Posted by: adbhutam | October 19, 2014


Adhyāsa and an example thereof

Shankaracharya has defined what adhyāsa is in the preamble to the Brahmasūtra bhāṣyam, both in an elaborate manner and also in a succinct way. The latter is cited here for it is more easily grasped by most people than the first one which involves greater effort. The second occurrence is: अध्यासो नाम अतस्मिन्स्तद्बुद्धिरित्यवोचाम [ ‘We have said that adhyāsa (superimposition/error) is the cognition of something as some other thing.’ In the same document Shankara has also summarized the various views on adhyāsa pointing to a common feature among all those views: सर्वथापि तु अन्यस्यान्यधर्मावभासतां न व्यभिचरति । तथा च लोकेऽनुभवः — शुक्तिका हि रजतवदवभासते, एकश्चन्द्रः सद्वितीयवदिति ॥ [‘From every point of view, however, there is no difference as regards the appearance of one thing as something else. And in accord with this, we find in common experience that the nacre appears as silver, and a single moon appears as two.’]

One comes across a fine example that demonstrates what adhyāsa is in the following page:

Dvaita-Advaita QA

The following is a part of the above page:


// Q: #2 Prayatna is of no use, because it depends on the Lord who is sarva-prEraka.

KT: Prayatna is always of use and it must always be done. Note that if your swarupa-yOgyata compels you to do prayatna, you will be compelled to do so. Isn’t it? The sarva preraka Lord will do preraNa as per one’s swarupa-yOgyata and engages one to do prayatna.

In fact, Prayatna is of no use in case of Advaita -where jIva is God and so where is the need for Prayatna? If Advaita claims that Prayatna is to make the jIva realize that he is God, then it is biting its own tail. If jIva is omniscient God, then he must know that even without any prayatna. If not, he is no omniscient God.

Q: #3 There’s no way of knowing one’s swaruupa, so the jiiva could become confused about its saadhana.

KT: Firstly, what is the correlation between “knowing one’s swaruupa” and “the jiiva could become confused about its saadhana”?

Secondly, there is a way of knowing one’s swarUpa. That is what is aparoxa j~nAna. One must strive for that. There is at least some evidence for that and it is not hard to conceive that. What is impossible and what does not have evidence is “an ordinary soul becoming into God”. Even Sankaracharya has not achieved this even as per Advaitis.

The amount of confusion of a jIva is dependent on the yogyata of jIva.

In case of Advaita, there’s no way of knowing one’s swaruupa. In Advaita, knowing one’s swarUpa is realizing that one is God. This is most ridiculous because this entails that “there are so many Gods floating around, who did not realize that they are God.”

God always knew that He is God and specific to our context, when He incarnated on earth, He knew that He is God. No ordinary jIva, no matter what he does, can ever become God. So, Advaita is an untenable position.

Q: #4 No incentive for action, because swaruupa determines the outcome, so if you’re saatvik, you’re going to be liberated, so why break your head over this?

KT: Because that is your swaruupa. Can you go against your swaruupa? If you think you can, then that is not your swaruupa. If it is your swaruupa, then you can’t go against it.

Otoh, in case of Advaita, there is no incentive for action. If you are God, nothing can change the outcome, so why break your head over this? If you are not God, then you are no Advaitin. What is worse is that in case of Advaita, even the most despicable jIva is non-different from God. //


The ‘repḷies’ by the blogger form a fine example of adhyāsa. From the replies it is evident that what is not Shāṅkara Advaita is wrongly seen/understood to be so.

Here are parts of the ‘replies’ (quoted between // – //) and rebuttals to them by citing / stating what Advaita taught by Shankara through the bhāṣya-s :

// In fact, Prayatna is of no use in case of Advaita -where jIva is God and so where is the need for Prayatna? If Advaita claims that Prayatna is to make the jIva realize that he is God, then it is biting its own tail. If jIva is omniscient God, then he must know that even without any prayatna. If not, he is no omniscient God. //

The fact is Shānkaran Advaita never claims ‘Jiva is God’. The word ‘God’ is a little misleading here for it may usually mean the Omniscient, etc. Lord or by some stretch, the Nirguṇa Brahman. But by the emphasis found in the ‘reply’ the word ‘God’ is taken as the Omniscient Lord alone. Why does Advaita not propose to equate the jīva with the Omniscient God? The reply is: In Advaita, both the entities jiva and God (Iśwara) are in truth the Pure Consciousness, nirupādhika chaitanyam, appearing as sopādhika ones, that is, they are endowed with upādhis. The jiva is endowed with the pancha koshas (annamaya, etc. which Advaita holds as anātman) as upādhis and God/Ishwara is endowed with sarvajñatva, sarvaśaktitva, etc. upādhis, going by the translated words ‘Omniscience, Omnipotence, etc.’ In Advaita these are all adjuncts superimposed on the Nirguṇa Brahman which is ever free of any upādhis. Thus, there will be no use, and also not possible, to unite or identify or equate the jiva with Ishwara.

Says Shankara in the BSB 2.1.14:

// तदेवमविद्यात्मकोपाधिपरिच्छेदापेक्षमेवेश्वरस्येश्वरत्वं सर्वज्ञत्वं सर्वशक्तित्वं च, न परमार्थतो विद्यया अपास्तसर्वोपाधिस्वरूपे आत्मनि ईशित्रीशितव्यसर्वज्ञत्वादिव्यवहार उपपद्यते ; तथा चोक्तम् — ‘यत्र नान्यत्पश्यति नान्यच्छृणोति नान्यद्विजानाति स भूमा’ (छा. उ. ७-२४-१) इति ; ‘यत्र त्वस्य सर्वमात्मैवाभूत्तत्केन कं पश्येत्’ (बृ. उ. ४-५-१५) इत्यादि च..//

[Iśwara’s Lordship, Omniscience and Omnipotence are caused by limitations born of upādhis which have ignorance for their root. They do not subsist in the absolute sense when Atman is realized to be free of all upādhis (limiting adjuncts) through right knowledge, vidyā when the vyavahāra involving omniscience, omnipotence do not remain. Hence is stated by the Chāndogya upaniṣad 7.24.1: When one does not see another, hear another, knows another, that state is Infinite, bhūmā. And the Br.up. 4.5.15 says: when for one all has become the Self then with what does he see what? Etc.]

Thus, according to Advaita, when the attributes such as Omniscience and Omnipotence are not absolutely real, there is no way the jīva is taught to be non-different from Iśwara. Another misconception of the blogger that ‘Ishwara has to know his true self through prayatna, effort’ is also not what Advaita teaches. Advaita holds Ishwara to be ever sarvajna and never bound requiring Him to put efforts to know Himself. In fact, in advaita, Ishwara is the one who graces the jiva with the Advaitic knowledge:

BSB 2.3.41:

// कर्माध्यक्षात्सर्वभूताधिवासात्साक्षिणश्चेतयितुरीश्वरात्तदनुज्ञया कर्तृत्वभोक्तृत्वलक्षणस्य संसारस्य सिद्धिः ; तदनुग्रहहेतुकेनैव च विज्ञानेन मोक्षसिद्धिर्भवितुमर्हति । कुतः ? तच्छ्रुतेः ; यद्यपि दोषप्रयुक्तः सामग्रीसम्पन्नश्च जीवः, यद्यपि च लोके कृष्यादिषु कर्मसु नेश्वरकारणत्वं प्रसिद्धम्, तथापि सर्वास्वेव प्रवृत्तिष्वीश्वरो हेतुकर्तेति श्रुतेरवसीयते ; तथा हि श्रुतिर्भवति — ‘एष ह्येव साधु कर्म कारयति तं यमेभ्यो लोकेभ्य उन्निनीषते । एष ह्येवासाधु कर्म कारयति तं यमधो निनीषते’ (कौ. उ. ३-७) इति, ‘य आत्मनि तिष्ठन्नात्मानमन्तरो यमयति’ इति च एवंजातीयका ॥ ४१ ॥

[It is by His, Ishwara’s grace alone the vijñāna, realization, arises which results in liberation.]

The Advaitic realization of ‘I am Brahman’ is possible only when both the jiva and Ishwara are shorn of the upādhis and the unnegatable Pure Consciousness alone is recognized and realized as one’s true self. Evidently, the blogger has not understood this fact of Shānkaran Advaita and expresses that ignorance/confusion in the ‘reply’ cited above. No jiva, when in the state of bondage and in the state of liberation, claims he is Ishwara/God who is the Omniscient one. Hence, there is no situation where one is ‘biting his tail’ as envisaged by the blogger. Also there is no situation in Adviata where ‘”there are so many Gods floating around, who did not realize that they are God.”’ for the reason stated above. In Advaita there is only one Ishwara for all the jiva-s who are subject to Him. The jiva-jiva, jiva-Iśwara bheda is admitted in Advaita too in vyāvahārika. “an ordinary soul becoming into God”. is also not an Advaitic position for the same reason given above. The blogger’s observation ‘Even Sankaracharya has not achieved this even as per Advaitis.’ needs a little clarification from the Advaitin:

Traditional advaitins hold Shankaracharya as Lord Shiva alone. So, there is no question of Shankaracharya ‘achieving’ Ishwarahood. The concluding verses of the Mādhavīya Shankara vijaya say:

At the end of Shiva’s role as the Acharya, His ascension to His abode is described thus:

इन्द्रोपेन्द्रप्रधानैः त्रिदशपरिवृढैः स्तूयमानः प्रसूनै-

र्दिव्यैरभ्यर्च्यमानः सरसिरुहभुवा दत्तहस्तावलम्बः ।

आरुह्योक्षाणमग्र्यं प्रकटितजटाजूटचन्द्रावतंसः

शृण्वन्नालोकशब्दं समुदितमृषिभिर्धाम नैजं व्रजस्थे ॥ (sarga 16, verse 107)

[Praised by Indira, Viṣṇu and other gods and worshipped with divine flowers, and led by Brahmā who was born in a lotus, taking His hand, that Yatīśwara wearing the crescent moon and the weight of the matted hair, taking His own divine form, ascending on the vṛṣabha, hearing the round of applause of the group of Munis arrived at His abode.]

Thus, there is no question of Shankaracharya attaining any new status. On another count, Shankaracharya, being brahmajnāni, is also Brahman itself.

Since the blogger is not aware of the correct position of Advaita regarding the Jiva, Ishwara, realization, etc. he has given expression to his confusion in those ‘replies’ which are meant to ‘clarify’ doubts raised by a sincere seeker!! As another example of this confusion and the resultant misrepresentation of Advaita by the blogger, here is another instance:

// Q: He says in this dream world, he is different from the Vishnu he’s worshipping. Which makes all people caught in bondage dvaitins. Out of bondage, there’s only oneness.

KT: In other word, the Advaitin claims that the jIva has at least some existence in samsAra and in Mukti, the jIva ceases to exist. In other words, the purpose of sAdhana is to achieve extinction! Mukti seems really scary!//

Alas! The confusion of the blogger has led him to conclude the extinction of the Advaitic jiva as the consequence of realization!! The Upaniṣad declares: ब्रह्म वेद ब्रह्मैव भवति (’The knower of Brahman is Brahman alone’ – Munḍaka. 3.2.9) So, even going by the Upaniṣad, there is no extinction of the knower of Brahman. See what Shankaracharya says in the Brahmasutra bhashya as the mode, prakāra, of such realization:

सूत्र(भाष्यस्थवाक्यम् -

पूर्वसिद्धकर्तृत्वभोक्तृत्वविपरीतं हि त्रिष्वपि कालेषु अकर्तृत्वाभोक्तृत्वस्वरूपं ब्रह्माहमस्मि । न इत: पूर्वं कर्ता भोक्ता वा अहमासं, न इदानीं, नापि भविष्यत्काले इति ब्रह्मविदवगच्छति ।

[ Quite contrary to what had been previously regarded as agent and enjoyer, I am verily that Brahman, which, by nature, is neither agent nor enjoyer at all in all the three periods of time.  Even earlier I was never an agent or enjoyer, nor am I so at present; nor shall I be so in future - such is the realization of the knower of Brahman.]

So, where is the question of the Advaitic jīva becoming extinct upon realization of his Brahman-nature? The Lord says in the BG 2.16: na abhāvo vidyate sataḥ. The Existent Brahman never becomes non-existent. So, the jiva who has realized his true nature as Brahman never goes into extinction. What, however, goes into extinction, is his wrongly held jīvatva, samṣaritva bhāva.

In the BSB 3.2.4 सूचकश्च हि श्रुतेराचक्षते च तद्विदः ॥ ४ ॥ [This is a sutra in the svapnādhikaraṇa which says: the dream is an indicator as the shruti says so and the knowers say so.]   Shankara says:

इहापि ‘य एष सुप्तेषु जागर्ति’ (क. उ. २-२-८) इति प्रसिद्धानुवादाज्जीव एवायं कामानां निर्माता सङ्कीर्त्यते ; तस्य तु वाक्यशेषेण ‘तदेव शुक्रं तद्ब्रह्म’ इति जीवभावं व्यावर्त्य ब्रह्मभाव उपदिश्यते — ‘तत्त्वमसि’ (छा. उ. ६-९-४) इत्यादिवत् — इति न ब्रह्मप्रकरणं विरुध्यते ।

//Here too the shruti ‘he who is awake in deep sleep (kaṭhopaniṣad 2.2.8) by the alluding to the popular experience of the deep sleep state, declares that the jiva alone is the creator of the objects of desire in the dream and by the rest of that shruti passage ‘he is pure, he is brahman’ it (the shruti) teaches the Brahman-nature of the jiva after negating his jiva nature, just as the Chandogya 6.9.4 teaches ‘Tat tvam asi’. Therefore the sutra (which is dealing with dream) does not restrict itself to the nature of the jiva, but it is non-contradicting with the context of Brahman too. //

Thus, in Advaita, there is no room for the extinction of the svarupa, which is Brahman, the Pure consciousness, of the jiva; there is an end, however, to the erroneously held jivabhāva alone. It is akin to Karna’s wrongly held notion of ‘Rādheya’ (son of Rādha) coming to an end when he realized that he is indeed Kaunteya, Kunti’s son upon being informed/instructed/revealed by the Lord. Karna himself does not come to an end, only his wrong identity vanishes.

This is only a sample to show that the blogger’s fundamental misconception of advaitic concepts reflects in all his ‘replies’. The same is the case with all the Acharyas of the non-advaitic schools who raised objections against Advaita, only based on their wrong understanding of Advaita. If Advaita is correctly understood, none will have anything to object. One may not accept Advaita as the path suited for oneself, but going about misrepresenting Advaita and misleading the questioners and unwary readers of their blogs is what is unfortunate.

It is enough to show just one or two instances to prove that the entire QA document is flawed.

The document has a fine example in it for the idea of adhyāsa: mistaking Shankaran Advaita to mean so many things that it is really not.

The above article is available for download here:āsa_and_an_example_thereof.docx









Posted by: adbhutam | October 17, 2014


Comparison of Advaita, Visistadvaita and Dvaita Sanskrit Talk at UC Berkeley

by Sri Bannanje Govindacharya – (a well-known scholar of Dvaita Vedanta)

I viewed the video and the talk. As could only be expected, the speaker, Sri Bannanje Govindachrya (BG) has largely misrepresented Advaita and taken that opportunity to caricature Advaita and present Dvaita as the flawless system.  Some, of the many, ‘highlights’ of his talk are:

  1. Those who follow Shankara are doing that blindly and only those who are buddhijeevi-s (beings endowed with the thinking faculty) follow Ramanuja and Madhva.
  2. Historically, when Shankara arrived, the damage to the Vedic tradition was already done by the Buddhists, with royal patronage like that of Ashoka.  People in India were waiting for a ‘saviour’ and Shankara arrived.  Naturally he gained great following.  Anyone in that place would have achieved that (implying that there is nothing special about Shankara).
  3. People in India have the tendency of blindly following a ‘pūrva Āchārya’ without questioning.  They would simply tap their cheeks (an act of expressing devotion/respect among Indians).  Such was Shankara’s following.  Even after Ramanuja and Madhwa came and questioned and finished off Advaita, that blind following continues.
  4. BG: That the  Atman is all-pervading is not supported by the Upanishad.  That was the prevalent view among Naiyāyikas and Sāṅkhya-s.  Shankara endorsed that alone with some modifications. That Atman is atomic, aṇu, alone is the vedic view.
  5. BG: When this view was brought out by Ramanuja and Madhva, Advaita met its end.
  6. BG: For Shankara, women are not eligible for mokṣa; they have to be born as men, and then become sannyasins and then alone get mokṣa.

[I am just pointing to Shankara’s commentary here:

māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye’pi syuḥ pāpayonayaḥ |

striyo vaiśyāstathā śūdrāste’pi yānti parāṁ gatim || Gītā – 9-32


9.32 For, O son of Prtha, even those who are born of sin – women, Vaisyas, as also śūdras, even they reach the highest Goal by taking shelter under Me.


Sri Shankara’s commentary –


मां हि यस्मात् पार्थ व्यपाश्रित्य माम् आश्रयत्वेन गृहीत्वा येऽपि स्युः भवेयुः पापयोनयः पापा योनिः येषां ते पापयोनयः पापजन्मानः । के ते इति, आह — स्त्रियः वैश्याः तथा शूद्राः तेऽपि यान्ति गच्छन्ति परां प्रकृष्टां गतिम् ॥


//English translation by Swami Gambhirananda (on Sri Sankaracharya’s Sanskrit Commentary)
9.32 Hi, for; O son of Prtha, ye api, even those; pāpayonayah syuh, who are born of sin;-as to who they are, the Lord says-striyah, women; vaisyāḥ, Vaisyas, tathā, as also; śūdrāḥ, śūdras; te api, even they; yānti, reach, go to; the parām, highest; gatim, Goal vyapāśritya, by taking shelter; mām, under Me-by accepting Me as their refuge.//

It should not be thought that Shankara is implying here that the above category of people will attain male, brāhmaṇa body and sannyāsa āśrama in a later birth and then attain the highest (mokśa).  If such were the case, the very verse of the Lord will be useless, conveying nothing.

The Br.up. 6.5.1 refers to Maitreyī as a brahmavādinī मैत्रेयी ब्रह्मवादिनी बभूव.  There is also the well-known case of Vācaknavī Gārgī (Br.up.5.1.1) referred to by Shankara in the Sūtrabhāṣya रैक्ववाचक्नवीप्रभृतीनामेवंभूतानमपि ब्रह्मवित्त्वश्रुत्युपलब्धेः । The ‘api’ in the Bh.Gī.9.32 is significantly reflected in this sentence, where it is said ‘even’ those who have no eligibility for sannyāsa āśrama are known from the śruti to have attained the liberating knowledge.

In the Bh.Gītā 4.24 Shankara says that for some reason a Knower of the Self, is not able to leave his āśrama (e.g. household), he can continue there itself and still be a non-doer as his ignorance-born doership/enjoyership ideas have been destroyed by Knowledge:

त्यक्त्वा कर्मफलासङ्गं नित्यतृप्तो निराश्रयः ।
कर्मण्यभिप्रवृत्तोऽपि नैव किञ्चित्करोति सः ॥ २० ॥


त्यक्त्वा कर्मसु अभिमानं फलासङ्गं च यथोक्तेन ज्ञानेन नित्यतृप्तः निराकाङ्क्षो विषयेषु इत्यर्थः । निराश्रयः आश्रयरहितः, आश्रयो नाम यत् आश्रित्य पुरुषार्थं सिसाधयिषति, दृष्टादृष्टेष्टफलसाधनाश्रयरहित इत्यर्थः । विदुषा क्रियमाणं कर्म परमार्थतोऽकर्मैव, तस्य निष्क्रियात्मदर्शनसम्पन्नत्वात् । तेन एवंभूतेन स्वप्रयोजनाभावात् ससाधनं कर्म परित्यक्तव्यमेव इति प्राप्ते, ततः निर्गमासम्भवात् लोकसङ्ग्रहचिकीर्षया शिष्टविगर्हणापरिजिहीर्षया वा पूर्ववत् कर्मणि अभिप्रवृत्तोऽपि निष्क्रियात्मदर्शनसम्पन्नत्वात् नैव किञ्चित् करोति सः ॥

  1. BG says: Shankara was a Vaishnava.  He never donned the bhasma.  It is only those who follow him, out of delusion/ignorance, mouḍhya, don bhasma and portray Shankara in pictures as donning the bhasma.
  2. BG: In the explanation of Tat tvam asi, the meaning of Tat as Brahman is completely out of place; grammatically wrong.  ‘Sa ātmā’ is in masculine and therefore, the ‘tat’ there can never be brahman which is neuter.

[Here are some comments on the above observation of BG:

It can be noted that that very section of the Chāndogya upaniṣad (chapter 6 where occurs the teaching of the Sadvidyā by Uddālaka to his son Śvetaketu)  refers to the Supreme Brahman in all the three genders:

1. सदेव सोम्येदमग्र आसीदेकमेवाद्वितीयम्  Ch.up. 6.2.1.  Here the words 'Sat', 'ekam' and 'advitīyam' , all in the neuter gender, refer to Brahman.

2.  सेयं देवतैक्षत हन्ताहमिमास्तिस्रो देवता अनेन जीवेनात्मनानुप्रविश्य नामरूपें व्याकरवाणीति ॥ २ ॥ Ch.up. 6.3.2.  Here the word 'Seyam' is a conjunction of two words 'sā' and 'iyam', both in the feminine gender, referring to the word 'devatā' contained in the conjunction 'devataikṣata'.  This word 'devatā' in the feminine, is referring to the Supreme Brahman, the creator of the Universe and who has entered the created universe as the jīva.

3. स य एषोऽणिमैतदात्म्यमिदं सर्वं तत्सत्यं स आत्मा तत्त्वमसि श्वेतकेतो

The commentary of Shankara for this is:

स यः सदाख्यः एषः उक्तः अणिमा अणुभावः जगतो मूलम् ऐतदात्म्यम् एतत्सदात्मा यस्य सर्वस्य तत् एतदात्म तस्य भावः ऐतदात्म्यम् । एतेन सदाख्येन आत्मना आत्मवत् सर्वमिदं जगत् । नान्योऽस्त्यस्यात्मासंसारी, ‘नान्यदतोऽस्ति द्रष्टृ नान्यदतोऽस्ति श्रोतृ’ (बृ. उ. ३-८-११) इत्यादिश्रुत्यन्तरात् । येन च आत्मना आत्मवत्सर्वमिदं जगत्, तदेव सदाख्यं कारणं सत्यं परमार्थसत् । अतः स एव आत्मा जगतः प्रत्यक्स्वरूपं सतत्त्वं याथात्म्यम्, आत्मशब्दस्य निरुपपदस्य प्रत्यगात्मनि गवादिशब्दवत् निरूढत्वात् । अतः तत् सत् त्वमसीति हे श्वेतकेतो इत्येवं प्रत्यायितः ..

The words highlighted in pink color show the Upanishadic and Shānkaran commentary for the reference to Brahman, Sat, in the masculine.  It can also be noted that even Shankara uses the word 'Sat' alone, a word used by this very Upanisad to refer to Brahman.

Thus, the Upaniṣad itself is using, alternatively, the three genders to refer to the same entity, Brahman. In fact, the upaniṣad never uses the word 'Brahman' in this entire discourse.  The words it uses to refer to Brahman are: Sat (neuter), Ātmā (masculine) and Devatā (feminine).  So, there is absolutely nothing wrong in Shankara taking the word 'tat' in the above cited mantra as Brahman.  It is quite correct grammatically.

Another instance of an Upaniṣad using two genders in the same mantra is found in the Māṇḍūkya upaniṣad 7th mantra:

नान्तःप्रज्ञं नबहिःप्रज्ञं नोभयतःप्रज्ञं नप्रज्ञानघनं नप्रज्ञं नाप्रज्ञम् । अदृश्यमव्यवहार्यमग्राह्यमलक्षणमचिन्त्यमव्यपदेश्यमेकात्मप्रत्ययसारं प्रपञ्चोपशमं शान्तं शिवमद्वैतं चतुर्थं मन्यन्ते स आत्मा स विज्ञेयः ॥ ७

The mantra started off in the neuter gender and ends with the masculine. The word highlighted in pink is Ātmā in the masculine.  All the other words used above to denote Brahman are in the neuter.  Thus, just because two or three genders are found in a mantra there is no way they should refer to different entities alone.  The above two instances are a glaring example for such a case. ]

  1. Shankara was a crypto buddhist.  Madhva has proved this with several quotes from Buddhistic sources and compared them with Advaita.

[Questions to be asked:  How can a 'Vaiṣṇava' be a Buddhist in disguise?  How can the two co-exist in a person?  And, will a Vaiṣṇava deny Omniscience and Omnipotence to Brahman (see BSB 2.1.14 of Shankara)?  Did Madhva accept Shankara as a Vaishnava?  Obviously no, since Madhva held Shankara to be a demon who was out to destroy Vaishnava dharma. No true Madhva would call Shankara a Vaishnava, in gross disobedience to his Acharya, (whether Ramanuja or Madhva).]


See this article on the subject: ‘Did Shankara prefer any deity?’ here:

  1. Shankara composed many hymns on Vishnu.  All the other works that go by that name of Shankara are by his followers who also called themselves Shankaracharya.  So, whether these are works of ‘mūla Shankaracharya’ or ‘nirmūla Shankaracharya’ is not known to anyone.  (The sarcasm and the tone of caricature is so open for all to see in BG’s face when he says this.).
  2. BG: The development of Vedanta is akin to the development of Science. A scientist establishes a theory and a later theory replaces/ denounces that.  So too in Vedanta.  Advaita was first established only to be undone by the later Acharyas.

[ The case of science is different as it is based on tarka and pratyaksha alone.  On the other hand Vedanta has the solid base of the Veda/upaniṣad.  Veda Vyasa has aphorized 'tarka apratiṣhṭhāmāt...' only to show that a conclusion based on mere tarka is always shaky, to be replaced by those more adept in tarka.  But Vedanta doctrine, basing itself primarily on the Veda is not so.]
What was presented was only lopsided view of Advaita to the scholar-audience at the University.

Posted by: adbhutam | October 8, 2014


Under the auspices of the Advaita Academy classes on Vedanta in Kannada are being live streamed.  Here are two such classes recently conducted on Panchadashi and Atma bodha:

Members may share the link with their Kannada knowing friends interested in Vedanta.

The release of a new publication (in Sanskrit) with the above title is announced in the following URL::

The book is priced at Rs.50 per copy.
Posted by: adbhutam | September 25, 2014



Here is a comment the blogger ( )  has sent to me in response to my article on ‘The names Vishnu, vAsudeva, etc. in the specific instances refer to Nirguna brahman only’. Having no arguments to counter mine, he is using all sorts of abusive language to fill his page. That is what his lot is. My responses are in between [ ]

Good to see you contradicting the Chandrika and openly challenging Sridhara.

[First of all, someone who wants to learn Advaita will not be looking into the commentary for the Naiṣkarmyasiddhi for the invocatory or mangala shlokas or the Śrīmadbhāgavatam. Regarding the Chandrikā, I have only shown how his commentary contradicts Shankara’s commentary on ‘tad viṣṇoḥ paramam padam’ of the Kaṭhopaniṣat and that the Chandrikā is not to be relied upon in understanding what Shankara comments on that expression: viṣṇnoḥ paramam padam.]

Fact is, it is impossible to deny that the Chandrikā compares Shiva and Adi Shankara, and openly makes reference to their yoga sAmarthya, so your logic is to simply say you know more than Jnanottama.

[No one has denied that the Chandrika makes that comparison. Even without the Chandrika that is evident from the original verse of Sureshwara. ]

Thanks for that, just what we wanted to prove…that you have no link with ancient advaitins!

[You are only proving your pseudo vaishnavism and fanaticism and nothing more and want to somehow make Shankara your brand ambassador. Stop doing that.]

So, one by one you are discarding Jnanottama Misra, Sridhara, Mahesvara Tirtha and several advaitins in desperation…guess you will soon discard Shankara from your “tradition” as well.

[It is evident that you are replying to my post only in desperation. Maheswara Tirtha and ‘several advaitins’ that you have lined up are only commenting on the Ramayana which is hardly a text someone will look for studying Advaita. Their comments on vaikuntha etc. are only text-specific and do not constitute the authority on the topic in Advaita.]

Your statement: If Vishnu is not Shiva, then Vishnu loses the epithet ‘ananta’ since there will be ‘vastu pariccheda’, limitation due to object, in Vishnu.”

You statement on Ananta – clearly shows your ignorance. In the vyAvahArika sath, “ananta” only refers to him being infinite in the sense of pervading everywhere, at all times and all states.

[You are only proving your ignorance of Advaita. First undertake a thorough study under a qualified Advaita Acharya, if you want to verify if your funny claims about ‘ancient advaitins were vaishnavas’ has any bearing in the bhashyas. Also, know that the ‘ananta’ epithet is a svarupa lakshana of Brahman and is not just a vyāvahārika satya. ]

Identity and lack of existence of two entities is not a prerequisite for anantatvam.

[Who told you? Show me where Shankara says this in the Taittiriya Bhashya for the word ‘anantam’. In the Tai.up. 2.1: आकाशो ह्यनन्त इति प्रसिद्धं देशतः; तस्येदं कारणम् ; तस्मात्सिद्धं देशत आत्मन आनन्त्यम् । न ह्यसर्वगतात्सर्वगतमुत्पद्यमानं लोके किञ्चिद्दृश्यते । अतो निरतिशयमात्मन आनन्त्यं देशतः । तथा अकार्यत्वात्कालतः ; तद्भिन्नवस्त्वन्तराभावाच्च वस्तुतः । अत एव निरतिशयसत्यत्वम् ॥]

Brahman is ananta vastutaḥ because there is no object that is different from It.]

Shiva is not Vishnu, but Shiva’s very existence depends on Vishnu’s pervasion.

[This is the first hand proof of your ignorance of vedanta. And it reveals your non-advaitic origins. For a jiva’s existence there is no need for any dependence on an external entity. Subjects, for example, depend on a King for their survival. Jivas can at best be said to depend on Ishwara for their karma phala bhoga/bhogya vastu. Even this is based on their karma and Ishwara is a mere passive agent here. The BG 5.14 says:

न कर्तृत्वं न कर्माणि लोकस्य सृजति प्रभुः ।
न कर्मफलसंयोगं स्वभावस्तु प्रवर्तते ॥ १४ ॥

न कर्तृत्वं स्वतः कुरु इति नापि कर्माणि रथघटप्रासादादीनि ईप्सिततमानि लोकस्य सृजति उत्पादयति प्रभुः आत्मा । नापि रथादि कृतवतः तत्फलेन संयोगं न कर्मफलसंयोगम् । यदि किञ्चिदपि स्वतः न करोति न कारयति च देही, कः तर्हि कुर्वन् कारयंश्च प्रवर्तते इति, उच्यते — स्वभावस्तु स्वो भावः स्वभावः अविद्यालक्षणा प्रकृतिः माया प्रवर्तते ‘दैवी हि’ (भ. गी. ७-१४) इत्यादिना वक्ष्यमाणा ॥

The Atman does not do anything. It is only māyā that does everything. So, there is no dependence on the jiva for anything on Ishwara, excepting the chaitanya sānnidhyam to activate māyā.

Thus, there is no way Shiva is dependent on Vishnu for his very existence. Only a superimposed snake has to depend on the substratum rope for its very existence. On that ground, Vishnu has to depend on the Nirguna Brahman (and māyā) for his very existence. The BG 2nd chapter says:

अच्छेद्योऽयमदाह्योऽयमक्लेद्योऽशोष्य एव च ।
नित्यः सर्वगतः स्थाणुरचलोऽयं सनातनः ॥ २४ ॥

The Atman is all-pervading. All jivas are all-pervading. Shiva and Vishnu are all-pervading. To be all-pervading one need not depend on another. It is one’s svarūpa. Also, one’s all-pervading nature will not grant any existence to anyone. So, put an end to your ‘Shiva dependent on all-pervasive Vishnu’ theory.

‘jagadvyāpine namaḥ, jagadgurave namaḥ, sāttvikāya, shuddhavigrahāya, anantāya, haraye..etc. are just a few names of Shiva in the aṣṭottaram. None of these ‘depend’ on Viṣṇu’s vyāpakatvam. ]

Bheda is upheld in the dependence of one entity on another. A table is not dependent on a stool, but the existence of shiva depends on Vishnu just as a body is ashes without the Atma.

[In the Taittiriyāraṇyaka occurs the mantras ‘sadyojātam…etc.’ among them is ‘jyeṣṭhāya’ for which sāyana comments: sarvajagadutpatteḥ pūrvabhāvitvāt jyeṣthaḥ’ (Because Shiva exists even before the creation of the entire world, He is called jyeṣṭha, the ‘elder’.) ‘Iśvaraḥ sarvabhūtānām – akhilaprāṇinām Iśvaraḥ, niyāmakaḥ’ (Shiva is the Lord/controller of all beings)..’brahmaṇo’dhipatiḥ - Shiva is the Overlord of brahmā’. He has never said that these mantras are about Viṣṇu which the vaiṣṇava would desperately try to twist and impose.

If Shiva has to depend on Vishnu for his existence, Vishnu has to depend on Nirguna Brahman for his very existence. Without that sattā of Nirguna Brahman, Vishnu has no independent sattā. All entities in creation derive their sattā from NB alone. This is the basis for holding the world to be mithyā; svasattāshūnyatvāt. Even ashes have an existence and that sattā is of NB.]

Stop confusing your half baked knowledge of advaita with random trash.

[Stop confusing others with your zero knowledge of advaita with random trash.]

First understand what vastu pariccheda means in vyAvahArika sath of advaita and also in VA and Dvaita traditions.

[Go to an advaita scholar to study this.]

“Parabrahman” in advaita only means that the entity which is nirguNa, the paramArtha tattva,is vAsudeva (saguna brahman) under suddha sattva upAdhIs.

[The paramārtha tattva of Advaita is NB and not any saguṇa deity. In BSB 2.1.14 Shankara has denied all attributes like sarvajnatva, essentially effects of sattva upādhi, as avidyākalpita in the paramārtha tattvam. In BG 2nd chapter Shankara says: ‘I am non-different from Vāsudeva.’

श्रीमद्भगवद्गीताभाष्यम् । द्वितीयोऽध्यायः । श्लोक ६१ – भाष्यम्

तानि सर्वाणि संयम्य संयमनं वशीकरणं कृत्वा युक्तः समाहितः सन् आसीत मत्परः अहं वासुदेवः सर्वप्रत्यगात्मा परो यस्य सः मत्परः, ‘न अन्योऽहं तस्मात्’ इति आसीत इत्यर्थः ।

A jiva can never identify himself with the shuddha sattvopadhi vāsudeva. The identity in Advaita is only with the shuddha nirupādhika chaitanyam.]

The term “Parabrahman” denotes the dual state of nirguNa brahman and saguNa isvara. When Shankara says “vAsudeva is the paramArtha tattva”, he means that the paramArtha tattva is verily vAsudeva because it is nirguNa brahman under suddha sattva upAdhIs.

[Surely Shankara never confuses his students like the way you are confused. All this is a result of reading the bhāṣya all by oneself, without the guidance of a qualified teacher. The paramārtha tattvam can never be sopādhika brahman. You will never understand this since you can never go beyond sopādhika brahman. That alone is paramārtha for you.]

Madhusudhana clearly establishes that it is the lord of vaikunta. Since the upAdhIs are sattva, there is no scope for ignorance and hence, saguNa brahman is verily the dual state of “dvirUpa paramEsvara” in advaita.

[There is no such a ‘dvirūpa’ parameshwara in advaita. Do not invent weird things from your hotchpotch thinking. If Madhusudana says that he is referring to only māyopādhika brahman and not the NB.]

Similarly, nArAyaNa parO vyaktAt only means that saguNa brahman, nArAyaNa, whose essential nature is nirguNa, is beyond prakrti.

[In advaita, Ishwara and avyakta are non-different. I have already pointed out this in an earlier post comparing BG 10th ch and 8th ch. verses on the Lord saying He is the cause of everything and also that avyakta is the cause of everything. Again, the Mānḍūkya sixth mantra dealing with Ishwara is overruled by the seventh mantra that negates the Iswara status as belonging to the cause-effect duality. Whichever is the seed of creation is within creation and not transcending it. In the bhāṣya for the very opening mantra of the māṇḍūkya, Shankara says, at the end: ओङ्कारविकारशब्दाभिधेयश्च सर्वः प्राणादिरात्मविकल्पः अभिधानव्यतिरेकेण नास्ति ; ‘वाचारम्भणं विकारो नामधेयम्’ (छा. उ. ६-१-४) ……भूतं भवत् भविष्यत् इति कालत्रयपरिच्छेद्यं यत्, तदपि ओङ्कार एव, उक्तन्यायतः । यच्च अन्यत् त्रिकालातीतं कार्याधिगम्यं कालापरिच्छेद्यमव्याकृतादि, तदपि ओङ्कार एव ॥ [All that is a superimposition on Atman is not existent as apart from the word that is used to denote it. That which is beyond time but inferred as a cause through the effect, and which is not delimited by time such as avyākṛta, that too is omkāra alone. That means, Ishwara, who is beyond time, but inferred to be a cause of the world, and is not delimited by time, is also omkara alone. Just before that the bhāṣya says: रज्ज्वादिरिव सर्पादिविकल्पस्यास्पदमद्वय आत्मा परमार्थतः सन्प्राणादिविकल्पस्यास्पदं यथा, तथा सर्वोऽपि वाक्प्रपञ्चः प्राणाद्यात्मविकल्पविषय ओङ्कार एव । स चात्मस्वरूपमेव, तदभिधायकत्वात् । ओङ्कारविकारशब्दाभिधेयश्च सर्वः प्राणादिरात्मविकल्पः अभिधानव्यतिरेकेण नास्ति ; ‘वाचारम्भणं विकारो नामधेयम्’ (छा. उ. ६-१-४) (All that is denoted by words is non existent, as they do not exist apart from the word that denotes them. Thus, avyākṛta, Iśwara, is non-existent apart from the word that denotes it.)

So, the Brahman that is beyond avyakta is decidedly NB, Turiya, in advaita. Do not mix up non-advaitic trash with advaita and pollute advaita. That which is beyond prakrti can be only NB in advaita. Ishwara is inseparably united with prakriti. Even the BG has several verses on this. Without prakrti Iswara can not even create anything. His dependence on prakrti is well established in the BSB 1.4.3 too. There तदधीनत्वादर्थवत् ॥ ३ ॥ Shankara says: we have to admit the pradhāna-like nascent state (seed state also called avyakta). For, otherwise, He says, the Vedantic अत्रोच्यते — यदि वयं स्वतन्त्रां काञ्चित्प्रागवस्थां जगतः कारणत्वेनाभ्युपगच्छेम, प्रसञ्जयेम तदा प्रधानकारणवादम् ; परमेश्वराधीना त्वियमस्माभिः प्रागवस्था जगतोऽभ्युपगम्यते, न स्वतन्त्रा । सा चावश्याभ्युपगन्तव्या ; अर्थवती हि सा ; न हि तया विना परमेश्वरस्य स्रष्टृत्वं सिध्यति, शक्तिरहितस्य तस्य प्रवृत्त्यनुपपत्तेः । brahman cannot do anything without it.

So, do not bring in your non-advaitic stuff to salvage Vishnu from the throes of prakrti and sully the advaitic waters.]

“visnor paramam padam” – even sarvajnAtma uses the term “bhagavatO visnoH paramam padam” and “murArEh paramam padam” for which you have no answer to Ramatirtha and Nrsimhasrama’s commentary.

[First improve your fundamental grammar. It is awful to see you repeating endlessly / visnor paramam /. It is visnoḥ paramam.

Let them use it that way. None can deny what Shankara has said in the Kaṭha bhāṣya which I have cited. To know the ultimate meaning of that expression of the Kaṭha shruti, one has to go with the bhāṣyam and not any other contextual references. Viṣṇu and his supreme state are not two different things as per the upaniṣad. ]

They equate Murari with Krishna openly. The subodhini also says “jagatpAlaka vishNu” and uses the “sattva upAdhi” term as well. Hence, “visnor paramam padam” only means, “the supreme (nirguNa) state of the all-pervasive saguNa isvara (vishNu)”. This vishNu is identified as the deity of pAncarAtrikas, ie, nArAyaNa everywhere by Shankara. That is why the Chandrika says that the AdhiSthAna or base of the vyapanashIla jagat kAraNa saguNa brahman (deva vishNu) is nirguNa brahman.

[Let them equate the way they want. That is not the point here. Ignorance (in advaita) is dispelled by Nirguṇ brahma jñānam alone. I have provided the BG quote too. The all-pervasive saguṇa Iswara is also pervaded by NB in Advaita. Shankara has refuted the pāncarātra as the one (Śāṇḍilya) who rejected the veda in the BSB विप्रतिषेधाच्च ॥ ४५ ॥ वेदविप्रतिषेधश्च भवति — चतुर्षु वेदेषु परं श्रेयोऽलब्ध्वा शाण्डिल्य इदं शास्त्रमधिगतवानित्यादिवेदनिन्दादर्शनात् । तस्मात् असङ्गतैषा कल्पनेति सिद्धम् ॥ ४५ ॥

and the only part that is admissible for him is that they hold Vāsudeva is the abhinna nimitta upādāna kāraṇam of the jagat (which only Advaita vedanta holds) and that that is the paramartha tattvam. In advaita the paramārtha tattvam is NB. So, Shankara admits that system, in part, only because their parmārtha tattvam, called ‘Vāsudeva’ is the Vedantic Brahman which is not saguṇa.]

nirguNa brahman does not pervade the deva vishNu, you clumsy moron.

[You dull headed creature, NB is the substratum for the entire creation including deva viṣṇu which is a superimposition on NB.

तदेवमविद्यात्मकोपाधिपरिच्छेदापेक्षमेवेश्वरस्येश्वरत्वं सर्वज्ञत्वं सर्वशक्तित्वं च, न परमार्थतो विद्यया अपास्तसर्वोपाधिस्वरूपे आत्मनि ईशित्रीशितव्यसर्वज्ञत्वादिव्यवहार उपपद्यते ; तथा चोक्तम् — ‘यत्र नान्यत्पश्यति नान्यच्छृणोति नान्यद्विजानाति स भूमा’ (छा. उ. ७-२४-१) इति ; ‘यत्र त्वस्य सर्वमात्मैवाभूत्तत्केन कं पश्येत्’ (बृ. उ. ४-५-१५) इत्यादि च ; एवं परमार्थावस्थायां सर्वव्यवहाराभावं वदन्ति वेदान्ताः सर्वे ; तथेश्वरगीतास्वपि — ‘न कर्तृत्वं न कर्माणि लोकस्य सृजति प्रभुः । न कर्मफलसंयोगं स्वभावस्तु प्रवर्तते’ (भ. गी. ५-१४)‘नादत्ते कस्यचित्पापं न चैव सुकृतं विभुः । अज्ञानेनावृतं ज्ञानं तेन मुह्यन्ति जन्तवः’ (भ. गी. ५-१५) इति परमार्थावस्थायामीशित्रीशितव्यादिव्यवहाराभावः प्रदर्श्यते ;

The highlighted part means: Ishwaratvam characterized by omniscience and omnipotence are products of avidyā and its resulting finitizing. Thus, according to Shankara, the Ishwara (whichever deity it might be) if endowed with omnipotence, etc. is a paricchinna entity only of NB. Of course, this finitizing is not real, since it is caused by the ignorance-upādhi.   If deva Viṣṇu is Ishwara, he cannot escape being a paricchinna entity as per Shankara. Non-advaitins can never digest this. That is why the founders of those schools severely criticized Shankara for virtually bulldozing all kalyana gunas from Ishwara and declaring an ashabdamasparsham…etc. brahman as the Supreme Reality. ]

That would mean you are admitting two entities (the pervaded deva and the pervading nirguNa brahman) while acknowledging paramAthika sath, which is impossible. Neither can nirguNa brahman pervade for it is all in the sense of being the only one (sarvam).

[This is another standard misconception of non-advaitins. Whenever such expressions as ‘adhiṣṭhāna – āropita, vyāpya – vyāpaka’ type of relations are used in Advaita, it is not any duality but only ādhyāsika sambandha. No one would count the superimposed snake as a second entity after the underlying rope. So too the vyāpya (pervaded) deva Viṣṇu is an adhyasta vastu on the vyāpaka NB. Hence the defect of two entities is never there in Advaita. Any number of āropita objects on the adhiṣthānam NB will not render the latter devoid of its innate advitiya nature. Shankara has said this in the adhyāsa bhāṣya and also in the māṇḍūkya kārikā bhāṣya 2.17 (आत्मा एतेष्वनुगतः, सर्वत्राव्यभिचारात्, यथा सर्पधारादिभेदेषु रज्जुः ।.The Atman, which is only one, is immanent in all creation just as the one rope is immanent in all the various superimpositions possible on a rope like snake, a streak of water, etc.   Dunces who do not understand fundamentals of Advaita take up positions to argue. It is time they shut up and mend their brains. ]

Jnanottama clearly attributes vyapanashIlatva to the deva vishNu only.

[If he has not attributed all-pervading nature to Brahman it is his folly. Shankara never commits such a folly. ]

The devas – vishNu, shiva, etc are all nirguNa in essence, but under upAdhIs they are differentiated. Shiva, Brahma, etc are under rajO and tamO guNa upAdhIs. Thus, they are objectionable objects for upAsaNa.

[Just becuase you are full of rajo and tamo guṇas do not superimpose them on Shiva.

Srimad Bhagavatam 4.6.49

Brahmā addresses Shiva:

bhavams tu pumsah paramasya mayaya

durantayasprsta-matih samasta-drk

taya hatatmasv anukarma-cetahsv

anugraham kartum iharhasi prabho


bhavan -- Your Lordship; tu -- but; pumsah -- of the person; paramasya -- the supreme; mayaya -- by the material energy; durantaya -- of great potency; asprsta -- unaffected; matih -- intelligence; samasta-drk -- seer or knower of everything; taya -- by the same illusory energy; hata-atmasu -- bewildered at heart; anukarma-cetahsu -- whose hearts are attracted by fruitive activities; anugraham -- mercy; kartum -- to do; iha -- in this case; arhasi -- desire; prabho -- O lord.


My dear lord, you are never bewildered by the formidable influence of the illusory energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore you are omniscient and should be merciful and compassionate toward those who are bewildered by the same illusory energy and are very much attached to fruitive activities.

Here is a fine dhyaṇa shloka on Shiva:

॥ शिवध्यानम्‌॥

शान्तं पद्मासनस्थं शशधरमुकुटं पञ्चवक्त्रं त्रिनेत्रं
शूलं वज्रं च खड्‌गं परशुमभयदं दक्षिणांगे वहन्तम्‌।
नागं पाशं च घण्टां डमरुकसहितां चांकुशं वामभागे
नानालंकारदीप्तं स्फटिकमणिनिभं पार्वतीशं नमामि॥

I prostrate myself before the five-faced Lord of Parvati, who is adorned with various ornaments, who shines like Sphatika jewel, who is seated peacefully in lotus pose, with moon-crested crown, with three eyes, wearing trident, Vajra, sword and axe on the right side, serpent, noose, bell, Damaru and spear on the left side and who gives protection from all fears to His devotees.

‘upāsakānām yadupāsanīyam…’ is a famous hymn on Dakṣiṇāmūrti by Shankara. Just because some fanatics do not know this, the advaitins who know this will not subscribe to your clumsy ideas. ]

Sanātana dharma is full of methods of obtaining the grace of Shiva for a person’s spiritual sādhana.]

VishNu is nirguNa under sattva upAdhIs and hence he alone is free of mAya; he is the mahEsvara who controls mAya and is worthy of upAsaNa.

[No one is free of māyā. Even sattva is within māyā alone. Krishna says in the BG that all three worlds are within the grip of māyā’s three guṇas.

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.48 Summary

In this chapter Lord Sri Krishna first visits Trivakra (also known as Kubja) and enjoys with her, and then He visits Akrura. The Lord sends Akrura to Hastinapura to satisfy the Pandavas.

After Uddhava had related to Sri Krishna the news of Vraja, the Lord went to the home of Trivakra, which was decorated with diverse ornamentation conducive to sexual enjoyment. Trivakra welcomed Krishna with great respect, giving Him a raised seat and, together with her female companions, worshiping Him. She also offered Uddhava a seat, as befitted his position, but Uddhava simply touched the seat and sat on the floor.

Lord Krishna then reclined on an opulent bed as the maidservant (of Kamsa) Trivakra elaborately washed and decorated herself. Then she approached Him. Krishna invited Trivakra to the bed and began to enjoy with her in various ways. By embracing Lord Krishna, Trivakra freed herself of the torment of lust. She asked Krishna to remain with her for some time, and the considerate Lord promised to fulfill her request in due course. He then returned with Uddhava to His residence. Apart from offering sandal paste to Krishna, Trivakra had never performed any pious acts, yet simply on the strength of the piety of this single act she attained the rare personal association of Sri Krishna.

Krishna’s tricking Vṛnda (Tulasi) and robbing her chastity is another instance.

When Krishna does this, it is ‘shuddha sattvopādhi’. If any other, say, Brahma or Shiva were to do this, it is under the influence of rajas/tamas/ignorance!! Hell with your fanaticism.

As I pointed out above, ‘sāttvikāya namaḥ, shuddhavigrahāya namaḥ, shāśvatāya namaḥ’ etc. are some of the names of Shiva. If all these accrue to Shiva through Viṣṇu as per your fractured logic, then the advaitin will quickly point out that all the gunas of viṣṇu ( if he is the Iswara) too are superimposed by avidyā as per Shankara in the BSB 2.1.14. In any case, Viṣṇu is not the sole agent to ‘give’ all gunas to others. Stop your fanatical utterances which only make you a laughing stock.]

The Chandrika clearly points this out and so do Shankara and Anandagiri, and yet you can only rile against Jnanottama mishra in your ignorance.

[Shankara and Anandagiri never do this. I have studied the Prashnopanishad bhāṣyam. If any, the upaniṣad and the bhashyam only say that ‘one entity (prāṇa), as Rudra engages in the world-dissolution activity and as rakṣitā, in the sustaining activity.

प्रश्नोपनिषद्भाष्यम् । द्वितीयः प्रश्नः । मन्त्रः ९ - भाष्यम्

किंच, इन्द्रः परमेश्वरः त्वं हे प्राण, तेजसा वीर्येण रुद्रोऽसि संहरन् जगत् । स्थितौ च परि समन्तात् रक्षिता पालयिता ; परिरक्षिता त्वमेव जगतः सौम्येन रूपेण । त्वम् अन्तरिक्षे अजस्रं चरसि उदयास्तमयाभ्यां सूर्यः त्वमेव च सर्वेषां ज्योतिषां पतिः ॥

The mantra and the bhāṣyam bring out the sāmānādhikaraṇyam among all the entities there: prāṇa, rudra and the pālayitā. This is a fine instance of the Upaniṣadic hari-hara aikya concept.

In the BG 11th chapter, Arjuna, unable to tolerate the terrible form of Krishna, wants Him to revert to the sowmya form. The Lord Himself says that is His ‘ghora’ rŪpam. It is one Lord who showed His terrible form (kālo’ṣmi lokakṣyakakṛt..). It is this very idea in the above bhashyam: One entity as vīrya form for one function and another soumya form for another function. Hence, all murti-s can be meditated upon by discarding the aspect that is not relishable and retaining the one that is pleasant for the upāsaka.]

Shiva is described as the Jagadguru in the Bhāgavatam. The same work also has the Kashyapa prajāpati giving out the glories of Shiva’s vairāgyam to his wife, Diti who sought gratification of her carnal desires in the evening time. Someone who is endowed with so many glories is ‘tama upādhi’ only for you, a tāmasic being. ]

Do not bring in Shiva-Viṣṇu issues while responding.  I am least interested in them. I mentioned some instances above only because you raised that topic. There was no provocation on my part in my earlier blogs on this.  Limit your responses to mere advaita and Shankara’s bhashya.

Posted by: adbhutam | September 20, 2014


In the blog comments available in the URL below, the pseudo vaishnavas concoct a multi-deity advaitic tradition:

They say:

//Clarification… By the word “tradition”, I mean the original Vaishnava-advaitic tradition of Shankara and his ancient followers, clearly evident in their authentic works. Not the popular shaivAdvaitic / shAktAdvaitic one that Subbu claims to have been favored by Shankara.//


There is no such thing as any ‘original Vaishnava-advaitic’ tradition and nowhere can one see such queer names given in the Shankara- Gaudapada or any later literature.  With the sole ulterior motive of selling their vaishnava-wares they hatched a plan to rope-in the Advaita Acharyas whom their own vaishnava Acharyas have severely condemned to eternal hell.  If the Advaita tradition was Vaishnava, why would the vaishnavas even refute it and start their own ‘vedantic’ schools?

And these people go further to produce other names like shaiva advaita and shAkta advaita and who knows what other names they will come up with?  Let it be known to them that whatever deity they prefix to ‘advaita’, the essential Advaitic character of ‘brahma satyam jagan mithyA, jIvo brahmaiva nAparaH’ will not be absent in any of their combinations.  For, the very nature of Advaita is to transcend all deity-devotee duality.  Not realizing this, they try to create confusion among their gullible readers.

They also propagate their own theory that ‘vaikuntha’ and other lokas are admissible in Advaita as ‘eternal loka-s’.  Shankara has vehemently condemned such ideas of any loka-s existing eternally where liberated beings reside.

In the Mundakopanishad 3.2.6 bhashya Shankara says:

परामृताः परम् अमृतम् अमरणधर्मकं ब्रह्म आत्मभूतं येषां ते परामृता जीवन्त एव ब्रह्मभूताः, परामृताः सन्तः परिमुच्यन्ति परि समन्तात्प्रदीपनिर्वाणवद्भिन्नघटाकाशवच्च निवृत्तिमुपयान्ति परिमुच्यन्ति परि समन्तान्मुच्यन्ते सर्वे, न देशान्तरं गन्तव्यमपेक्षन्ते । ‘शकुनीनामिवाकाशे जले वारिचरस्य वा । पदं यथा न दृश्येत तथा ज्ञानवतां गतिः’ (मो. ध. १८१-९) ‘अनध्वगा अध्वसु पारयिष्णवः’ (?) इति श्रुतिस्मृतिभ्याम् ; देशपरिच्छिन्ना हि गतिः संसारविषयैव, परिच्छिन्नसाधनसाध्यत्वात् । ब्रह्म तु समस्तत्वान्न देशपरिच्छेदेन गन्तव्यम् । यदि हि देशपरिच्छिन्नं ब्रह्म स्यात्, मूर्तद्रव्यवदाद्यन्तवदन्याश्रितं सावयवमनित्यं कृतकं च स्यात् । न त्वेवंविधं ब्रह्म भवितुमर्हति । अतस्तत्प्राप्तिश्च नैव देशपरिच्छिन्ना भवितुं युक्ता ॥

The liberated do not travel to any other place/loka, for any such travel will imply that the jiva is still in samsara. Since Brahman is infinite, the jnani who has realized his identity with Brahman, also being the Infinite Brahman alone, does not go anywhere upon death.  For, Brahman is not a finite place to be reached/attained.  If Brahman were located in a place then Brahman, being no different from any formed object, will have to have a beginning and end, and be dependent on something else, be made of parts, and ephemeral, and a produced one.  Brahman can never be of this nature.  Thus, the ‘attainment’ of Brahman cannot be involving any locating in some other place.

Thus, there is no need for Shankara to deny any eternal loka be it vaikunTha or any other.  For, anything that is not brahman is bound to dissolution.  Madhusudana Saraswati in the Advaita siddhi has also shown that there is no such thing called ‘aprAkRta’ which is outside the realm of prakRti.  The Laghuchandrika clarifies that what is commonly called ‘aprAkRta’ is still within prakRti but that which is not produced in the pancha bhUta transformation process, but bypasses the process.

All non-advaitic moksha is of the nature of traveling to some other loka and remaining there.  Their Brahman will have to be of the above description involving finitude.

While the bloggers have tried to create an impression among their gullible readers that Advaitins too admit of a loka like themselves, they provide various quotes from Madhusudana Saraswati, Sridhara Swamin, etc. to buttress their claim and draw support to their funny ideas.

// Three advaitins have accepted the existence of saguNa-brahman, Vishnu, in Vaikuntha. Also, Madhusudana and Sridhara say that Vaikuntha is eternal.//

They have not known that no true Advaitin will contradict the ShAnkaran position stated above.  Madhusudana Sraswati, in the Advaita Siddhi, refuting the claims of the Dvaitin, concludes:

[Pariccheda 2, p.745 of the Edition published by MM Ananthakrishna Shastry]:

//etena bhagavallokaaderapi nityatvam apAstam.  Na cha ‘ato hi vaiShNavA lokAH nityAste cetanAtmakaaH. matprasAdAt parAm shAntim sthAnam prApsyasi shAshvatam’ ityAdyAgamavirodhaH, tasya avaAntarapralayasthatvaparatvAt. TasmAt nirguNam nirAkAram brahma iti siddham.  Iti advaita siddhau brahmaNo nirAkAratva siddhiH//

[Thus (in view of the foregoing arguments), the ‘eternality’ of divine/lordly/worlds too stands negated.  One aught not to raise an objection that the following scriptural passage is contradicted by the above conclusion:  ‘Therefore indeed the VaishNava loka-s are eternal and are sentient in nature.  By My grace you shall attain the state of great and eternal peace.’  The ‘eternality’ stated in this passage has its purport in the ‘avAntara pralaya’, intermediary dissolution.  Thus stands established that Brahman has no form in the work called ‘Advaita siddhi’.]

The ‘LaghuchandrikA’ gloss by GaudabrahmAnanda adds:

‘There is no pramANa for the existence of a VaikunTha loka which is not a product of the pancha bhutas.’ [abhautika-vaikunThaloke mAnAbhAvAt.’

Thus, whatever has been stated by Madhusudana in his commentary to the Bhagavadgita or any other commentator for any other work like the SrimadbhAgavatam on the topic of ‘eternal loka’, stands overruled by the above statement of the Advaita Siddhi.

In the Kathopanishad bhashya for 2.3.16 Shankara cites a Vishnu purana verse:

तया नाड्या ऊर्ध्वम् उपरि आयन् गच्छन् आदित्यद्वारेण अमृतत्वम् अमरणधर्मत्वमापेक्षिकम्  ‘आभूतसम्प्लवं स्थानममृतत्वं हि भाष्येत’ (वि.पु. २.८.९७) इति स्मृतेः । ब्रह्मणा वा सह कालान्तरेण मुख्यममृतत्वमेति भुक्त्वा भोगाननुपमान्ब्रह्मलोकगतान् । विष्वङ् नानागतयः अन्या नाड्यः उत्क्रमणे उत्क्रमणनिमित्तं भवन्ति संसारप्रतिपत्त्यर्था एव भवन्तीत्यर्थः ॥

which says: ‘Eternality’ means that state/position that will exist till the dissolution takes place.

Thus, the term ‘Eternal’ is not absolute existence but only relative existence.  The ‘eternality’ of all lokas is of this category alone.

There is no change, therefore, in the traditional Advaitic stand that the ‘brahmaloka to which upAsaka-s go after death and get the Advaitic realization there and thereafter become liberated upon the dissolution of that brahma loka’ stands firm.


The names ‘vAsudeva, Vishnu and NArAyana’ in the  specific instances in the ShAnkara bhashya mean only the Nirguna Chaitanyam and not the Saguna entity.

काठकोपनिषद्भाष्यम् । प्रथमोऽध्यायः । तृतीया वल्ली । मन्त्रः ९ – भाष्यम्

किं तत्पदमित्याह — विज्ञानसारथिः यस्तु यो विवेकबुद्धिसारथिः पूर्वोक्तः मनःप्रग्रहवान् प्रगृहीतमनाः समाहितचित्तः सन् शुचिर्नरो विद्वान्, सः अध्वनः संसारगतेः पारं परमेव, अधिगन्तव्यमित्येतत्, आप्नोति, मुच्यते सर्वसंसारबन्धनैः । तत् विष्णोः व्यापनशीलस्य ब्रह्मणः परमात्मनो वासुदेवाख्यस्य परमं प्रकृष्टं पदं स्थानम्, सतत्त्वमित्येतत्, यत् असावाप्नोति विद्वान् ॥

काठकोपनिषद्भाष्यम् । प्रथमोऽध्यायः । तृतीया वल्ली । मन्त्रः ११ – भाष्यम्

महतोऽपि परं सूक्ष्मतरं प्रत्यगात्मभूतं सर्वमहत्तरं च अव्यक्तं सर्वस्य जगतो बीजभूतमव्याकृतनामरूपं सतत्त्वं सर्वकार्यकारणशक्तिसमाहाररूपम् अव्यक्तम् अव्याकृताकाशादिनामवाच्यं परमात्मन्योतप्रोतभावेन समाश्रितं वटकणिकायामिव वटवृक्षशक्तिः । तस्मादव्यक्तात् परः सूक्ष्मतरः सर्वकारणकारणत्वात्प्रत्यगात्मत्वाच्च महांश्च, अत एव पुरुषः सर्वपूरणात् । ततोऽन्यस्य परस्य प्रसङ्गं निवारयन्नाह — पुरुषान्न परं किञ्चिदिति । यस्मान्नास्ति पुरुषाच्चिन्मात्रघनात्परं किञ्चिदपि वस्त्वन्तरम्, तस्मात्सूक्ष्मत्वमहत्त्वप्रत्यगात्मत्वानां सा काष्ठा निष्ठा पर्यवसानम् । अत्र हि इन्द्रियेभ्य आरभ्य सूक्ष्मत्वादि परिसमाप्तम् । अत एव च गन्तॄणां सर्वगतिमतां संसारिणां सा परा प्रकृष्टा गतिः, ‘यद्गत्वा न निवर्तन्ते’ (भ. गी. १५-६) इति स्मृतेः ॥

From the above two bhashyas we conclude:

  1.  The knower of Brahman attains to that state of Vishnu.
  2. This sentence of the bhashyam तत् विष्णोः व्यापनशीलस्य ब्रह्मणः परमात्मनो वासुदेवाख्यस्य परमं प्रकृष्टं पदं स्थानम्, सतत्त्वमित्येतत्, means ‘vishnu’s state is all pervading supreme..’ It is of the nature of ‘rAhoH shiraH’ where there is no difference between rAhu (who is nothing but head) and ‘head’.
  3. That is the state the knower attains to: brahmavit brahmaiva bhavati of the Mundakopanishat.
  4. Having said that in the first quoted mantra bhashyam, Shankara says, immediately in the mantra bhashyam occurring soon after the first one in the same Upanishad: This is the Purusha, who is PUrNa, in other words, a restatement of the Vishnu=vyApaniashIla of the earlier mantra/bhashyam which is the destination of the knower. The mantra says: there is none other/greater than this Purusha and this is the ultimate. Shankara adds that this Purusha is characterized by …..being the innermost self of the jiva, pratyagAtmA. This is the ultimate destination of samsarins.
  5. Thus, the Vishnu’s state is no other than the Purusha which is non-different from the pratyagAtmA of the jiva/s.
  6. There is no room here for the interpretation of the ‘VishnoH paramam padam’ as the ‘supreme/superior state of the deva Vishnu’ as done by the chandrika commentary in the Naishkarmyasiddhi verse. The commentary takes two entities: deva Vishnu and his superior state. This is not in accordance with the Kathopanishad and the Acharya’s bhashya which do not give room for this duality, dichotomy, in the expression ‘tad vishnoH paramam padam’.
  7. Since the Advaitic AtmA is nirguna Brahman, as Shankara has stated thrice in the above bhashya ‘pratyagAtmA’, the ‘Vishnu’ of the Kathopanishad and the bhashya ‘vyapanashila’ decidedly refer to the NB alone and not the saguna Brahman.
  8. In the first cited Katha mantra, the idea is: the knower reaches the other shore of samsara. What is this other shore? It is ‘the Supreme state of Vishnu’. If the chandirka’s interpretation is to be adhered to, the Katha is unnecessarily talking of an intermediate state, deva Vishnu, and then the superior state of that deva Vishnu, as the final destination, moksha.
  9. The other defect of that two-part explanation is: the Vishnu of the first mantra will not be admitted to be the PuruSha of the second mantra. This is because, the Vishnu of the first mantra has been taken as deva whose superior state is the final destination and the second mantra talks of the Purusha beyond whom there is none as the final destination.
  10. The non-equating of Vishnu with Purusha is not to the liking of even the vaishnavas. Thus, the chandrika’s convoluted explanation of the ‘vishnoH padAnugAm’ as involving a saguna and nirguna Brahman, so enthusiastically cited by the bloggers, is ending up as detrimental to them when examined in the light of the Kathopanishad and Shankara’s bhashya. In other words, the Vishnu of the first mantra will not be the PUrNa PuruSha of the second mantra, in the light of the Chandrika.
  11. To reiterate: ‘Vishnu’ = Purusha = pratyagAtmA = knowledge thereof = final destination/goal / moksha.
  12. The chandrika’s ‘vishnu (saguna) = purushottama’ idea is also not in accordance with the Shankara’s interpretation of the BG 15th Purushottama which is the Mandukya turiya which is the one beyond the akshara (mAyA/Ishwara). The chandrika equates the deva Vishnu to something that transcends the deva Vishnu thereby contradicting his own earlier statement of showing the Supreme as the abode of the deva Vishnu. In other words, the jagakAraNa Vishnu is not the Purushottama of Advaita, but the chandrika says explicitly so. Instead of taking the Shankara bhashya to decide what is meant by ‘Vishnu’, the bloggers committed the folly of dragging the Naishkarmyasiddhi verse with the chandrika and ended up contradicting Shankara. In effect, this misadventure is their forte in trying to ‘explain’ anything.
  13. In advaita the moksha is not any saguna Brahman realization/loka attainment.
  14. Hence, Vishnu of the Katha and the Naishkarmyasiddhi, as applied to Shankara’s knowledge/realization, is decidedly NB and not saguna. Let it be saguna in the ganga source case, which I have not denied but which the bloggers, incapable of reading and comprehending my words, concluded that I am denying.   A more stupid brain cannot be found anywhere.

Here is some more evidence of their fractured intellect:

While trying to quote me, the pseudo vaishnava, lists the following as my words/statements/thinking :

2) Sureshvara’s sloka does not imply Shiva received Ganga from Vishnu. “visnor pAdanugam” refers to reality of nirguNa brahman.
[I have not even remotely meant the first part of the above sentence]
4) Shiva Mahimna Stotra authored by Madhusudhana Saraswati shows hari-hara abheda.
[The mahimna stotra is the composition of Pushpadanta and Madhusudana has only written a commentary to it with Hari and Hara pakshas. And Madhusudana concludes the work by writing his own verses declaring that ‘kshudra’ intellects (like the name of Vidwan Rama subba Sastry the bloggers have held high) aught to realize the abheda, implying that akshudra or uttama buddhis need no teaching about the abheda; it is well known to them.]

The pseudo vaishnava, exhibits his ignorance of Advaita again:

// (nirguNa brahman cannot have attributes such as sarvavyApakatvam and jagatkAraNatvam) //

That the above conclusion he draws from the Chandrika which is in contradiction to Shankara is already shown. Let us take the ‘sarvavyApakatvam’ epithet, leaving out the jagatkAraNatvam, which, in any case, is not referring to Nirguna Brahman.

In the Taittiriyopanishad there occurs the lakshanam ‘satyam, jnanam, anantam brahma’. ‘ananta’ is desha, kAla, vastu pariccheda shUnyam. Brahman, whose svarUpa lakshna (not jagatkAraNatva, which is taTastha lakshana) is anantam, pervades all desha, all kAla and all vastu. Hence the NB is sarvavyApakam. Also in the BGB 13.13 Shankara says:

सर्वत्र सर्वदेहावयवत्वेन गम्यमानाः पाणिपादादयः ज्ञेयशक्तिसद्भावनिमित्तस्वकार्याः इति ज्ञेयसद्भावे लिङ्गानि ‘ज्ञेयस्य’ इति उपचारतः उच्यन्ते । तथा व्याख्येयम् अन्यत् । सर्वतःपाणिपादं तत् ज्ञेयम् । सर्वतोक्षिशिरोमुखं सर्वतः अक्षीणि शिरांसि मुखानि च यस्य तत् सर्वतोक्षिशिरोमुखम्; सर्वतःश्रुतिमत् श्रुतिः श्रवणेन्द्रियम्, तत् यस्य तत् श्रुतिमत्, लोके प्राणिनिकाये, सर्वम् आवृत्य संव्याप्य तिष्ठति स्थितिं लभते ॥ [The Jneyam Brahma (as opposed to upAsyam brahma which is saguna in Advaita) is taught by both the Lord as well as Shankara as ‘pervading everything in creation’. ] This very idea is stated elaborately in the BGB 13.15:

श्रीमद्भगवद्गीताभाष्यम् । त्रयोदशोऽध्यायः । श्लोक १५ – भाष्यम्

बहिः त्वक्पर्यन्तं देहम् आत्मत्वेन अविद्याकल्पितम् अपेक्ष्य तमेव अवधिं कृत्वा बहिः उच्यते । तथा प्रत्यगात्मानमपेक्ष्य देहमेव अवधिं कृत्वा अन्तः उच्यते । ‘बहिरन्तश्च’ इत्युक्ते मध्ये अभावे प्राप्ते, इदमुच्यते — अचरं चरमेव च, यत् चराचरं देहाभासमपि तदेव ज्ञेयं यथा रज्जुसर्पाभासः । यदि अचरं चरमेव च स्यात् व्यवहारविषयं सर्वं ज्ञेयम्, किमर्थम् ‘इदम्’ इति सर्वैः न विज्ञेयम् इति? उच्यते — सत्यं सर्वाभासं तत्; तथापि व्योमवत् सूक्ष्मम् । अतः सूक्ष्मत्वात् स्वेन रूपेण तत् ज्ञेयमपि अविज्ञेयम् अविदुषाम् । विदुषां तु, ‘आत्मैवेदं सर्वम्’ (छा. उ. ७-२५-२) ‘ब्रह्मैवेदं सर्वम्’ (?) इत्यादिप्रमाणतः नित्यं विज्ञातम् । अविज्ञाततया दूरस्थं वर्षसहस्रकोट्यापि अविदुषाम् अप्राप्यत्वात् । अन्तिके च तत्, आत्मत्वात् विदुषाम् ॥

In advaita, the sarvayApakatvam of Nirguna Brahman is of the kind of ‘the rope pervading the whole of the snake’. This is the very example Shanakara gives in the above bhashyam for the understanding of Nirguna, Jneya, Brahman pervading everything in creation. In other words, the entire creation is pervaded by NB since it is superimposed in NB. The deva Vishnu is also such a superimposition on NB and hence even though the deva Vishnu pervades the entire creation, NB pervades even the deva Vishnu. For that matter, all jivas in advaita are Brahman and pervade the entire creation. That way alone it is possible for the Advaitin to realize the anantam Brahman as his own self. Thus, the blogger’s misconception regarding NB’s all-pervading nature is above shown and the correct position presented.

The blogger, after failing on the count of ‘anantam’ of Brahman, now attempts to push his theory on the count of Ananda:

// The supreme bliss in advaita is always referred in conjunction with the Shankha-Chakra dhArI viShNu because of his shuddha-sattva nature which made Him the object of worship of ancient advaitin mumukShus. Recall Sridhara Swami’s verse in the bhAgavatam commentary://

  1.  First of all, the Sridhari commentary is not a part of Advaitic study anywhere.
  2. Nowhere is the supreme bliss in Advaita is referred in conjunction with the saguna Vishnu.
  3. Secondly, the svarUpa Ananda of Advaitic AtmA is not dependent on any external aids like the conch, etc. of Vishnu. It will still be vishayAnanda, a product of avidyA in advaita. Hence, the blogger’s ‘..always referred in conjunction…’ is his own wishful thinking, never in the bhashya. The true expression/source of Advaita ananda is stated by Shankara in the Taittiriya bhashya thus: [तैत्तिरीयोपनिषद्भाष्यम्। ब्रह्मानन्दवल्ली । सप्तमोऽनुवाकः । मन्त्रः १ – भाष्यम्] बाह्यानन्दसाधनरहिता अपि अनीहा निरेषणा ब्राह्मणा बाह्यरसलाभादिव सानन्दा दृश्यन्ते विद्वांसः ; नूनं ब्रह्मैव रसस्तेषाम् । [Even though not endowed with any external means, completely desireless, the brAhmaNas, the knowers, are seen to be blissful as though they have contacted some external source of bliss. Certainly Brahman Itself is their bliss.] This idea of the Atman itself being the source of bliss is even more elaborated in the BG 2 and 6th chapters – ‘AtmatRptashca…AtmanyevAtmanA tuShTaH..etc’ nowhere are the saguna Brahman descriptions found in the bhashya. Thus, Shankara contradicts the idea ‘the supreme bliss is due to conjunction…’ If it comes from any conjunction it will be within the Anandamaya kosha, a vikara of Ananda but not Ananda Itself.

The pseudo vaishnava goes on to say:

// If double meaning was not intended, jnAnottama would never quote the viShNu purAna which says the Ganga flows from the left toe-nail of vishNu. Incidentally, this quashes the stupid claim that nArAyaNa to be known by veda, purAna and Agama as per anandagiri is nirguNa brahman and not saguNa.//

Extremely illogical connection between the two statements above. First, I have never challenged the idea that the Ganga emerged from the Lord’s feet. [It is another matter that this is purely an arthavAda, a stuti, which is evident from Shankara’s commentary to the mundakopanishad

मुण्डकोपनिषद्भाष्यम् । द्वितीयं मुण्डकम् । प्रथमः खण्डः । मन्त्रः ९ - भाष्यम्

अतः पुरुषात् समुद्राः सर्वे क्षाराद्याः । गिरयश्च हिमवदादयः अस्मादेव पुरुषात् सर्वे । स्यन्दन्ते स्रवन्ति गङ्गाद्याः सिन्धवः नद्यः सर्वरूपाः बहुरूपाः।अस्मादेव पुरुषात् सर्वाः ओषधयः व्रीहियवाद्याः।

The Upanishad only says that all creation, all rivers, emerge from the PuruSha, Brahman. There is no separate special status given for Ganga by Shankara. In order to inculcate devotion/shraddhA for the Ganga, one encounters stories in the scripture connecting the river to Vishnu’s feet and Shiva’s head. ]

The Chandrika’s eulogizing the Ganga quoting the purana in no way alters the Advaitic Jneya Brahman. In the Br.up. antaryAmi brahmana, where Shankara takes the name of Narayana, the teaching is the mahAvAkya: एष त आत्मा अन्तर्याम्यमृतः [This antaryAmi the Imperishable is your very Self – (another version of tat tvam asi)]. Surely, the jneya Brahman, Narayana here, is not any saguna Brahman in Advaita. The pseudo vaishnava is proving his pseudo knowledge of advaita again and again. And, to top it all, is taking the names of Anandagiri and so many other commentators.

The pseudo vaishnava quotes Shankara’s Gita bhashya intro to ‘prove’ his mistaken idea ‘…also refers to the saguNa-brahman, the deity of the Vaishnavas Lakshmipati only.’:

//Compare with Shankara’s introduction to the bhagavad-gItA:

“sa bhagavAn sR^iShTvedaM jagat… Adi kartA nArAyaNAkhyo viShNuH bhaumasya brAhmaNo brAhmaNatvasya ca abhirakShaNArthaM devakyAM vasudevAd aMshena kR^iShNaH kila sambabhUva”//

Shankara contradicts the above mistaken notion in that very document. The concluding words of the BG introduction:

// इमं द्विप्रकारं धर्मं निःश्रेयसप्रयोजनम्, परमार्थतत्त्वं च वासुदेवाख्यं परं ब्रह्माभिधेयभूतं विशेषतः अभिव्यञ्जयत् विशिष्टप्रयोजनसम्बन्धाभिधेयवद्गीताशास्त्रम् । यतः तदर्थविज्ञाने समस्तपुरुषार्थसिद्धिः, अतः तद्विवरणे यत्नः क्रियते मया ॥//

The highlighteded parts mean: ‘The paramArthatattvam called ‘VAsudeva’ which  bears the name ‘Parabrahman’, (is specifically revealed by the GitAshAstram) realizing which the total summum bonum of life is attained.’

From the above it is concluded that for Shakara:

  1. The name ‘Vasudeva’ and ‘Parabrahman’ mean only the ParamArtha tattvam (which the Chandrika explains as the abode of the saguna deva Vishnu).
  2. This tattvam is the one that is revealed by the GitAshAstram. For, a shAstram should reveal to us something that is not known to us.
  3. By realizing this tattvam alone the complete purushArtha is attained, that is, moksha is attained.
  4. That means: in Advaita, the knowledge of the NB as oneself is what results in moksha.
  5. So, the names VAsudeva and Parabrahman denote NB alone ultimately.

It is also to be noted that the above is supported, much to the chagarin of the pseudo vaishnava, his own declaration citing the Brahma sutra bhashyam of Shankara:

// “paraM eva hi brahma vishuddhopAdhisaMbandhaM kvacit kaishcid vikAradharmair manomayAdibhir upAsanAya upadishyamAnam aparam iti sthitiH”//

The above bhashya piece lays bare the distinction between para and apara Brahman. In the Gita bhashya introduction we find that the term Vasudeva to be stated along with the other name ‘Parabrahman’ which is the paramArtha tattvam.

The pseudo vaishnava makes some foolish claims about my statements about the term ‘mura’ thus:

// So, while murAri does indeed mean destroyer of ignorance, this particular interpretation is the inner meaning of krishNa’s act of killing the asurA murA. So, saguNa brahman is the destroyer of asura mura and by doing so, he shows that he is the destroyer of ignorance.//

What actually I said is this:

//The subodhini commentary on the Sankshepashariraka invocatory verse says that ‘mura’ represents ignorance and MurAri is the one who dispels that ignorance. So, the story of mura being put down by Vishnu is only an allegorical reference to ignorance being dispelled/destroyed by the realization of the Nirguna Chaitanya jnanam.//

The highlighted part is called ‘the akhanDAkAravRtti’ which has for its content the Pure Consciousness, the nirupAdhika chaitanyam and not any saguna brahma jnanam, the knowledge of the attributed Brahman. No doubt, in advaita, that vRtti that destroys ignorance is in the realm of the vyavaharika. But the content of that vRtti is NB, Pure Consciousness. Thus, in effect, it is the NB knowledge that dispels ignorance. The scriptural support is countless, such as:

ज्ञानेन तु तदज्ञानं येषां नाशितमात्मनः । तेषामादित्यवज्ज्ञानं प्रकाशयति तत्परम् ॥ १६ ॥ BG 5.16

[By Knowledge is indeed ignorance destroyed …]

ज्ञात्वा देवं सर्वपाशापहानिः क्षीणैः क्लेशैः जन्ममृत्युप्रहाणिः । – श्वेताश्वतरोपनिषत् १-११

[By realizing / knowing the Resplendent One, all misery comes to an end..]

The ‘knowledge’ in the above cases is not any saguna brahma jnanam but the knowledge of the upadhi-free Brahman. So, by giving that clarification the pseudo vaishnava has done nothing but tasting his own ignorance.

Not even able to read and comprehend correctly what I write, the pseudo vaishnava responds to me:

// The best part of this post was desperately trying to translate “visnoH pAdanugam…” as nirguNa brahman and denying the clear reference to Ganga.//

It is only he that is desperately trying to translate those words as saguna Brahman. I have never denied the clear reference to Ganga. To say what the opponent never said or meant is another trick up the sleeve of the pseudo vaishnava which, unfortunately for him, will never work.

The gimmicks the pseudo vaishnava plays have boomeranged on himself. He brags that he has the ‘true’ advaitic knowledge:

// // It is clear Subbu/Adbhutam the Veerashaiva has no knowledge of his own tradition. //

Clarification… By the word “tradition”, I mean the original Vaishnava-advaitic tradition of Shankara and his ancient followers, clearly evident in their authentic works. Not the popular shaivAdvaitic / shAktAdvaitic one that Subbu claims to have been favored by Shankara.//

Not a single sentence of the Shankara bhashya supports the weird claims of the pseudo vaishnava who is doubling up as a pseudo advaita scholar. The ‘support’ he claimed as coming from Shankara bhashya to his ‘original Vaishnava-advaitic tradition of Shankara and his ancient followers’ theory is completely demolished not by anyone else, but ironically, by the Shankara bhashyams themselves. Better they stop their desperate furthering of the dubious cause/claims and be true followers of their Acharyas without dabbling in other’s territory and have to eat their own words.

Another instance of their mistaking what I said:

// These two lines are enough to destroy subbu’s theory that “viShNu” in advaita does not refer to the saguNa-deity possessing four arms etc. but applies strictly only to the nirguNa-caitanyam.//

I have never said or meant anything to that effect. What I have emphasized is ‘the instances where the names ‘Vishnu, narayana, Vasudeva’ are used by Shankara in the upanishad bhashya do not mean the saguna deity at all but in all those instances, only the NB.’ Not being able to comprehend what I am saying, the pseudo vaishnava proves he is a poor grasper of even the original bhashyas. A duller head cannot be seen anywhere!

And he brings death to his own ‘Vishnu’:

// That lord of vaikunTha is indeed called viShNu because it is all-pervading and vAsudeva because it is in everything and everything resides in him. It is only that he is not shiva.//

If Vishnu is not Shiva, then Vishnu loses the epithet ‘ananta’ since there will be ‘vastu pariccheda’, limitation due to object, in Vishnu. A table and a chair being different from each other, limit themselves. If Vishnu is not Shiva, then Vishnu is paricchinna. This defect is unsurmountable in non-advaitic schools. Brahman is sarva-ananyam as Shankara says in the Taittiriya bhashya for the word ananta there.

तैत्तिरीयोपनिषद्भाष्यम् । ब्रह्मानन्दवल्ली । प्रथमोऽनुवाकः । मन्त्रः १ – भाष्यम्

कथं पुनर्वस्तुत आनन्त्यम्? सर्वानन्यत्वात् । भिन्नं हि वस्तु वस्त्वन्तरस्य अन्तो भवति, वस्त्वन्तरबुद्धिर्हि प्रसक्ताद्वस्त्वन्तरान्निवर्तते । यतो यस्य बुद्धेर्निवृत्तिः, स तस्यान्तः । तद्यथा गोत्वबुद्धिरश्वत्वान्निवर्तत इत्यश्वत्वान्तं गोत्वमित्यन्तवदेव भवति । स चान्तो भिन्नेषु वस्तुषु दृष्टः । नैवं ब्रह्मणो भेदः । अतो वस्तुतोऽप्यानन्त्यम् । कथं पुनः सर्वानन्त्यत्वं ब्रह्मण इति, उच्यते – सर्ववस्तुकारणत्वात् । सर्वेषां हि वस्तूनां कालाकाशादीनां कारणं ब्रह्म ।

Shankara says in the above bhashya: Brahman is non-different from everything. ‘Object A brings about the limitation of object B’. Such a limitation is seen in different objects. Never is Brahman different from anything. Thus, even object-wise, Brahman is infinite.

The vaishnavite claim of Vishnu not being Shiva makes their Vishnu a finite entity just like a jar that is not a cloth. In Advaita, ultimate difference is an impossibility. Only insentient objects can appear to be different but never the Consciousness, Brahman. In all non-advaitic systems their Supreme is inevitably finite, insentient. Vishnu might be where Shiva is and Shiva might be ‘within’ Vishnu.  But if Vishnu is not Shiva, then Vishnu is limited by Shiva.  And what is finite is perishable.

Posted by: adbhutam | September 14, 2014


On this blog, in the following URL,

are made some observations to which some responses are given in an article, downloadable here.

Posted by: adbhutam | September 10, 2014


In the following URL is uploaded a file that contains a few responses to some observations made by a Dvaitin on Shankara’s Bhagavadgita BhAShya 9.32.  A couple of other points made by the author too is responded to.


Posted by: adbhutam | September 4, 2014


Part 9 of the Article series on the Kena and the Mundaka Upanishads can be read in the following URLs:


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