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Vishnu – The Supreme Brahman according to all Vedas, Upanishads, Smritis, and prominent Acharyas

sarvadA sarvakAryeShu teShAM nAstyamaN^galam |

yeShAM hR^idistho bhagavAn maN^galAyatano hariH ||

 lAbhasteShAM jayasteShAM kutasteShAM parAjitaH |

eShAm indIvarashyAmo hR^idayastho janArdanaH ||

Introduction

The royal Vedic path of Vaishnavism

The way of anti-Vaishnavite agents

The "Mahapashupatastra" blog

Questionable tactics employed by the blog's author to hide the truth

The anti-Vaishnavite’s motives made clear

A few truths revealed

Truth# 1: The Uttama Purusha in Chandogya Upanishad is Vishnu only. Hence, the Supreme Lord identified in the Bhagavad Gita is Lord Vishnu only, and not Lord Shiva:

Truth# 2: Shri Rudram extols shrIman nArAyaNa only. Moreover, the Vedas speak about the supremacy of Lord Vishnu only everywhere

Truth# 3: Narayana Suktam praises Shriman Narayana alone as the Supreme, and tAmasa purANas are not authoritative

Truth# 4: The so-called Upanishads which proclaim Shiva/Shakti's supremacy are bogus

Truth# 5: Adi Shankara did not write stOtras which glorify any deity other than Vishnu

Conclusion

Appendices

The works of Shri Ramasubba Shastri of Tiruvisanallur

Appayya Dikshita’s desperation, confession, and confusion

References

Reading list for the interested

Introduction

My dear friends! Seekers of The Truth! The purpose of this essay is not to coerce anyone to accept what I believe in, or to hurt well-meaning people of any faith (especially those among smArtas, advaitins, and shaivas). What is written below is indeed what I believe with utmost sincerity, illustrated by undeniable evidences that have not been tampered with. This endeavour of mine was undertaken to defend vaiShNava dharma that has been unfairly maligned, lampooned, and denigrated on the internet and other media by individuals with vested interests. Be you a Vaishnava or not, if you are committed to truth, honesty, and above all to the presentation of Vedantic traditions in a fair and honest way, you will certainly be opposed to this trend.

What you are going to read in this essay may shake you up a little bit, but it has been written with the best of intentions to present the truth without mincing words. While I have done everything to maintain good decorum, you may find my tone a little stern and confident at places. But this is only to emphasize important facts and not to spew hatred at anyone. Those who are willing to honestly consider what I have to say, even if it contradicts their favorite and dearly held beliefs, are invited to continue reading. Those who would rather give this a miss are welcome to avoid my writing and close this page immediately.

We begin here...

Readers, I state thus with confidence: From time immemorial, the most enlightened of souls in this great nation bhAratavarSha (India), including Adi Shankara whose fame is worldwide, have considered Lord Vishnu alone as the Supreme Soul and as the Person par excellence (puruShOttama) spoken of by the Vedas. Not only is He the agent behind the universe's sustenance (signified by his popular conception of the “protector” among the trinity -- Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva), but also the One who performs creation and destruction as well. He Himself creates the four-faced brahmA from the lotus that springs from His navel (due to which He is popularly known as padmanAbha) and assigns the task of creation during every great eon. Likewise, He is the creator of Lord rudra, variously known as shiva, pashupati, IshAna, mahAdEva, mahEshvara etc. in common parlance in India. He is their in-dwelling controller (antaryAmin), as He is to the entire universe, performing the threefold acts of creation, sustenance, and destruction all by Himself. Thus say the scriptures about Lord Vishnu:

atashca saN^kShiptamimaM shR^iNudhvaM nArAyaNaH sarvamidaM purANaH |

sa sargakAle ca karoti sarvaM samhArakAle ca tadatti bhUyaH ||

Translation: Hear thence this short statement: The ancient nArAyaNa is all this; he produces the creation at the due time, and at the time of reabsorption he consumes it again.

yataH sarvANi bhUtAni bhavantyAdi yugAgame |

yasmiMshca pralayaM yAnti punareva yugakShaye ||

Translation: (This puruShOttama, this viShNu) is from where all the beings were born when the great eons start, into whom they dissolve when these eons pass.

The first quote is given as a  statement from the purANas by Adi shaN^kara bhagavatpAda (Adi Shankara/Adi Shankaracharya) in his brahma sUtra bhAShya, in the smR^ityAdhikaraNa section [BrSuBhS:1]. The brahma sUtra bhAShya is arguably the most important work in Advaita Vedanta by this AcArya. The second verse occurs in the Vishnu Sahasranama Adhyaya of the Mahabharata, and is also quoted by bhAskara (who lived after shaN^kara but before rAmAnuja), in the same smR^ityadhikaraNa section of his commentary on the brahma sUtras [BrSuBhB]. Hence, by no hook or crook can any honest being on the earth dismiss these verses as inauthentic.

Indeed, Sri Shankara Bhagavatpada says in his commentary to the Bhagavad Gita thus:

"(Lord Krishna says) 'I, the Supreme Parabrahman known by name as vAsudeva, am the source of the whole world. From Me alone evolves the whole universe in all its changes, including existence and dissolution, action, effect, and enjoyment'":

ahaM paraM brahma vAsudevAkhyaM sarvasya jagataH prabhava utpattiH | matta eva sthiti-nAsha-kriyA-phalopabhoga-lakSaNaM vikriyA-rUpaM sarvaM jagat pravartate |

(Sri Sankara's commentary to Bhagavad Gita, 10.8) [GBhS:1].

"It (the Bhagavad Gita) expounds specially the nature of the Supreme Being and the Truth known as vAsudeva, the para-brahman, who forms the subject matter of the discourse":

paramArtha-tattvaM ca vAsudevAkhyaM parabrahma-abhideya-bhUtaM visheSataH abhivyaj~nayad vishiSTa-prayojana-sambandha-abhideyavad gItA-shAstraM

(Introductory Chapter, Sri Sankara's bhagavadgItAbhASya). [GBhS:2].

As per all the vedAnta darshanas, there can only be one Supreme God. Even as per Adi Shankara's Advaita vedAnta, the existence of multiple supreme beings is denied. In his authentic works (the bhAShyas on brahma sUtras, gIta, and the ten upaniShads), Shri Shankara identifies the Supreme Being as none other than Vishnu. Here is a short summary:

  1. In his introductory section in bhagavad gItA bhAShya, it is stated that the Supreme Being is "Vishnu, the one known by the name nArAyaNa, the primordial Creator" (Adi kartA nArAyaNAkhyo viShNuH), that he is "beyond the material universe" (nArAyaNaH paro.avyaktAt) and that He is the original Creator of the universe (sa bhagavAn sRShTvedaM jagat). [GBhS:3].

  1. In his commentaries to the Upanishads, where the shruti (the text of the Upanishad) talks about the Supreme Deity but does not show that the name or form of the deity, Shankaracharya clearly identifies the Supreme Being as

  1.  "Supreme Lord with with the name nArAyaNa" (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad bhAShya, 3.7.3) [BrUBhS:1].

  1. "Vishnu, or Ananta, who is the primordial being, who has all the three worlds for His body, and who is the in-dwelling Soul of all the beings" (Mundaka Upanishad bhAShya, 2.1.4) [MuUBhS:1].

  1. "The all-pervading Brahman, the Supreme Soul, known by the name vAsudeva" (kaTha upaniShad bhAShya, 1.3.9) [KUpBhS:1].

  1. In the bhagavad gItA bhAShya 11.43, Shri Shankara says that Vishnu is the unparallelled Supreme Deity, and that there can not be another Supreme Deity, since that would violate logic: [GBhS:4].

na tvat samo.asti, abhi adhika kuto-anyo loka-trayo-api, apratima-prabhAva?

(Bhagavad Gita, 11.43)

[There is none who is equal to you, and when that is the case, how even can there be any who is superior to You in any of three worlds, Oh Lord, who is of unrivaled power?]

Sri Shankara's explanation reflects the Acharya's opinion that the above mode of praise is not at all exaggerated. The Bhagavatpada-Acharya explains thus:

"na hi IshvaradvayaM saMbhavati, anekeshvaratve vyavahAra-anupatteH"

Translation: For there cannot be two Supreme Gods, if so, the world as it exists now will not be able to function properly.  

  1. Commenting on Gita verse 10.2, Sri Shankara explains: [GBhS:5].

na me viduH na jAnanti suragaNAH brahmAdayaH | kiM te na viduH? mama prabhavaM prabhAvaM prabhushakti-atishayam, athavA prabhavaM prabhavanaM utpattiM | na-api maharSayaH bhR^igvAdayaH viduH | kasmAt te na viduriti-ucyate -- aham AdiH kAraNaM hi yasmAt devAnAm maharSINAM ca sarvashaH sarvaprakAraiH

["(Lord Krishna says) 'neither the devas -- Brahma and others -- know; -what do they not know? My majesty, abundance of lordly power-or, derived in the sense of 'coming into being', it means origin. Nor even the great sages, Bhrgu, Marici, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu and Vasistha. This is because I (Lord Krishna) am the Supreme Primordial Cause of all, including the devas and the sages.'"]

[Note: As to why Adi Shankara later came to be wrongly depicted as though he smeared ashes in his body, followed the six faiths equally (Shanmatha), and had works such as "Shivanandalahari" (singing deities other than Vishnu to be supreme and superior to Vishnu) attributed to his name is a matter that is outside the scope of our discussion, at this point.]

That all the other prominent Vedanta Acharyas - Ramanuja, Madhva, Vallabha, Chaitanya, Nimbarka, etc. have thus praised Lord Vishnu as the Supreme Brahman, does not need any proof. However, for the sake of completeness we have provided the details in the "Vaishnava commentary on Rudram" page.

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The royal Vedic path of Vaishnavism

This Lord Vishnu, Person par excellence (the puruShottama) is also the means to liberation from suffering, the most approachable and the best means to eternal bliss and is an End in Himself. Thus, the most enlightened of the souls in the great nation of India, exemplary in their discipline, conviction, and virtues, have been taking refuge in Him from time immemorial thus establishing Vaishnavism as the most supreme and complete path in Vedic sanAtana dharma. With single-minded devotion (ananya bhakti), following the best of the bliss-bestowing scriptures (sAttvika shAstras) such as pA~ncarAtra Agama-s, they have been practicing and preaching the five-fold path of abhigamana, ijyA, pUjA, japa, and svAdhyAya.

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The way of anti-Vaishnavite agents

From time to time, however, fallen souls, driven by their lowly nature which they have unfortunately accrued as a result of their own actions (karma), have developed a sense of contempt at such single-minded ananya bhakti. Shankara, the advaita AcArya, instead says that the vaiShNava position regarding the (i) supremacy of nArAyaNa, (ii) the practice of single-minded devotion, and (iii) the various holy rites and rituals enjoined in pA~ncarAtra samhitas are not to be refuted, but respected by any one who claims to be in the path of Vedanta (Upanishads):

"tatra yattAvaducyate yo.asau nArAyaNaH paro.avyaktAt prasiddhaH paramAtmA sarvAtmA... yadyapi tasya bhagavato.abhigamanAdilakShaNam ArAdhanam ajasram-ananya-cittayA.abhipreyate, tadapi na pratiShidhyate, shrutismR^ityorIshvarapraNidhAnasya prasiddhatvAt"

[We do not intend to oppose the doctrine that nArAyaNa, who is superior the material universe, who is the supreme soul (paramAtmA), and the soul for all (sarvAtmA)... Nor do we mean to object to the inculcation of unceasing single-minded devotion on the Supreme Lord which appears in the Pancharatra doctrine under the forms of abhigamana (visiting Vishnu temples with utmost devotion in mind, with senses subdued) etc., for that we are to meditate on the Lord we know full well from shruti and smRti. - Brahma Sutra Bhashya, 2.2.42] [BrSuBhS:2]

Instead of following this advice, today they cavil at vaiShNavas when these devotees, with the sole purpose of enjoying the Lord’s form, nature, and deeds (bhagavad-anubhava), write or talk about the supreme position of bhagavAn vAsudeva as it is established clearly in the veda as well as in the itihAsas, purANas, and other ancillary texts that solely serve the purpose of explaining the purport of the Vedas. They find it unbearable when the bhAgavatas show lucidly that the puruShottama, the Person par excellence in the Vedas, is none but shrIman nArAyaNa. They ask, "why can't you let Shiva have his share of glory?", seldom knowing that there is nothing from Lord Vishnu's Supreme attributes that are available for sharing by others. For it is clearly stated in the Gita and in the commentaries of Shri Shankara and other knowledgeable personalities thereon that "there cannot be two Supreme Gods, if so, the world as it exists now will not be able to function properly".

Filled with hate directed at Vaishnavas and desperate to win them in debate (which is impossible), they resort to dishonest means such as:

  1.  Spreading blatant lies deliberately,

  1. Maliciously interpolating verses into shruti and smRti texts, making them look as if these texts actually support their side,

  1. Appropriating works that celebrate Vishnu and fabricating ways to reinterpret them, with the same motive as above,

  1. Hiding and misrepresenting historical information,

  1. Demonizing vaiShNavas as “intolerant”, “abrahamic”, etc.,

  1. Hiding and misrepresenting vaiShNava writings, and

  1. Destroying works written by vaiShNavas, thereby effectively silencing them.

We shall briefly describe one such attack on Vaishnavism and explain the truths revealed by the incident.

These attacks against Vaishnavism are not new. Nor is there any reason to think that Vaishnavism has no defense to such attacks, for history has shown otherwise.

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The "Mahapashupatastra" blog

The owner of the aforementioned blog displays his hostility to traditional Vaishnavism through his articles. Through them, he seeks to vehemently oppose traditional vedantins, especially those who follow rAmAnuja and madhva. In addition, his aim is to censure authors on the internet and social media who boldly speak about the supremacy of Vishnu, the Purushottama. His blog page itself (link) contains ridiculous claims, such as:

(i) nArAyaNa sUktam is a shAkta hymn and shrIman nArAyaNa is not the  deity praised in it.

(ii) Bhagavad Gita is actually told by Shiva and Lord Krishna is just a mouthpiece/loud speaker through whom Shiva speaks

(iii) The bhAgavata purANa, which extols Vishnu above Shiva, is a bogus text.

There are many such utterances and loads and loads of garbage on that blog that can easily confound any genuine truth-seeker. Moreover, the way such anti-Vaishnavites explain the Vedas makes it look as if the Vedas are all gibberish.

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Questionable tactics employed by the blog's author to hide the truth

I, along with a shrIvaiShNava bhAgavata, entered into a debate with the author of "Mahapashupatastra" (from here on, whenever I refer to 'our friend', it will refer to this person) by posting comments under a certain article. The article under question was titled "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is FAKE!" (link). Of course, anything that clearly establishes Vishnu's supremacy is fake according to our friend.

In the course of the debate, this shaivite author was clearly owned by me and the bhAgavata. Our friend was clearly getting choked. Enraged because of this and afraid that his friends may find out that he lost in debate, he removed all the comments that I and the bhAgavata posted. The bhAgavata protested, followed by a reply by our shaivite friend smugly laughing at us, as if he had won something:

UnknownApril 13, 2013 at 12:05 AM

I see you have deleted my posts as well as that of another Vaishnava which soundly refuted your asinine views.

Deleting our posts does you no good. Only shows your ignorance and desperation. Oh well, atleast it shows that what you have is not a 'mahApashupatastra', but a broken twig!

Reply

Replies

  1. Santosh Kumar AyalasomayajulaApril 13, 2013 at 5:06 AM
    I am NOT scared of your and his absurd arguements. It is your opinion that your points successfully refuted me. Live in your utopia.

    I deleted those stupid arguements to save the readers of this blog from getting misled or confused. I have full capacity to refute every such arguements and I'll do slowly slowly. You know what? Your and his arguements gave me nice points tro write articles. I don't debate with my full intensity because of two reasons:-


    1. I don't keep a database of anti-vishnu references handy with me like you vaishnavas who are always equipped with anti-shiva references. For me Vishnu is also adorable but not the way you vaishnavas do. I have my own love for him hence seldom prepare with references to attack.

    2. I strongly believe in the saying what my friend's guru said to him - "Debate produces a lot of heat but no light!". Therefore you and your friend are not so significant in my life to spend my valuable time in clarifying/countering your points. My time is precious hence cannot waste it on you and your friend.

    3. Gone are those days when people used to debate professionally, following the right rules of it. Now I see all these Vaishnavas doing mud-fight and not a professional debate. Debate needs to be done following authentic scriptures, NOT demented cult generated philosophies. And hence I have no interest in speaking to you and your cult-people.

    4. I gain my coherent thoughts while writinga rticles where i refute strongly the demented philosophies. But in direct debates i usually do not remain synergetic and coherant. So, even whatever replies I gave to your and your friend's comments; all were very casual and fluffy. SO, removed even my replies which were also confusing to the audience.



    But rest assured your and your friend's time spent on this space is not wasted. I have deleted all your and your friend's stupid comments from this blog, but know that I have saved a copy of them with me personally. You both have given me NICE points to refute. Thanks to both of you. You have given me nice topis to create articles. In fact you both have helped me in generating more articles here.

    I deleted your comments because they were arbitrarily posted and I see a great opportunity for thrashing them through articles, but the readers of this blog would get misled by your arbitrarily placed specially tailored arguments; which I don't want to do to the readers of this blog.

    And yea, your comment on mahapashupatastra as a broken twig really gave me laughter. I laughed for few seconds. Thanks for giving a good HUMOUR. But rest asusured in few years I will give you all a big TUMOUR (hehehe...just some word to follow a rhyme scheme, but you would have understood what it meant :-) )

    You have no idea about my capacity, my strengths; so pinching me every now and then by posting comments is not good for you. Pls refrain from visiting my blog or at least posting your stupid arguements here. In 2-3 years (if everything goes right by god's grace)I'll make sure that you all would not even dare to visit this blog, commenting is a remote option! (Sounds funny? It should sound funny now, but it would take away your laughter off your face once i succeed in establishing my vision)

    Good bye! I don't want to see anti-shiva people's inauspicious presence in my blog. So, kindly stop irritating me with your comments.

You can clearly see our friend's dishonesty here. His statement that he "removed comments because it will confuse its readers" makes his position look like that of Islamist fundamentalists who run Saudi Arabia that won't allow any religious literature "written by infidels" that criticize Islam out of fear that "it will spread corruption in their pristine Islamic society".

A person who hides truths from innocents and gullible people that have placed blind trust on him commits an act of violence and betrayal. Such an act is a deliberate effort to push the gullible and faithful truth-seekers into the hellfire of self-denial.

We now come to the main point here. Our poor friend was seldom aware that I had subscribed to the comments in that thread, and that every comment that was posted in that thread made its way into my email inbox, and hence removing the comments from his blog post did not do any good. I am posting here below, all of the comments that were removed by our shaivite friend. Genuine seekers of truth can see below what is being hidden from their viewing. (Note: the bhAgavata posted as "Unknown" and I posted as "Humble Bhagavata Bandhu"). For completion, I am posting these with the first few comments which our friend has not deleted. I have highlighted a few points made by our side in green and have explained it here below the comments.

Unknown                           April 3, 2013 at 2:28 AM

LMAO, This blog is utter rubbish.

Fact no. 1 - Vaishnavas do not interpret jR^imbhitam as 'unstrung'. We interpret it as 'rendered inert'. That means, the war cry of Vishnu rendered both Shiva and his bow ineffective. Shiva became unconscious and the bow was rendered 'inert', ie, incapable of usage.

'saayakam dhanuu' means pArvati pati handed over the bow along with the arrows. It does not indicate he fitted the arrows to the bow. Again, read the vaishnava commentaries on ramayana.

Fact 2: Your other posts on nArAyaNA being tripura sundari, etc are errant nonsense not supported by pracIna vaidikas like adi shankara, ramanuja, madhva, etc.

Fact 3: The Rudra mentioned in the Rudram is none other than Sriman Narayana. I have written a detailed commentary on the 1st anuvakam of Rudram myself. All names like Nilalohita, Tripurantaka, Tryambaka, Rudra, Sarva, Shiva, Shambhu, Svayambhu, Girisha, etc refer only to nArAyaNa.

In fact, Rudram establishes the 5 forms of Vishnu in the mantra 'asau yo tamrO aruna...' and goes on to say that this Rudra descends as Vishnu (avasarpati), as the antaryamin of nilagriva (parvati pati) and antaryami of vilohita (brahma; he is red because of rajO gunam)!

Fact 4: The tattvam of the Tripura Samharam is as follows.

The name 'Hara' as per ranga ramanuja muni's vyakhyanam for svetasvatara means 'one who enjoys prakrti', ie, refers to the jivatmna. In the Banasura charithra of Harivamsha, the Sivajvara refers to Shiva as 'Hara,the destroyer of Tripura'.

So, In the tripura samharam, Shiva is Hara, ie the Jiva. The facts about vedas becoming chariot, devas giving their powers, omkara becoming bow string, brahma as chariotdriver refers to various accessories of upasana, namely, bhakti yoga such as pranavOpasanam, sadaacharyan, etc. Vishnu, as the arrow tip, is the indirect upayam for completion of bhakti yoga, as he is the parabrahman. The three cities are sattva, rajo and tamo guna, which are transcended by completion of upasanam. The releasing of the arrow by Shiva is equal to the performance of upasanam by jivatma, ie, the self effort required. The arrow tip destroyed the cities, ie, Vishnu, the eternal brahman, completes the upasanam.

Thus, this incident shows shiva is a jivatma. 'Eko ha vai nArAyaNa asIt, na brahma, nEshana...' Siva did not exist during pralaya. The 'nakaara' in nArAyaNa makes it a proper noun and he is identified with Vishnu in the Vishnu gayatri. All other gayatris, including RudraGayatri, begin with 'tatpurusha' whereas Vishnu Gayatri begins with 'Narayana'.

Fact 5: The mandara mountain did not literally become the bow, just as the sun and moon did not literally become chariot wheels. It means, the power of the mandara mountain, sun, moon, devas, etc was imparted to parvati pati during tripura samhara. So, there is no contradiction in saying the bow mentioned in the rAmAyaNa is the same as the one used in Tripura Samharam.

It was Vishnu who misled the asuras with false matham. It was Vishnu who took away the chastity of the wives. It was Vishnu who drank up the pool that rejuvenated the asuras to life, preventing them from rejuvenation. It was Vishnu who was 'tripurAntaka', ie, the arrow tip that destroyed the cities.

The tamasa puranas try to hide all this by saying Shiva destroyed tripura with a smile. Since they are tamasa puranas that contradict the veda, they are rejected.

Even now, I have no issues with Shaivas claiming supremacy of Shiva. That is their matham. I only wanted to counter the claim that we interpret jrimbhitam as unstrung, when we do not. Just don't put words into the mouth of Vaishnavas that we do not utter ourselves.

Of course, all this is lost on a Vaishnava dveshi like you. I am sure you will come up with more incoherent ideas that are the product of an overactive imagination in a feeble attempt to counter this. Keep rambling..

Santosh Kumar AyalasomayajulaApril 4, 2013 at 1:02 AM

[QUOTE]I am sure you will come up with more incoherent ideas that are the product of an overactive imagination in a feeble attempt to counter this. Keep rambling.[UNQUOTE]

I didn't want to reply to your comment because i don't like to interact with anonymous/"unknown" people. But seeing your "surity" of belief that i would reply, in order to make your words not to get falsified, i am replying. May your belief be true! :-)

Your parents would have given a very beautiful name to you, and you should be pround of displaying your name. What is this name "unknown"??. I don't like people who hide behind screens and pass comments. I don't play hide and seek with anyone hence byd efault i expect others also to be open, revealed to me. Ownership is important. What you write, you should own it. Whatever i write i own it. that's why i always display my full name with all expansions. Hope you would follow my suggestion in future.

Well, yes your belief is correct. i'll keep rambling; but unfortunately these days i am over burdened with work and higher studies so not able to ramble much. But surely your wish ("keep rambling") would be fulfilled. Just pray to god to give me some free time so that i can ramble hehehe. :-)

[QUOTE]Of course, all this is lost on a Vaishnava dveshi like you. I am sure you will come up with more incoherent ideas that are the product of an overactive imagination in a feeble attempt to counter this. Keep rambling.[UNQUOTE]

Who told you i am a vaishnava dweshi? i oppose only those vaishnavas who hate shiva. My late maternal grandpa was a great devotee of krishna and i always enjoyed his krishna-bhakti. i had no issues with his devotion which was flawless, and he never saw any differences between krishna and other gods. he was a true vishnu bhakta and i am always ready to hug such pious devotees of vishnu.

{QUOTE]Even now, I have no issues with Shaivas claiming supremacy of Shiva. That is their matham. [UNQUOTE]

If you have no problems with shaivas then my blogs are not for you. Kindly do not block my path. My blogs are only for those vaishnavas who hate shiva and not for them who are neutral towards shiva.

Here are explanations for your points:

Santosh Kumar AyalasomayajulaApril 4, 2013 at 1:02 AM

Ans to your fact no. 1:

jRmbhitam has several meanings as given below. It can be used as an adj. or a n. and likewise here are the meanings.

Adj -caused to yawn (fatigued / broken), expanded, increased, enlarged, unstrung, exerted, opened

n.-bursting, wish, exertion, opening, yawning/fatigued, swelling, developing, unfolding, kind of coitus.

I've called jrimbhitam as "unstrung", if that is incorrect as per you, then be it so. Let me go by some authoritative translator. Valmiki ramayana has been translated into english by sri Desiraju Hanumanth Rao. He translates that verse as follows.

tadaa = then; hum kaareNa = by 'hum', sound [of Vishnu]; bhiima paraakramam shaivam dhanuH = ruinously, overpowering, Shiva's, longbow; jR^imbhitam = yawned [fatigued, broken]; atha trilocanaH mahaadevaH = then, triple-eyed, Mahadeva; stambhitaH = motionless [frozen.]

"By the 'hum' sound of Vishnu that ruinously overpowering longbow of Shiva is broken, and the triple-eyed God, Mahadeva, is frozen... [1-75-17b, 18a]

This is even a much bigger contradiction if you see. If by hummm sound that bow is broken how could shiva again give that to devaraata? The rendered inert is given as "sthambhitah" , and it was shiva who was rendered inert and not his bow. his bow was broken by vishnu's humm sound. Jrmbhitam and sthambhitah both are different and jrmbhitam doesn't mean rendering inert. I don't care what you translate it as, since your personal opinions are immaterial to me.

Regarding saayakam dhanuh here is the translation by Desiraju hanumanth rao ji.

samkruddhaH = with indignation; mahaayashaaH rudraH tu = celebrated, Rudra, on his part; videheSu = among Videha [kings]; sa saayakam dhanuu = with, arrow, longbow; raaja R^iSeH = to Kingly, sage; devaraatasya haste dadau = in Devaraata's, hand, handed over.

"That celebrated Rudra on his part with indignation has handed over that longbow, which is already fitted with unloosened arrow, to the sagely king among Videha kings, namely Devaraata... [1-75-20b, 21a]

And again i do not care what you personally translate it as! And you have asked me to read vaishnava commentaries on ramayana. thanks for the suggestion but sorry i can't take it. Ramayana is not a vaishnava property, Sri Rama and Vishnu are also not a copyright of vaishnavas. they are equally worshippable for all hindus. And i like impartial translations instead of secetarian translations. Your secetarian commentaries have always tried to supress truths and elevate falses. so can't follow your suggestion, sorry!

Ans to your fact no. 2:

Hmmmm my errant nonsense on narayana suktam as being a hymn of tripurasudnari is not analyzed by prachina vaidikas because they wanted this information to be disclosed by me :-) shankara, madhawa, ramanuja had foreseen myself to be the right person to analyze that hehehe. Well, whether it looks errant nonsense to you or whatever, the fact is fact that none of the scriptures ever called vishnu as travelling through susumna nerve. that is always kundalini (tripurasundari) and hence my analysis is correct. If you donot like, then it's your problem. please keep your problem with you. I don't go by your opinions, i go by scriptures and my intellect. Thx!

Santosh Kumar AyalasomayajulaApril 4, 2013 at 1:05 AM

Ans to your fact no. 3:

Congratulations to you for having written a commentary on rudram first anuvaka. At personal level i can congratulate you and can say good job! But at professional level i am sorry to say that your udnerstanding of rudram being a hymn to narayana is totally wrong!

In mahabharata veda vyasa and sri krishna have indicated rudram being a hymn of lord shiva in 3 instances. I would go by their words rather than following your "opinion" unless you want to say you are greater scholar than vyasa and sri krishna.

You said, "vilohita (brahma; he is red because of rajO gunam)!" LOL...I think you didn't read puranas where brahma is depicted to have the same color as lakshmi, pink of golden complexion. Brahma is not red!! If i go by your logic of red means rajas then narayana/vishnu being black/dark complexioned must be a god full of tamo-gunam! :-)

Ans to your fact no. 4:

Well, i don't follow kaliyugi saints and their logic. i go by scriptures. hence i respect "ranga ramanuja muni ji's" opinion, but that's just his opinion and not a fact! Several acharyas came in kaliyuga and expressed several opinions, but none of their opinions are acceptable if they contradict scriptures or words of ancient sages. ranga ramanuja ji cannot propose a theory different from what's there in scriptures. Kaivalya upanishad states that tripura is sthoola, sukshma, karana dehas and the lord who sports within them is shiva and he liberates jiva by destroying those tripuras. The three gunas are not tripuras. And for your kind information, the arrow tip was NOT vishnu; vishnu was just the shaft/stem of the arrow, the actual hood (point) was agni which destroyed the tripura. And again agni is none other than rudra. You'll not understand this but still let me state - it again shows "agni somAtmakam jagat" principle and it again glorifies uma-maheshwara tatwam alone.

You said "shiva is jivatma" - but that's not true however, the truth is the other way round - "jivatma is verily shiva". You need to understand the difference between these phrases. I don't know which acharya first propagated this bogus theory of shiva being a liberated jiva and all such nonsense; but know from me that none of the standard scriptures support that view. shiva is verily the parabrahman, the supreme lord.

Well, for your verse which stated shiva didn't exist at the time of pralaya, may i request you to read my narayana suktam article completely? i have already refuted that verse and explained what it means. And regarding narayana being a proper noun or a verb or an adjective, i don't care what part of speech it is, but one thing i can tell you is narayana has several meanings and yes it definitely refers to vishnu but the narayana sukta doesn't praise vishnu there narayana is the name of goddess tripurasudnari.

Santosh Kumar AyalasomayajulaApril 4, 2013 at 1:06 AM

Ans to your fact no. 5:

Well, i agree that the mountain didn't become the bow etc. that arguement i need to correct in my article which even i realized lateron but didn't get a chance to rework on that. Will do that when time permits. But leaving that also the other contradictions that i showed they are valid and hence that story is bogus one. The bow used in tripurasamhara is not the same as the one present in janaka's palace.

Even if for time being i assume that they really fought and then also the reason why shiva got defeated is because shiva gave a boon to narayana saying he would be invulnerable to every weapon and he also said that even if he ever has to fight against shiva then he would be victorious.it exists in mahabharata. so it is shiva's mercy that vishnu would win whenever he has to fight with him. Vedas cleary declare that rudra is unconquerable, and he overpowers his enemies in battle. And if you still want to say ramayana story (which contradicts vedas) is true, then ramayana story needs to be rejected as anti-vedic. Now coming back to tripura-samhara, Vishnu misled the asuras and their wives so how does that make shiva inferior? Staff always does the actual hands-on work but always reports to the supervisor. vishnu helping shiva cannot be a yardstick to call shiva as inferior. Also, i have told you above that vishnu was not the arrow tip he was just the shaft/stem, arrow tip was agni and agni is rudra alone.

There is no logical reason behind calling a purana tamasic. you people are fond of rejecting shaiva puranas as tamasic because they are threat to your beliefs. other than that there is no reason to categorize puranas with gunas. Your satvik purana bhagawatam itself is bogus one, and you are pointing a finger at shiva related texts, huh!

And here come the deleted comments. As the readers can see, these comments were seen by our anti-Vaishnavite friend as a formidable opposition:

Unknown has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

[QUOTE] My late maternal grandpa was a great devotee of krishna and i always enjoyed his krishna-bhakti. i had no issues with his devotion which was flawless, and he never saw any differences between krishna and other gods. he was a true vishnu bhakta and i am always ready to hug such pious devotees of vishnu.[/UNQUOTE]

A Vaishnava is one who worships Vishnu as Supreme and who consider Shiva as a Jivatma. This is based on pramanas like Satapatha Brahmana declaring Rudra to be anapahatapapma and the MahOpanishad declaring Ishana to be absent during pralaya.

Hence, you are no vaishnava. Neither are your friends.

[QUOTE]This is even a much bigger contradiction if you see. If by hummm sound that bow is broken how could shiva again give that to devaraata? The rendered inert is given as "sthambhitah" , and it was shiva who was rendered inert and not his bow. his bow was broken by vishnu's humm sound. Jrmbhitam and sthambhitah both are different and jrmbhitam doesn't mean rendering inert. I don't care what you translate it as, since your personal opinions are immaterial to me.[/QUOTE]

Let me give you a gist.

As pert Govindaraja's vyakhyanam, 'Jimbritam' means Broken. The war cry of Vishnu cracked Shiva's bow just a little. And hence, it was rendered unusable. So, Shiva gave the bow along with the arrows to Janaka's dynasty.

And this is also one of the reasons why Parasurama is claiming that Rama's feat of breaking the bow was not great. Because, the Bow was already slightly cracked. It broke entirely when Rama handled it.

As per the commentary of some madhva scholars, jrimbhitam means rendered 'motionless' or 'jada'. This means, the bow lost its tejas. As you know, the bow of shiva is a divyAstra and hence, it lost its divya tejas and became motionless, ie, incapable of usage.

Either way, the interpretation is consistent.

[QUOTE]And again i do not care what you personally translate it as! And you have asked me to read vaishnava commentaries on ramayana. thanks for the suggestion but sorry i can't take it. Ramayana is not a vaishnava property, Sri Rama and Vishnu are also not a copyright of vaishnavas. they are equally worshippable for all hindus. And i like impartial translations instead of secetarian translations. Your secetarian commentaries have always tried to supress truths and elevate falses. so can't follow your suggestion, sorry![/QUOTE]

LMAO, you take one commentary as authoritative and then say that we are sectarian for following other commentaries. This is hilarious. You are trying to refute us evil vaishnavas, who have such wicked and crooked minds!! So, I suggest you take Vaishnava commentaries to refute us.

We interpret sAyakam dhanu as 'he gave away the bow along with the arrows'.

[QUOTE]shankara, madhawa, ramanuja had foreseen myself to be the right person to analyze that hehehe. Well, whether it looks errant nonsense to you or whatever, the fact is fact that none of the scriptures ever called vishnu as travelling through susumna nerve. that is always kundalini (tripurasundari) and hence my analysis is correct. If you donot like, then it's your problem. please keep your problem with you. I don't go by your opinions, i go by scriptures and my intellect. Thx![/QUOTE]

Here we have the proverbial 'patting oneself on the back'. Fact remains, what Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhva say is taken more seriously than what you have to say. Tripura Sundari is not nArAyaNa and the identification of nArAyaNa with Vishnu is as per pracIna vedAntA.

Posted by Unknown to Maha Pashupatastra at April 4, 2013 at 6:17 AM

Humble Bhagavata Bandhu has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

There have been many non-Vaishnavite commentators on the Ramayana, including Shiva bhaktas like Nagoji Bhatta, Shiva Sahaya etc. None of them have identified this section about the battle between Shiva and Vishnu as bogus! Somehow that is apparent to you!!

The claims made by you sir, the blog's author, are ludicrous and can be demolished easily.

The name "nArAyaNa" cannot be interpreted etymologically, and can ONLY be used to denote Shankha Chakra Dhari Vishnu, since as per grammar the name can only be used as a proper noun. Only if it was "nArAyana" and not "nArAyaNa" you could interpret it as a common noun etymologically. This is because of the rule "pUrvapadAt saJjyAyAM agaH" (8.4.3) identified by Panini in his Ashtadhyayi.

This point has been accepted by even non-Vaishnavites such as Bhanuji Dikshita (who, btw, is the disciple of Bhattoji Dikshita, in turn a disciple of Appayya Dikshita) in his treatise Ramasrami on Amarasimha's Amarakosha. (look in this treatise where the name "nArAyaNa" occurs as one of the names of Vishnu). Much more important, the point has been accepted by another non-Vaishnavite, Bhatta Bhaskara, a commentator on the Vedas, who lived before the time of Ramanuja (see Bhatta Bhaskara's Bhashyam on Purusha Suktam section of Taittiriya Aranyaka 3.12).

Hence, it is quite well established that "nArAyaNa" refers only to Shankha-chakra dhAri viShNu and none else.

You quote Shankaracharya as an authority. You will benefit to know that the authentic works of Shankara are his Bhashyas, and not Stutis like the Laharis, which were authored by later-day Advaitins after the 15th century and propagated in Shankara's name. Proof? Because none of the Advaitic commentators between 8th and 15th centuries have even touched these texts. They invariably quote only from his Upanishad, Brahma Sutra, Gita, and Vishnu Sahasranama Bhashyas only. This may not be accepted by Mutts and the lay people, but both Indian and Western scholarship accepts this. Even a child reading Shankara's Bhashyams would identify Adi Shankarar as a pure Vaishnava only.

Sri Shankara, while rejecting Pashupata/Saiva/Maheshwara matham categorically (Brahma Sutra Bhashyam 2.2.37-41), pauses to concede that the Upasana parts of Pancharatra matham (specificically he cites Ananya Bhakti) are perfectly acceptable for Vedantins such as himself. Note that this is the only instance (2.2.42-45) where the Acharya concedes merit to any other religious/philosophical system.

It is the same Shankara Acharya who proclaims in the Gita Bhashya (9.25) that Vaishnavas (Shankaracharya specifically uses the word "Vaishnavas" here) attain to the highest state of liberation, while the worshippers of other devatas receive comparitively petty fruits.

And in the same Gita Bhashya Shankara explains Gita 18.61 as "IshvaraH IshanashIlaH nArAyaNAkhyaH (one known by the name 'nArAyaNa')", while you interpret it as Siva! Thus your interpretation is not acceptable even to Sri Shankara Acharya, who you proudly proclaim is Siva's avataram!!

(contd. in next post)

Posted by Humble Bhagavata Bandhu to Maha Pashupatastra at April 4, 2013 at 6:06 AM

Unknown has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

[QUOTE]Jivatma is verily shiva". You need to understand the difference between these phrases. I don't know which acharya first propagated this bogus theory of shiva being a liberated jiva and all such nonsense; but know from me that none of the standard scriptures support that view. shiva is verily the parabrahman, the supreme lord.

Well, for your verse which stated shiva didn't exist at the time of pralaya, may i request you to read my narayana suktam article completely? i have already refuted that verse and explained what it means. And regarding narayana being a proper noun or a verb or an adjective, i don't care what part of speech it is, but one thing i can tell you is narayana has several meanings and yes it definitely refers to vishnu but the narayana sukta doesn't praise vishnu there narayana is the name of goddess tripurasudnari.[/QUOTE]

Oh, Jivatma is Shiva alright. However, the Shiva is not pArvati pati, but as per vishnu sahasranama, 'sarvam sarva shivas sthanur', it is nArAyaNa.

And no more of that tripura sundari nonsense. Your so called 'narayana suktam commentary' is a fail. Everyone from Adi Shankara till recent vedantins know that nArAyaNa is Vishnu. I won't even deign to answer that.

[QUOTE]ven if for time being i assume that they really fought and then also the reason why shiva got defeated is because shiva gave a boon to narayana saying he would be invulnerable to every weapon and he also said that even if he ever has to fight against shiva then he would be victorious.it exists in mahabharata. so it is shiva's mercy that vishnu would win whenever he has to fight with him. Vedas cleary declare that rudra is unconquerable, and he overpowers his enemies in battle. And if you still want to say ramayana story (which contradicts vedas) is true, then ramayana story needs to be rejected as anti-vedic. Now coming back to tripura-samhara, Vishnu misled the asuras and their wives so how does that make shiva inferior? Staff always does the actual hands-on work but always reports to the supervisor. vishnu helping shiva cannot be a yardstick to call shiva as inferior. Also, i have told you above that vishnu was not the arrow tip he was just the shaft/stem, arrow tip was agni and agni is rudra alone.

There is no logical reason behind calling a purana tamasic. you people are fond of rejecting shaiva puranas as tamasic because they are threat to your beliefs. other than that there is no reason to categorize puranas with gunas. Your satvik purana bhagawatam itself is bogus one, and you are pointing a finger at shiva related texts, huh![/QUOTE]

That which contradicts Veda is tamasic. The tamasa puranas like shiva, vayu purana, etc have not been considered pramanika from the time of adi shankara till madhusudhana saraswati. So pracIna tradition is honored here.

Vishnu being supreme is not a belief. It is a fact based on veda.

The anusasainika parva containing shiva sahasranama has not been commented upon by anybody. Hence, shiva sahasranama is an interpolation. Only Vishnu sahasranama has been commented on. Hence, it is authentic. Nobody prior to 16th century has even referenced shiva sahasranama. If it had existed, shaivites before 16th century would have quoted it.

Posted by Unknown to Maha Pashupatastra at April 4, 2013 at 6:19 AM

Unknown has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

[QUOTE]Well, i don't follow kaliyugi saints and their logic. i go by scriptures. hence i respect "ranga ramanuja muni ji's" opinion, but that's just his opinion and not a fact! Several acharyas came in kaliyuga and expressed several opinions, but none of their opinions are acceptable if they contradict scriptures or words of ancient sages. ranga ramanuja ji cannot propose a theory different from what's there in scriptures. Kaivalya upanishad states that tripura is sthoola, sukshma, karana dehas and the lord who sports within them is shiva and he liberates jiva by destroying those tripuras. The three gunas are not tripuras. And for your kind information, the arrow tip was NOT vishnu; vishnu was just the shaft/stem of the arrow, the actual hood (point) was agni which destroyed the tripura. And again agni is none other than rudra. You'll not understand this but still let me state - it again shows "agni somAtmakam jagat" principle and it again glorifies uma-maheshwara tatwam alone.[/QUOTE]

Well, it doesn't matter what opinion you follow. As I said, I don't mind you calling Rudra as supreme so long as you stop foisting unfounded claims on Vaishnavas.

The shastras indicate that Vishnu was the arrow and Agni was the tip. In other cases, it says Agni was the arrow and Vishnu was the tip. It does not change the meaning. Agni refers to sacrifice. Let me explain once again.

The vedas are the chariot, meaning Shastra jnAnam is required. Brahma is the charioteer, meaning, he is acharyan who guides the Jivatma. As Brahma is senior to Rudra, it is appropriate. The bow is sometimes referred to as mandara, at other places as time and so on. The bowstring is the pranava. The poles of the chariot are the directions. All these refer to the accessories for the upasana. Such upasanas are aimed at destroying samsara. What is samsara? it is caused by prakrti also known as maya, which consists of sattva, rajas and tamas. And in the tripura samhara, the asura maya builds the three cities which are the sattcva, rajas and tamas.

Agni is the sacrifice, ie, the offering of 'namaha' essential to upasana. The arrow, or its tip, is the Parabrahman Vishnu, without whose grace, the Upasana cannot be completed. The other acts of Vishnu, such as misleading the asuras, taking away their punya, removing the rejuvenating well, etc show the grace of parabrahman in making the environment conducive for the jivatma to perform upasanam.

Shiva is the jivatma known as haran, who enjoys prakrti, who shoots the arrow, ie, performs upasana with the small act of releasing the arrow.

Posted by Unknown to Maha Pashupatastra at April 4, 2013 at 6:17 AM

Unknown has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

[QUOTE]Congratulations to you for having written a commentary on rudram first anuvaka. At personal level i can congratulate you and can say good job! But at professional level i am sorry to say that your udnerstanding of rudram being a hymn to narayana is totally wrong![/QUOTE]

Rudra simply means one who destroys samsara. The Vishnu Sahasranama contains these names - 'RudrO bahushirA babhrU', 'Svayambhu Shambhur Aditya', 'IshAna prAnada prAnah', 'AdidevO mahAdevO', etc.

So, these names indicate Vishnu only. And Vaishnava Scholars have interpreted Rudram with perfect grammatical usage to refer to nArAyaNa only.

[QUOTE]In mahabharata veda vyasa and sri krishna have indicated rudram being a hymn of lord shiva in 3 instances. I would go by their words rather than following your "opinion" unless you want to say you are greater scholar than vyasa and sri krishna.[/QUOTE]

The mahabhArata incident involving Arjuna and Krishna chanting Satarudriyam to Rudra is not at all contradictory. As Krishna mentions in the Santi Parva, whenever Maheswara (pArvati pati) is worshipped, it is only nArAyaNa, the antaryamin of mahEswara who is worshipped. Furthermore, as Krishna is Parabrahman, all weapons of all devas get their strength from Krishna. So, worshipping Pasupatastra with Satarudriyam is also not a problem.

Even in Tripura Samharam, Karna Parva (or is it Drona Parva), it is said that Rudra's bowstring was made untouchable by the asuras. This was because Bhava (Rudra) had Vishnu as his inner self, ie, antaryamin.

The Satarudriyam involves asking Bhagavan to shed his Ghora rupam (Vishwarupam) and attain a peaceful form, ie, as shanka chakra gada pAni, which is Aghora (not terrifying) and shantamaya. This is in accordance with the 11th chapter of Gita.

[QUOTE]You said, "vilohita (brahma; he is red because of rajO gunam)!" LOL...I think you didn't read puranas where brahma is depicted to have the same color as lakshmi, pink of golden complexion. Brahma is not red!! If i go by your logic of red means rajas then narayana/vishnu being black/dark complexioned must be a god full of tamo-gunam! :-)[/QUOTE]

The same Brahma is also said to have red color because of RajO gunam elsewhere in Srimad Bhagavatam (I believe the verse is 10.3.20). It is also mentioned elsewhere that Bhagavan Narasimha donned the red skin of Brahma as a metaphor to describe his skin color.

Red is symbolic of rajO gunam.

And your comment on nArAyaNa is quite irrelevant. Bhagavan has appeared in many colors, with black being his preferred color. Know why? Its actually because black is symbolic of tamas. But Bhagavan's blackness is not prakrti made, but a body assumed of suddha sattvam (pure jnanam). This quality of bhagavan, ie, appearing in a color perceived as negative is to show people that even the base things become transformed in association with him. This quality is called agatitagatanasamarthyam and is mentioned as 'Aho Ratre' in Purusha Suktam - Day and Night are at his sides, ie, he can combine opposites!

Posted by Unknown to Maha Pashupatastra at April 4, 2013 at 6:17 AM

Unknown has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

Addendum:

I forgot to address this in my previous posts:

You mentioned: "agni somAtmakam jagat....glorifies uma-maheshwara tatwam alone".

I say: Wrong again. As I mentioned before, 'Agni' in the Tripura Samharam incident is the offering of 'namaha'. The Upanishads describe the jivAtmA as 'somarAja' (panchAgni vidyA, chandogya upanishad). 'SomarAjA' means he who enjoys 'sOma', and 'sOma' refers to the objects of enjoyment.

The jagath is filled with agni and sOma, ie, sacrifice and objects of enjoyment. And you have convieniently omitted the next line in the mahAbhArata which states that the jagath is filled with Vishnu, who pervades all this and hence, agni and sOma as well.

So, Agni refers to namaha and sOma refers to the articles of sacrifice, or the objects of enjoyment procured by the upAsaNa. This includes wealth, long age, etc. which are all ancillories needed for performing the upAsaNa.

This is the meaning of SOma in this context.

Next thing - sOma also has another meaning of 'umApati', which is not intended as the meaning of Tripura samharam incident. But 'umApati' is not only the name of pArvati pati. umApati is the name of Narasimha, along with Sankara, PinAkI, Nilalohita as per the Tapaniya Upanishad. And in case anybody thinks the Narasimha TapanIya is of recent origin, let me assure you that it has been quoted and referenced by the great VedAnta Desikan, kavi tArkika simham, the acharyan of Vishishtadvaita, in the 13th century in his work, kAmAshikashtakam.

So even 'sOma' as it occurs in, for instance, the satarudriyam, is not a monopoly of pArvati pati.

Posted by Unknown to Maha Pashupatastra at April 4, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Humble Bhagavata Bandhu has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

It is indeed Adi Shankarar who, in his Upanishad Bhashyams, in three important places identified Brahman as Lord Vishnu:

"IdRgIshvaro nArAyaNAkhyaH" - Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 3.7.3

"eSha devo viShNur anantaH... sarva bhUtAnAM antarAtmA" - Mundaka, 2.1.4

"viShNOr vyApanasheelasya brahmaNo vAsudevAkhyasya paramam utkRShTam padam sthAnam" - Katha, 1.3.9

Thus Shankarar has stamped his Upanishad Bhasyam with the three namas found in Narayana Gayatri, especially where the Upanishad does not specify the name of the Parabrahman, thus showing that the devatA of nArAyaNa gAyatri is indeed parabrahman.

Shankara argues clearly in the first Chapter of Brahma sutra that the Saguna Brahman, the Highest Lord paramAtmA cannot be a deity who was created at the beginning of the Kalpam. He specifically rules out the sUrya devatA from the position of the Highest Lord (as an aside: this ruling out of Surya devata means Shankara could not have accepted Saura matham, thus debunking the theory that he was "Shanmata Sthapaka"). In bRhadAraNyaka Upanishad bhAShya, the same Shankara says that Lord Rudra, the Pasupati, was created by Brahman (1.4.10-11). Again the same AchArya says in Brahma Sutra Bhashya third chapter that Rudra is a receiver of a boon from Sanatkumara (3.3.32). Putting this together, Adi Shankara's original matham cannot have taken Rudra for Highest Lord!

You quite often quote verses in current editions of Mahabharatam, which no Acharya before has used. Here is what all Acharyas, including Shankara (see his Vishnu Sahasranama Commentary) quote from the Mahabharata and Harivamsa:

"After having analyzed all the shastras critically many times, I can say for sure this one rule -- that nArAyaNa is always to be meditated upon" (AlODya sarva shAstrANi vicArya ca punaH punaH idam ekam suniShpannam dhyeyon nArAyaNaH sadA)

"There is no shAstra higher than the Veda and there is no deity higher than Keshava". (vedAt shAstram param nAsti na daivam keshavAt param)

"In the Vedas, Ramayana, and Mahabharata, Vishnu is alone proclaimed as the highest everywhere" (vede rAmAyaNe puNye bhArate ca bharataRShabhaH Adau madhye tathA cAntau viShNuH sarvatra gIyate) note: hence there is no dOsham in identifying Vishnu as the upAsya devatA in rudram, shvetAshvatara upaniShad etc.

The first and last verse above have been quoted by Sri Adi Shankara in Vishnu Sahasranama Bhashyam.

In the Mahabharata, there is a samvAda between Shiva and Brahma about the nature of Parabrahman. Here Brahma addresses Shiva as his son, and tells Shiva that "the Supreme Brahman cannot be known by me, or by you. He is the Lord of all beings" and goes to identify the Supreme Purusha as Vishnu, Narayana. This part has been quoted by Ramanuja in Vedartha Sangraha, and more importantly by Shankara in Brahma Sutra Bhashyam 2.1.1.

If you want challenge me to give proofs of the above citations (with exact references) I can do the same! You don't even have to go hunting for the books, I can scan the pages and send to you!!

Posted by Humble Bhagavata Bandhu to Maha Pashupatastra at April 4, 2013 at 6:06 AM

Unknown has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

The Rudra mentioned in the Satarudriyam and the Svetasvatara Upanishad is none other than nArAyaNa, who is Vishnu. 'RudrO bhaushira babhrur' in the sahasranama clearly states this. Rudra means, 'one who destroys samsara', 'one who makes others cry with happiness on experiencing his gunas'. The same Rudra is hailed as Girishanta, which means 'Creator or Girisha (shiva)'. Here, 'anta' refers to limit, which is etymologically interpreted as the source or cause of Girisha.

No matter, Shiva can grant boons. But in the same mahabharata, santi parva, Krishna explains that nobody grants boons to Vishnu and that he bows down to his devotees and takes boons out of his own volition. He, by his own supreme will, lowers himself to accept the boons of others. It is like a mother condescending to her child. This gunam is called 'SousIlyam', it is the purport of the Rudram mantras like 'avasarpati nilagrIvo vilohita', he descends (avasarpati) as himself (vishnu), as the antaryamin of nilagriva and vilohita (rudra and brahma). He can be seen by cowherds and all beings, says this mantra. This is called sousIlyam.

So much for that.

Posted by Unknown to Maha Pashupatastra at April 4, 2013 at 6:19 AM

Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

Dear friend,

Mahabharata defines Narayana as follows in two chapters

"In ancient times I called the waters by the name of Nara; and because the waters have ever been my ayana or home, therefore have I been called Narayana (the water-homed)". (MBH.Vana Parva)

"The waters have been called by the name of Nara, for they sprang from Him called Nara. And since the waters in former times, were my refuge, I am, therefore, called by the name of Narayana". (MBH.Santi Parva)

So, it means "that entity whose resting place (ayana) is waters (nara) is narayana". My definition of Narayana as tripurasudnari is also in similar lines as "that entity whose direction (ayana) is nara is narayana and is nothing but tripurasudnari". If my definition is erroneous then even the Mahabharata definition of narayana should be erroneous because both follow the same logic.

Secondly, the Vedic grammar is non-paninian and preceeds Panini in time. so, I don't think it is correct to apply Panini grammar on Vedic verses. thirdly, even srikantha acharya seems to have believed the way my thought process goes. However, I don't know much about his works so kindly don't ask me to quote from his works.

I quote acharyas only in those instances where they remain in sync with vedas and other scriptures. Whatever shankara might have said about Vishnu as brahman, I may or may not completely agree with him. so, your quotes from his bhashyam I may not buy. for me the first authority is scriptures; an dthen only come acharyas.

You are bombarding me with too many missiles at once; I have very less free time these days, busy at work. Wait for 2-3 years, and then you'll find some more articles from me which would clear all your misconceptions. that's what I can say at present. I've no time to enter a never ending debate now. 2-3 years later (hopefully I get time to complete my works), then there would not be any need for debates.

Posted by Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula to Maha Pashupatastra at April 4, 2013 at 9:25 PM

Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

I have no interest in reading proofs from your "vaishnavite-mahabharata" :-) I have the Mahabharata with myself and I can read that on my own. your say on Mahabharata as "current versions" from which I quote is baseless. all these claims are originated from your cults who have customized the Mahabharata in their own taste and removed/altered all the non-vaishnavite portions. it's your books which are unauthentic, not what I follow.

Your versions of Mahabharata, Ramayana and puranas are not followed outside of your cult. And if you cannot accept the version of Mahabharata that everyone (excluding vaishnavas) follow, then there is no point debating with you. our sources are different hence we can never come to a concensus.

therefore saying "good bye" to you is the only intelligent thought I feel.

Posted by Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula to Maha Pashupatastra at April 4, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

I am not a vaishnava that is true, but as I said, Vishnu is not your personal property. I have full rights to love him. I do not need your permissions or a "U" mark stamp on my forehead for worshipping him.

OK? I do not need to explain you my love for Lakshmi-narayana. but at the same time know that I cannot tolerate insult to shiva.

Posted by Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula to Maha Pashupatastra at April 4, 2013 at 9:34 PM

Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

That's what! you guys analyze Vedic hymns by using Vishnu sahasranama a smriti portion huh??

Did any of your ahcaryas ever do abhishekam on Vishnu's idol while chanting rudram? no!

Those acharyas had their duty to establish/elevate Vishnu bhakti so they used all such tools to manipulate meanings and to establish Vishnu's lordship. but none of them ever worshipped Vishnu with rudram.

Posted by Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula to Maha Pashupatastra at April 4, 2013 at 9:37 PM

Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

commentaries are not a yardstick to judge what is authentic and what is not. in that case many texts have not been commented upon, that doesn't mean all of them are unauthentic. Anushashana parva's shiva sahasranama is very much authentic and I don't believe in the commentators and their commentary logic what you stated. Moreover, interpolating a chapter at the end of a book is easy but it would get caught if you instert a chapter at the beginning of the book since you would have to move the rest of the chapters by n+1 number, whereas if you add a new chapter towards the end the no. of chapters need to be moved would be less hence less chances of getting identified as interpolation.

therefore shiva sahasranama which happens to be in the 13th chapter (beginng of the huge book anushasana parva) is logically more valid than the Vishnu sahasranama which happens to come after 100s of chapters (towards the end).

Posted by Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula to Maha Pashupatastra at April 4, 2013 at 9:45 PM

Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

[quote]Here we have the proverbial 'patting oneself on the back'[unquote]

hehehe...don't you understand what has been said in jest as a joke ?

Posted by Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula to Maha Pashupatastra at April 4, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Humble Bhagavata Bandhu has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

I quote acharyas only in those instances where they remain in sync with vedas and other scriptures. Whatever shankara might have said about Vishnu as brahman, I may or may not completely agree with him. so, your quotes from his bhashyam I may not buy. for me the first authority is scriptures; an dthen only come acharyas.

Amusing, you believe you are smarter and much more learned when it comes to interpreting scriptures, than the veda bhAShyakAras and even Adi Shankara! (which means that you are smarter than your own Lord Shiva) Very nice to know! What do you say for this *authentic* (unlike your references) Harivamsa verse quoted by authorities: "vede rAmAyaNe puNye bhArate ca bharataRShabhaH, Adau madhye tathA ca ante viShNuH sarvatra gIyate"? Are you smarter than Veda Vyasa?

"In ancient times I called the waters by the name of Nara; and because the waters have ever been my ayana or home, therefore have I been called Narayana (the water-homed)". (MBH.Vana Parva)

"The waters have been called by the name of Nara, for they sprang from Him called Nara. And since the waters in former times, were my refuge, I am, therefore, called by the name of Narayana". (MBH.Santi Parva)

So, it means "that entity whose resting place (ayana) is waters (nara) is narayana". My definition of Narayana as tripurasudnari is also in similar lines as "that entity whose direction (ayana) is nara is narayana and is nothing but tripurasudnari". If my definition is erroneous then even the Mahabharata definition of narayana should be erroneous because both follow the same logic.

I didn't say the Mahabharata definition is erroneous. It goes only as far as to give the reason behind the naming. It doesn't show how "nArAyana" became "nArAyaNa", which can be explained only by grammar.

Panini only codified the earlier Vedic grammar that is one of the six Vedangas. He didn't concoct things in the sense that you understand.

Srikara/Srikanta's Bhashya is plagiarism of Ramanuja Sri Bhashya, with Vishnu forcefully replaced by Shiva out of envy. Proof: the book "Srikantha Samalochana" which even Smarthas have accepted.

Good to know you finally have been forced to renounce Adi Shankaracharya also. Let me now show that you now even have to renounce Appaya Dikshita also.

Appayya Dikshita was converted into Vaishnavism (he tried to reconcile Advaita, Dvaita, and Vishishtadvaita and wrote treatises on all three) later in his life. Proof: see Siddhanta Lesha Sangraha, a treatise in Advaita Vedanta written by Dikshita, where he has identified Lord Sri Rama as parabrahman (in contrast to his earlier works such as Shivatattva viveka). Bhanuji Dikshita, whose parama-guru was Appayya Dikshita writes in his Grammatical treatise "rAmAshramI" that nArAyaNa can only refer to shankha-chakra-dhAri viShNu.

All Vedanta darshanas followed Vaishnavism as theology, until Appayya Dikshita's time. Purely because of this reason, Meykkandar (principal Saiva Siddhanta Acharya of South India) in 13th century rejected Brahma Sutras and wrote his own Saiva Siddhanta Sutras.

Posted by Humble Bhagavata Bandhu to Maha Pashupatastra at April 4, 2013 at 9:57 PM

Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

Good! I would still request you to visit my site back after 2-3 years. why hurry? I am confident that I would not die for the next 3 years, and am also sure that you would also be there. so why hurry? let's see what I have to say from scriptures.

let me ramble first and then let's discuss if need be:-)

Posted by Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula to Maha Pashupatastra at April 4, 2013 at 10:08 PM

Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

[quote]Appayya Dikshita was converted into Vaishnavism[unquote]

ok. let me also try my best to support shaivism, and let me learn on my own at the end what's right and what's wrong. why should i follow others? they might also be erroneous. if i happen to reveal right things about shiva that's great, and if at all i happen to udnerstand by my own that vishnu is the ultimate reality, that is also fine with me since vishnu is also my father. Let me go my way and realize the truths on my own. why to refer to other's experiences?

Posted by Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula to Maha Pashupatastra at April 4, 2013 at 10:21 PM

Humble Bhagavata Bandhu has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

[QUOTE]

Let me go my way and realize the truths on my own. why to refer to other's experiences?

[UNQUOTE]

Well said. You are welcome to test all paths and decide which one is best for you. But please, show some humility, at least until you are educated enough in scriptures, bhAShyas, and religious history, by not calling other Acharyas' pramANas (especially Srimad Bhagavatam for which) as "bogus" etc.

Posted by Humble Bhagavata Bandhu to Maha Pashupatastra at April 4, 2013 at 10:38 PM

Humble Bhagavata Bandhu has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

Oh really?? I am quoting from "customized" Mahabharata? I give you the references from your own current versions, where two of these verses have survived the hands of interpolators and vandals:

(2)

satyaM satyaM punaH satyamuddhR^itya bhujamuchyate l

vedashAstrAtparaM nAsti na daivaM keshavAtparam ll 2-15

http://mahabharata-resources.org/harivamsa/sheshadharma/sheshadharma-chap2.html

(3)

vede rAmAyaNe punye bhArate bharatarShabha |

Adau chAnte cha madhye cha hariH sarvatra gIyate ||3-132-95

http://mahabharata-resources.org/harivamsa/bhavishyaparva/hv_3_132_mpr.html

(Vishnu has been replaced by hariH, which is no harm).

And here is the most important one: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m12/m12c050.htm (Mahabharata translation by Kisari Mohan Ganguli), from which I quote

[Quote]

"While the four-faced Brahma of great intelligence was seated there, his son Mahadeva, who had sprung from his forehead encountered him one day in course of his wanderings through the universe."

"In days of yore, the Three-eyed Siva endued with puissance and high Yoga, while proceeding along the sky, beheld Brahma seated on that mountain and, therefore, dropped down quickly on its top."

"With a cheerful heart he presented him before his progenitor and worshipped his feet. Beholding Mahadeva prostrated at his feet, Brahma took him up with his left hand. Having thus raised Mahadeva up, Brahma, that puissant and one Lord of all creatures, then addressed his son, whom he met after a long time, in these words."

"The Grandsire said, 'Welcome art thou, O thou of mighty arms. By good luck I see thee after such a long time come to my presence. I hope, O son, that everything is right with thy penances and thy Vedic studies and recitations. Thou art always observant of the austerest penances. Hence I ask thee about the progress and well-being of those penances of thine!'"

"Rudra said, 'Self-born thou art. Many are the Purushas that have been created by thee. Others again, O Brahma, are being created by thee. The Infinite Purusha, however, of whom thou speakest, is one and single. Who is that foremost of Purushas, O Brahma, that is being meditated by thee? Great is the curiosity I feel on this point. Do thou kindly dispel the doubt that has taken possession of my mind.

(continued in the next post)

Posted by Humble Bhagavata Bandhu to Maha Pashupatastra at April 4, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Humble Bhagavata Bandhu has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

continuing here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m12/m12c051.htm

"'Brahma said,--'Listen, O son, as to how that Purusha is indicated. He is eternal and immutable. He is undeteriorating and immeasurable. He pervades all things. 1 O best of all creatures, that Purusha cannot be seen by thee, or me, or others. Those that are endued with the understanding and the senses but destitute of self-restraint and tranquility of soul cannot obtain a sight of him. The Supreme Purusha is said to be one that can be seen with the aid of knowledge alone. Though divested of body, He dwells in every body. Though dwelling, again, in bodies, He is never touched by the acts accomplished by those bodies. He is my Antaratma (inner soul). He is thy inner soul. He is the all-seeing Witness dwelling within all embodied creatures and engaged in marking their acts. No one can grasp or comprehend him at any time."

"The learned speak of him as the one Purusha. That one eternal Being deserves the appellation of Mahapurusha (the great supreme Purusha)."

"The person who realises that inconceivable Purusha and comprehends his subtile existence in the quadruple form of Aniruddha, Pradyumna, Sankarshana, and Vasudeva, and who, in consequence of such comprehension, attains to perfect tranquillity of heart, succeeds in entering into and identifying himself with that one auspicious Purusha. Some persons possessed of learning speak of him as the supreme soul. Others regarded him as the one soul. A third class of learned men describe him as the soul. 2 The truth is that he who is the Supreme Soul is always divested of attributes. He is Narayana. He is the universal soul, and he is the one Purusha."

[End Quote]

I hope this is enough!

Posted by Humble Bhagavata Bandhu to Maha Pashupatastra at April 4, 2013 at 10:34 PM

Unknown has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

[QUOTE]Did any of your ahcaryas ever do abhishekam on Vishnu's idol while chanting rudram? no![/QUOTE]

Highly errorneous. My own acharyas have indeed referenced the Rudram, as can be seen in srI ranga rAmAnuja muni's vyAkhyAnam on the svetAsvatArA.

Furthermore, who told you Rudram is not chanted in Vishnu temples? I have myself heard the Rudram being chanted for SrI pArthasArathy in Thiruvallikeni along with various other suktams during major utsavams. The 1st rk of Rudram talks about SrI rAmA's anger at the ocean king itself!

In addition, it is also a misconception that our acharyas do not use the name of Shiva to address nArAyaNan. In the works of Vedanta Desika, you will come across such names being addressed in praise of nArAyaNa. Lokacharya, another great acharya, repeatedly uses only the name 'Iswara' to address nArAyaNa in his works.

Although the devata of the Rudram may be pArvati pati, the mantras and the qualities described by the mantras address the nArAyaNa indwelling in pArvati pati. This indwelling nArAyaNa is also called 'Rudra', 'Sankara', 'Nilalohita', etc. Jaimini, the disciple of Veda vyAsA states 'sAkshAt api', meaning that the mantras are *directly* (note the word *sAkshAt*) addressed to nArAyaNa.

In the case of the mahAbhAratA quoting Satarudriyam for pArvati pati, it is necessary to use the concept of body-soul analogy expounded by the brihadAranyaka which states 'yasya AtmA sarIram', ie, the universe and the jivas are the body of Brahman. So, just as a name 'jack' denotes both jack's body and soul, all names denote bhagavan nArAyaNa only.

So, any prayers to the pasupatAstra go the indweller of that astra namely nArAyaNa. Any prayers to Shiva go to Keshava, the indweller of Shiva, who has Shiva as his body. The mantras like Rudram directly address Vishnu. This is what is explained by Krishna in the Santi Parva where he clearly states that when he worshipped MahEswara (pArvati pati), he was worshipping the nArAyaNa within MahEswara (ie, himself) using the Satarudriyam mantras. Krishna also states that nobody can give Vishnu boons and that Vishnu will not bow to anyone unless it is of his own will.

The Shiva Sahasranama is not found in the ancient manuscripts of mahAbhArata. Whereas, the Vishnu SahasranAmA is found in all manuscripts and has multiple commentaries. If the Shiva SahasranAmA had existed, so many Shaivites would have commented or even referenced to it. But they haven't. This has and will always be the yardstick to judge the authenticity of a particular work.

Sarvam SrI KrishnArpanam astu.

Posted by Unknown to Maha Pashupatastra at April 4, 2013 at 11:00 PM

Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

hmmm I know these chapters from MBH since I follow KMG MBH. However, the system of vasudeva, sankarshana, pradyumna, aniruddha is something which is pancharatra type and is not authentic. seems that you have also read shankara bhashyas. then you might have read that in brahma sutras shankara rejects the fourfold expansion theory of this system saying there cannot be four eshwaras.

this system of fourfold Vishnu expansion is not even present in shruti. so I don't believe in these chapters. Vishnu is only one and he is narayana, his names are anirudha, pradyumna etc..but I dislike this system where people create new separate gods out of his names. even if that were to be true then also after death I wouldn't like to go to that abode where I would get confused to know which Vishnu is which Vishnu and so on..all are of same appearance but hold weapons differently in cyclic fashion et. all such stories I have heard many times and they are not convincing to me. there is only one Vishnu and his names are all these, that's it! and any theory which states him to be of fourfold form etc., is not available in vedas and Upanishads and also in VR and also stands incorrect in terms of logic.

anyway, "yad bhavam tad roopam", so I don't have any issues with what others follow, but this system is not correct. therefore the chapters what you quoted are most probably interpolations since santi parva of Mahabharata contains lot many interpolations even this is called out by KMG.

Posted by Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula to Maha Pashupatastra at April 5, 2013 at 1:07 AM

Humble Bhagavata Bandhu has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

How arbitrarily and conveniently you are able to deem certain portions of Mahabharata as inauthentic, but the portions that you like are authentic! Don't you see the bias in your own stance?

Again, you are wrong. vyUha concept occurs in Vishnu Sahasranama itself.

Yes, Adi Shankaracharya refutes the vyUha concept *as it is explained in the Pancharatra*, but he accepts the vyUha concept in his Vishnu Sahasranama Bhashya, for which he quotes vyAsa smRti as authority. "caturAtmA caturvyUhas caturdamShTrash caturbhujaH" goes Vishnu Sahasranama, a text praised by the Ayurvedic Charaka Samhita as one of the best stotras. How can this be un-vedic?

Amalananda Sarasvati, 13th century advaitin, respectfully disagrees from Sri Adi Shankara in his "Vedanta Kalpataru" (which is a commentary on "bhAmati" written by vAcaspati mishra) and defends pA~ncarAtra as 100% Vedic. Vedanta Kalpataru, btw, has a sub-commentary by Appaya Dikshita called "parimaLa".

Coming to Shankaracharya, he does not disagree that there can be four vyUhas. In his commentary the Acharya says:

"Concerning this system we remark that we do not intend to controvert the doctrine that Nârâyana, who is higher than the Undeveloped, who is the highest Self, and the Self of all, reveals himself by dividing himself in multiple ways; for various scriptural passages, such as 'He is onefold, he is threefold' (Kh. Up. VII, 26, 2)', teach us that the highest Self appears in manifold forms.".

Here Shankaracharya interprets Pancharatra text to be teaching jIvOtpatti. (Ramanuja, and even the later advaitin amalAnanda, disagree saying that the statements have to be taken in the "gauNa" sense).

Vishnu Purana, from which Shankara has quoted (and which has no interpolations, since we have commentaries on it intact, right from Sridhara Swami's time) also supports the four vyUha theory:

"To him who is one with true knowledge, who is and is not perceptible, I bow. Glory be to him, the lord Vásudeva, to Sankarshańa, to Pradyumna, and to Aniruddha 7." (Book V, Chapter 18).

(shrImad bhAgavatam also supports the four vyUha concept, but of course, you have deemed the whole text as bogus, so I am not quoting it.)

What more? Read sUrya siddhAnta, written by Vedantin/Astronomer AryabhaTa, who in the 12th chapter of his work, identifies puruSha sUkta as referring to Lord vAsudeva only. Here, AryabhaTa identifies the roles of two of the other three vyUhas, Sankarshana and Aniruddha in the creation:

12.12a: *vāsudevaH* paraṃ brahma tanmūrtiH puruṣaH paraH/

12.12b: avyakto nirguṇaH śāntaH pañcaviṃśāt paro +avyayaH//

12.13a: prakṛtyantargato devo bahir antaś ca sarvagaH/

12.13b: *saṅkarṣaṇo* +apaH sṛṣṭvādau tāsu vīryam avāsṛjat//

12.14a: tadaṇḍam abhavad dhaimaṃ sarvatra tamasāvṛtam/

12.14b: *tatrāniruddhaH* prathamaṃ vyaktībhūtaH sanātanaH//

This explanation is the same as you find in "Mudgala Upanishad" from which Adi Shankara has quoted a statement in his Taittiriya Upanishad bhAShya:

"We shall explain the Purusha-sukta... The glory of Vishnu is given in 'Etavan' (so much is his greatness). The same stanza states his four-fold nature. 'Tripad' etc., speaks of the glory of Aniruddha."

Mudgala Upanishad itself is thus 100% Vedic, and here you find the vyUha concept as well.

Posted by Humble Bhagavata Bandhu to Maha Pashupatastra at April 5, 2013 at 3:17 AM

Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

I didn't conveniently reject some portions from Mahabharata as per my comfort. the chapters what you quoted this vyuha theory from they encapsulate the topics on samkhya and yoga systems. And here is what Kisari mohan ganguly has to say about them in the beginning of santi parva itself.

"The Santi Parva is a huge interpolation in the Mahabharata, in the genre known as 'wisdom literature.' The narrative progression is placed on hold almost from the first page. Instead we get a long and winding recapitulation of Brahmanic lore, including weighty treatises on topics such as kingcraft, metaphysics, cosmology, geography, and mythology. There are discussions of the Sankya and Yoga philosophical schools, and mentions of Buddhism.". hence he says santi parva having these topics are interpolations.

therefore I said I don't accept those theories. again your Vishnu sahasranama is a smriti scripture and you cannot use it to analyze vedas which are shruti. actually vedas should be used to analyze puranas and other smritis. my style of analysis is to analyze smriti using shruti and when we do so, many puranic concepts get negated.

anyway, one thing I liked in you is you quote relevant references in your posts which is a best practice and it is what I follow in my articles so naturally I would like that even in opponents, good job.

Well, this discussion with you is very useful and adds to my learning, but as I stated earlier, I am too busy these days to find time out of work, so this discussion is wasting my time in that sense. Let god give me some free time and let some more articles come from my pen, many of the theories would get refuted. yeah I know people might not agree with me, but this is my duty that my antar-atman has assigned me, hence I would do that at the cost of anything.

See, we are not comparing apples with apples. the acharyas which you follow, I don't concur with their thoughts; so debate/discussion between us is fruitless and is a time waste for both of us. if you disagree with my articles, you may stop visiting this blog, and if you have patience to wait for 1-2 years, you'll see some nice reasoning done in some articles (upcoming ones). Hope to see a good bye note from you and not another "reply-inviting" post. hehe :-)

Posted by Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula to Maha Pashupatastra at April 5, 2013 at 3:59 AM

Unknown has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

[quote] again your Vishnu sahasranama is a smriti scripture and you cannot use it to analyze vedas which are shruti. actually vedas should be used to analyze puranas and other smritis. my style of analysis is to analyze smriti using shruti and when we do so, many puranic concepts get negated.[/quote]

Again, more nonsense. We do not not use smriti to interpret the shruti (though there is nothing wrong in that). We interpret Shruti using smriti as a tool.

For the record, we do not need Vishnu Sahasranama to prove that the Rudra of Sri Rudram is NarayaNa. Considering that the mahOpanishad declares Rudra to be absent during pralaya (eko ha vai nArAyaNa asIt, na brahma nEshana), the nArAyaNopanishad declares Rudra to be born of nArAyaNa (nArAyaNat rudrO jAyatE), the name 'nArAyaNa' being a proper noun and the names like Rudra, Shiva being common nouns having general meanings like 'auspicious', 'one who destroys samsara', the conclusion is that it is well within grammatical and logical limits to attribute the names of Rudra, etc to nArAyaNa only.

Furthermore, the satapatha brAhmana declares this Rudra to be 'anapahatapapma', ie not cleansed of karmas when he was born to brahma. This new born requests Brahma to therefore give him names that would cleanse his karmas. Brahma gives him names like Rudra, Mahadeva, Isana, etc. This clearly shows that these names were pre-existent and applied to the supreme brahman before pArvati pati was born.

Even in nArAyaNa suktam, you come across terms like 'shivam achyutam', which confirms that such names belong to nArAyaNa, who is Vishnu only as per the Vishnu gAyatri.

The Vishnu SahasranAmA, is then, not the primary text, but merely a *CONFIRMATION* of this interpretation of shruti. Since it gives the names of nArAyaNa as Rudra, Shambhu, Shiva, etc. The only reason we resort to Vishnu Sahasranama is to show that our interpretation is supported by the ancient rsis as well.

And even if we first see the Vishnu SahasranAmA and then go on to interpret the shruti, there is nothing wrong with that. It will still be correct as opposed to interpretations that blindly search for 'Rudra', 'Shiva' and other such names in the Veda and jump on them to give wrong meanings that clash with other vAkyAs declaring the birth of pArvati pati.

Posted by Unknown to Maha Pashupatastra at April 5, 2013 at 5:59 AM

Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula has left a new comment on the post "Story of Subduing Shiva's Pride from Ramayana is F...":

See Mr. Unknown,

For the last time let me tell you, this narayana meaning based on grammatical thing is not there in Mahabharata. in Mahabharata the logic what has been used is same as what I have arrived at in my article. From narayana as Shakti, all the so called ambiguities get clarified (mhopanishad, narayanopanishad etc.). Evan himavan in purana hails devi as "I salute your that thousand headed form called narayana". so, my logic of narayana = tripurasudnari is not bogus one rather a hint of it exists in puranas itself. Whether you accept/deny it doesn't matter to me. You cannot prove that Vishnu travels through sushumna nerve using any scripture. it is always kundalini that does that. So, either accept my theory or stop blabbering, leave me alone and let me live in peace. secondly you have seen shatapatha br. but haven't seen the vedas which state rudra existed before brahma and he manifested again through brahma. brahma is hiranyagarbha which is nothing but this universe, so rudra's manifestation is nothing but his appearance within this universe. it has nothing to do with physical birth and he is unborn who appeared within this. so all your understanding about birth of rudra is bogus. I can explain but don't want to owing to less time with me.

Boss. know one thing, your opinions aren't going to change me. But my articles are going to always taste bitter since truths are bitter and we both come from different streams hence can't meet in common stream. therefore, I do not see any value add in continuing this discussion, so may I request you to move away and not waste mine and your time further?

Posted by Santosh Kumar Ayalasomayajula to Maha Pashupatastra at April 5, 2013 at 7:48 AM

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The anti-Vaishnavite’s motives made clear

You can see clearly above who made a spectacle of themselves in the debate. And you can see why our friend deleted the above posts. He found the following facts hard to digest:

  1. That Adi Shankara was a Vaishnava though philosophically an advaitin,

  1. That the section that is traditionally called "Mokshadharma" in the Mahabharata (and therefore, merely from its name a very authoritative section) identifies the supreme being as Vishnu only, and never as Shiva,

  1. That Adi Shankara has identified "Ishvara" in "IshvaraH sarva bhUtAnAM" as Lord Narayana only,

  1. That Adi Shankara has specifically used the term "Vaishnavas" in the Gita Bhashyas, and states that "The worshipers of other deities reach the realm of those other deities. Even though their effort in worshiping is the same, they do not reach the highest result, but obtain finite results which are impermanent and run out in time. Vaishnavas alone reach the highest fruit of mukti",

  1. That Adi Shankara has specifically praised the method of worship followed by the Vaishnavas (including their single-minded devotion to Vishnu without praying to other deities) as Vedic,

  1. That all Vedanta Acharyas (including Adi Shankara) have identified the Supreme God praised by Vaishnavites, Lord Vishnu/Narayana/Krishna/Vasudeva as the Supreme Being sung in the Bhagavad Gita; our friend thus stands against even Adi Shankara's position regarding the Gita,

  1. That it was accepted by even Adi Shankara that Lord Vishnu ALONE is praised as the Supreme Being EVERYWHERE in the Vedas, Itihasas, and Sattvika Puranas, and

  1. That Vyasa has stated in the Mahabharata as follows: "Having examined all the Vedic scriptures inside out many times, I deem the following to be sure: That it is Narayana who is always to be meditated upon".

The aforementioned truths are big obstacles to our anti-Vaishnavite friend's unholy cause. Hence, he wants these to be hidden from as many people as possible, so that the gullible followers of his blog can be cheated with lies.

After timidly stating:

"ok. let me also try my best to support shaivism, and let me learn on my own at the end what's right and what's wrong. why should i follow others? they might also be erroneous. if i happen to reveal right things about shiva that's great, and if at all i happen to udnerstand by my own that vishnu is the ultimate reality, that is also fine with me since vishnu is also my father. Let me go my way and realize the truths on my own. why to refer to other's experiences?", he retracts this sentiment by deleting ALL the comments except for the first few, followed by a return to anti-Vaishnavite ranting in his latest post. What a display of honesty!

The fact that our friend will resort to any sort of dishonest means is exemplified by the following episode in the debate:

When I tried to show that Lord Vishnu's supremacy is established clearly in the mOkShadharma section of the mahAbhArata, he tried to claim that the mOkShadharma (which is part of the twelfth book, shAnti parva) is a later interpolation, citing the English translator K. M. Ganguli's opinion that can be found on this link.

However, our friend quotes liberally from the thirteenth book, the anushAsana parva. He uses quotations (which were never authenticated by any of the early AcAryas like Shankara) found in that section to establish Shiva's supremacy as per his whim. The same K. M. Ganguli says that the anushAsana parva is also a later interpolation (see this link):

"The Anusasana Parva, like the Santi Parva before it, is a long hiatus in the narrative of the Mahabharata. Set on the deathbed of Bhishma, the Anusasana Parva is a huge treasure-trove of Brahmanic lore which is obviously a later interpolation in the epic."

But of course, our friend won't accept this when it comes to his favorite quotations regarding Shiva's supremacy (some very clearly later interpolations). Wise people are aware that if we were to take modern indologists' opinion without examining them critically, then we may as well say that the Vedas are just poems composed in 2000 BC and are the figments of the minds of early forest-dwellers who were afraid of natural forces like thunder, rain, cyclone etc., shall we not???

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A few truths revealed

Let us now come to the following points highlighted in green in the comments above:

Truth# 1: The Uttama Purusha in Chandogya Upanishad is Vishnu only. Hence, the Supreme Lord identified in the Bhagavad Gita is Lord Vishnu only, and not Lord Shiva:

It is well known that the Bhagavad Gita has been recognized by everyone as the highest Hindu scripture. Hence, every attempt is made by anti-Vaishnavites to distance the Bhagavad Gita from Vishnu's supremacy, Vishnu, and Vaishnavism. Our shaiva friend is no exception to this, and has taken great pains to explain in about 10 blog postings (conveniently omitting key verses that clearly speak for Vishnu's supremacy) that Siva is identified as the supreme being in the Bhagavad Gita.

Getting into details, we relate this attack to the identification of "uttamaH puruShaH" as stated in the Chandogya Upanishad by Shaivites as Shiva. The reader can see below which side is true. The following is found in a Shaivite work called "shrIkaNTha bhAShya" (written by someone known as shrIkaNTha between the 13th and 16th centuries, and was supported by Appayya Dikshita in his works such as Shivadvaita Nirnaya):

Saivite opponent: [SrkBh:1]

The Vaishnavites claim thus: As the highest light, an object to be attained by the freed souls, is denoted by the word 'Highest Person' (Purusottama), so the phrase.  'The Highest Person" (Uttama Purusah) refers to it. Further, the word 'Highest Person* directly refers to Narayana. Hence, he is the highest light standing for the highest person. To this, we reply : Here the highest light, an object to be obtained by the freed souls, is none else but the Supreme Brahman, called Supreme Siva. For, it is seen that those only who attain Him do not return (to transmigratory existence). How can this kind of non-return be appropriate on the part of those who attain some one other than the Supreme Brahman? Although the words 'Highest Person' directly refer to Narayana, yet it is applicable to Brahman as well, as He is superior to all persons or individual souls. In the Brahma-medha-kalpa too, viz. in the text, "To encircle the Highest Person", the name 'Highest Person' has been employed as a synonym for the Supreme Brahman, the object to be obtained. Hence, the Supreme Brahman alone is the highest light.

The Truth:

The above explanation of Chandogya Upanishad is not authenticated by any early Acharyas. In fact, it directly contradicts and condemns Shankara Bhashyam, and hence deserves to be rejected by those who place authority on Shankara. It is also against the Bhagavad Gita. We shall see how.

(1) First of all, in Bhagavad Gita, Shri Krishna says:

uttamaḥ puruṣastvanyaḥ paramātmētyudāhṛtaḥ.

yō lōkatrayamāviśya bibhartyavyaya īśvaraḥ..15.17..

Here, Shankara's commentary says that Uttama Purusha in the vedAnta refers to Ishvara, the controller whose name is Narayana: [GBhS:6].

uttamaḥ utkṛṣṭatamaḥ puruṣastu anyaḥ atyantavilakṣaṇaḥ ābhyāṅ paramātmā iti paramaśca asau dēhādyavidyākṛtātmabhyaḥ, ātmā ca sarvabhūtānāṅ pratyakcētanaḥ, ityataḥ paramātmā iti udāhṛtaḥ uktaḥ vēdāntēṣu. sa ēva viśiṣyatē yaḥ lōkatrayaṅ bhūrbhuvaḥsvarākhyaṅ svakīyayā caitanyabalaśaktyā āviśya praviśya bibharti svarūpasadbhāvamātrēṇa bibharti dhārayati; avyayaḥ na asya vyayaḥ vidyatē iti avyayaḥ. kaḥ? īśvaraḥ sarvajñaḥ nārāyaṇākhyaḥ īśanaśīlaḥ..

and then in 15.18 comes the bombshell which should impale Vishnu-haters. Prelude given by Shankara below, and then the Sloka: [GBhS:6].

yathāvyākhyātasya īśvarasya 'puruṣōttamaḥ' ityētat nāma prasiddham. tasya nāmanirvacanaprasiddhyā arthavattvaṅ nāmnō darśayan 'niratiśayaḥ aham īśvaraḥ' iti ātmānaṅ darśayati bhagavān

yasmātkṣaramatītō.hamakṣarādapi cōttamaḥ.

atō.smi lōkē vēdē ca prathitaḥ puruṣōttamaḥ

Translation: "Since I am superior to the immutable and the mutable, I am known in the world and in the Vedas as the Purushottama". Here, the key phrase is "both in the world and in the Vedas". "In the world" refers to the popularity of the name "Purushottama" in the world as Vishnu's (rather than Siva's).

Madhusudana Sarasvati - another advaitin who lived in the 16th Century and followed Shankara’s Vedanta, quotes Kalidasa's Raghuvamsam [RVmsKD:1]to this support in his gUDhArtha dIpikA: [GuMS:1]

lōkē ca kavikāvyādau 'hariryathaikaḥ puruṣōttamaḥ smṛtaḥ' ityādiprasiddham |”,

showing that even Kalidasa, who was a Shiva bhakta predominantly, accepted that the name “puruShOttama” refers to Lord Vishnu only.

It is to be noted here, even without taking the support of Shankara Bhashyams, that those who proclaim that Krishna refers to Siva alone in the “so(a)hambhAva when he says "worship me", "surrender me", "I am the supreme" etc., will stumble when they come to this verse. BhagavAn Krishna, who knows the past, present, and future, has foreseen these misinterpretations and hence to annihilate them, states "loke vede ca".

Saivites may very well use twisted yuktis to argue that Uttama Purusha in Vedas is Siva, not Krishna. But they stand exposed when they are asked to quote any itihAsa/purANastatement or kavi or kAvya or nighaNTu in history that assigns the name Purushottama to Siva. Their position is undermined even by Kalidasa, himself a devotee of Siva!!!

I challenge our anti-Vaishnavite author of the “mahapashupatastra” blog page to refute logically this ONE observation. I will promise that I would consider such a refutation tantamount to answering all of my points here defending Vaishnavism!

For "vede" Madhusudana Saraswati quotes the Chandogya verse which Dikshitar adamantly proclaims as Siva's:

sa uttamaḥ puruṣa iti vēda udāhṛta ēva

Hence, Bhagavad Gita is all about Lord Vishnu's supremacy alone, and not Lord Shiva's as "mahA pAshupata astra" author claims.

(2) Let us take Chandogya Upanishad Bhashyam of Shankara, and look at the corresponding verse that Dikshitar vehemently argues as referring to Siva:

Chandogya 8.12.3 Shankara Bhashyam: [ChUpBhS:1]

evaṃ ca sa uttamapuruṣa uttamaścāsau puruṣaścetyuttamapuruṣaḥ sa evottamapuruṣo 'kṣisvapnapuruṣau vyaktāvavyaktaśca suṣuptaḥ samastaḥ saṃprasanno 'śarīraśca svena rūpeṇeti /

eṣāmeṣa svena rūpeṇāvasthitaḥ kṣarākṣarau vyākṛtāvyākṛtāvapekṣyottamapuruṣaḥ kṛtanirvacano hyayaṃ gītāsu /

Here, Shankara refers to the Nirvachanam in Gita, hence again confirming that the Uttama Purusha is Vishnu only. This is supported by Anandagiri, who in the Chandogya Upanishad Tika, quotes the Gita 15.17 and 15.18.

All this firmly establishes that the “Uttama Purusha” spoken about in the Chandogya Upanishad is none but Lord Vishnu only. These also establishe that only Lord Krishna is glorified as Supreme Brahman in Bhagavad Gita.

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Truth# 2: Shri Rudram extols shrIman nArAyaNa only. Moreover, the Vedas speak about the supremacy of Lord Vishnu only everywhere

The shrIvaiShNava bhAgavata in the above debate has commented on the Sri Rudram mantras, and says that they sing Vishnu's supremacy alone. This may come as a surprise to many from the Smarta/Shaiva background who see Rudram chanted in Shiva pUjas. Here is my analysis:

We first take a look at the Bhagavad Gita verse 15.15::

sarvasya ca-ahaM hRdi sanniviSTo mattaH smRtirj~nAnamapohanaM ca |

vedaishca sarvairahameva vedyo vedantakRt-vedavit-eva ca-aham ||

(Bhagavad Gita 15.15)

In the above verse, Lord Narayana, in his Krishna form, teaches the following to Arjuna: "I am seated in the hearts of all beings. Memory, knowledge, as well as their loss come from Me. I alone am to be known from all the Vedas; I am indeed the author of Vedanta as well as its knower."

Here, the message is that Lord Krishna/Vishnu alone is glorified by all the Vedas.

The following portion, pertaining to the nAma "kathitaH" from Shri Shankara's Vishnu Sahasranama commentary contains a key verse from the Harivamsa. The commentary and this verse establishes that Lord Vishnu indeed is spoken of everywhere in the Vedas as the Highest, and that this was in accordance with Adi Shankara's own belief [VSBhS:1]. Read carefully below:

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

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

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

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

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

This is the reason why everyone begins and ends Vedic chanting with "hariH OM" (Lord Vishnu's name).

The above points, by themselves, should put to rest any objection against identifying Rudram as Shriman Narayana's praise.

Nevertheless, we shall discuss the Sri Rudram portion specifically, in order to confirm these statements. The full details are found in the "Vaishnava commentary on Sri Rudram" page bearing an article written by the shrIvaiShNava bhAgavata who supported Vaishnavism along with me in the above debate.

One needs to consider the following:

(1) The shvetAshvatara upaniShad contains a few mantras from Sri Rudram. Clearly, the Supreme Brahman established in the Vedas is Vishnu alone, as shown by the above arguments. Hence, shvetAshvatara upaniShad must be a praise of Vishnu alone, and hence at least a few mantras in Sri Rudram must be considered a praise of Vishnu as Parabrahman.

(2) It is well known that Valmiki Ramayana is traditionally considered an avatAra of the Veda, and which Valmiki composed to explain the Veda. This is established in the following shloka recited traditionally before the recitation of Ramayana:

"veda vedye pare puMsi jAte dasharathAtmaje

vedaH prAcetasAt AsIt sAkShAt rAmAyaNAtmanA"

In the Ramayana, there is a chapter where Valmiki describes Shri Rama's anger when He threatens to annihilate the Samudra Raja with a single arrow. At this juncture, Samudra Raja appears praises Shri Rama, fearing his wrath. The verses recited by Samudra Raja correspond in meaning to mantras in Shri Rudram. Hence, it is Valmiki Maharishi's opinion that Shri Rudram indeed addresses Lord Vishnu. The specific verses and their connection to Shri Rudram can be found in the relevant page. Here is the relevant portion:

yAmishuM girishanta haste bibharshyastavE |

shivAM giritra tAm kuru mA himsI: purushaM jagath ||

Meaning: O Girishanta (Creator of GirishA/pArvai pati Rudradeva), O Giritra (Lord, who is propounded in the VedAntA), shoot that auspicious arrow you hold in your hand (to destroy the obstacles to my knowledge of Brahman). Do not cause injury to the JivAtmA who is migrating in the samsAra (purusham jagat)....

The same happens in srimad rAmAyaNam. When samudra rAjan appeases the anger of SrI rAman, he gets a reply from bhagavAn that his arrow needs a target. Upon hearing this, samudra rAjan makes the following statement:

 tairna tatsparshanam pApam saheyam pApakarmabhiH || amoghaH kriyatAm rAma tatra teShu sharottamaH | (~ vAlmiki rAmAyaNam 2-22-33)

Meaning: (Samudra rAjan said:) I am not able to bear that touch of those wicked people, the evil doers. O rAmA, Let this excellent arrow (that is never rendered in vain) be released over them there.

(3) It is accepted that the devatA of Sri Rudram is Lord Siva or Rudra. However, this does not mean that Rudram can not be considered as a hymn of Vishnu. For that matter, the devatA of vishvakarmA sUkta is recognized as vishvakarmA. However, the hymns in this sUkta contain a description on of how the entire Universe, after mahApralaya, was created from Lord Vishnu's navel. Thismantra that goes as:

"ajasya nAbhau adhyekaM arpitaM yasmin vishvAni bhuvanAni tasthuH"

[In the navel of the unborn was (the entire universe) stationed - Rg veda, 10th maNDala, 82nd sUkta, 6th mantra]

has been explained by Bhishmacharya in the Mokshadharma parva of Mahabharata as referring to Lord Vishnu, occurring in the stOtra that he sang for Shri Krishna paramAtmA:

"ajasya nAbhAv adhyekaM yasmin vishvaM pratiShThitaM |

puShkaraM puShkarAkShasya tasmai padmAtmane namaH ||"

[I salute that lotus flower which appeared from the navel of the unborn Lord with lotus-like eyes, in which the entire universe was stationed (during creaetion)]

Moreover, Shri Adi Shankaracharya states in his Vishnu Sahasranama commentary that the mantra in the vishvakarmA sUkta only refers to Lord Vishnu's form as padmanAbha [VSBhS:2]:

"sarvajagatkAraNaM padmaM nAbhau yasya saH padmanAbhaH, 'ajasya nAbhAvadhyekaM arpitaM' iti shruteH"

Translation: The explanation for the name padmanAbha is as follows: The one whose navel contains the lotus that is the cause of the entire universe. 'ajasya nAbhAvadhyekaM arpitaM', says shruti.


Hence, it is accepted by authorities of great reputation that the Vishvakarma sUkta speaks of Vishnu alone as the Highest Brahman, even though the devatA for that sUkta is named 'vishvakarmA'. Similarly, the being praised as the Highest Brahman in the Shri Rudram is Lord Vishnu only, even though the devata for Shri Rudram is identified as Rudra.

 (4) Another point in support of this was offered by the shrIvaiShNava bhAgavata, the details of which are given in the relevant page "Vaishnava commentary on Sri Rudram" on this page. The proof is from bhagavAn Lord Krishna's himself. The verses quoted in that page relating to this point correspond to the Shanti Parva section in the Mahabharata (12.328.5 onwards, dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna).

Thus, the Rudram refers to Shriman Narayana as the antaryAmi of Lord Rudra, and also refers to Shriman Narayana Himself directly at places. This explanation is in line with Brahma Sutras. This was explained by the bhAgavata to me, in private: When we say 'vaishvAnara', it refers to gastric fire. At the same time, the name 'vaishvAnara' means 'giver of life', which is a direct name of nArAyaNa. The Brahma Sutras establish that vaishvAnara therefore, refers to the antaryAmin of (the) gastric fire, i.e., nArAyaNa.

Vaishnavas (rightly) claim that Shri Rudram can be interpreted to address Lord Vishnu, and that this is as per the pronouncement of maharShis like Vyasa and Valmiki who held that He alone is praised in all the Vedas.

To this our friend retorts thus: "Can Vaishnavas show even one Vishnu temple where Shri Rudram is chanted as part of abhiSheka, as in Shiva temples?"

Our friend does not seem to be aware that there are prescribed sUktas in pA~ncarAtra and vaikhAnasa Agamas (the Vaishnavite Agamas) for recitation during tiruma~ncanaM (thirumanjanam, or abhiSheka) and that traditional worship of Lord Vishnu are strictly based on these Agamas. For that matter, one can not substitute the nArAyaNa sUkta or viShNu sUkta in an area where the Vaishnava Agamas prescribe the chanting of puruSha sUkta.

The bhAgavata who defended Vaishnavism in the debate also notes that in a Vishnu temple in his locality in Chennai (pArthasArathi perumAL temple in tiruvallikkeNi/Triplicane), Shri Rudram is recited as part of veda pArAyaNa and in major utsavas.

I also wish to point out an authority from a non-Ramanuja/Madhva source in these matters as an evidence. The great Mahamahopadhyaya Ramasubba Shastri of Tiruvisanallur in Tanjore district, who lived in the last half of the 19th and first few years of the 20th century, has proclaimed Vishnu's supremacy in his works.This advaitic scholar has upheld Shankara as a Vaishnavite in his works.

He has written a work called "shvetAshvatara upaniShad vilAsa" in which he has explained that the mantras of shvetAshvatara upaniShad, some of which are in Shri Rudram, clearly extol Lord Vishnu as the Supreme. Another such work of his is "atharvashiropaniShadvilAsa" which proves similarly that Vishnu is declared as the Supreme in Atharva Shiropanishad also.

Yet another important work of his is viShNudveShakara-mahAshaivamata-mardanam directed against a shaivAdvaitic personality known as "Mahamahopadhyaya Raju Shastri" of Mannargudi. Unfortunately, Raju Shastri held clout in the Kumbhakonam mutt (Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt of today), even though he lost in debate to the former after finding himself unable to answer questions after a certain point. This is the reason why Adi Shankara continues to be misrepresented till today as a shaiva or as advocate of shaNmata.

Though Ramasubba Shastri's manuscripts have not been published in the press till now, they are well preserved. In the recent years, some of them have been passed on to a trustworthy scholar, which gives us hope that Shri Ramasubba Shastri's works will see the light of the day very soon. See this article for some light on this matter:

http://www.academia.edu/1119793/Ramasubrahma_yas_Manuscripts_A_Kaveri_Delta_Collection_Then_and_Now_preprint_version_

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Truth# 3: Narayana Suktam praises Shriman Narayana alone as the Supreme, and tAmasa purANas are not authoritative

It is well established that the name "nArAyaNa" refers to Lord Vishnu only - in the Vedas and in common parlance. This is because of the grammatical rule explained above. Vedas themselves identify nArAyaNa with viShNu and vAsudEva, all of which are names of Hari:

"nArAyaNAya vidmahe vAsudevAya dhImahI 

tanno viShNuH pracodayAt"

Our friend retorts that Paninian grammar is post-Vedic and hence can not be relied on for explaining Vedic mantras. The truth is that Panini only codified existing Vedic grammatical rules, and did not create new rules.

It is exactly because of this reason that Appayya in his Shivadvaita Nirnaya, identified nArAyaNa as viShNu only in his shivAdvaita nirNaya, taking pains to prove and state time and again that nArAyaNa is not brahman. This is also the reason for his attempt to explain the mantra "nArAyaNaH paraM brahmA" as "nArAyaNAt paraM brahmA" which was condemned by even advaitins such as bOdhEndra sarasvati in works such as hariharAdvaita-bhUShaNa.

We will look at the opinion of learned people in this matter. All Vaidikas, including Advaitins explained the Narayana Sukta as a hymn of the Puranic Narayana/Vishnu only. You can see this point from surEshvara's bRhadAraNyaka upaniShad bhAShya vArtika in the antaryAmi brAhmaNa section, and Anandagiri's TIka to the same (Sureshvara is one of the disciples of Adi Shankara, and Anandagiri is an advaitin of the 13th/14th Century): [BrUphV:1]:

kR^iShNadvaipAyano vyAso vedAtmA dhvAntahAnikR^it |

prahemameva bahushaH praNInAM hitakAmyayA ||

nArAyaNaH paro.avyaktAt aNDamavyakta saMbhavam |

aNDasyAntastv ime sarvAH lokAH saptadvIpAshca medhinI ||

tasmai namostu devAya nirguNAya guNAtmane |

nArAyaNAya vishvAya devAnAM paramAtmane ||

etameva samuddishya mantro nArAyaNastathA |

vedavidbhir mahAprAj~naiH puruShair viniyujyate ||

Translation: Krishna Dvaipayana, the Vyasa, who is Vedas personified and who is the remover of ignorance, has said the following time and again for the welfare of beings: Narayana is beyond avyakta (prakRti); from avyakta is the entire cosmig egg born; inside this cosmic egg are all the worlds, the seven islands, and the earth. To that Narayana, I offer salutations - to Him, who is lustrous, devoid of attributes (nirguNa) and also the one with all auspicious attributes - to Him, who is the universe personified, who is the Supreme among all deities. With Him as the object are the nArAyaNa mantras (in the Vedas) being recited by the great knowledgeable personalities who are well-versed in the Vedas.

Anandagiri's TIka says here: [BrUpBhV:1]:

na kevalaM purANAgamAbhyAMeva so.adhigamyate, kiM tu shrutyakSharair api ityarthaH | etameveti | sahasrashIrShaM devaM vishvAkShaM vishvashaMbhuvaM vishvaM nArAyaNaM devaM akSharaM paramaM padaM' ityAdi mantraH vedavidbhir antaryAmiNaM uddishya viniyukto.ataH sa vaidikaH ityarthaH

Translation: (surEshvarAcArya explains here that) not only is nArAyaNa's greatness known from Puranas and Agamas, but from Vedic mantras such as 'sahasrashIrShaM devaM vishvAkShaM vishvashaMbhuvaM vishvaM nArAyaNaM devaM akSharaM paramaM padaM' that serve to show this as the Vedic position.

This shows that the Narayana Sukta mantras praise the Puranic Vishnu only.


Moreover, in Sayanacarya's commentary on the Narayana Sukta, we find the following statement pertaining to the mantra "nArAyaNaH paraM brahmA" etc: [TASyB:1]

"purANeShu nArAyaNashabdena vyavahriyamANo yaH parameshvaraH, sa eva 'paraM' utkR^iShTaM"

Translation: The Supreme Lord who is denoted by the term 'nArAyaNa' in the purANas - He alone is the Highest.

Hence, Sayana also understands the Narayana of the Narayana Sukta as the puranic nArAyaNa only.

Our friend says in his latest post (in this link) that sAyaNa and bhaTTa bhAskara were 'impartial commentators'. The same 'impartial commentators' identified the deity praised in the Narayana Sukta as the Puranic Narayana only. Will he accept the following observations made by these 'impartial commentators'?

  1. The puruSha sUkta refers to Lord Narayana only (Sayana and Bhatta Bhaskara in their Taittiriya Aranyaka commentary) [TASyB:2] [TABBB:1]

  1. The name "nArAyaNa" is a proper name and refers only to Vishnu, and this is because of Panini's grammatical rule (Bhatta Bhaskara on Narayana Sukta commentary) [TABBB:2]

Our shaivite friend's claim that Itihasa-Puranas can not be used to understand and explain the Vedas is rather bizarre. All traditional scholars accept the maxim: "itihAsapurANAbhyAM vedaM samupabrahmayet", which means that the Vedas have to be understood with the help of Itihasas and Puranas, where there is no contradiction. In Valmiki Ramayana also, we have the following shlOka which explains that Valmiki composed the Ramayana to explain Vedas in a lucid manner:

sa tu medhāvinau dṛṣṭvā vedeṣu pariniṣṭitau |

vedopabṛṃhaṇārthāya tau agrāhayata prabhuḥ || 1-4-6

Translation: On seeing that pair intellectuals who are proficient in Veda-s that self-reliant sage Valmiki made those two to memorize the epic, as the epic Ramayana is composed only to reinforce the import of Veda-s, as an ancillary. [1-4-6]

In light of all this, our shaivite friend's claim that the nArAyaNa sUkta is a hymn to Tripura Sundari is indeed laughable. So is his vulgar commentary that the nArAyaNa sUkta "describes the union of Tripurasundari with her consort Shiva" and that it describes the ascent of "seminal fluids". He claims that the "heart" in nArAyaNa sUkta is actually the sushumnA nADi. Nowhere does the nArAyaNa sUkta talk about these terms.

Also ridiculous is his explanation of the name "nArAyaNa" as "nara + ayana". Our friend does not even know how sandhi operates in Vedic Sanskrit. If you combine the word "nara" with "ayana", you would get the word "narAyanaH" (नरायनः) and not "nArAyaNaH" (नारायणः)

Our friend asks as follows:

Another example could be “rAmAyaNa” which is “rAma + Ayana (direction of movement)” is identically same as the definition of Tripurasundari as nArAyaNa. And on similar lines it is spelt as “rAmAyaNa” and not “rAmAyana”. This “rAmAyaNa” is again a proper noun applicable on Rama’s lifestory (epic) only but still we have Valmiki Ramayana, Kamba Ramayana, Bhushundi Ramayana, Tulasidas Ramayana and so on… Where has been the rAmAyaNa which is again a proper noun, infallible in this case? It has become a common noun when only read as “rAmAyaNa”, but it remains a unique proper noun when we prefix the version (Valmiki, Kamba etc…) to the word “rAmAyaNa”.  

This again shows his ignorance. These other rAmAyaNas are called rAmAyaNa because they have been named thus. Similarly, my neighbor's son can very well be called "nArAyaNa" if he has been given that name by scholars, and also because these books revere the original  rAmAyaNa of vAlmIki as the authoritative one. In contrast, nowhere are Shiva, Durga, and others given the name nArAyaNa. In any case, Kamban's work was not originally called "rAmAyaNa" but "irAmAvatAram", and Tulsidas' work "rAmacaritamanas".

The point behind the "Na" in rAmAyaNa is as follows: You can not take a story of some other person named "Rama" and describe it as "rAmAyaNa". But you can describe it as "rAmAyana" since it makes sense etymologically.

Our friend quotes a kUrma purANa passage which seems to proclaim that nArAyaNa is a name of Uma. He claims that the verse goes like this:

"I salute thy form called Narayana, O Lalita, which has a thousand heads, which is of infinite energy, having a thousand arms, the ancient Person..."

I have checked the Kurma Purana text available in the following non-Vaishnava pages:

http://is1.mum.edu/vedicreserve/puranas/kurma_purana.pdf

http://fiindolo.sub.uni-goettingen.de/gret_utf.htm#Pur

However, I could not find the verse that this shaiva friend has quoted. It seems that Bhaskararaya has quoted from  his own version, interpolated with pro-shAkta verses (Update: Mahapashupatastra's author has pointed out that the verse exists as 1.11.245 in the above version. Point taken and I acknowledge this). Even then, this does not matter. The verse that Bhaskararaya has quoted just says that nArAyaNa is a vibhUti of Shakti not sAkShAt shakti.

If nArAyaNa is the name for Tripurasundari used by Vedas to denote parabrahman, how come Lalita Sahasranama does not have the name "nArAyaNa" as a name of umA? If nArAyaNa is the name used by Vedas to denote Shiva who is absolutely non-different from umA as parabrahman, how come the shiva sahasranAmas do not contain the name "nArAyaNa" as a name of Shiva? If the name "nArAyaNI" is to be found in Lalita Sahasranama, this can very well be etymologically interpreted as "one who is related to nArAyaNa".

Tamasic purANas are not authoritative, and hence can not be used to understand the Vedas. This has been very well spelled out not only in Padma Purana, but also in the Matsya Purana. Ramanujacharya and even prior to that Yamunacharya has quoted the following verse from it:

agneḥ śivasya māhātmyaṃ tāmaseṣu prakīrtyate /

rājaseṣu ca māhātmyam adhikaṃ brahmaṇo viduḥ //

sāttvikeṣu ca kalpeṣu māhātmyam adhikaṃ hareḥ /

teṣv eva yogasaṃsiddhā gamiṣyanti parāṃ gatim //

The respective works of Yamunacharya and Ramanuja which quote this passage are Agama-prAmANya and vEdArtha-saMgraha. The full text of the Vedartha Sangraha is available here and the reader can verify that I  have copied the text from there:

http://fiindolo.sub.uni-goettingen.de/gretil/1_sanskr/6_sastra/3_phil/vedanta/ramvaspu.htm

 In the Agama-prAmANya, this verse is quoted in the 81st section.

The above Puranic verse quoted by Ramanuja is authentic and (unlike Bhaskararaya’s quote which can not be found in the current versions of Kurma Purana) is to be found in the current editions of Matsya Purana hosted on non-Vaishnava pages also. See line 68 in page 216 here and in the plain text version here. The reading is slightly different, but the meaning is the same:

sāttvikeṣu purāṇeṣu māhātmyamadhikaṃ hareḥ /

rājaseṣu ca māhātmyam adhikaṃ brahmaṇo viduḥ // MatsP_53.68 //

tadvadagneśca māhātmyaṃ tāmaseṣu śivasya ca /

Due to the three-fold division of Puranas into sAtvika, rAjasa, and tAmasa conveyed by the above verse, prAcIna advaita AcAryas such as Adi Shankara never quoted any verse from these Tamasic purANas which show Shiva as supreme, but quotes only the passages which show Vishnu as supreme in all his bhAShyas.

Another advaitin's opinion can also be cited here, that of Sri Narayana Bhattathiri of Kerala who composed Narayaneeyam (nArAyaNIyam), now popular in smArta homes. After stating that Lord Krishna is indeed the refuge of even Shiva, and that the boons granted by Shiva are impermanent and are not to be desired by mumukShus, in the 90th dashakam, Sri Narayana Bhatta says:

ye svaprakṛtyanuguṇā giriśaṃ bhajante

teṣāṃ phalaṃ hi dṛḍhayaiva tadīyabhaktyā /

vyāso hi tena kṛtavānadhikārihetoḥ

skāndādikeṣu tava hānivaco'rthavādaiḥ // 90.9

bhūtārthakīrtiranuvādaviruddhavādau

tredhārthavādagatayaḥ khalu rocanārthāḥ /

skāndādikeṣu bahavo'tra viruddhavādās-

tvattāmasatvaparibhūtyupaśikṣaṇādyāḥ // 90.10

Translation: Those who, in conformity with their natural inclinations, or tendencies (Vasanas), worship Siva, do obtain the desired ends by firm devotion to him (Siva) only. It is with a view to encourage and motivate such persons that Sage Vyasa has eulogised Siva in his works like Skanda Purana, and made statements deprecating Thee. Arthavadas, or exaggeratory declarations, are of three kinds, namely, those which are neither contrary to available pramanas (proofs or authority) nor verifiable by experience; those which are verifiable by experience; and those which are contrary to experience, bordering on perverted interpretations. These are all devices employed by their proponents with a definite objective in view, or to score debating points, and are not to be taken in the literal sense. Statements in the Skanda and other Puranas attributing Tamoguna or defeat to Thee etc fall in this category and are motivated by the objective of intensifying devotion to one's chosen deity, and are not to be understood as belittling Thee.

This clearly puts into perspective the division of purANas into sattvika, rAjasa, and tAmasa.

Shri Mahamahopadhyaya Ramasubba Shastri also notes that Shri Shankara never quoted from the sections in the anushAsana parva of mahAbhArata that claim Shiva-supremacy (such as Shiva Gita, Suta Samhita, Shankara Samhita) and hence they are not authoritative (specifically, the Upamanyu episode found in some editions of the anushAsana parva is a later-day interpolations). All of the mahAbhArata quotations in Shankara's bhAShyas are from sections such as mOkShadharma which proclaim Vishnu's supremacy.

Our shaivite blogger is really deluded to think that he is smart enough to achieve what Appayya did not achieve, i.e. explain the name "nArAyaNa" as referring to someone else other than viShNu.

Our friend asks Vaishnavas in which Vishnu temple Shri Rudram is chanted while during puShpArcana or abhiShEka. Has he seen any Shiva/Shakti temple in which the nArAyaNa sUkta is recited during puShpArcana to umA?

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Truth# 4: The so-called Upanishads which proclaim Shiva/Shakti's supremacy are bogus

Our shaivite friend presents certain "Upanishad" texts to support the theory that nArAyaNa sUkta is a praise of Tripurasundari. From the first three truths, it is clear that these shaiva and shAkta texts that go in the name of "Upanishads" today are not part of Vedas at all unlike authentic Upanishads, but texts written by shiva and shakti worshipers of the medieval ages (14th-15th Century onwards). This fact is also strengthened by the observation that no shaiva/shAkta personalities before 14th Century ever quoted from these so-called "Upanishads". Haradatta (a shaivite writer who lived before appayya dIkShita) labors in his "Sruti-Sukti-Mala" to establish shiva as the brahman by quoting only from the authentic Upanishads which all advaita, vishiShTAdvaita, and dvaita AcAryas accept. If these pro-shaivite upaniShads were extant at Haradatta's time, he would have easily established shiva as the supreme using them.

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Truth# 5: Adi Shankara did not write stOtras which glorify any deity other than Vishnu

I have shown in numerous quotations above that Adi Shankara was a Vaishnavite by theology, even though he is an Advaitin (belief in EkAtma vAda) by philosophy. In spite of this, and after deleting all my comments which establish this truth, our shaiva friend claims that dakShiNAmUrti upaniShad which proclaims Shiva's supremacy is authoritative and quotes a dakShiNAmUrti stOtra attributed to Adi Shankara. Adi Shankara wrote no stotras or shlokas praising Shiva, Uma, Ganesha, Skanda, or Surya as paramAtmA. This has been stated by shrI nArAyaNa bhaTTa in nArAyaNIyam, 90.5 [Nym:1]:

śrīśaṅkaro'pi bhagavān sakaleṣu tāvat

tvāmeva mānayati yo na hi pakṣapātī /

tvanniṣṭhameva sa hi nāmasahasrakādi

vyākhyad bhavatstutiparaśca gatiṃ gato'nte //

Translation: Sri Sankara Bhagavadpada, who is reputedly free from bias, worshipped Thee particularly among all Sakala forms (those having attributes) of Thine. He wrote Commentatries only on Vishnu Sahasranama, Bhagavadgita and other works depicting Thee. In the end, he also attained salvation singing Thy praises.

In the commentary to the above nArAyaNIyam verse, desha maN^gala varya, another Keralite advaitin states that "Shankara wrote commentaries explaining Vishnu alone and not Shiva and others as the Supreme. He was not inclined to writing stotras glorifying Shiva.". [Nym:1]

This establishes that the stotras glorifying Shiva, Shakti etc. (such as the two Laharis) are authored by some recent Shankaracharyas who are heads of mutts, and they have been attributed to Adi Shankara for the cause of Shaivite propaganda and anti-Vaishnavism.

I wish to reiterate the following points, observed from Shri Shankara's authentic bhAShyas:

In Bhagavad Gita Bhashya (9.23-9.25), Shankara says worshipers of other deities, such as vinAyaka etc. obtain finite results, whereas the vaiShNavas, who worship Lord vAsudEva obtain the eternal fruit of mOkSha [GBhS:8]. Here, Shankara specifically uses the term "vaiShNavas" and states that they alone attain eternal bliss, worshiping vAsudEva as the Supreme and as the in-dweller of all other deities. He specifically says that even though the devotees of other deities spend an effort of equal measure as the Vaishnavas (but not directed at the worship of vAsudEva), they obtain finite results which are subject to return to the samsAra (cycle of birth and death).

Shri Shankara states, also in the bhagavad gItA bhAShya (6.47) that among the yOgis, those who worship Rudra, Aditya, etc. are inferior to those who are vAsudEva bhaktas: [GBhS:9]

yoginām api sarveṣāṃ rudrādityādi-dhyāna-parāṇāṃ madhye mad-gatena mayi vāsudeve samāhitenāntarātmanāntaḥ-karaṇena śraddhāvān śraddadhānaḥ san bhajate sevate yo mām, sa me mama yuktatamo 'tiśayena yukto mato 'bhipreta iti

Shankara also says in the pA~ncarAtra adhikaraNa (Brahma Sutra Bhashya, 2.2.42) that there are certain aspects of the Pancharatra doctrine which are to be accepted, and says that worshipping Lord Vishnu as the Supreme Soul with unceasing ananya devotion as inculcated by the Pancharatra Shastras is as per the vEda and smRtis. However, Shankara does not make any such approving statements regarding the rites of worship according to the shaiva doctrine (discussed in the previous adhikaraNa, from 2.2.37-2.2.41). Shankara rejects the whole doctrine as vEda bAhya. He does not identify the pUja aspect of the shaivas to be according to the vEda.

Other early advaitins such as Sureshvara and Sarvajnatma muni also held Vishnu as supreme. Sureshvara calls Vishnu as "purANaH" and "shAshvataH". [BrUpBhV:2] [BrUpBhV:3]

Sarvajnatman (sarvaj~nAtma muni) begins his work "saN^kShepa shArIraka" (Sankshepa Sariraka) with an invocation to "murArEH paramaM padaM" (The supreme station of murAri, the slayer of the demon 'Mura'). After mentioning Vishnu as the Supreme Brahman time and again, and at a certain point disowning Vaisheshika and mAhEshvara/pAshupata theories as un-Vedic, Sarvajnatman ends his work with an invocation to Vishnu's Supremely Auspicious Form and Pastimes: [SSSM:1]

bhujaN^gamAN^ga shAyine vihaN^gamAN^ga gAmine

turaN^gamAN^ga bhedine namo rathAN^ga dhAriNe

                                                                                       [Concluding verse of Sankshepa Sariraka]

As for umA-mahEshvara, Sureshvara says that their mutual affection is laukIka i.e., worldly, and hence subject to the three modes of prakRti. This reference is found in Yajnavalkya's dialogue with Maitreyi, as told by Sureshvara in his Brihadaranyaka Bhashya Vartika. After commending Maitreyi thus (Br.Up.Bhas.Vart. 2.4.67-68):

"All persons, by their own nature, give up a person who is seeking liberation. You however do not wish to abandon me even while I am seeking for liberation, because of your intense devotion to me Unable to endure separation from me, you wish to follow me even in liberation with the full desire of being one with me.", 

Yajnavalkya, according to Sureshvaracharya, tells Maitreyi thus (2.4.69): [BrUpBhV:4]

atisnehApakR^iShTomA dehArdhaM shUlinaH shritA

tvaM tu sarvAtmanA AtmAnaM kR^itsnaM mAm Aptmuicchasi

Translation: Carried away by great love, Uma occupied half of the trident-bearer's (Shiva's) body body. You, however, wish to secure the whole of me, the Self, by your whole self.

Thus, all the early advaitins where Vaishnava in their theology and faith.

In light of all this, will our friend honestly and loudly proclaim that he rejects Adi Shankara, in addition to retracting the comment "Adi Shankara established 6 sects (Shanmatha Sthapana) viz.  Shaivism, Vaishnavism, Shaktism, Koumaram, Ganapatyam, Souram." from his introductory page? Will he stop using any of the stOtras praising Shiva as supreme that have been wrongly attributed to Adi Shankara in his arguments? It would be interesting to see how far our friend's honesty carries him.

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Conclusion

Sri Vedanta Desika in tAtparya candrikA, commenting on the shlOka 18.66 of Bhagavad Gita, points out thus (the interested reader can do a fact check at the Gita Supersite 2.0 web page, the details of which are given in the References section):

"pishAca-rantideva-gupta-shaN^kara-yAdavaprakAsha-bhAskara-nArAyaNAryayaj~nasvAmi-prabhR^itibhiH svaM svaM matamAsthitaiH parashshatairbhAShyakR^idbhiH asmatsiddhAntatIrthakaraishca bhagavadyAmunAcAryabhAShyakArAdibhiravigItaparigR^ihIto.ayamatra sArArthaH -- bhagavAneva paraM tattvam, ananyasharaNairyathAdhikAraM tadekAshrayaNaM paramadharmaH -- iti"

Gist: "The conclusion 'Bhagavan (Narayana) is the Supreme Brahman. Taking refuge in Him alone, and resorting to none else is the highest of all dharmas.'-this has been unanimously accepted as the essence of the Bhagavad Gita by Shankara, Bhaskara, Yadavaprakasha, Narayanarya, Yajnasvami and others, though they were different in philosophy".

This is observation of Vedanta Desika is being conveniently hidden/forgotten by anti-Vaishnavites who claim that Ramanuja or other later Vaishnavas started maligning Shiva by preaching ananya bhakti and viShNu sarvOttamatvam .

Truth will always prevail no matter how hard detractors try. Anti-Vaishnavism will fail because it is anti-Veda. Bhagavan Manu states thus:

yā vedabāhyāḥ smṛtayo yāś ca kāś ca kudṛṣṭayaḥ /

sarvās tā niṣphalāḥ pretya tamoniṣṭhā hi tāḥ smṛtāḥ // 12.95 //

utpadyante cyavante ca yāny ato 'nyāni kāni cit /

tāny arvākkālikatayā niṣphalāny anṛtāni ca // 12.96 //

[All those traditions (smriti) and those despicable systems of philosophy, which are not based on the Veda, produce no reward after death; for they are declared to be founded on Darkness. All those (doctrines), differing from the (Veda), which spring up and (soon) perish, are worthless and false, because they are of modern date.]

So will the contents and the message of the "mahA pAshupata astra" blog be regarded, since it contains many newly invented and newly imagined explanations with newly fabricated logical devices that have no trace of existence in past traditions. They are also fundamentally flawed. 

Our opponent's blog contradicts the Vedas, pUrvAcAryas, and the Supreme Purusha of the Vedas. Thus, it is a work that knowledgeable and neutral people can read and have a good laugh at.

What to say of the crushing power and compassionate grace of Shri Lakshmi Narasimha, the parabrahman!

He indeed is the destroyer of the foes of vaiShNavas, shredding them into bits with the sharp nails of logic!

I am but an instrument at the Supreme Vishnu's hand; whatever good may come out of my writing will go to show His glory alone.

Humble prostrations to bhAgavatas of every sect who worship Lord Shriman Narayana as the Supreme.

|| sarvaM shrIman nArAyaNArpaNamastu ||

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Appendices

The works of Shri Ramasubba Shastri of Tiruvisanallur

Coming soon! Keep checking this page periodically.

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Appayya Dikshita’s desperation, confession, and confusion

Coming soon! Keep checking this page periodically.

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References

Note: Most of the links provided with the references contain scanned pages (courtesy of Digital Library of India) from original books. The entire book can be downloaded from these links. Links from Göttingen Register of Electronic Texts in Indian Languages are as [Göt]. English translations are indicated as (tr.) where available.

[BrSuBhS]

Adi Shankara’s Brahma Sutra Bhashya:

[Göt.:Chapter 1][Göt.:Chapter 2][Göt.:Chapter 3][Göt.:Chapter 4]

The Brahmasutra Shankara-Bhashyam, with the commentaries Ratnaprabha, Bhamati, and Nyayanirnaya of Shri-Govindananda, Vachaspati, and Anandagiri”, Ed. 2, edited by Mahadeva Shastri Barkare, Nirnaya Sagar press, Bombay, 1909. [Link] (orig.)

  1. Adhyaya 2, Pada 1, Sutra 1 (pp. 348), retrieved from [1] and [2] (tr.)

  1. Adhyaya 2, Pada 2, Sutra 42 (pp. 494-495), retrieved from [1], [2], and English (tr.) [3]

[BrSuBhB]

Bhaskara’s Brahma Sutra Bhashya:

Brahma Sutra, with a commentary by Bhaskaracharya, Part I”, the Chowkhambika Sanskrit Series (A collection of rare & extraordinary Sanskrit works), vol. ??, no. 70, Vidya Vilas Press, Benaras, 1902. [Link] (orig.)

  1. Adhyaya 2, Pada 1, Sutra 1 (pp. 87-88), retrieved from [1] and [2]

[GBhS]

Adi Shankara’s Gita Bhashya:

[Göt.: up to Chapter 17]

The Bhagavad-Gita Bhashya”, Shri Shankara Granthavali - Complete Works of Sri Sankaracharya in the original Sanskrit, Volume 6, Samata Books, Madras, 1982 (first pub. 1910). [Link]

  1. Adhyaya 10, Shloka 8, pp. 283, retrieved from [1]
  2. Introductory section, pp. 4, retrieved from [1]
  3. Introductory section, pp. 1-2, retrieved from [1] and [2]
  4. Adhyaya 11, Shloka 43, pp. 328, retrieved from [1]
  5. Adhyaya 10, Shloka 2, pp. 280, retrieved from [1]
  6. Adhyaya 15, Shlokas 17 & 18, pp. 445, retrieved from [1] and [2]
  7. Adhyaya 15, Shloka 15, pp. 443, retrieved from [1]
  8. Adhyaya 9, Shlokas 23-25, pp. , retrieved from [1], [2], and [3]
  9. Adhyaya 6, Shloka 47, pp. 210, retrieved from [1]

The Bhagavad Gita with Eleven Commentaries”, critically edited and thoroughly revised second edition, The Proprietors of the Gujarati Printing Press, Bombay (Mumbai), 1935. [Link] (orig.)

“The Bhagavad-Gita, with the commentary of Sri ankaracharya”, English translation, edited by Alladi Mahadeva Sastri, The “Vedic Religion” series, Mysore, 1901. [Link] (tr.)

“Gita Supersite 2.0”, contains original Sanskrit verses, English translations, various commentaries in Sanskrit and their English translations, in Unicode Text format. URL: http://202.3.77.102/acquia/?q=node/20

[BrUBhS]

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad - Adi Shankara’s commentary

[Göt.]

Brhadaranyaka Upanishad - Shankara Bhashya with Anandagiri’s Tika”, edited by M. C. Apte, Anandashrama Sanskrit Series, no. 15, Anandashrama Press, 1891. [Link] (orig.)

  1. Verse 3, section 3.7 (antaryAmi brAhmaNa), pp. 450, retrieved from [1]

Text:

“ya īdṛgīśvaro nārāyaṇākhyaḥ, pṛthirvī pṛthivīdevatām, yamayati niyamayati svavyāpāre, antaro 'bhyantarastiṣṭhan, eṣa ta ātmā, te tava, mama ca sarvabhūtānāṃ”

[MuUBhS]

Mundaka Upanishad - Adi Shankara’s commentary

The Mundaka Upanishad with Sri Shankara’s commentary”, edited with notes by Swami Satchidanandendra Saraswati, Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalaya, Holenarsipur, 1960. [Link] (orig.)

  1. Second Mundaka, Section 1, Verse 4, pp. 50-51, retrieved from [1] and [2]

Text:

ESha dEvO viShNur anantaH | prathamasharIrI trailOkyadEhOpadhiH sarvEShAM bhUtAnAm antarAtmA |

Mundaka Upanishad, with the commentary of Shankaracharya”, edited by Pt. Shridhara Shastri Pathak, Lokasangraha Press, Pune, 1925. [Link] (orig.)

[KUpBhS]

Katha Upanishad - Adi Shankara’s commentary

Kathakopanishad - Shankara’s Bhashya with Tika”, Anandashrama Sanskrit Series, no. 7, pub. by Hari Narayan Apte, Anandashrama Press, 1906. [Link] (orig.)

  1. Adhyaya 1, Valli (section) 3, Verse 9, pp. 66, retrieved from [1] 

Text:

tad viShNOr vyApanashIlasya brahmaNaH paramAtmanaH vAsudevAkhyasya paraM prakR^iShTam padaM sthAnaM satattvaM ityetad-asAv-Apnoti vidvAn ||

[SrkBh]

Srikantha Bhashya (commentary) on the Brahma Sutra

“Srikantha Bhasya or Commentary of Srikantha on the Brahma Sutras (in English)”, Doctrine of Srikantha vol. II, Pracyavani Research Series, vol. XI, ed. by Dr. Roma Chaudhuri, Calcutta, Apr. 1959. [Link] (tr.)

  1. Sutra 1.3.42, pp. 140, retrieved from [1]

[GuMS]

Gudhartha Dipika - a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita by Madhusudana Sarasvati

[Göt.]

  1. Adhyaya 15, Shloka 18 (verse 15.18), retrieved from [1]

[RVmsKD]

Raghuvamsa of Kalidasa

[Göt.]

  1. Verse 3.49, retrieved from [1]

[ChUpBhS]

Adi Shankara’s Bhashya (commentary) on the Chandogya Upanishad

[Göt.]

Samaveda’s Chandogya Upanishad, with the Bhashya of Shri Shankaracharya...”, Advaita Grantha Ratna Manjusha Ratna, no. 24, ed. by Pandit Subrahmanya Shastri, Maharishi Research Institute, Varanasi, 1982. [Link] (orig.)

  1. Verse 8.12.3, pp. 417, retrieved from [1]

[VSBhS]

Adi Shankara’s Vishnu Sahasranama Bhashya

Visnusahasranama with the Bhasya of Sri Samkaracarya, translated into English”, ed. by R. Ananthakrishna Sastry, The Adyar Library and Research Centre, 1980. [Link] (orig. & tr.)

  1. Nama 848 of 1000, pp. 361-362, retrieved from [1] and [2]
  2. Nama 49 of 1000, pp. 109, retrieved from [3]

[BrUpBhV]

Suresvara’s Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Bhashya Vartika

Brihadaranyaka-upanishad-bhashya-vartikam of Srimat Suresvaracarya, with the gloss of Anandagiri called Shastraprakashika”, Parts 2 & 3, Anandashrama Sanskrit Series, no. 16, ed. by M. C. Apte, Anandashrama Press, 1894. [Link (part 3)] (orig.)

  1. Adhyaya 3, Brahmana 7, Verse 39-44, pp. 1286-1287, retrieved from [1] and [2]

  1. Adhyaya 1, Brahmana 4, Verse 135, pp. 135, retrieved from [1].

  1. Adhyaya 2, Brahmana 1, Verse 268, pp. 931, retrieved from [1].

  1. Adhyaya 2, Brahmana 4, Verse 69, pp. 1045, retrieved from [1].

[SSSM]

Sanksepa Sariraka of Sarvajnatma Muni (10th C)

Text with the commentary of Ramatirtha (orig.) in Sanskrit [Link]

  1. Verse 1.1, pp. 3, retrieved from [1] & concluding verse (4.63), retrived from [2]

[TASyB]

Sayana’s commentary on the Taittiriya Aranyaka

The Taittiriya  Aranyaka of the Black Yajur Veda, with the commentary of Sayanacharya”, ed. by Rajendralala Mitra, Bibliotheca Indica - A Collection of Oriental Works, Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1872. [Link] (orig.)

  1. Prapathaka 10, Anuvaka 11, pp. 824, retrieved from [1]

  1. Prapathaka 3, Anuvaka 12, pp. 327, retrieved from [2]

[TABBB]

Bhatta Bhaskara’s commentary on the Taittiriya Aranyaka

The Taittiriya Aranyaka, with the commentary of Bhatta Bhaskara Misra”, Volumes I & II, ed. by A. Mahadeva Sastri and K. Rangacharya, Governmental Oriental Library Series, Bibliotheca Sanskrita, no. 26 & 27, Mysore, 1900 & 1902. [Link (Vol. I)] [Link (Vol. 2)]

  1. Prapathaka 3, Anuvaka 12, pp. 293, retrieved from [1]

  1. Prapathaka 6, Anuvaka 11, pp. 124, retrieved from [2]

[Nym]

Narayana Bhatta’s Narayaneeyam with commentary

The Narayaniya of Narayana Bhatta, with the commentary Bhaktapriya of Desamangala Varya”, ed. by T. Ganapati Sastri, Trivandrum Sanskrit Series, no. XVIII, Travancore Government Press, 1912. [Link]

  1. Adhyaya 90, Shloka 5 and commentary, retrieved from [1]

[Back to contents]

Reading list for the interested

[SrKSL]

Srikanta Samalochanam:

Srikanta Samalochanam” (in Sanskrit orig.) by Varadacharya, Srimad Vedanta Desika Vihara Sabha, Mysore, 1963. [Link]

A work in Sanskrit that proves, among other things, the following:

  1. The so-called Srikanta Bhashya that poses to be of pre-Ramanuja time is actually a work of the 16th century or later.
  2. Shiva-Vishishtadvaita is a recently devised bogus system, and that Vishishtadvaita has always been a monopoly of Vaishnavas traditionally.
  3. Srikanta Bhashya steals ideas from Ramanuja’s Sribhashya. This has been pointed out by Purushottama and Giridhara of the Vallabha school of Vedanta, who call Srikanta as “rAmAnuja mata cOra (one who stole ideas from Ramanuja’s siddhanta)”.
  4. Advaitins should reject Appayya Dikshita’s Shiva-paratva works, since they contradict and condemn Adi Shankara in many places.
  5. Adi Shankara was Vaishnava, and did not write stotras praising Shiva, Ganapati, Ambika, Skanda, etc. and he did not wear Shaivite ashes (vibhoothi) all over his body.

[SVaiKI]

“Sankararum Vainavamum” -- A work in Tamil that establishes beyond doubt that Adi Shankara held only Vishnu/Narayana as Saguna Brahman.

Sankararum Vainavamum (சங்கரரும் வைணவமும்)”, Sri S. Krishnaswamy Iyengar (Puthur/Puttur Swami - editor of Srivaishnava Sudarshanam), Sri Vaishnava sri, Srirangam, 1965-1971. [Link]

[Back to contents]

307 comments :

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Santosh Kumar,

    You should at least have the decency to respect our right to be anonymous and stop posting personal information. Anyway, here is the information that you posted:

    ===================
    1. You said in shiva sahasranama there is no mention of name narayana to shiva. Your point is incorrect. he has a name "jalEshayah" (Shiva sleeps on waters as Narayana.
    Lalita sahasranama says from her nails emerged dasa-avataras of narayana in her fight with bhandasura. the same purana has a dialog by Vishnu where he says that he is the masculine form of lalita (uma).

    2. it made me laugh to see you creating "narayanastra" as your blog's name. Don't you know that narayanastra when fired it invokes "shataghniS" (rudras) for destruction. And also it is not an infallible astra. it can be easily baffled by prostrating before it. "namaskara mudra" can pacify it. However pashupatastra has no such limitations.

    3. you bank upon the kaliyugi-acharyas a lot. go ahead. I bank upon the ancient sages and their impartial and authentic works. your vaishnavism ahs interpolated many scriptures, hence they need to be studied with logic and resoning. e.g., shiva gita was a part of Padma purana, now where is it in that purana? how did it disappear? there is no "rama rameti" verse in actual Vishnu sahasranama in Mahabharata, there is no testimony given by shiva or any other gods there in Mahabharata which contains the original version of Vishnu sahasranama. but the rama rameti rame raame ..verse has been added in Padma purana version. There are no shaivite interpolations in scriptures as far as I know, but vaishnavaite interpolations are umpteen.

    4. Your any amount of noise is not going to cast any impact on me. kindly do not waste your time on me. If you are retired and has lot of time, do spend it in hari-nama-sankeertana, instead of useless articles. Your efforts are not going to deter me from my writings, so logically why should you waste your energya nd time on me?

    5. I'm going to prove shiva sahasranama section as authentic in some months. your logic of no commentaries done means unauthentic is flawed. there are no commentaries by acharyas on the CBSE books also, that doesn't mean those books are bogus. There are no testimonies given by acharyas on Socrates's beliefs that doesn't mean Socrates never existed and his beliefs were false. there are no commentaries by acharyas on yuri Gagarin's space travel, that doesn't eman he never travelled in reality. Wait and watch how I prove the siva sahasranama section of anusasana parva authentic. Just pray to god to give me ample time for that. i don't want to burn midnight oil to refute your baseless claims.
    ====================

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Santosh Kumar,

      The specific purpose of this blog has been met. I know you will keep coming with endless ridiculous attempts at refuting. However, those who have been denied the truth by people such as you who want to hide inconvenient truths from innocents.


      Your point about the Rudras and Narayanastra only comes to show that the 11 Rudras are specifically under the control of nArAyaNa ultimately.

      nArAyaNAstra can only be conquered with true Sharanagati to nArAyaNa. The pANDavas believed in Lord Krishna as their sole refuge.

      I specifically ask for the "name" nArAyaNa in your Lalita/Shiva Sahasranamas. Vedas specifically use nArAyaNa nAma to denote brahman. Where is the nAma?

      Lalita Sahasranama is not authentic. Ten avataras of Vishnu being generated from Lalita is a ridiculous suggestion. Also ridiculous is Lalita Sahasranama's claim that it is better than Vishnu Sahasranama and that "only fools regard Vishnu Sahasranama as supreme".

      Only Vishnu Sahasranama is prAcIna. It is mentioned in Ayurvedic texts such as caraka saMhitA as possessing supreme healing powers.

      Agreed that some of the phala shruti portions of Vishnu Sahasranama are later additions. Nobody claims it as part of Mahabharata. They are just recited in pArAyaNa.

      Simply showing a name that means "one who rests in water" does not have any force. The entire universe and all the Jivatmas in it rest on water during praLaya (in Shri Narayana's nAbhi).

      "You are relying on Kaliyugi AchAryas" - what a joke. You won't even accept dvApara yuga AcArya, Vyasa's innumerable statements in the mahAbhArata which has been traditionally accepted as authentic.

      "satyaM satyaM punaH satyaM uddhRtya bhujaM ucyatE
      vEdAt shAstraM paraM nAsti na daivaM kEshavAt paraM"

      "AlODya sarva shAstrANi vicArya ca punaH punaH
      idamEkam sunishpannaM dhyEyOn nArAyaNaH sadA"

      "tattvaM jij~nAsamANAnAM hEtubhiH sarvatO mukhaiH
      tattvamEkO mahAyOgI harir nArAyaNaH smRtaH"

      "yE ca vEdavidO viprAH yE ca adhyAtmavidO janAH
      tE vadanti mahAtmAnaM kRShNaM dharmaM sanAtanaM"

      "viShNur AtmA bhagavatO bhavasya"

      and from Treta Yuga, Valmiki:

      "adhikaM mEnirE viShNuM"

      So all of these are bogus and interpolated by Vaishnavas, but your Shiva Sahasranama, which were not even quoted by Shaiva Acharyas, is authentic! How neutral!!??

      Delete
  3. LMAO, what an asinine reply.

    1) "jalEshayah" is not the equivalent of nArAyaNa. The name nArAyaNa encompasses all the lakshanas of parabrahman and unlike "jalEshayah", it is a proper noun. Retarded logic here.

    Shaivites themselves have accepted that nArAyaNa is a proper noun and have not flouted panini. Refer Appayya Dikshitar's works. He does not equate nArAyaNa to shiva, but rather tries to prove that shiva is greater than nArAyaNa. Similarly, the Shiva Sahasranama, which is a bogus text in itself, does not refer to nArAyaNa, but only calls Shiva as nArAyaNapriyaH, proving that the interpolater was well versed in grammar anyhow!

    Panini did not 'invent' grammar, but codified existing grammar. And all vaidikas have accepted it, as have shaivites.

    2) Your comment reveals the ignorance you bask in. The nArAyaNastra, unlike other astras has absolutely no counter. It is unstoppable EXCEPT as you said, the namaskAra mudra, which is surrender. So, what it means is that it is the Astra of the Supreme Brahman, Vishnu. The only way to pacify Vishnu is to surrender before him. And if you try to oppose him, you will be destroyed. Just as when Bhima tried to oppose the astra and it just grew fiercer!

    The fact that nArAyaNastra uses rudras for destruction shows that these rudras are VIBHUTIS of Narayana and subject to do whatever he commands! Thanks for showing that. RudrAnAm SankarAs casmi, says bhagavan.

    Shows you lack even a modicum of knowledge. This very fact reveals Vishnu is Parabrahman and his astra is the superiormost. The very compassion that is parabrahman has made it easy to surrender to him; he forgives everything. But if you oppose him, you will be destroyed!

    3) You bank on inauthentic upanishads, contradictory quotes, bogus stotras and interpolations. That's been your method all along. You say Bhagavata Purana is bogus, but use 'Devi Bhagavatam' which is considered inauthentic by every vaidika. You say Brahma is not red, but in quoting one of your own bogus scriptures, but fail to notice that even there Brahma is mentioned as red in color. You say Vishnu Sahasranama, Santi Parva etc are interpolations, but refuse to acknowledge Shiva Sahasranama is the only bogus interpolation!

    4) We will waste your time on you. Yes, we are busy, but will be posting quite a lot. A whole vyAkhyAna on Rudram as per Vaishnavite (Parama Vaidika) tradition is coming up, along with proofs from Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhva about the supremacy of Vishnu.

    Your pasupatastra (actually, you do not even have an astra, just a twig, as I said, but nonetheless...) can be destroyed by the nArAyaNastra. But all you can do before the nArAyaNastra is surrender humbly to nullify it!

    5) Even if you stand on one leg doing penance for a 1000 years, even your ishta devata Shiva will not be able to help you prove that shiva sahasranama is authentic. Because Shiva is a parama vaishnava bhakta himself, we have respect for him. Stop blabbering about Socrates and what-not.

    Sarvam sri krishnarpanamastu.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @HBB,

    I thought your pen name is casual and hence called ur your original name. i'm Sorry for that!

    @unknown,

    expected to see you, Mr. unknown also here. Vaishnavas always attack in groups which i had always observed. Good that you are uplifting the glory of being identical to a herd of sheeps. You guys cannot become like a lion! don't worry, i may be slow, but will refute your every flawed understanding.

    Wait for my analysis on shiva sahasranama episode dear friends! it will be clear whether i need to stand for 1000 years in penance or simply few months to find a free time to write it down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Santosh Kumar, why don't you invite the readers of your blog to my page? I have provided a link to your site, I think it would be enlightening for everyone to see every side impartially.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the suggestion. But sorry to say that i cannot accept that now.

      i plan to write few blockbuster articles in future which would automatically refute all your arguements. from my past articles at least i hope that you would agree that I never put "just" english. I put my thoughts followed with reference from scriptures.
      so, when I will write new articles covering all the arguments what you did. obviously I would follow my same style of putting my counter arguments with references. so readers of my blog would automatically understand your points as well as my views. that way i want to serve my audience. Audience is always the king, they have the necessary intelligence to understand if i am fooling them or if my writeups are logically matching with their intelligence. so, i wish to keep my audience on my blog and read my future articles (refutations) and wish to leave it upto them to accept/reject as per their choice as always.
      summary is - i need not invite them here. my readers would continue to be my readers.

      Delete
  5. @HBB sir and UNKNOWN sir,

    Earlier you didn't have this blog, so you used to post comments on my blog. Now since you have opened a new blog, you may pls continue writing here. Please don't comment on my blog. it diverts my attention and makes me spend considerable time in responding to your points there or here. I have my MBA exams lined up from this weekend, and in parallel have my regular job also to handle. I wish to not divert my attention, hence i would not visit your blog now onwards till i get some breathing space. Telling you this because you may comment here something and may expect me to answer. i wanted to reduce your wait time. Please do not post any queries to me here or there; you yourself go ahead with blogging whatever you think is appropriate to you in your blog (this one).

    You have already given me good topics to write artiles on. i am thankful to both of you. I'll write the refutational articles when time permits, may be few months in future. Till that time there is no usefulness for me visiting your blog or in answering your counters. You both are good at provocation, i need to be careful from you both. Last time also i had no time but your comments provoked me to spend 2 late nights to write article (rudra of sevataswatara and rudram is umapati), but as a result of less sleep i couldn't focus in a meeting in office and got scoldings from my manager. I learnt to not get carried away with the flow. Hence i will use my good amount of comfortable time to write articles, i don't have much time like you to spend on these regularly. Moreover, my blog is my property, and hence i should have the sole decision of when to write and what to write, unnecessarily your debates were influencing my mind, but i could control it now. For me there is no hurry, but there is hari who would drive my chariot towards shiva-dharma. :-)

    good to interact with both of you. Bye!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Santosh Kumar,

    Your lack of will to publish our link on your page shows that you have formidable arguments to counter.

    Nobody will buy your argument that "kali yugi" saints are not to be relied. Try posting this remark that Adi Shankaracharya is a "kali yugi" saint and is not to be relied upon. I know you won't since you will then lose all your smArtha friends.

    You have turned into a two-faced person who utters gibberish to score ego-satisfying points in debates with us here, while maintaining a different image on your blog page. Do you sincerely think that Lord Shiva will be pleased by this?

    Anyways, keep going. Good bye!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I wish to add some points here. Just because some work was not commented upon before 16th century doesn't mean they are interpolated. Why, there seem to be no commentaries on upanishads in 3000 BC. Does that make upanishads not eternal?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear friend,

      You do not seem to understand my argument. What I am saying here is that only traditionally accepted pramANas which have met the test of critical scrutiny should be considered as primary evidence.

      Btw, which specific text are you referring to here?

      Delete
    2. Dear Humble Bhagavata Bandhu,

      That was in reference to your opinion about Shivasahasranama and some other works.

      My point was that if interpolation had to happen, it could've happened anytime. not just 500 years or 1000 years before. Besides, after Ramanuja's arrival, vasihanvam has been the strongest religion in our land. I don't see how shaivas could've interpolated against that. It is other way around, more often than not. And just because vedantins reject shaiva works, they don't become false. Why, Vedanta itself is rejected by shaivas.

      Also i don't buy the idea of Shankaracharya being neutral scholar. He had a doctrine to prove just like others. I'm not convinced he was vaishnava either. Ramanuja, Vedanta desika, madhva and others did not use nice words about shankaracharya. To treat a fellow "vaishnava" like that eventhough he is philosophically different?

      Regards,
      *****

      Delete
    3. Dear friend,

      I think the articles here speak for themselves and your questions have already been answered there. Kindly read them carefully to get clarifications on your questions.

      I will address a few things-

      Regarding Shiva Sahasranama, why is Vishnu Sahasranama so popular even before the time of Ramanuja (Banabhatta, a Shiva devotee, praises it), and has commentaries by many luminaries, whereas Shiva Sahasranama is not treated so?

      You said: I don't see how shaivas could've interpolated against that. It is other way around, more often than not.

      I don't see any proofs for your statement above.

      You said: Also i don't buy the idea of Shankaracharya being neutral scholar.

      Pardon me, but I said that Shankaracharya is *widely considered* to be neutral.

      You said: I'm not convinced he was vaishnava either. Ramanuja, Vedanta desika, madhva and others did not use nice words about shankaracharya.

      For your information, every prominent school of Vedanta is Vaishnava in its foundations.

      If Shankara was not Vaishnava in theology, what was he? In his Bhashyas Shankara clearly says Narayana is supreme. He specifically says "Lord Krishna's devotees, the Vaishnavas, attain the eternal fruit of Moksha. The worshipers of other dEvatas reach limited results, even though their efforts may be similar" (Gita Bhashya 9.25). He also agrees that Shiva was created by Brahma, in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Bhashya.

      Nowhere have Madhva, Ramanuja, or Vedanta Desika attacked Shankara personally with unkind words, for your information. There have also been debates between Vishistadvaitins and Dvaitins and this was on the same level as well.

      Delete
  8. Dear sir,
    I want to know if you are going to provide us with the explanation of the entire Sri Rudram>Please reply soon

    Your servant

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Munshi,

      The Rudram explanation was written by a friend of mine, as I mentioned. He is pretty busy now with other things. I myself do not have the depth in knowledge in this subject. Apologies.

      Your servant.

      Delete
  9. respected Sir of this blog,


    I have a few questions:


    Actually nobody(even acharyas and scholars and pundits) knows who is Siva and why does he look like this.


    1. does any (puranas ,vedas, upanishads, mahabharata,bhagavad gita, bhagavatam) mention any reason why siva wears a tiger skin,hold snakes in his hands,neck ,why he often lives in a graveyard?

    Answer: NOTHING

    2.does any(all puranas,vedas,upanishads ,mahabharata,bhagadvad gita, bhagavatam) mention any reason why MAHA SHIVARATRI is important for
    Siva and why he like it?

    Answer: NOTHING



    some scholars, pundits , acharyas may give following answers :

    1. siva does not like human body. he wears ash to to reduce the affection to his body.He wants to show world that body is temporary everything
    including this world will be reduced to ashes.

    2. MAHA SHIVARATRI is wedding day of Siva and parvati . Some say It is the day when siva swallowed poison and saved world


    These answers are given by Acharyas, pundits ,Scholars. But actually no purana, vedas,or anything has answers to the above questions.


    SOME MORE EXPLANATION :

    1. Tamasic puranas means a purana which we cannot easily understand. Since we cannot understand we cannot conclude whether they are authentic or unauthentic . they have a lot of depth and meaning which we cannot access.

    Tamasic puranas are those which does not give any answers LIKE
    who is human being ?
    what are his goals ?
    what should he achieve? etc...


    for example skanda purana and siva purana describes the family of Lord Siva.

    1. we all know that Sati, the younger duaghter of Daksha wanted to marry Siva. But it does not answer questions like
    why a beautiful woman like Sati wanted to marry a person who has nothing to wear, lives in the companion of ghosts, lives in
    graveyards no proper house to live in ?
    2. even though all saiva puranas GLORIFY SIVA they do not answer why siva wears a tiger skin lives in grave yard lives in
    kailash mountain(now a part of China)

    3. skanda purana mentions that Kasi(now Varanasi) is most dearer to Siva than any other place. But it does not give any reason
    why SIVA LOVES KASI?

    4. all puranas mention that Siva is easily pleased and he gives away boons very quickly . but no purana mention why is he so easily
    pleased than Brahma and Vishnu.


    5. we all know that Siva is in constant meditation. No purana, vedas or anything does not mention whom siva meditates.

    some vaishnava scholars may say that he meditates on Vishnu and some say he is "GREATEST VAISHNAVA".
    but actually NOBODY KNOWS WHOM SIVA MEDITATES?

    let us assume this is true. if it is then why some vaishnavas hate Siva, a devotee of Vishnu? why they degrade Siva? THIS question has no answers.







    ReplyDelete
  10. My dear friends
    I will ask you one single question. Please answer it truthfully.
    Have any one of you seen your Vishnu? If not, all your debate must be merely based on scriptural knowledge which is the description of the direct experiences- aparokshanubhuti of OTHERS . And they have described the truth variously. E.g. Vyasa who is the auther of Vishnu Purana is also the author of Shiva Purana.He has described Vishnu as the supreme in Vishnu Purana and Shiva in the same way in Shiva Purana. How will you reconcile both these contradicting statements by the same author? Was he a hypocrite? No of course not! the only reconciliation is that our Hindu dharma is the most democratic as far as Upasana is concerned. It makes provisions for all -Shaivaites Vaishnavites Shaktas Ganaptyas to follow their chosen ideal.The follower of a certain deity has the psychological need to say that his deity is all-powerful and supreme and all other deities are inferior to it otherwise he will not be ready to accept that deity as his chosen ideal and his spiritual progress will be hampered.With this view the sages have described various deities as omnipotent and omniscient and the one without a second.If this re conciliatory view is not accepted we will have to admit that those seers were were not very much enlightened beings as we popularly believe but just bumpkins groping in the dark about who is the supreme deity.

    So my advice is -please refrain from attacking other faiths. Go on your own chosen path.Realize your Vishnu and then talk with authority of direct perception.Until then all of you are like mere children quarreling over the thing about which you have merely heard from the scriptures and which is still unknown to you. A book which has description of Delhi is useful in as much as it keeps up our interest in seeing the place by ourselves and guides us to it. But you cant compare seeing Delhi directly with the knowledge of Delhi in a book. So stop quarreling. Gladly think that Vishnu is Supreme and try to realize him in your heart but don't make others wear the same shirt that fits you best.It is impossible.This has been done time and again in the history of the world and such attempts have failed miserably.The muslims tried to thrust their concept of God on everybody on the point of their swords.The Chrishtrens have also done the same.And how far they have succeeded? Yet the world abounds in variegated pantheon of deities.

    All knots of heart are, broken all doubts are put to rest,all quarrels abate and peace reigns when one has the direct experience of the Supreme Truth-thus says the Shruti. Always keep this in mind.

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  11. Abhijit,

    All your objections have been answered by the great Ramanuja in his Vedartha Sangraha. Hence, please avoid rash comments like: "If this re conciliatory view is not accepted we will have to admit that those seers were were not very much enlightened beings as we popularly believe but just bumpkins groping in the dark about who is the supreme deity." and "Until then all of you are like mere children quarreling over the thing about which you have merely heard from the scriptures and which is still unknown to you."

    Vyasa did not write Puranas. The Puranas were first expounded by chaturmukha brahmA in various kalpas, and they were retold by the Rishis *as they were recited by brahmA to them*, and vyAsa propagated the same to romaharShaNa etc.

    Please refer to the "Tamasatva of Certain Puranas" article on this page, and your doubts will be cleared.

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  12. My Dear Bhagavata Bandhu
    Chaturmukha Brahma expounded the Puranas? Very well. Do you know that it had been the vogue with Sanskrit writers to write in the name of Shiva,Vishnu or Brahma ? Puranas are not the revealed texts like the Vedas.They are explanatory to the Vedas. Thats why when they don't conform with the Vedas their authority is discarded.Moreover even if they were RETOLD, were the rishis mad to propagate such glaring contradictions? And was even their original expounder Brahma out of his mind to say in Shiva Purana that Shiva is the Supersoul and in the Vishnu Purana the exactly opposite of it?

    Moreover you don't have any other proof of your claims of superiority beyond who said what in whichever scripture.The Shruti itself has declared that the Truth CAN"T be realized merely by scriptural studies (na vedadhyayanena) or mere logical reasoning(na esha tarkena matirapaneya-Kathopanishad) Beyond your fond beliefs and scriptural citations,you have nothing more to show to the world.Do you think the scientific minds of today will accept everything just on the basis that it has been said by a past luminary in a certain scripture or by you quarreling Mahnubhavas? Show us something more than this.I know from the scriptures that the Lord being subtlest of the subtle can't be an object of laboratory experiments. And scriptures say that He is to be Realized in the cave of the heart by devotion which is an attribute of the purified mind.But can any one of you say that you have REALIZED the lord in your heart? If you have,I will have no argument with you my friend.I will surrender unconditionally at the feet of you mahatmas and accept whatever you say.

    But before that who am I to trust? You or the Shaivas ,Ramanuja or Shankara or Madhva or Vallabha or ....? To a layman like me the recounter of Puranas- Vyasa and all the other great Acharyas are men of giant intellect and purified souls.To my weak intellect and tottering powers of logic they all seem to be Aptas whose sincerity of purpose can't be doubted. People like yourself who have great reasoning skills ; have scriptural citations and their interpretations on the tip of their tongues seem all reverential to me and I am always inspired with awe because of your abilities. I can't say that Ramanuja is telling the truth and Shankara is lying.You have the licence to say that.I don't have that privilege. My poor logic tells me that since all these Acharyas and Vyasa himself is stating contradictory truths about the nature of the Supreme Reality and as their truthfulness can't be doubted,they must be stating different facets of the reality as comprehended from different perspectives of the Transcendental Experience.All these are necessary to suit men of different temperaments or in various states of spiritual progress.I would not ask you to forsake your belief in Vishnu's Supremacy or attack your faith nor should you do that in my case if I'm a Shaivaite. Why should you forcibly make me drink tea if I prefer coffee ? Do you think that God is infinite? well I also think so.Then let's not limit Him by saying that He is only this and not that. That would be blasphemy. He can have innumerable forms, attributes and the ways leading to Him are also innumerable.This is His grandeur.Let everyone go on their chosen path,realize the truth and after that let them proclaim it to the world.
    Regards.

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    Replies
    1. Dear Abhijit,

      We have stated clearly in the "tAmasatva of purANas" page at the end that the purANas are propagated for people of different inclinations purposely by the rishis. For those of tAmasic mind, the tAmasic purAnams are present. This of course, is dependent on karma.

      And just because different purANas are propagated for people of different inclinations, it does not mean that they are all equal. The tAmasic mind is kept from going astray into nAstika-vAda by means of the tAmasa purANas. Similar thing is true for rAjasa purANas. Btw, the purANas themselves state this.

      Secondly, your comment that truth cannot be realised by scriptures is a direct contradiction of the brahma sUtra "sAstrayOnitvAth". The statements in the vedas saying that truth cannot be realised by mananam, sravanam, etc only means that the grace of brahman is required for all this and also that the actual paravidya is brahma sAkshAtkAratvam which is obtained by realization and not the actual study of the veda itself.

      Thirdly, the scriptures do identify brahman as Vishnu only. The scriptures also give a clear description of the being in the heart as a lion, as lotus eyed, as having the effulgence of lakshmi, etc so they are not vague. How this is the case, is described in texts like Agama prAmANya and vEdArtha saMgraha. They are authored by Yamunacharya and Ramanujacharya, who are luminaries and not "bickering mahAnubhAvas" as you claim. Moreover, Shankara also has held Vishnu only as the Highest, and I have given many proofs. Try challenging to refute this.

      You yourself have admitted that your logic is poor. It is poor logic to assume that the statements of all the AchAryas (Shaiva/Vaishnava/Advaita/Madhva) are equally valid, even if they are contradictory!

      Saying Shiva is a jiva and vishNu is brahman is not limiting Brahman. Its just a verification that just as you and me are jiva and not Brahman, similarly, Shiva is also jiva and not Brahman. Brahman indeed has infinite names, attributes and indeed has the entire universe with all the jivAs as his body and inseparable attributes. That Brahman is vishNu-nArAyaNa, and yes, Shiva is as much an inseparable attribute of Brahman as you and I are.

      If we were to include Shiva as Brahman merely for the sake of "not limiting" Brahman, we would also have to state that the stool, chair, table, you, me, the asurAs, etc are all Brahman. Of course, this is true when the sarIrAtma bhAva is used, but obviously, its not a literal identification.

      Btw, nobody here is telling you to change your faith, or is forcing you to convert to Vaishnavism. I have only endeavored to present a few truths, but apparently truth is inconvenient for people like you.

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    2. // Chaturmukha Brahma expounded the Puranas? Very well. Do you know that it had been the vogue with Sanskrit writers to write in the name of Shiva,Vishnu or Brahma ? //

      It is typical of nAstikas to say things like these. You seem to think that the purANas are works written by human beings on the earth, like Kalidasa's works. You did not furnish any proof to contradict the statement that the purANas were first narrated to the Rishis by brahmA.

      Delete
  13. Dear Bhagavata Bandhu
    I'm a man of poor logic and I have accepted the fact already for the sake of our debate. So there was no point in you reiterating the fact again.
    But see what my poor logic tells me-you are stating there are tamasika puranas and they are there merely to thwart people from being converted to atheism or agnosticism and the like. This logic is poorer than my proclaimed lack of logical capacity. Do you or your Brahma or Vyasa or the other Rishis think for a moment that darkness can be expelled by darkness? The only way to do it ,brother, is to bring in the light of knowledge.If your Brahmaji or your Vyasa ( I’m deliberately using the term ‘your’ because you are devaluating them by your contorted poor reasoning) were so compassionate they would have told the truth only and not the supposed rigmarole of tamsik nature. Instead of doing this, what your Brahma has done, is merely hold people somehow in the mire of Samsara by creating a delusional distraction in the form of your so called Tamasik Puranas. How sympathetic of him indeed!! Was your Brahma afraid of depletion in the quorum of his audience if people ran away from him and became atheists? I would indeed prefer to be such atheist than a dumb- headed listener to your Brahma’s tamasik verbiage.
    Secondly the Brahamasutra you are pointing at doesn’t mean that Brahman can be directly realized from the scriptures.The Chatuhsutri states - We are now commencing an inquiry into the nature of Brahman from which this phenomenal world comes into existence, is sustained and again merges into It.The Shastras are a means of knowledge (Yonih= pramanam) for this fact because to this conclusion(that Brahman is the Ultimate Cause of this universe) the various seemingly contradictory statements of this Shastra arrive.
    You did not understand the purport of my say clearly. I’m in exact agreement with you that knowledge of Brahman dawns only after realization of the Reality through God’s grace.Trying to counter my say you have only corroborated it. What Shastas are there for then?- So that human beings can understand the fact that God’s grace is necessary to realize the Truth. No shastra can bring Realization, however much you pit your wits and struggle with logic. The Sharvana ,Manana of the Shastras make us INTELLECTUALLY steadfast about the fact of Brahman is the cause of this universe. We CAN NOT realize with our poor intellect the NATURE of Brahman. It is beyond the realm of our intelligence.
    Thirdly mind you- Shastras have attemped to describe the nature of Brahman but they have not stated anything definitely .Sometimes they say Purusho vai Rudrah(TaittiriyaArayanyaka 10.24.1)and somewhere they will say the same about Vishnu( I’m sure you will have a multitude of examples of this). Because of the scriptures being not definite about the nature of Brahman various interpretations of the same shastras by renowned Acharyas have come into existence.That’s the cause why the statements like ‘Na- iti na- iti’ exist. They mean that the Nature of Brahman is beyond intellectual description. ’Iti’ is what we can see perceive or describe i.e. something the intellect can grasp. Now don’t say that your Vishnu is beyond the realm of ’ iti’ and yet has lotus eyes and other attributes which are intellectually perceivable. Again don’t say that Vishnu is Nirguna Brahman beyond perception but when he wants to take a perceivable form his four armed, lotus eyed form rules supreme. Why does he have a special inclination for this form and attributes? Why did he place this form above all other forms? What of those people who don’t like this form? Why does Vishnu imposes the supremacy of a particular form and attributes on all human-heads?

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  14. And how will you decide that Madhva or Ramanuja is stating the fact and a Shaivaite Acharya is not? Do you think that righteous men are born among Vaishnavas only and others merely have treacherous or deluded or confused intellects? And what is wrong in assuming that all these Acharyas are telling the truth only that they are looking at it from different viewpoints? If you and you friend go separately to see Delhi and afterwards describe it to somebody, will your descriptions be exactly the replicas of each other?
    Fourthly your statement that the Ultimate Reality or Brahman is Vishnu only and Shiva ,I ,You and everyone else are Jivas-inseperable attributes of Vishnu is your or Ramanuja’s perception.How will you decide that different perceptions of others are not correct? For the corroboration of this claim you rely on Ramanuja’s statements and his interpretation of the Vedic literature. As you are free to say that others’ interpretations are wrong ,so also others are bound to say that Your and your favourite Ramanuja’s interpretations are wrong. Beyond Ramanuja’s and your intelligence, do you have ANY OTHER PROOF of your claims? Calling me atheist to overpower me will not solve this problem.
    So I tell you –these debates will have no end.You will put forth finer arguments and I will try to counter them with my POOR logical skill and mind you I’m quite hard headed at this. As such I will not accept your version of truth if you can’t provide me some better proof of your claim other than who says what in whichever book written some hundreds of years ago about the true purport of the Vedic literature. Such debates have been going on in this land for thousands of years and they have not reached any final conclusion. Debating is not the goal. The goal is Realization of the Truth in our hearts through Sadhana.I debated with you because some Vaishnavas (you say that you are certainly not one among them-that’s a relief!!! because I will have no objections against you then) are trying to impose their version of truth on everybody’s head and trying to unsettle them from their chosen ideal. So long then!!
    Regards

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  15. Dear Abhijit,

    We have endlessly discussed and I have given answers, but you keep repeating the same questions.

    // This logic is poorer than my proclaimed lack of logical capacity. //

    Lol... Do you think your logic is better than Yamuna's, Ramanuja's, Madhva's or Vedanta Desika's? All of them have somehow missed your point about purANas.

    // Do you or your Brahma or Vyasa or the other Rishis think for a moment that darkness can be expelled by darkness? The only way to do it ,brother, is to bring in the light of knowledge. //

    For a person who is used to darkness, the way to progress is by gradation. The gradation and progression into light should be in this order:

    abrahamic religions < Buddhism, Jainism, neo-advaita-Hinduism < Belief in Vedic scriptures and Rishis < Devotion to Agni, Surya, Indra etc. < Devotion to Shiva parivAra < Devotion to Parabrahman Shriman Narayana

    Exposing someone who is used to darkness to bright light in one step will cause irritation to his eye if not blind him, and he will go back into his darkness which is more comfortable for him, developing aversion for light on the way back. No disrespect is meant if we say that different people are at different stages of spiritual development. We see this happen in practice even today. Take yourself for example; you have an aversion to light when it is presented directly in front of you in the form of Vaishnava scriptures. Again, no disrespect is meant when I say this.

    This is why the compassionate Rishis, Brahma, and ultimately Sriman Narayana propagated false doctrines to suit the tastes of those who are conditioned by prakRti. Of course, there are a select few who are able to jump from the lowest stage to the highest in no time, and that is due to the grace of the Lord.

    We have umpteen proofs that shaiva purANas are classified as tAmasa, in the relevant page. Right here in this page is there one, and you have not cared to look at it:

    agneḥ śivasya māhātmyaṃ tāmaseṣu prakīrtyate /
    rājaseṣu ca māhātmyam adhikaṃ brahmaṇo viduḥ //
    sāttvikeṣu ca kalpeṣu māhātmyam adhikaṃ hareḥ /
    teṣv eva yogasaṃsiddhā gamiṣyanti parāṃ gatim //

    This is in matsya purANa, and it forms the authority for categorizing the purANas in this fashion. It has been quoted by Ramanuja and Yamuna. What is your explanation of this verse???

    (contd.)

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  16. (contd. from previous)

    The Vedas state nArAyaNa is only the supreme brahman everywhere, such as in:

    (1) nArAyaNaH paraM brahmA, tattvaM nArAyaNaH paraH
    (2) nArAyaNAt brahmA jAyate, nArAyaNAt rudro jAyate
    (3) ekO ha vai nArAyaNaH AsIt, na brahmA, nEshAnaH

    etc, etc, etc.

    They also state that 'AkAsha', 'akShara', 'vAyu', 'indra', 'agni', 'puruSha', 'shambhu', 'shiva', 'rudra', 'IshAna' are brahman. What this means is that it is one Sriman Narayana who is called by these names. The proof of this is in the vishvakarmA sUkta, which states:

    'yO dEvAnAM nAmadA Eka Eva',

    which means "He is the One and Only who bears the names/name-giver of all the devas", and in the same place identifies Vishnu as the Creator of the whole jagat, which rests in the lotus springing from his navel:

    "ajasya nAbhau adhyEkaM arpitaM yasmin vishvAni bhuvanAni tasthuH"

    This is also confirmed in itihAsa/purANa/smRti as follows:

    (1) The Vishnu Sahasranama part of Mahabharata states that Shiva, Brahma, Indra, Rudra, etc. are all names of Vishnu.
    (2) "I alone am praised in all the Vedas" - Gita 15.15
    (3) "In the Vedas, Ramayana, and in the auspicious bhArata, in the beginning, middle, and in the end, Vishnu is praised everywhere"

    Why do we pick nArAyaNa alone? Because nArAyaNa is a name given to Lakshmipati Vishnu only, in the smRtis, purANas etc. The name is not a description of characteristics, unlike the other names (including btw, Vishnu). This is confirmed by the vyAkaraNa sUtra "pUrvapadAt saMgyAyAM agaH" (aShTAdhyAyi 8.4.3).

    Why not take Rudra etc. as 'equally supreme aspects of the supreme'? Because it is stated by the Vedas that Rudra is born and attains laya into brahman at the end of the kalpa (nArAyaNAt rudro jAyatE... nArAyaNE pralIyantE). Rudra himself in the Vedas states that he is "anapahata-pApmA" (not cleaned of sins) whereas the Vedas describe brahman as "apahata-pApmA", and identifies himself as the aShTa mUrti. This episode is re-told in most purANas. This shows Rudra/Shiva/Pashupati who is the husband of pArvati is born of karma, and is not the cause but an effect.

    When things have been so neatly and beautifully reconciled, why should we go for some contrived neo-interpretation?

    (contd.)

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  17. (contd. from previous)

    Your interpretation of "nEti nEti" can not be true even as per traditional advaita. Because traditional advaita, as it is preserved in the authentic works of Shankara and his immediate followers, identify Vishnu as the Supreme. You can either consult Shankara Bhashya if you like the advaitic interpretation of "nEti nEti" or you can see what Ramanuja has to say in Sri Bhashya etc.

    // Why does he have a special inclination for this form and attributes? Why did he place this form above all other forms? What of those people who don’t like this form? Why does Vishnu imposes the supremacy of a particular form and attributes on all human-heads? //

    There are many explanations. One explanation is that this particular form embodies all the various tattvas in creation, showing He is brahman. Refer to Vishnu purANa. There are other explanations, but these are meant to be rahasyArthas, and not to be discussed with non-Vaishnavas (to save non-Vaishnavas from the danger of bhagavat/bhAgavata apachAra that they would commit by maligning these practices).

    // Do you think that righteous men are born among Vaishnavas only and others merely have treacherous or deluded or confused intellects? //

    You know this is not a question of righteousness only, and hence this is a rhetorical question.

    Those who have perfect knowledge of the purport of the Vedas and are exemplary in conduct intellectual honesty must be Vaishnavas. This is just like saying “any triangle must satisfy the property that the sum of their angles is 180”.

    There are those who refuse to accept truth because of their attachment to a particular religious practice, due to sentiments, etc. They stay silent and offer no explanation to mounting evidence against their thesis. If this is not confusion (placing sentiments in favour of neutral-minded analysis), what else is it?

    There are intellectually dishonest ones who will resort to name-calling, demagoguery, and trolling to prevent a useful discussion. They are quite deluded.

    And we also have had people who spuriously propagated anti-Vaishnavite works as Upanishads, knowingly out of their envy for Vishnu and Vaishnavas. And then there are those who revile Vaishnavas and their practices, and ridicule them. They are truly treacherous.

    // How will you decide that different perceptions of others are not correct?//

    // Such debates have been going on in this land for thousands of years and they have not reached any final conclusion.//

    You conveniently seem to be ignoring the fact that these debates are very well settled. The onus is on your end to read Vaishnava works which settle these matters. The results of these debates have not been seriously challenged. Only that they have not been accepted because of peoples’ inclinations these days.

    I am not intending to change your beliefs. You have made your intentions very clear in the comments to this article:

    http://mahapashupatastra.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/hidden-secrets-of-bhagawad-gita.html

    All that I am doing is answering a pUrvapakSha to present siddhAnta clearly. And it helps everyone including myself to learn more and put things in proper perspective through this exercise. Thanks for the opportunity... so long then!

    sarvaM shrIkRShNArpaNam

    (The end of my response).

    PS: Unless you have something new to say, I will not publish your comments any more. No point in you re-iterating the same in different language and me doing the same.

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  18. // You conveniently seem to be ignoring the fact that these debates are very well settled. The onus is on your end to read Vaishnava works which settle these matters. The results of these debates have not been seriously challenged. Only that they have not been accepted because of peoples’ inclinations these days. //

    For a quick summary of this, please see Anonymous' comment dated October 29, 2013 at 6:54 AM in http://narayanastra.blogspot.com.au/p/blog-page_8197.html

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  19. purushO vai rudrO"

    Read the Rudra in the Upanishads article on this website where all this has been explained. Rudra is a name of Vishnu - "rudrO bahushirA babhRu" - says the vishNu sahasranama. "Rudra" means "Destroyer of the disease of samsara" and hence, denotes parabrahman sriman nArAyaNa here.

    Parvati Pati is named Rudra for another reason - "he who cries" is a meaning of the word "Rudra" as well. This name was given to pArvati pati by Brahma because he cried when he was born due to not being cleansed of karma (ref. satapatha brahmaNa). So, this story shows that the name Rudra was pre-existent (With another meaning) before the birth of pArvati pati and applied to nArAyaNa (with the superior meaning of he who destroys the disease of samsArA).

    "Again don’t say that Vishnu is Nirguna Brahman beyond perception but when he wants to take a perceivable form his four armed, lotus eyed form rules supreme. Why does he have a special inclination for this form and attributes?"

    Because that is the form desired by true vivEkIs who have understood the meaning of the veda. That form is aprAkrtam, divya mangala vigraham, made of suddha sattvam. That form represents different tattvas that the veda communicates as seen in the astra bhUshaNa adhyAya of vishNu purAnA.

    Shiva is a jivatma. His form, while superior to that of humans in this world, is still made of flesh and blood, ie, prakrtic elements. Whereas bhagavAn's form is made of knowledge itself, as a substance.

    Secondly, he has even appeared in a form resembling Shiva in his "shankaranarayana" avatara. This form is described very well in the sastras as well. However, this is neither a form of shiva nor anything that indicates shiva as supreme. It is wholly bhagavan's form in which he shows that he possesses all the attributes of other devas as well.

    Bhagavan is called Devadeva by Arjuna in the Gita because - He possesses all attributes, names, forms of the devas and also possesses many names, attributes, forms that the devas do not possess.

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  20. "Why did he place this form above all other forms?"

    This question is logically flawed as it assumes in its formulation itself that there are other forms of parabrahman (denoted by the second "form" in the first place). When the form of shiva is a material one, made of flesh and blood like yours and mine, whereas the form of the vishnu is aprAkrta, then where is the question of him placing his form above others? His form is naturally his own and superior.

    "What of those people who don’t like this form?"

    Refer to the fate of sisupala who said, "I hate he who has 4 beautiful arms".

    If you have no attraction to his form, and you worship shiva and consider his form as beautiful, it is just like a person who is indifferent to bhagavan and considers the form of his own wife (made of flesh and blood) to be more desirable.

    When so many people in the world are more attracted to their wives, husbands, etc than vishnu, it is hardly any surprise if they like the lower forms of the devas than vishnu as well! All these forms other than vishnu are prakrtic. They will come to that understanding eventually.

    Of course, they have the tamasa puranas and avaidika mathams like buddhism created by the merciful sriman narayana.

    " Why does Vishnu imposes the supremacy of a particular form and attributes on all human-heads?"

    Again, a logical fallacy. By saying "a particular form and attributes", you are already assuming 1) there are other forms and attributes equal or superior to bhagavan, 2) that he imposes this particular form instead of the others on us. These two assumptions are invalid as they are the subject of the current debate itself, ie, you have not established that there are indeed other forms equal or superior to vishnu's and that shiva's form is qual or superior to vishnu. Your personal inclination for that form is nothing more than a man's inclination for a woman with a different mind-sets (both have one thing in common in that they ignore bhagavan; difference is in the way they love those forms).

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  21. "Secondly the Brahamasutra you are pointing at doesn’t mean that Brahman can be directly realized from the scriptures.The Chatuhsutri states - We are now commencing an inquiry into the nature of Brahman from which this phenomenal world comes into existence, is sustained and again merges into It.The Shastras are a means of knowledge (Yonih= pramanam) for this fact because to this conclusion(that Brahman is the Ultimate Cause of this universe) the various seemingly contradictory statements of this Shastra arrive."

    For a guy who refuses to accept the opinions of true scholars, you are sure giving a lot of stupid views here.

    Let me explain. The mundakOpanishad recognises two types of vidya - para and apara vidya. The apara vidya is the rg, yajus, sama, atharva veda (including the upanishads), the vedangas and upabrahmanas. The para vidya is the fruit of the study of this apara vidya, which is upAsaNa vidhi brahma sAkshAtkAratvam. Thus, knowledge provided by the apara vidyA only leads to the practice of this para vidyA and thus, brahman is not realised by the apara vidyA alone. But the knowledge provided by apara vidya alone leads to para vidya (upAsaNa), which is the true means of brahman realisation.

    Secondly, the sastras at one point enjoin meditation on brahman. At another point, they say he cannot be attained by such meditation. Yama tells Nachiketas in the kEnOpanishad that the atma cannot be realised by hearing, seeing, etc and only chooses those he (the atma) wishes. What this statement only means is that Brahman cannot be attained by our efforts of meditation etc. It is only his grace that such meditation attains its fruit of brahma sAkshAtkAratvam. It does not mean meditation, etc is not a valid way.

    Now, coming to your ridiculous argument of the chatussutri. The first sutra establishes that we must inquire into Brahman. The second sutra establishes that this Brahman is the cause of the Universe. The third sutra, thus has the following context - if the pUrvapakshin argues that the cause of the universe, namely Brahman, can be inferred from logic (as some nayAyikAs assert that the cause of the universe can be determined by reasoning itself), it is not so - for Brahman, the cause of the Universe, is to be known from the Veda only.

    Thus, "sAstrayOnitvAt" - the sAstra is the only source of knowledge of that Brahman, which is the cause of the Universe. Perception and Logic are valid only within their own spheres of influence. Sastra is the ultimate source of knowledge on Brahman.

    And the fourth sutra thus establishes, the authority of sAstra as the source of knowledge of Brahman is only due to the Sastra being connected with the highest purushArtham for the jivas.

    And the sAstra contain very specific references as to who this Brahman is. It is vishNu nArAyaNa, who is referred to by all names in the samhitAs, be it Indra, Agni, Varuna, Vayu, Rudra, Shiva, Sarva, Svayambhu, etc.

    Don't flout your half-baked claims here. NO vedantic scholar has ever upheld siva-vishnu aikya.

    ReplyDelete
  22. "The Sharvana ,Manana of the Shastras make us INTELLECTUALLY steadfast about the fact of Brahman is the cause of this universe. We CAN NOT realize with our poor intellect the NATURE of Brahman. It is beyond the realm of our intelligence."

    More stupidity on your part.

    That Brahman is the cause of the universe is understood by mere reading of the texts. It is not mere vAkyArtha jnAna. The sravana, manana, etc enjoins meditation on Brahman as the cause of the Universe so that it culminates in brahma sAkshAtkAram, ie, a vision of Brahman as the cause of the universe as well.

    That we can indeed realise this Brahman is the import of the purusha sukta itself: "vedAhamEdham purusham mahAntam...nanya pantha ayanAya vidyatE" - "I KNOW this purusha...there is no other WAY". Here, "knowing" refers to a vision of brahman by upAsaNa and "way" refers to the upAsaNa that is described in the sAstra as the means to know Brahman.

    The statements such as "yatO vAcho nivartantE" only declare that Brahman cannot be comprehended fully. Because his qualities are infinite, the experience is also infinite and hence, cannot be described fully. But certainly, it does not mean he is beyond all description. If intellect cannot realise Brahman, then there is no purpose of the vAkya "jnAnan mOkshO jAyatE" (by knowledge, moksha is attained).

    Srutis also describe Brahman as a lion (narasimha) in the cave of the heart (gartasadam), as lotus eyed (tasya yathA kapyAsam pundarIkam evam akshinI), as blackish complexion with the golden tejas of lakshmi (nIlatoyadamadyasta vidyullEkhena bhasvata), as the husband of Lakshmi and Bhu Devi (hrIsca tE lakshmisca patnyou), as One who bears the Sudarshana chakra (vajrinnabhi - manyu suktam) and as nArAyaNa, a name, which according to panini, cannot be applied to anyone and by which, all other names such as Shiva, Rudra, etc denote nArAyaNa only. Even the nArAyaNa suktam says "sAsvatam shivam achyutam" showing how Shiva is a name of nArAyaNa only.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Lastly,

    ‘Na- iti na- iti’

    Shows your poor understanding of sAstra. "Neti Neti" follows a description of Brahman's attributes. It means "Not this much, Not this much". In other words, Brahman, though describable, is not just this much with respect to his auspicious attributes. His attributes are infinite, so it is impossible to describe them FULLY. However, it does not mean he is beyond description as very specific descriptions such as him being the cause of the universe, satyam, jnanam, anantam, anandam and amalatvam, etc are there in sastra.

    Now, the above is srI rAmAnuja's interpretation. In case you accuse me of bias, let us go to srI sankara's interpretation. According to the advaita view (my more knowledgeable friend will correct me if I am wrong as he knows more about advaita), "neti neti" negates the attributes and states that Brahman is nirguna. In other words, even this saguna brahman is of a lower level.

    So even here in advaita, the context is that of nirguna brahman. This has no relevance to saguna brahman, which sri sankara accepts as vishNu-nArAyaNa only and says that he has auspicious attributes.

    Enough of your ignorance on this blog.

    ReplyDelete
  24. "And how will you decide that Madhva or Ramanuja is stating the fact and a Shaivaite Acharya is not?"

    Because no shaivite acharya with the exception of appayya dikshita claimed to be a vedantin. In fact, shaivites have always been an unvedantic sect. They reject the vedas if it contradicts their agamas. First read into this and then comment.

    And Appayya Dikshita himself has acknowledged his own failings with trying to interpret the vedas in a shaivite light.

    "You will put forth finer arguments and I will try to counter them with my POOR logical skill and mind you I’m quite hard headed at this. As such I will not accept your version of truth if you can’t provide me some better proof of your claim other than who says what in whichever book written some hundreds of years ago about the true purport of the Vedic literature."

    You are hard-headed, as in stupid. If so, I accept your claim.

    You have no interpretation of the vedas other than randomly pick names like Rudra, Shiva, etc and say it refers to pArvati pati. Then you say that Brahman is beyond your intelligence (which is quite true, as you are certainly intellectually challenged). First learn the basic etymology of these names and how they are attributed to nArAyaNa only.

    And do not come back with a bunch of quotes like "RudrO vai purushO" because all these names are names of nArAyaNa only and do not refer to pArvati pati there.

    ReplyDelete
  25. A couple of points that this guy posted in some of the posts in the mahapashupatastra blog which I consider worth refuting as well:

    1) He claims that daksha yajna shows the superiority of shiva. Actually, dakshna yajna has the following inner meaning - "destroying daksha's sacrifice" refers to destruction of the actions committed by the skilled indrIyas (daksha means clever or skilled). "Taking away the eyes of bhaga" means "removing the pleasure/pain experiences of the inherited share (bhaga), ie, the results of the action". "Virabhadra" means "good strength" - refers to bhakti yoga as "strength" is a metaphor for knowledge.

    So, Shiva created Virabhadra to destroy daksha yajna and remove the eyes of Bhaga - The jivatma (shiva) indulges in upAsaNa (virabhadra) to destroy the actions (sacrifice) of the indrIyas (daksha) and remove the pleasure/pain feelings (two eyes) from experiencing results (bhaga) of such action. This whole episode shows shiva is a bhakti yogi and a jivatma only.

    2) He claimed Rama worshipped Shiva when such a thing is found nowhere in the vAlmiki rAmAyaNa. There is only one statement Rama makes that "I built the bridge by the grace of mahAdeva". This "mahAdeva" referred to here is not Shiva, but Samudra Raja who suggested the idea to build a bridge and parted the ocean for bhagavan to go to Lanka. Since Samudra Raja helped Rama, the former is referred to with respect by Sri Rama as "mahAdevA" (common noun meaning "great god").

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even Maheshwara Tirtha, the advaitic commentator (disciple of Madhusudana Saraswati) says that "mahAdevA" is Samudra Rajan only, taking the vaijayanti nikaNDu statement which says "mahat" is a synonym of "jala".

      Delete
  26. Abhijit,

    Despite my warnings, you have wasted time and bandwidth in writing comments which:

    (1) Recycle the same old garbage that you have dumped above in your previous comments,
    (2) Contain incongruous ramblings, and
    (3) Use filthy language to censure both of us while you pretend to respect our AchAryas.

    I am sorry that your effort in writing the last few comments have been wasted. But then I had warned you properly, so you should have taken that into consideration before rambling again.

    This blog welcomes sincere Shaivas who follow decorum and who wish to understand their pUrvapakSha. It is not for trash talkers. We are quite fair in this matter, unlike your friend at mahapashupatastra who stifles all Vaishnavas, intelligent or otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Dear Sir,

    namaste!

    You and the 'Anonymous' - both sirs are very knowledgeable, hence i wish to seek your expert advise on one long standing doubt of mine.

    I read in some sites that sri madhavacharya ji has supposedly given a hierarchy among gods (taaraatamya) where he said wind god is superior to Rudradeva. Then how come shaivites claim Hanuman as the avataram of rudradeva? Is it mentioned in Valmiki ramayana about hanuman as rudravataram? What i heard/know is hanuman is wind god's son as per Valmiki ramayana (i may be wrong as i'm not as good as you, so kindly pardon me if i am saying anything wrong here). So, as wind god ranks higher than rudradeva how come hanuman is called rudradeva's avataram? Kindly educated me about Valmiki's opinion in detail.

    Also, I am interested to know more about the upasana methods of panchamukhi hanuman ji, like his kavacham, his pujavidhi, stotrams etc. Do i need any initiation for performing panchamukhi hanuman sadhana or it is allowed to do by anyone? Also, kindly share the panchamukhi hanuman related slokas or stotras from valmiki ramayana for my parayanam.

    jai hanuman!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Friend,

      Namaste and thank you for your appreciation of our work. As a request, please try to keep discussions relevant to the original blog post.

      Actually Shaivas do not accept the concept of avatAra for brahman (they say that brahman can not be born in a female's womb, as a rule).

      Regarding the Vaishnava position, here is what I am aware of:

      I am pretty sure that Valmiki Ramayana does not have anything that indicates that Hanuman is an avatAra of Shiva. (Kamban, the Tamil poet however says hanumAn is rudrAMsha, but not necessarily sAkShAt rudra). It is generally accepted by all that Hanuman is vAyu putra, yes. But mAdhvas take exception to this and say that hanumAn is vAyu's avatAra only. In the former case, it is not an indication of hierarchy for rudrAMsha hanumAn to be born as vAyuputra.

      I do not know about the upAsana aspects, as I am not knowledgeable in this area either.

      I will request my knowledgeable friend to comment on this; he may be in a better position to throw more light on this.

      Delete
    2. Kind reader,

      Please understand that this blog is not for general questions on Vaishnavism, but only for establishing the supremacy of Vishnu. As a last time favor, we will answer your query. But hereafter, please take care to not ask questions about Vaishnavism, or the philosophies (advaita, vishishtadvaita and dvaita) of a general nature - that is not the scope of the blog.

      Sri Hanuman is not an avatara of Rudra. In the fact, the very word "avatara" must not be used for anyone other than vishNu, as "avatara" means descent from a high position to a lower position. Since Rudra is a samsari, his appearances from Kailasa parvatam to say, Bhu Loka, which are both in Samsara Mandalam, cannot be said to be an avatara. It is only Vishnu's descent from Sri Vaikuntam to Samsara Mandalam that is an avatara. However, since the word has become colloquial usage, we won't be so rigid even if you use it for devas!

      Sri Hanuman is not Rudra. According to Sri Vaishnavas, he is the son of vAyu and a mArut. According to mAdhvAs, he is vAyu and bhIma as well as mAdhva himself. The two traditions differ on his identity in this respect.

      Regarding his worship, he must be worshipped as a guru and not as parabrahman or a manifestation of Brahman. Because Sri AnjanEya is a jivAtmA. We sri vaishnavas, of course, consider him as equal to Sri Ramanuja himself with respect to worship and status as a guru, but we do not worship him as a god, or as all-pervading etc.

      Some say he has the strength (vIryam) which was bestowed to him by Rudra. It is quite possible. He may have been blessed by Shiva with strength, but that doesn't equate him to Shiva. Not that we are insulting Shiva here, mind you. Shiva is a great devotee himself, we are just establishing the truth here, that both are different personalities.

      Panchamukha Hanuman is worshippable because that form was granted to him by Vishnu himself, whose shakti was bestowed on Hanuman. But one should only go to Hanuman temples that are established by pAncharAtra or vaikhAnasa agamas, where he is said to be a devotee and a guru. If AnjanEya is installed in a temple as a God or a so-called manifestation of Brahman, then it is not a correct mode of worship.

      Delete
    3. Dear reader,

      I would like to add to the above replies to your comment:

      You are welcome to post general queries regarding Vaishnavism/Philosophy using the "Contact Us" link. I will then get the message delivered to just my inbox directly. The message will not be displayed in public, and I will be able to reply to them. It is just that we don't want the particular comment threads under specific topics to go off-topic.

      Kind regards

      Delete
    4. Namaste,

      I am sorry that i have posted wrong query in your website, and that angered both of you. I didn't do it knowingly so i may kindly be pardoned. I'll be cautious in future if i need to discuss anything here.

      Thanks to both of you for providing good info around my queries. I had also asked one of my collegue about the same query and he sent me a website (copied below).
      http://www.salagram.net/Hanuman.html
      Thought of sharing this link with you too (you are already knowledgeable but just thought to share what i got) The great info that you both furnished plus the info given in below website i think i have got a lot of info for setting my devotion unto his feet. As advised by Anonymous sir, I'll find and visit any hanuman temple run by Vaikhanasa or pancharatra priests and take further advise on hymns and puja vidhi form them.

      Namaste again. Jai hanuman.

      Delete
  28. very nice effort and thoughtful points in establishing srIman nArAyaNa's supremacy. If you dont mind, adiyen will add this link in our http://srivaishnavagranthams.wordpress.com/srivaishnava-links/ page.
    adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

    ReplyDelete
  29. Dear Swamin,

    Namaskaram and thank you for your appreciation. Privileged to receive your appreciation.

    It would certainly be helpful if you add a link on your page, if you find it worthy.

    Adiyen
    HBB

    ReplyDelete
  30. Dear Swami,
    Brilliant Work. Many salutations to you for your efforts. Truly magnificient.
    Request you to keep up the good work you are doing by acting as BULWARK against the Unscrupulous arguments of Unscrupulous elements trying to disprove the supremacy of Lord Vishnu.

    There seem to be some unscrupulous elements who are trying desperately to apply Narayana Anuvaka, Narayana Upanishad statements to Paravati and desperately trying to prove that Parvati is Narayana.
    They are quoting from Sarabha, Devi and some bahavricha and saying that Paravati is Narayana.
    They quote Rig 7.46.5 and Yajur, 6.5.6 and say Rudra is supreme which is against the very essence of VEDAS.

    Please carry on with good work of yours and i may be permited to say, let "Lord Lakshmi Narasimha shower his full grace on you".
    Request you to provide you email id so that adiyen can get a few things clarified about the above statements.

    Adiyen
    Murali

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Respected Swamin,

      Kindly use the form in the 'contact us' link (last one in the list of links on the right side panel of this page'. Please remember to provide your email id otherwise I can't get back. Once you use this form we can correspond in private.

      Alternatively, if it suits you we could continue here since making the conversation public will benefit others too.

      Adiyen

      Delete
    2. Apologies for forgetting earlier.

      I am indeed very humbled by your appreciation and aasheervaadams.

      Adiyen

      Delete
  31. Hello Sir,
    I just had a question that was really troubling me. As you have said in one of your articles, Parvati is just the female form of Vishnu. Many Saivites claim that the Vishnu or Narayana in the scriptures in none other than Parvati, as Vishnu is Parvati's male form. Could you please shed some light on this? I'm sorry if you have already answered this, but since you have a huge collection of articles, I find it difficult to find the answer. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Sir,

      We will soon have an article published about this.

      Delete
    2. Addendum: Nowhere have we mentioned that Parvati is a female form of Vishnu. Both are distinct personalities.

      Delete
  32. hello sir, i have a question that in Rig Veda is says that god has no body and so does yajur veda. could you please explain on how worshiping vishnu as God is the right thing. i am really puzzled by this because i am vishnu devotee and i need answers. thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear sir,

      Can you first let me know what the exact verse number is? Without that, I can not answer accurately.

      However, when the Vedas say that God has no body, we have to take it to mean that He has no body composed of five elements which are triguNAtmaka. This is because the Vedas themselves state that He has a Supremely Auspicious Body which is aprAkRta (not composed of five material elements). Purusha Suktam refers to Him as "AdityavarNaM tamasaH parastAt", Narayana Suktam refers to His mUrti as "neelatoyada madhyasthaH vidyullekhaiva bhaasvaraH", and Chandogya Shruti says He has eyes like two lotuses that have been freshly made to bloom by the sun ("kapyAsaM puNDarIkamiva akShiNI").

      Delete
    2. okay thank you sir! I understand now. Lord Vishnu only has a spiritual body. ALso, the verses that talk about god with no body are as follows.
      Yajurveda(40.8)
      "shudhama poapvidham"-"He is bodyless and pure."

      Yajurveda(32.3)
      "Na tasya Pratima asti"-"There is no image of Him."

      Thank you for clearing my doubts sir! Haribol

      Delete
    3. These are mistaken translations quoted by some indviduals and missionaries like Zakir Naik. Discussion of these is beyond the scope of this blog. However, let me just state that these mantras (in their pristine form), only say that he has no material body and that there is no-one equal to him.

      Delete
    4. Do you think it would be possible for you to post more of those verses from the vedas that say that God has a body? Thank you so much!

      Delete
    5. Please refer to the various dvaita and vishishtadvaita websites on the net to get exact quotes. As I reteirated before, this is not the purpose of our blog.

      Delete
    6. Thank you. I have still not found any of the websites to get the quotes, but I will keep trying! HARIBOL!!!

      Delete
  33. I am a little confused on how can an Advaitin think that Vishnu is supreme. He believes that all of the deities and souls are basically the same, so how can an Advatin believe that Vishnu is superior to the others?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In advaita, all the souls are basically the same only in the pAramArthika level. In the vyAvahArika level, Vishnu is supreme and the rest are all jIvas subject to karma. This knowledge is important since upAsana, bhakti, etc. fall in this level as per advaita philosophy.

      Delete
  34. namaskar... very impressive .. hbb you are probably south indian?? where in south india do live nbdasa-at-gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for the appreciation. I will contact you when time permits.

      Delete
  35. if rajas and tamasic puranas are not correct, then why did vyasa write them? show me proof that rajas and tamasic puranas are not correct. thank you

    ReplyDelete
  36. "if rajas and tamasic puranas are not correct, then why did vyasa write them? show me proof that rajas and tamasic puranas are not correct. thank you"

    Might I add that that while your uncanny ability to notice that srI veda vyAsa wrote the purAnas is no doubt a great feat that has never been achieved before, it is rather strange that you did not notice the article we wrote regarding these purAnas in the blog.

    General note to readers: If you think there is any gap we failed to address, you are welcome to inquire. But before doing so, please read the content of the blog to make sure that we haven't addressed that issue already. Even if you feel impatient to go through all the articles, a simple keyword search using the well-known CTRL + F would yield rich dividends and save you and ourselves from a lot of trouble!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Dear Humble Bhagvat Bandhu and all the dear Vaishnavas reading this post,
    "Humble Bhagvat Bandhu" has defended the Vaishnava dharma very well, I can very well understand that he is very solid in his foundation and has a great fund of knowledge.I have only one concern dear friend,why try to illuminate the intellect of those who are meant to pass through the twilight of various faiths before understanding the pure vaishnav dharma?It will only encourage discord.... Instead I believe in encouraging everyone in his particular path. A day will come dear friend- when on arriving at the supreme personality of godhead these strifes will disappear.Let everyone come to the conclusion by their own sweet time.
    Krishna be with you.
    -Hare Krishna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shri Saptarshi,

      Thank you for your appreciation.

      I entirely agree that we should not "try to illuminate the intellect of those who are meant to pass through the twilight of various faiths before understanding the pure vaishnav dharma".

      However, time and again, we have seen Vaishnavas being led astray due to lies and unfair portrayal of Vaishnavism as "intolerant", "vile", "divisive", "sectarian" etc. in the media, mostly by neo-Hindus and pro-Shaivas. The purpose of my blog is to ask for a fair portrayal of Vaishnavas. Who else, other than us Vaishnavas, would come to the defense of our faith in Lord Krishna? If someone starts defiling our places of worship, would we just sit idle and say "A day will come when on arriving at the supreme personality of godhead this kind of strife will disappear"?

      I agree that we should "Let everyone come to the conclusion by their own sweet time." However, we have to act if they start abusing Vaishnavas and Vaishnava AcAryas. If we are silent, these ramblings would get accepted as the truth due to the absence of any counter-argument, and those who are inclined to Lord Krishna's service will lose their faith.

      In summary, please read the introduction part in *this page* and read it again if you have already read it before posting your comment.

      Your servant,
      HBB

      Delete
    2. " However, we have to act if they start abusing Vaishnavas and Vaishnava AcAryas. If we are silent, these ramblings would get accepted as the truth due to the absence of any counter-argument, and those who are inclined to Lord Krishna's service will lose their faith" -
      You have acted and in my understanding acted very very well.....yet I believe those, whose faith in the lotus feat of Sri Krishna can be shaken is not fit as of yet to enter his transcendental service.I believe every Vaishnava should be like you -firm in his Bhagvat bhakti, otherwise he is not fit to be a vaishnava.All those that can be misled are simply being led by their -"Prarabdha".I believe that all these anti- vaishnavite elements serve as a filter,filtering out the unwanted seeds so that the pure juice of Krishna Bhaktas can emanate.Every thing has a purpose.
      In summary I will request you to defend Vaishnavism,in your own blog,but refrain from counter-attacking these people in their blog.Let the people decide whom to trust.If they are ready they will side with you always.
      These are my personal opinions,and I request you to correct me if I am wrong,since your bhakti and scriptural knowledge is vastly superior.

      Delete
    3. "You have acted and in my understanding acted very very well.."

      Well, then, first you say we acted very well, then you say we need to refrain from "counter-attacks". Self-contradictory. Vaishnava Vedanta is not some blind faith, but a philosophy propounded by the apAurushEya veda.

      If we acted well, what is there to say?

      "yet I believe those, whose faith in the lotus feat of Sri Krishna can be shaken is not fit as of yet to enter his transcendental service"

      That is neither your nor our judgment to make. If that is your "belief", then our "belief" is that those who are shaken up need to know that their sampradAya is strong. Otherwise, simply accepting everything despite arguments by opponents like shaivas makes it seem like blind faith. Bhagavan declares in the Gita that those who chant his names, etc are definitely mahatmas, but infinitely greater are those jnAnis who know the tattvas (and chant the names as well). Questioning and Inquiry is a part of vedAnta. Hence, it is good even for vaishnavas to get "shaken up" once in a while.

      Delete
    4. "I believe every Vaishnava should be like you -firm in his Bhagvat bhakti, otherwise he is not fit to be a vaishnava.All those that can be misled are simply being led by their -"Prarabdha"

      There are better vaishnavas than us, so need to compliment. And prarabdha karma is not an excuse to watch people being led away. That is exactly the intent of our acharyas - to make the effort to reach those led by their prarabdha karma. If after that, they still, refuse, then fine.

      If "prarabdha karma" were the criterion, then neither you nor I would know about Vishnu. Because none of us are so great to claim that we have transcended our prArabdha karma. And if you then say it was due to bhagavad krupa that we came to this sampradAya, then the same krupa can work for the wayward ones using our blog as an instrument.

      "I believe that all these anti- vaishnavite elements serve as a filter,filtering out the unwanted seeds so that the pure juice of Krishna Bhaktas can emanate.Every thing has a purpose."

      Well, other people believe that those blogs are the beacon of knowledge. What differentiates your "belief" from their "belief"? Only a dispassionate inquiry like the one conducted by the blog, where we ourselves discovered new meanings of the shastra and helped many others (as they have acknowledged through personal emails). So, your logic is reducto ad absurdium.

      "In summary I will request you to defend Vaishnavism,in your own blog,but refrain from counter-attacking these people in their blog.Let the people decide whom to trust.If they are ready they will side with you always."

      The two things are not contradictory. Acharya Nampillai, Swami PeriyavAchan pillai and Swami Vedanta Desikan say that when the plants are sown, the weeds are automatically removed. That is what we are doing, planting truths here and removing the weeds in the form of those ghastly blogs.

      "I request you to correct me if I am wrong,since your bhakti and scriptural knowledge is vastly superior."

      We are not superior to you or anyone else in jnAna and bhakti since we are only communicating the truths that bhagavad rAmAnuja and other acharyas established. But yes, to put it bluntly, you are wrong.

      Delete
    5. Dear Shri Saptarshi,

      In addition to the reply from "Anonymous" (who has helped me put this blog together and also contributed most of the articles on the links found in the left-side panel), I would like to add this: If not for Vaishnavas who took up public challenges with non-Vaishnavas and boldly stated what is right and what is wrong in non-Vaishnava gatherings, I would be a non-Vaishnava today believing in either one of these, or a combination of all three: (i) Shiva is superior to Vishnu, (ii) Shiva = Vishnu, (iii) Brahman is formless and is beyond Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.

      Hence, it is my firm conviction that it is totally wrong if I "refrain from counter-attacking these people in their blog" or if we say that "these anti- vaishnavite elements serve as a filter,filtering out the unwanted seeds". We don't say "Every thing has a purpose" and shy away from helping those in need. Saying that some bhaktas who are inclined to Vishnu but unsure are "unwanted seeds" is an apacAra as far as I can see.

      Delete
    6. Dear anonymous and Humble Bhagwat Bandhu,
      I understand your point of view.
      If you are willing and if the Lord permits I would very much like to meet you and keep in touch with you.It is not very common in this Kali-Yug to find people like you.If you please you can give me an alternate e-mail id or contact number.My personal e-mail is saptarshibhattacharjee.14@gmail.com.Keep in touch.
      Hare Krishna.

      Sincerely,
      Saptarshi

      Delete
    7. Dear Saptarshi,

      I am answering for myself. My collaborator on this blog may respond to your comment separately.

      It is nice to know you, and thanks for your kind gesture... However, I already have a handful of things to do in various walks of life right now and I may not have the time to contact you. You are always welcome to comment on any of the pages on this blog, or you can use the "contact us" form to send messages personally to me if you don't want others to see.

      In any case, we have about 18 pages on this blog full of our writings, plus a vast number of references. These are good sources of information.even in the case that we are not able to write to you personally.

      Delete
  38. Dear Swami,
    Truly agree that one should counter these Anti Vaishnavaites within ones' own capabilities. This is expected of a every genuine Vaishnava. In case one is unable to counter the Anti Vaishnavism or its votaries, one should go away from that place immediately, as it will tantamount to bhagavata apacharam even to listen to such shabby stories being concocted by Anti Vaishnavaites. The madness of these Anti Vaishnavaites is reaching crescendo levels for e.g. they are making clippings of Lord Vishnu being defeated by Shiva and you tubes showing Vaishnavas in poor light (Psychiatric disorder of highest order). Thanks to many of the Vaishnavas who have been serving the Lord unflinchingly by upholding the only real truth, that is "Lord SrimanNarayana alone is the Supreme Para Brahman", by countering all the junk that these anti vaishnavaites are desperately trying to spread. Hats off to all the bhagavatas .

    Adiyen

    ReplyDelete
  39. So just a confirmation. All the verses in the Vedas and Puranas glorifying "Shiva" or "Rudra" all refer to Vishnu? Does this mean that Vishnu and Shiva are not one? Also, what about the story when Lord Shiva defeated Lord Vishnu in the Daksha episode? Forgive me for my offenses, but I am just trying to learn the truth because I am in a family of various sects and so it is really confusing. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Sir/Madam,

      Thank you for your interest in reading our blog. We wish that you analyze our work neutrally without siding with us, and come to a conclusion.

      You are correct. Always remember these, which have been quoted and accepted by all vedAntins, including Advaitins:

      Lord Krishna's words in the Gita:

      "vedaishca sarvair ahameva vedyaH" (15.15) Note the "aham eva" word which means "only me".

      Harivamsa:

      "vede rAmAyaNe puNye bhArate bharatarSabhaH! adau madye tathA cAnte viSNuH sarvatra gIyate"

      Note that the verse says "In the Vedas, in the Ramayana, and in the Bharata, in the beginning, middle, and end"

      Mahabharata:

      "AlODya sarva shAstrANi vicArya ca punaH punaH
      idamEkam sunishpannaM dhyEyOn nArAyaNaH sadA"

      // Also, what about the story when Lord Shiva defeated Lord Vishnu in the Daksha episode? //

      Such stories may be present in tAmasa purANa, however sAttvika purANas such as shrImad bhAgavatam say that Daksha, Brahma, Rudra, other devas, and sages worshiped Lord Vishnu after Daksha Yajna was destroyed and Daksha was resurrected and reconciled with Rudra.

      Delete
    2. // Does this mean that Vishnu and Shiva are not one //

      Yes, Vishnu and Shiva are not "one" (in the sense of "hari-hara aikyatva vAda"). Shiva himself declares in the vedas that he is a Jiva by saying that he is not freed of sins. (anapahatapApmA vA ahaM asmi) See the article on the interpretation of the brAhmaNas.

      There are verses that appear to say so, but if we interpret properly, these verses mean that Vishnu has the whole world as his body, which includes Brahma, Rudra, etc. and Vishnu is the antaryAmi of Shiva.

      Coming up soon in this blog is a section dedicated to the refutation of "hari-hara aikyatva vAda".

      Delete
    3. Thank you sir for your contributions to the cause of Vaishnavism. I will be looking forward to new articles in this blog. :)

      Delete
  40. Could it be true that the complete Vedas are not complete (as in we have not found all of Vyasa's writings)? I have no looked into the actual evidence for this claim, but I wanted to know your opinion. Could it be true then, that there are more verses which glorify Vishnu as the supreme and could end all this controversies?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will tell you what I have heard from respectable AchAryas, as I myself am no authority.

      First of all, Vedas are not Vyasa's writings. What vyAsa does in every kalpa is exactly as his title suggests: Demarcate and compile the Vedas into Rk, Yajus, sAman, and atharvaNa, as well as demarcate and compile the Itihasa and Puranas. Note that vyAsa is only a title and is occupied by different Rishis in different kalpas. KrishnadvaipAyana was the last vyAsa who lived in the dvApara yuga of the ongoing chaturyuga cycle (28th), in the ongoing manvantara (7th), and in the ongoing kalpa (shvetavarAha kalpa), in the second half (dvitIya parArdha) of Brahma's lifetime.

      It is true that what we have is only a part of the Vedas. How can it be otherwise, for we have the statement "anantA vai vedAH" which means that the vedAH are immeasurable in their extent. Several shAkhas have become "luptam" i.e., temporarily become inaccessible for humans due to the deterioration of the yuga and other factors. They will be revealed again by Rishis in a different yuga/kalpa. There are various shruti statements that have been quoted by Shankara, Ramanuja, and Madhva, and others from various portions of the Veda such as Bhallaveya-shAkha, Paingi-Shruti, Indradyuman-shAkha, etc. However, these are not available to us today, and the quotes of these AchAryas are all that is left.

      Finally, what we have now of the Veda is already enough to end all controversies. People have foolish blind attachments will never accept Vishnu's supremacy no matter what proof you show. It is just their karma-vAsana.

      Delete
    2. I understand that the Vedas are endless, but I meant that do we have all of the Vedic texts compiled by Krishnadvaipayana who is Vishnu himself?

      Delete
  41. You have mentioned that many of the verses in the Rig Veda refer to Narayana alone, but surely there are some about Shiva. How will we know which one refers to Vishnu or Shiva since Rudra is a name for both of them. Consider these verse:
    To Rudra bring these songs, whose bow is firm and strong, the self-dependent God with swiftly-flying shafts,The Wise, the Conqueror whom none may overcome, armed with sharp-pointed weapons: may he hear our call". (RV 7:46:1)
    and the verses from this page http://mahapashupatastra.blogspot.com/2011/08/tatwam-behind-rudra-deriving-strength.html
    Could you please inform me on how to identify the person it is referring to? Do we look at the great acharyas such as Sri Ramanuja and Sripad Madhva and their commentaries? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1) Please refer to the Rudra Suktam article in this blog.

      http://narayanastra.blogspot.com.au/p/blog-page_18.html

      2) There are various layers of interpretation of the Vedas. Some verses do praise Lord Siva, but these are ultimately the praises of Vishnu who is the antaryAmin. Otherwise, Krishna's statement in the Gita "vedaishca sarvair ahameva vedyaH" would be meaningless.

      Delete
  42. "You have mentioned that many of the verses in the Rig Veda refer to Narayana alone, but surely there are some about Shiva. How will we know which one refers to Vishnu or Shiva since Rudra is a name for both of them."

    >>> When Parabrahman is praised as "Rudra", it obviously refers to vishNu. Otherwise, it refers to pArvati pati. Context always determines who is being referred to. For instance, in the kenOpanishad, Indra, vAyu, etc are tested by Brahman in the form of a yakSha. Here the context establishes that Indra, etc are the devas and not names of Brahman, obviously. Similarly, pArvati pati is referred to in places where context indicates so.

    "To Rudra bring these songs, whose bow is firm and strong, the self-dependent God with swiftly-flying shafts,The Wise, the Conqueror whom none may overcome, armed with sharp-pointed weapons: may he hear our call"

    Bad translation not withstanding, this is, as already proven on this website, a praise of Sri Rama as VeerarAghava. As stated before, please refer the Rudra sukta commentary on this site.

    "Could you please inform me on how to identify the person it is referring to? Do we look at the great acharyas such as Sri Ramanuja and Sripad Madhva and their commentaries? Thanks"

    1) Check the commentaries of these AchAryAs.

    2) If they have not mentioned it, study the context. If the context is that of Paratva or praising the Supreme Brahman, it is vishNu. If not, it could be any other deity. Mostly in the second case, it is pArvati pati, but in some cases as demonstrated in the "BrahmaNas" section of the blog, even kAmadeva, indrIyAs and the mind are referred to as "Rudra".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you say "To Rudra bring these songs, whose bow is firm and strong, the self-dependent God with swiftly-flying shafts,The Wise, the Conqueror whom none may overcome, armed with sharp-pointed weapons: may he hear our call". (RV 7:46:1)"

      Assuming the above statement or translation is fine, We need to look at the word "Self-Dependent" more carefully.
      Rudra is self-Dependent, implying that, Rudra is dependent on his self, who is Lord Vishnu, who is the Antaryami of all the Jivas.
      So, Vishnu is the Antaryami (inner Self) of all Atmas and everything, is what this "Self Dependent" must be understood as.
      So perfectly in consonance with statement that every thing in Vedas refer to supremacy of the Lord Vishnu only, even though outwardly it appear to be glorifying other deities.

      To support this let me quote from the

      With offerings I propitiate the branches of this swift-moving God, the bounteous Vishnu.
      Hence Rudra gained his Rudra-strength: O Asvins, ye sought the house that hath celestial viands."" (Rig Veda 7.40.5)

      So, Rudra derives his Rudra strength from Vishnu [RV 7.40.5]

      When we look at these two statements 7.40.1 and 7.40.5 together from RG, it is very clear that
      Rudra derives his strength from his antaryami( inner self, who is none other than the Supreme Vishnu)

      Delete
    2. <<<<<<>>>>>>>

      Why the circular logic? Vedanta Desikan calls Rama as "asahAya shUra, anapahAya vIra" - one who defeats his enemies with his bow and arrows without any help. VishNu is self-dependent, or dependent on his own glory --> thus "svadhAvnE" or self-dependent refers to vishNu who is directly addressed as Rudra here.

      It is a reference to Rama only and not to Shiva or the antaryAmin.

      Delete
    3. <<<<<<<>>>>

      Why assume that it appears to glorify other deities? Outwardly as well, it is a direct praise of vishNu. The antaryAmin concept applies only in atharvasikha and pratardhana vidya where Indra and Rudra directly talk about their antaryAmin. The samhita portions only glorify vishNu directly by many names. "Ekam Sat..." rk itself says that.

      <<<<<<<>>>>>>

      It is 7.46.1 and 7.40.5. Why are you looking at these together? Take them seperately. 7.46.1 refers to Rama as Rudra. 7.40.5 refers to pArvati pati (Rudra) getting his strength from vishNu. The samhitas do not ever glorify devatas other than vishNu even indirectly.

      Please read the Satarudriyam and Rudra Sukta sections as suggested before for a clearer picture. "rudro bahushirA babhru:" says the sahasranAma. These are direct names of vishNu.

      Delete
    4. <<<<>>>>

      That's 7.46.1. In any case, no need to look at those together. They talk about two different tattvas. One is a direct praise of Rama as Rudra, and the other praises Vishnu as the one who gives strength to Parvati Pati (referred to as Rudra here).

      It seems to me that you have not yet understood how the veda is interpreted. There is no need to take an indirect approach when there is a palpable "direct" approach. "rudrO bahushIra babhru" is mentioned in the sahasranAma.

      The antaryAmin concept is only applied in the case of pratardhana vidya and atharvashika where Indra and Shiva refer to their antaryAmin respectively. And in some animal sacrifices where offerings are offered to the devas like vAyu, as well as in the shAnti mantras.

      The samhitas are purely praises of vishNu *directly* under different names. And going by epithets such as "wise", "conqueror" and "self-dependent", it is a reference to vishNu. The vedas never use such epithets for other devas because their vIryam/jnAnam, etc is negligible compared to nArAyaNa and the former would amount to nara-stuti, ie, praising karma vasyals.

      Delete
    5. I understand what you are saying, but some verses even diminish the "Vishnu" in the Vedas such as (I got this from the Pashupatastra blog)
      "Father of sacred chants, Soma flows onwards, the Father of the Earth, Father of the Celestial region: Father of Agni, the creator of Surya, the Father who gave birth to Indra and Vishnu" (Rig Veda IX.96.5)
      "sá yád dhruvā́ṃ díśam ánu vyácalad víṣṇur bhūtvā́nuvyàcalad virā́jam annādī́ṃ kr̥tvā́ |" (Atharva Veda 15:14:5)
      "He (Vrata/Shiva), when he went away to the stedfast region, went away having become Vishnu" (Atharva Veda 15:14:5)
      Is this just poor translation on his part, or is there another way to explain this? Thank you respected swami.

      Delete
    6. // "Father of sacred chants, Soma flows onwards, the Father of the Earth, Father of the Celestial region: Father of Agni, the creator of Surya, the Father who gave birth to Indra and Vishnu" (Rig Veda IX.96.5) //

      // "He (Vrata/Shiva), when he went away to the stedfast region, went away having become Vishnu" (Atharva Veda 15:14:5) //

      Please do not rely on the translation, rather rely on the mUla texts themselves.

      We have explained this mantra "somaH pavate..." in this article: http://narayanastra.blogspot.com.au/p/the-absurdity-of-shakta-interpretations.html

      In short, these mantras describe para-vAsudevan's avatAra as Vishnu among the devas.

      Delete
    7. By para-vAsudevan I mean the Lord of Vaikuntham who has an eternal auspicious form. He manifests Himself as Vishnu.

      Delete
  43. "Some verses do praise Lord Siva, but these are ultimately the praises of Vishnu who is the antaryAmin."

    As an addendum to what my friend wrote:

    1) Vedic mantras only praise Shiva as a jnAni who leads one to Brahman as in the Rudra gAyatri.

    2) Some mantras have Shiva himself referring to his antaryAmin in the vein of "aham brahmAsmi".

    3) Other mantras praise vishNu directly by calling him as "Rudra".

    Point blank, srI krishNa's statement in the Gita shows that ONLY Lakshmi-Narayana is praised everywhere in the veda. Even the various stories of other devas in the BrahmaNas ultimately culminate in some glorification of vishNu.

    ReplyDelete
  44. If Adi Shankarcharya was a Vaishnava, then Advaita would be considered a vaishnava philosophy right? If so, why have almost all the leaders of the sampradayas (Sripad Ramanuja, Madhva, etc) denounced it? Is it an anti-vaishnava philosophy then? This seems contradictory. You have mentioned that Adi Shankara glorified Vishnu, and it thus a vaishnava, But his philosophy does not seem to relate with the other sampradayas. Forgive me for offences, thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Read the Conclusion section again, especially the remark by Vedanta Desikan. Also read the Narayaneeyam Shloka, its translation into English, and the translation of the commentary on the same Shloka, under Truth# 5. These are authoritative statements.

      Adi Shankaracharya's philosophy was Advaita (which equates Jiva to Brahman in the paramArtha level). Only this was condemned by Ramanuja, Madhva, etc. Note that there was no debate about para-devata between Ramanuja/Madhva and the followers of Shankara.

      // You have mentioned that Adi Shankara glorified Vishnu, and it thus a vaishnava, But his philosophy does not seem to relate with the other sampradayas. //

      Adi Shankara did not just "glorify" Vishnu. He glorified Vishnu as the Supreme, and the only refuge, and that the worship of other devatAs leads to lesser results only. He also particularly praises the single-minded worship of Narayana by the bhAgavatas of Pancharatra sect, as 100% agreeable to shruti.

      Delete
    2. // But his philosophy does not seem to relate with the other sampradayas //

      That is true, however it won't make Adi Shankara a non-Vaishnava. For that matter, the philosophy of Madhva is against the philosophy of Ramanuja and vice-versa. Similarly, there are other Vaishnavas (Chaitanya, Nimbarka, Vallabhacharya, etc.) whose philosophy has some disagreements with Ramanuja and Madhva, in addition to Shankara. Does that make them non-Vaishnavas?

      By Vaishnava, I do not mean "follower of Ramanuja/Madhva". Rather, I mean "one who accepts Vishnu as the Supreme, and the only refuge, and that the worship of other devatAs leads to lesser results only." This is pretty much Shankara's position if you see his authentic works.

      Delete
    3. Ah, forgive me for my wrong ideas. Also, is the 4 sampradayas verse from the padma purana authentic? I have heard many Vaishnavas (especially Gaudiyas) using this verse to show that the sampradayas are the only authentic lineage in Kali Yuga.
      "vamanas vidhi sesah sanako visnu vakyatah
      dharmartha hetave caite bhavisyanti dvijah kalau
      visnusvami vamanamsas tatha madhvastu brahmanah
      ramanujas tu sesamsa nimbaditya sanakasya ca
      ete kalau yuge bhavyah sampradaya pravartakah
      samvatsare vikrama catvarah ksiti pavanah
      sampradaya vihina ye mantraste nisphalah smritah
      tasmac ca gamanam hy asti sampradaya narair api"

      Delete
    4. These verses could be later interpolations, as they are not quoted by pUrvAchAryas. Moreover, since there are points of disagreements between sampradAyas, only one sampradAya can be authentic, and this has to be decided based on proper analysis and not based on one's faith in what is allegedly told in a purANa.

      Delete
    5. Final question, and after this you'll be done with all my stupid questions :)
      Just by rendering devotional service to Lord Hari, regardless of sampradaya (Ramanuja, Madhva, Sankara), will it be possible to attain moksha? If we say that the Vishistadvaita is the "correct" philosophy , then will the Vaishnavas in other sampradayas also be eligible for Moksha, or will they not because they don't believe in the Vishishadvaita? I guess what I am getting at is that does your philosophy matter more than your theology (Will all Vaishnavas get Moksha regardless of sampradaya)? Thank you so much! I think that this is going off topic from the original topic of this blog, but I thought it would be important for me to understand if all Vaishnava lineages are legit and good enough to help you get liberation. Forgive me for my offences. I know that I have strayed away from the original topic, and so I will not ask any more questions.

      Delete
    6. Thank you for your question. I will answer as far as my understanding goes...

      Moksha is by the grace of bhagavAn ONLY and nothing else. I can not say whether the followers of other Vaishnava sampradAyas, or for that matter, Shaivas, Shaktas, Jains, Buddhists, mlecchas etc. are eligible for mOkSha or not, as this the decision is Lord Narayana alone. He can arbitrarily grant it to any jIvAtmA, regardless of the puNya/pApa karmas, body, and stature acquired by the jIvAtmA.

      Having said that, we maximize our chances (if I may say so) at Moksha if we follow the path recommended for it, i.e., Vaishnavism and the proper rules of conduct in the dharma-shAstras like Manu Smriti, Yajnavalkya Smriti, etc.

      Srivaishnavas follow what is in the shAstras and strive at a correct understanding of the tattvas, just to please Him only and for us to enjoy diving and bathing in His qualities. They engage in debates with other sampradAyas because incorrect understanding of Him and the tattvas poses an impediment to this enjoyable experience and relationship with the Lord, for those who are gullible. This again, was seen by them as as part of their divine service to the Lord.

      Theology is more important than philosophy in the sense that we must first be bhaktas/devotees first. Lord Krishna says in the bhagavad gItA final few verses that one should never teach the Philosophy to those who do not consider Him as their Lord.

      The Lord also says that a firm conviction in the mind of the person that "Krishna/Vishnu/Narayana alone is the cause of all,and that He alone is the sole refuge" cleanses that person gradually even though that person is not following the shAstras correctly. So even if there are Vaishnavas with incorrect understanding of philosophy, they will be gradually led to the correct understanding if the Lord sees a necessity for that.

      Sri vaishnavas believe that there are bhAgavatas who are jnAnIs of the highest order, ie, vishishtadvaitins. Hiwever, those who have less knowledge of the tattvas but still acknowledge vishNu as bhagavAn are also called mahAtmas out of respect by our acharyas.

      The only thing is that one should not, while claiming to be a Vaishnava, harbor any ill will, lend oneself to stupidity, or stubbornness while undertaking philosophical study.

      Delete
    7. Thank you sir. I am very happy after reading your responses and the rest of the blog. Looking forward to future articles. As the previous Anonymous stated, you are doing a great service to ALL the vaishnavas and to Bhagavan himself. May this blog bring pleasure to Shriman Narayana, the undisputed master of all! Jai Shri Krishna!

      Delete
    8. Dear swami
      you said "Moksha is by the grace of bhagavAn ONLY and nothing else. I can not say whether the followers of other
      Vaishnava sampradAyas,or for that matter, Shaivas, Shaktas, Jains, Buddhists, mlecchas etc.
      are eligible for mOkSha or not, as this the decision is Lord Narayana alone.
      He can arbitrarily grant it to any jIvAtmA, regardless of the puNya/pApa karmas, body, and stature
      acquired by the jIvAtmA."

      Looking at the following statements from Gitabhasya of Shankara ( Iam quoting Adi shankara
      here just because others who are non-vaishnavaites have no trouble. For vaishnavaites,
      Ramanujar's and Madhva's Gita Bhasya by default say that it is Vishnu alone can give Moksha)

      For, men of wisdom, possessing evenness of mind, cast
      off the fruit of wor ks i.e., escape from good and bad births.
      They then attain knowledge. While still alive, they are
      released from the bond of birth, and attain the supreme
      abode of Vishnu-the state of moksha or liberation... which
      is free from all turmoils (Chapter 7-verse 21)

      My highest place.
      That: that A vyakta which is called Akshara, the 1m pe-
      Tishable, the Unmanifested Being. Having reached that state,
      none has returned to sam-sara, the mundane life. That is My
      (i.e., Vishnu's) Supreme Abode.
      The means of attaining to that state will now be pointed
      out: (Abhyasa yoga - verse 21)


      The votaries of the Gods, those whose devotion and
      vows are directed to the Gods, go to the Gods. The votaries
      of the Pitrls such as the Agnishvattas, engaged in performing
      sraddha and other rites in devotion to the Pitris, go to the
      Pitris. The Bhutas are the Vinayakas the hosts of Matris,
      the four Bhaginis and the Like (Mother worshippers). My worshippers, i.e
      Visnu's votaries or Vishnu Worshippers, alone come to Myself. Notwithstanding the
      equality of trouble, people do not worship Me alone, because
      of their ignorance. therefore they attain very small results .
      .... As the Vasus and other Devatas to whom the sacrifices are offered,
      I am the Enjoyer of all sacrifices; and as the Antaryamin, as the Inner
      Regulator of the Universe, I am the Lord of all sacrifices.
      Others Not having dedicated their actions to Me, they return to this world
      from the region to which they attain as the result of their sacrifice.

      The worship of the Gods is not quite useless. The worshippers
      'do attain results suited to the form of worship, but they have to return
      to this world after a time. (Chapter 9 -Verse 25)


      It is very clear that only the worshippers of Vishnu alone attain the true Moksha and not the worshippers of other deities.
      The last line of the Chapter 9 -Verse 25, reinforces it once and for all.
      Though Lord Vishnu is the Supreme and sarvaswatantra and can grant moksha arbitrarily to any one and everyone,
      he wouldn't do that because it will be very against his own words in Bhavagad Geetha. Lord Vishnu wouldn't trangress his own promises, though he is not bound by anything. It is like Lord Krishna getting bound by Yashoda using a small rope, though he cannot be bound by anything..

      There could be a few exceptions which we don't know, but, in general, Only
      Vishnu worshippers can attain the ultimate Moksham is very clear from above statements of Bhavagad Gita.

      Adiyen

      Delete
  45. “Om trayambakam yajamahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam l
    Urvarukaniva vandana mrutyormokshiya mamrutam ll” .(Rig Veda 7.59.12)

    This mantra refutes all your Vaishnavism saying Rudra is jiva and can't give liberation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr. K. Singh,

      What you are saying is silly and contradicts various statements in various shAstras and statements by Adi Shankara himself which say Rudra is a Jiva and can not grant liberation. Tryambaka refers to Narasimha also.

      The mantra you quoted is a praise of Vishnu/Guru who is a Vaishnava. See the Rudram commentary page. All vedas praise Vishnu only.

      Delete
    2. // This mantra refutes all your Vaishnavism //

      Silly remark... Veda is 100% Vaishnava only. What you are saying is that the Veda is refuting itself.

      Delete
    3. @ K Singh ji, it is not that easy to refute Vaishnavism, if it is possible. This blog has shown many times that the names of the husband of Parvati are applied to Lord Narasinghadev.
      However, by K Singh's comment, some questions have popped up in my mind and I wish HBB could answer them.
      1) If the Maha-Mrityanjaya mantra refers to Lord Narasinghadev, then it is okay for Vaishnavas to chant it daily?
      2) I read one story where Markandeya Rsi chanted the Maha-Mrityanjaya mantra and eventually Lord Shiva saved him from Yamaraja. Is this how the story actually went or did I read the text wrong?
      3) All your interpretations (about Sri Rudram as a hymn to Narayana and others), are they endorsed by Ramanuja and Madhva and other acharyas? Sorry if this question sounds rude, but I showed this blog to friends and they questioned the authenticity of your views.
      Thank you for answering my questions. Jai Shri Krishna

      Delete
    4. I can answer for HBB, if you don't mind.

      Although Tryamabaka is a name of Narasimha, the mahA mrityunjaya mantra uses that name to denote the guru or AchAryA. Please see the vyAkhyAna. In that context, "Tryambaka" means One who knows the 3 vedas and refers to the omniscient guru.

      1) Yes, you can chant the Rudram, mahA-mrityunjaya mantrA, etc if you have the correct understanding that it refers to Narasimha. Even pradOsham is an auspicious day for Narasimha first and foremost. Nothing wrong in incorporating it as a nityAnusandhAnam. Azhwars have often said that the samhitAs must be chanted by brahmaNas daily.

      Not just Rudram, any and every sUkta in the samhita, be it Indra, Agni, vAyu, Rudra sUkta, etc can be chanted.

      2) mArkandEya maharishi wanted immortality and youth. He approached shiva at that time as he was a devotee of Shiva and did not have knowledge of Brahman. Shiva himself informed mArkandEya that this is possible only by the grace of vishNu (this is mentioned in the bhAgavata purAna as well). Thus, mArkandEya became a vishNu bhakta. His knowledge became complete when he saw, at the time of praLaya, bhagavAn nArAyaNa lying on a banyan leaf, swallowing all the worlds. He even saw bhagavAn swallow brahma and rudra (eko ha vai nArAyaNa AsIt, na brahma, nEshaNa).

      From then on, mArkandEya realised the paratva of vishNu in totality.

      3) Our interpretations are based on the commentary of srI ranga rAmAnuja muni, a revered AchArya in the tradition of srI rAmAnuja. He has commented on the mantras of Rudram occuring in the svEtAsvatAra and also some notes on the narasimha tApanIya as well as all the mantras you see in the "Rudra in the Upanishads" article.

      All the articles here have been written after receiving feedback from vidwAns like srI U.Ve sthalasayanAchAriar swami, srI velukkudi swami and srI mudaliAndan swami. We have only followed the works of pUrvAchAryAs.

      Delete
    5. As a further proof, which we will be incorporating in the blog, here is a portion of the Narasimha Purana, one of the sAttvika upa-purAnAs quoted by srI adi shankara himself. In this section, the rishi Markandeya praises Bhagavan Narasimha in a manner similar to Sri Rudram. I have translated that portion as follows:

      MARKANDEYA'S PRAISE OF NARASIMHA IN NARASIMHA PURANA

      prasIdAdhya mahAdEva prasIda mama kEshavaH: jaya kAla jayEshAna jaya sarva namOstutE|jaya shankara dEvEsha jaya shrIsha namOstutE jaya sarvagurO| jayE jaya shambhO namOstutE||lOkanAtha namOstutE vIrabhadra namOstutE| namas shivAya dEvAya namOstutE bhuvanEshwara||tvaM shivasa tvaM vasurdhAta tvaM brahma tvaM surEshvara: | tvaM yamasa tvaM ravirvAyur tvaM jalaM tvaM dhanEshwara nAthOsmI manasA nityaM nArAyaNamanAmayaM varadaM kAmadaM kAnthaManantaM sRnutaM shivam||

      Meaning: Narasimha! Purify me, O great Lord for whom the devas are mere playthings (mahAdEva) and delight me with your auspicious attributes, O Master of Brahma and Rudra (kEshava). Salutations to the destroyer (kAla), to the controller of all (iShAna), to the supremely omniscient One who is the creator and destroyer of all (sarva). Salutations to One who provides bliss to his devotees (Shankara) as the Lord of his devotees (dEvEsha). Salutations to the Lord of SrI mahAlakshmi (shrIsha). Salutations to the best of teachers (sarvaguru). Salutations to One who is of the form of victory (jaya) and to the One who causes happiness by his beauty (Shambhu). Salutations to the Lord of the Vedas (lOkanAtha) and to One who possesses auspicious ability to change others while himself remaining unchanged (vIrabhadra) . Salutations to the conferrer of auspiciousness (shivAya), to the affectionate (dEvAya) and to the Lord of the worlds (bhuvanEshwara).

      You are Shiva, You are Kashyapa, You are Brahma, You are Indra, You are Yama, You are Surya, You are vAyu, You are the waters, You are Kubera. You are the ruler of my mind, which is always immersed in nArAyaNa, the bestower of desirable boons, that are of a nature of unbounded bliss, the destroyer of ignorance and of an auspicious nature.

      ---

      That should clarify all doubts.

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  46. Just to add on Markandeya episode, being protected by Shiva.
    Narasimha Purana which is considered satvika Upa-Purana by Adi shankara, clearly has a entire section where Markandeya prays to Lord Narasimha, for protection from death. This mantra is actually said to be the Maha Mrtyunjaya Mantra. Markandeya was initiated into this mantra by his ancestor, Sage Bhrigu.
    Also, Just because Siva has three eves doen't mean that tryambakam refers to Siva only. Infact, Lord Narasimha has three eyes and it has clearly mentioned on the blog too at various sections and also in many authentic scriptures.
    Sage Bhrigu too, had three eyes and Markandeya belongs to Bhrigu vamsam....
    So, should we simply understand that Markandeya prayed to his ancestor bhrigu (meaning triyambakam here) and was saved from death...
    Also, Indra has 1000 eyes, then he should be supreme god, because 1000 eyes includes three eyes too...
    So, keeping aside all the illogical arguments, provided to support Siva, the Mrtyunjaya Mantra refers only to Lord Narayana, more specifically to Lord Narasimha only.
    Lord Narayana alone is the supreme god mentioned in all Vedas (shruti), smritis, ithihasas, puranas etc who can grant moksha.
    This is made crystal clear by Adi Shankara's commentary on Bhavagad Gita, Chapter 9 - Verse 25. This content is also provided in the comments above...Adi Shankara categorically states in his BG commentory, that only worshippers of Vishnu get Moksha (saved from infinite cycles of birth and death). I know, shaivates and shaktas cannot digest this and will keep making wild illogical statements.They will keep on twisting and breaking all the scriptures because, it hurts there ego to accept Lord Vishnu's supremacy..

    Thanks


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you sir, do you know how I could subscribe to this blog for future articles?

      Delete
    2. Please send us a message using the "Contact Us" page remembering to include your emailaddress. We will personally nnotify you of any updates.

      Delete
    3. Let me clarify. I am "anonymous", co-author of the blog. From now on, I will use this moniker.

      The person who posted the comment about bhrigu and Indra having a 1000 eyes was not me, but another reader of the blog. As he too used the anonymous name, it got confused with my post. My post ended with the slokas from narasimha purana where bhagavan is praised by markandeya with several names.

      Regarding his view, let me state that to our knowledge, Bhrigu, despite having a third eye, is not the referrent of the mahA mrityunjaya mantra. Whatever was posted by that reader is his opinion, of course.

      It is only Narasimha who is Tryambaka. And in the mahAmrityunjaya mantra, the name refers to an AchAryA.

      Secondly, the comment regarding Indra with a 1000 eyes, etc is not relevant to the issue at hand. What is important is that Tryambaka is mentioned to grant moksha and this refers to the guru.

      Hope this clarifies everything.

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    4. ADD: It is the opinion of the authors that the mahAmrityunjaya mantra refers to the AchArya who leads the chEtana to moksha. Tryambaka is indeed a name of Narasimha, but he is not the referrent of the mahAmeityunjaya mantra in the vedas.

      However, it is Narasimha who is the referrent of the Narasimha purana section where Markandeya praises him.

      My name here shall be Aaryamaa from now on, for the sake of identification.

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    5. Dear Aryamaa swami,
      It appears my post on mahamrutyunjaya mantram was misunderstood....

      [Aryamaa] Bhrigu, despite having a third eye, is not the referrent of the mahA mrityunjaya mantra. Whatever was posted by that reader is his opinion, of course.
      Absolutely agree with you. I wanted to say that just because some one has three eyes doesn't mean that he or she can be considered as Triyambak and cannot be concluded as supreme god. Keeping this in mind, why only Siva, even Bhrigu or Indra have 3 or more than three eyes can be considered as the supreme god...So, just wanted to convey that Triyambaka is not proprietary property of Siva. More appropriately it is applicable to Lord Narayana, the Supreme, more appropriately. Hope this clears the misunderstanding.

      I think , Narasimha Purana does say that Mrtyunjaya mantram was given to Markandeya by Bhrigu and Markandeya prayed to Lord Narasimha and the same prayer also goes by Mrtyunjaya mantram...I have to check it again, as i don't have narasimha purana currently in my possesion.

      Sorry, in case my earlier posting created some confusion.

      Adiyen

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    6. Dear sir,
      Just to add from Narayaneeyam, Narayana bhattadri (follower of Adi Shankara) says in Canto 97

      Vesre 4:

      तं चैनं भक्तियोगं द्रढयितुमयि मे साध्यमारोग्यमायु-
      र्दिष्ट्या तत्रापि सेव्यं तव चरणमहो भेषजायेव दुग्धम् ।
      मार्कण्डेयो हि पूर्वं गणकनिगदितद्वादशाब्दायुरुच्चै:
      सेवित्वा वत्सरं त्वां तव भटनिवहैर्द्रावयामास मृत्युम् ॥

      Meaning : O Lord! In order to get firmly established in Bhakti Yoga, I need good health and long life. Fortunately, to achieve this also, service at Thy feet is to be done. Wonderful it is that the medicine is milk only. Long ago, Maarkandeya was told by an astrologer that his life span was of twelve years only. He worshipped intensely at Thy feet for one year and when death approached, it was driven away by Thy emissaries.

      This clearly indicates that Sage Markandeya prayed to Lord Narayana/Vishnu/Narasimha and was saved from death and not by Siva as claimed by Saivtes and Saiva Puranas. The verse 9 from Canto 97 reinforces the same.

      Verse 9:

      गौर्या सार्धं तदग्रे पुरभिदथ गतस्त्वत्प्रियप्रेक्षणार्थी
      सिद्धानेवास्य दत्वा स्वयमयमजरामृत्युतादीन् गतोऽभूत् ।
      एवं त्वत्सेवयैव स्मररिपुरपि स प्रीयते येन तस्मा-
      न्मूर्तित्रय्यात्मकस्त्वं ननु सकलनियन्तेति सुव्यक्तमासीत् ॥

      Siva, along with Parvati went to Maarkandeya, desirous of seeing Thy (Lord Vishnu's) devotee. Siva gave the boons of freedom from old age and death etc., without being asked for, which the sage had already acquired by his penance. In this manner, Siva was also pleased by the worship of Thee alone. This also clearly shows that Lord Narayana is trinity's self including that of Siva, Bramha , and also the inner controller of all.

      This clarifies that Markandeya was saved by Lord Vishnu.
      The portions of saivaite puranas which claim Siva as the saviour are thus proved to be bogus by Adi Shankara's follower, himself...

      Rgds
      VM

      Delete
  47. Dear sir
    Just one question I have understood that the na karma in narayana a proper noun so it would make krishna a proper noun as well right? But doesn't krishna mean black etc.
    Please clarify this doubt
    Thank you...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That rule applies to compound words only and the rule isn't simple.

      Basically the rule first says that if na (as in nadii - river) occurs immediately after ra or Sha without any vowel or consonant in between then it changes to Na (as in puNya). The second rule is a relaxation saying that the ra/Sha and the na can have certain vowel-consonant combination for the na to still be able to change to Na.

      So far, the rules apply to simple words only and not compounds. The next rule deals with compound words. For na in the suffix to change to Na in the compound due to a ra or Sha in the prefix, the normal rules apply under the following additional conditions:

      1) The compound must be a proper name i.e, not be interpreted as an adjective using etymology.

      2) The prefix of the compound must not have the letter 'ga'.

      Let us now understand this using Krsna and Narayana. The former is not a compound and hence it need not be a proper noun for na to become Na. The latter is a compound (nAra+ayana) and is ALSO a proper name and has no 'ga' in the prefix. Hence the na changes to Na again but the reason is different.

      Please consult someone who is an expert in Sanskrit grammar if the information I gave is insufficient.

      Delete
  48. Addendum: l meant the na - kaaram in Narayana makes it a proper noun as per Panini's Ashtadhyayi. So can Krishna which also includes na - kaaram be a proper noun?

    ReplyDelete
  49. How can Vaisnavas counter the claim that Shiva was not in the Visvaroopa? Is it just bad translation on their part or are they Saivas hiding something? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a frivolous objection. Ramanuja has clearly shown that Siva was seen in the Visvaroopa.

      Even if we accept that Siva was not in the Visvaroopa for the sake of the argument, it does not in any way prove Siva is supreme. Even Shankara, who has not explicitly stated that "Siva was seen in the Visvaroopa" shows in many places in his authentic works that Shiva/Rudra is subordinate to Vishnu.

      Delete
    2. In Bhagavad Gita chapter 11; Vishwaroopa darshan yoga chapter;

      Chapter 11;Verse:6

      पश्यादित्यान्वसून्रुद्रानश्विनौ मरुतस्तथा |
      बहून्यदृष्टपूर्वाणि पश्याश्चर्याणि भारत || ११ ६ ||

      pashyaadityaanvasuun.hrudraan ashvinau marutastathaa !
      bahuunyadR^ishhTapuurvaaNi pashyaashcharyaaNi bhaarata !!

      General Meaning:

      Behold the Adityas, the Vasus, the Rudras, the two Ashvins and the Maruts. Behold, O Arjuna, many marvels never seen before.

      Sri Ramanujacharya's Commentary english translation :

      “Behold in My single form the twelve Adityas, eight Vasus, eleven Rudras , the two Ashvins and forty-nine Maruts.” — this is merely illustrative the meaning being — “Behold all those things directly perceived in this world and those described in the Scriptures, and also many marvels, not seen before in all the worlds and not mentioned in any of the Scriptures.”

      So, it is clear from this that all Rudras are present and Siva is one of those. This is further reinforced by the verse 15

      Chapter 11- Verse 15

      अर्जुन उवाच |
      पश्यामि देवांस्तव देव देहे
      सर्वांस्तथा भूतविशेषसङ्घान् |
      ब्रह्माणमीशं कमलासनस्थं
      ऋषींश्च सर्वानुरगांश्च दिव्यान् || ||

      arjuna uvaacha
      pashyaami devaa.nstava deva dehe
      sarvaa.nstathaa bhuutavisheshhasaN^ghaan.h
      brahmaaNamiishaM kamalaasanasthaM
      R^ishhii.nshcha sarvaanuragaa.nshcha divyaan.h

      General Meaning :
      Arjuna said:
      I behold, O Lord, in Your body all the gods and all the diverse hosts of
      beings, Brahma, Siva who is in Brahma, the sages and the gleaming serpents.


      Sri Ramanujacharya's Gita bhasya commentary english translation:

      “O Lord! I can see in Your Cosmic Body all the gods and every category of living being as also Brahma, the four-faced creator of the universe. So too, Siva (îsam kamalåsanastham) who abides in the lotus-seated-Brahma; meaning that Siva follows the instructions of Brahma. So also all the seers of whom the divine seers are the foremost; and refulgent dragons like Vasuki, Takshaka etc.

      It is very clear from the above verses, that Siva/Rudra etc are present in the Viswaroopam of the Lord. The highlight is Rudra and or Siva is miniscule part of the Viswaroopam of Lord Narayana/Krishna. That too Siva is within Bramha, indicating that, Siva is inferior to Bramha, too...

      Rgds
      VM

      Delete
    3. Siva inferior to Brahma? I always heard that Siva was still greater than Brahma?

      Delete
    4. Yes Siva is subordinate to Brahma (I would only use the word 'inferior' to compare baddha-jIvas against paramAtmA). Siva is the son of Brahma and abides by Brahma's orders. This is stated even in the Mahabharata. There are innumerable proofs for this.

      Please read the following two pages:

      http://narayanastra.blogspot.com.au/p/interpretation-of-brahmanas-not-easy.html
      http://narayanastra.blogspot.com.au/p/blog-page_17.html

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    5. We have explained this in the upcoming article on viSvarUpa in detail. As I said before, please wait for it.

      I will just clarify one thing here. Shiva is indeed subordinate to Brahma. He is known as "Mahadeva" because he is greater than all of the devas except Brahma and Vishnu. Shaivas and even some vaiShnavas think Shiva is greater than Brahma because he cut off the head of Brahma and also because Brahma has praised Shiva in the Bhagavatam.

      Contd in next post....

      Delete
    6. Contd from previous...

      But the fact is, the incident of Shiva cutting Brahma's head off was in an accidental fit of rage and he incurred brahma hatya dOsha for it when Brahma cursed him. Secondly, the stutis of Shiva by Brahma are only in praise of the fact that Shiva has become a great jnAni. Shruti says "brahmaNa putrAya jyEshtAya srEshtAya" - this son of Brahma, ie, Shiva is the eldest son and most excellent in knowledge.

      Shiva obtained this knowledge only through the instructions and teachings of Brahma. Even in Tripura Samharam, Shiva does not ascend the chariot constituted by the vedas until Brahma says "ascend". Inner meaning - Brahma is the acharyan without whose permission, the sishya, ie, Shiva, caanot commence brahma vidya.

      Brahma encouraged Shiva to perform tapas when the latter was born. That Shiva, due to this advice of Brahma, has become the foremost devotee of vishNu and a yOgi through his tapas. Thus, like any loving father, Brahma is proud of his son and performs stuti. And in a vaidika tradition, if the son excels the father in knowledge, it is proper for the father to pay respects to the son too. Hence, Brahma does offer respects to Shiva. This is similar to how the mother of srI parAsara bhattar, an acharya in the sri vaishnava tradition, took the sripAda teertha (water from washing the feet) of her own son, who was great in jnAna. And since Brahma is his father and guru, Shiva too offers respects to Brahma.

      Delete
    7. More will be explained in the viSvarUpa article.

      Delete
  50. There is an article coming up on this viSvarUpa issue. Please wait for it.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Adding to Aaryamaa's informative response,

    // Even in Tripura Samharam, Shiva does not ascend the chariot constituted by the vedas until Brahma says "ascend". //

    In the Karna Parva of Mahabharata where the Tripurasura story is detailed, Shiva asks for a charioteer who was greater than him and accepts Brahma as his charioteer. This has been explained in our article about Bodhendra Saraswathi's objections (See Page List to the left or the Sitemap section of this Blog).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also from the chapter 11 vesre 15 of Bhagavad Gita :

      Adi shankara Gita bhasya is as follows

      pasyamy upalabhe he deva, tava dehe devan sarvan, tatha bhuta-visesa-samghan bhuta-visesanam
      sthavara-jangamanam nana-samsthana-visesanam samgha bhuta-visesa-samghas tan, kim ca –
      brahmanam catur-mukham isam isitaram prajanam kamalasana-stham prthivi-padma-madhye meru-
      karnikasana-stham ity arthah | rsims ca vasisthadin sarvan, uragams ca vasuki-prabhrtin divyän
      divi bhavan ||

      The line "isam isitaram prajanam kamalasana-stham" clearly indicates, Siva is also present within the viswaroopa darshanam. It is simple to gauge what it means?.
      But, i know there are english translations available in the market and others who try play with the sanskrit words and try to indicate that there is no "Siva" and ascribe the word "Isam" word to Caturmukha Bramha. This is because they cannot accept the truth, that Siva is miniscule part of the Lord..But, unfortunately, if you look at the actual sanskrit commentry of Adi shankara, Isa is within the Viswaroopam....

      Also, for the verse 6 of the chapter 11, Adi shankara commentary is as follows, which only complements the verse 11:


      pasyadityan dvadasa | vasun astau | rudran ekadasa | asvinau dvau | marutah sapta-sapta-gana ye tan |
      tatha ca bahuny anyany apy adrsta-purvani manusya-loke tvaya tvatto nyena va kenacit |
      pasyacaryany adbhutani bharata ||

      All ekadsa Rudras are present (All 11 Rudras are present and Siva is one among the Ekadasa rudras as per all the sanskrit scriptures, how ever hard saivaites and shaktas might try to disgree and concoct various stories).

      So, the conclusion has to be even by Adi Shankara's commentary, Siva is within the Viswaroopam of Lord Narayana/Krishna. There is no contradiction..

      Rgds,
      VM


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    2. The word 'Isam' explained as 'Iśitāram prajānām' is the epithet for brahmā. Śiva is not to be taken as the 'Iśa'. In the BG 15.17 bhāṣyam Śankara says:
      उत्तमः पुरुषस्त्वन्यः परमात्मेत्युदाहृतः ।
      यो लोकत्रयमाविश्य बिभर्त्यव्यय ईश्वरः ॥ १७ ॥

      ईश्वरः सर्वज्ञः नारायणाख्यः ईशनशीलः ॥ Thus, Iśa does not refer to Śiva but to brahmā only. Ḥe is prajāpati and thus can be justly said to be the one referred to here. Other commentators have said: Even though brahmā is also a 'ḍeva' yet owing to his being the creator of 'deva-s' he is being specified separately. Moreover, after saying 'brahmāṇam' who is 'kamal'asanatha' one would not put Śiva in the middle as 'Īśam'. It would be a rather bad construction on the part of Veda vyAsa/bhagavān.

      subbu

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    3. 1) The issue of why "Isam" refers to Shiva and not Brahma has been settled to satisfaction by srI rAmAnuja. The reason why "Isam" occurs in the middle is as follows - the sloka is "brahmanam isam kamalAsana-stham" - So, first it refers to the names of the deities - Brahma and Shiva - then, it refers to where they are seated respectively - Brahma is seated in the lotus that sprouts from the navel of vishNu (and hence abides by vishNu) and Shiva is seated in the lotus seated Brahma (thus, Shiva abides by Brahma). Thus, even the anvaya kramam makes perfect sense. "kamalAsana-stham" is explained by AchAryan as ishaM kamalasana-sthaM kamalasane brahmani sthitam IshaM for this purpose.

      2) Even if "Isam" is not taken as Shiva, he is certainly in the viSvarUpa as Brahma is the lord of all prajas including Shiva as per Adi Shankara's brihadAraNyaka upanishad bhAshyam itself where the Acharya says paShupati was created in the kshatriya varga.

      3) This much for the correct interpretation. However, the focus was not to prove which acharya's interpretation was correct, but only that all acharyas had the same intent - ie, Krishna was Parabrahman and Shiva was not.

      As we have made it pretty clear in the article, no matter which interpretation is adopted, the meaning is very clear - nArAyaNa is the parabrahman and brahma/rudra are jivAs. This is the opinion of trimaTha AchAryAs. And you have also made Adi Shankara's opinion very clear indeed - ईश्वरः सर्वज्ञः नारायणाख्यः ईशनशीलः

      Delete
    4. As an addendum, we agree that Adi Shankara indeed said "Isam" refers to Brahma. That previous person who commented had misconstrued Shankara's commentary and we had pointed it out earlier (read subsequent comment by Humble Bhagavata Bandhu below). In case you are referring to it.

      Delete
  52. Actually even bhagabAn is present within his own viSvarUpa. Those who argue that someone is "outside" the viSvarUpa does not understand what viSvarUpa is. Simply put, viaSvam - the Universe is his rUpam - body. Brahman has the universe consisting of nitya and leela vibhutIs as his body. Hence, even the para, vyUha, vibhava forms like para-vAsudeva, rAma, krishNa, etc appear in the viSvarUpa since nArAyaNa who bears the universe also appears in the universe out of his own will. So regardless of supremacy, everything that exists, including Brahman, is seen in the viSvarUpa.

    BhagavAn however, chose to hide certain things from Arjuna. He did not show paramapada in viSvarUpa. And he hid Abhimanyu's death as well because if Arjuna saw his own son going into the viSvarUpa's mouth, he would quit fighting. That is why Arjuna says "I see bhishma, drona, etc" separately, but then says "I see some from our side getting killed". srI rAmAnuja and srI desika say that bhagavAn did not show who among the pAndavAs were getting killed as clearly as he showed the kauravAs.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Dear Aaryamaa,
    I totally agree with you.
    Though my math is not so good, may be, we can say the biggest circle not only engulfs all the smaller circles but also it self. Hope the analogy is fine...Else, forgive me.
    Thanks a lot for letting me know, that Acharya Sarvabhoumar Sri Ramanujar's views and Sri Vedanta Desikar's views on the Bhagavan hiding a few aspects of Vishwaroopam from Arjuna.
    I recently found that similar views about the Arjuna able to see only some aspects of vishwaroopam (though not exactly matching our acharyas views) in Sri Madhvacharya's Gita bhasya and Tatparya Nirnaya translated into english by Nagesh.C.Sonde..

    For the chapter 11 verses-43 – 44 – 45 - 46 - tatparya Nirnaya of Madhvacharya

    "The supreme Lord is known as “Vishvam”, the pervador because of the entirety of His attributes, thus in Padma Puraana. This Universal form has been seen by no other person earlier excepting you (Arjuna) now, since he is endowed with the body of Indra. This is not to say that no one has seen in earlier times, but no one earlier was it displayed as much as Arjuna has been done. The universal form was seen first by the four-faced Brahma, thereafter to a limited extent by Rudra, to further limited extent by Indra. Therefore Arjuna could see only as much as Indra saw in earlier times. Thereafter others also saw to the limited extent, each according to their capability, thus, in Brahmanda Puraana."

    Also, in the same the Tatparya Nirnaya , for the Verses 11-17, english translation; goes as

    Rudra was settled, on the lap of Brahma, Brahma was sheltered in the lotus emanating from Sri Vishnu and various gods were established in the various parts of Hari, thus in Padma Puraana.

    So, Rudra is under the control of Bramha, who is under the control of Lord Hari.

    Rgds,
    VM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Shri VM,

      Though your comment is well-intentioned, we believe your interpretation of Shankara Bhashyam is incorrect.

      "brahmanam catur-mukham isam isitaram prajanam kamalasana-stham prthivi-padma-madhye meru-
      karnikasana-stham ity arthah"

      Here, Shankara explains "Isham" etymologically as "IshitAram prajAnAM" meaning "one who rules over the prajAs". We need to also note that unlike Madhva and Ramanuja, Shankara explains "kamalAsanasthaM" as a descriptor of the chaturmukha-brahma only, as "pRthvI-padma-madhye meru-karnikasanastham ityarthaH", meaning one who is seated on the lotus of the Meru parvata in the middle of pR^ithvI.

      We need to take care to avoid giving wrong interpretations, lest our opponents brand us unfavorably.

      Having said that, there are ample evidences in Shankara's work to show that Rudra is subordinate to Vishnu in Shankara's thought.

      Regards,
      HBB

      Delete
  54. Dear sirs,
    In Satpatha Brahmana, there is an incident of Vishnu's head being cut off due to gnawing of his bow string by ants. How will we interpret this incident as literally it shows the dismantling of parambrahma's shariram.
    The verses are (14.1.1.1-11) of Satpatha Brahmana. It is similar to the story of Hayagriva avatara as mentioned in devi purana,etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even Sayana explains that the "vishNu" refers to the yajamAna and not the devata vishNu. Here is an explanation we had given earlier for this on another site:

      Sayana's commentary is in a sense that the yajamAna called 'Vishnu' because that he pervades the yajna prayoga. He also provides another meaning, that the yajamAna is called 'Vishnu' out of courtesy (aupacArikam) in the sense that the entire jagat is said to be Vishnu.

      Actually Rudra is the one who got beheaded, as per the sarva-shAka-pratyaya-nyAya.

      Note, Sayana is not of our tradition, but even this view is acceptable to us. So as far as Vaidika traditions are concerned, this anecdote is explained in a very satisfactory manner.

      Delete
  55. Namaste,

    I am Lakshminarayana and I am completely amazed by your scholarship and efforts. I might comment on this section later when I digest everything that has been written, but hats off to your scholarship.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Respected Shri Lakshminarayana,

      Thank you for the appreciation. I will await your comments eagerly.

      Delete
  56. Dear Aryama sir,
    Could you please explain what exactly is sarva-shAka-pratyaya-nyAya and why is Rudra the one who got actually beheaded?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On the basis of analysing the shAstra.

      There is a story in the brahmaNas quoted by the Acharyas belonging to srI rAmAnuja's tradition. Once, Rudra stood with his bow drawn, terrorizing the devas and threatening that he would sever their heads. Indra then assumed the form of a termite and gnawed the ends of the bowstring. The bow snapped back, severing Rudra's head (he had 5 heads back then) into pieces.

      Nampillai quotes this incident and adds "whether the bow helps or hinders Rudra, it is all due to vishNu who is the antaryAmin". The acharyan's statement is explained as follows - the bow wielded by Rudra helped him in his fight against the tripurAsurAs. In the brahmaNas, his bow actually resulted in his head getting chopped off. This shows that the valor and prowess of Rudra are due to vishNu's grace, as the latter is the antaryAmin of Rudra. When vishNu is pleased with the actions of Rudra, that bow of Rudra will do extraordinary acts like defeating tripurAsurAs. When vishNu does not approve of a course of action taken by Rudra (such as threatening the devas), that bow will turn on its master.

      Delete
  57. I would like to say some words in connection with your quotes from the shānkara bhāṣyam:

    // "Supreme Lord with with the name nArAyaNa" (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad bhAShya, 3.7.3) [BrUBhS:1].

    This is a part of the shānkara bhāṣyam for the subsequent mantra concluding that section: 3.7.25: Here Shankara is raising the question: one might think that the niyantA (antaryAmin) is different and the niyamya (the controlled) is different. To remove this doubt/question the mantra itself says: नान्योऽस्ति द्रष्टा ; तथा नान्योऽतोऽस्ति श्रोता ... It is well known that in Advaita the aikyam is at the level of nirguNa brahman and not saguNa brahman. So, the nārāyaṇa that Śankara is referring to in the earlier bhashyam is essentially nirguṇa chaitanyam. This feature can be seen in many of his bhāṣyams like for instance the Taittiryam too where after explaining the praveśa shruti in great detail, Śankara concludes that praveśa means: the availability of that Consciousness as seer, hearer, knower, etc. in the jiva. So, by the mere name 'nārāyaṇa' it would by wrong to conclude that for Śankara the Supreme is Viṣṇu the saguṇa brahman, the vaikunṭha vāsin.

    अन्ये नियन्तव्या विज्ञातारः अन्यो नियन्ता अन्तर्यामीति प्राप्तम् ; तदन्यत्वाशङ्कानिवृत्त्यर्थमुच्यते — नान्योऽतः — नान्यः — अतः अस्मात् अन्तर्यामिणः नान्योऽस्ति द्रष्टा ; तथा नान्योऽतोऽस्ति श्रोता ; नान्योऽतोऽस्ति मन्ता ; नान्योऽतोऽस्ति विज्ञाता । यस्मात्परो नास्ति द्रष्टा श्रोता मन्ता विज्ञाता, यः अदृष्टो द्रष्टा, अश्रुतः श्रोता, अमतो मन्ता, अविज्ञातो विज्ञाता, अमृतः सर्वसंसारधर्मवर्जितः सर्वसंसारिणां कर्मफलविभागकर्ता — एष ते आत्मा अन्तर्याम्यमृतः ; अस्मादीश्वरादात्मनोऽन्यत् आर्तम् ।

    I shall continue in another post since this site does not allow messages beyond certain limit.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Continuing from previous comment-post:


    "Vishnu, or Ananta, who is the primordial being, who has all the three worlds for His body, and who is the in-dwelling Soul of all the beings" (Mundaka Upanishad bhAShya, 2.1.4) [MuUBhS:1].

    Here too the above explanation perfectly holds, for in the very conclusion of this bhāṣya Śankara says that this chaitanyam is the one which is available as seer, hearer, knower, etc.

    "The all-pervading Brahman, the Supreme Soul, known by the name vAsudeva" (kaTha upaniShad bhAShya, 1.3.9) [KUpBhS:1]//

    Even here the word 'Viṣṇu' of the mantra is explained as 'vyāpana śīla', 'all-pervading' and not as a saguṇa brahman with lakṣmī as the consort. The term 'vāsudeva' is also indicative of the abode of / adhiṣṭhānam of all the created world and not necessarily the saguna brahman. For in this very mantra the 'attainment' is stated and for Śankara any such ultimate attainment is not a saguna brahman of vaikunta or any other loka but nirguṇa brahman realization. He says at the end of this bhashyam: sthānam satattvam. So, the tattvam is the nirguṇa brahman and not the saguṇa brahman.

    continued...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Reader,

      Humble Bhagavata Bandhu is the one who handles the advaita parts of this website as he was born in the tradition and has read deeply on the subject. He will answer your objections shortly. As far as I am concerned, advaita is not my domain, but let me just add my 2 cents here. My answer will be in a more general fashion, while Humble Bhagavata Bandhu will address your objections specifically.

      We have already established on this blog that advaitins, by the term "nArAyaNa", only refer to sri mahA vishNu, the consort of lakshmi as saguNa brahman.

      Let me first address your objection regarding the verses: "Vishnu, or Ananta, who is the primordial being, who has all the three worlds for His body, and who is the in-dwelling Soul of all the beings" and The all-pervading Brahman, the Supreme Soul, known by the name vAsudeva" (kaTha upaniShad bhAShya, 1.3.9) [KUpBhS:1]//.

      You try to interpret these etymologically and claim this is the view of shankara. But your opinion that this refers to nirguNa brahman contradicts what sarvajnAtma muni himself says in sankshEpa shAriraka (please refer to the article on this website). Note the following in the introductory verse:

      "atinikaṭam avikriyaṃ murāreḥ paramapadaṃ praṇayād abhiṣṭavīmi"

      Here he uses the term "murArEH paramam padam" interchangeably with "visnoH paramam padam". None of the commentators on this verse interpret it as a general term, but say that it indicates only sri mahA-vishNu here. The commentator, srI rAma-tIrtha, writes: muranāmno asurasya hantā śrīkṛṣṇo murāririti sarvapurāṇeṣu prasiddham । sa ca jagatpālanāya kṛtāvatare bhagavān viṣṇureveti ca tatraiva nirṇītam.

      Certainly, there is no doubt that sarvajnAtma muni wrote this verse with the mantra "tad visnoH paramam padam" in mind, and indeed, this would definitely reflect the opinion of srI sankara as well. And srI rAma-tIrtha also does not take it as anyone other than saguNa brahman, vishNu.

      The same work contains various versions of the same intent such as 1.239 – "paramake viṣṇoḥ pade śāśvate"
      1.248 – "paramaṃ viṣṇoḥ padam"
      1.265 – "bhagavato viṣṇoḥ paramaṃ padam"
      1.266 – "paramaṃ padaṃ murāreḥ"
      3.55 – "hareḥ paramaṃ padam"
      3.144 – "viṣṇoḥ paraṃ padam"
      3.291 – "anādy anantaṃ mahataḥ paraṃ dhruvaṃ nicāyanīyaṃ padam īdṛśaṃ hareḥ"

      Usage of the words like "murArEh" and "bhagavatO visnoH" in particular clearly indicate saguNa brahman, sriman nArAyaNa and this is also according to the commentators.

      Please check the link:

      http://narayanastra.blogspot.in/2012/04/sarvajnatmans-sankshepa-shariraka-lucid.html

      All this is abundantly clear. Now, in case you argue that sarvajnAtma muni differed from shankara or misunderstood shankara's opinion, you will have another problem to tackle. How else would you explain the fact that:

      1) Shankara explicitly opines that worship of vishNu is greater than that of Rudra in the gita bhAshya?

      2) Refers to paShupati as created in the kshatriya varga in the brihadAraNyaka upanishad bhAshya?

      3) Explicitly uses the term "vaiShnava" to denote the most excellent worshippers in Gita bhAshya?

      4) Quotes the harivamSha where it says brahma and shiva are born from the limbs of vishNu?

      5) Does not endorse the views of the pAsupata sect on the aspects pertaining to deity worship, but does accept the aspects pertaining to worship of nArAyaNa in the pAncharAtra?

      Contd...

      Delete
    2. Contd from previous.

      Regarding your objections for the name nArAyaNa, shankara himself identifies nArAyaNa as saguNa brahman in his gita bhAshya. The brihadAraNyaka upanishad bhAshya has the following words, if I am correct:

      “ya īdṛgīśvaro nārāyaṇākhyaḥ, pṛthirvī pṛthivīdevatām, yamayati niyamayati svavyāpāre, antaro 'bhyantarastiṣṭhan, eṣa ta ātmā, te tava, mama ca sarvabhūtānāṃ”

      This has a parallel in the famous gita verse - nArAyaNaH paro 'vyaktAt aNDam avyakta sambhavam |aNDasyAntas tv ime lokAH sapta-dvIpA ca medinI ||

      And in the succeeding verses, Shankara says, "Seeking to preserve the stability of the world, and to protect the brAhmaNatva of brahman (i.e. to teach the true nature of brahman, thereby protecting it), the primordial creator (AdikartA), the all-pervasive Lord (vishNu), called nArAyaNa, was born in the form of Krishna, as the son of Vasudeva and Devaki. By protecting the nature of brahman, the Law of the Vedas is protected, adherence to which protects all the varNas and ASramas."

      (Source: Sri Vidyasankar Sundaresan's translation).

      Therefore, this identifies nArAyaNa with saguNa brahman, srI krishNa. The next verse defines what is meant by "Isvara" (same source): "This venerable Lord of all beings is always endowed with knowledge (jnAna), lordliness (aiSvarya), power (Sakti), strength (bala), vitality (vIrya) and splendour (tejas)."

      Thus, this is nothing but a description of saguNa brahman. And it is none other than vishNu, the consort of lakShmi since he is identified with krishNa.

      Note, we are quoting the gita verse simply because Shanka provides a lucid explanation of the terms "nArAyaNa"and "isvara". If you are linking shankara's description of pravEsa to the brihadAranyaka bhAshya, one needs to consider this as well.

      contd...

      Delete
    3. So, in summary:

      1) SarvajnAtma muni and rAma tIrtha interpret these statements clearly as referring to saguNa brahman by the terms "murAreH" and "bhagavatO visnoH paramam padam" which shows that this was the opinion of all advaitins in that period and hence, that of shankara.

      2) Etymological meanings of all names are accepted and given by all commentators. It does not rule out the fact that saguNa brahman is being referred. For that matter, for the verse "vishnu, or ananta, who has all 3 worlds as his body", Shankara uses the words "eSha devo viShNur anantaH... sarva bhUtAnAM antarAtmA" - the usage of the word "deva" clearly shows he is referring to the deity vishNu and not as a general etymology for nirguNa brahman.

      3) Shankara's gita bhAshya makes the terms "nArAyaNa" and "isvara" even more explicit as that of saguNa brahman.

      Now, coming to your last objection, you say:

      "By the mere name 'nārāyaṇa' it would by wrong to conclude that for Śankara the Supreme is Viṣṇu the saguṇa brahman, the vaikunṭha vāsin."

      Humble Bhagavata Bandhu will address this as he probably knows more on the subject.

      What is clear though is simply this - Shankara has identified that the Brahman as nArAyaNa, who is vishNu as saguNa brahman, who is the creator of the worlds. Brahma, Rudra, Indra, etc are deemed unworthy of meditation and not equal to vishNoh, thus ruling them out as candidates for saguNOpAsaNa by the acharya.

      Delete
  59. Continued from previous post ...

    Also, in the Kenopaniṣad 3.4.12 bhāṣya Śankara says for the words 'umā haivamatī' of the mantra:

    तस्येन्द्रस्य यक्षे भक्तिं बुद्ध्वा विद्या उमारूपिणी प्रादुरभूत्स्त्रीरूपा । सः इन्द्रः ताम् उमां बहु शोभमानाम् ; सर्वेषां हि शोभमानानां शोभनतमा विद्या । तदा बहु शोभमानेति विशेषणमुपपन्नं भवति । हैमवतीं हेमकृताभरणवतीमिव बहु शोभमानामित्यर्थः । अथवा उमैव हिमवतो दुहिता हैमवती नित्यमेव सर्वज्ञेनेश्वरेण सह वर्तत इति ज्ञातुं समर्थेति कृत्वा तामुपजगाम ।

    Indra recognizes her as umā the consort of the 'omniscient Īśwara' with whom She is ever present and therefore is capable of knowing the yakṣa. In the vākya bhāṣya of this mantra Śankara says: rudrapatnī umā haimavatīva ..vidyaiva.' She is the consort of Rudra, verily Knowledge.

    A vaiṣṇava would not hold any other as ṣarvajña Īśvara. The reference here is clearly to Shiva for umā cannot be with someone else 'always'. That 'some' people hold the vākya bhāṣya as not of Śankara is inconsequential for the sampradaya holds it to be of Śankara and there is a detailed gloss for it of Ānandagiri who even gives the reason for the need of this vākya bhāṣya.
    Also, in the same kenopaniṣad bhāṣya 1.5 Śankara says:

    तत्तस्मादन्य उपास्यो विष्णुरीश्वर इन्द्रः प्राणो वा ब्रह्म भवितुमर्हति, न त्वात्मा ; लोकप्रत्ययविरोधात् । [Here, the idea that in a general upāsana the upāsya and the upāsaka are different is pointed out by giving the examples of the upāsya as Viṣṇu, Īśvara, indra, etc.]

    In this sentence it is beyond doubt that the word 'Īswara' refers to Śiva alone and is in perfect agreement with the above umā-related sentence where too the same word Īśwara-sarvajña' is shown.

    The reasoning of Śankara that the Supreme cannot be two is also perfectly fitting since the Supreme is nirguṇa brahman, with whatever name one could call it in the saguna level.

    Further, for Śankara 'Īśvara' is not a specific deity is clear from this BSB words:

    स्यात्परमेश्वरस्यापि इच्छावशात् *मायामयं रूपं *साधकानुग्रहार्थम् । BSB
    (1.1.vii.20) [Ishwara can take any form (which is only mAyika) out of His
    Will, for blessing an aspirant.]

    In Advaita, Parameśwara is not admitted to have a specific body/form. It is just an entity, NirguNa brahman with māyopādhi.

    Also, in BSB 2.1.14 Śankara has categorically stated:

    तदेवमविद्यात्मकोपाधिपरिच्छेदापेक्षमेवेश्वरस्येश्वरत्वं सर्वज्ञत्वं सर्वशक्तित्वं च, न परमार्थतो विद्यया अपास्तसर्वोपाधिस्वरूपे आत्मनि ईशित्रीशितव्यसर्वज्ञत्वादिव्यवहार उपपद्यते ; तथा चोक्तम् — ‘यत्र नान्यत्पश्यति नान्यच्छृणोति नान्यद्विजानाति स भूमा’ (छा. उ. ७-२४-१) इति ; ‘यत्र त्वस्य सर्वमात्मैवाभूत्तत्केन कं पश्येत्’ (बृ. उ. ४-५-१५) इत्यादि च ; एवं परमार्थावस्थायां सर्वव्यवहाराभावं वदन्ति वेदान्ताः सर्वे ; तथेश्वरगीतास्वपि — ‘न कर्तृत्वं न कर्माणि लोकस्य सृजति प्रभुः । न कर्मफलसंयोगं स्वभावस्तु प्रवर्तते’ (भ. गी. ५-१४) ॥ ‘नादत्ते कस्यचित्पापं न चैव सुकृतं विभुः । अज्ञानेनावृतं ज्ञानं तेन मुह्यन्ति जन्तवः’ (भ. गी. ५-१५) इति परमार्थावस्थायामीशित्रीशितव्यादिव्यवहाराभावः प्रदर्श्यते ; व्यवहारावस्थायां तूक्तः श्रुतावपीश्वरादिव्यवहारः — ‘एष सर्वेश्वर एष भूताधिपतिरेष भूतपाल एष सेतुर्विधरण एषां लोकानामसम्भेदाय’ (बृ. उ. ४-४-२२) इति ; तथा चेश्वरगीतास्वपि — ‘ईश्वरः सर्वभूतानां हृद्देशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति । भ्रामयन्सर्वभूतानि यन्त्रारूढानि मायया’ (भ. गी. १८-६१) इति ;

    Here Śankara is declaring that the idea of Ruler-ruled, omniscience, etc. obtain only in the vyāvaharika and not in the pāramārthika. So, the statements containing the words 'nārāyaṇa vāsudeva viṣnu' do not mean the deity but the Parabrahman, nirguṇam.

    It is also to be remembered that the 'sampradaya' does not hold just the prasthānatraya bhāṣyam as that of Śankara but a host of other works too, including stotra sāhityam. That others have different views on what constitutes Śānkara literature is not of importance to the sampradāya follower.

    (concluded)

    ReplyDelete
  60. Dear Shri Subbu,

    I am aware of your work and I have been following the posts in the Advaita e-group discussions for many years. It is quite a complement to our work that a person such as you who is well-read in Shankara Bhashyas and steeped in the tradition of Shankara mutts have found our work to be refutation-worthy.

    Hence, I was eagerly expecting a formidable opposition taking on us full-on, covering all points upon which we have based our arguments. But it is rather disappointing that you have now concluded, totally ignoring several key pieces of evidence cited here and in many sections this blog. I hope you will be able to remedy this deficiency in a future response to us, in spite of having declared yourself that you have concluded your response.

    Instead you have chosen to focus on three quotes from the bhAShya, which you try to interpret based on your personal experiences and learning, and have not cared to look at other important points which favor our interpretation of these three verses. With your central thesis, these other quotes which we have given cannot be explained, and we are able to see that since you have ignored them (as predicted). Here are a few points that you have been unable to address:

    1) As pointed out by my co-author, Aaryama, that Shankara identifies nArAyaNa, the saguNa/nirguNa brahman in advaita as the deity of the Pancharatra-bhAgavatas, but not as the deity of the mAheshvaras (a doctrine which he calls veda-bAhya and for which he does not likewise stop to say that the practices/worship are not being refuted).

    2) Shankara's assertion that Vaishnavas obtain endless fruit, whereas the worshipers of other deities obtain only finite results (Gita Bhashya, 9.25)

    3) Narayana Bhattathiri's evidence in Narayaneeyam (90.5) and the commentary by Desa-Mangala Variyar.

    4) Sarvajnatman and Nrsimhashrama saying that Shiva is not Ishvara and that Shiva's Jnana, Aishvarya, etc. are not aparicchinna.

    5) The writings of Tiruvisanallur Ramasubba Shastri, who had profoundly refuted his opponent "Mannargudi Raju Shastrigal" (Tyagarajamakhin/"mannArguDi periyavA", a descendent of Appayya Dikshita) establishing that the saguNa-mUrti Vishnu alone is favored in the shAstra and by Shankara as the Supreme Brahman, for which his opponent could not reply at all.

    ... and many many more.

    Here is a summary of your central thesis, before I respond to it:

    1. In advaita, formless Nirguna Brahman is the ultimate truth, and the world, plurality of beings etc. is admitted only in the relative vyAvahArika level, which is due to avidyA.

    2. This Nirguna Brahman alone is the one named as "nArAyaNa", "viShNu", or "vAsudeva" in the Upanishad Bhashyas of Shankara.

    3. This formless shuddha-chaitanyam, named as "nArAyaNa", "viShNu", or "vAsudeva" has no direct connection with the four-armed deity having Shankha, Chakra, Gada, and Padmakusuma. Rather, this nirguNa chaitanyam named "nArAyaNa" etc. appears as Saguna Brahman in many forms, including the popular Narayana, Shiva, Shakti, Ganapati, Skanda, Surya, etc. (I do not know whether you consider all the 33 crore devatas equally or only these five).

    4. Worship of all these five/six forms at the same time or one chosen form over the others, depending on one's personal taste, are equally valid and yield the same results.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Let me now respond....

    a. First of all, I do not deny that nirguNa brahman is the paramArtha tattva in Shankara-Bhashyas. However, this has no bearing on the Vaishnavatva of Shankara, Sureshvara, Sarvajnatman etc. More importantly, the fact that nirguNa brahman is the paramArtha tattva does not mean that in the vyAvahArika level, all these five/six deities have to be the same.

    b. What is in contention is the saguNa-vidyA aspect and its importance in Shankara Bhashyas. It is quite clear that this nirguNa brahman appears, as a result of avidyA (based on some theory or the other such as AbhAsa-vAda, pratibimba vAda, or avaccheda vAda etc... this point is irrelevant here), as Ishvara, Jiva(s), and Jagat.

    c. This Ishvara, who has superexcellent upAdhis, is one without a second in terms of the following qualities in the vyAvahArika level - sarvajnatva, sarva-shaktitva, apahata-pApmatva, satya-saMkalpatva, etc. and is also the jagaj-jani-sthiti-dhvaMsa hetuH.

    A slight digression to one comment that you made...

    // The reasoning of Śankara that the Supreme cannot be two is also perfectly fitting since the Supreme is nirguṇa brahman, with whatever name one could call it in the saguna level. //

    In the above, you are ignoring the part (BG, 11.43) in the prasthAna-trayI bhAShya where Shankara says *saguNa brahman* is the one with none who is equal or superior to him, for *lokavyavahAra is impossible if there were two Ishvaras* and Anandagiri adds, *with two Ishvaras, it is not guaranteed that they will not have opposing saMkalpas*. Clearly, this is saguNa brahman and not nirguNa brahman.


    let me now continue where I left...

    d. This saguNa brahman, Ishvara -- does he have a specific name and form? Is this question relevant at all?

    Short answer: Shankara says, as I pointed out, that Vaishnavas attain the highest while the worshipers of other deities obtain finite results. And in the Pancharatra adhikaraNa, Shankara specifically identifies Ishvara as "one with the name nArAyaNa" (yo asau nArAyaNAkhyaH). Hence, the specific form and worship are important, as they are recommended in the shAstras.

    Just as advaitins accept that shAstras recommend certain types of food, certain types of dress, ritual cleanliness, etc., despite holding that all differences are ultimately mithyA, they have to accept only one saguNa entity as the Creator and the rest as the created, which is again a proclamation of the shAstra. Shankara has made it amply clear that Rudra is a created being (in Br Up Bh, 1.4.11, without giving any caveats/disclaimers/exceptions) and that Surya and other devatas whose creation and destruction are taught in the Shruti are not paramAtman but Jivas (in BSuBh, 1.2.17). Shankara also says in BSuBh 3.3.32 that the Jiva Sanatkumara was born as Skanda despite having realized Brahman due to unfulfilled prArabdha-karma.

    Clearly, this rules out three (Rudra, Surya, and Skanda) out of the five/six deities that today's advaitins hold to be equal.

    The worship of anya-devatas is inferior, says Shankara in many places in the Gita Bhashya. Does he say anywhere that these Anya-devatas do not include Shiva, Shakti, Ganapati, Skanda, and Surya? No.

    Here is another quote from Mahabharata, quoted by Shankara in the Vishnu Sahasranama Bhashya (Adyar Library edition), ignored by the translator for obvious reasons:

    विद्याविनयसम्पन्ना ब्राह्मणा वेदपारगाः ।
    मयि भक्तिं न कुर्वन्ति ये ते चण्डालतां गताः ॥
    ब्राह्मणो वैष्णवो ज्ञेयो न ह्यस्मादन्यदेवता ।
    मातृवत्परिरक्षन्तं जगत्स्रष्टारमीश्वरम् ।
    यो हि नार्चयते मूढास्तमाहुर्ब्रह्मघातकम् ॥
    वृथा जप्तं वृथा दत्तं वृथा चेष्टं वृथा हुतम् ।
    वृथा तप्यं च तप्तं च यो न भक्तो मयि द्विजः ॥
    यत्कृतं च हुतं चापि यदिष्टं दत्तमेव वा ।
    अवैष्णवकृतं सर्वं राक्षसा एव भुञ्जते ॥
    इति महाभारते ।

    (to be continued)

    ReplyDelete
  62. (continued from previous)...

    As we stated before, the debate is about saguNa-vidyA aspect and saguNa-tattvas. To summarize,

    1. Recognition of difference is reflected very well in the advaita tradition, and there is no option based on personal opinion/tastes. For example, strict to the adherence to rules of conduct and abstinence from bad practices, as stated in the dharma-shAstras, is mandated for everyone (not just for fledgling jij~nAsus/mumukShus, but including realized gurus- see Upadesha Shaasri first Chapter, verse six) giving no room for personal opinion/preference, despite their own assertion that these differences between good/bad are temporal and avidyA-laden.

    2. Similarly, Shankara does recognize the fact that the shAstras proclaim only one deity as the Supreme, namely the one called Vishnu/Narayana, who despite being formless in essence according to Shankara, voluntarily assumes the four-armed form for the purpose of His devotees. See Shankara's Bhashya for Vishnu Sahasranama under "kathitaH" and "shabdasahaH".

    3. The worship of lesser deities, who are not supreme, leads to impermanent results, according to Shankara. Again, according to Shankara, Rudra, Aditya, Skanda etc. are created beings, not paramAtmA, and hence lesser deities.

    3. Ishvara's anugraham should be sought for attaining the jnAna necessary for Moksha (tadanugrahahetukenaiva ca vijñānena mokṣasiddhirbhavitumarhati / - B.Su.Bh, 2.3.41) Shankara says that the gIta-shAstra, which is the essence of all Upanishads and is a mokSha-shAstra, must never be taught to one who is lacking Ishvara-bhakti and one who cavils at Him. So, it is important to know how to properly seek IshvarAnugraha and be a Ishvara-bhakta. Here, Shankara specifically recommends

    In addition to all these, I will be writing a future article on the Prabodha Chandrodaya nATaka. In this play, the advaitin Krishna-Mishra says that there are two options for a Jiva to obtain bliss - either (1) to meditate on the formless Absolute, or (2) to meditate on the blue-hued Vishnu, who is the Supreme Lord of the Universe, who possesses shankha-chakra-gadA-padma, adorned by makarakuNDala, kaustubha, vaijayantI and pItAmbara-vastra. This clearly shows the nirguNa/saguNa paths in meditation as per the original advaita-mata of Shankara.

    Let us now continue...

    e. You have said that in three places (BrUpBh, 3.7.3, K.Up. 1.3.9, and Mu.Up. 2.1.4) the reference is only to Nirguna Brahman and not Saguna Bbrahman.

    All this is despite the fact that:

    1) Supreme Reality is named "nArAyaNAkhyaH", "vAsudevAkhyaH" (meaning, one who bears these names and hence Shankara is not implying adjectives here) even though Shankara could have just said "nArAyaNaH", "vAsudevaH". And nowhere Shankara has used similar terms such as "IshvarAkhyaH" "rudrAkhyaH" "shivAkhyaH" "maheshvarAkhyaH" "mahAdevAkhyaH" etc. to describe the Supreme.

    2) Shankara uses "IshvaraH", "devaH" etc. and despite Sarvajnatman/Ramatirtha declaring "murAreH paramam padam" refers to bhagavAn-Vishnu, the slayer of the asura "mura". See our article on Samkshepa Shariraka here in this blog.

    3) In the Gaudapada Karika Bhashya, Shankara explains "saṃbuddhas taṃ vande dvipadāṃ varam" as "ayameveśvaro yo nārāyaṇākhyastaṃ vande 'bhivādaye dvipadāṃ varaṃ dvipadopalakṣitānāṃ puruṣāṇāṃ varaṃ pradhānaṃ puruṣottamamityabhiprāyaḥ". I do not know how nirguNa-brahman can be described as "best of bipeds".

    (to be continued)

    ReplyDelete
  63. (continued from previous)

    4) Shankara says that "Purushottama" is a popular name of his Supreme Lord Narayana:

    (BG, 15.17-15.18) kaḥ? īśvaraḥ sarvajñaḥ nārāyaṇākhyaḥ īśanaśīlaḥ.. yathāvyākhyātasya īśvarasya 'puruṣōttamaḥ' ityētat nāma prasiddham. tasya nāmanirvacanaprasiddhyā arthavattvaṅ nāmnō darśayan 'niratiśayaḥ aham īśvaraḥ' iti ātmānaṅ darśayati bhagavān --

    yasmātkṣaramatītō.hamakṣarādapi cōttamaḥ.
    atō.smi lōkē vēdē ca prathitaḥ puruṣōttamaḥ

    yasmāt kṣaram atīto 'haṃ saṃsāra-māyā-vṛkṣam aśvatthākhyam atikrānto 'ham akṣarād api saṃsāra-māyā-rūpa-vṛkṣa-bīja-bhūtād api cottama utkṛṣṭatamaḥ ūrdhvatamo vā | atas tābhyāṃ kṣarākṣarābhyām uttamatvād asmi loke vede ca prathitaḥ prakhyātaḥ | puruṣottama ity evaṃ māṃ bhakta-janā viduḥ | kavayaḥ kāvyādiṣu cedaṃ nāma nibadhnanti | puruṣottama ity anenābhidhānenābhigṛṇanti ||BhGS_15.18||

    It is up to the readers to say whether some entity unconcerned with the four-armed Vishnu-deity has bhaktas in the loka all of whom popularly call it by the name "Purushottama".

    Be that as it may. You are forgetting that Nirguna Brahman as per shAnkara-mata is The One who appears in the vyAvahArika realm as the Saguna Brahman, Parameshvara, the jagatkAraNa. See Sureshvara's Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Bhashya Varttika, quoted in this page:

    "tasmai namo'stu devAya nirguNAya guNAtmane | nArAyaNAya vishvAya devAnAm paramAtmane"

    "sarvajnaH sarvashaktishca sarvAtmA sarvago dhruvaH | jagajjani-sthiti-dhvaMsa-hetureSha sadeshvaraH"

    All the characteristics mentioned in the second quote are clearly those of Saguna Brahman, known as Narayana. Note also that Anandagiri specifically denies here in his Tika that nirguNa upAdhi-rahita brahman is antaryAmi.

    f. "Vishnu, or Ananta, who is the primordial being, who has all the three worlds for His body, and who is the in-dwelling Soul of all the beings" (Mundaka Upanishad bhAShya, 2.1.4) [MuUBhS:1].

    Your response: // Here too the above explanation perfectly holds, for in the very conclusion of this bhāṣya Śankara says that this chaitanyam is the one which is available as seer, hearer, knower, etc. //

    Your explanation is wrong. Mine, which interprets Vishnu/Ananta as the saguNa-form is based on the following explanation given by Shankara himself in the Sutra Bhashyam, in the Vaishvanara Adhikaranam where the same exact Mundaka Upanishad verse is discussed: (BSuBh, 1.2.25)

    itaśca parameśvara eva vaiśvānaraḥ, yasmātparameśvarasyaivāgnirāsyaṃ dyaurmūrdhetīdṛśaṃ trailokyātmakaṃ rūpaṃ smaryate-

    'yasyāgnirāsyaṃ dyaurmūrdhā khaṃ nābhiścaraṇau kṣitiḥ /
    sūryaścakṣurdiśaḥ śrotraṃ tasmai lokātmane namaḥ //'

    iti /


    'dyāṃ mūrdhānaṃ yasya viprā vadanti khaṃ vai nābhiṃ candrasūryau ca netre /
    diśaḥ śrotre viddhi pādau kṣitiṃ ca so 'cintyātmā sarvabhūtapraṇetā //'

    ityevañjātīyakā ca smṛtirihodāhartavyā

    The first quote occurs in the glorious Bhishma Stavam, in the Mokshadharma section of Mahabharata, where Bhishma worships Vishnu. The second quote is again from a section describing loka-Srishti by nArAyaNa in the Brahmanda Purana. We also have the following related verse from another advaitic work shruti-sAra-samuddharaNa, which is famous and chanted as part of Vishnu Sahasranama Parayanam:

    bhUH pAdau yasya khaM codaramasuranilaH candra sUryau ca netre
    karNAvAshAH shiro dyaurmukhamapi dahano yasya vAstavyamabdhiH |
    antaHstaM yasya vishvam suranarakhagagobhogigandharvadaityaiH citraM
    raMramyate tam tribhuvanavapuShaM viShNumIsham namAmi ||

    Clearly, all these are concerned with the saguNa mUrti only.

    (to be continued)

    ReplyDelete
  64. // Also, in the Kenopaniṣad...

    A vaiṣṇava would not hold any other as ṣarvajña Īśvara. The reference here is clearly to Shiva for umā cannot be with someone else 'always'. That 'some' people hold the vākya bhāṣya as not of Śankara is inconsequential for the sampradaya holds it to be of Śankara and there is a detailed gloss for it of Ānandagiri who even gives the reason for the need of this vākya bhāṣya.
    Also, in the same kenopaniṣad bhāṣya 1.5 Śankara says:

    तत्तस्मादन्य उपास्यो विष्णुरीश्वर इन्द्रः प्राणो वा ब्रह्म भवितुमर्हति, न त्वात्मा ; लोकप्रत्ययविरोधात् । [Here, the idea that in a general upāsana the upāsya and the upāsaka are different is pointed out by giving the examples of the upāsya as Viṣṇu, Īśvara, indra, etc.]

    In this sentence it is beyond doubt that the word 'Īswara' refers to Śiva alone and is in perfect agreement with the above umā-related sentence where too the same word Īśwara-sarvajña' is shown. //

    "Ishvara" is a given name of Shiva, and he is jnAna-pradaH for bhakti-yogis (not for Sharanagatas, for whom Lord Vishnu is everything). However, Vishnu alone is the one who can grant liberation. Vaishnavas won't deny this, as we have the following quote: "IshvarAt jnAnam icchet, mokSham icchet janArdanAt".

    Please read the mangala-shlokas of Ramatirtha's anvitArtha-prakAshika (commentary to Sarvajnatman's SS). The tAratamya between Shiva and Vishnu attested to by this Advaitin will be clear to you.

    Further, Rudra/Shiva's Sarvajnatvam is due to the expansion of his dharma-bhUta-jnAna, which he obtained by performing sarvamedha-yajna:

    mahAdevaH sarvamedhe mahAtmA; hutvAtmAnaM devadevo vibhUtaH (pATha bheda - babhUva)
    vizvA&l lokAn vyApya viSTabhya kIrtyA; virocate dyutimAn kRttivAsAH

    This verse is quoted by Srivaishnava Acharyas, and is found in the BORI critical edition of the mahAbhArata. Hence, it is authentic.

    We can't use the flimsy evidence in Kenopanishad where Shankara describes Shiva as "Sarvajna" and "Ishvara" (which fits the context as Shiva is a brahma-jnAni and bestows the same jnAna to those who consider him as guru). Why should he then elsewhere say that Rudra, the Pashupati is a created being? And that he was bestowed a boon by Sanatkumara?

    (to be continued)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If Shiva is sarvajna there is no reason for him to be the 'yaH sarvajnaH sarvavit yasya jnānamayam tapaḥ' of the munḍakopaniṣat, the viṣvakṛt brahman. And Śankara's use of the word 'Īśwara' with that makes Him sarveṣvara too, for the context there is umā identifying Him, the yakṣa as Brahman, which Indra too hoped that She would. Does the Ramanuja school hold the yakṣa there in the kenopaniṣad to be Shiva? So, your reasoning does not hold good here for the context is yakṣa whose jnanam alone makes Indra and other jnani-s. Shankara in that comment says: Uma, who is ever present with the Sarvajna Iswara is bound to know (Him/yakSha) about whom Indra wanted to know. It is not a case of Inidra becoming a devotee of Shiva here and He granting jnanam to Indra. The sūta samhitā in the brahmagītā too explains this portion as Shiva and shiva jnanam only. Vidyaranya too has commented the same way. About Pashupati being created I have an ongoing debate in another forum. And it is to be known that it was Shiva who offered Sanatkumara a boon and as the latter refused any and counter-offered a boon to Shiva, the latter asked for the former to be born as skanda. In the bhagavatam Shiva is called jagadguru who gives out the supreme jnanam to sanaka, etc. // SB 4.6.34 — Lord Śiva sat there, surrounded by saintly persons like Kuvera, the master of the Guhyakas, and the four Kumāras, who were already liberated souls. Lord Śiva was grave and saintly. //

      There is the case of Krishna praying to Shiva for progeny in the MB.

      Let me clarify that I am not here to prove whether Shiva or Vishnu is the Vedic Supreme. I am only showing errors in your interpretation of shankara bhashya to somehow or the other label Him a vaishnava. Of course, it is another matter that Shiva is the dearest to Vishnu and vice versa.

      subbu

      Delete
    2. // If Shiva is sarvajna there is no reason for him to be the 'yaH sarvajnaH sarvavit yasya jnānamayam tapaḥ' of the munḍakopaniṣat, the viṣvakṛt brahman. //

      What is the point that you are trying to make here? That Mundakopanishad must be identified as Shiva-para?

      // The sūta samhitā in the brahmagītā too explains this portion as Shiva and shiva jnanam only. Vidyaranya too has commented the same way. //

      Not everything in the purANas is authentic when it comes to Vedanta, as you would know. And Vidyaranya's interpretation is Vidyaranya's only and cannot be confused with Shankara's. Vidyaranya was the first one to introduce a Shiva-centric advaita-vAda. This has been written about in great detail by Tiruvisanallur Ramasubba Shastri. This is hard to accept, but we have no other way to interpret Shankara bhAShyas consistently.

      // And Śankara's use of the word 'Īśwara' with that makes Him sarveṣvara too, for the context there is umā identifying Him, the yakṣa as Brahman, which Indra too hoped that She would. //

      You are confusing the concepts here. This is your own reading, biased by Vidyaranya's interpretation using Skanda Purana, which in turn is not a sAttvika purANa. As I said, Vidyaranya's tradition is not authentic shAnkara tradition.

      Let me state in proper order my position: The Yaksha is Brahman, verily Sriman Narayana only. The knowledge about this Yaksha is abundant in Siva, the latter being a yogi. And Parvati is the consort of Siva, the Sarvajna (because of his knowledge of the "Sarva" tattva that is Brahman), and one called "Ishvara" as in "IshvarAt jnAnam icchet". Hence, Parvati knows about Yaksha through Shiva.

      Shankara does not say anywhere that the Yaksha is Shiva, or that the Yaksha is the consort of Parvati. He simply states that the Devas asked Uma, because she is fit to know about the Yaksha, being always consorted by Sarvajna-Ishvara (Shiva) who meditates on the Yaksha (Sriman Narayana) all the time.

      Otherwise, you will not be able to explain Rudra's creation/dissolution (in Shankara Bhashya as well as in Narayanopanishad, Mahopanishad, etc.).

      Some more quotes about Rudra in Vishnu Sahasranama Bhashya:

      ५) भूतकृत् = रजोगुणं समाश्रित्य विरिञ्चिरूपेण भूतानि करोतीति भूतकृत् ; तमोगुणम् आस्थाय स रुद्रात्मना भूतानि कृन्तति कृणोति हिनस्तीति वा भूतकृत् । ["bhUtakR^it" is one who creates beings by taking up the quality of rajas, in the form of Brahma. It also means one who kills/destroys beings by standing in the quality of tamas, in the form of Rudra.]

      ६) भूतभृत् = सत्त्वगुणम् अधिष्ठाय भूतानि बिभर्ति पालयति धारयति पोषयति इति वा भूतभृत् । ["bhUtabhR^it" is one who bears, protects, and nourishes beings by being established in the quality of Sattva.]

      २३१) संप्रमर्दनः = सम्यक् प्रमर्दयति रुद्रकालाद्याभिः विभूतिभिरिति संप्रमर्दनः । [One who crushes effectively through His vibhUtis such as Rudra, Kala, etc.]

      All this has to be written off as "arthavAda" etc. if you were to assert that Shankara equates Shiva and Vishnu. But then if we start interpreting like that without rule or rhyme, even the places where Shankara talks about "jagat = mithyA", "Jiva = Ishvara" can be dismissed as "arthavAda". This will lead to the Purva Mimamsa position that everything other than injunctions to perform yajna are arthavAdas.

      Delete
    3. // And it is to be known that it was Shiva who offered Sanatkumara a boon and as the latter refused any and counter-offered a boon to Shiva, the latter asked for the former to be born as skanda. In the bhagavatam Shiva is called jagadguru who gives out the supreme jnanam to sanaka, etc.//

      Fine... okay. I am not making this a central point. My point being Shankara's use of the term Vaishnava in 9.25, Pancharatra adhikaraNa comments, Gita Bhashya 15.15-15.18, and the rest of the occurrences of "Narayana", "Vishnu", "Vasudeva" etc. in light of these, so that everything can be consistently interpreted.

      In any case, the episode clearly shows the jIvatva of skanda, another deity in the Shanmata worship that you say was favored/propagated by Shankara for which there is no proof in authentic works, but only contradictory to it.

      // There is the case of Krishna praying to Shiva for progeny in the MB. //

      The authentic version of this itihAsa is in the harivaMsa. Please read Siva's proclamations there. The other version (in Anushasana Parva etc.) are later interpolations, and we have shown proofs for the same in the Mahabharata interpolations article (Please refer to the menu/sidebar/sitemap).

      Also, read Shankara's bhAShya for the nAma "stavyaH" in Vishnu Sahasranama.

      // I am only showing errors in your interpretation of shankara bhashya to somehow or the other label Him a vaishnava.//

      Pardon me, but it is mere chutzpah to claim without proof that there are errors in my interpretation while ignoring the mountain of evidence quoted in my favor while nibbling on things like Kenopanishad, "Narayana is not shanka-chakra-dhari" etc.

      Please explain "madyajanashIlAH vaiShNavAH" in GBh 9.22-25 and Anandagiri's commentary to those shlokas.

      I know that my position is quite startling to begin with, and is opposed to a tradition that has a massive following today. That is why I have dedicated quite a lot of time and effort into proper research and analyzing all points carefully, considering everything.

      //Of course, it is another matter that Shiva is the dearest to Vishnu and vice versa. //

      Not a problem. Vishnu as the antarAtman is The Dearest to everyone. And Krishna praises jnAnis in the Gita by saying that they are the dearest to Him and His own self.

      Delete
    4. // About Pashupati being created I have an ongoing debate in another forum. //

      Why don't you divulge the details of that debate here? And moreover, have you considered Mahopanishad, Narayanopanishad, and Shatapata Brahmana (Rudra declaring that he is anapahata-pApmA)? Take a look at the Bodhendra Saraswati article here, as well as at the "Interpretation of the Brahmanas" article.

      Delete
    5. I wrote a reply to a few points above spending quite a lot of time and effort. But the system in this page is putting me off. With me providing my identity and copying the numerals thrice, I did not get a sign of my comment having been taken here. So I decided not to post any comments here. The posting of even the three earlier comments was a daunting task to me. If you could become a member in the google group 'science religion and philosophy' I could interact with you. This type of topic is welcome there. Check this out: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/science-religion-philosophy
      Send email to science-religion-philosophy@googlegroups.com for a free membership.

      I will consider myself lucky if this message gets posted.

      subbu

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    6. I prefer not to join any such forums. Whatever I have stated is here, and you could just send a link to your response wherever you post it. I can start a separate section to address your points.

      Delete
    7. Alternatively, you could use the "Contact Us" form as well, here: http://narayanastra.blogspot.com/p/contact-us.html

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    8. Pl. tell me if Sri Ramanuja recognize that Sri Shankaracharya was a vaishnava? The works that you have examined were available to him too. Here is a criticism Sri R makes:
      रामानुचार्यास्तु औपनिषदं भगवत्पादमतं दूषयिष्यन्तः पूर्वपक्षान्ते - तदिदमौपनिषदपरमपुरुषवरणीयताहेुगुणविशेषविरहिणां अनादिपापवासनादूषिताशेषशेमुषीकाणां अनधिगतपदवाक्यस्वरूपतदर्थयाथात्म्यप्रत्यक्षादिसकलप्रमाणवृत्त-तदितिकर्तव्यतारूपसमीचीनन्यायमार्गाणां विकल्पासहविव्विधकुतर्ककल्ककल्पितमिति न्यायानुगृहीतप्रत्यक्षादिसकलप्रमणवृत्तयाथात्म्यविद्भिः अनादरणीयम् ।
      The Advaita doctrine is succinctly put thus: brahmaiva svAvidyayA samsarati iva, sva-vidyayA muchyata iva. Will a vaishnava attribute ignorance and samsara to Brahman that is Vishnu? The core message of Shankara's Br.up. bhashya for 1.4.10 aham brahma asmi is this. This message alone is given out by Madhusudana Saraswati in his invocation verse for the Advaitasiddhi: मायाकल्पितमातृतामुखमृषाद्वैतप्रपञ्चाश्रयः
      सत्यज्ञानसुखात्मकः श्रुतिशिखोत्थाखण्डधीगोचरः ।
      मिथ्याबन्धविधूननेन परमानन्दैकतानात्मकं
      मोक्षं प्राप्त इव स्वयं विजयते विष्णुर्विकल्पोज्झितः ॥ इति ।

      The verse says 'VishNu (Brahman) who is innately satya, jnana and sukha, is the abode of the universe consisting of the unreal dvaita of knower, knowing and known conjured up by mAyA, and owing to the akhaNDAkAravRtti-based realization of His native Ananda svarUpa, being freed from the apparent bondage shines as though liberated, free from all the vikalpa-s.' MS was a vishnu bhakta.
      subbu

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    9. Swami Desikan recognizes Shankara as Vaishnava in Tatparya Chandrika, the commentary on Bhagavad Gita. See commentary to Shloka 18.66. I have quoted this here in the main page itself, somehow you missed it:



      Sri Vedanta Desika in tAtparya candrikA, commenting on the shlOka 18.66 of Bhagavad Gita, points out thus (the interested reader can do a fact check at the Gita Supersite 2.0 web page, the details of which are given in the References section):

      "pishAca-rantideva-gupta-shaN^kara-yAdavaprakAsha-bhAskara-nArAyaNAryayaj~nasvAmi-prabhR^itibhiH svaM svaM matamAsthitaiH parashshatairbhAShyakR^idbhiH asmatsiddhAntatIrthakaraishca bhagavadyAmunAcAryabhAShyakArAdibhiravigItaparigR^ihIto.ayamatra sArArthaH -- bhagavAneva paraM tattvam, ananyasharaNairyathAdhikAraM tadekAshrayaNaM paramadharmaH -- iti"

      Gist: "The conclusion 'Bhagavan (Narayana) is the Supreme Brahman. Taking refuge in Him alone, and resorting to none else is the highest of all dharmas.'-this has been unanimously accepted as the essence of the Bhagavad Gita by Shankara, Bhaskara, Yadavaprakasha, Narayanarya, Yajnasvami and others, though they were different in philosophy".

      Note that a staunch Vaishnava such as Vedanta Desika would never include Shankara in this category unless Shankara identified Saguna Brahman as Vishnu-mUrti only.

      And as I stated before, Narayana Bhattathiri also identifies Shankara as Vaishnava, in the 90th dashakam of Narayaneeyam.

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    10. Dear sri subbu,

      I had a look at the link you provided. Please note that much of the points you bring up there have already been addressed on this blog. For instance, please read the article on shiva stuti in bhagavatam in this blog to understand how even advaitins like sridhara swami interpret bhAgavata purAna's so-caled praises of shiva as referring in actuality to vishNu. We have the details in that article.

      Similarly, we have a detailed interpretation of the kaivalya upanishad whuch you claimed praised shiva. Incidentally, the advaitin, sri rAma su bu sAstri of thiruvisanallur who was quoted by ny friend considers it a vaishNava upanishad. Please refer to the article on absurdity of shakta claims in this blog where we interpreted that upanishad as well. I am quoting it here for your convenience:

      umaasahaayaM parameshvaraM prabhuM trilochanaM niilakaNThaM prashaantam.h

      dhyaatvaa munirgachchhati bhuutayoniM samastasaakshiM tamasaH parastaat.h

      (kaivalya upaniShad)

      This Upanishad mantra is quoted by Shaivas, shaivAdvaitins, and neo-Hindus thinking that it praises Shiva as the supreme. The text is not quoted often by Srivaishnava Acharyas, but it appears that the author of Vedanta Kaustubham has indeed quoted it. Shankara appears to quote a verse from this work in the Aitareya Upanishad Bhashya, where he identifies it as “kaivalya shruti”. However, it is not the mantra above and Shankara’s “kaivalya shruti” quote also occurs in the Narayana Valli section of Taittiriya Aranyaka.

      Thiruvisanallur Ramasubba Shastrigal has written a work called "Kaivalya Upanishad vilAsa" explaining that this Upanishad indeed refers to Vishnu as the Supreme.

      In light of these facts, this Upanishad is probably authentic. Let us now look at the Vaidika way of interpreting this mantra in Vishnu’s favor:

      Vaidika Interpretation: Meditating on the One (Narasimha in the cave of the heart) who is always associated (sahA) with the fame (umA) of granting brahmAnandam, the Lord of all (parameshvaraM), One who has the power to attract the minds of all towards him by his beauty (prabhuM), the three-eyed (trilOchanaM), the black necked (nIlakaNThaM), One who makes the devotee enjoy him alone to the exclusion of all (prashAntam), the wise men reach him who is the Cause of the Universe (bhUtayOnIm), the Witness of all (samastasAkshiM), who is beyond prakrti (tamasaH parastAt).

      Narasimha is known as nIlalOhita in the tApanIya upanishad and is referred to as nIlakaNtha in the sAttvic portions of skanda purAna.

      This is only to show that your arguments are already covered. Please read our blog more intently for answers.

      Delete
  65. // Further, for Śankara 'Īśvara' is not a specific deity is clear from this BSB words:

    स्यात्परमेश्वरस्यापि इच्छावशात् *मायामयं रूपं *साधकानुग्रहार्थम् । BSB
    (1.1.vii.20) [Ishwara can take any form (which is only mAyika) out of His
    Will, for blessing an aspirant.] //

    // In Advaita, Parameśwara is not admitted to have a specific body/form. It is just an entity, NirguNa brahman with māyopādhi.//

    All these are irrelevant points. Even in the Vishistadvaita tradition, the meditation of divyAtma-svarUpa of bhagavAn Vishnu is formless meditation only (Shri Aaryama who is from that tradition can correct me if I am wrong), and Vishnu voluntarily assumes forms for the purpose of His devotees as per Ramanuja.

    The question is on what form should Parameshwara be meditated upon. The answer is: Parameshvara despite being the all-pervading one takes up for the purpose of upAsana, the specific form endowed with shuddha-sattva, Vishnu, Narayana, who takes avatAras such as Shri Rama, Shri Krishna, Shri Narasimha, etc. This is because Shankara says so clearly in BG 9.25 and in the Pancharatra Adhikarana (BSuBh 2.2.42) where the Acharya specifically agrees with the worship of this form with unceasing concentration of the mind. If we don't interpret this way, there is no way we can explain why Shankara condemns anya-devatA worship as inferior (7.20-7.23, 9.22-9.25 in Bhagavad Gita).

    Parvatipati Rudra is a created Jiva as per Shankara and cannot be Parameshvara.

    // Here Śankara is declaring that the idea of Ruler-ruled, omniscience, etc. obtain only in the vyāvaharika and not in the pāramārthika.//

    Nowhere we are denying that. Only saying that in the vyAvahArika realm, Vaishnava upAsana is the Highest as per Shankara himself.

    // It is also to be remembered that the 'sampradaya' does not hold just the prasthānatraya bhāṣyam as that of Śankara but a host of other works too, including stotra sāhityam. That others have different views on what constitutes Śānkara literature is not of importance to the sampradāya follower. //

    It may not be important to you, but it might be for a neutral truth-seeker. I too am a traditionalist, but what you are doing is putting the cart before the horse.

    Thiruvisanallur Ramasubba Shastri was very much a follower of the sampradAya (not the Vidyaranya/Sringeri one or the Kamakoti one, which are of recent origin, but that of the pure, original teachings of Shankara) and held philosophical debates with Vishistadvaitins and Dvaitins, while being uncompromising about the Vaishnavatva of Adi Shankara or his own Vaishnavatva. Sadly, his name is buried in oblivion since it will open a Pandora's box otherwise. So was Narayana Bhattathiri, who again remained advaitin, was a highly-learned paNDita who dwarfs present-day ones, and was convinced that Shankara worshiped only Vishnu as the Highest.

    These days, even the most capable men in the tradition lay to rest their potent mental faculties, gifted to them by the Supreme Lord. In spite of their capability, they shy away from critically and dispassionately analyzing available textual evidence to corroborate whether these so-called “gurus”, who claim to be the modern flag-bearers of the ancient AcAryas, are telling the truth about the real intent of those AcAryas, or whether they are cooking up their own story to suit popular consumption. However, what we find is that these capable people first cling on to some favorite “guru” owing to their popularity, family practice, etc. and then give distorted interpretations to ancient texts to suit what their favorite gurus say today. In reality, this is tantamount to putting proverbial the cart before the horse.

    (concluded)

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  66. Sri subbu,

    Regarding your claim that krishNa worshipped shiva for progeny, please find tge vyAkhyANa for that shiva stuti (so-called) in the article on this blog titled "prayers of sri krishNa to shiva".

    In essence, that article proves that krishNa worshipped the antaryAmin of shiva and not shiva himself. Sound pramAnAs are there that declare names like sarva, rudra, pinAki, kapAla hasta, etc as names of vishNu only and we have interpreted the harivamSha section as such in that article.

    I regret that you find it difficult to post comments here. Most readers don't have that difficulty. As HBB suggested, please fill out the contact form, or reply in some other site and link it to us. Alternatively, you can still post comments by first typing in a word doc and pasting it in parts here so that you don't lose any material.

    We welcome your ripostes.

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  67. Further comments from Shri Subbu sent to me in private:

    // I asked as to how Sri Ramanuja viewed Shankara. How can a 'vaishnava' who holds Vishnu as the supreme saguna murti be अनादिपापवासनादूषिताशेषशेमुषीकः... and deny all that is essential for Vishnu to be a saguna murti in the pāramārthika, that is, hold the saguṇa mūrti as such only in the vyāvahārika, be a 'vaishnava' to be taken into account as such? The Madhwas dismiss Shankara as a demon who only 'outwardly' appears to be a vishnu-lover but internally a vishnu-hater. Madhwa has even given a verse where he compares various persons such as sambara and assesses their nature. And how does Shankara's 'brahman alone appears as the samsari jiva due to avidya' gel with the holding of vishnu as supreme saguna murti? Will a vaishnava hold the Lord to be subject to avidya? You have not answered these questions. What is the use of simply braggin g that Shankara was a vaishnava when saguna murti/vyakti is only in the relative realm for Shankara? It simply adds nothing to your cherished slogan of 'Vishnu – The Supreme Brahman according to all Vedas, Upanishads, Smritis, and prominent Acharyas' and 'Shankara favoured vaishnavism'? Does Vaishnavism of your brand admit denying the saguna brahman in the paramarthika? It is wrong to hold/preach through a blog that 'a prominent Acharya (Shankara) holds Vishnu as the Supreme Brahman'. It is simply cheating the gullible by saying such things. The Vishnu that Shankara holds as 'Supreme Brahman' is not the saguna murti; it is inferior brahman in Advaita. I have provided the BSB 2.1.14 quote already which categorically denies the sarvajnatvam and sarveshvaratvam, etc. as belonging to the realm of avidyAkalpita...In Advaita there is no 'sarva' in the absolute realm. You may like to hold Vishnu (the saguna) to be the Supreme Brahman. But never pull Shankara (a 'prominent Acharya') to your support. ShAnkarites and Madhwas can easily see through the immaturity in your claims. //

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    1. Response to the above comment by Shri Subbu...

      As I keep repeating again and again, it was Shankara himself who declare that Vaishnavas attain the Highest (BG, 9.25) while the worshipers of the other deities attain impermanent results.

      A Vaishnava can be from any tradition, advaita, Vishistadvaita, or dvaita. All that a Vaishnava is required to believe is in Ishvara,

      The Supreme Vishnu/Narayana/Vasudeva, though saguNa as per Shankara, is often referred to as the paramArtha-tattvam Itself. The reason for this is cited by Sridhara Swami in Bhagavatam commentary 10.88:


      “guṇāḥ sattvādayaḥ śānta-ghora-mūḍhāḥ svabhāvataḥ
      viṣṇu-brahma-śivānāḿ ca guṇa-yantṛ-svarūpiṇām

      nāti-bhedo bhaved bhedo guṇa-dharmair ihāḿśataḥ
      sattvasya śāntyā no jātu viṣṇor vikṣepa-mūḍhate

      rajas-tamo-guṇābhyāḿ tu bhavetāḿ brahma-rudrayoḥ
      guṇopamardato bhūyas tad-amśānāḿ ca bhinnatā

      ataḥ samagra-sattvasya viṣṇor mokṣa-karī matiḥ
      aḿśato bhūti-hetuś ca tathānanda-mayī svataḥ

      aḿśatas tāratamyena brahma-rudrādi-sevinām
      vibhūtayo bhavanty eva śanair mokṣo’py anaḿśataḥ”

      This is also supported by Anandagiri in his BGBh Tika for 15.15 "vedavedyaṃ paraṃ brahma bhagavato'nyaditi śaṅkāṃ vārayati -- vedairiti"

      And yes, Ramanuja's objections against Shankara were purely based on the understanding the nature of Supreme Tattva, not based on its theological identity. Both held Vishnu as the Supreme. And Ramanuja, Desika, etc. would have certainly given the additional criticism that the advaita mata considers Shiva and Vishnu to be equal, if that was the case originally.

      Many Srivaishnava scholars and a few Advaitin vidwAns recognize the Vaishnavatva of Shankara.

      Later advaitins, especially Vidyaranya/Sayana/mAdhava (placing importance to Shiva as supreme) and Appayya Dikshita and his followers are the ones who distorted Shankara and started popularizing Shankara as wearer of bhasma, rudrAkSha. It is no fault of ours if you do not recognize the elephant in the room.

      The following incidents show how much importance these mutts today give to Shankara's original teachings.

      1) Shankara specifically condemned the worship of sapta-mAtR^ikas (17.4) as tAmasic, whereas today we have the AcArya of a popular mutt engaging and leading people in such worship: http://www.sringeri.net/2010/09/08/news/11-day-camp-in-karnataka.htm

      2) Subramania Shastri condemning Anandagiri's mention of "Vishnu" for "samya rUpa" in PrUpBh Tika, showing his hatred for Vishnu and bias for Shiva can even make him reject an important ancient advaita guru. (Upanishad Bhashyam - Vol. I published by Mahesh Research Institute)

      3) Subramania Shastri's forced interpretation of "Ishano bhUtabhavyasya" in Kath.Up. as a reference to Siva, even though Shankara does not refer to Shiva here by usage of words like "IshAnAkhya" "rudrAkhya" "mahAdevAkhya", and uses only the etymological interpretation to refer to the Supreme Being.

      4) The same advaitins will say that "vAsudeva" in "vAsudevAkhya" and "nArAyaNa" in "nArAyaNAkhya" have to be interpreted etymologically, despite vyAkaraNa sUtras disallowing in the latter case, and despite Shankara's intention of saMjJA rather than visheShaNa by his use of the pratyaya "-Akhya" in both cases.

      Such are the incidents that are making the gullible go astray today.

      On the other hand, anybody who has the mind to read through and analyze everything given in this blog cannot be a gullible person. The gullible are not attracted to the kind of stuff in this blog.

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    2. Let me now come to your trimUrti-aikyatva vAda which you seem to favor in the discussion in the link that you sent.

      trimUrti-aikyatva vAda is counter to the innumerable places in prasthAnatrayi bhAShyas where Shankara declares brahmA as jIvAtmA, and that he is not apahatapApmA. You might still say that Shankara did believe in Trimurti aikyatva, and say that the phrase "from brahmA to a blade of grass" used by Shankara at many places in the bhAShya is just an idiom/arthavAda, and that it should not be taken literally. If you do so, you are failing to look at two places in Brahma Sutra Bhashya,

      1.1.4:

      "The fruits of duty, which is good, and its opposite, which is evil, both of which are defined by original Vedic statements, are generally known to be sensible pleasure and pain, which make themselves felt to body, speech, and mind only, are produced by the contact of the organs of sense with the objects, and affect all animate beings from brahmA down to a tuft of grass."

      and even more clear in 1.3.30:

      "For although a mahâpralaya does cut short the entire current of practical existence, yet, by the favour of the highest Lord, the Lords (îsvara), such as Hiranyagarbha and so on, may continue the same form of existence which belonged to them in the preceding kalpa. Although ordinary animated beings do not, as we see, resume that form of existence which belonged to them in a former birth; still we cannot judge of the Lords as we do of ordinary beings. For as in the series of beings which descends from man to blades of grass a successive diminution of knowledge, power, and so on, is observed--although they all have the common attribute of being animated--so in the ascending series extending from man up to Hiranyagarbha, a gradually increasing manifestation of knowledge, power, &c. takes place; a circumstance which Sruti and Smriti mention in many places, and which it is impossible to deny. On that account it may very well be the case that the Lords, such as Hiranyagarbha and so on, who in a past kalpa were distinguished by superior knowledge and power of action, and who again appear in the present kalpa, do, if favoured by the highest Lord, continue (in the present kalpa) the same kind of existence which they enjoyed in the preceding kalpa; just as a man who rises from sleep continues the same form of existence which he enjoyed previously to his sleep. Thus Scripture also declares, 'He who first creates Brahman (Hiranyagarbha) and delivers the Vedas to him, to that God who is the light of his own thoughts, I, seeking for release, go for refuge' (Svet. Up. VI, 18)."

      So, Brahma is clearly ruled out of the trimUrtis. So much for the trimUrti-aikyatva vAda of the current-day advaitins.

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    3. Forgot to complete a sentence above...

      // A Vaishnava can be from any tradition, advaita, Vishistadvaita, or dvaita. All that a Vaishnava is required to believe is in Ishvara, //

      A Vaishnava can be from any tradition, advaita, Vishistadvaita, or dvaita. All that a Vaishnava is required to believe is in Ishvara, and that this Ishvara is none other than Narayana/Vishnu/Vasudeva who creates all beings, from Brahma, Rudra all the way to grass, and graces them. This much is accepted by Shankara.

      Delete
  68. Sri subbu,

    It is clear you are merely beating around the bush and evading direct questions.

    1. Sri rAmAnuja condemns advaita as a tAmasic maTha conceived due to papa karmas preventing knowledge. Similarly, srI oarakAla yati cindemns mAdhwas as "tamO yogIs" - those who do not worship vishNu in the proper way. Similarly vyAsa tIrtha condemns vishishtadvaitins and madhusUdhana saraswati condemns dvaitins and so on.

    2. The criteria of a vaishnava is one who considers vishNu, vAsudeva, nArAyaNa as supreme and other devas as subordinate. All 3 acharyas - shaNkara, rAmAnuja and mAdhwa - fulfill this criterion.

    3. It does not matter if the philosophy states that ultimaye truth is nirguNam, aikyam, dAsyam, etc. So long as vishNu was considered as the sole object of worship in vyAvahArika sath, then it makes shaNkara a vaishnava. The paramArtika sath does not habe relevance at all here since nothing basically exists other than an attributeless brahman at that state. Hence, all you can say is that shaNkara was a vaishnava whose philosphy allows termination of vaishnavatvam upon realisation of truth according to that philosophy. The othrr two achAryAs only dispute this and not the vaishnavatva itself, to oversimplify.

    It is in this respect that srI rAmAnuja criticises advaitins - that they relegate vaishnavatvam to vyAvahArika. This does not mean he xriticised their vaiShnavatva. That is made clear by the fact that srI desikan calls shaNkara a vaiShnava. Refutation of advaita is not a refutation of shaNkara's vaiShnava status.

    5. It is ver funny indeed that you call us misleading when you yiurself progress from saying shaNkara referred to vishNu as a general term to quibbling about an out of context kEnOpanishad to remaining silent on shaNkara's proclamations in his bhAshyas relegating rudra to a vibhuti to quoting tAmasic purAnAs, not responding tovthe quote where eve n srI vedAnta desikan calls shaNkara a vaiShnava and finally labelling well reasoned arguments as immature when all this indicates the rudimentary and immature nature of your own arguments. And you cleverly try to drag mAdhwas on your side by saying "look they called shaNkara bad names".

    Please decide if you can be honest enough to conduct a non-evasive argument

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  69. EDIT: In the previous posting, I meant "parakAla yati condemns mAdhwas as tamO yOgIs". ParakAla yati was a sri vaishNava achArya.

    ReplyDelete
  70. The commentor "adbhutam" (Subbu) has responded again with three personal messages. I will reply to the major points in this thread.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. // Did Ramanuja have no problems with Shankara's vaishnavatvam? Why did he then frown upon Shankara's comment on 'kapyAsam' and threw out the bhāṣya as a sacrilege? Surely this was not any instance of pārmarthikam; it was only a description of the Lord. Will a vaiṣṇava ever commit such a sacrilege as Shankara did, as per Ramanuja?//

      You are simply distorting events. The dispute was between Ramanuja and yAdavaprakAsha, the advaita guru. It is not clear how yAdavaprakAsha presented the explanation of Shankara, specifically “उपमितोपमानत्वात् न हीनोपमा”.

      Either way, thus whole issue is irrelevant. For that matter, the mAdhvas' idea that adi sesha is a baddha jivA and vAyu being elevated above garuda would be an apachAram for a sri vaishnava. Doesn't mean the mAdhvas are not vaishnavas. And similarly, the Srivaishnavas’ idea that vishNu is different from His body is criticized by mAdhvas as belittling bhagavAn.

      // Vaishnavatva therefore allows discarding everything about vishnu as mithyA? Did Desikan admit Shankara as a vaishnava despite this? Surprising. When someone gives up the very vishnutvam, how is he still a vaishnava? Your statement is quite contradictory. After discarding vaishnavatvam how can one still be a vaishnava? //

      Same as above. mAdhvas say that Srivaishnavas are reducing the glory of bhagavAn. Srivaishnavas say the same thing about mAdhvas vis-à-vis nitya-sUris. Both mAdhvas and Srivaishnavas accuse Shankara of having reduced the glory of bhagavAn by subjecting him to vyAvahArika level.

      However, all three AcAryas uphold the worship of single-minded devotion to Vishnu without resorting to anya devatas. And Shankara does say that it is only Vishnu who is to be worshiped with single-minded devotion, and that Rudra, Surya, Skanda*, etc. are jIvas. This is what I mean by “Vaishnava”.

      (* see the next few responses regarding Shankara calling Skanda/Sanatkumara ‘bhagavAn’).

      Even the Srivaishnava AcArya AlavandAr (yAmunAcArya), who was rAmAnuja’s predecessor, says that “there is no serious Vaidika who does not believe in the supremacy of Lord Vishnu” (both in Agama prAmANya and in stotra ratna). This much evidence is enough.

      Delete
    2. // And your resolve to still hold on to 'Shankara is a vaishnava' despite Shankara chopping off all that makes Vishnu a Vishnu for the vaishnavas that Ramanuja, Desikan et al are. The anantakalyānagunagananidhi is simply thrown away by Shankara when it comes to aham brahmasmi. The vaikuntam that is the cherished goal of the vaishnava is a simple nothing for Shankara. The nitya kainkaryam of the vaishnavite mukta is completely absent in Shankara's moksha. You call such a person a vaishnava? In other words, you want to call a temporary adherence/acceptance of Vishnu and his paramatva (vyavaharika paramatva) a true acceptance of vaishnavism?//

      // That is why Shankara in the Mandukya seventh mantra completely negates the sixth mantra description of sarvajna, antaryami, sarveshwara, etc. The prapanchopashama of the mantra gives no room at all for all these. What is a vaishnava who has none of these in the true state of affairs? In other words, by a provisional acceptance of these traits/attributes, does one become a vaishnava? Sorry, you are dragging Ramanuja and Desikan into this misconception of yours. In your overenthusiasm of making Vishnu the supreme vedic deity all big heads are gett ing rolled. //

      // Just as you think Vidyaranya did not represent the 'true Shankaran lineage', so too with Vedanta Desikan for his remark about shankara being a vaishnava, something that was bitterly opposed by Ramanuja. //

      1. Even after clearly explaining that desikan refers to shaNkara as a vaiShnava and srI rAmAnuja only criticises advaita and not shaNkara's vaiSnavatva, you still harp about it.

      2. Claiming that "according to us" desikan and rAmAnuja accepted shaNkara as a vaiShnava makes no sense since desikan has explained it clearly, as we have shown.

      And the acceptance of Vishnu is not “temporary”, like one week/month/a few years, in Shankara’s advaita. On the other hand, it is practically permanent – up to the point of nirguNa-mukti, after which there is no concept of “time” anyway in advaita.

      Now, you have finally accepted Shankara has accepted Vishnu’s paramatva (vyAvahArika paramatva). You yourself now confess indirectly but very clearly that the Shanmata-AchArya thing is inauthentic, even if you have denied/continue denying it.

      And finally, your silly tit-for-tat remark that Desikan strayed away from Ramanuja is childish.

      Delete
    3. // So, according to you, Ramanjua and Desikan have happily accepted a half-vaishnava which is no vaishnava in the end, for in Advaita, whether he is a vaishnava or a shaiva or a shakta, the moksha has not the least elements of these mere outward signs. That is because all these isms are only for chitta shuddhi and the tattva is ultimately transcending all these. //

      Shankara never said all these “isms” as you put it are only for chitta shuddhi. Show me *one place* in the Shankara bhAShyas where Shankara says it does not matter which devatA you worship as saguNa brahman.

      On the other hand, we have ample evidence to the contrary. Shankara said the Gita should not be taught to one who lacks bhakti to vAsudeva (18.67), which includes pretty much all Shiva/Shakti-centric modern advaitins who believe in Lingodbhava, Sarabheswara, Lalita Tripurasundari etc. He also states in sahasranAma bhAShya:

      varaM hutavahajvAlApu~jjasyAntarvyavasthitiH|
      na SauricintAvimuKajanasaMvAsavaiSasam||

      iti kAtyAyanavacanAt yatra deSe vAsudevanindA tatra vAso na kartavyaH|

      etaduktaM Bavati --

      yasya deve parA BaktiryathA deve tathA gurau|
      tasyaite kathitA hyarthAH prakASante mahAtmanaH||

      iti SvetASvataropanipanmantravarNAt harau gurau ca parA BaktiH kAryeti||

      Look how Shankara says one should not reside in a place where bhagavAn vAsudeva is belittled. And look how Shankara sees SvetasvatAra as a Vishnu-para shruti only, as does Sureshvara, who stated it more explicitly:

      “māyāṃ tu prakṛtiṃ vidyānmāyinaṃ tu maheśvaram ।
      iti vedaśiraḥsūktistathā codghṛṣyate sphuṭā ॥” (Br Up Bh Vart. 1.4.382)

      “daivī hyeṣā guṇamayī mama māyeti ca smṛtiḥ ।
      vaiṣṇavī khalviyaṃ māyetyapi loke'pi gīyate ॥” (Br Up Bh Vart. 1.4.383)

      Delete
    4. // No advaitin will accept the version of vaishnavism that you are marketing as the one endorsed by Shankara.//

      They need not. As I said, this blog is for open-minded people. I have stated that very clearly in the first two paragraphs and even requested those like you who are not open-minded to leave the page immediately.

      I am not marketing anything. I have not, for example, posted in advaita-l group asking members to look at my blog. And I never forced you to come here and read my blog.

      //Persons like Subrahmanya Sastri make such comments only to show the place for people like you //

      Looks like Subrahmanya Sastri’s comments didn’t serve the purpose. It didn’t “show us the place” for people like us. We actually find his footnotes quite funny and amusing to read, to see how far the so-called “tradition” has gone astray.

      // who say all sorts of things about Shankara that have no basis both in the bhashya and in the sampradaya.//

      It is amply clear to the neutral reader that you are doing doShAropaNam on us, while the doShas that you state are actually in your side. You have added zilch intellectual value to the debate.

      Delete
  71. // Shankara quotes the 'utpattim pralayam chaiva...' of the Vishnu puranam that defines 'bhagavan' to both Krishna in the BG and Sanatkumara in the Ch.up. 7th ch. end and says: Sanatkumara is of this nature. And he is called skanda by 'knowers'. How can you hold someone who equates the two to be a vaishnava? //

    Shankara clearly says that sanatkumAra is a jIva, in BrSuBh, 3.3.32 in whom knowledge has arisen, but the result of prArabdha karma hasn’t borne fruit. This also shows skanda is a jIva. Shankara clearly says parameshvara (Supreme Lord) is apahatapApma, nityamukta, and one for whom there is no karma (na mAm karmANi limpanti, Krishna’s words in BGBh 4.14).

    So, Shankara cannot have meant Sanatkumara/skanda = Vishnu, just based on a bad interpretation of the Chandogya Bhashya.
    The Vishnu purANa makes it amply clear why others can also be called bhagavAn, even though bhagavAn primarily is addressed to Vishnu only:

    evameṣa mahāñchabdo maitreya bhagavāniti /
    paramabrahmabhūtasya vāsudevasya nānyagaḥ // ViP_6,5.76 //

    “And thus this great word Bhagavan is the name of Vásudeva, who is one with the supreme Brahma, and of no one else.”

    tatra pūjyapadārthoktiparibhāṣāsamanvitaḥ /
    śabdo 'yaṃ nopacāreṇa tvanyatra hy upacārataḥ // ViP_6,5.77 //

    “This word therefore, which is the general denomination of an adorable object, is not used in reference to the supreme in a general, but a special signification. When applied to any other (thing or person) it is used in its customary or general import.”

    utpattiṃ pralayaṃ caiva bhūtānāmāgatiṃ gatim /
    vetti vidyāmāvidyāṃ ca sa vācyo bhagavāniti // ViP_6,5.78 //

    “In the latter case it may purport one who knows the origin and end and revolutions of beings, and what is wisdom, what is ignorance.”

    So, the use of the term “bhagavAn” for Vishnu is special, as it denotes aparicchinna jnAna, aishvarya, bala, vIrya, Shakti, and tejas. For others, it is just aupacArika. This much is clear from the Vishnu purANa. Sridhara Swami’s commentary also agrees.

    It was clear even before, from your assertion of trimUrti-aikyatva (totally against Shankara bhAShyas) in bhAgavata and other purANas, that your knowledge of itihAsa/purANa is faulty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. // So, the 'viṣṇu' that 'vaiṣṇava-s' ultimately attain, is the सर्वोपाधिविवर्जितं One Pure Consciousness free from all upādhi-s such as jagat kartā, antaryāmin, sarveśvara, etc. //

      This bag of tricks does not work here.

      The debate is not about what the mukta attains in the advaita mata. The debate is about how Ishvara-anugraha for obtaining mOkShahetukajnAna is to be sought. You are claiming that Shankara recommended panchopAsana/Shanmata worship. We are saying that all vedAnta AcAryas, including the advaita AcArya Shankara, recommended the worship of Vishnu (as saguNa brahman) and recommended refraining from propitiating other devatas such as Rudra, Surya, etc. who Shankara held to be Jivas.

      SarvajnAtman concludes his work with a salutation to Vishnu, His weawpons, garuDa, and ananta. Your reference to Vishnu’s form and weapons irreverently as “paraphernalia” shows your deep hatred. “yatra deshe vAsudeva nindA tatra vAso na kartavyaH”, says Shankara.

      // Whoever has the realization that he is that infinite Brahman and not this finite body-mind comlpex and whoever works to attain that state is a vaishnava. It does not matter if he is a shaiva or a bhakta of vinayaka or murugan or ambal. //

      Worshipers of anya-devatAs reach those anya-devatAs, which is subject to return to samsara. Read Shankara bhAShya 9.22-9.25, 7.19-7.23.

      Nowhere in any literature (advaita, other religious, non-religious such as kAvya etc.) do we find the term “vaiShNava” used in the manner that you have stated.

      And why does SarvajnAtman talk about “murAreH paramaM padam”? And why does Ramatirtha comment upon it and says it refers to bhagavAn viShNu who killed mura in his kR^iShNAvatAra? You haven’t answered this question.

      In the sahasranAma bhAShya, Shankara says the following while defining who is a Vaishnava, “इत्यादिवचनैर्वैष्णवलक्षणस्य एवंप्रकारत्वाच्च हिंसादिरहितेन विष्णोः स्तुतिनमस्कारादि कर्तव्यमिति”… note here that Shankara is talking about saguNa worship only.

      And moreover, the section in the Gita where the term “vaiShNava” is used by Shankara (9.25) deals with saguNa upAsana only, we all know that. It is clear by the fact that it occurs in condemnation of anya devata worship.

      The next verse (9.26) “patraM puShpaM phalaM toyaM yo me bhaktyA prayacChati” makes it amply clear. It is silly to suggest that Shankara recommended the offering of patra, puShpa, phala, and toya to something other than the saguNa mUrti viShNu.

      Also clear from the portion in Anandagiri’s TIka:

      “देवतान्तराराधनस्यान्तवत्फलमुक्त्वा भगवदाराधनस्यानन्तफलत्वमाह -- यान्तीति। भगवदाराधनस्यानन्तफलत्वे देवतान्तराराधनं त्यक्त्वा भगवदाराधनमेव युक्तमायाससाभ्यात्फलातिरेकाच्चेत्याशङ्क्याह -- समानेऽपीति। अज्ञानाधीनत्वेन देवतान्तराराधनवतां फलतो न्यूनतां दर्शयति -- तेनेति “ (9.25)

      “देवतान्तरयाजिनां यजनमविधिपूर्वकमिति कुतः सिद्धं तत्राह -- तथेति।“ (9.24)

      “देवतान्तरध्यानत्यागमपिशब्दसूचितं दर्शयति – अन्यामिति” (9.15)

      “नन्वादित्यो विराडात्मा सूत्रं कारणमक्षरमित्येतेषामुपासका भूयांसो योगिनो गम्यन्ते तेषां कतमः श्रेयानिष्यते तत्राह -- योगिनामिति। यो भगवन्तं सगुणं निर्गुणं वा यथोक्तेन चेतसा श्रद्दधानः सन्ननवरतमनुसंधत्ते स युक्तानां मध्येऽतिशयेन युक्तः श्रेयानीश्वरस्याभिप्रेतो नहि तदीयोऽभिप्रायोऽन्यथा भवितुमर्हतीत्यर्थः।“ (6.47)

      Look at Shankara’s statement here defining ananya-bhakti:

      'न अन्यो भगवतो वासुदेवात् परः अस्ति, अतः स एव नः गतिः' इत्येवं निश्चिता अव्यभिचारिणी बुद्धिः अनन्ययोगः, तेन भजनं भक्तिः न व्यभिचरणशीला अव्यभिचारिणी। सा च ज्ञानम्। (GBh, 13.10)

      “उक्तधीद्वारा जाताया भक्तेर्भगवति स्थैर्यं दर्शयति -- नेति।“ (Anandagiri)

      From the statement “none other than vAsudeva is the Supreme”, it is clear that ananya-bhakti is about saguNa mUrti worship only. If it was nirguNa-brahman being referred to here, the statement should have been “'न अन्यो भगवतो वासुदेवात् अस्ति” or “'न भगवतो वासुदेवात् परः अस्ति”.

      So there goes your theory. We also see Shankara condemning the practice of today’s advaitins as vyabhicAra-bhakti.

      Delete
    2. // Why did Shankara, a vaishnava, conceive of such a system? Why did Ramanuja, another vaishnava, did not conceive such a system as advaita when both were vaishnavas? If Vishnu was the only God to be worshiped, and if one has done that, as Shankara did, in your opinion, why did he end up preaching a tamasic matha?. //

      This is a kindergarten-level question in Vedic philosophy. There is something called free will, poorva karma vAsana, etc. and that is why we see disagreements among AcAryas even if they were Vaishnavas. Same with mAdhva vs. rAmAnuja. Any Srivaishnava, including Ramanujacharya himself, will agree that the advaita/dvaita systems are not entirely tAmasic but only those portions where there are philosophical differences (jIva-brahma aikyatva in the former, AnandatAratamya etc. in the latter).

      //Did Shankara adhere to tamasika puranas? You have claimed that he cited ONLY sattvic puranas. Shankara has cited from the Linga purana in the Kathopanishad bhashyam: yacchApnoti yadAdatte yacchaatti viShayAniha....to give a defintion of Atman (not about any tAmasa devatA like Shiva)//

      // You may discard Veda Vyasa as a tAmasa Acharya to give out such a message in the skanda purana. All that is disagreeable to you is either tamasa or interpolated or wrongly interpreted. //

      Even the Srivaishnava AchAryas parAshara bhaTTa (in Vishnu Sahasranama Bhashya) and Swami Desikan do quote the Linga purANa. Madhvacharya has quoted several passages from skAnda. That does not mean that the rAjasa/tAmasa purANas are entirely devoid of sattva-predominant portions. Please refer to the Tamasa Puranas article here. There are certain parts of tAmasic purANas which adhere with the shruti’s proclamation of Vishnu’s supremacy “nArAyaNa paraM brahmA” etc. You yourself have agreed that Shankara’s quotation from Linga Purana is not about Shiva but about the definition of the Atman. These parts have always been considered as AdharaNIya by trimatastha vedAnta AcAryas.

      You are trying to mock us by saying “tAmasa devatA” as if it is our terminology. I have shown already that Shankara himself in the Vishnu Sahasranama Bhashya for “bhUtakR^it bhUtabhR^it” has shown Rudra as tAmasic and Brahma as rAjasic. All shAstras proclaim this. Even Maitrayani Upanishad (the authentic one published with Ramatirtha’s commentary) assigns these three qualities respectively to the trimUrtis.

      // About Kenopanishad: Veda Vyasa says in the suta samhita brahmagita on the kenopanishat vivarana:

      punarvishvAdhiko rudro bhagavAn karuNAnidhiH
      svasya darshayitum teShAm durjneyatvam tathaiva cha
      aavirbabhUva sarvajno yakSharUpeNa he surAH

      Shankara says in the Kena bhashyam: sarvajna Ishwara. Therefore there is basis for Shankara to imply that the yakSha is none other than Shiva. //

      // You may discard Veda Vyasa as a tAmasa Acharya to give out such a message in the skanda purana. All that is disagreeable to you is either tamasa or interpolated or wrongly interpreted. //

      Looks like you are totally uninformed in this matter. You are merely calling names without bothering to spend time reading the article that has been published in the blog.

      Firstly, the first pAda of the second adhyAya of the brahma sUtras says that those smR^itis that are contrary to the Veda cannot be considered in tattva-vicAra. While the vedas clearly state “nArAyaNaparaM brahmA”, “nArAyaNAt brahmA jAyate nArAyaNAdrudro jAyate… nArAyaNe pralIyante”, “eko ha vai nArAyaNa AsIt na brahmA neshAnaH… trayyakShaH shUlapANI puruSho ajAyata” etc. showing that Brahma, Rudra are all part of the sR^iShTi by Sriman Narayana the brahman, the tAmasa purANas state otherwise, talking about the supremacy of other devatAs over Narayana. It is only because of this, we have to discard purANas.

      Delete
    3. Secondly, it is not us, or Ramanuja, or yAmunAcArya who state that the Shaiva purANas are tAmasa. The mAtsya purANa itself states thus, while showing the classification of the purANas:

      agneḥ śivasya māhātmyaṃ tāmaseṣu prakīrtyate /
      rājaseṣu ca māhātmyam adhikaṃ brahmaṇo viduḥ //
      sāttvikeṣu ca kalpeṣu māhātmyam adhikaṃ hareḥ /
      teṣv eva yogasaṃsiddhā gamiṣyanti parāṃ gatim //

      // In many of the verses Veda Vyasa says that Vishnu is sattva only outside but rajas inside and Shiva is tamas outside and sattva inside. And Shiva is shown as the Supreme with Vishnu and Brahma getting teaching from Shiva. //

      These Vishnu-nindaka portions are to be discarded. “yatra deshe vAsudeva nindA tatra vAso na kartavyaH” says Shankara.

      You seem to be lethargic to read the entire page (not the comments), where all this has been adequately addressed. So I will reproduce it here:

      Read also nArAyaNeeyam 90th dashakam and the commentary by Desa Mangala vAriyAr. Narayana Bhattathiri, a true follower of Shankara, clearly states why the sUta saMhita etc. have to be discarded, as they are not intended for aspirants of the Highest:

      “nanu ‘goptA viShNus tamomUrtiH vyApAreNa tu sAttvikaH’, ‘tadadhIno hariH sAkShAt’ , ‘viShNurviri~jcashca yatpAdapadmaM shirasA bibharti’ ityAdivacanaiH hareH nikR^iShTatA vyAsenaivoktetyAshaN^kya tasyArthavAdatvenAtatparatvamAha – ‘ye svaprakR^ityanuguNaM’ iti dvAbhyAM –

      ye svaprakṛtyanuguṇā giriśaṃ bhajante
      teṣāṃ phalaṃ hi dṛḍhayaiva tadīyabhaktyā /
      vyāso hi tena kṛtavānadhikārihetoḥ
      skāndādikeṣu tava hānivaco'rthavādaiḥ // 90.9

      bhūtārthakīrtiranuvādaviruddhavādau
      tredhārthavādagatayaḥ khalu rocanārthāḥ /
      skāndādikeṣu bahavo'tra viruddhavādās-
      tvattāmasatvaparibhūtyupaśikṣaṇādyāḥ // 90.10

      Translation: Those who, in conformity with their natural inclinations, or tendencies (Vasanas), worship Siva, do obtain the desired ends by firm devotion to him (Siva) only. It is with a view to encourage and motivate such persons that Sage Vyasa has eulogised Siva in his works like Skanda Purana, and made statements deprecating Thee. Arthavadas, or exaggeratory declarations, are of three kinds, namely, those which are neither contrary to available pramanas (proofs or authority) nor verifiable by experience; those which are verifiable by experience; and those which are contrary to experience, bordering on perverted interpretations. These are all devices employed by their proponents with a definite objective in view, or to score debating points, and are not to be taken in the literal sense. Statements in the Skanda and other Puranas attributing Tamoguna or defeat to Thee etc fall in this category and are motivated by the objective of intensifying devotion to one's chosen deity, and are not to be understood as belittling Thee.

      Delete
    4. As a challenge… Show me one place where Shankara has quoted from the sUta saMhita, the bogus interpolated upamanyu upAkhyAna in the current version of the mahAbhArata, or the shiva gIta, or any purANa vAkya that shows Shiva as the Supreme Lord. We have innumerable examples of purANa vAkyas that show Vishnu as the Supreme Lord, quoted by Shankara.

      This shows that Shankara himself considered sUta saMhita etc. as anabhyarhita and portions which praise Vishnu as the Supreme to be abhyarhita.

      Delete
    5. // Who laid down this criteria? To have samAshrayanam is one of the criteria. //

      The means (samAshrayanam) of worshipping bhagavAn is only different. Vaishnavas of North Indian sampradAyas (vallabha, nimbarka, gauDIya etc.) do not have samAshrayanam. More importantly, Vaikhanasas also do not undertake samAshrayanam. That does not make them any less Vaishnava.

      // There is no idea as to what the saptamatrkas and vinayaka meant during Shankara's time.//

      If that is the case, then we can also say that there is no idea what Shankara meant in his time when he talked about the “mithyatvam” of jagat, or the “aikyatvam” of jIvAtmA and paramAtmA.

      But then, it is quite amusing that somehow you are perfectly sure what “Rudra”, “umAsahAya”, etc. in the upaniShads meant from antiquity, despite having evidences to the contrary from Advaitins themselves.

      // If Shiva got sarvajnatva status due to a yaga as you said, and therefore a constant upasaka of antaryami vishnu and attained status of Guru to those who approach him for jnanam, why did Ramanuja cringed from even entering the precincts of a Shiva temple when there was a hevy downpour? //

      Haven’t you read Shankara’s statement " yadyapi tasya bhagavato.abhigamanAdilakShaNam ArAdhanam *ajasram-ananya-cittayA.abhipreyate*, tadapi na pratiShidhyate, shrutismR^ityorIshvarapraNidhAnasya prasiddhatvAt"? Why are you condemning something that Shankara says should not be condemned?

      UpAsakas (mAdhva, and advaitins such as Ramatirtha etc.) worship shiva as a guru. Prapannas like srI rAmAnuja don't.

      Moreover, these temples are mainly dominated by the practices and philosophy of Siddhanta Saivas of Tamil Nadu, who reject the Brahma Sutra and Bhagavad Gita (see Sivagyana Siddhiyar). In addition, Vishnu is relegated to a subordinate deity which is taboo both for Ramanuja and Shankara. Every Shiva temple in Tamil Nadu enshrines one “Arunandi Sivacharya” who condemned the Bhagavad Gita, consider by Shankara as sarvopaniShad sAra saMgraha, as a “book of murderous instructions given by the sly Vishnu”. It would be ridiculous to expect a parama Vaishnava to even step into such temples.

      // And gave the vulgar reason/analogy: A pativratA would not go to a para puruSha… what made Ramanuja to behave so queerly? //

      Ananya bhakti is a very lofty form of yoga, not some childish infatuation as you seem to construe it.
      Moreover, though I do not have direct reference, I have heard from reliable sources that the shAstras do say that those who resort to anya devatAs are like jAra strIs (not to be taken literally and be offended like you, but it is an arthavAda showing the importance of ananya bhakti).

      Delete
    6. // In fact philosophy alone is what matters. Shankara came to give out that philosophy only. //

      No. Shankara says that those who lack Krishna bhakti and harbour asUyai for Lord Vishnu should never be taught philosophy. And if Ishvara’s anugraha is the only gateway to Moksha (Brahma Sutra Bhashya, 2.3.41), proper bhakti with proper knowledge of Lord Vishnu (the saguNa brahman) as the jagatkAraNa, sarvAntaryAmi, and sarvotkarSha is essential. And moreover, ananya bhakti should be practised, otherwise we keep returning to samsara (GB 7.19-7.23, 9.22-9.25). It is crystal-clear.

      That according to Shankara, after the realization of this knowledge which is produced by the grace of Vishnu through ananya bhakti, the ‘Ishvaratvam’ of ‘Ishvara’ is realized to be mithya is altogether a different matter. We are talking about how Shankara wanted us to get there.

      // If you see Panchapadika's invocatory verses, Padmapāda holds Shankara as Shiva avatāra. //

      PadmapAda does not say Shankara is a Shiva avatAra. He contrasts the Shankara (his guru) with Shiva, merely to say “Look… I am saluting this other Shankara who does not have Uma as her half, does not wear ashes, who is not accompanied by vinAyaka, who is not accompanied by snakes, who is not fierce, and who does not have the black mark”.
      The “nirasta bhUtim” in this verse itself shows that Shankara did not wear bhasma. This has been explained in the Tattva-dIpana commentary as well as in Rjuvivaranam. Sri Thiruvisanallur Ramasubba Shastri, the exterminator of Vishnu-dveshis, has shown in “Vishnutattvarahasya” and “anubhAShya gAmbhIrya” that these verses show that Shankara was always a Vishnu bhakta and never sported Shaiva symbols.

      // Toṭaka's song has 'bhava eva bhavāniti mey nitarām samajāyata chetasi kautikitā' To quote from just the shrutisārasamuddharaṇam and ignore this famous song is unreasonable. //

      // There is no way one can dismiss the Shivapanchākṣari sotram as not of Shankara: yakṣasvarūpāya jaṭādharāya.. //

      Indiscriminately accepting random texts whose name itself is even not mentioned anywhere before 500 years is what is unreasonable.

      Delete
    7. // Why did Shiva always side with asuras despite vishnu being his antaryami? Why did Vishnu allow that? //

      The reason why vishNu allows shiva to side with the asurAs is the same reason why he, despite being the antaryAmin of hiranyakasipu and rAvana, allowed them to do what they did as well.

      The reason why vishNu allows shiva to take the credit for acts like tripura samhAra is because if shiva's puNya by virtue of tapas which allows for it.

      // There is a family in Govindapuram I heard which worships Rama having a photo where Rama and Lakshmana don bhasma. Is there evidence in the Valmiki Ramayana as to what Rama donned? //

      The fact that you are mentioning this is ridiculous. What if one random family somewhere worship Rama that way? That doesn't make it authentic information about Valmiki's Rama.

      What is the point in proving rAma wore urdhva pundram when the rAmAyaNa says rAma worshipped nArAyaNa (ayodhya kANDa), that hanuman himself says brahma, shiva and indra cannot stop rAma and the "mahAdeva" in "atra pUrvaM mahAdevaH prasAdaM akarot.h vibhuH" (yuddha kANDa) is interpreted as samudra rAja by mahEswara tIrtha, himself an advaitin?

      Either way, we have the work of Rama's very own kulaguru vashiShTa, who proclaims the importance of Urdhvapundram in Vashishta Dharma Shastra. There are elaborate instructions on the wearing of Urdhva Pundra in parAshara vishiShTa dharma, Vriddha hArita smR^iti and other smR^itis. They are published and available to the public.

      For Urdhva Pundra vs. Bhasma, you may want to read the smArta paNDita's work Tiruvisanallur Ramasubba Shastri's work "bhasma rudrAkSha dhAraNa mardanam" by which Appayya's descendent Mannargudi Raju Shastri was overwhelmed and couldn't respond.

      // Do Srivaishnava Acharyas give open mantropadesha for all castes as Ramanuja did? Why did they split into two kalai-s? Why is animosity existing between the groups to the extent of fighting cases in courts on temple naamam, etc. issues? //

      You are getting into irrelevant issues. Childish response.

      We have discussed and debated enough. You are not going to change your stubbornness, and you are not going to explain why Nrsimhashrama wrote saying that Shiva’s jnAna, aishvarya, etc. is not aparicChinna. You are still going to say that Vishnu/Ishvara in advaita does not refer to any deity despite the reference “murAreH paramaM padam”, “abhavad AnakadundubhinandanAd amatipUrvam idaM sakalam jagat” etc. in Sankshepa Sariraka.

      I cannot waste any more time on responses which add zero additional information to the discussion. Please do not waste time in drafting any more responses to me; I will not publish any more comments from you or respond to you, unless you have something at least remotely resembling a properly constructed and intellectually thought out response, not a repetition of the same thing with different words.

      Feel free to write whatever you want to say about this blog elsewhere, or to give up on this blog and happily go on with what you would normally do.

      Delete
    8. Addendum: "adbhutam" (subbu) said:

      // It is definitely possible to preach/write something in the bhashyam, which alone is relied upon by you, and quite something to practice in person, which you will never know for sure. //

      Only a cunning cheat will do that. This really shows your AcArya bhakti.

      And moreover, if that was true, I can even say that though Shankara preached that paramArtha sat is devoid of all guNas, he could have actually practiced Visishtadvaitam.

      Delete
    9. Dear adbhutam/subbu,

      Reluctance to accept the truth is one thing. Not many people can change long held opinions easily despite them proven wrong. That is fine. But your responses are completely nonsensical and hinge on borderline hatred for vaiShnavism. Look at your responses so far: "vaiShnava" does not really mean a vaiShnava in shankara bhAshya, shankara preached one thing and practised another, obessession with suta samhita (a tAmasic portion), mr so-and-so worships rAma with bhasma, denials and so on. You try to ignore direct references to vishNu, but insist that shankara referred to shiva as yakSha when such an equation is not there in the bhAshya! And tovtop it all, you say that "paShupati" mentioned to be a creation of brahma by shankara in his brihadAraNyaka upanishad bhAshya refers to a gaNa and not shiva (this is in the link that you sent). What a series of contradictions. Shows that you are a true follower of appayya dikShita, who was himself the master at absurd confusions and contradictions!

      We don't criticise you for clinging to your beliefs. But your private communications in which you stated krishNa's rAsa leela was immoral shows your hatred for vishNu; something that is avaidika and severely criticised by shankara himself.

      I suggest you drop the pretense of masquerading as a vaidika and openly embrace shaiva siddhAntha/kashmir shaivism and related. Atleast, true shaivas cannot be faulted for their works against vishNu because they never claim in the first place to be vedAntins (unlike you, the author of that mahApaShupatastra blog and sikikar folks). That shaiva maTha, which has been condemned by veda vyAsa and all vaidikas, would suit your inclinations better.

      Delete
  72. Dear Adbhutam/Subbu,

    You have again replied with a lot of ranting about:

    1) Saguna Brahman being vyAvahArika/apara for Shankara (which was never in contention in the first place),

    2) How I have "cooked up a new version of Vaishnavism",

    3) How my blog is "promoting hatred",

    4) How I am suggesting that Shankara and the Upanishad are "ridiculing Skanda/Sanatkumara",

    5) The recommendation that I should become a member of "some barbaric cult",

    6) How I am "dragging Shankara to my side" and suggesting Ramanuja, Desika, and Madhva committed "Vaishnava aparAdha" by "suggesting" that Shankara is Vaishnava. (When in reality, the three never did vyakti-dooShaNam, but only condemned the doctrine, and such style of writing is common in texts about khaNDana and maNDana in Vaidika literature).

    Enough said. Let the readers judge for themselves and let unbiased minds accept the truth of vishNu paratva.

    I am going to do a favor by not posting your comments of the above nature publicly, lest I let you embarrass yourself in front of others. Let me only address the points in your last response which are worth responding, as I promised.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. // You hold only those advaita acharyas who took the name of vishnu but discard all who did otherwise. //

      Silly to talk about advaita AchAryas who "took the name of Vishnu". You are trivializing the fact that they strongly talked about the Supremacy of Lord Vishnu in the bhAShyas.

      // In the Taittiriya shAnti pATha bhashyam Shankara has said for shanno vishnururukramaH - vistIrNakramaH pAdayorabhimAnI, that vishnu is only an abhimani devatA for the leg of the humans and grouped Vishnu along with other devatA-s. //

      // He places vAyu above Vishnu saying: sarvakriyAphalAnaam tadadhInatvAt - as the controller in the granting of all fruits of action. //

      I am not going to comment further on your Vishnu-dveSham, evident by your assertation that bhAShya subordianates Vishnu as a "minor abhimAni devatA" below vAyu, when it is clear that in reality there is no room for such interpretation when you examine the bhAShyas holistically.

      Even sAyaNa says here that Vishnu is said to be the Mighty One here because of His trivikramAvatAra.

      Vishnu being the presiding deity of the legs, despite his vastness during trivikramAvatAra, implies his saushIlyam which is unique to the parabrahman of the Vedas. He is not a sky daddy who looks down sadistically at the suffering of the samsAris, like in mlecCha religions. So, you are mistaking His saushIlyam to be an indicator of aparatam! What a pity! Shankara's words in Gita Bhashya resonates to me in my ears when I read your response:

      "न च यो मां वासुदेवं प्राकृतं मनुष्यं मत्वा अभ्यसूयति आत्मप्रशंसादिदोषाध्यारोपणेन ईश्वरत्वं मम अजानन् न सहते, असावपि अयोग्यः, तस्मै अपि न वाच्यम्" (18.67) (nor as well to him who cavils at Me, at Vasudeva-thinking that I am an ordinary person, to him who, not knowing My Godhood, imputes self-adulation etc. to Me, and cannot tolerate Me. He too is unfit; to him also it should not be imparted.)

      You have to read Anandagiri's bhAShya to get clarity here regarding vAyu being addressed as pratyakSham brahma:

      (A Mahadeva Shastri’s translation)

      “Though not the very Brahman, Prana, is addressed as such just in the same way that the gate-keeper of a king's palace is addressed as king to get a ready admission. Prana is the gate-keeper as it were of Brahman in the heart. The seeker of liberation who wishes to see Brahman addresses Prana as Brahman with a view to praise the Intelligence functioning in the vitality.”

      Otherwise, you are suggesting that Shankara is inconsistent, as he says something totally contrary to your interpretation of "vAyu as pratyakSha brahman" in BSuBh 1.2.17:

      "aiśvaryamapi parameśvarāyattaṃ na svābhāvikam /
      bhīṣāsmādvātaḥ pavate bhīṣodeti sūryaḥ /
      bhīṣāsmādagniścendraśca mṛtyurdhāvati pañcamaḥ' (tai. 2.8) iti mantravarṇāt /"

      Delete
    2. //The Taittiriya is a place where the srishti sthithi laya are explicitly stated and the janmAdhikaraNa too does this. Shankara never takes the name of vishnu as the cause of all creation. //

      Wow. Shankara sums up the whole of the first adhyAya of the brahma sUtra (which includes the janmAdhikaraNa) in one quote, and you decide to ignore that:

      atashca saN^kShiptamimaM shR^iNudhvaM nArAyaNaH sarvamidaM purANaH |
      sa sargakAle ca karoti sarvaM samhArakAle ca tadatti bhUyaH ||

      And it is in the Taittiriya vArtika only that Sureshvara says that the entire jagat with its nAma-rUpa have arisen from Vishnu (Anandavalli, 6th anuvAka):

      “vyAkR^itir yA tayorviShNoH pratyahaM nAmarUpayoH | bhUyo bhavanametatsyAn mAyino anekatA yathA” (23)
      “na cAnyaH prAvishadviShNoH shrUyate hyekakartR^itA | sR^iShTvA jagat tadevAnuprAvishac ceti hi shrutiH” (29)
      Of course you can close your eyes and say “Here, Vishnu is not the deity”.

      // What he says in the BG is gitAspecific and therefore contextual. //

      No, not at all. This is how Shankara introduces the Gita Bhashya to us:

      “tad idaM gItA shAstraM samasta-vedArtha-sAra-saMgraha-bhUtaM”, and

      “paramArtha tattvaM ca vAsudevAkhyaM parabrahmAbhidheyabhUtaM abhivya~njayad vishiShTa prayojana sambandhAbhideyavad gItA shAstram”.

      Nowhere does he say “Okay, Gita is taking Vishnu as the choice for saguNa brahman. However, this is not absolute, and the teachings are independent of your chosen deity”.

      // Even the vishnu sahasranama bhashyam is not accepted by many as that of Shankara but you quote from that only, obviously. //

      It is not accepted by anti-Indian indologists. That’s all. There is a certain objective manner in which the authenticity of Vishnu Sahasraama is established (strongest to weakest):

      1) Refutation of some of its points by Parasara Bhattar’s own commentary on the Sahasranama,

      2) Frequency of Upanishads quoted in it (a unique signature of Shankara),

      3) Acceptance of Vishnu alone as parabrahman and non-acceptance of Siva etc. for the same title (as in the other bhAShyas),

      4) Similarity with bhagavad-gItA bhAShya for the explanation of certain nAma like suhR^it etc., unique to Shankara,

      5) Existence of tAraka brahmAnanda sarasvati’s detailed vivR^itti on it,

      6) Existence of an evidence of Anandagiri’s TIka on it (See http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:SRhKcHoYbq0J:cloud.ap.nic.in/disha/s2/s2bookdet.jsp%3FL%3D6964%2526vl%253D12+&cd=7&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au)

      7) Narayana Bhattathiri’s and Desa Mangala vAriyAr’s testimony (in dasakam 90, shlokam 5),

      8) Testimony of Gaudiya Vaishnava commentators on bhAgavatam

      And probably many more.

      //In the soundarya lahari he says: harirApnoti nidhanam.//

      And the statement “yatra deshe vAsudeva nindA tatra vAso na kartavyaH” is a specific injunction, not arthavAda. Hence, Shankara could have not written Saundarya Lahari which does vAsudeva nindA by saying “harirApnoti nidhAnam”.

      /// All this is anathema to you and therefore not that of Shankara.///

      I have given eight objective criteria for the acceptance of Vishnu Sahasranama Bhashya as authentic. Can you give any for Soundarya Lahari, Sivananda Lahari, Panchakshari Stotram, Ganesha Pancharatnam, or Subrahmanya Bhujangam?

      The fact, as it stands, is that these works are neither mentioned even just by name, nor is even one quote from them given in any of the authentic texts of later advaitins until 1500 CE.

      Delete
    3. // If the suta samhita portions denigrating vishnu are tamasic, what about the brahmageetA portions where entire upanishads are taken up for exposition? All of them are pure advaita, reflecting the shAnkara bhashyas. //

      If these portions are not anabhyarhita for vedAnta vicAra, as you suggest, can you show any AcArya before Vidyaranya quoting them in any of the numerous bhAShyas, vArttikas, vyAkhyAs, TippaNis, and Teekas that were written by that time? And even after vidyAraNya, how many AcAryas quoted them in their works on vedAnta?

      Just because a portion of a certain purANa, for which no tradition of commentaries exist, talks about Upanishads and gives a Shiva-para vyAkhyAnam to them, it doesn’t make those portions “pure vedAntic portions”.

      // accept two or three sentences of Shankara containing vishnu/vasudeva as representing vaishnavism. //

      The objective reader can count how many quotes I have provided in the article and comments and can say whether there are only “two or three” such Vishnu-para sentences in Shankara’s Bhashyas.

      Delete
    4. // In the Br.up.B 1.4.10 for the question on whether deva-s will create hindrance to the brahmavidyā phalam (mokṣa), Shankara says this cannot be done and later concludes:
      यं तु मुमोचयिषन्ति, तं श्रद्धादिभिर्योक्ष्यन्ति, विपरीतमश्रद्धादिभिः । तस्मान्मुमुक्षुर्देवाराधनपरः श्रद्धाभक्तिपरः प्रणेयोऽप्रमादी स्यात् विद्याप्राप्तिं प्रति विद्यां प्रतीति वा काक्वैतत्प्रदर्शितं भवति देवाप्रियवाक्येन ॥
      “That person whom the deva-s wish to liberate (from samsāra), they endow him with śraddhā, etc. and the other with a-śraddhā etc. Therefore the aspirant of liberation should be intent upon worship of the deva-s, be with shraddhā-bhakti, be obedient (to the gods) and be alert about the attainment of knowledge or about knowledge itself. The mention of the dislike of the gods is an indirect hint at all this.”
      So, Shankara happily enjoins the worship of deva-s. No mention of Vāsudeva is ever made here either by the Upanishad or by Shankara. Anandagiri too says: श्रद्धादिप्रधानस्तदाराधनपरः सन् देवादीनां प्रियः स्यात् तद्विपक्षस्य मुमुक्षावैफल्यादित्यर्थः – One better be devoted to the deva-s, else his goal of liberation would not be met. That is the purport of the mantra/bhāṣya.
      This again proves that what Shankara says in the BG is only contextual. This is a clear distinction from “देवतान्तराराधनस्यान्तवत्फलमुक्त्वा भगवदाराधनस्यानन्तफलत्वमाह -- यान्तीति।‘’ [recall what Shankara says in the above br.up.bh. तस्मान्मुमुक्षुर्देवाराधनपरः श्रद्धाभक्तिपरः. No talk of vaishnava bhakti, etc. here. He, on the contrary assures that the deva-s can liberate the aspirant. No talk, again, of Shiva giving jnanam and Vishnu giving liberation. All that is simply arthavāda. Ishvarānugraha is required and that comes by doing what is to be done.
      //

      These are blind and desperate assertions and nothing more. The ArAdhana of devatAs that Shankara talks about is those occurring in the nitya karmas, which have to be done with the understanding that Sriman Narayana is the antaryAmin of all these devatAs. Ramatirtha’s commentary in Sankshepa Shariraka:

      "कर्मणि कर्तृत्वाभिनिवेशं फलासक्तिं च हित्वा केवलं यज्ञात्मकस्य नारायणस्य तत्तद्देवतादिरूपेणावस्थितस्य समाराधनरूपमिदं कर्मं करिष्ये इति प्रारम्भे, श्रीमन्नारायणे भगवति सकारकं सफलं चेदं कर्मास्तु इदं यथोक्तं कर्मं कृतं नारायणार्पणमस्त्विति वाऽन्ते च सङ्कल्परूपो नियमस्तस्मान्नियमात्समर्पितमित्यर्थः"

      The “mOkSha” that the devatAs bestow is the liberation from being bound by these very devatas in their respective spheres of influence with no room for transcending above it. The bhAShya is clear on this.

      We do not need to randomly dismiss the gItA bhAShya and Anandagiri's strong statements on devatAntara-bhajanam as “arthavAda”. Dismissing something as “arthavAda” must be done sparingly, and we do not need to do it here as we can explain everything coherently.

      (contd. in next post)

      Delete
    5. (contd. from previous)

      Read Gita Bhashya 4.11-4.12 where this particular shruti is explained:

      4.11 –
      यदि तव ईश्वरस्य रागादिदोषाभावात् सर्वप्राणिषु अनुजिघृक्षायां तुल्यायां सर्वफलप्रदानसमर्थे च त्वयि सति 'वासुदेवः सर्वम्' इति ज्ञानेनैव मुमुक्षवः सन्तः कस्मात् त्वामेव सर्वे न प्रतिपद्यन्ते इति? शृणु तत्र कारणम्

      (If Your wish to be favourable is the same towards all creatures on account of the absence of the defects of love and aversion in You who are God, and You are there with Your capacity to grant all rewards, why then do not all, becoming desirous of Liberation, take refuge in You alone with the very knowledge that Vasudeva is everything?)

      4.12 – काङ्क्षन्तः अभीप्सन्तः कर्मणां सिद्धिं फलनिष्पत्तिं प्रार्थयन्तः यजन्ते इह अस्मिन् लोके देवताः इन्द्राग्न्याद्याः;' अथ योऽन्यां देवतामुपास्ते अन्योऽसावन्योऽहमस्मीति न स वेद यथा पशुरेवं स देवानाम् (बृ0 उ0 1.4.10)' इति श्रुतेः। तेषां हि भिन्नदेवतायाजिनां फलाकाङ्क्षिणां क्षिप्रं शीघ्रं हि यस्मात् मानुषे लोके, मनुष्यलोके हि शास्त्राधिकारः। 'क्षिप्रं हि मानुषे लोके' इति विशेषणात् अन्येष्वपि कर्मफलसिद्धिं दर्शयति भगवान्।

      (They who long after success in action sacrifice to the Gods, such as Indra and Agni. The sruti says: "He who, on the other hand, worships a separate God, thinking, ' He is separate from me and I am separate from Him'—he knows not. He is to the Devas as cattle (to men)." (Bn. Up. 1-4-10). For/quickly is the fruit of action reaped in this world of men by those who, wuth selfish ends in view, sacrifice to external Gods, performing the works enjoined on them according to their caste (varNa) and order (asrama).)

      ***Please do yourself a favour by refraining from quoting randomly from upanishad bhAShyams in desperation, without a holistic view of the prasthAna trayi. I will not respond to any more of your misinterpretations of the prasthAna trayi. I am not going to respond to such desperate "hanging to the straws" type of responses any more***

      Delete
    6. // So you agree that the trimurti concept is shruti-accepted. //

      Not *your* concept of trimUrti. The shruti’s concept of trimUrtis that Vishnu the Supreme manifests among the devatas (like He manifests as an avatAra among humans, animals, etc.), and performs the action of protecting the world, whereas Brahma and Rudra perform (partially) sR^iShTi and saMhAra by the grace of none but Vishnu Himself.
      I have already shown from Shankara’s Bhashya in BSB 1.3.30. You haven’t responded to that. Or would you still say that the Brahma Sutra Bhashya is also context-specific.

      Enough said, as I have stated before, let the readers judge for themselves and let unbiased minds accept the truth of vishNu paratva.

      Delete
    7. ADDENDUM:

      I missed this one point:

      // The shruti also says: ‘सर्वमिदं ब्रह्मविष्णुरुद्रेन्द्रास्ते संप्रसूयन्ते’. This is cited by Sri Shankarananda in the Sri Rudra bhashyam for the word ‘bhava’ to show that Shiva is the source from whom all the above devata-s emanate. Vidyaranya cites from the taittiriyaka shruti: एक एव रुद्रो न द्वितीयाय तस्थे’ and ‘अहमेकः प्रथममासं वर्तामि च भविष्यामि च । नान्यः कश्चिन्मत्तो व्यतिरिक्तः’ about Shiva in the Atharvashira Upanishad. //

      All this has been satisfactorily addressed by Sri Ramanuja in Sri Bhashya, Vedartha Sangraha, etc., as well as by the 19th/early 20th century smArta paNDita Tiruvisanallur Ramasubba Shastri in his commentaries on these Upanishads.

      To not read them (at least Sri Ramanuja's works are available for download) and continue cringing is ridiculous.

      Delete
    8. Dear Adbhutam/Subbu,

      It is clear that you wish to turn a blind eye to all the statements contrary to your position in Shankara bhAshyam. Not one, not two, but multiple quotes spanning an entire generation of Advaita gurus have been provided already. HBB has taken the trouble to address even your asinine objections like "vAyu as pratyakSha brahman".

      Regarding the Atharvasiras, Atharvasikha, Svetasvatara and Rudra Prashna, that has already been covered here on the blog. And note, it is not just srI rAmAnuja muni or srI mAdhva who hold these upanishads/samhita portions to be praising vishNu. srI shankara has explictly stated that the svEtAsvatAra advocates hari bhakti. That, and numerous other statements to this effect make his position very clear. So, if you have objections to rAmAnuja or mAdhva, you can turn to shankara and see the same opinions reflected in his bhAshyas as well.

      Your position is not that of traditional advaita propagated by Shankara. Proof lies in the fact that there have been advaitins like Thiruvisanallur Rama Subbu Sastri who have followed smArta sampradaya and advocated the same viewpoints as seen in this blog. Surely, you would not deny the weight of statements made by such a vidwAn who was passionate and uncompromising about advaita, the tradition of his birth.

      While the purpose of this blog is certainly to refute wrong opinions and address all objections, it does not mean we need to waste our time answering each and every ridiculous point of every individual person like you. There are many articles lined up on this subject. And all these are getting stalled because we are addressing your absurdities point by point.

      The object of our endeavor to cater to your foolishness so far was only to show our readers that *we have answers to everything*. This blog does not stifle objections. But you have progressed into the realm of jalpa and viTanda despite the proof staring you in the phrase.

      We believe that our responses so far should be enough to show the readers that all bases have been covered. The irrefutable conclusion is that Vedanta in any form (be it advaita, vishishtadvaita or dvaita) is synonymous with Vishnu-Paratva.

      Kindly be warned that we have other things to do and hence, will not be replying to any more of your juvenile objections. Much time and effort has been spent already. Your position has been soundly refuted.

      Delete
  73. Adbhutam/Subbu has replied to us with more tripe. Although we had said we would not reply, the persistently ridiculous opinions of this prachanna shaiva masquerading as a vedAntin and the fact that he seems to have run to Mani Dravid Sastrigal (a so-called "eminent" mordern day scholar), seemed to warrant a response. As usual, I shall cover the general sections; HBB shall address the advaita parts.

    Reply:

    //Mani Dravid Sastrigal, blah, blah...//

    Interesting that you quote Mani Dravid Sastri. He is a sishya of Subramania Sastri, as HBB informs me, who in turn wrote the absurd sub-commentaries condemning Anandagiri for saying vishNu is soumya rUpa. What more can we expect from Mani Dravid Sastri but similar distortions? But they will be answered anyway.

    //You are only escaping from the obvious to only protect Ramanuja. When Ramanuja had the capacity to come up with an explanation that is admissible to him did he not have the capacity to know Shankara’s intent? Why put the blame on Yadavaprakasa? If you hold Shankara was right in the commentary, then you obviously hold Ramanuja’s stand faulty. If you express this openly, your partnership with the visishtadvaitin will be in jeopardy. One can easily see this.//

    We have already explained that kapyAsa sruti was an argument on interpretation and not on vishNu paratva. Then what is the point of banging on about it? As I said before, mAdhwas make the same accusation against visishtadvaitins when they argue that vishNu is not different from his form. They say that it is hari ninda to say bhagavAn is different from his body. Does this make mAdhwAs or sri vaiShnavas "non-vaiShnavas"?

    No matter what the interpretation of kapyAsa sruti is, it does not change the fact that for Sankara, Yadava and Ramanuja, 1) vishNu is parabrahman, 2) vishNu alone is being debated here and no-one else.

    In other words, even if Shankara gave an interpretation for kapyAsa sruti that is averse to rAmAnuja, it still does not change the fact that both regarded vishNu alone as saguNa brahman. It is similar to mAdhwAs condemnning vishishtadvaitins for not accepting Hari's body is identical to him and vice versa.

    //It was in response to your silly and childish remark about Vidyaranya.//

    You are the silly and childish one here.

    VidyaraNya's works contradict Shankara bhAshyas where the latter explicitly condemns worship of Rudra, Aditya, etc as supreme. Vidyaranya also contradicts several advaitins like SarvajnAtma muni, Rama Tirtha, Sridhara Swami, etc.

    Whereas, Desikan's observation that Shankara was a vaiShnava does not contradict rAmAnuja at all. Your stark ignorance does not notice that srI rAmAnuja only claimed that advaita maTham was propagated by those with anAdi kAla pUrva janma karmas. Sri vedAnta desikan too has stated this elsewhere. At the same time, Desikan acknowledges that Shankara was a vaiShnava.

    There is no golden rule that just because one is a vaiShnava, then he is “pure” – if that were the case, mAdhwAs and srI vaiShnavas would accept each other as sinless. But then, parakAla yati calls mAdhwAs “tamO yOgIs” for their description of bhagavAn. Similarly, mAdhwAs have criticised srI vaiShnavas as “perverse”.

    Similarly, shankara’s description of the kapyAsa sruti may be described as “perverse”, “ridiculous” and so on. Shankara’s advaita maTha may be called tAmasic. But just as mAdhwas and sri vaShnavas trade heated exchanges and are yet considered as worshippers of vishNu as supreme, so is shankara.

    kapyAsa sruti is NOT EVEN RELEVANT to your claims or this debate.

    In para-maTha-bhAngam, vedAnta desika, while refuting shaivas, begins as follows – “Shiva swore, holding a hot axe in his hand, that sriman nArAyaNa is the para devata”, implying that shaivas do not accept it. But in condemnation of advaita, he ONLY criticises their philosophy. No mention of the panchAyataNa puja, shiva-vishNu aikyam, etc which shows that advaitins did NOT have such practices in his day.

    contd..

    ReplyDelete
  74. //For Madhwa Shankara was a demon and you equate all the three Acharyas as vaishnavas. See what Madhwa says in the MBTN//

    And the point? The mAdhwas only call shankara a demon because of his philosophical tenets and jiva-Iswara aikya vAda as that sloka points out. Nowhere does it say, “Shankara is a demon because he worshipped all deities as equal to Hari, etc”. Once again, see above explanation. For that matter, mAdhwas condemn vishishtadvaitins and vishishtadvaitins condemn dvaitins in similar manner.

    Name calling has always existed in vedAntic debates. Does not disprove vaiShnavatva of shankara.

    For Shankara, SaguNa brahman is only vishNu and no other devata. That is the debate. The debate is not about nirguNa brahman which is irrelevant.

    //Your work reveals your great hatred to Shiva. Ramasubba Sastri suffered the consequences of his shivanindā and dveṣa and spent the last years of his life in deep repentence. He could not answer many of the questions of Raja Sastrigal. //

    Interesting to see what you shaivas propagate. HBB shall answer this. But then, I suppose you forget the fact that all the authentic information was conveniently distorted by Raju Sastrigal because of his influence with the maThas. No doubt, this is the version of the story propagated. Similar to the nonsensical stories of how appayya dikshita “converted” srinivAsa at tirumala into shiva. Hare brained stories do not a refutation make.

    An article on Rama Subbu Sastri is coming up which will address everything.

    //He could not answer many of the questions of Raja Sastrigal. His work on the shānkara brahma sutra bhāṣya had several blunders and some of these were exposed by the eminent scholar Mani Dravid Sastrigal in his thesis long ago.//

    Ah yes, the “eminent” scholar who is the disciple or cohort of Subramania Sastrigal who in turn condemned Anandagiri’s tika because it extolled vishNu. HBB shall answer this.

    //In the skānda puranam Shiva says://

    It does not matter what shiva says in skanda purAna as it is tAmasic even according to Shankara maTha. What Shiva says in sAttvika purAnAs only matters.

    //In the Bhagavatam dakṣa yajna portion Lord Hari has openly declared the equal status of the three gods and said those who do not perceive difference among the three will get peace.//

    Firstly, Skanda purAna is a tAmasic/rAjasic purAna as explained a million times. Show us ONE quote from Shankara where he quotes the lingodbhava, Sharabha, etc incidents from tAmasic purAnAs. In contrast, just like rAmAnuja and parAsara bhattar who quoted the Linga PurAna, Shankara too only quotes those non-tAmasic portions from these purAnAs. Indeed, even srI vaiShnavas and mAdhwAs quote the skanda purAna, but only the sAttvik portions which glorify vishNu.

    Just going around in circles. Refer the article on tAmasa purAnAs in this website. Shankata did NOT quote from these sections.
    And those statements in the bhAgavatam are expressed in the mode of sharIrAtma bhAva for viShishtadvaitins. For advaitins like sridhara swami, it only indicates abhEda in the sense of antaryAmitvam and not trimUrti aikya vAda. So, equating all 3 deities is not the intent of these statements as even advaitins only understand it by the vishNu purAna statement that vishNu himself becomes all 3 gods; it is seeing that the same god (vishNu) appears in 3 forms – as himself and the antaryAmin of the other two, hence equated to them. Shankara establishes this in vishNu sahasranAma bhAshya for bhUta kRt where he says “vishNu is virinca-rUpEna (form of Brahma as the latter creates with his body) and rudrAtmaNa (antaryAmin of rudra which helps him destroy), but vishNu is by himself established in sattva, whereas the other two are rajas and tamas personified.” The same is reiterated by Sridhara Swami for these sections in the bhAgavatam.

    Are you so dull-headed that you do not actually check our quotations of sridhara swami and virarAghavIya vyAkhyAna for such statements in the bhAgavata purAna on this website? Check the article on Shiva stuti in the bhAgavatam.

    contd...

    ReplyDelete
  75. //Can you point out who the saptamatrukas Shankara had in mind, or the vinayaka? Today even the madhva maThas do chanḍī pārāyaṇa and elaborate chanḍi homa-s. All non-advaitins worship vinayaka on specific days. Madhwas for whom Shiva is a jiva, is also the manaḥkāraka and his grace is essential for them to have pure Vishnu bhakti. They regularly visit shiva temple on Mondays.//

    The sapta-mAtrukas and vinAyaka that Shankara condemned as unfit for saguNopAsaNa, along with Aditya and Rudra in his gita bhAshya, are none other than those prevalent today. Maybe your fertile imagination can think of other beings with the names. We already read your absurd arguments on paShupati and tarpaNa in that group link you provided.

    All other than vishNu is unworthy of worship as Iswaras, though they may be worshipped as gurus.

    As you yourself put it, mAdhwAs only worship other deities for hari bhakti. That is perfectly acceptable according to their darShana. Their logic is that even though shAstra condemns anya devata worship, these devatas can be worshipped if you have the mindset that they are not supreme.

    //In the Prashnopanishat Rudra is described as jagat samhārakartā and pālayitā by Shankara. Nowhere Shankara says that it is because of Vishnu’s grace that Rudra does this.//

    Even srI vaiShnavas say Rudra performs jagat samhAra and protects it to his capabilities. And it is not necessary that it needs to be stated everywhere that Rudra is a vibhUti. If there is a statement “sun shines” in one place and “sun shines because of vishNu” in another place, it makes sense that both statements need to be seen in light of each other. Shankara has already relegated Rudra to a vibhUti and a creation carrying out specific duties in other places in his bhAshyas.

    ReplyDelete
  76. This is just rabid nonsense without understanding of the difference between sri vaiShnavism and other traditions.

    1) mAdhvas refute the pAShupata agamas, but they go to the temples of shiva installed with these agamas. Their reasoning is that these Agamas may be tAmasic, but if we go to the temples with the mindset that Shiva is a hari bhakta and a guru, then it is not an error since shAstras say Shiva is “sarvajna Iswara” – one who grants knowledge of hari.

    2) Sri rAmAnuja disagrees with this on two reasons. Firstly, even if Shiva is to be worshipped as a Hari Bhakta, it cannot be done so in temples installed with shaiva and shakta agamas. Because these agamas are tAmasic and hence the mode of praTiShta is tAmasic, hence the vAsana-s prevailing in the temple would also be tAmasic. Therefore, the mood of the deity would also not be conducive to conferring knowledge of vishNu. In contrast, if a Shiva linga is established within a vishNu temple, yes, upAsakas can worship it since over there, the sAttvik agamas install shiva as a hari bhakta. The second reason why srI rAmAnuja did not enter the temple is that in viShishtadvaita, Shiva is a guru for upAsakas. Prapannas must not worship Shiva as a guru even. The sri Vaishnava acharyas were prapannas and not upAsakas.

    3) Only sri vaishnavas have the difference between prapannas and upAsakas in their philosophy. Hence, mAdhwas do not adhere to these views.

    Since such differences do not exist for mAdhwas, they visit shiva temples. In fact, there have been debates between mAdhwas and sri vaiShnavas on this issue. Did you even know that rAghavendra swami wrote a work cricticising sri vaiShnavas for their refusal to enter the rAmEswaram shiva temple? This is not some secular or social issue, but a vedAnta vichara.

    Even for taking shelter from the rain, a parama vaidika will be afraid of vAsanas. First understand the philosophical differences and then comment. Your mind is obsessed with Suta Samhita and the Lahiris.

    //The first brahma sutra bhashya never makes this as a condition. You might say one should read that along with the BG. But one can have any deity in mind and happily apply the principles of ananya bhakti of the BG and bhashyam. Our sanatana dharma is not like other religions where imposing of one deity is the norm.//

    In other words, you say that you will continue to practise hatred against krishNa and make stupid statements like rAsa leela is immoral. Fine. But then, Shankara establishes vishNu paratva and the brahma sUtrAs are about Brahman. nirguNa brahman may be attributeless, but Shankara certainly accepts vishNu alone as saguNa Isvara.

    Subramania Sastri and Mani Dravid Sastri’s opinion are not even that of Shankara, let alone sanAtana dharma.

    contd..

    ReplyDelete
  77. //Why should Padmapada do that comparison? Merely because his guru was named Shankara? It is because He is ShivAvatAra, a fact unpalatable for the Shiva dveshins. ‘vināvibhūtim’ is not about bhasma; it is about free of Shiva’s vibhūti-s (aiśwarya). This silly objection is made by a madhva pontiff too and I pointed out the mistaken notion of his. As for Ramasubba sastri’s misadventures with advaita and the smārtasampradaya, I have already said something about this (“anubhAShya gAmbhIrya”) in the foregoing.//

    Padmapada was comparing Shiva to Adi Shankara only in the sense that both were gurus and both were imparting knowledge of vishNu. Elsewhere, Sureshwara makes it explicit that Shiva bears the Ganga from vishNu’s feet on his head; similarly, Shankara bears the Vedanta from Hari’s feet on his head.

    Your criticisms on Rama Subbu Sastri was inspired by the likes of Subramania Sastri who has actually condemned Anandagiri, so hardly valid. However, they will be answered.

    //The suta samhita has enough material on bhasma dharana vidhi and māhātmya. Shankara was not attached to any ism. Whatever was there on one’s forehead is unimportant. What is important is the devotion to tattva.//

    Of course, the suta samhita would have it. Because it is a tAmasa shAstra naturally. And going by Shankara’s gita bhAshya, it is clear that “what’s on one’s forehead” is also important.

    If one could indiscriminately worship anything as saguNa brahman, it would make little sense. Then one might ask why shAstras would say “tarpaNa needs to be performed THIS way and not THAT way”. Any way can be valid? That is why Shankara wisely shows that even for saguNopAsaNa, there are rules and the primary rule is that vishNu alone is fit for saguNopAsaNa.

    //That person whom the deva-s wish to liberate (from samsāra), they endow him with śraddhā, etc. and the other with a-śraddhā etc. Therefore the aspirant of liberation should be intent upon worship of the deva-s, be with shraddhā-bhakti, be obedient (to the gods) and be alert about the attainment of knowledge or about knowledge itself. The mention of the dislike of the gods is an indirect hint at all this.”//

    //You quickly came out with a rebuttal that is a completely misunderstood position of the stated bhashya. You point to an irrelevant Ramatirtha commentary on nityakarma. It shows how you have been misled and or how you want to evade the problematic bhashya vakyam I have pointed out. Re-visit the above bhashyam. It is NOT about releasing people from the deva-‘s clutches or jurisdiction. It is about liberation of the aspirants from samsara. Why would Shankara talk about shraddhādi elements blessed by the deva-s when they are duly propitiated without being neglected? Shankara is not at all demanding anyone’s adherence to Vishnu here. You go on to quote totally unconnected bhashyams from the BG 4th chapter on people adhering to devata-s for anitya phalam. The topic I have raised is completely different from this. It is about mumukshus.//

    So, Rama Tirtha is irrelevant, Rama Subbu Sastri is wrong, and some modern day vidwans like Subramania Sastri who condemned Anandagiri and Mani Dravid Sastri, his sishya, are correct. Shows your deep bias.

    As pointed out before, this whole section is interpreted by all 3 bhAshya-kArAs as referring to nitya naimittika karmas. Shankara himself is explicitly clear that worship of vishNu is superior to Rudra and Aditya. Hence, worshipping devas only means vishNu, who is propitiated by such worship. Rama tirtha’s bhAshya thus, makes perfect sense because it shows Shankara’s intent which comes out clearly in the other sections of the bhAshya.

    contd...

    ReplyDelete
  78. //I know of at least three Vedantic works which quote from the skānda/sūtasamhitā://

    We asked for any prAcIna advaitins and not modern day vidwAns. All those 3 works you mentioned are by modern day harihara aikya vAdIs and hence, their opinions do not reflect that of prAcIna advaita gurus. We well know that these modern day “gurus” do quote such sections, otherwise this debate wouldn’t be here.

    //It is not due to shiva-para vyākhyānam but because of its advaitic nature. One who reads this will easily filter out the shiva-related references for that is immaterial for the advaitin. …………… The true advaitin will not engage in the silly fight to determine whether an Upanishad is shaiva or vaishnava like Rama subba sastri did. For the advaitin the upanishadpratipādya Brahman is what is important. For, the parabrahman is neither Vishnu nor shiva nor shakti. It is nirguna nirakara nameless siddha vastu. The Lalitasahasranama for instance has: mithyājagadadhiṣṭhāna, brahmātmaikyasvarūpiṇi and śiṣṭeṣṭā śiṣṭapūjitā, etc. which abound in advaita. It is anathema for vaiṣnavas especially because of: karānguli nakhotpanna nārāyaā daśākṛtiḥ and sachāmara ramā vāṇī savya dakṣiṇa sevitā.. etc. and nirbheda bheda nāṣinī.//

    One might wonder why Shankara then chose to comment on vishNu sahasranAma, explicitly classed Rudra as a tAmasa devata (so does sridhara swami in his bhAgavata vyAkhyAna). Suta Samhita, Lalitha Sahasranama are not authentic precisely for this reason.

    Additionally, despite your denial, the only reason for your obsession with tAmasa shAstras is the simple fact that you are a shaiva.
    The likes of Subramania Sastri are the dvEshIs, not Rama Subbu Sastri.

    //Nowhere Shankara means by the names such as Vishnu or narayana the deity residing in vaikunta with lakshmi, etc. which non-advaitins hold. So, the ‘vaishnava’ epithet for Shankara is unwarranted.//

    We have already given ample references in this blog and comments that Shankara indeed holds vishNu as saguNa brahman and hence refutes your views. Won’t be repeating that since you don't have a coherent answer for any of these. Funny that Shankara himself says in the Gita, in the context of saguNopAsaNa (and not nirguNopAsaNa; note this) that vaiShnavas get liberation and not worshippers of anya devata; yet you hold on to your silly views.

    //You have only made empty noise and no real refutation.//

    Au Contraire. You are just another brain washed smArta who is a shaiva masquerading as a liberal. No relation to shankara or his tradition in anyway.

    More to come from HBB.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Addendum, missed this. He wrote this claiming Suta Samhita was not tAmasic despite not being quoted by Shankara.

    //Shankara does not need to quote from a purāna as his doctrine is well supported by the shruti itself.//

    Wonder why he quotes the vishNu purAna often in his bhAshyas then. And does not quote suta samhita. One might think the latter "pure advaitic" portion may support his stance better, hmm?

    I suppose in your classic practice of turning a blind eye to glaring statements on vishNu paratva in shankara bhAshyas, you have conveniently managed to hide your eyes from the sAttvic purAna quotes seen in shankara bhAshyams, as well as the sAttvic portions of certain tAmasic/rAjasic purAnAs like Skanda and Linga purAna, which are quoted by rAmAnuja and mAdhwa as well.

    ReplyDelete
  80. More comments on shiva stuti from Adbhutam,

    //It is understood from the above that Vishnu's Vishnutvam is possible ONLY with the vibhuti-s in place and the attributes that Rudra, etc. are. That means Vishnu in order to maintain his vishnutvam has to inevitably depend on the vibhutis and the attributes. Without these vibhutis and attributes there is nothing called vishnu. Is there any verse in any purana to say that there is a Vishnu even without the vibhutis and attributes? For, in my understanding EVERY attribute or vibhuti of vishnu is jagat dependent. In other words, the attributes of sarga, sthiti laya kartrtvam is accruing from the world/jiva-s. Without the world-jivas there is no such attribute in Vishnu. Is there any kevala vishnu without these attributes that are not vishnu, evidently, admitted anywhere? This is because it is vehemently asserted that Rudra, etc. are different from Vishnu. So, is vishnutvam possible to exist without those entities that are different from, other than, vishnu inseparabl y attaching themselves to vishnu? //

    A word of warning. This is a shaiva vs vaishnava debate. Do NOT digress into advaita vs vishishtadvaita. Your knowledge of advaita is sub-par, but your knowledge of para-maThas and purAnAs is even poorer.

    Just as an explanation, let me state this - VA does not state vishNu depends on his vibhUtIs as attributes. Rather, it is the opposite. If he did not associate with the vibhUtIs and have everything else as his body, nothing other than him would exist. They have no separate existence. Just as the self inheres in a body, vishNu inheres in his vibhUtIs. Just as a self says "I am a brahmin" when he has a brahmin body but is not really a brahmin in its essential nature, vishNu can say "I am the jagat" as he has the jagat as his body. Just as the body is burnt to ashes when the self departs, this Universe would not exist if vishNu did not have it as his body. And unlike the indvidual self who are affected by the doShas of their bodies due to karma, nArAyaNa is devoid of karma and hence his association with his body is of his own will and does not affect him.

    Enough of Advaita vs Vishishtadvaita here. Read vedArtha sangraha for more answers.

    contd..

    ReplyDelete
  81. // When it comes to deriding Shiva, the antaryami of shiva goes into silence mode. This is what is revealed from the praise of Shiva since not a single defect of Shiva, of the very many ones, is sighted in the praise.//

    But naturally, because the praise in the Bhagavatam regarding the churning of the ocean is NOT for shiva, but for vishNu. Proof to follow.

    //Why make Shiva an agent for which Shiva gets no commission? Intelligence is that.//

    Shiva has puNya karmas by virtue of tapas and hence, requires the fame of being known as one who swallows the poison. But since nothing is possible without Hari's grace, the praise has to go to Hari. Shiva gets the "commission" of being known as a loka guru, as the mahAnArAyaNa upanishad calls him "sahasrAkshan" (omniscient as he knows vishNu) and leads one to nArAyaNa. He also gets the epithet of nIlakaNtha.

    //And why is it that only Shiva and Vishnu are in the 'competition' of such issues and brahma is not at all in the race? Why are wars fought between the Grandfather vishnu and the grandson shiva leaving out the son, only to be the referee?//

    Because Brahma is a brahmaNa by guNa and not inclined to take up arms. Whereas, Shiva is the greatest among devas other than brahma and vishNu (hence, known as mahAdeva). The mahAbhArata establishes the heirarchy this - the devas resort to shiva, who resorts to brahma, who resorts to vishNu.

    Secondly, it is often Shiva who chooses to act against vishNu because of tamO guNa. Hence the confusion. The incident of Shiva fighting vishNu occured when the former had ahamkAra due to tripurAsura vadham.

    I wonder why you would neglect direct quotes in shAstra, Shows your bias again. The vAkya "eko ha vai nArAyaNa asIt, na brahma, nEshAna"explains it.

    //Why did the deva-s in the Ramayana became curious to know who between shiva and vishnu was the more powerful? Why is brahma never in this competition? Any answers anywhere in the puranas?//.

    As above. And yes, the answers are in the purAnAs themselves. It is Shiva who at times is clouded by tamO guNa and ahaMkAra. Brahma on the other hand, is clouded by rajO guNa at times which makes him extol other deities.

    I suppose you will turn a blind eye to Sridhara Swami's vyAkhyAna for the Shiva stuti which says the praise goes to Hari as usual?

    ReplyDelete

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