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Refutation of Bodhendra Saraswati's objections against Vaishnavism in "Hariharadvaita Bhushanam"

In this chapter on the refutation of Hari-Hara Aikyatva Vada, we consider the arguments of a relatively recent advaitin who was supposed to be of the “tolerant” kind, known as Sri Bodhendra Saraswati.
Bodhendra Saraswati is said to have been an advocate of nAma sankIrtanam, and chanted Rama nama one lakh times every day. He was a contemporary of the illustrious karnATaka-smArta devotee of Shiva known as Sridhara “Ayyaval” who lived in Tiruvisanallur. This advaitic personality who lived during/after Appayya Dikshita’s period, advocated that in the Vedas, both Hari (Vishnu) and Hara (Shiva) are praised as the One Supreme Being.

The book
We do not normally wish to confront those who believe in Hari-Hara-Aikya, but Sri Bodhendra Saraswati addresses Vaishnavas and objects to core Vaishnava tenets in one of his work known as “hariharAdvaita-bhUShaNaM”. He tries to argue that the position of Vaishnavas that Shiva is a Jiva is illogical and blasphemous. Hence, we are indebted to the Vaishnava community to present a refutation of this work in a manner that is accessible to all.
This work is divided into the following three chapters:
  1. The first chapter takes up a commentary on the Narayana Sukta and Mahopanishad, asserting that Narayana/Vishnu is praised as supreme in it. The opinions of hardcore Shaivas, recorded in Appayya Dikshita’s pro-Shaiva works, are condemned in this chapter.
  2. The second chapter takes up a commentary on Svetasvatara, Atharvashiras, Atharvashikha, and Kaivalyopanishad. Here is where the author attempts to refute Vaishnava tenets regarding Vishnu vs. Rudra.
  3. The third chapter takes up a study of all major Upanishads, and tries to show that in every Upanishad (including Mahopanishad, Narayana Suktam, Taittiriya Upanishad, Svetasvatara, Atharvasiras, Atharvashikha, and Kaivalya) **both** Shiva and Vishnu are praised as supreme.
Readers can read the whole of this work for free in the Digital Library of India web page [link].
This “hariharAdvaita-bhUShaNaM” is definitely a post-Appayya Dikshita work, since Dikshita and his pro-Shaiva works are refuted in it. The very fact that this work dates to recent times only, and that no such work establishing “hari-hara aikyatva” exists prior to the 16th Century in the advaita literature, adds credibility to our premise that the position of Vishnu vs. the position of Rudra advocated by Vaishnavas was never seriously contested before.
The first chapter seems to refute Shaiva interpretations of Mahopanishad and Narayana Suktam, and hence we have nothing to say here.
Since the second chapter is the one that addresses Vaishnavas directly, let us look at these objections against Vaishnavas first.
A refutation of the third chapter will be added subsequently in the near future in this blog.
The following sections in this article deal with the objections found in the second chapter of this work. Here, the opinion of Bodhendra Saraswati in “Hari Hara Advaita Bhushanam” is marked as “pUrvapaksha” and our pro-Vaishnava refutation is marked as “siddhanta”. 

The Issue of mahOpanishad vAkyas
pUrvapaksha: The objection is that “eko ha vai nArAyaNa AsIt, na brahma nEshaNa” does not imply the non-existence of Shiva during praLaya. Rather, it only refers to the shUlapAni form of Shiva that was absent during this time. The bimba chaitanya (form of consciousness) of Shiva existed during this time; this is confirmed by the theory that Brahman does not have a form during creation. Since “IshAna” implies the sarvEshvaratva of Shiva, it denies the jIvatva of Shiva. Hence, the formless nature of nArAyaNa and Shiva as a single entity is the Cause of the Universe.
siddhAnta:  Such an interpretation overlooks various anomalies in favour of a biased mindset. Firstly, “nEshaNa” occurs squarely after “na brahma” and before “na chandro sUrya” thus implying that it indeed is talking about the absence of the entity known as “IshAna” before shrShti. Ie, the occurrence of this “IshAna” amidst other jivAs itself proves that this “ishAna” is also a jivA that was existing as a sUkshma sarIram of Brahman prior to shRshti. The succeeding statement regarding the birth of a being with 3 eyes and holding a shUla describes the sthUla sarIram of this jivA.
Secondly, if the interpretation of the opponent was to be accepted, then one would note that the shruti vAkya does not say “na vishNu” or “na hari” . If shiva is identical to nArAyaNa and “ishAna” implies the absence of shrimUrtitva, then the vAkya must also include the reference to the absence of the chaturbhuja shankha-chakra-gadAdhara shrimUrtitvam of nArAyaNa. And the succeeding vAkya must also say, “puNDarIkAkSha-shArngapAni purushO jAyatE” along the lines of “tryAkshashUlOpAni jAyatE”. The very fact that 1) “IshAna” occurs amdist Brahma, Surya, Chandra, etc, 2) The name of vishNu is absent, 3) The succeeding mantra talks of the birth of a three eyed, shUlapani, 4) The mantra does not talk of vishNu being born – show that nArAyaNa is parabrahman and ishAna is a jivA.
Shruti vAkyAs declare that Brahman indeed creates with a form, but even if we assume that he does not have a form, it still does not result in identity of Shiva with Brahman (vishNu).
There is no doubt that “IshAna” refers to Shiva based on the description of the succeeding mantra as well as the fact that Shiva possesses that name. The opponent has assumed beforehand that “IshAna” refers to the sarvEshvaratva of Shiva when such a meaning is not accepted by vaishnavas. “IshAna” implies sarvEshvaratva (controller of baddhas, muktAas and nityAs), the name in the case of Shiva implies “Ruler of the mind” – he is the presiding deity of the mind in the context of the Satapatha BrahmaNa. Even if it is taken in the sense of ruling over beasts (as in the case of paShupati) or ruling over devas (as indicated by him being referred to as devadeva), it only implies rulership at a lower degree, like a King or Master and not sarvEshvaratvam in the sense of Paratva.
The atharvasikha quote will be explained later.
pUrvapaksha: The atharvasikha talks about the creation of vishNu. Various purAnic statements attribute ignorance and other doShas to avatArAs. Therefore, the birth of Rudra and the declaration of “anapahatapApmatva” must be taken in the manner of leela and arthavAda in the same way that statements regarding vishNu are taken. This is also not possible as it is a weak statement (of play) throwing out the stronger statement of creation.
siddhAnta: The opponent is oversimplifying our position, as if to gain an unfair advantage in debate.  There are two particular aspects of our position that the opponent has failed to look at:
(1) Vaishnava AcAryas have given several arguments that Linga, Skanda and other purANas, in which Shiva is extolled at the expense of Vishnu, are of tAmasic nature. In fact, there are statements in the Puranas themselves to that effect. Nowhere are Vishnu Purana, Bhagavata Purana, Padma Purana etc. are condemned as tAmasic even in the Shaiva purANas. On the other hand, purANas which deal with Vishnu's greatness as their main subject are praised as sAttvika purANas. The opponent has conveniently bypassed this argument of ours, either deliberately or because they are not familiar with our reasoning.
(2) There is another very important point to note. The hari-hara-abheda-vAda opponent seems to think that “there are texts that declare that Vishnu is superior to Shiva, and then there are other texts that declare Shiva is superior to Vishnu”. This is fundamentally incorrect and paints a false picture in which there is equality of some sort between the purANic statements that glorify Vishnu and glorify Shiva. The fact is that there are innumerable portions even in the rAjasa/tAmasa purANas such as Brahma, Brahmanda, Skanda, Linga and other Puranas where Vishnu is said to be The Supreme and superior to Shiva. Many such statements have been quoted from these purANas by Vedantins such as Vedanta Desika, Madhva, etc. See Madhva’s Brahma Sutra Bhashya for a collection of such statements.
Note further following extract from Madhva's Brahma Sutra Bhashya (Translation by Prof. Pandurangi) first adhyaya, first pada, first sutra (1.1.1) :
"Also in the Skanda Purana celebrating the supremacy of Siva, this is said:
'O, Undecaying One, the moment thou shouldst, in wrath, turn thy face away from them, Brahma, Isana, and other gods would be doomed to miseries worse than those inflicted upon the basest of the base';
and in the Brahma Vaivarta Purana which seeks to extol Brahma, it is said:
'Neither I nor Siva nor others can lay claim to even a small fraction of his power. As a child sports with its toys, so does Achyuta with us.'
And no such statement is to be found in the works declaring the supremacy of Vishnu,...
In addition to being silent to these massive evidences, the opponent claims that we are also "unfairly biased as we accept word-for-word purANic statements that relegate Shiva as subordinate to Vishnu, while ignoring at the same time various purANic statements that attribute ignorance and other doShas to Vishnu and avatArAs, showing Vishnu as created, having partial/imperfect knowledge, powerless, sorrowful, lustful, angry, conquerable, punishable, worshiping Shiva/others etc.”

Regarding these alleged statements in purANas where Vishnu is declared as inferior, one needs to look no further than Shankara to easily conclude that Vedantins of yore were of the conviction that these portions from tAmasa purANas, in which Vishnu’s alleged imperfections are alluded to, are to be totally rejected and do not deserve even passing mention. Note Shankara’s commentary for the following nAmas  in Vishnu Sahasranama:
ajitaH” – na kenApyavatAreShu jita iti ajitaH

[one who is not conquered by anyone in His avatAras].
jitakrodhaH” – jitaH krodho yena saH jitakrodhaH ; vedamaryAdAsthApanArthaM surArIn hanti , na tu kopavaSAditi

[jitakrodha means one who has conquered anger. He kills the enemies of devas for the purpose of establishing Vedic honour, not as a result of being led astray by anger].
akrUraH” – avAptasamastakAmatvAt kAmABAvAdeva kopABAvaH ; tasmAtkrauryamasya nAstIti akrUraH

[He is eternally the one who has already achieved every one of his own desires. Since there is no desire (kAma), there is no anger (krodha). Because of that, he has no cruelty (krUratva) and hence he is called akrUraH].
stavyaH” – sarvaiH stUyate na stotA kasyacit (api) asau iti stavyaH

[One who is praised and worshiped by all, but is the worshiper of none.]
“amUrtimAn”, “anekamUrtiH”karmanibandhanA mUrtirasya na vidyata iti amUrtimAn| avatAreShu svecChayA lokAnAmupakAriNIH bahvIH mUrtIH bhajata iti anekamUrtiH | 

[He is called amUrtimAn which means formless, because He does not have any form that is dictated by karmas (since he is free of karmas). He is called anekamUrtiH since He takes up many forms (aneka mUrtiH) out of His own will in order to grace the universe.]

Our opponent will note that Shri Shankara does not even make a passing comment that the statements in other purANas declaring the superiority of Rudra etc. over Vishnu and various imperfections (doShas) to Vishnu's avatAras are to be discarded as arthavAda. Does this not hint at the very high likelihood that Shankara considered it unbecoming, frivolous, and unworthy even to talk about these statements to discard their validity?

On the other hand, our opponent, who claims to be Shankara's follower, says that such statements have some value in making an upAsaka develop devotion to Shiva (which in our opponent's opinion, is as important as devotion to Vishnu) the all-important (in the opinion of our opponent) "realization" that Shiva and Vishnu are equal.

The issue of the Atharvasikha
siddhAnta: The atharvasikha does not talk of the creation of vishNu. Neither is it an arthavAda or something said in play. It talks about the manifestation of vishNu, out of his own will, among the effects such as Brahma and Rudra who are born of karma. The pramAnAs for this include:
  • Statements in the vishNu purAna that justify this.
  • Statements in the gita such as “paritrAnAya sAdhunAm….sambhavAmi yugE yugE”.
  • “ajAyamAno bahuda vijAyatE”.
The opponent can argue that this could be applied for Rudra. That is not possible because:
  • The atharvasikha does not talk about “anapahatapApmatvam “ of vishNu. The purusha suktam says that  Brahman is born out of his own will. The subalOpanishad talks about the “apahatapApmatvam” of nArAyaNa. The vishNu gAyatri equates nArAyaNa to vishNu. Thus, it establishes that vishNu is alone born of his own will.
  • In the case of Rudra, the usage of “anapahatapApmatva” is present. The mahOpanishad distinguishes Rudra from nArAyaNa (who is apahatapApma) by the “eko ha vai…” vAkya. There are no upabrahmaNas like the Gita where Rudra says he is born of his own will. Therefore, it is established that the birth of Rudra is a product of karma.
To this, the opponent may argue that “anapahatapApmatva” is spoken in arthavAda just as rAmAyaNa talks of srI rAma as possessing karma. As mentioned before:
It is not possible to compare rama and rudra. Rama did lament that he may have had papa karmas,etc. But he is referred to as sAkshAt nArAyaNa by brahma, as beyond prakrti (tAmasa paramO dhata) by mandodari and hence, his statements about karma are taken as leela.
In addition, KrishNa clarifies the true nature of rAma by saying “janma karma ca mE divyam” and “avajAnanti mAm muDah”. Both rAma and krishNa have been referred to as sAkshAt nArAyaNa. No such clarification exists for Rudra. The opponent cannot argue that the clarifications given by krishNa can be applied to Rudra because he has not yet established the identity of the two and neither do the purAnAs anywhere refer to Rudra as an avatArA of vishNu (other than shaktyAvEsa). Whereas rudra is declared as different from nArAyaNa in the mahOpanishad and as a creation in the nArAyaNopanishad.
If our opponent argues that the rudra of the rudram and satapatha be taken as the same personalities, hence “anapahatapapma” in the brahnana is nullified by “ agorApapakashini” in the rudram, it needs to be said that such an identity is the subject of debate and has not been established. Whereas, it is certain that the rama hailed by mandodari and the rama who lamented about his births are the same; this cannot be proven of rudra in shruti. In fact, according to krishNa, “vedais ca sarvair aham evA vedyAH” – he alone (eva) is praised by shruti. It has already been established that names like “Rudra” and “Shiva” are names of vishNu.
Finally, shruti would not include such playful statements of brahman made in leela. Because it is from shruti we understand the nature of brahman. That allows us to understand the Ithihasa. If rudra was saying “anapahatapapma” out of play,then shruti would be deemed a confusing picture of reality. And if so, anything would be open to interpretation as arthavada. One can say the same for Indra, Vayu, Varuna and all the other devas as well. This would lead to the mimAmsa position of claiming even upanishadic statements on brahman as spoken out of play or arthavada!
While some statements in the context of phalans are arthavAda, the nature of Brahman is never dealt with in the realm of arthavAda by shruti or Gita or Brahma sutrAs. These shAstras actually exist to clarify the arthavAdas seen in the ithihAsA, such as the case of srI rAma lamenting about his karmas or Brahma praising Shiva in the Karna Parva of mahAbHArata in the context of “loka hitam”!
The context of Rudra asking for boon, declaring himself as “anapahatapApma” are thus, not arthavAda.
A question may be raised that Rudra was named paShupati at birth itself. Why then would he ask for a boon of the same name, does this not prove his names are eternal? The answer is that he was named paShupati at birth because he possessed (pati) attachments or anger (paShu) that are the cause of the mind. When he asks for the name “paShupati” now, it is to become the ruler of beings/animals. Incidentally the inner meaning is that the upAsaka needs accessories like cattle, wealth etc to perform kAmya karmas that are ancillaries to upAsaNa. Similarly does Rudra need this name to defeat the tripurAsurAs.
pUrvapaksha: Vaishnavas consider the declarations of rAma as a karma vasya, etc as weak statements and the vAkyAs declaring paratva as strong statements.
siddhAnta: It cannot also be said that vaishnavas favour certain statements over others. Full authority is given to all statements. There are strong upabrahmaNas explaining the statement that vishNu is born of his own will and also other pramAnAs that declare the atharvasikha to be referring to nArAyaNa as parabrahman.
When nArAyaNa is declared apahatapApma, etc, and is equated to vishNu, that statement stands on its own weight. When rAma says he is suffering the fruits of his karma, this statement is seen in the light of the rAmAyaNa text itself which has such declarations like “tAmasa paramO dhAtA” by mandOdari and “bhavAnti nArAyaNo dEva” by Brahma. Hence, the statement of rAma is also given its own weight by taking the rAmAyaNa text only as pramAna in the first stage. Since rAma is equated to nArAyaNa who is apahatapApma, his declaration is now seen in the light of purusha sukta vAkya, “rtam brAhmaNya jananam” (the wise know the nature of his births) and “avajAnanti mAm muda”, “janma karma ca mE divyam” which explain that these words were spoken by rAma out of his sousIlya and not because he was really suffering from karma.
At this, one more pUrvapaksha can be raised – There are statements in the purAnas etc where Rudra is hailed as supreme by the devas. Instead of interpreting it as a stuti of the antaryAmin nArAyaNa, why not take it directly and see it in the light of shruti vAkyAs like “purushO vai rudrO…”, etc. This way, the statements ascribing doshas to Rudra can be explained in a similar way as the rAmAyaNa.
Answer to this is that this is untenable. The Vaishnava stand on srI rAma is based *solely* on him being equated to nArAyaNa by Brahma and Mandodari in the rAmAyaNa itself. Only after this is done, are the pramAnAs from Gita and Purusha Sukta taken. It is agreed that only when a deity is equated to nArAyaNa, can any credence of Brahmatva be given to that deity. Rudra on the other hand, like Brahma and the other devas, is declared as different from nArAyaNa everywhere in the shruti and smritis. Thus, it is impossible to use the same logic for devas other than vishNu.
pUrvapaksha: The opponent states that a similar situation (as that of srI rAma) exists for Rudra as well since the shruti passages in the shvetAsvatArA, atharvasikha, atharvasiras, etc eulogise Rudra as supreme and support the 6 characteristics of truth whereas the statements declaring Rudra’s birth do not possess these characteristics and hence, are weaker.
siddhAnta: The said Upanishads do not eulogise pArvati pati, but only vishNu, who is well-known by the name of Rudra (rudrO bahushIra babhru: ~ sahasranAmA). It is wrong to assume that these Upanishads talk of pArvati pati when it has not even been established yet that pArvati pati is remotely close to Brahmatva.
The following pramAnAs also declare that vishNu alone is addressed by these Upanishads:
rudra-japaka-shatam ekam ekena atharvashirah-shikha-adhyapakena tatsamam atharvashirah- shikha-adhyapaka shatam ekam ekena tapaniyopanishad adhyapakena tatsamam tapaniyopanishad-adhyapaka-shatam ekam ekena mantraraja-adhyapakena tatsamam (~Narasimha pUrva tApanIya upanishad).

atharvazirasA caiva nityam AtharvaNA dvijAH
stuvanti satataM ye mAM te 'pi bhAgavatAH smRtAH (Mahabharata, Ashvamedhika Parva, BORI 14_004_3378 - 14_004_3379)

Meaning: (You must) know that those AtharvaNa brAhmaNas who chant the atharvashiras daily as part of their worship of Me (KrishNa) are also bhAgavatas, my devotees.

Here a doubt may be raised – why does bhagavAn say “api”, they are also bhAgavatAs? Does this not indicate that there is a difference between the atharvaNa brahmaNas (ie, that perhaps they worshipped a different deity) and the vaishnavas?

The answer is given by srI yAmunAchArya and srI vedAnta desikan in their defence of the pAncharAtra. During the course of refuting pUrvapakshAs, it is mentioned that by profession, bhAgavatAs are invested of panchasamskArA, perform the five-fold activities, and look after the temple, so they are different. But the atharva veda refers to a class of people known as vrAtyas who are pure by nature and require no samskArA. Atharva veda also says that anyone who perform services to a vrAtya will gain the archirAdi mArga.
Thus, krishNa is alluding to the difference of duties (chanting the atharva veda, etc) as opposed to the regular duties of bhAgavatAs/pAncharAtra followers (who place more emphasis on kaimkaryam) and yet says that all are the same class of devotees with different functions.
Thus, it is established that these Upanishads do not talk about pArvati pati and only refer to nArAyaNa, refuting the assumptions of the opponent.
Shri Ramasubba Shastri, a smArtha paNDita who lived in late 19th century till the first few decades of the 20th century, has rejected the pUrvapakShin’s position in the following works, establishing that only viShNu/nArAyaNa is the object of these shruti portions:
(1) shvetAshvatAropaniShad vilAsa
(2) kaivalyopaniShad vilAsa
(3) atharvashiropaniShad vilAsa
(4) pancarudratAtparya sangraha (dealing with atharvashikhopaniShad)
These works are out of print, but a general idea about their contents have been described in various catalogues of institutions such as the Government Oriental Manuscript Library of Madras.

The issue of comparing the incidents of name-giving
pUrvapaksha: Vaishnavas state that Shiva was given eight names by Brahma during his birth (as stated in the Satapatha Brahmana). We say that these names and stations are eternal, but Shiva accepted them when brahmA gave them to him. This is just as Krishna accepted the names (i) vAsudeva -- given by gArgAcArya, (ii) govinda -- given by Indra after He protected cows with the govardhana mountain, (iii) keshava -- given by nArada for killing the demon keshi. These names are also eternal to Shriman Narayana.

The Vaishnavas also point out the following incidents as a further proof that Shiva is a Jivatma: That he was given the title of "pashupati" by the devas, and that he obtained half their strength in order to destroy the Tripurasuras and their three cities. We agree these incidents are indeed mentioned in the Veda (Taittiriya Samhita) and in the Mahabharata (Karna Parva). But according to us, the purpose of these pastimes of Shiva was to give anugraha to devas. This is similar to Krishna stealing butter etc. to bestow his grace on Gokula, and just as he obtained the name govinda by gracing devendra, after protecting cows and citizens by lifting up the govardhana mountain. Just like these incidents do not go against the Lordly nature of Sriman Narayana, so also these incidents that happened during the Tripura Samhara incident do not go against the Lordly nature of Shiva and show he is a Jivatma.

siddhAnta: The act of shiva asking for half the strength of devas and the name of paShupati cannot be compared to acts of krishNa stealing butter and gaining the name of “govinda” from Indra
Firstly, all the reasons given in the previous section apply. Secondly, if we study the inner meaning of the acts, they come out different. The incident of tripurAsura vadham is that of upAsaNa in its inner meaning. During upAsaNa, the upAsaka cannot  stay doing nothing and expect the upAsaNa to succeed. This is because upAsaNa, which is adopted by him as the means, is not sentient to guide him. He needs to use his own intellect and strength, adopt the upAsaNa vidhi prescribed by the shAstras and perform the ancillories to upAsaNa. In the case of prapatti, the means adopted his bhagavAn himself, who is sentient and hence can do the work himself. So the prapanna can sit back doing nothing. Of course, Brahman is still the indirect means in the upAsaNa; his grace is needed to succeed there as well.
Thus, the devas were unable to bear the power of shiva. Similarly, upAsaNa is insentient and cannot carry the burden of the jivA. The devas gave half their power to Shiva; similarly does observance of the upAsaNa vidhi increase  splendour, youth, vigor, intellect etc in the jivA giving the latter the tools to succeed. The devas gave Shiva the name of paShupati; similarly does the upAsaka need wealth, cattle, etc as ancillaries to upAsaNa.
In the butter stealing incident, KrishNa is paramAtma who breaks the body (pot) and steals the jivAtma (butter). He steals because the jivA is unwilling to accept his grace. And so on.
The inner meaning of one incident is that Shiva is a jivAtmA, a yogi and the other incident is that krishNa is paramAtma, hence the two cannot be compared.
Even the name “govinda” is more significant than “paShupati” in terms of meaning.
krishNa’s names were given by, 1) devotees out of love, 2) devas like Indra who recognised his supremacy after being defeated. Whereas, Rudra was given names when, 1) he cried because of being born of karma and openly declared so, 2) When he made a deal to help the devas and in exchange got the name.
Same holds for other names. The vAsudEva and kEshava nAmas were given out of devotion. Rudra’s names were given when he was born. The vAsudEva and kEshava nAmas also contain more pregnant meanings of brahmatva as opposed to names like paShupati, Ugra, etc which can be interpreted in many ways, for Brahman as well as for other entities as well
Lastly, the narasimha tApanIya Upanishad declares umApati, paShupati, pinAki, nIlalohita, etc to be names of narasimha. Having already established Rudra as different from nArAyaNa and the latter to be parabrahman, this shows that these names were existent before the birth of Rudra. Also, it is well-established that names like vAsudEva, krishNa, govinda, etc were already names of nArAyaNa prior to krishNa avatArA. VarAha is referred to as krishNa in the mahAnArAyaNa Upanishad and as Govinda elsewhere. vAsudEva is a name of Hayagriva. And so on.
Since Rudra’s birth is proven, the same cannot be said of him.

Shiva accepting Brahma as his Superior compared with Krishna and kAlayavana incident
pUrvapakSha: You Vaishnavas point out that in the Karna Parva section of Mahabharata, Shiva accepted brahmA as his superior by accepting the latter as a charioteer. This is supported by the fact that Shiva initially asked the Devas for a charioteer who was greater than himself. We say that this was Shiva's play to make Brahma and others happy by making Brahma think that he was stronger than Rudra. This is similar to Krishna confessing to kAlayavana that he is weaker by running away when kAlayavana came to conquer, in order to make kAlayavana believe that Krishna is weaker than himself, in accordance with kAlayavana's wish.

siddhAnta: The opponent once again argues that Shiva accepting Brahma as his superior is arthavAda, similar to various incidents where krishNa accepted others as superior, exhibited fear, etc.
The previous arguments all apply and this has already been sufficiently addressed. As in the case of srI rAma, KrishNa is also equated to nArAyaNa in the mahAbhArata and has spoken about his true nature in the Gita. Whereas, the same cannot be said of Shiva.
Furthermore, the context and inner meaning of the incident itself makes the statement true and not arthavAda. Because this incident was narrated by Duryodhana to make Shalya the charioteer of Karna. Since Shalya was superior to Karna, Duryodhana was pointing out that it is not a dOsha if the charioteer is superior to the combatant, since Brahma was superior to Shiva and became his charioteer.
Secondly, if we take the inner meaning of upAsaNa for Tripura samhArA, the vedas are the chariot and Brahma, senior to Shiva, is the charioteer. Similarly, the shAstrAs are like the chariot and the AchAryA, senior to the jivAtma doing upAsaNa, is the charioteer to guide the upAsaka.
Thus, all objections in the second chapter of "Harihara Advaita Bhushana" have been addressed.


  1. Dear HBB,
    Excellent explanations.

    Just to add my views:

    Hari-Hara form doesn't exist prior to 11th century, as far as i know.

    There are some instances that the telugu poet Nannayya, the author of Telugu Mahabharata, was worshipper of Hari Hara form. But, this could be completely the Poet's own way of worshipping the supreme though need not necessarily be a bonafide way of doing it (some thing similar to all types worships that has crept in, in the name of modern Hinduism, in general).
    Ideally, the concept of ekatvam of Hara and Hari stands no ground.

    Also, regarding the "Shiva accepting Brahma as his Superior compared with Krishna and kAlayavana incident", just to add my own views..I think, It is like comparing Apples with Oranges. The two incidents cannot even be compared, for what ever reason...The contexts are completely different.


    1. Thanks. The credit goes to Shri Aaryamaa since he was the one who wrote the elaborate responses supporting the Vaishnava side.

      I think you can actually help me with some info... can you tell me if the Telugu version of Mahabharata talks about the stories that are interpolated in the current versions of Mahabharata, for eg., the one translated into English by Kisari Mohan Ganguly (or) the Southern recensions (or) the edition published by Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute?

      1) Shiva granting Nara-Narayana divine powers. (End of Drona Parva)
      2) Krishna taking Shaiva Deeksha from Upamanyu. (Beginning of Anushasana Parva)
      3) Shiva-Sahasranama (Beginning of Anushasana Parva and connected to the above Upamanyu Upakhyana)
      4) Flowers offered to Krishna reaching Shiva's side ultimately (This seems to be a distortion of the following genuine version... the genuine version, quoted by Srivaishnava Acharyas, says that the flowers offered at Krishna's feet by Arjuna were seen by Arjuna in his dream on Shiva's head, and this is like Shiva bearing Vishnu's Sri Pada Tirtham).

      It will be very useful to have this information, since it is potentially another proof that these incidents are bogus and interpolated into Mahabharata versions by Shaivas.

      The Tamil Mahabharata written by Villiputhur Azhwar does not have these Shaiva interpolations either. But Villiputhur Azhwar was a Srivaishnava and may not be seen by our opponents as a neutral authority.


  2. Dear HBB,
    A small correction. The Hari- Hara worship was promulgated by Tikkanna, who belonged to Shavaite family belonging to 13 century and he continued the translation of Sanskrit Mahabharata into Telugu, after Nannaya. Nannayya who started the actual traslation, it appears died while working on the 3rd (aranya parvam). Tikkanna and Eraapragada completed the translation one after other and it took more 300 more years to complete this work. it seems...But, by the time Tikkana started working on it, Veera Shavism had taken its roots. The poet himself was patronized by Kakatiya kings who were hard core shavaites. .Not very sure whether for the above mentioned incidents in Mahabharata these authors would have struck to the original Mahbharatam, as it would go against their deity and the practice of Kings of their time..
    Moreover Tikkana promulgated Hari-Hara advaita vadam and Kakatiya kings patronized, I think, we might not get much from the works of Tikkanna..But, i can try checking the actual version...

    Sorry for the mistake.


  3. Shalya superior to Karna is a joke. How many days did Shalya last fighting as SenApati?

    1. You are the joke here. The comparison is only of Shalya being senior to Karna just as Brahma is senior to Shiva. The analogy is only that just as Brahma is the guru for Shiva who guides the latter in Yoga, Shalya should act as the guru for Karna and guide him in yuddha. That was the whole purpose of Duryodhana narrating the Tripura Samhara . Quote:

      "As the illustrious Brahma, the Creator of the worlds, the Grandsire, the Supreme Deity *(Note from us: incorrect translation here)* of unfading glory, acted as the driver of Rudra, so do thou (Shalya) restrain the steeds of the high-souled son of Radha like Grandsire restraining those of Rudra, In battle, Karna is like Rudra, and thou art like Brahma in policy."

      Don't come around randomly spouting nonsense. You seem to have come across our blog by searching for the mahAbhArata. Well, this blog is not for discussion of ithihAsa, but is aimed at establishing Vaishnava siddhAntha. You are looking in the wrong place.

    2. @Parijat - How many days did Karna act as Senapati during the Kurushetra war? If Karna is considered a great warrior why did he require the services of Shalya ? Karna is a big joker in Mahabharata as he was defeated multiple times by Arjuna even before Kurushetra war...To top it, Karna was defeated by Bheema in Dhanur Yuddha during the Kurushetra war and Karna literally ran away to save his own life...What a shame on Karna and his fans. Karna is more dangerous than Duryodhana as he always instigated Duryodhana against Pandavas..Shalya has an entire Parva named after him in Mahabharata, just like Bheesma, Drona and Karna. This honor is not given to even great warriors like Asvatthama, Kripacharya, Kritavarma etc who were on par on greater than Karna..So, please read MAHABHARATA of Vyasa carefully and don't make some foolish comments based on some stupid T.V serials and movies...


    3. Even if Karna was a greater warrior than Shalya, it does not affect the fact that Rudra is inferior to Brahma. If you want to assume Karna was greater, Duryodhana then was flattering Shalya by comparing him to Brahma, who is superior to Rudra (who was compared to Karna). Therefore, the tattva of Brahma > Rudra remains the same regardless.

      Enough of these discussions. It is not our priority to discuss the prowess of asuras. Both Karna and Shalya were killed to relieve the Earth's burden and both are insignificant compared to bhagavan. It's like comparing the strength of one ant vs another to decide which ant can move a mountain!

  4. I generally answer many questions on other sites like quora,Indiadivine,etc,what i have found that ,that the general mentality of hindus nowadays have been inclined towards accepting hari hara aikya vada. If someone proclaims the oneness,they are very much appreciated,whereas those who proclaim the supremacy of lord vishnu ,they are called as sectarian, biased and their opinions are also downvoted. People have developed the mentality that, oneness will make hinduism more secular,whereas sectarian conceptions will divide the hinduism.I guess it is the reason,why nowadays neo-advaita and other such nonsectarian seeming philosophies have emerged over vaishnavism or saivism. Modern Hindus nowadays seems to be more influenced by people like ramakrishna paramhamsa,swami vivekananda,ramana maharishi,sri sri ravi shankar,osho,swami sivananda,paramhamsa yogananda,etc.But,unfortunately,Modern Hindus have avoided the ancient gurus like madhvacharya,ramanujacharya,Nimbarka,etc.Due to this reason,people have been misdirected at large,and they have started believing in the concept of oneness of everything as a better philosophy,since it makes them avoid the tag of being called as sectarian.

    1. Valid points. The Vedas and gurus do not care about whether they are secular or not, only what is the truth is reiterated, though of course, non-acceptance does not condemn you to hell or death by sword unlike modern day religions. But if you can't accept it for what it is, tough beans.

      What is even worse than this attitude is that, if hindus do talk about the great gurus like Sri Shankara, Sri Ramanuja and Sri Madhva, they call them "reformers" or "revolutionaries". To call these gurus as "trailblazers" is an insult to them because they never claimed to be inventing anything new or uprooting an established order (which is what reformers/revolutionaries do in general), but claimed parampara from older gurus.

      An example would be how some think sri ramanuja is a "reformer" because he claimed that all castes are equally eligible to approach the Lord. What is so revolutionary about this when all the shAstras claim the same, which was merely re-established and advocated by the Acharya. Vidhura, a lower caste person, was cremated with the procedures applicable to brahmanas by Yudhishthira. I suppose that makes Yudhishthira a "social reformer" as well? And such people ignore that the same sri ramanuja who advocated prapatti as open to all castes, also maintained that shudras were ineligible to learn the vedas -- now if he had allowed shudras to lay claim on the vedas, that would be a "reform".

      Similarly, Sri Shankara is no "reformer" for re-establishing the authority of the Upanishads, which had been undermined by the arguments of pUrva mimAmsa. He too followed what was taught earlier by more ancient gurus.

      I personally find these "social reform" types (who are even among the followers of traditional schools) to be more annoying than the aikya vAdins. Because the tendency to see "social reform" and "revolutionary teachings" in traditional schools stems from a fundamentally nastika buddhi that is only willing to accept a watered down version of what constitutes astika buddhi. Our shastras are not that greatly interested in concepts of "loka kshema" (unlike modern day religions) because they are more focused on disparaging the existence in the actual "loka" in favor of attaining Brahman.

  5. Dear Aaryamaa/HBB,

    Adiyen wish and pray sri: pathi to give you strength and good health to counter all these dogmatic doctronies and self manifested philosophies and cults esp mahapasupathashtra(saivates). How manipulative is that guy unknowing/ignoring the deeper intricacies of shastras and their actual meanings. Adiyen belongs to telugu state and have been learning sribhashyam, bhagavadvishayam at my Acharyan's feet. Adiyen also got a chance to go thru various books esp, Srimad Nigamantha Maha Desikan's.

    To my wonder, telugu state got hit with this saiva advaita cult and few people to name (Chaganti Koteswara Rao, Garikapati Narasimha Rao, Samavedam Shanmukha Sarma) are propagating their self manifested saiva theories replacing the original ones. With the help of Sringeri mutt and kanchi kamakoti mutt these people are spreading false theories with their stupid discourses. I think it is because of Kali Maaya these people are behaving like this.

    We all should counter them to protect our Sath Sampradaayam.

    kavithaarkika simhaaya kalyaana guna saaline
    sreemathe venkatesaaya vedantha gurave namaha..

    1. Thank you for your comments. Maybe a small clarification is needed. It is not our intent to forcibly or virulently refute Shaiva or other philosophies. We have no problems with people following whatever suits their inclinations. The purpose of this blog is only to reply when such people start abusing Vedanta and Vaishnavism. You can see most articles are reactive here rather than proactive.

      Sri Vedanta Desikan says, "When you water and grow the plant, removal of weeds is a natural side-effect". Similarly, our priority is only to establish the truth. Refutation is a by-product of that which occurs only when others openly seek a debate against us.

      This policy is quite different from Advaitins and Dvaitins, for whom refutation is an important component of their philosophy. Sri Madhva's interpretation of the Isavasya Upanishad is such that he claims that unless false knowledge is eradicated by debate, even a jnAni faces eternal hell. Vishishtadvaitins however, do not believe debate as a necessary duty for jnAnIs unless invited. Works like Sri Bhashya focus more on establishing the viewpoint and referring to adversaries only when needed. Our acharyas considered debates a waste of time which could be spent in glorifying bhagavAn and engaged in it only reluctantly.

      Thought we needed to make this clarification as sometimes our articles do have some acidic statements.

    2. Dear Sri Aryamaa,

      Adiyen, agrees with the post by Anonymous who has correctly said that the Telugu land is being not only being bombarded by Saiva advaita but most of the so called saiva advaita scholars trying to preach and spread cannards about Vaishnavism and Vishnu on the lines similar to the preachings of the Mahapasupatastra blog author. The difference is that these so called scholars are spreading falsehood on vaishnavism sweetly whereas the mahapasupatastra author is highly acidic. This is because adiyen has personally seen many of their writings and prgms and they don't beat an eye lid in criticizing vaishnavism, Vaishnavas. They will say that all are same everything is same, but they go ballistic when explaining the greatness of Siva or Shakti (directly and indirectly saying that Vishnu is lower than Siva , Shakti, Vinayaka etc)

      Nobody is worried if they praise and propagate Shaivam or shaktam or any veiled Advaitam etc and they have the right to do so. But, spreading wild falsehood on the samelines as Mahapasupatastra and then act as if they are very aloof and everything is one, the moment Vishnu supremacy is to be spread , clearly brings out their tiny minds and their tiny thinking. Alas even the prime slots on SVBC channel (TTD) is occupied by these pseudo scholars and they take pot shots on Vishnu and Vaishnavism. Infact, through your blog you and HBB are doing a wonderful service in interpreting scriptural texts correctly and repulsing the lies being spread by so called saiva advaita scholars.


    3. The Saiva/Smartha activities in Tirumala are a product of the controversial Jayendra Saraswati's meddling. It's rather amusing to note that ignoramuses love to claim Sri Venkateswara is Shiva, Shakti, Skanda, Buddha and just about every other deity other than who he really is according to shAstra (vishNu).

    4. Dear Sri Aryamaa,

      What you said about Tirumala is very true. Now adays it appears Sringeri has taken over from Kanchi and many of the officials in TTD appear to be followers of Sringeri peetham or influenced by Sringeri peetam.

      Now, the worst part is that there is one telugu scholar called Mylavarapu Srinivasa Rao who is considered one of the so called scholars from telugu hinterland because he appears on many telugu TV spritual shows. This scholar had announced on TV pgm that Lord Venkateswara has heavy chests like women and wears mettu on fingers on his feet like married women. So, he concluded that It is Shakti alias Parvati. He gives the normal Venkateshwara photo were you can see those rings on the fingers of his feet. This is just a tip of the ice berg. They are spreading many such canards in name of pravchanams etc. Another e.g. is one of the scholars mentioned by Pavan, has said that Parvati is highest pativrata because she has names like Sivani, Bhavani, Iswari which goes well with names of her consort Siva like Siva, Bhava, Iswara etc. He doesn't stop there and goes on to say narayana- narayani are not husband and wife but Brother and sister. Hope you understand the under current thought he has. He is echoing the verses of Soudarya lahari where Vishnu and Lakshmi are shown in very poor light. There are many such innuendos these so called active telugu scholars are spreading. Hope Lord gives these saiva advaita scholars some sathbuddhi.


    5. Shri KV,

      Thank you for the comments and information. It serves as further proof that the "saivas/advaitins are broad minded" claim holds no currency.

      Let them establish supremacy of pArvati over lakShmI, shiva over viShNu, etc. Let us not be bothered by it. Let them 'prove' these to masses using whatever means befitting to their intellects. Even children will laugh at the logic given by that ignoramus for showing pArvati is a better pativrata than Lakshmi.

      It warrants our response only when they interfere and force themselves into various aspects of vaiShNava conduct, rituals, and temples.

      With the Sringeri mutt, it is my humble opinion that we show some fairness. Let us not hold the mutt itself guilty by association. Someone might be claiming to be a follower of such and such mutt and do stuff due to other influences such as gossip by family members/friends. I have even heard that the mutt's pontiff once opposed the kAmakoTi peeTham's undue interference in tirupati. Credit can be given where it is due.

      Having said that, I still hold the mutt to be diametrically opposite to shaNkara in key aspects. It is their and the followers' business and I have no qualms over it.

      If they actively engage in interference/false propaganda against vaiShNavas, let us record it as a proof. We of course need to be vigilant from all quarters.

    6. Dear Krishna Ji,

      These so called scholars are using TTD SVBC channel to propagate their self manifested theories of siva and parvathi to pollute people's minds. One key thing we need to understand is all these media channels are being bribed and funded by kanchi and sringeri mutts, I dont know whether you heard about Chaganti KOteswara Rao or not, he started a dscourse on Venkatachala Ithihaasa maala recorded by great "Sri ANanthAZhwan" and suddenly brought Siva and compared venkateswara with siva and the venue where it happened was "Mahathi Auditorium, Tirupathi" infront of thousands of devotees(ofcourse maayaavaada followers).

      If we go and challenge him for a philosophical debate, he cant even withstand for 5 minutes, Adiyen swears.In one occassion, this so called apara sankara sringeri muttadhipathi said "thats why we included a sloka in yajurveda sandhyavandhanam", the sloka is "sivaaya vishnu roopaya, siva roopaya vishnave" and went to describe it and ultimately equating siva and narayana.

      It is not their mistake, it is people's the follower's mistake because of their avidya karman as well as their illogical brains.

      Sankaracharya derived and stressed wherever he can that "Supreme commander is Narayana and He alone is the refugee", One has to think (If they are really having brains and using them) how come sankara establish mutts with kshudra devataas as the dieties in those mutts.

      The funny thing is, Sarada is Saraswati, chaturmukha brahma's wife. But the sarada who is the presiding diety in sringer is somehow Pravati. One has to read Swami Desikan;s Sri sthuthi to understand who they are.

      Very recently, this ramakrishna mission mutt in Hdyerabad is gaining popularity with advaita commentaries by so called scholarly persons who cant even pronounce sanskrit properly.. That is the fate created by vivekananda who is highly unreliable.

      Nobody knows who Ramanujacharya and Manavala Maamunigal, Swami Vedanta Desika are.. They blindly assign the word Vedanta to Advaita and viceversa. Vedanta is advaita and advaiata alone is vedanta.

      the coming year 2017 is Sri Ramanuja's 1000th thirunakshatram, let us all stive for raamaanujeekaranam...

      Srimathe sri nigamaantha mahaa desikaya namaha!
      Srimathe sri lakshmi nrisimha parabrahmane namaha!

    7. To my knowledge, HBB is right. The current peetAdhipathi of Sringeri is a respectable scholar and is cordial with vaishnavas.

      We do not grudge their difference in beliefs as HBB said. If they want to follow Soundarya Lahiri, so be it. So long as they don't interfere in our traditions, that's fine.

      All these so-called Shankara mutts are recent in origin as compared to Adi Shankara. However, it is only the kanchi kAmAkoti mutt which does not have our respect. The other mutts, no matter how they came into origin, are run without controversy.

    8. Dear Shri Pavan Swamin,

      We share your anguish about the misplaced and over-hyped popularity of certain relatively modern movements and the fact that the masses are viewing Vaishnavism with biased minds.

      We can do nothing to change the vAsanas, inclinations of the people and the choices they make out of free will.

      All we do is proclaim Sriman Narayana's supremacy louder than the detractors, and clear genuine doubts of viShNubhaktas loudly enough.

      With regrd to Sringeri mutt, I already expressed my opinion that we should show restraint when they are not interfering with vaiShNavas. We cannot blame them for being themselves and preaching what they believe in, unless it concerns us vaiShNavas directly.

      I will be happy to stand corrected if shown wrong.


    9. Having said that, you are spot on about the TTD's anti-vaiShNava activities. IMO, there is parasitic element that is using Shri periya Thirumalai nambi/uDaiyavar/anantAzhvAn's
      sublime sacrifices and selfless service to earn money by shameless means, usurping the philosophy of these AcAryas' themselves.

      We should all do all we can to extinguish this adharmic element in TTD or at least cripple it by various means.

    10. Shri Pavan Swamin,

      Very delighted and humbled to read your journey and anubhava into vaiShNavism. I am sure many readers will find it inspiring.

      I am not sure of the availability of Puthur Swami/PBA swami books in English translations. PBA Swami has written a few books in Telugu I think, besides many in Sanskrit.

    11. Dear Srimaan HBB swami,

      Adiyen felt sorry for expressing in a very disrespectful manner. Adiyen also heard that the Sringeri mutt celebrates Nammazwar's Paramapadotsavam and other sri vaishnava festivals.

      Adiyen's only anger is on they washing the brains of normal people about siva and parvati at the cost of Sri:Pathi. They went so far and discarded Sankaracharya's teachings as well.

      Adiyen felt ashamed for abusing them too much without self control and quickly realized from your reply..

      ADiyen Lakshmi Nrisimha Ramanuja Dasan Pavan

    12. Dear Sri HBB/Aaryamaa,

      I am sorry , if i have said some thing wrong on Sringeri. But, i did hear from lot of Srivaishnavas (of both kalais) in Tirupati and other places that some of the TTD EO's were Srigeri peetam followers. Not sure about the present TTD EO. But, i do remember , hazyly though, SVBC channel telecasting rudrabhishekam done by Srigeri Peetam pontiff on SVBC (not sure) But i havent seen SVBC telecasting the abhishekam or sattumurai done at Tirumala Pedda Jeeyar or Chinna Jeeyar Mutts or telecast of sattumurai done at any of the Srivaishnava mutts. Sorry in case i am wrong. Sincerely apologize for my over sight.


    13. Shri KV, Pavan,

      Thank you for your responses. No problem. It is not our intention to elicit an apology from either of you. No need to further clarify your intentions to the audience here.

    14. To my knowledge, the Sringeri pontiffs do not publicly tell their followers stories like "Ramanuja introduced the thirumaN among vaidikas", "Koorathazhwan went to a vidvat Sadas in the chola king's durbar and lost in debate", "Tirupati perumAL is female", "nammAzhvAr is a hari-hara aikya vAdin" etc... The Kamakoti pontiffs (both the late and the current head) were notorious of these things as can be seen from "Deivathin kural". Hence, the Sringeri mutt deserves more respect from us than the Kamakoti Mutt.

      The only potentially disturbing thing that I have seen deserving our attention is a recent bhAShaNa of the pontiff where he says to the effect of "dharmashAstra says those who argue for supremacy of Vishnu over Shiva will suffer from chronic stomachache." Even this is fine, if they keep it within their circles and want to believe in it and follow perfect Hari-Hara aikya. However, if their followers shove it over our face and mock us with it, we must rap them with our pUrvAcAryas' works and moreover show them that it is only they themselves who violate the shAstra and their AcArya Shri Shankara.

    15. Dear Srimaan HBB Swami,

      The article seemed very silly and disgusting to me atleast.. As you said as long as they propagate within their circles it is all well and good for them. This clearly proves his lack of knowledge in vedanta and shastras, mithyaa gnaanam..

      Adiyen would like to say onething, one who tries to equate 2 different entities and argues on the same will suffer from chronic inferiority complex. :)

      Adiyen Lakshmi Nrisimha Ramanuja Dasan Pavan

    16. This "chronic stomachache" quote is traceable to Appayya Dikshita's work "Brahmatarka stava" (if I remember right). I don't think anybody has quoted it before.

    17. Dear Unknown, KV, Krishna, Pavan, Aarymaa, HBB.

      Though this discussion might have happend a long time ago, I want to add a few points to it.

      In my previous comment on this blog I have commented directly to the point without citing much about myself and my journey. So here I would like to share my experience in as few words as possible...please do read on patiently.

      I am a Telugu, from the Godavari district. Right from my childhood I was very much a seeker of truth. My Ishta was Lord Rama, though I used to respect and bow to (worship) all the devatas as God, being then influenced by the neo vedanta of Sathyasai publications, Ramakrishna mission (I mean no disrespect to these, they have their place, especially the latter, which I will point out later).

      Then I read everything from Aghora at the left hand of God, Ramakrishna life story & philosophy, Vivekananda life story & philosophy, Ramana Maharshi, Paramahansa Yogananda, Swami Rama, Aurobindo, and what not. I was not satisfied, there was something missing. Anything that I came across and felt would clarify my innermost doubts on God...I have read.

      This process had resulted in a very confused mindset. So I have kept aside all those books for few years and on the advice of my Grandmother, resorted back to the basics of bhoomAta, to Suryadeva, Panchabhutas, navagrahas etc.
      Then a few years later I have seen a show with the above mentioned Chaganti Koteshwara rao, then Garikapati, then Samavedam shamukha sharma, then vaddiparthi padmakar etc...on various topics like Mahabharata, Ramayanam, Bhagavatam, Devibhagavata, shiva puranam etc...

      All the above mentioned people claim as belonging to advaita...and while discoursing on majorly sattvika shastras (Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavatam etc) that describe the Parabrahman as Narayana...they used to say that the tattva is one but only with different forms and used to bring in shiva, shakti etc into those vaishnava discourses.

      But the same persons while discoursing on Shiva puranam, Linga puranam, Khasi khandam, Devi Bhagavata used to claim that the highest is Shiva, Devi etc. Even their tone and facial expressions used to be different while discoursing on these subjects. Something that warned me that these people themselves have no clarity of what they preach, and so are deceiveing themselves as well as the listeners.

      I never accepted these teachings as I know instinctively in my innermost heart that the paratattva is lord Narayana alone. But where to find the clarification to my doubts.

      I had to say that ISKON was a relief in those days...I used to visit their beautiful temples, but on having discussions with some of the sannyasins over there I could not tolorate their differential treatment of Lord's Avataras, so I avoided further debates with them though I visit their temples even to this day. So hence my doubts persisted.

      Then I went back to the moola grandhas...I procured Mahabharata (Telugu), Bhagavatam (Telugu) both from the TTD. I have read the latter and am in the process of reading the former. Both these texts speak of the paratva of nArAyaNa.
      I also procured the Shankra Gita bhashyam (Telugu translation by Sooraparaju Raadhakrishnamoorthy - an actual advaita vedantin) published by the Ramakrishna mission Hyderabad. As I am reading this the vAsudeva tattva proposed by Sri Shankara is unfolding before me.

      Also I am listening to the Thiruvaimozhi by Sri Sri Sri Tridandi Srimannarayana Ramanuja Chinna jeeyar swami in telugu. Also I listen to the sankeerthanas of Sri Annamaachaarya which cause me to get enamoured by the divine when he says "Achyutudu ithadu...aadiyun anthamu".

      By all these, I am feeling day by day colser to Lord NaraHari.

    18. Cont..
      Also, I collected the softcopies of..
      1. Geeta bhashya of Sri Ramanuja (Telugu translation) by Sri Sri Sri Tridandi Srimannarayana Ramanuja Jeeyar Swami.
      2. Sri bhashyam of Sri Ramanujacharya (in telugu) by Paalavancha Thirumala Gudimella Venkata Lakshmi Nrusimhacharyulu.
      3. Thiruvaimozhi of Nammalwar (Telugu transliteration with telugu word by word meaning) by TTD.

      Also, I would like to once more mention that your blog has been a lighthouse for me for the past few years. Not only your articles, but also the pramana grandhas of the acharyas that you mention in your blog are even now helping me.

      Jai Sri Rama

    19. Namaste Dear Rajaram, HBB, Aryamaa and others

      I am Telugu person, previously suupported Chaganti Koteswara Rao etc on this forum. Now I feel I was mistaken.
      Tamil people are fortunate they have many esteemed Vaishnavas like Alwars, Sri Ramanuja etc. (This is not to suggest that these esteemed personalities are limited by space and time). Telugu people are not so fortunate. Only Lord Venkateswara and Sri Annamacharya are standing between us and a complete takeover of Telugu land by forces of pseudo-advaita, Shaivism, Shaktism and Christianity. These latter people know it very well and therefore everyone targets Tirumala. Christians try to do conversions, build churches on Tirumala. Pseudo-advaitins, Saivaites, Shaktites do everything to deny that Lord Venkateswara is Vishnu. I heard of even a proposal to build an Islamic university in Tirupati. TTD meanwhile is either ignorant or just too politically correct or just helpless in the face of this onslaught. Also TTD board appointments are political, so it is useless to expect much.

    20. Dear Shri Rajaram,

      Thank you for sharing your story. We are happy if our blog helped you in some way. In reality, our work is nothing but a reproduction of Shri Ramanuja's teachings and nothing new.

      @Anonymous -- while I appreciate your concern, I would like to request you to stop putting Shaiva/Shakta and academic religions like Christianity and Islam in the same sentence. Yes, we have some disputes with Shaivas and Shaktas, but they are nowhere near the ignorance and perversion of the abrahamic traditions that seek to destroy our culture. We have to respect Shaiva/Shakta culture as paths validated by Bhagavan for select people.

      At the end of the day, disputes between dharmic traditions can get heated, but when need arises, we need to be united to help each other. For example, Vaishnavas do not recognize Ayyappa as a valid deity, but we do have to support Sabarimala against the Kerala govt., as what is happening in Sabarimala in terms of interference can happen in our temples too next.

      No need to compromise on our philosophy, but request you to refrain from grouping dharmic traditions with abrahamic ones.

    21. Dear Anonymous,
      I appreciate your concern, for it has been mine too for a long time. But like Aaryamaa says the SanAtana dhArmic matas like Shaiva, Shakta have their place. Though I too do not like it when these people in the guise of advaitins confuse the masses (including myself), I should say that listening to them also has helped me in researching further into the pramana grandhas to clarify further doubts. The above mentioned people at least mention the Lord along with their devatas of worship, but...

      the peroblem with abrahamic religions is that they have this cancerous inclination to spread their faith through whatever means possible (including treachery, deceit, money, violence, silent blackmail, etc..) to the unwary. This is written in their own scriptures, which I have read (I was schooled in an Roman Catholic Institution, which by the way is much better compared to these modern abrahamic preachers in terms of tolerance).
      You might be surprised that it our Telugu teacher (a muslim by name Moti Begum) who adviced the administration to take us to the movie Annamayya during our 7th std, and it was also she who asked the hindus among the class to read the Bhagavad gita. On the 3rd day I have procured a copy of bhagavad geeta through a day scholar friend and started reading it. This is what has started my journey in the first place. I am ever grateful to her. You can find such rare jems even among the abrahamic religions, though these are becoming ever more rare.

      So coming back to the abrahamic religions' cancerous inclinations...some modern institutions are so selfish as to include their own stories in the curriculum, force the students to attend their places of worship, convert people covertly by telling the patients and the families who visit their hospitals that if thay convert then they would live, etc and many more. The sad thing is thay do these things, thinking that they are doing these as a service to their god and they do not care of the repurcussions of the increase in intolerance their novel converts exhibit towards other religions (especially our snAtana darmA). This was the sad situation.

      But from our side people including even the ones like Chaganti, Garikapati, Shanmukhasharma, Vaddiparti, etc have not only strengthened the faith of many dhArmic friends but also brought back many converts back to our dharma. So I have no qualms regarding their preachings so long as they don't, indirectly, belittle Lord Vishnu.
      This I do not tolerate, for HE is the very basis of everything...all the devatas are Lord's different angas, while they worship his different angas exclusively (a finger, a thigh etc thinking that part to be the person), we devout to the angi (nArAyaNa) the one who is the posessor of all these parts as his body.

      Jai Sri Rama

    22. Dear Rajaram and Aryamaa

      I beg to differ from you. The activities of semitic religions are there for everyone to see. The demarcation between semitic cults and Hinduism is clear cut, so their dangers are well known. But covert saivism and saktism and espesically pseudo-advaita are particularly dangerous as they exert an insidious influence on many. Thats all I want to say and if you disagree, then so be it.

    23. I don't see a problem if Shaiva and Shakta teachers with an anti-vishnu bias influence the public. It is precisely the reason why Shaiva and Shakta maths exist -- for people with no inclination to Vishnu. They are neither "insidious" nor "dangerous" -- they are merely an annoyance for vaidikas as they distort the texts, but overall, we belong to the same dharmic tradition and thus can coexist peacefully. They aren't going to demolish our temples or force everyone to convert by sword, and we ourselves see no need to convince everyone to be vaishnava -- it depends on individual inclinations. I think your priorities are mixed if you seriously see them as a threat like the useless abrahamic traditions; which is a pity.

      Point blank, Shaiva and Shakta traditions belong in some way to the Astika school -- acceptance of the Veda, though not as unauthored, but nevertheless a rudimentary acceptance and respect in the light of their Agamas.

      Ironically, ISKCON is worse than these sects in that they accept Christian teachings and incorporate worship of Jesus as their guru or something like that and censure anya-devata aradhana, yet I see an unnecessary hatred of Shaivas by some Vaishnavas, when the two sects belong to the Astika Darshana.

  6. Dear Aaryamaa,

    Many thanks for the comeback! Yes, Adiyen agrees completely with what you said, It is really a waste of time to educate everyone unless and until someone specifically poke us. Let them speak whatever they want infront of TV studios, but sometimes unfortunately when those words reach our ears, adiyen feels very sad and anger as well.

    As you said, we also should not fall into the trap of kali purusha wasting our time with arguments instead of using it for Bhagavath Bhaagavatha kainkaryam.. But the articles in the blog are really very very sound and adheres to vedas which is not at all an ordinary work. Think yourself and srimaan HBB are very learned persons of highest degree with Acharyan's and Emperumaan's krupa..

    Adiyen again pray Srimannarayana to give you both good health to carry out these kainkaryams..

    Srimathe Sri Nigamaantha Mahaa Desikaaya Namaha!
    Srimathe Sri Lakshmi Nrisimha Parabrahmane Namaha!

    ADiyen Lakshmi Nrisimha Ramanuja Dasan Pavan

    1. Namaskaram.

      We appreciate your visit and comments here very much and thank you for the same.

      I should clarify that I am not a scholar. I merely write about that which I have had the privilege to read... mostly books by great stalwarts like PBA Swami, Puthur Swami, etc.


    2. Dear Srimaan HBB,

      Sorry for posting comments irrelevant to the current post. ADiyen would also like to quote one of the early 1950's advaitins named Bellamkonda Rama Raya Kavi from telugu state who was a smartha converted to visitadvaita (took panchasamskaaram from one of the vaishnava acharyas)and then again to advaita by writing some stupid commentaries on the works of Sankaracharya.

      All these people have one thing in common, they dont want people to accept truth and live in relaity. ADiyen would also like to quote something related to MAx Muller and vivekananda by Srimaan Sri U Ve Sri SARPV Chaturvedi swami in one of His very recent discourses on "Sri Ramanuja - His contributions to the philosophy". Vivekananda was now over hyped by some sects of advaitins by supporting hs Practical ADvaita (Adiyen wonders really how many philosophers really practice advaita) tried to synthesise harmony between advaita, dwaita and visistadvaita saying they wont contradict each other rather they serve as 3 levels for a human being to achieve the highest. How ignorant and unwise this guy is.. First thing this fellow didnt understand any of the vedic systems or darsanas and commented something irrelevant.

      It is very easy for any so called philosopher to corrupt the knowledge, but it is a tedious job to correct it. One has to bare all sour and bitter experiences in one;s lifetime to correct it, thats what Bhagavad Ramanujaa did to the insane mankind.

      Sankara refuted the worship of lower dieties, but these lame people worship them not recognizing Naarayana as the inner soul..Baadarayaanas brahma sutras are inherently compatible and suitable only to Sri Ramanuja and none others. Both sankara and madhva are having their own personal motivated elasticity and extensions.

      Without experiencing Sarira Sariri bhaava, one cannot achieve the supreme commander, maheswara..

      Adiyen would also want to quote saaktheyaas here,Without knowledge how do they interpret svetasvatara upanishad talking about the wonderful powers of Srimannarayana to suit only to paraa sakthi.. Yamanucharya clearly is aware of the future generations and gave super interpretations in His magnum opus Stotra Ratnam,

      Paraa asya sakthi : ...

      Swami please guide adiyen in downloading any english translated books of Srimaan Sri puthur swami and Prathivaadi Bhayankaram Annan swami's..

      Awaiting your response..

      ADiyen's humble pranaamams to both of you..

      PS: ADiyen belongs to vaidika telugu brahmin;s sect(Telaganya, telangana region) and took panchasamskaaram from Srirangam Kongilpiraatti; thirumaaligai with boundless grace of SriRanganaathar in 2014. Since 1999 adiyen has been motivated by the discourses of HH Sri Chinna Jeeyar swami,. I also follow Srimad Andavan and had darshana bhaagyam of Srimad Rayapuram Andavan (Chinna Andavan) 3 times.. I worship Ramanuja, Vedanta Desika, Pillai LOkam Jeeyar with great reverence... But somehow got attached with Sri vedanta desikan..

    3. HBB

      PavanOctober 22, 2016 at 9:22 AM
      Dear Srimaan HBB,

      Sorry for posting comments irrelevant to the current post. ADiyen would also like to quote one of the early 1950's advaitins named Bellamkonda Rama Raya Kavi from telugu state who was a smartha converted to visitadvaita (took panchasamskaaram from one of the vaishnava acharyas)and then again to advaita by writing some stupid commentaries on the works of Sankaracharya.

      Pavan Garu ,
      Namaskaram. I am great-great grand son of Sri Rama Raya Kavi.

      Bellamkonda Rama Raya Kavi Born in 1875 - 1914.

      pavan garu, here i am enclosing Ramaraya kavi life history book link.please open and see the page no's 25 to28.

      Thanking you sir,

  7. Shri Pavan

    I am writing as a mAyavAdin vaishnava here, who hails from Telangana. The original advaita propounded by Sri Shankara, was Advaitic vaishnavism. Gradually it got corrupted with shaiva and shakta elements. This is especially true in the 2 Telugu states. However, to the best of my knowledge, Sri Chaganti Koteswara Rao, who is a hari-hara aikya vAdin, has never insulted Vishnu nor did he ever denigrate vaishnavas. To the best of my knowledge he and others like Sri Garikapati Narasimha Rao, have considered Lord Venkateswara as Vishnu only. You can disagree with them for their philosophy, but they have not insulted or spoken ill of Vishnu and vaishnavas. Sri Chaganti is a great devotee of Sri Rama. Sri Garikapati has said explicitly that the brahmotsavam at Tirumala for Vishnu, is the only genuine brahmotsavam. All others which go by the name of brahmotsavam are bogus. Brahma worships Vishnu only.

    Regarding SVBC, their main focus is on Tirumala-Tirupathi only and they are doing great service by showing the various sevas dedicated to the Lord and also his brahmotsavams. They also dedicate lot of time to Sri Annamacharya. They have discourses from Tamil vaishnava Acharyas. So what if they show rudrabhishekam once in a while? Rudra is a highly evolved jeeva and deserves respect. As vaishnavas, we don't need to feel insecure about these minor things. And if you go to Tirumala, you will hear the word Govinda being chanted and not that of any other god. So let us not get unduly worried about the state of affairs.

  8. Just one clarification to my previous post. Sri Garikapati was probably referring to temples in AP and Telangana, when he talked about brahmotsavams. It has become a fad in many temples in Telugu states to name some utsava as brahmotsavam. He has condemned this and said that true brahmotsavam is for Vishnu alone at Tirumala.

    1. To be entirely honest, both Vaishnavas and Shaivas near Tirupati face a greater threat in the form of Christians and Muslims desperately seeking to harm Tirupati in some way. So SVBC showing RudrAbhishekam is the least of my concerns.

      In any case, the nearby Srisailam and Kalahasti are purAnic Shaiva shrines under TTD's control as well, and the purAnAs claim that Shiva in these temples meditates on Sri Venkateswara and worships Adi Sesha himself in the formal of the seven hills. So, considering these Shiva temples are a part of the kshetra under the protection of the Lord, it is not controversial to show rudrAbhisheka on SVBC.

      Tirupati is universally acknowledged as a Sri vaishnava influenced vaikhanasa shrine and that status is not going to change due to some Shaiva misinterpretations.

    2. Sri Aaryamaa

      To the best of my knowledge, Srisailam and Srikalahasti are not under TTD administrative control. But your point about influence of other Semitic religions is well taken. A former CM of united AP encouraged lot of missionary activities in and around Tirumala. I guess you must be knowing this.

    3. Dear Anonymous or mAyavAdin Vaishnava,

      Both Chaganti and Garikapati might not have said something about Lord Venkateswara. But they have taken lot of pot shots on Vishnu and Vaishnavism directly or indirectly through their TV pgms.

      I am also from AP region and have been watching the prgms of Chaganti, Garikapati etc.
      explicitly says that Pativrata means only Parvati or Lalita para bhattarika. Lakshmi and Saraswati he says are not on par. Just listen to his pravachanam. It will be self evident. If he is really a Hari Hara aikya vAdin then why this kind of biased statements. He has never said the reverse of it. Chaganti even supports that Siva followed the mohini form of Vishnu because Vishnu prayed to Parvati to give her form to him and goes onto say that there is no shame in that because Siva is just following mohini, because mohini had borrowed parvati's beauty. Now look at at his pravachanam on fight between Vishnu and Siva as per Valmiki Ramayana where Parushurama explains the origin of the bows. Chaganti cooly says it is like father and his brother fighting and passes on to other sections quickly, without telling the outcome of of it as given in Bala Kanda. I can give you many more such instances.

      Now coming to Garikapati just watch his Andhra Mahabharata pravachanam he gives every day. He makes it a point to take pot shots directly and indirectly on Vaishnavas and Vishnu. He selectively gives meanings which try to show Siva or Shakti as superior and the moment where Vishnu's supremacy is proclaimed, it becomes Advaitam and all God's are equal. This is what is called double standards.

      Mylavarapu Srinivasa Rao has made comments on Lord Venkateswara and calls him as Shakti or parvati, whereas even in real sense there is no evidence to say that it is Shakti form and at the most they hang on to the one line statement in only one Annamayya Kirtan " Entha matramuna...." Annamayya makes a passing reference.

      Coming to Rudrabhishekam, why show Rudrabhishekam done by a Pontiff who has no relation to SriVaishnavism or Vaishnavism in general. If that is the case why hasn't SVBC or TTD telecast the sattumurai and aradhanam done by SriVaishnava acharyas, in there ashrams or matams, too. They haven't even telecast the Sattumurai or the aradhanam done at Tirumala Pedda Jeeyar or Tirumala Chinna Jeeyar swami ashrams or matams, forget about other SriVaishnavacharya matams.

      Yes, TTD is doing some good things nobody is against it, like spreading Hinduism, making appeals to pilgrims to wear traditional dress and Vaishnava Naamam etc while going for darshanam of Lord Venkateswara. But they should know that it is by grace of Lord Srinivasa that they are able to do all good work and should avoid any form of Anya devatha worship in Tirumala at the least.

      TTD Publishes a yearly calender where each month has beautiful photo of Srinivasa or Vishnu or Rama or Krishna or Govindaraja or Padmavathi ammavaru.There were never other Anya devatha photos. Suddenly, they have started incorporating the photo of Kapaleeshwara swami ( Siva and Parvati) photo in the month of Feb or March pages of the calender for the last 3-4 yrs. Before 2011 or 2012 , I don't think they had included Anya devatha photo in there calenders previously. Now, tell me does the calender published by Srisailam ( Siva kshetra) or Kalahasti or Kanaka Durga temple calenders etc have Vishnu photos in their calender s. They will not.

      Where does the question of insecurity come here? It only shows our concern for deity as many anti vaishnava activities seem to be happening in and around Tirumala.


    4. Anonymous or mAyavAdin Vaishnava,

      So, you mean to say let us all keep our eyes shut if somebody builds a multi million theme park at Alipiri in name of neo Hinduism and spoil the spiritual nature of Tirupati and tirumala. let us not say a word if neo Hindus install deities of other devathas on Tirumala. Allow them to carry on covert activities as per some Shaivas and Shaktas etc and say that every thing is fine and green.

      Atleast, all those, so called protectors of neo Hinduism, respect the culture and history of the temples and not indulge in this bogus concept of all are one aikya vadam etc and covertly try to push their own hidden shaiva Shakta agendas.


    5. "They hang on to the one line statement in only one Annamayya Kirtan " Entha matramuna...." Annamayya makes a passing reference"

      In that keerthana, Annamayya, a vishishtadvaitin and a sri vaishnava, acknowledges that it is only bhagavAn vishNu (venkateswara) who, being the antaryAmin of all deities, has all these deities as his body (form). Thus, he is Shiva for Shaivas as Shiva is his body, Shakti fot Shaktas as Shakti is his body, Vishnu for vaishnavas as the *form* of vishnu is his body (he himself is verily vishnu), etc. It is classic sharIrAtma bhAva, a realization of the gita slokas ref. "avidhi pUrvakam" worship and no way promotes identity of vishNu with those deities.

      In other vaidika traditions, a similar sloka has been composed by Madhusudhana Saraswati as well since advaitins accept vishNu is the antaryAmin of all gods at the lower level of reality. Even the dvaitins have similar ideas based on bimba-pratibimba theory.

    6. Sri KV

      TTD prints the kapileshwara Swamy photo in the calendar because that temple is also under the administrative control of TTD.

      SVBC has telecasted the sattumora seva of the Lord many times. They have telecasted the chanting of Divya prabhandams. And if you wake up early, they also show the sevas from the replica temple (because they obviously can't show the main deity of the real temple).

      Current CM of AP is a big devotee of Lord Venkateswara. He has called him as his family deity.

      Regarding Chaganti, I have seen him many times praising Vishnu in unequivocal terms. Yes, he subscribes to worship of other gods and even bogus gods like Ayyappa and Sai Baba. He might have peculiar non-vaishnava views. But that's part of being a modern day smarta. I can assure you there is no conspiracy behind it.

      A final word - I envy the followers of Sri Ramanuja and Sri Madhva. They have many true Acharyas to guide them. We, advaitic vaishnavas on the other hand, are a dying breed. Teachings of Sri Shankara are corrupted to an irreversible extent. He has been "converted" into a shaiva-shakta. How badly should I complain then!

    7. Dear Sri Anonymous,

      Whatever Srimaan KV has commented are atmost facts that had happened and happening in Tirumala kshetram. 1000 pillared mantapam was demolished in one night without any notice or intimation following suggestions of jayendra saraswati and one other sankaracharya from vizag,(Swaroopananda Saraswati. he himself established sarada mutt in AP and became muttadhipathi).

      Many people noticed this or not, I dont know : The Govinda namams published by TTD were all blunders and directly or indirectly refers to parvati pati. Their intentions are very clear and they dont go to the notice of a common man, because a common man dont know vedanta, parabrahmam, saranagathi, paramapadam etc and TTD with the help of kamakoti mutt and other chamcha swamis to destory its heritage.

      HH Chinna Jeeyar swami severely refuted these adhaarmic activities every time he get a chance. In response, TTD again with the help of kamakoti mutt played a smart game claiming that HH is deliberately differentating saivas and vaishanavas, atlast He refrained.

      Wahtever srimaan KV swami said about these telugu state saiva advaita scholars is 100% true and one can see it very openly.

      One more thing you should also know is, Chaganti koteswarrao used to follow Sri U.Ve Paramapada vaasi Srimaan Sri Sribhashyam Appalacharya swami who was renowned scholar and a staunch visitadvaitin who did yeoman service to the sampradaaya and adiyen was very fortunate to learn at his son;s feet. Sribhashayam appalacharya swami delivered sri ramayana discourses without even referring to the moola grantham such a scholar he was. coming back to chaganti, slowly he started delivering discourses on siva tattva, soundaryalahari, sivanandalahari etc etc and confused many aasthikaas.

      We have enough proofs to talk about these scholar's leelas, but i dont want to. I;ve written this to enlighten anyone like me who is in search of sath sampradaaya

      Adiyen Lakshmi Nirismha Ramanuja Dasan Pavan

    8. Dear Sri Aryamaa,

      Wonderful explanation of the Annamacharya keerthana " Entha matramuna..". Regarding the threat from Semitic religions, absolutely agree with your views. But adiyen's point was to show why SVBC and TTD is being selective i.e. show the Rudrabhishekam done by a Srigeri Pontiff on his ashram on the channel, but never showed the sattumurai or Aradhanam being done in SriVaishanava matams. Otherwise, adiyen has no problem with they conducting multiple Rudraabhishekam or any other abhishekham and showing them on the channel. Hope they don't end up telecasting abhishekam of Sai baba etc also on this channel, in the future, in the name of Aikya vadam or all Gods are one. TTD newly started conducting Kapaleeshwara Brahmotsavam , which I am not sure whether it was in vogue in Tirupati at all. Adiyen hasn't heard about it until about Brahmotsavam for Kapaleeshwara deity some 10 yrs back. They renamed the Alwar teertham as Kapila teertham where Nammalwar deity is there. This is what adiyen calls as double standards.

    9. Sri Anonymous,

      Please, don't get me wrong.

      I have no issues with they telecasting Rudrabhishekam etc done at individual Shankara matams, as long as SVBC also shows the aradhanam done at individual SriVaishnava matams also, first. I am not talking about the Divya prabhandha parayanam and sattumurai in Tirumala temple. I know, they telecast that and also abhishekham done to replica of Moolavar.

      Just because they have Kapaleeshwara temple under there administrative control doesn't mean that they have to incorporate that in the Tirumala calender. This was not the case 6-7 yrs back, as far as I remember.

      Even the Telugu panchangam/calender which is published officially by TTD , used to began with anya devatha invocation. But after a some strong feedback by many including Vaikhanasa followers, they removed it.

      Whether current AP CM's personal deity is Venkateswara or not, I am not aware.

      Regarding Chaganti praising Lord Vishnu , yes, he might praise as long as there is no inconvenience caused to Shiva or Shakti supremacy. The moment it comes to Siva and Shakti and or Vishnu, Chaganti always leans completely towards Siva- Shakti only, putting aside all the aikya vadam etc. And what about his description about Parvati and or Lalitha Para bhattarika alone is absolute pativrataa even above Lakshmi and Saraswati. Please watch his pravachanam more carefully.

      Rest, I leave it to your own jurisprudence.

      Sorry in case I had said some thing wrong in the heat of discussion. I do apologize for it.


    10. // He might have peculiar non-vaishnava views. But that's part of being a modern day smarta. I can assure you there is no conspiracy behind it. //

      Yes, there may not be any conspiracy but that is not the issue. It is the continuous bombardment of media with anti-Vaishnava bias.

      I have seen this phenomenon quite often. They will talk about Annamayya, Nammazhvar, Ramayana, Bhagavatam, and talk of Lord Vishnu/Krishna/Venkateswara as paramAtmA and muktida. They will even say that Siva glorifies Vishnu Sahasranama etc. This is enough to impresses unwary Vaishnavas both in Ramanuja/Madhva sampradAyas. But their talk of Vishnu/Vaishnavas' glories will stop there and not go to issues like Vishnu alone is the creator and Brahma/Rudra are just His instruments, Rudra/Parvati being under Vishnu's mercy, or stories where Vishnu protects Shiva in the purANas in great detail. On the other hand, they will elaborate on stories of Lingodbhava, Sarabheshwara, Sadashiva being higher than trimUrtis, Lakshmi fanning lalitA tripurasundarI who is seated on a couch having Vishnu as one leg, etc. etc. A person with this sort of bias is not a Hari-Hara aikyavAdin, let alone a friend of Vaishnavas.

      Let them openly declare that they favor Shaivism over Vaishnavism, and that Vishnu is always subordinate to Shiva for them. But they will not do that, for they need to bank on the popularity of Lord Venkateswara, usurp Vaishnava temple practices by covert means, and exploit the fruits of anantAzhvAn's work for their udara-nimitta activities.

      Hence, we cannot afford to have a soft corner for such pravachana-kartas just because they have glorified Vishnu to some extent somewhere. After all, I have seen Srivaishnavas take even their own Jeeyars to task when their practices/ideas are against pUrvAcAryas.

      And about TTD... it is in fact guilty on several occasions. Here is a clipping: . For those who cannot read Tamil, the images are from a diary published by TTD. Apart from a varasiddhi vinAyaka temple photo that appears prominently, there is a picture drawn of Vishnu and Lakshmi in ardhanArIshvara-like form, but is entitled "Sripathi - Lord in half-woman form". Another piece of information from that link is the "Sapthagiri" magazine had the ardhanArIshvara form of Shiva on its cover page a few years back. All these are blatant violations of Srivaishnava principles and Agamas that are the basis of the temple that TTD claims to be the caretaker of.

      Even some smArtas in my family say Jayendra Saraswati has interfered in Tirupati Temple's activities. If that is true, why is TTD sitting mute to such things?

    11. // So what if they show rudrabhishekam once in a while? Rudra is a highly evolved jeeva and deserves respect. As vaishnavas, we don't need to feel insecure about these minor things. //

      We have stressed this many times. Repeating again. It is not that the idea of Rudra as a devatA/highest Vaishnava that is the problem. It is the worship of Rudra as paramAtman (which is probably intended by the Sringeri peeThAdhipati) and/or Rudra worship through Agamas that favor Shiva-paratva is against Vaidika/Vaishnava principles. If Rudra is honored/worshiped as a parivAra devatA in a Vishnu temple and as a devotee of Vishnu showing anjali hasta rather than abhaya/varada hasta (like the AzhvArs, AcAryas, Garuda, or Hanuman), then it is acceptable.

      The point I have made is an academic one and a very important one at that. The issue of TTD channel showing Rudrarchana is probably a minor one.

    12. It is true that Jayendra Saraswati was behind most of the issues at Tirupati. However, after the murder case and other shady dealings of the kAmAkoti mutt which were exposed in the media, Jayendra Saraswati has lost some of his influence among both Shaivas and Vaishnavas. Some shiva temples like Chidambaram (which is also a vaishnava divya desam) still have huge cut-outs of JS hanging on the temple walls for namesake, but the influence has waned greatly. I believe it is the same at Tirumala -- certainly the damage he did still has repercussions that continue, but atleast he is no longer influential enough to cause further damage.

    13. Regarding Rudra worship, Swami Nampillai explains why statements like "jnAnam icchet sankarAth" do not apply to shiva when he is consecrated in a shiva temples. The reason is that as HBB explained, the consecration is done with the aid of agamas which are tAmasic in nature and the people who performed the consecration obviously were influenced by wrong knowledge which is tamas. Therefore, the vAsanas in the temple would be tAmasic and the mood of the deity would also be predominantly tAmasic.

      Shiva is a jnAni, yes, but as the texts show countless times, he is not always in the state of jnana and is overcome by tAmasa guNa at times. In his sAttvika mood, he worships vishNu. In his tAmasika mood, he fights against vishNu. This is his failing.

      Madhvas and advaitins worship him as a jnAni in these temples, but for this reason, sri vaishnavas shun it. Of course, these temples are purAnic sthalas and Shiva initually appeared here in these places to worship vishNu in nearby temples, but as the mode of worship is through tAmasa agamas, one cannot determine the influence of this on his mood.

    14. Dear @Sri Aaryamaa,

      Excellent and witty explanation regarding the worship of siva.. Thanks for the information..

      There was also an explanation give by Srimaan Sri U.Ve Velukkudi Krishnan swami in one of his discourses in australia. This has also been explained in detail by many stalwarts like Srimaan Kaarpangadu swami, Srimaan Velukkudi varadacharya swami etc in their commentaries on sareerika kaarikaavali.

      People who claim them as vedantins has no prior understanding and keep on asking the same question time and again here and there.

    15. Adiyen also noticed "Vishwaksena(yasyadwirada vakthra:dya:h)" wrongly represented as "Vianayaka (Ekadanthi)" in almost all recently constructed vishnu temples in both the telugu states. Kanchikama koti mutt also created a new God "Lakshmi Ganapathi" and there are as many as some 100's of these temples in telugu states.

      Krishna's samanthaka mani story which we celebrate is vighna nivaraka chaturthi, but it has become "Vinayaka Chaviti", The theme behind it is if you are worshipping siva then you should pray vinayaka(ekadanthi) to remove hurdles, and on the other hand if you worship vishnu, then you should start with vishwaksena sthuthi. This ekadanthi has got no powers even in the siva ganas, But vishwaksena is the chief commander of the whole universe( andas, brahmandas) with a dandam in his hand..

      Vedam also said, if you are in jaagrut dasa then you should pray God with gajamukha with 8 faces or 18 faces, dont remember..

      Philosophy already got corrupted and distorted, Now they are corrupting aagamaas as well..

    16. <<>>

      That is a mAdhva interpretation of the mAndukya upanishad on vaisvanara state. Our acharyas do not interpret that mantra as a "gajamukha" form of the Lord. The meaning for us is entirely different from that given by dvaitins.

    17. Yajnavalkya smriti does mention ekadantin vinAyaka as a son of one ambikA, appointed by brahmA and Shiva to be vighna adhipati. I do not know if this is an interpolation. Vijnanesvara and aparArka have commented on this section though and do appear to consider it genuine.


    18. That is a mAdhva interpretation of the mAndukya upanishad on vaisvanara state. Our acharyas do not interpret that mantra as a "gajamukha" form of the Lord. The meaning for us is entirely different from that given by dvaitins.

      Thanks for the clarification swami..

    19. Sri Pavan

      (The Govinda namams published by TTD were all blunders and directly or indirectly refers to parvati pati.)

      Can you prove your accusations? I have the Govinda names pubslished by TTD and there is no reference to Rudra in them. There is a reference to Siva-Kesava murthy, but hey even Sri Vaishnavas believe that Rudra is present in the body of Vishnu. And while we are at it, can you tell how the first name Srinivasa refer to Rudra?

    20. Sri KV

      (I am also from AP region and have been watching the prgms of Chaganti, Garikapati etc.
      explicitly says that Pativrata means only Parvati or Lalita para bhattarika. Lakshmi and Saraswati he says are not on par. Just listen to his pravachanam. It will be self evident)

      Al right. Please give me link to this pravachanam. I will accept your position and I will personally take this up with him if possible.

    21. Sri Anonymous,

      This pravachanam happened in October 2016, telecast on SVBC or maybe Bhakti channel. Most probably on Soudarya lahari or Lalita sahasranamam, related..But, not sure. Please check. I don't remember the exact date. I have seen that episode for some time and immediately after listening to his biased explanation changed the channel as it wasnt in good taste, as far as I am concerned. There is no need for me to prove anything. I will also try to find the link and if it is available will let you know. Even, Sri Pavan is also saying similar things on Chaganti's pravachanam. I know so many Vaishnavas who agree with our views.


    22. Sri KV

      (This pravachanam happened in October 2016, telecast on SVBC or maybe Bhakti channel. Most probably on Soudarya lahari or Lalita sahasranamam, related.)

      Alright, I will search for this. If Vishnu has indeed been denigrated on SVBC, that's a serious issue and I will take this up with TTD. If Chaganti has denigrated Vishnu, then I will take this up with him. And just for the record, the Saundaryalahari is NOT a work of Sri Shankara. In all his authentic works, Sri Shankara considered Narayana alone as supreme. This blog brings out this point very well.

  9. Dear @Anonymous,

    However, to the best of my knowledge, Sri Chaganti Koteswara Rao, who is a hari-hara aikya vAdin, has never insulted Vishnu nor did he ever denigrate vaishnavas.

    I guess you didnt follow chaganti's Siva Puranam series telecasted in MAA TV in the year 2011, Let me search and send you the link. In one of his discourses he said "Sadaa Siva means Siva(Parvati Pati) will remain for ever even during Mahaa Pralaya and Vishnu wont". To my knowledge, you should also refer "Markandeya Puranam" to understand the Mahaa Pralayam episode, except Markandeya and Paramaathma nothing else if left.

    So what if they show rudrabhishekam once in a while?

    I never said this in any of my posts and I believe no vaishnava unless and until poked will say this. We are all wedded to Srimannarayana(Purusha) and will not look at others as we are pathivrathaas.I will also try to clarify you on this, Whenever you are delivering a discourse on something which is eternal and highest of all, how can you compare Him with some other gods which will be purely irrelavant. When you are talk about Venkateswara, talk about Him alone or His leelas, why would you bring siva, sakthi, subrahmanya and vinayaka and compare venkateswara with them? Even the same happens with Shanmukha Sarma, he started a discourse on Narasimha vaibhavam and suddenly brought siva and compared their equality. I can give you thousands of examples with proofs like this.

    Sri Garikapati was probably referring to temples in AP and Telangana, when he talked about brahmotsavams. It has become a fad in many temples in Telugu states to name some utsava as brahmotsavam. He has condemned this and said that true brahmotsavam is for Vishnu alone at Tirumala.

    I'm already aware of this, now a days it has become a fashion to celebrate brahmotsavams in Sai baba temple as well because they dont know who paramaathma, jeevathma are. It is upto their own perception and very much fine if they want to do so.

    I hope i've clarified enough.

    1. Sri Pavan

      I guess you didnt follow chaganti's Siva Puranam series telecasted in MAA TV in the year 2011, Let me search and send you the link. In one of his discourses he said "Sadaa Siva means Siva(Parvati Pati) will remain for ever even during Mahaa Pralaya and Vishnu wont".

      Sure, please let me know when you find this.

      To my knowledge, you should also refer "Markandeya Puranam" to understand the Mahaa Pralayam episode, except Markandeya and Paramaathma nothing else if left.

      Ok. I am aware of it thru other pramANas. The incident of markandeya meeting Narayana during the time of pralaya, is recounted in the vana parva of the Mahabharata.

      I never said this in any of my posts and I believe no vaishnava unless and until poked will say this.

      It was the other gentleman who said this. Sorry for the mix up.

  10. Sri HBB

    (And about TTD... it is in fact guilty on several occasions. Here is a clipping: . For those who cannot read Tamil, the images are from a diary published by TTD. Apart from a varasiddhi vinAyaka temple photo that appears prominently, there is a picture drawn of Vishnu and Lakshmi in ardhanArIshvara-like form, but is entitled "Sripathi - Lord in half-woman form". Another piece of information from that link is the "Sapthagiri" magazine had the ardhanArIshvara form of Shiva on its cover page a few years back. All these are blatant violations of Srivaishnava principles and Agamas that are the basis of the temple that TTD claims to be the caretaker of.)

    The position of TTD is like - damned if you do and damned if you dont. A few months back I was arguing with a Veerashaiva plus Veerashakta and this man was practically accusing the TTD of removing evidence that the Tirumala temple is a non-vaishnava temple! So the TTD is the favorite punching bag for both Shaivas and Vaishnavas. What I dont understand is what the temple priests are doing if the TTD is violating Vaikhanasa principles? I guess it is easy to criticize and Indians are very good at criticizing. The chief priest of Tirumala temple has made it clear again and again that all the Vaikhanasa Agamas are strictly followed in the temple practices. And if Jayendra Saraswati was interfering, then what were the temple priests doing? The TTD does not over ride the temple priests nor does it over ride the Jeeyars.

    The TTD suspended even the son of the Chief priest for putting a "wrong" namam to the Lord. The complaint was lodged by traditional vaishnava chiefs.

    I would be most interested in knowing what these traditional vaishnava chiefs and the temple priests were doing when Jayendra Saraswati was interfering with the temple. The TTD board members are not very conversant with vaishnava practices. The priests are. The TTD becomes the favorite punching bag but it is doing a very good job in running the affairs of the temple. It is managing a queue of 50k - 1 lakh people every day at the temple, and even more on weekends. It is giving free food for devotees and looking after their interests. Hey but you know what. All this does not count. In some obscure edition of its magazine it showed a vinayaka temple and suddenly the TTD becomes anti-vaishnava!

    1. Anonymous' comment that got deleted inadvertently (apologies for that):

      Sri HBB

      (Yes, there may not be any conspiracy but that is not the issue. It is the continuous bombardment of media with anti-Vaishnava bias.)

      Oh please, can you prove your charges? While we are at it, can you also specify exactly what constitutes anti-vaishnava for you?

      ( But their talk of Vishnu/Vaishnavas' glories will stop there and not go to issues like Vishnu alone is the creator and Brahma/Rudra are just His instruments, Rudra/Parvati being under Vishnu's mercy, or stories where Vishnu protects Shiva in the purANas in great detail.)

      That is because many are hari-hara aikya vAdins. I dont know the situation in TN, but in the 2 Telugu states, Sri Chaganti and Sri Garikapati are hari-hara aikya vAdins. Sure, that is not the vaishnava way of thinking, but hey they have never poked fun at vaishnavas or vishnu, as far as I know. Prove me wrong, then I will accept your position. You guys seem to be under the impression that the entire media and TTD is conspiring against the vaishnavas!

      I also think you need to figure out what your actual position is. An aikya-vAdin is free to propound his philosophy and even a Shaiva is free to do that. We dont interfere with them unless they twist history (like claiming Tirumala is non-vaishnava temple or that Shankara was a shaiva) or poke fun at Vishnu or vaishnavas. Otherwie, I assure you, you will see anti-vaishnavism everywhere.

    2. Anonymous,

      I have already explained why certain namesake aikyavAdins are actually more biased towards shaivism. I do not know if the specific individuals are of that sort.

      I am saying these things from what I have seen first hand in Tamil media. Just take the UrdhvapuNDra article we published (the latest one here in the blog -- see sitemap) and you will see examples of fake aikya vAdins taking a shot at vaiShNavism whenever the opportunity arises.

      I do not need to acknowledge TTD's good work in this discussion. It is an obvious thing, and the discussion is not about that. It is like saying I cannot criticise vivekAnanda's interpretation of A/VA/D schools because Ramakrishna mission is doing very large scale impactful humanitarian work. The issue is about preserving Agamic traditions and whether there are irregularities in that area.

      What I said applies also to the priests. I think everyone would agree that an organisation/individual that operates under the aegis of the temple and survives by it cannot do/proclaim things that are outright opposed to the principles fundamental to worship in that temple, in their respective capacities. It is their individual freedom if they do these things as individuals OUTSIDE OF their capacity, under a non-TTD banner or with no banner. If you still don't agree, there is not much for us to discuss.

      I do not know much about what is going on with TTD first hand so I will stop here. Just adding my views on what vaiShNavas must be wary off and not to miss any opportunity to clarify vaiShNavism to the masses.

      I am done with TTD discussions from my end. If anybody else wants to add something that has not been told already here, they are welcome to continue.

    3. "I would be most interested in knowing what these traditional vaishnava chiefs and the temple priests were doing when Jayendra Saraswati was interfering with the temple"

      Regarding this, maybe you did not know that prior to the court cases, Jayendra Saraswati had a cult following all over India full of adoring fans who hung on to his every word. The hysteria was created by him being the successor of Chandrasekhara Saraswati, who had amassed a lot of followers before. JS had a lot of political connections as well, and he used them to start meddling not only on Tirupati, but also in Sri vaishnava divya desams like Thirukkurungudi. He uprooted a shiva Linga of Kala-Bhairava in that temple and took it elsewhere. Vaishnavas protested because that Kala-Bhairava according to the sthala purana is meditating on Vishnu and is consecrated as per pAncarAtra. It was a huge offense to uproot the linga and place it elsewhere outside the vishNu sthala. But nobody could do anything to stop JS.

      Did you not read the outcry and protests by vaishnava leaders when JS demolished the Tirumala structures? However, neither the vaikhanasa priests nor the vaishnava jeeyars could do anything about it because the vast majority were in JS's pockets.

      Another stark issue was a divide within the vaishnava community itself. JS had become so popular that the heads of Ahobila and Andavan Mutts had become close to KAmAkoti Mutt. So, they sat by and said nothing to support the other jeeyars when this incident happened.

      We do not hesitate to criticise our own pontiffs if they are guilty of something.

      JS had acquired a dangerous level of influence at a pan-Indian scale. Luckily, the court cases have nowadays reduced him and his equally notorious successor Vijayendra Saraswati to non-entities now.

      I sort of agree with you that TTD gets a bit of flak more than it deserves. We have to recognise that Tirumala, despite being a Sri vaishnava divya desam, is special for even non-vaishnavas and as such, this sort of stuff is inevitable.

    4. "Another stark issue was a divide within the vaishnava community itself. JS had become so popular that the heads of Ahobila and Andavan Mutts had become close to KAmAkoti Mutt. So, they sat by and said nothing to support the other jeeyars when this incident happened."

      I completely agree with you on this, by that way they can create a sectarian clash. This again will be an endless concept with arguments and counter arguments whether Y or U. That's the only reason Chinna jeeyar was very unhappy and totally gave up arguing with TTD. (TTD has saivas/vadakalais on their side.) very unfortunate!!

      When chinna jeeyar swami protested on the demolishment of 1000 pillared mantapam, all the jeeayrs including vaanamaamalai supported except andavan and ahobila mutts.

      "That is because many are hari-hara aikya vAdins. I dont know the situation in TN, but in the 2 Telugu states, Sri Chaganti and Sri Garikapati are hari-hara aikya vAdins. Sure, that is not the vaishnava way of thinking, but hey they have never poked fun at vaishnavas or vishnu, as far as I know. Prove me wrong, then I will accept your position. You guys seem to be under the impression that the entire media and TTD is conspiring against the vaishnavas!"

      Who cares if you are a aikya vadin or maaya vadin or vithanda vaadin, It is already an established fact that Sri:pathi is the Paramaathma and indweller of all jivas very clearly in the shastras. we illogical, unclever humans(Saiva/Saktheya/Gaanapthyas) started this distortion.. So what do i get if chaganti and garikapati are aikyavadins? tell me..

      We've all rights to refute them if they try to create a friction saying hara is great and eternal, no death, no birth etc etc in PUBLIC MEDIA.. You said that you are a adviata vaishnava, backing them up to this extent is questionable now.

      "The TTD board members are not very conversant with vaishnava practices. The priests are. The TTD becomes the favorite punching bag but it is doing a very good job in running the affairs of the temple. It is managing a queue of 50k - 1 lakh people every day at the temple, and even more on weekends. It is giving free food for devotees and looking after their interests. Hey but you know what. All this does not count. In some obscure edition of its magazine it showed a vinayaka temple and suddenly the TTD becomes anti-vaishnava! "

      I really want you to understand the internals of anything let it be TTD or some XYZ. Do you think TTD by sacrifcing vedic rituals to venkateswara and providing facilities to devotees will make them super administrators? If yes, then tirumala will remain an amusement park more or less like Disney. Even shirdi sai trust is also providing free food for the devotees, does it mean they have all rights to implement veda baahya practices? Where did this sai baba come from? Did any veda/shastra reveal him? As long as the devotees are comfortable then you all will keep on praising TTD, you dont bother whether all the rituals are being implemented properly or not as per shastras.

      You cannot utter shraaddha mantras in a marriage ceremony and viceversa, Likewise let them remain venkateswara as venkateswara alone(Dont add any flavours, come on its not SF coffee or Starbucks or subway), why do they want to publish some other dieties forcibly saying all are equal?? Everything is contextual driven and context sensitive. I hope you understand where i'm coming from.

    5. Sri Anonymous,

      Sri HBB has already put it very succinctly when he said

      "I do not need to acknowledge TTD's good work in this discussion. It is an obvious thing, and the discussion is not about that. It is like saying I cannot criticise vivekAnanda's interpretation of A/VA/D schools because Ramakrishna mission is doing very large scale impactful humanitarian work. The issue is about preserving Agamic traditions and whether there are irregularities in that area. "

      Let me put it from my side, also.

      Even, Christian missionaries, rotary club and non hindu religions are doing lot of good work like humanitarian works, contributing money when some crisis happen etc Even , State govt is doing wonderful things by giving away decent meals to people of lower strata at Rs 5 through Akshay Patra, but that doesn't mean govt is doing everything correct and perfectly. These are only analogies. Hope you don't confuse things.

      Now, you please prove to us that what ever TTD does or did till now is as per vaishnava agamas only and as per the rules laid down by Sri Ramanujacharya. Then we will also accept your position.

      Also,i gave you so many examples but you just want to close your eyes, ears and mind and think whatever they do is right. Alas, the onus is on you to prove your side as there is necessary and sufficient evidence which is so heavly loaded against the TTD and also the against so called Aikya vadins.

      Coming to some Veerashaivas and Veera Shaivas and Veera Shaktas claiming Lord Venkateswara is not Vishnu, the proofs in scriptures and Puranas are very clearly and completely loaded against their wild thoughts. But people like them want to keep the issue burning because Tirumala temple is the richest temple. So there is vested interest there. Even, Buddhists claim thay it is Buddha without any proof. So, will TTD also sway as per dictates of Buddhists and Buddhism.

      You might think that I come across as hard core critic of TTD, which I am not. I am just conveying what I have seen, read and heard from many sources.

      Another e.g. I can give is TTD built public toilets beside mudhal Alwars sannidhi in Govindarajar temple. Inspite of so many representations they didn't remove the toilets. Whether it exists today or not, I don't know but this is the kind of things TTD does. Even, a common man knows not to spoil the sanctity of the temples but TTD being such a big institute didn't realize it? When my friend and my self checked with some local SriVaishnavas they started giving a big list of anti Vaishnava activities happening in and around Tirumala. Whether TTD does such things blindly or on being pushed by some unscrupulous elements, you need to tell us,as you across as someone who is very well versed in daily affairs of TTD. Please do provide the proof that what ever I have said is worng? Then I too will accept your position.

    6. Dear Sri Pavan/ Sri Aaryamaa,

      Adiyen expected that this might end up in this way and there will be unnecessary Y vs V differences cropping up. Just because Ahobila mutt and Anadavan mutts come across as being silent doesn't mean that they supported or support TTD or Shaivas or Shaktas. Also, adiyen heard so many things about the mis adventures by kamakoti pontiffs in Anadavan ashram and Ahobila mutt, too. So making a blanket sweeping statement that they didn't support at all, is kind of a misgiving. If that is the case one can also say why tirumala Pedda Jeeyar swami and Chinna Jeeyar who are custodians of Tirumala temple, raise the pitch? You will say they supported but adiyen hasn't heard them saying anything against TTD, till now. So, shall we mistrust and cast aspersions against them too?

      So adiyen would plead not to make it a V vs Y issue.

    7. Comment by Sri Pavan in response to KV:

      (HBB: apologies. The comment was inadvertently deleted.)

      Dear Srimaan KV,

      I guess, my statements mislead you, Kanchi mutt wants to cash on this Y or U issue by dividing people on sectarian basis which would help gaining their dominance over kshetram. Whether it is Y or U, we all come under one root, i,e Sri Sampradaaya.

      I already have shared my personal experiences with Srimad Andavan, they all have an illustrious and unshakable lineage with unfathomable gnaana, vairagaya and anushtaanams. Yes, you're absolutely right being silent doesnt mean they didnt support.

      I too never heard the local jeeyars acting against the TTD. Let us not deep dive more into this..

      Adiyen Lakshmi Nrisimha Ramanuja Dasan

    8. Dear all

      Since people here have raised the issue of the demolition of the 1000 pillared mandapam in Tirumala by TTD, here is the truth about this incident -

      A few facts, I want to put out. When TTD demoolished the mandapam, Chandrababu, a staunch devotee of Venkateswara was the CM of the then united AP. I can't imagine him being accused of being anti-vaishnava.

      A few points from the article above -

      "The massive granite structure which once majestically stood opposite to the hill temple was razed to the ground in the year 2003 as part of the implementation of the master plan aimed at de-congesting the area around the main temple complex."

      So there you go. That was the official reason for demolition. And those who have been to Tirumala will know that the official reason is not without basis, given the amount of space it has created around the temple. (I am not in any way justifying the mandapam demolition here.)

      "Even though the decision to dismantle the centuries old structure was taken as back as in the year 1983 the successive managements repeatedly postponed its implementation owing to political compulsions."

      The decision was taken in 1983. I acknowledge that Jayendra Saraswati and his predecessor were nuisance mongers, but can't imagine they were creating nuisance in Tirumala, way back in 1983.

      From the same article above, below are some interesting facts about how strongly the mood in the then united AP was against demolition of the mandapam -

      "The issue however took an ugly turn with eminent religious leaders tearing into the TTD’s decision which started acquiring shape in the initial years of the century.

      Even though no traces of religious importance of any kind is found in the temple history to the antediluvian structure, a strong wave of resentment criticising the TTD’s act then swept across the State.

      The people of the State who remained swaddled amidst strong sentiments that the pulling down of the structure would spell doom on the State bitterly criticised the TTD and termed the decision as precipitous.

      The sentimental wave that swept across the State was so strong that even the aborted attempt on the life of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu the following month at Alipiri in Tirupati was attributed to the proposed demolition of the monolithic structure.

      Co-incidentally the reconstruction of the mandapam has once again gained pace under the stewardship of TTD Chairman Ch. Krishnamurthy – the one among the four victims who had survived the Alipiri bomb blast. The then legislator of Tirupati Mr. Murthy had accompanied Chief Minister Naidu in his car to Tirumala on the fateful day.

      With Mr. Murthy again at the helm of the TTD’s affairs, the board of trustees during its meet in April this year finally resolved to reconstruct the mandapam at Tirumala."

      If Jayendra Saraswati was indeed responsible for the demolition, then at least the state was strongly against it.

    9. Sri KV

      (Now, you please prove to us that what ever TTD does or did till now is as per vaishnava agamas only and as per the rules laid down by Sri Ramanujacharya. Then we will also accept your position.)

      I am afraid the burden of proof is on you to show that Vaishnava practices are not being followed in the Tirumala temple. Please dont try to shift the burden of proof. And while we are at it, the Chief priest of the Tirumala temple has recently reiterated over television, that all vaishnava practices according to vaikhanasa Agamas are strictly being followed in Tirumala.

      I am visiting Tirumala-Tirupathi in December. I will check out your story about the Govindaraja Swamy temple.

      The only anti-vaishnava (and anti-Hindu for that matter) activities at Tirumala that I can definitely think of, happened due to missionaries and that too under the reign of a former CM of united AP. There was a huge backlash at that time.

    10. I think we can end this. The topic is going way off track.

      Just one clarification. I merely stated a fact that Ahobila and Andavan jeeyars did not protest the demolition and were close to KAmAkoti Mutt. I did not claim anything regarding the vadakalai-thenkalai sects at all. I don't know where that crept in.

      It id a fact that even the current jeeyar of Ahobila mutt is close to KAmAkoti Mutt.

      For that matter, I have certain issues with thenkalai jeeyars such as Chinna jeeyar himself, erstwhile srivilliputhur and thirukovalur jeeyars on some of their views regarding sampradayam. Neither myself nor HBB are biased towards one Sri vaishnava sect as we have studied the works of all our acharyas and come to our own conclusions.

      Our criticisms of jeeyars however, does not imply we lack respect for them.

      Let us end the discussion now. I do not find either view particularly convincing for this to reach a resolution. You can all hold your views.

    11. Sri Anonymous,

      I have already given you enough proof on how many times TTD has done the mis adventures. There is no point in discussing with people like you who have closed eyes , ears and mind and still call themselves Vaishnavas albeit mAyavAdin Vaishnava. You can't disprove me on single issue regarding TTD because " I saw the toilets beside the Alwars sannidhi and have personally written to EO and TTD" against it along with a few friends of mine. More over it is not a story. It is a fact. Most probably the mudhal Alwars deities might have been moved inside the Govindaraja temple by now hopefully, because I haven't visited the temple for the last 5-6 yrs. So can't say how it is now? Regarding 1000 pillared temple , I didn't and don't know much about it, but yes, there was the Kamakoti mutt influencing many things at that time. Regarding the anya devatha invocation in telugu panchangam of TTd, for that too I and my friends have written to TTD and even discussed with Vaikhanasa scholar who co authors the panchangam and after due strong resentment TTD removed anya devatha invocation from telugu panchangam.

    12. Sri KV

      I too think there is no point in discussing with people like you who tend to see anti-vaishnavism everywhere. And sorry, I don't need any authentication from you on my status as vaishnava. I am as much a vaishnava as Sri Shankara. And for all your claims against TTD, you just came up with 1 or 2 instances, where there is not even proof that they were done in bad faith by TTD for the purposes of harming vaishnavism. And the fact that TTD has responded to your concerns shows that they are not so anti-vaishnava after all! Of course, you have every right to be over sensitive but that should not make you level baseless allegations.


    13. Let Anonymous follow up on his own and record his finding elsewhere on the internet, or post here if he does not find it suitable otherwise.

      Apart from that, I think we have all had our say on the TTD issue. As Sri Aaryamaa says, this has spun off topic quite a bit. This is why I have also refrained from commenting/replying further since yesterday.

      I will not approve any more comments on the TTD matter here. However, examples on any anti-Vaishnava hypocrisy by Hari-Hara aikya vAdins can still be posted *with evidence* (like youtube link, text transcript, essays, etc.). That would still be suitable to the topic of this page.

  11. Dear Shri Anonymous,

    Getting back to the topic... A friend of a close family member tells me this: A smArta, a professed 'hari-hara aikya vAdin' and 'advaitin' told him that he does not trust Vaishnavas because, once the 'cult' becomes a majority, it will become a violent fascist movement since it is 'narrow-minded' and 'exclusivist'. They even claimed that Vaishnavas forcibly branded many shaivas/smArtas in middle ages. All this came from a docile elderly brahman who is a devout Shankarite performing trikAla sandhyA. Don't ask me who said this and for any evidence of where it was said, for I respect individual privacy even when they are against my philosophy/matam.

    I do not see any difference between the above rhetoric and the blood libel charge against Jews by Christians in Europe in the middle ages.

    Now, this could be a fringe opinion of a minority of aikyavAdins. However, I do not know if this is a widespread sentiment. We are not unnecessarily being 'alarmist' but vigilant of mischaracterisation.

    Regarding media houses, Kalki Krishnamurti who was close to Kamakoti Mutt used his Tamil magazine Kalki to mock Vaishnavism, by inventing a fictitious character called "AzhvArkkaDiyAn" (meaning 'AzhvAr-dAsa') resident of Srirangam who was designed to be comical/irritating and at the same time "narrow minded" and "fanatic". In one scene he is depicted as getting hurt by a pebble falling from a Siva temple gopuram. He looks up and sees a crow. He shouts at the crow saying "destroy this Siva temple gopuram pebble by pebble. You have my blessings". All this is now part of a novel called "Ponniyin Selvan" authored by Kalki Krishnamurthy. This novel and its author are highly respected in Tamil circles today. In TN today, "Govinda" means 'gone to the dogs' and "thirumaN/UrdhvapuNDra" is seen as a symbol of the loser/gullible who is cheated easily. See here, which shows farmers donning the UrdhvapuNDra for protesting on the streets (to convey that they have been cheated):

    This was posted when DMK party performed poorly in the assembly elections:

    (I sincerely apologise to Vaishnavas for posting these distasteful links, but this is just for making my point).

    Cho Ramaswamy, the editor of Tughlaq, similarly regularly publishes cartoons of politicians donning the Srivaishnava thirumaN.

    This is how media houses are being used to mock at/demonize Vaishnavism. It is of utmost importance for us to record these and protest against these, and to create awareness among Vaishnavas to avoid them to protect themselves from these tAmasic vAsanas. There is nothing 'alarmist' about it.

    1. And about this:

      // Sri Garikapati has said explicitly that the brahmotsavam at Tirumala for Vishnu, is the only genuine brahmotsavam. //

      There is even one Balakrishna Sastrigal of Tamil Nadu who said (commendably) that Venkateswara Suprabhatam and Thiruppalli Yezhuchchi that are addressed to Vishnu are the foremost in time, and the suprabhAtams on other devatas followed it. This was in a Ramayana Upanyasam. However, in an upanyAsam on nandanAr (a shaivaite saint), the same person specifically caricatured Vaishnavas for being 'narrow minded' and presented a despicable anecdote about Kalamegha Pulavar (a medieval Tamil poet) outwitting the Vaishnava priests of a temple. This is the kind of stuff that we are used to see and hear, even from upanyAsakas who sometimes praise Vishnu.

  12. Since we were on the topic of kamakoti matham, I'd invite people to read an interesting discussion in the erstwhile ramanuja bhakti groups in 2001:

    This was 15 years ago. Having read the issue, if you click the link to kamakoti mutt provided in that bhakti list post, you will notice they (kamakoti website) still - in 2016, 15 years later - haven't removed the name of vedanta desikan, who they preposterously and laughably claim studied under one of their fictitious gurus in their fictitious parampara. This mutt has done nothing but spew venom against vaishnavas and indulge in shady practices throughout its history.

    The poster in that ramanuja bhakti group wanted a "respectful" email sent to the mutt, but if I were to take action myself, I'd have more than a few choice words for them. Don't think leopards change their spots though.

  13. Respected Shri Pavan,

    I have taken the liberty to not approve your last comment. Please do not mistake me for it. Let us only post links to pages that appears authoritative to the unwary eye *and* denigrates Srivaishnava Siddhanta. Let others do and be whatever they want. We do not have to go down to the level of the lowest of intellects and bother with their nonsense.

  14. Dear Srimaan Chakradhar,

    Thank you for posting the life history of Bellamkonda Rama Raya kavi. His work "Sribhashya Vimarsanam" was refuted by srimaan Gopalacharya swami as well as Sri Uttamur VeeraRaghavacharya swami as far as i know. I will shortly post a link on this.


  15. A small correction to my earlier post, it was Srimaan Sri U.Ve Nallaan Chakravarthula Raghunaadhaacharya Swami from Warangal who haw written a rejoinder to Bellamkonda Rama Raya Kavi's SriBhaashya Vimarsanam in telugu.

    Srimaan U.Ve Na Cha Raghunaadhaacharya swami is a stalwart of SriVaishnava Sampradaya esp from Telangana region. He also has written commentary on Sri Paraasara Bhattar's Sri Vishnu Sahasranaama Stotra Bhaashyam..

    Adiyen will share the book details sooner.

    Adiyen Lakshmi Nrisimha Ramanuja Dasan

    1. Request Shri Pavan and Shri Chakradhar to take this discussion offline. Advaita vs Vishishtadvaita philosophical debates are outside our scope here. I merely gave an opportunity to Shri Chakradhar to post his correction of facts to an earlier comment.

  16. I request you to not take this out of context. What are your views regarding Ramakrishna? I am not telling about Ramakrishna Mission. I know some of them personally and they have very little knowledge of the shastra. But Ramakrishna who was a Kali devotee is widely accepted as an avatar of Lord Sri Vishnu and he was a hari aikya vadi. He preached that which ever path you follow you will reach the same destination which is not in accordance with Bhagavad Gita. There are proofs that Ramakrishna was an avatar like before his birth his father got a darshan of lord Vishnu and Ramakrishna executed many lilas and even showed his vishwaroop to his confidential desciples. If Ramakrishna is an avatar how could he preach Hari hara aikya?
    Thank you

    1. If you want us to be blunt, we will say that Ramakrishna and Vivekananda are either intentional or unintentional frauds. Their works do not correlate to either ancient vedantic or non-vedantic traditions and belong in the rubbish heap.

    2. I dont think they are frauds at all and infact they seem to be Nara-Narayana and man there are many instances of them claiming Vishnu as supreme brahman. RamaKrishna said the 5 heads of Shiva worship Haris Name and Vivekananda did say that a devotee must only have love of Sri Rama and not long even for the status of Brahma and Shiva, the world great gods. If you notice their sayings with sharira-atma bhava that you mentioned, all their sayings make perfect sense.

    3. As we mentioned earlier, we have read what they have to say and think they are frauds. If you think otherwise, you are welcome to that opinion, but this blog does not consider them as authorities on anything.

    4. //If you notice their sayings with sharira-atma bhava that you mentioned, all their sayings make perfect sense.//

      Completely absurd. Those two did not have an iota of knowledge about veda or vedanta.

      We will not approve discussion on pseudo-traditions like these on the blog. We welcome opinions only based on classical vedantic traditons and ancient non-vedic ones like Shaiva, Sakta etc.


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