the body of Brahman. This includes all jivAs and jagat, but also includes the many manifestations of vishNu - as para, vyuha, vibhava, antaryAmin and archa (temple) forms. All forms of vishNu - bodies by association like jivAs and jagat which includes devas like shiva, and also his own unique forms/bodies such as avatAra rUpa are seen in the visvarUpa, with nArAyaNa as the antarAtma.

      Also note, antaryAmin is different from antarAtma. The former is an individual indweller in each entity, while the latter has everything as it's body.

      The whole logic of a visvarUpa is that it shows everything that exists, including unique manifestations of parabrahman. Just as the atharvasikha includes vishNu among jivas by saying "brahmavishnurudrendra samprasUyate". If something does not exist in a visvarUpa, it has no existence at all - this shows that the mahapashupatastra author has no clue of what "viSvarUpa" concept means. We mentioned in the article - just repeating it again now so the understanding is clear.

      The visvarUpa shows everything including manifestations of paramAtma. It covers existence. The viSvarUpi, one who bears the viSvarUpa, is of course, nArAyaNa only as seen in the gita itself and not shiva.

      We have some articles coming up. Request readers to be patient as we have had other engagements to deal with.

    2. ADD: haha, sorry, didn't notice we were commenting under the same article!

    3. Even, hypothetically, if we assume " Lord's Krishna's/Narayana's Viswa rupam is the form of the Kalagni Rudra",

      1. it only indicates that all Kalagni Rudra, Siva, Sada Siva, Bada Siva and what not etc (in future, these distractors might come with some new names also) are merely a infinitesimal speck of energy of Lord Krishna/Narayana

      2. Epithets like Kalagni Rudra, Siva etc are only aptly applicable to Lord Krishna/Narayana only and not to parvati pati

      3. Infact, it is Lord Krishna/Narayana who is Ultimate Rudra (One who brings tears of joy to the eyes of his devotees, i.e. Lord Narasimha as per Sri Parasara bhattar) or Ultimate Siva (Auspiciousness) and not parvati pati.

      So, hypothetically also, all the efforts of some unscrupulous elements to prove the supremacy of parvati pati over Lord Krishna/Narayana are absolutely untenable.

      This shows the sheer desperation of a few narrow minded shaivas / shaktas camouflaged as advaitins .

    4. <>

      Although this is a neutral blog that welcomes all vaidikas, I cannot pass the opportunity - this is just for those readers who happen to be sri vaishnavas.

      Let us just rephrase that and say that the ultimate "rudra" is truly none other than the great Parasara Bhattar whose works bring tears to the eyes of any sri vaishnava. Who else would write such a vyAkhyAna on vishNu sahasranAma - that despite the fact that each name has a 100 meanings (as pointed out by sri mAdhva), srI bhattar gives the only meaning out of the 100 which actually fits the context wherever it occurs. Sample our articles for that.

      Tradition has it that when he finished the bhAshya on vishNu sahasranAma, srI rAmAnuja himself blessed it and told Bhattar - "Consider that I have written it myself", meaning, Bhattar was every bit equal to YatirAja - and appointed Bhattar as his successor. At that time, Bhattar was in his teens at the most and srI rAmAnuja was past 100!

    5. Limiting this to Srivaishnavas --- Completely agree that Swami Parasara bhattar was an acharya par excellence. Bhattar's bhasya is the ultimate bhasyam on Vishnu sahasranamam and the icing on the cake is Bhattar's "Sri Guna ratna kosam" where Bhattar sings the glories of peria piratti or Sri Raganayaki nachiyar. Sri Guna ratna kosam brings out all the facets of Bhattar like theology, philosophy, poetry and what not. Short of words to describe the greatness of it.
      Ultimate rudras are the 11 Alvars whose works bring tears of joy to even to ordinary humans ( Andal being the culmination of all these 11 ultimate rudras i.e. the 11 Alvars, She being the epitome of Auspiciousness ("Sivam" and "Sivakarim" as it appears in laksmi astotharam)) Can anyone beat these 11 Alvars in bring tears of joy to devotees ? Not possible...All other SriVaisnava acharyas, follow the path of Alvars only

  5. Brilliant article and great comments too! Pallaandu to the amazing depth and spellbinding width of the Author's knowledge!!

  6. Namaste

    You have given a few instances of fights between Shiva and Narayana. There is one more instance in the Mahabharata. This is from Adi parvan. It is well known that Arjuna and Krishna defeat a host of devas during the burning of Khandava forest. What is not so well known is that Shiva is one among the defeated devas in this incident. I will provide you the relevant quotes from the Mahabharata shortly.

    1. Here are the quotes from Mahabharata Adi parvan, 1.218.30-31 which show that Shiva was also among the host of gods fighting Krishna and Arjuna during khandava forest burning (and these gods got defeated in the battle) -

      tataH samudyatAM dRRiShTvA devendreNa mahAshanim |
      jagRRihuH sarvashastrANi svAni svAni surAstadA || 30||

      kAladaNDaM yamo rAjA shibikAM cha dhaneshvaraH |
      pAshaM cha varuNastatra vichakraM cha tathA shivaH || 31||

      Translation by van Buitenen -

      //Then, seeing the great bolt held ready by the Indra of the Gods, the Gods all grasped their own weapons–King Yama his Staff of Death, the God of Wealth his Palanquin, Varuna his Noose, Siva his Trident.//

    2. Thank you for the reference.

    3. @Anonymous

      The Vyasa Mahabharata english translation by Kisari Mohan Ganguli (and also M.N. Dutt English translation) for the verse 1.218.book1.31 is as follows

      Mahabharata Adiparva 1.31
      (english translation)

      Yama, O king, took up the death-dealing mace, and Kuvera his spiked club, and Varuna his noose and beautiful missile.

      So, it appears they ignore that Siva was part of Indra's army. But, next the few verses clearly says that rudras were also involved in that attack as per the verse 1.218.book1.36 of Mahabharata

      "And Rudras and the Vasus, the mighty Maruts and the Viswedevas and the Sadhyas, all resplendent with their own energy,--these and many other celestials, armed with various weapons rushed against those exalted of men, Krishna and Partha, for smiting them down"

      Here is he link from sacred texts to the english translation by Kisari Mohan Ganguli


    4. @Anonymous
      The English translation of the verse 1.218.book131 of Mahabharata by Kisari Mohan ganguli ( even the English translation by M.N.Dutt) is as follows
      Mahabharata Adiparva - 1.218.book1.31 verse English translation

      "Yama, O king, took up the death-dealing mace, and Kuvera his spiked club, and Varuna his noose and beautiful missile. And Skanda (Kartikeya) took up his long lance and stood motionless like the mountain of Meru. "

      It appears that these English translators have conveniently ignored the presence of Shiva among the army of devas who fought and got defeated by Krishna and Arjuna.

      The verse 1.218.book1.36, also does refer to Rudras also as a part of the host of devas who were on the side of Indra and were defeated by Krishna and Arjuna.

      The English translation given by for this verse is

      "And Rudras and the Vasus, the mighty Maruts and the Viswedevas and the Sadhyas, all resplendent with their own energy,--these and many other celestials, armed with various weapons rushed against those exalted of men, Krishna and Partha, for smiting them down"

      You can refer to the following link for the English translations by Kisari Mohan ganguli

      Just for reference, in the Mahabharata verses Adiparva, 1.218.book1.8,28 Indra is referred as Suresvaraha and Mahesvaraha. But unfortunately the most of the Vishnu haters don't want to acknowledge that words like Maheswara, Suresvaraha, Mahadeva etc are applicable to many celestial deities as it used as a common noun and not just to Shiva or Rudra or Parvati-pati only. These verses are provided below

      tasyās tīkṣṇena bhallena pṛthu dhāreṇa pāṇḍavaḥ |
      śiraś ciccheda gacchantyās tām apaśyat sureśvaraḥ || 8

      tataḥ śakro 'bhisaṃkruddhas tridaśānāṃ maheśvaraḥ |
      pāṇḍuraṃ gajam āsthāya tāv ubhau samabhidravat || 28

    5. Sri VM

      Thank you for your posts.

  7. Namaste

    In his BSB 2.3.45, Sri Adi Shankara uses the words "Ishwara Gita", to refer to the Bhagavad Gita only. Today, there is another text that goes by the name of Ishwara Gita, but in the days of Sri Shankara, Ishwara Gita was a synonym for Bhagavad Gita alone.

    1. In addition to the above instance, there are 2 more instances in BSB 2.1.14, where Sri Adi Shankara calls the Bhagavad Gita as Ishwara Gita.

    2. There is an "Ishvara Gita" spoken by Shiva in the kUrma purANa which has been quoted by the guru of Madhusudhana Saraswati. At first glance, it appears to be a sattvic portion of kUrma purANa (a tAmasa purANa) that only alludes to nArAyaNa paratva. We are in the process of examining it further and may write an article on it soon.

  8. Dear All,

    Just an amusing write-up we found on the advaita forums. This should be a sample of the ignorance prevaling nowadays.

    The author of that post is none other than our old friend Veerashaiva who still has not retired from spewing garbage on the net.

    He quotes the following mahabharata sloka,

    मया त्वं रक्षितो युद्धे महान्तं प्राप्तवाञ्जयम्।। यस्तु ते सोग्रतो याति युद्धे संप्रत्युपस्थिते। तं विद्धि रुद्रं कौन्तेय देवदेवं कपर्दिनम्।। कालः स एव विहितः क्रोधजेति मया तव। निहतांस्तेन वै पूर्वं हतवानसि यान्रिपून्।। अप्रमेयप्रभावं तं देवदेवमुमापतिम्। नमस्व देवं प्रयतो विश्वेशं हरमक्षयम्।। यश्च ते कथितः पूर्वं क्रोधजेति पुनः पुनः। तस्य प्रभाव एवाग्रे यच्छ्रुतं ते धनंजय।।

    Protected by me in the great battle, thou hast won a great victory. That Being whom, at the time of all thy battles, thou beheldest stalking in thy van, know, O son of Kunti, is no other than Rudra, that god of gods, otherwise called by the name of Kaparddin. *He is otherwise known by the name of Kāla, *and should be known as one that has sprung from my wrath. *Those foes whom thou hast slain were all, in the first instance, slain by him.* Do thou bend thy head unto that god of gods, that lord of Umā, endued with immeasurable puissance. With concentrated soul, do thou bend thy head unto that illustrious Lord of the universe, that indestructible deity, otherwise called by the name of Hara. He is none else than that deity who, as I have repeatedly told thee, has sprung from my wrath. Thou hast, before this, heard, O Dhananjaya, of the puissance and energy that reside in him!'”

    Veerashaiva further proceeds to give a highly amusing interpretatiom as follows. Quoting him:

    //What is striking in the above translation is those two lines, highlighted, and shown here: *A. **// He is otherwise known by the name of Kāla//* *And* *B. **//Those foes whom thou hast slain were all, in the first instance, slain by him.//* These two lines correspond to the two lines of the two verses of the Bh.Gītā 11thchapter shown above, again shown here:

    कालोऽस्मि लोकक्षयकृत्प्रवृद्धो लोकान्समाहर्तुमिह प्रवृत्तः।
    कालोऽस्मि लोकक्षयकृत्प्रवृद्धो लोकान्समाहर्तुमिह प्रवृत्तः। (11.33A)

    I am the world-destroying Time, [Time: The supreme God with His limiting adjunct of the power of action.] grown in stature and now engaged in annihilating the creatures.] And मयैवैते निहताः पूर्वमेव निमित्तमात्रं भव सव्यसाचिन् 11.33 B [These have been killed verily by Me even earlier; be you merely an instrument, O Savyasācin (Arjuna).]

    Thus, there is simply no occasion for the claim that 'Vishnu is superior to Shiva.'//


    The above is his blabber. Watch us destroy this inane logic now.

    Cont'd in next post.

  9. Cont'd from above.

    Veerashaiva quite deliberately ignores several key points. We demolish his absurdity with just 4 points:

    1) He ignores how krishNa describes Shiva - क्रोधजेति मया तव।- Rudra is born of my wrath. Here the term "my" means "Me, as the inner self of Brahma". Rudra is born of Brahma's wrath according to shAstrAs. Brahma is the body of nArAyaNa who is his inner self. By sharIrAtma bhAva and sAmAnAdhikaraNya, names denoting the body denote the self and thus the name "Brahma" in its ultimate connotation denotes the indwelling Lord nArAyaNa, which allows krishNa to refer to Brahma's wrath as "my wrath", ie the wrath of Brahma who is his body.

    Thus Rudra is a creation of the Lord, born from Brahma and hence is a jIvAtma. Veerashaiva cannot accept this and thus ignores the clear statement of the shAstra.

    2) Rudra is called "kAla" as he is tasked with the duty of ending lives. "KAla" (kalayati) means "reckoner of the moments of death for all jIvAs". In the gIta, "kAla" refers to time which again is the reckoner of death for all. Thus, the term "kAla" is a common noun and can refer to Rudra and to time as used in the gIta on account of similar functions for both.

    3) However, both time and Rudra have one thing in common. Both are the vibhUtIs of the Lord. That is clear from the fact that bhagavAn says "kAlosmi" in the gIta which implies that he uses time as his vibhUti to end the lives and the fact that Rudra is mentioned in the mahAbhArata to be born of his wrath and is used as his vibhUti to perform the task of killing.

    "kAlosmi" - "I'm the inner self of time which is my body and hence my vibhUti which I use to kill all".

    4) Even were "kAlosmi", hypothetically speaking, used to denote Rudra in the Gita, it still implies Rudra is a vibhUti since it is clearly mentioned he is born of the Lord's wrath in the mahAbhArata. Using sharIrAtma bhAva, the Lord can easily say "I'm Rudra", meaning, I'm the inner self of Rudra".

    The cheek of quoting a pramANa that directly says Rudra is born of nArAyaNa and trying to claim Rudra is paramAtma is quite amusing. So much for Veerashaiva' s ramblings.

    1. Additionally, while we are on the business of clarifying that when krishNa says "my wrath", it denotes brahma's wrath by sharIrAtma bhAva, let me also address one similar upanishad vAkya that is doing the rounds on the net:

      Adha punareva Narayanasoanyathkamo manasa adhyatha. Thasya 
      dhyananthasya lalatath thryaksha shulapaani purusho bhibrthsriyam, .........
      thasyadeeshano maha devo maha deva.

      Meaning: Narayana again meditated. From the face (lalata) of the meditating Narayana was born Rudra with three eyes and tejas. He had renounciation and other qualities. Therefore he is regarded as Mahadeva...

      Here too, the "nArAyaNa" referred to here is the form of the Lord as the innerself of Brahma.

      It is actually Brahma who meditated and made Rudra take birth out of his forehead. By virtue of sharIrAtma bhAva and sAmAnAdhikaraNya, the name "nArAyaNa" denotes "bhagavAn, who has brahma as his body".

      Just as when we say "jIvAtma is travelling in samsAra", it means "the Atma residing in a body is travelling in samsAra", similarly "nArAyaNa" denotes the Lord (Atma) residing in Brahma (Body).

      Due to aprthak siddhi (inseparable association), the two distinct entities (soul/body, brahma/nArAyaNa) are referred to by the same name.

      Thus, Rudra was born from the head of brahma-sharIraka paramAtma. That is the meaning.

      I felt like clarifying this because some vaishnavas have spread opinions like "in some yugas, nArAyaNa directly creates Rudra and in others, Brahma creates him", based on this upanishad vAkya. This is wrong. In all yugAs, the Lord only creates Brahma directly and no-one else. Everything else including Rudra is created by the Lord as the indweller of Brahma.

    2. I would like to make a slight correction to my earlier post:

      //That is clear from the fact that bhagavAn says "kAlosmi" in the gIta which implies that he uses time as his vibhUti to end the lives


      "kAlosmi" - "I'm the inner self of time which is my body and hence my vibhUti which I use to kill all".//

      ShrI rAmAnuja says in his gIta bhAshya, it is not necessary to take "kAla" as time. By direct use of etymology, it means bhagavAn is "kAlah" as he takes away everyone's lives. This is more appropriate as bhagavAn has directly appeared on the battlefield to kill duryOdhana and others.

      Rudra, Mrtyu, kAla (time) etc are vibhUtIs who are entrusted with the function of taking away lives. Just like Arjuna, they are mere instruments used by bhagavAn to destroy dUryOdhana and others. By clarifying that rudra was born from him, that rudra takes away the lives of others and by saying in the gIta that he (krishNa), is kAla, all it means is that rudra is his vibhUti who is used as an instrument for accomplishing this task.

      "kAlaH" refers to bhagavAn as he takes away lives, "kAlaH" refers to rudra as he is empowered by bhagavAn to take away lives. There is no identity here as the reference to rudra being born of his wrath is to highlight the fact that he is a vibhUti.

  10. I have also translated the entire slOka properly, as Sacred Texts which is resorted to by the likes of Veerashaiva and the Mahapashupatastra author et al. lends itself to all wrong interpretations.

    mayA tvaM rakShito yuddhe mahAntaM prAptavA~njayam|| yastu te sograto yAti yuddhe saMpratyupasthite| taM viddhi rudraM kaunteya devadevaM kapardinam||

    Meaning: Protected by me in the great battle, thou hast won a great victory. That being whom, at the time of all your battles, you saw going in front, know, O son of Kunti, is the one known as Rudra, the Lord of the devas (devadeva), the one with matted locks signifying his upAsaNa (Kapardin).

    Readers must ask the question. Why does krishNa refer to rudra by these 3 names specifically and in that order? The reason is because it is describing specific attributes of Rudra:

    1) Rudra – One who cried at the time of his birth. In other words, he was born a jnAni as he cried at being born in samsAra, recognizing he was not yet freed of karma. Anyone who laments over their situation of birth is a jnAni and of great merit.

    2) Devadeva – On account of such merit, he is the Lord of the devas other than Brahma who is his father.

    3) Kapardin – On account of being a jnAni and the Lord of the devas, he indulges in penances which is meditation on the auspicious attributes of vishNu, as signified by the reference to his matted locks (Kapardin). Thus, he is always meditating on Brahman and is a yogi par excellence.


  11. Cont'd from above...

    kAlaH sa eva vihitaH krodhajeti mayA tava| nihatAMstena vai pUrvaM hatavAnasi yAnripUn||

    Meaning: He is known as “kAla” as he counts down the time of death for others and should be known as being born of my (Brahma's) wrath (which enables him to function as “kAla”).

    How does Rudra have the ability to be the reckoner of the lives of others? It is because he is a vibhUti of the Lord, being born due to the wrath of Brahma.

    The act of destruction, taking away lives, etc is tamas and thus, it is a duty that is suited to Rudra, who was born at the time of Brahma being in tamO guNa (anger) and thus is possessed of tamas. This is the significance of referring to Rudra’s birth here as “krodhajA” and thus also implies he is a vibhUti.

    Rajas is creation. Sattva is maintenance. Tamas is destruction. vishNu as the antaryAmin of Brahma creates, possessed of rajas. vishNu as himself is possessed of sattva and maintains. vishNu as the antaryAmin of rudra is possessed of tamas and destroys. In this manner, bhagavAn is not directly associated with rajas or tamas, but he is the one who empowers Brahma and Rudra to do their respective jobs.

    bhagavAn is “kAla” as he is the actual destroyer of all, being the Supreme Being. Rudra is “kAla” as he is the vibhUti of the Lord empowered to fulfill the duty of destruction. That Rudra is a vibhUti is confirmed by the fact that he has a birth and the Lord himself clarifies in the gIta that he is the destroyer in actuality, which means Rudra is an instrument.

    nihatAMstena vai pUrvaM hatavAnasi yAnripUn|| aprameyaprabhAvaM taM devadevamumApatim| namasva devaM prayato vishveshaM haramakShayam||

    Meaning: Those whom you slew, were all slain by him earlier itself - meaning, whether you intended to slay them or refused, they would have been slain anyway as that is their ordained fate. Bow down to him (Rudra), whose strength (prabhAva) is the Lord nArAyaNa known as “apramEya” (apramEya-prabhAva), who is the Lord of Uma, which signifies he is a parama-jnAni (umApatiM) and thus is the leader of the devas who are sAttvikas (devadeva), who is the god purified by austerities or subdued in senses (prayatO devaM), to the Ruler of the Universe on account of being a medium for the knowledge of the Lord (vishvEshaM), who has destroyed desire (haraM) and who does not dwell in the experience of sense objects (akShayaM).

    “apramEya-prabhAva” – One whose strength or glory (prabhAva) is the Lord nArAyaNa, who is “apramEya” as he is beyond the sense-organs of even Brahma and the other gods. There are several pramANAs where Brahma and others claim they do not fully know vishNu, and thus the latter is hailed as “apramEya” in the sahasranAma.

    As the antaryAmin of Rudra, it is very appropriate to refer to him as "apramEya" as he cannot be cognized by the senses.

    In other words, Rudra is the vibhUti of nArAyaNa who is known as “apramEya”. That is the meaning of “apramEya-prabhAva”.

    This reference occurs right after bhagavAn says that everyone was slain by Rudra. It thus shows that bhagavAn made Rudra an instrument for achieving this.


  12. Cont'd from above...

    The rest of the names now draw from this meaning sequentially and beautifully explain the qualities of Rudra.

    “umApatiM” – On account of being empowered by the Lord as mentioned above, he is “umApatiM”. “umA” is synonymous to “yashas” or “splendour”, thus Rudra has acquired the splendour of brahma-jnAna. Uma also refers to pArvati who is the teacher of the devas. She herself is renowned as a great jnAni and he is her husband and her teacher too, which again illustrates the greatness of his jnAna.

    “devadevaM” – On account of being a parama-jnAni and empowered by the Lord, he is a teacher of all the devas who are sAttvikas. Thus, despite his birth in tamO guNa, he is the chief of sAttvikas due to the grace of the Lord.

    “prayatO devaM” – The god who has purified himself by austerities. Alternatively, it means the god who has subdued his senses.

    “viShvEshaM” – As he has subdued his senses or performed austerities, he is the medium for knowledge of Brahman, and so he is called the Ruler of the Universe and all sAttvikas resort to him.

    “haraM” – As he possesses knowledge of Brahman, he has destroyed the desire for experience of sense objects. He is a mahA-vairAgyashAli.

    “akShayaM” – “kShaya” means residing or dwelling. “akShaya” means the opposite of that- he is not residing in the experience of sense objects as he has destroyed desire.

    yashcha te kathitaH pUrvaM krodhajeti punaH punaH| tasya prabhAva evAgre yachChrutaM te dhanaMjaya||

    Meaning: He is the one whom I have spoken of repeatedly before as being born of my (Brahma’s) wrath. O Dhananjaya! You have indeed heard of his greatness before.

    Why does krishNa again repeat that Rudra is “krodhajA”? The previous time, krishNa said he was “krodhajA”, born of anger of Brahma and thus possessed tamO guNa which was suited to his work of destruction. Now, krishNa is again saying he is “krodhajA” to imply that Rudra, despite being born of anger in an untimely manner in tamO guNa, possesses greatness.

    Thus, this slOka convincingly establishes Rudra is a jIvAtma empowered by the Lord.

  13. Additionally, Veerashaiva tries to dodge the "krodhajA" mentioned in the mahAbhArata as follows. Quoting him:

    //In the Kūrma purāṇa Shiva gives a boon to Narayana that he will be born as the latter's krodha: अहं च भवतो वक्त्रात् कल्पान्ते घोररूपधृक् । [सुररूपधृक्] शूलपाणिर्भविष्यामि क्रोधजस्तव पुत्रकः ॥ [I will be born from your mouth at the end of the kalpa,with a fierce form/divine form. I will become endowed with the śula weapon, born of your wrath, as your son.] There is a background to this statement of Shiva in the Kurmapurana अयं मे दक्षिणे पार्श्वे ब्रह्मा लोकपितामहः । वामपार्श्वे च मे विष्णुः पालको हृदये हरः ।। २६.८९ प्रीतोऽहं युवयोः सम्यक् वरं दद्मि यथेप्सितम् । एवमुक्त्वाऽथ मां देवो महादेवः स्वयं शिवः ।२६.९० [This Brahmā was born from my right side and Vishnu from my right. Hara emerged from my heart.] I am pleased with your devotion. I offer you boon that you desire. ऊचतुः प्रेक्ष्य तद्वक्त्रं नारायणपितामहौ । यदि प्रीतिः समुत्पन्ना यदि देयो वरो हि न।२६.९२ भक्तिर्भवतु नौ नित्यं त्वयि देव महेश्वरे । Brahmā and Viṣṇu appealed to Shiva: If you are pleased with us bless us that we shall be devoted to you. After this Shiva says that he will be born to Vishnu as 'krodhaja'. This verse has been pointed out by Sri Appayya Dikshita in his Mahabharata sāra sangraha stotram.//

    The kUrma purANa is a tAmasa purANa and hence is not valid. So, Veerashaiva's quotes are in vain. The "krodhajA" reference to the mahAbhArata tallies with the reference in the Srimad bhAgavataM where Rudra is mentioned to be born of the wrath of Brahma. The bhAgavata is a sAttvika purANa and hence is authority, whereas the kUrma purANa is not. The account in the bhAgavata also tallies with the Satapatha BrahmaNa's description of Rudra's birth.

    Appayya's arguments born of his fertile imagination have been refuted by advaitins themselves, let alone vishishtadvaitins or dvaitins.

    But Veerashaiva is not done. He further says:

    //Mahabharata Anushasanika parva, Ch.45. Here Krishna says about Shiva that from Shiva have Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra have emerged. I have not given the translation of each verse: योऽसृजद्दक्षिणादङ्गाद्ब्रह्माणं लोकसम्भवम् | वामपार्श्वात्तथा विष्णुं लोकरक्षार्थमीश्वरः ||१८३||//

    Ah yes, the famous section of drona parva/anushAsanika parva which have beeb clearly proven to be interpolated and mentioned to be parts of the linga and aditya purANAs unscrupulously inserted into the mahAbhArata by ancient commentators themselves. Where else would Veerashaiva go to?

    These sections, referred to as interpolations by ancient commentators, contradict the statements in the mahAbhArata itself that are quoted by all vedAntins including advaitins:

    "visnOr cAtma bhagavatO bhavaH amita tejasaH" (karna parva) - vishNu is the antaryAmin of Rudra.

    "ahnaH kShayE lalAtAchcha suto devasya vai tathA krodhAviShTasya sa~njaGYe rudraH"... (Santi parva) - Rudra is born of the wrath of Brahma to be the samhAra-karta. Being born of wrath which is tamas, he possesses tamo guNa suited for destruction work.

    So, quoting interpolated verses is of no use when the shAstras are unambiguous.


  14. Cont'd from above

    Finally, Veerashaiva gives a "vyAkhyAna" for krodha guNa as follows:

    //One should also note that the term 'wrath' is no way derogatory. It is a necessity for the samhāra, dissolution/destruction, function along with the creation and sustenance functions. So Brahman, assuming the respective moods/emotions/gunas takes the form of the trimutis to carry out this function. Brahman cannot do this without resorting to these gunas. By default Brahman is nirgunam.//

    Except that the wrath here does not belong to Brahman, but to Brahma. Brahman being the antaryAmin of Brahma refers to his wrath as "my wrath". The wrath of Brahma is nothing great, just plain tAmasa guNa and that is why Rudra literally wept upon being born.

    Secondly, it says Rudra is born of wrath, not a "form assumed by Brahman out of wrath".

    Even in advaita, saguNa ishvara is vishNu only as he is under sattva upAdhi . Those forms of Brahman under rajO and tamO guNa upAdhis (Brahma and Rudra) are incapable of granting liberation, which has been established by all ancient advaitins.

    Such a simple concept, yet vishNu dvEshis seek to mangle it.

  15. Veerashaiva has replied to this. Funny old fool. Here we go:

    //Our pandita is not even aware that the two words 'prayato' and 'devam' are not in the same vibhakti in order for them to be in an adjective-noun relationship. 'prayatah' is in prathamA and 'devam' is in dvitIyA. Thus, the word 'prayataH' should go with Arjuna (who is not named in this verse) but the word 'namasva', a verb in the madhyama purusha, is intended to Arjuna. So, the meaning is: Having purified yourself, worship Shiva.//

    Yep, Veerashaiva is gleeful that he has found a mistake in my interpretation. Hats off to him. Unlike this senile old fraud who lives off false meanings on the net, we do not have time to crosscheck each and everything we post. Even in the ShatarudrIyaM, we found certain mistakes we corrected.

    In fact, we are still proofreading our articles.

    Why bleat about it? “devaM prayatO” simply means then, “With a pure mind, Arjuna, worship that God”. It does not change the meaning at all. Rudra is still a jIva, worshipped for obtaining knowledge of vishNu.

    All cool, isn’t it now? Compared to this old fool who doesn’t have one logical thought in his head, one minute mistake is nothing.


  16. //In his enthusiasm driven by Shiva devesha to downplay every adjective used by Krishna (and Veda Vyasa) genuinely applicable to Shiva, this Shiva deveshi goes on and on to refute Krishna and Veda Vyasa and thereby shame them under the illusion he is actually shaming Shiva. For example, the word 'akshayam' in the verse simply means: Shiva who is free of decay, that is eternal. The Shiva-dveshi does not want this epithet to go to Shiva who cannot be akshaya; only Vishnu can be eternal. So he cooks up a completely out of the world meaning for that word://

    Numbskull, the same verse declares he is “krodhajA”. He is born of Brahma’s wrath and is mentioned as “anapahatapApma” in the Satapatha BrahmaNa. Madhusudhana Saraswati himself quotes the mantra “eko ha vai nArAyaNa Aseet na brahma na cashankaraH”. Thus, he certainly is not eternal.

    When a term can denote several meanings, you choose the one that fits the context.

    //How awful! There is nothing in the verse that warrants a 'residence' sense to that word. With his imbecile imagination and dogged by desperation he imports a meaning that is wrong in this context. How can someone who is Vishvesha not be literally akshaya? Thus, with anaprasiddha interpretation the pandita is making a fool of himself. He takes his readers for grantedand goes on deluding them.//

    El Retardo knows this is a grammatically correct meaning of akShaya, so he is unable to gleefully gloat and resort to his usual diatribes. In the context of describing a being who is krodhaja, who has performed austerities to attain the position of “devadeva”, it is clear “akshaya” means one who is not experiencing sense objects. A Sanskrit word has many meanings.

    OK, let us play his game. Even if “akShaya” means “imperishable”, it means by virtue of “aprthak siddhi” – one who is associated with something that is “imperishable”. One who is associated with brahmajnAna that is imperishable is “akShaya”.

    In the gIta, the self associated with a perishable body is called "kshara". This is due to inseparable association. Similarly, rudra is "akShaya" as he is associated with the imperishable and eternal brahmajnAna.

    “Vishveshvara” is on account of Shiva being a possessor of brahma jnAna and one who leads the seeker to vishNu. As he is an AvEsha of vishNu (visnorcAtma bhagavatO bhavasya amita tejasaH), he is vishveshvara.

    Note that the bhAgavata describes Shiva as “Ishvaras sarva dehinAm” after saying “iShAnassarva vidyAnam” – on account of his knowledge, he is a ruler.


  17. Now, our escapee from a senile asylum prattles on about “apramEya prabhAva”:

    //While the word means: one whose glory/strength is beyond comprehension, the above interpretation only smacks of Krishna's extreme egoistic. Why should he askArjuna to bow to someone who has zero content of himself but has everything that is of someone else? Instead of doing all that, he could simply desist Arjunafrom bowing to Shiva and instead ask him to bow to Krishna himself. Arke chen madhu vindeta kimarthamparvatam vrajet? If honey is available in the courtyard, why go all the way to the mountain to get it? The whole exercise of Krishna initiating a dialogue with Arjuna is a waste, meaningless, if Krishna and Veda Vyasa had the evil intentions of this shiva-dveshi.//

    When you cannot argue the interpretation, all that you can do is write gibberish and babble like a chimp.

    Why do you assume Shiva has everything? There is *zero* proof that he is parabrahman and even this verse describes his birth. Arjuna should bow down to shiva to give him respect as a vishva guru.

    Shiva is described as krodhaja. That establishes he is avibhUti and hence “kAla”, possessing tamo guNa for destruction. Then, he is called “apramEya prabhAva”.

    Note that there is always a difference between howvishNu and shiva are described. The rAmAyaNa says “ahaM vedmi rAmam mahAtmAnaM satyaparAkramaM” – “I know that mahatma rAma”. This is comparable to the puruSha sUkta “vedAhamedaMpuruShaM mahAntaM”.

    Now, see how krishNa describes Shiva elsewhere in the mahAbhArata – “vedAhamEdam mahAdevatattvEna” – I know the tattva of Mahadeva. The term “tattva” is a name occurring in the vishNusahasranAma and refers to the Lord as antaryAmin. Thus, note the difference between how rAma and shivaare addressed – “ahaM vedmi rAmaM” and “vedAhamEdaM mahAdeva tattvEna”. It shows that Shiva is not being addressed, but his antaryAmin, whereas rAma has no antaryAmin.

    Similarly, vishNu is addressed everywhere as “apramEya”. The phrase “apramEya” by itself conveys “immeasurability” in all aspects. However, when joined to “prabhAvaM” to denote a created deity like Shiva, it clearly means something else, which is antaryAmitva of vishNu. Similar to the example of “vedAhamEdam”. Thus, "tattva" and "apramEya" convey vishNu in the 2 instances.

    Even in the pramANa - "visnOr cAtma bhagavatObhavasya amita tejasaH" - it clearly shows Bhava's "amita tejas" is that of vishNu's due to the latter empowering him. This alone is a pramANa as well for our interpretation.

    Veerashaiva can bang his head on the wall now.


  18. //On the other hand, Krishna is acknowledging that Shiva's glory is beyond comprehension. It is only because of this greatness that Krishna undertook severe penance to seek boons from Shiva. The Kailasa Yatra episode is well recorded in the Mahabharata and in theHarivamsha and cited by Shankara in the VSNbhashya.//

    The blog explains the Kailasa Yatra stuti. As is his wont, the old fraud has neglected to mention –

    1) Shiva immediately praises vishNu as the *only* supreme being after the stuti

    2)Shankara only quotes the part where shiva extolls vishNu.

    3) Forget Shankara, our Acharyas have quoted this section.

    4) The section of the blog titled "prayers of shri krishna to shiva" explains how even the shiva stuti is praising vishNu only.

    5) Were the shiva stuti interpreted to praise shiva rather than his antaryAmin, there is absolutely no paratva. For instance, saying "kailAsha nilaya" or "namo nilakanthaya" does not prove supremacy as those are mere attributes. Whereas, the stuti sung by shiva to vishNu has paratva no matter how you read it.

    Now the old toad, who once dismissed sridhara swami as "not needed for vedic study", brings him up when it suits him.

    //śivārādhanārthaṁ puṇḍarīkīkṛtam akṣi yeneti vā—puṇḍarīkam paraṁ

    dhāma akṣam avyayam ucyate ity-ādi ślokokta-vyutpattyā puṇḍarīkīkṣeti

    sambodhanam iti vā |  

    The gist is: The Lord’s eye is lotus-like because he ‘made’ his eye a lotus in order to worship Śiva.  [There is a story which says that when Hari resolved to worship Hara with a thousand lotuses, at the end, (owing to a loving trick played by Hara), one lotus fell short of the number. Hari, undaunted by the shortage, offered his own eye as a lotus and completed his worship.]//


    We have explained this earlier. Is this absolute mongaware that even Vaishnava acharyas quote this incident and explain it similarly as well? The comparison by Sridhara Swami is only to illustrate preeminence. That will be explained again in a later post.

    Stick to talking to other grandpas about retirement life and leave the interpretations to knowledgeable people. Mong.


    Note that except for noting one insignificant grammatical error, he has absolutely no answer to our interpretation of “Akshaya” or “haram” etc. Get back to your strait-jacket.


  19. Now, we really are done with this old dvEshi. There is no point in arguing with someone who keeps repeating things. And when he finds an innocuous error that changes absolutely no part of the meaning, he goes on about it without addressing the other points.

    Grandpappy's reasoning is this - I can't grammatically disprove "akShaya", "haraM" etc? Fine, I will just rant and rave about an insignificant error like an inebriated chimpanzee. That'll show 'em.

    HBB and myself will address the comments on Sridhara soon. Then we will be done with this tedious character.

    1. Btw, the harivamSha bhavishya parva sloka quoted by Veerashaiva, on shiva giving the sudarshaNa chakra to vishNu is not from a section quoted by Shankara or anyone. The harivamSha has several interpolations such as a hari-hara aikya stuti that appears out of nowhere during the bAnasura charitra. This is also one of the interpolated sections.

      That it is an interpolation is clear from the fact that we have proof from ancient vedAntins' works as follows:

      In his "shaiva-sarvasya-khaNDanam", the dvaita guru Vijayendra Tirtha refutes the claim that vishNu performed a penance to obtain Sudarshana Chakra from Shiva. After establishing the truth, he then says "Such veda-virodha incidents (of Hari receiving the Chakra from Shiva), is mentioned in the following texts:

      1) In the tAmasa purANas
      2) In the pUrva khANDa of varAha purANa and in padma purANa.

      For 2), he adds that the varAha purANa and padma purANa, despite being predominantly sAttvika, is mishra-sattva and has some tAmasic portions. The sattva nature of the purANas decreases gradually as we go from vishNu and bhAgavata purANas to shiva and linga purANas.

      Funny that Vijayendra Tirtha did not mention that this is found in Harivamsha also. So either - 1) he was lying or hiding it, which no vaidika, even his bitterest opponents, accepted, 2) It did not exist in the HarivamSha at all.

      2) is correct. HarivamSha is a part of mahAbhArata and hence has been subject to as much interpolations as the latter.

      The section of krishNa's penance that is quoted by vaidika acharyas starts with this,

      evaM bahuvidhairbhUtaiH pishAchairuragaiH saha | Agatya bhagavAnrudraH sha~Nkaro vR^ishavAhanaH ||3-87-1

      And even this section is referenced by sri vaishnavas only. Shri Shankara has only quoted the part where Shiva praises Vishnu.

      The section quoted by our resident looney-bin Veerashaiva is not quoted by anyone and has veda virodha arthAs like the interpolated drona parva/anushasanika section, and the hari-hara aikya stuti in the bAnasura section of harivamSha. Thus, it is an interpolation.

      However, the stuti of Hari to Shiva and vice-versa is quoted or referenced to by all AchAryAs and is genuine. That has been explained on the blog.

      Would be nice if they could stick to pramANAs quoted by AchAryAs instead of interpolated sections of mahAbhArata. It is wearisome.

  20. One last note regarding our error on "devaM prayato".

    The error was made as I typed out the vyAkhyAna via my mobile. I have to thank Veerashaiva for pointing out this error. It resolves a doubt I had in my mind.

    Earlier, I had interpreted it as "The god who has curbed his senses, the ruler of the universe on account of knowledge (vishveshaM), the destroyer of desire (haraM), one who does not abide in sense objects (akshayam)".

    There is a problem with this. If it is first of all mentioned he curbed his senses, then why does Haram and Akshayam again say he restrained his senses? A flaw of redundancy occurs.

    Fortunately, my senile savior pointed out my mistake which had escaped my notice (I hate ITRANS) - "prayato" refers to Arjuna.

    In which case, redundancy is removed and a beautiful sangathi is established as follows:

    1) Bow down with a pure mind Arjuna, to that god of sattvika nature (devaM prayato) --> ie, you must be sufficiently of ardent interest to gain brahmajnAna (prayato). Rudra is called "deva" as he, by austerities, has become associated with sattva guNa despite being born in tamas.

    2) Who is Vishvesham or Ruler of the Universe as he has knowledge of all brahma-vidyas and is a medium of knowledge for attaining Brahman. As the bhAgavata says - "ishaanas sarvavidyAnam, ishvaras sarvadehinAm"

    3) On account of that knowledge he has destroyed desire (haraM). He burnt kAma after all.

    4) On account of having no desire, he does not abide in sense objects (akShayaM).

    My silly mistake prevented me from removing the flaw of redundancy. Veerashaiva accomplished it. Thanks.

    Now, wait for the bit on Sridhara.

  21. A slight correction.

    I had written "vEdAhamEdaM mahAdeva tattvEna" earlier. The actual mahAbhArata slOka is "vedAhaM hi mahAdevaM tattvena". Here, shrI krishNa, in the vein of "vedAhamEdaM puruShaM mahAntaM", says "I know that tattva (nArAyaNa/antaryAmin) of mahAdeva.

    I was quoting from memory, hence the slight.

    Similarly, Shiva is referred to as "apramEya prabhAva" where "apramEya" refers to shrI hari only.

  22. Dear all,

    If Veerashaiva has not bored everyone to tears already, I thought of making one last, quick note on this subject to properly explain the "mahAdevaM tattvEna" sloka of mahAbhArata. We had quoted this in another article on the blog but our explanation was not proper as we had just glossed over it.

    So here it is. It belongs to the Sauptika Parva, spoken by krishNa:

    nūnaṃ sa deva denānām īśvareśvaram avyayam jagāma śaraṇaṃ drauṇir ekas tenāvadhīd bahūn

    prasanno hi mahādevo dadyād amaratām api vīryaṃ ca giriśo dadyād yenendram api śātayet

    vedāhaṃ hi mahādevaṃ tattvena bharatarṣabha yāni cāsya purāṇāni karmāṇi vividhāny uta

    ādir eṣa hi bhūtānāṃ madhyam antaś ca bhārata viceṣṭate jagac cedaṃ sarvam asyaiva karmaṇā | (MBH 10:17:6-9)

    Meaning: (KrishNa says:) Drona’s son has sought the aid of the Lord of Devas (Shiva), who is the Ishvareswara as he is the superior most to those others who are alos called Ishvaras (like sanat-kumArAs, etc) as they possess knowledge of VishNu, who is not incited or aroused by the senses ie, is not attracted to sense objects (avyaya).

    ……..If Mahadeva is pleased, he can even grant mOksha, meaning, the knowledge that leads to Moksha. I know mahAdeva in reality, ie, his true nature which is nArAyaNa (tattva) and also his acts of old (like TripurAsura vadham, swallowing hala hala etc accomplished by the aid of nArAyaNa). He (ie, the rudra sharIraka paramAtma) is certainly is the beginning, the middle, and the end of all creatures. This entire universe acts and moves through his will”.

    avyaya - na vIyatE - he is not incited by the senses, and is detached. Other adjectives are self-explanatory.

    Krishna says “if mahadeva is pleased, he can grant even moksha”. The “hi” shows that this is not a deity that is renowned to grant moksha, hence the fact that shiva can grant moksha is a cause for wonder. So how can shiva grant moksha?

    He can grant the knowledge of vishNu that leads to moksha. What is the proof for this interpretation? “jnAnam iccet IshvarAt”

    Mahadeva grants moksha because he grants knowledge of Brahman that leads to moksha. The speaker is krishNa who alone grants moksha to everyone. Thus, it is very easy for him to say "mahadeva grants moksha", for it only means "Those who surrender to Shiva for knowledge are never refused moksha as it is my will". The analogy is like a King saying "Talk to my minister, he can solve all your problems" - it only means the King solves everyone's problems when they approach the minister.

    "mahAdeva tattvEna" - Unlike vishvAmitra who simply says "ahaM vedmi rAmaM", sri krishNa says "vedAhaM hi mahAdevaM tattvena" - rather than just "mahAdevam". The reason is because while rAma has no antaryAmin, mahAdeva has that rAma (nArAyaNa) as his antatyAmin.

    Note that krishNa uses "hi" again - it implies that the true nature of Mahadeva is his antaryAmin which is hidden to all.


  23. Cont'd from above

    "mahAdeva tattvEna” refers to knowing mahAdeva in tattva or essence which is nArAyaNa, ie, he is the antaryAmin of mahAdeva and thus, is responsible for those “old acts”. The very reference to those acts is a direct reference to his antaryAmin.

    Then, the lines - he is the beginning, middle, end and universe acts by his will etc refer to paramAtma who is the innerself of Rudra and has Rudra as his body. So he last line describes that tattva, the antaryAmin only.

    So, it is to say that mahAdeva’s boon to ashwattama is very great because his antaryAmin (nArAyaNa) has aided mahAdeva to perform wondrous acts in the past, such as tripurAsura vadham.

    This word “tattva” echoes the upanishadic statement “nityO nityAnAm” and “satyasya satyam” – paramAtma is the reality of the many realities and the truth of the other truths as he is the inner self of the jivA, has the jivA as his body and makes them exist as well as empowers them. Mahabharata also says “nArAyaNatmaka” with respect to Rudra – spoken by krishNa himself.

    Still not convinced that “tattva” refers to vishNu? We direct you to the sahasranAma which says “tattvam tattva vidEkAtma”. Here, it is mentioned “tattvam” is a name of vishNu.

    And what is the meaning here? Bhattar gives the following meaning for “tattvam” nAma – “He who is the essence (sArAmSha) or principle of the Universe.  Bhattar further adds - "dadhi dugdhayoriva dadhisAraH cit acitoH vyApti  prayojanAbhyAm sArAmSaH tat-tvam" – Like butter which is the essence  of milk and curd, bhagavAn, by His pervasion and usefulness in the  sentient and non-sentient things, is the essence of all things. Butter gives texture, taste, the energy content, etc., to milk and curd. So also, bhagavAn is the essence of all things, by being the cause of their existence, the source of their sustenance etc.”

    And this is the meaning of “mahAdeva tattvEna” – this nArAyaNa is the essence of Shiva who by his pervasion, gives the attributes of mahAdevatvam, iSvaratvam and jnAnatva to Shiva.

    I did not write this for Veerashaiva as we are done with him and he is incurable, but for those interested in the sweet words of bhagavan who never speaks anything but the truth.

    1. Final note: Additionally, one should not confuse this with certain places in the gIta where bhagavAn himself says "know me in reality". The idea is that, when it is said about other created entities like Shiva, knowing them in reality is to know their true nature/essence is the Lord who is their antaryAmin. When krishNa says "know me in reality", in the gIta, it implies attaining a direct perception of the Lord through upAsaNa.

      Just a small note for clarification's sake.

  24. There is a section in the mahAbhArata which describes a battle between nara-nArAyaNa rishis and rudra, and how nArAyaNa throttled rudra's neck till it became black. It is here below:

    In this particular episode, Rudra was overcome by tamO guNa and fought the Lord. Note that during the battle, Nara's axe broke when he used it against Rudra in the fight, but it was because Nara was an AvEsha, a jIva empowered by the Lord and not verily the Lord; whereas the Lord nArAyaNa cannot be overcome in battle, which was evidenced by him rendering the dart of Rudra ineffective by his humkAram.

    In any case, when this battle was going on, Brahma appeared and reminded Rudra of who the Lord was, upon which Rudra surrendered to the Lord. During the course of this dialogue, Brahma tells Rudra the following,

    "त्वं चैव क्रोधजस् तात पूर्वसर्गे सनातनः"

    Meaning: You (Rudra) too are born of his (nArAyaNa, as the indweller of brahma) wrath, being ancient (sanAtana) as you are prior to the creation of Brahma such as the prajApatIs etc. (pUrvasargE)

    Obviously, I wanted to show what "pUrvasargE sanAtana" means here since otherwise, some veerashaivas may misinterpret it.

    The above slOka by brahma is a direct upabrahmaNa of the following shruti vAkya describing Rudra:

    "virUpAkShAya brahmaNa putrAya jyEshtAya shrEshtAya"

    Meaning: Rudra, the one with dissimilar eyes, is the eldest and most celebrated son of Brahma.

    So, going back to the above slOka, we can correlate it with the shruti vAkya:

    - "brahmaNa putrAya" in the shruti vAkya is indicated by "krodhaja" - Rudra is born of Brahma's wrath.

    - "jyEshta" in the shruti vAkya is correlated with "sanAtana" in the above slOka. "sanAtana" means belonging to an ancient time. It does not indicate eternality in all contexts, but is used to indicate someone who has just been around for a very long time. As Rudra was one of Brahma's earliest sons, he is called "jyEshta" and hence, the term "sanAtana" refers to Rudra being very ancient in that sense.

    - "shrEshta" in the shruti vAkya is correlated with "pUrvasargE" - As Rudra is prior to the creation of brahma such as the prajApatis, it also implies he is the most celebrated of Brahma's sons. "pUrva" can also mean he is the first of brahma's sons in terms of jnAna, ie, he is the most distinguished of them all and hence is "shrEshta".

    Just a interesting dialogue between krishNa and arjuna. We have quoted this sloka in the above article, but we didn't notice our interpretation had been slightly off. Will correct it later on.

  25. Dear Sir,

    The above section of Mahabharata describing the fight between Rudra and Narayana also states as follows:

    "He that knows thee, knows me. He that follows thee, follows me. There is no difference between thee and me. Do thou never think otherwise."

    The above verse establishes non difference of Lord Shiva and Lord Narayana. How to understand this verse?


    1. That only uses sharIrAtma bhAva. It is not identity.

      Words like "me", "you" etc denote the indwelling Lord who has the jIva as his body. Thus, for instance, "ahaM brahmAsmi" means "My inner self, denoted by "I", for whom I am the body, is Brahman".

      Thus, it establishes that you are the body of the Lord and hence, you are the sesha (servant) and he is the seshi (master). A body only exists to serve the self.

      Basically what the Lord is saying is this:

      "He who knows you, ie, your antaryAmin for whom you are the body, knows me, ie, I am the same as your inner self. He who follows you, follows me on this account, for any worship done to you is accepted only by your antaryAmin which is non-different to me (so do not get egotistical over worship done to you, giving boons to others, etc for that is achieved by me empowering you only)".

      Then bhagavAn adds, "Never think otherwise, ie, never consider yourself O Rudra, as independent to me. You are my body and thus my servant (sesha). I am non-different to your antaryAmin and hence your master (seshi). Just as a body is sustained by the self, depends on the self for existence and exists solely for the sake of the self, so Rudra, being my body, you are sustainef by me, dependent on me for your existence and exist solely to serve me".

      By this statement, bhagavAn is gently rebuking Rudra for fighting him. It is only because Rudra considered himself independent and forgot his subordinate status that he dared to attack bhagavAn.

      If identity were implied by the above, would it make sense for bhagavAn to say "Do not think otherwise"? For the statement itself implies that Rudra is a being capable of thinking otherwise and thus, forgetting his real nature, which implies a dosha.

    2. In summary, whenever bhagavAn tells any being, "see no difference between you and me", it only means "Understand that your antaryAmin for whom you are the body is none other than me. Therefore you are my servant and I am your master by our essential natures, and you should never regard yourself as independent."

      If people can understand this clearly, there will be no more confusion over any part if shAstra.

  26. Can you give a commentary on the ISVARA GITA of the KURMA PURANA? Is it interpolation like shiva sahasranama of mahabharata?

    1. It is one of the things we have planned as a future article (or article series). Kindly bear with us.

  27. Dear all,

    That Mahapashupatastra blog author quotes the Kurma Purana to “prove” that the subject of the Bhagavad Gita is Shiva as follows:

    dṛṣṭavānasi taṃ devaṃ viśvākṣaṃ viśvatomukham /
    pratyakṣameva sarveśaṃ rudraṃ sarvajagadgurum // KūrmP_1,28.58 //

    jñānaṃ tadaiśvaraṃ divyaṃ yathāvad viditaṃ tvayā /
    svayameva hṛṣīkeśaḥ prītyovāca sanātanaḥ //
    KūrmP_1,28.59 //

    gaccha gaccha svakaṃ sthānaṃ na śokaṃ kartumarhasi /
    vrajasva parayā bhaktyā śaraṇyaṃ śaraṇaṃ śivam //

    These shlokas are a part of a supposed dialogue between Vyasa and Arjuna. We say “supposed” since this is a tAmasic section of the purANa that praises Shiva as supreme and thus should be discarded.

    Our friend however, thinks these are valid pramANAs for his stupidity and says this proves that the subject of the Bhagavad Gita is Shiva since the shloka succeeding the Rudra praising verse declares “jnAnam tad asvaram” has been discoursed by Krishna to Arjuna.

    Funny, this insight that Krishna is somehow the mouthpiece of Shiva is missed by all 3 Acharyas who commented on the Gita declaring that Krishna is Supreme. Only these ignorant Shaivas and Veerashaivas have invented this theory.

    Well, be that as it may. Even if a section is tAmasic and does praise Shiva as supreme, a tAmasa purANa never, ever says that Shiva is the subject of the Gita. It simply does not dare to in fear of overstepping its’ already veda-virodha liberties.


  28. Cont'd from above...

    So, let us examine this section to see what it is actually saying:

    First, the tAmasatva of the section is established by these shlokas in the beginning:

    saṃdarśanād vai bhavataḥ śoko me vipulo gataḥ /
    idānīṃ mama yat kāryaṃ brūhi padmadalekṣaṇa // KūrmP_1,27.6 //

    Meaning: Arjuna says: By seeing you, O lotus eyed one (Vyasa), my grief (on being separated from Krishna) has disappeared. Advise me on what to do.

    nānyat paśyāmi jantūnāṃmuktvā vārāṇasīṃ purīm /
    sarvapāpapraśamanaṃ prāyaścittaṃ kalau yugeKūrmP_1,27.10 //

    Meaning: Vyasa says: In this terrible Kali Yuga, I do not perceive a better repentance for ridding the beings of sins than staying at Varanasi.

    Arjuna was dejected that Krishna had left for Paramapada. Vyasa is mentioned to be consoling him by extolling Varanasi, where Shiva resides, as the panacea for Kali Yuga. So, this section begins not with a generic inquiry, but with a specific intention to praise Varanasi. In doing so, it establishes that any praise of Shiva that follows is merely arthavAda that follows, an exaggeration to ensure that the kshetra and Shiva-bhakti is glorified. Thus this dialogue never happened

    Thus, in order to drive home the benefits of worshipping Shiva in Varanasi, this section assumes a tAmasic character in praising Shiva as the Supreme. The idea one reading this would gain is that even the sorrow of Arjuna in losing the Lord’s company is alleviated by worship of Shiva at Varanasi -- this is purely arthavAda.

    Hence, the section appears to praise Shiva as supreme and says bhagavAn is a shiva bhakta, but here and there concedes bhagavAn as supreme as well! Particularly referring to bhagavAn as Hrishikesha -- controller of the senses which implies he alone is the sarvAntaryAmin -- puruShottama --- and other names!


  29. Cont'd from above...

    Having explained lengthily that worship of Shiva is good in Kali Yuga, we see the two shlokas that have been quoted. Interpreting them as follows:

    dṛṣṭavānasi taṃ devaṃ viśvākṣaṃ viśvatomukham /
    pratyakṣameva sarveśaṃ rudraṃ sarvajagadgurum // KūrmP_1,28.58 //

    Meaning: Oh Arjuna! You have seen that god Rudra directly, who is the Eye of the Universe, whose mind reaches everywhere (Visvatomukham), who is the Lord of all, the universal teacher of the knowledge of Brahman.

    While this section takes Rudra as supreme, there is no compulsion to interpret each and every shloka that way. For even while declaring supremacy, tAmasa purANAs slip up and often leave it ambiguous enough to interpret it in terms of rudra’s jIvatva. Here, it can be said Rudra is the eye of the Universe since he is resorted to by all for the knowledge of Brahman. Note that “sarvajagad gurum” is mentioned.

    (Note: Some recensions have “sarvajagadmayam” which can be interpreted as “he whose body is the Universe”, which in turn can refer to RudrAntaryAmin. It is acceptable since Rudra being the medium of knowledge of Brahman is referenced by previous adjectives).

    Visvatomukham - The term “mukham” means “face” and can be interpreted as “mind” according to Sri Vedanta Desikan. “visvatomukham” thus means rudra’s dharma-bhUta-jnAna (attributive knowledge) has pervaded everywhere.


  30. Cont'd from above...

    Having explained this shloka, here is the next one:

    jñānaṃ tadaiśvaraṃ divyaṃ yathāvad viditaṃ tvayā /
    svayameva hṛṣīkeśaḥ prītyovāca sanātanaḥ //
    KūrmP_1,28.59 //

    Meaning: You have the divine knowledge that pertains to the individual self that is the ruler of the body (aisvaram). It was declared to you with love by Hrishikesha, the Lord who is the controller of the senses and hence the indweller of the Jiva.

    “tad aisvaram” refers to the individual self. You would know from our Ishvara Gita commentary of the first chapter (last shloka) that the Jivatma is called "Ruler" as it is the ruler, supporter and nourisher of the body.

    The idea is, Arjuna has seen Rudra and he has knowledge of the Jivatma as distinct from the body as described by the Lord in Gita chapters 1-6. Thus, he should not grieve, which is mentioned in the next shloka:

    gaccha gaccha svakaṃ sthānaṃ na śokaṃ kartumarhasi /
    vrajasva parayā bhaktyā śaraṇyaṃ śaraṇaṃ śivam //

    Meaning: Go to your residence. Do not grieve. Surrender with bhakti to Shiva who is worthy of being the refuge.

    Since this is a tAmasic section, it simply says Arjuna has no grief as he has seen Rudra and knows the nature of the individual self, rather than saying he knows Krishna. Rudra is taken as supreme here, for sure, but he is not mentioned as the subject of the Bhagavad Gita.

    Even here, it is not extremely inappropriate to take “sivam” as referring to the supremely auspicious Lord Narayana who is worthy of refuge. Alternatively, one can say it means he should surrender to Shiva with devotion for knowledge of Brahman. Context doesn’t matter in sections like these which are arthavAda.


  31. Cont'd from above....

    Thus, even in this tAmasic section, Shiva is not mentioned as the subject matter of the Bhagavad Gita though he is glorified in terms denoting supremacy. “tad aisvaram” refers to the individual self described in Chapters 1-6.

    Vyasa is simply saying Arjuna has seen Rudra and Krishna has instructed him on the nature of the Jivatma as distinct from the body. So Arjuna has knowledge of paramatma, the one to be attained (taken as Rudra here for the sake of arthavAda in a tAmasic context) and Jivatma, whose knowledge is needed to wean away from grief. There is nothing to suggest Rudra is being hailed as the subject of the Gita, or that "jnAnam tad aisvaram dicyam" refers to Rudra as our resident Mahapashupatastra imbecile thinks.

    Enough with this tAmasic section. Now that we have explained it, time to discard it wholesale as veda-virodha. Do not get deluded by the tAmasa purANAs, for that is their intent.



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