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Are Shiva Temples unvedic?
In the following blog, the bigots calling themselves ‘vaiṣṇavas’, really bringing disgrace to that community, have claimed:
//The chanting of Rudram in Shiva temples is irrelevant as these temples and such practices are based on agamas which are unvedic.//
Now, if the Shiva Temples are unvedic owing to the reason that they and the practices there are based on agamas that are unvedic, one will have to question ‘what about the Viṣṇu temples?
What are the ‘āgama-s’ they are following? Are they ‘Vedic’?
Here is the reply:
The blogger himself has admitted:
//As an example, some temples follow pAncarAtra Agama and others follow vaikhAnasa.//
We have Shankaracharya on record who has declared in the Brahma sutra bhāṣya 2.2.45 that the ‘pāñcarātra’ āgama is a product of denigration of the Veda by Śāṇḍilya:
वेदविप्रतिषेधश्च भवति — चतुर्षु वेदेषु परं श्रेयोऽलब्ध्वा शाण्डिल्य इदं शास्त्रमधिगतवानित्यादिवेदनिन्दादर्शनात् । तस्मात् असङ्गतैषा कल्पनेति सिद्धम् ॥ ४५ ॥
Translation by Swami Gambhirananda:
[Moreover, this scripture (of the pāñcarātras) contradicts the Vedas, since it is seen to cast a slur on the Vedas by declaring, ‘Not finding the highest good in the four Vedas, Śāṇḍilya studied this scripture.’ Therefore it is concluded that this assumption (kalpanā = doctrine) is illogical.]
The bloggers cannot dismiss the above declaration of Shankara because they have piggy-backed on Shankara for promoting their brand of ‘vaiṣṇavism’ as Vedic in all their blogs. They have depended on the greatest support from Shankara, the foremost of the Vedantins, for their propaganda of their brand of vaiṣṇavism. They have said that many times, and this is one sample:
// Shankara was a vaishnava, no two ways about it.//
Thus, here is Shankara, a ‘confirmed’ ‘vaiṣṇava’, according to their own certification, declaring the pāñcarātra doctrine as unvedic. Thus, by their own making, they find themselves today in this embarrassing situation where their own ‘vaiṣṇava’ Vedāntin ‘withdrawing’ his support for these bloggers. Their enthusiasm in Śiva nindā and portraying Śiva as someone subject to karma vfāsanās (at the same time making a show of ‘accepting’ Śiva as the ‘bhāgavatottama’) and holding the ‘Śiva temples to be based on unvedic āgama’ has now boomeranged on them.
Not only Shankaracharya but even Madhusudana Saraswati, another ‘vaiṣṇava’ advaitin in the eyes of the bloggers, has not spared the ‘pāñcarātra’. In the Daśaślokī, a work by Shankara, there is a statement that the pāñcarātra is not the true tattva. Madhusudana has written a commentary to this work, acknowledging its authorship as Shankara’s. Thus, on these counts, the viṣṇu temples are based on unvedic āgamas and all chanting of vedic mantras there are irrelevant and futile.
Om Tat Sat
Melpāttur Sri Nārāyaṇa bhaṭṭatiri
A ‘vaiṣṇava’ who matured into a Devi-bhakta
This is a work of Sri Nārāyaṇa Bhaṭṭathiri, the renowned author of the equally renowned ‘Srīmannārāyaṇīyam’. The author has many other works such as on Vyākaraṇam and Pūrva mīmāmsā to his credit. The ‘Srīpādasaptati’ is perhaps his last work, authored towards the end of his considerably long life. Scholars of the opinion that the Nārāyaṇīyam was penned by him when he was 27. Dr. Kunjunni Raja, in his essay on the Life and Works of Narayana Bhattatiri says that the ‘srīpādasaptatiḥ’ is his last work.
The work is famous in Kerala with Malayalam translation. The author pours out his devotional experiences in this work where he holds Devi, the Universal Mother, to be the Supreme being. Although his Krishna/Viṣṇu bhakti was well brought out in the Nārāyaṇīyam, the above work is testimony to his maturing from Viṣṇu bhakti to the Devi devotion. In fact, in the famous ‘Nārāyaṇīyam’ itself Narayana Bhattatiri explicitly acknowledges the ‘Prapanchasāra Tantra’ as a work of Shankaracharya. Here a selection from the ‘saptati’ (seventy verses) is given with a mere purport in English.
धावल्यं परिलाल्यते पुररिपोरङ्गेण तुङ्गश्रीया
किञ्च श्यामलिमापि कोमलतरे भात्येव गात्रे हरेः ।
तत्तादृक्पदवीं ममापि जनये तस्तोकसेवारसा-
दारुण्यं तव लीयते चरणयोः कारुण्यमूर्ते! शिवे! ॥ ६
- O Śivā (consort of Lord Śiva)!, the white/fair complexion of Śiva is from you and the dark complexion of Hari is also of you. Do thou make me equal to these Two by lending me the red that belongs to your Feet.
प्राहुः पद्मसमाश्रयं शतधृतिं त्वत्पादपद्माश्रया-दन्तस्त्वत्पदपद्मवीक्षणवशात् कृष्णोपि पद्मेक्षणः ।यत् पद्मार्च्चनमामन्ति सुधियो दारिद्र्यविद्रावणंमुक्तिक्षेत्रगते! भवानि! तदपि त्वत्पादपद्मार्च्चनं ॥ ८॥ 8. They say Brahmā attained the Lotus seat due to worshiping your Lotus feet. Hari became lotus-eyed due to meditating your Lotus feet in his mind. What is prescribed by the learned as driving out poverty, the worship with lotus flowers, O Bhavāni (the consort of Bhava, Śiva)!, the one in the firmament of Mokṣa, is verily worshiping your lotus feet.
पादं ते सरसीरुहद्रुहमिमं यत् सेवते पद्मभूर्-नूनं तत् स्वनिवासपङ्कजवरश्रीलङ्घनाशङ्कया ।गोविन्दोपि च वारिराशिदुहितुर्वासाब्जबाधाभियास्वस्यैवाग्रकरोद्गृहीतकमलत्राणाभिलाक्षेण वा ॥ ९॥ 9. Brahmā worships Your Lotus feet to protect his lotus-seat. Govinda (Hari) too worships you in fear of losing Lakshmi who is seated in his lotus-heart. Or it could be that Hari worships you fearing the constant threat to himself coming from the lotus he holds in his hand.
सा पादद्वितयाहतिर्जयति ते, यस्यां गिरीन्द्रात्मजे!प्राचीनेन्दुयुते नखेन्दुदशके मौलिस्थलीसङ्गते ।स्वस्यैकादशमूर्तितासमुचितानेकादशैवोडुपा-नाबिभ्राण इवाबभौ स भगवानेकोपि रुद्रः स्वयं ॥ १७॥ Though Rudra is one only, yet he came to become eleven too by virtue of the ten toe-nails which are akin to ten crescent moons. When Rudra prostrates at Her Feet, along with that crescent moon on his head, there are the other ten crescent-moon-like toe nails of Thine. Thereby Rudra gets the ability to bring forth the eleven Rudras.
किं वैरिञ्चकरोटिकोटिनिहतं किं वा फणिग्रामणी-निश्वासानिलखेदितं न्विदमिति प्रेमार्द्रसल्लापिना ।मानस्योपशमे करेण शनकैरामृद्नता शम्भुनाभूयश्चुम्बितमम्बुजद्युतिपदं ध्यायामि माये! तव ॥ १८॥ Shiva wonders how indeed the Devi’s feet that are so soft, are red like the lotus. He considers these options: Is it because of a mere part of Brahmā’s head touching the Feet which could not stand even that force? Or is it because of the poisonous breath emanating from Nāgarāja (when Shiva bows at Her feet)? Thus perplexed Shiva, out of supreme love caresses with his hand thy Feet. O Māyā! I meditate on such Feet of Thine.
पूर्वं जह्नुसुता सकृन्मुररिपोः श्रीपादसङ्क्षालना-पुण्यादीदृशवैभवा समभवत् गोविन्दवन्द्ये! शिवे! ।सेयं सम्प्रति शम्भुमौलिनिलया मानप्रसङ्गानतौनित्यं त्वच्चरणावसेचनभुवा पुण्येन कीदृग्भवेत् ॥ १९॥ The poet wonders what great puṇya the Holy River Gangā has attained: First, in the yore, Gangā emanated from Hari’s feet and thereby attained great sanctity, puṇya. Then she attained Śambhu’s Head. When Śambhu bows at Thy Feet, O Mother, Who is worshiped by Govinda! Gangā washes Thy Feet, as though. How much more puṇya (than what she gained by washing Hari’s feet) would Gangā have acquired by that act of washing Thy Feet!
द्वित्वेन स्थितयोस्त्वदीयपदयोर्द्वैतं निरस्य स्फुटंकैवल्यप्रतिपादने कुशलता जातेति कोयं क्रमः ।किं वा युक्तिभिरत्र, मुक्तिकरता व्यक्तैव ते पादयोर्- मुक्ता एव हि विस्फुरन्ति विमलास्तत्सङ्गिनोमी नखाः ॥ २६ The Feet of the Devi is a pair, that is two, dvitvam, dvaitam. How is one to attain the Vedāntic Mukti of Advaita by resorting to these ‘two’ Feet? The answer is: There is no need to look for any reasoning, yukti. For, Your Feet are naturally endowed with the ability to confer the Advaitic mukti since all those who have resorted to Your Feet are resplendent as ‘Muktas’. The Poet is resorting to a ‘śleṣa’ alankāra here: The word ‘muktāḥ’ (liberated ones) is also taken to mean pearls ‘muktāh’ that are Her toe nails. The toe nails resemble pearls and are ever present there. They are the Muktas (liberated ones) that are ever present there having resorted to Her Feet. So, no need to doubt whether the duality involved in the pair of feet will ever confer mukti, mokṣa.
माने शम्भुशिरःप्रहारचरितं नैव त्वदिच्छाकृतंजाने देवि! पदाब्जयोस्तु पुरजिन्मूर्ध्ना विरोधादिदम् ।एते पादनखांशुबद्धकलहाः शीतांशुमन्दाकिनी-भोगीन्द्राः किल शङ्करस्य शिरसा शङ्कां विना रक्षिताः ॥ २९॥ The poet says: O Mother, I very well know that your feet nudging away Shiva’s head is not at all intentional on your part. It has happened because of the ‘enmity’ your lotus-feet harbors towards Shiva. What is this? Lotus blossoms when the Sun rises and contracts when the moon rises. Shiva’s head bears the crescent moon and when he bowed to your feet, the lotuses (that are the feet) contracted thereby pushing away his head. And there are these great beneficiaries too: The white flush of light emanating from your toe nails overwhelm the white brightness of the cool crescent moon, the Mandākinī (Gangā) and the snakes on Shiva’s head. They, the moon, the Gangā and the snakes are saved only because they happen to be on Shiva’s head.
देवि! त्वच्चरणोच्चलन्नखघृणिश्रेणीषु लीनो नम-न्नाभाति स्थटिकाचलस्फुटतटीशायीव सायन्नटः ।हंसालीन इव स्वयं कमलभूः क्षीराब्धिशायीव चश्रीभर्ता मघवापि नाकसरिति स्नायन्निवालोक्यते ॥ ३०॥ O Divine Mother! Shiva, who engages in the evening dance, while prostrating at your feet, appears as though he is lying down in the valleys of the Himalayas. Why? The white bright light emanating from your toe nails are akin to the Himalayan whiteness. While Brahmā prostates before you, he appears as though becoming merged in the Hamsa (which is white). And Śrīpati, Viṣṇu, while prostrating at thy feet, looks as though he is asleep in the Ocean of Milk. And Indra, while prostrating at thy feet, looks as though he is bathing in the Gangā, the celestial river.
डोलाकेलिविधौ हिमाचलशिलादेशे समभ्याहतात्-पादाग्रात्तव यानि यावकरसप्रस्यन्दनान्यम्बिके! । ?तान्यभ्यागतसुम्भसङ्गरभवद्रक्ताम्बुविस्तारणा-बिन्दुक्षेपनिभानि नन्ददमरीवन्द्यानि वन्दामहे ॥ ३१॥ When you Mother, sport in the swing, the juice emanates from the edges of your feet when they strike at the peaks of the Himalayas. The juice drops are so red that they look like the blood from the battle with Sumbha (demon) splattered everywhere. Such feet that are bowed to by the regaling celestial women, we too prostrate.
डोलाकेलिषु यं हिमाचलशिलालग्नं वनेवासिनोभक्त्या योगिवरास्त्रिपुण्ड्रकलिते लिम्पन्ति फालान्तरे ।यं सिद्धप्रमदाः समेत्य तिलकं कुर्वन्ति नत्वा मुहु-स्तं दाक्षायणि! ते कदा नु पदयोरीक्षेय लाक्षारसं ॥ ३२॥ Dākśāyaṇi (Daughter of Dakṣa)! When you sport on the swing, your feet touch, scrape, the stony floor of the Himāchala, mountain. The red dye that is applied to your feet gets smeared on the floor. The ascetics living in the forest, out of devotion, apply it on their forehead, in between the tripuṇḍra. And their wives too collect that red dye that has fallen from your feet and apply it as tilakam, decoration, on their foreheads after prostrating at thy feet. When shall I behold such exalted feet of thine? 
देवि! त्वं मुरवैरिणः प्रणमने यत्किञ्चिदाकुञ्चयश्रीपादाम्बूजमन्यथास्य शिरसि त्वत्पादलाक्षाञ्चिते ।श्रीभूम्योरितरप्रणामकृतमित्यन्योन्यमाशङ्कयारोषव्याकुलयोश्चिरं स भगवान् जायेत पर्याकुलः ॥ ३३॥ O Devi! When Murāri (Viṣṇu) prostrates at thy feet, please draw thy auspicious lotus feet a little inside. Otherwise the red dye of thy feet will leave a mark on Murāri’s forehead and when he returns home his consorts Śrīdevi and Bhūdevi will doubt mutually that you have prostrated at their feet. That is, Śrīdevi will doubt whether Viṣṇu has fallen at the feet of Bhūdevi and vice versa. And thereby they will be angry and by that Murāri will be confused. 
प्रागुद्वाहविधौ हिमाचलसदस्यश्माधिरोपाय य-न्न स्प्रक्ष्यामि वियद्धुनीमिति पुनः सत्यं विधातुं च यत् ।दैत्योत्पेषणसाहसे विरचिते संवाहनार्त्थं च यत्- तत् पादग्रहणत्रयं विजयते शर्वेण शर्वाणि! ते ॥ ३४ O Śarvāṇi (Pārvati)! Glory to the thrice-touching of thy feet by Śarva (Śiva). The first time was in the past, during thy wedding with Śiva when in the assembly on the Himāchala, mounted thy feet on the stone (ammi kal, in Tamil) as part of the marriage ritual. And he touched your feet a second time vowing never to touch Gaṅgā. [This is because, Gaṅgā being his other wife, he is declaring his sole loyalty to Pārvati now, during the marriage.] The third time Śiva touched thy feet when he caressed them upon your crushing the demon (Mahiśa, for example) to relieve the strain caused to your feet by the killing act. Such is the glory thy feet bears.
किं कल्पद्रुमपञ्चकं प्रणमतो माकाङ्क्षितापादनेकिं पञ्चायुधबाणपञ्चकमिदं मारारिसंमोहने । सूक्ष्मं किञ्चन पञ्चभूतवपुषो विश्वस्य किं कारणं [Panchabhutas are from Devi’s nails?]त्वत्पादाङ्गुलिपञ्चकात्मकमिदं किं भाति शम्भोः प्रिये! ॥ ४१॥
The poet wonders if the five toes of Devi are:
- The five divine (celestial) trees: mandāra, pārijāta, santāna, kalpavṛkṣa and harichandanam – which make the one who seeks them free of wants.
- The five weapons employed to charm Shiva.
- The five sūkṣma bhūtas (the five subtle elements, ākāśa, vāyu, agni, jalam and pṛthvī) that are the fundamental cause for the manifest universe
विद्यामुक्तिरमावधूषु नितरां कामातुरा मानवा-स्तप्तास्त्वन्नखकान्तिचन्दनरसैरालिप्य गात्रं निजं ।त्वत्पादाब्जरुचिप्रवालनिचिते भूमीतले शेरते [Mumukṣus seek Her Feet]नित्यं देवि! भवत्कृपाप्रियसखीविश्वासतः केवलं ॥ ४६॥ Mumukṣus, who, fatigued by the heat of samsāra, seek Mokṣalakṣmī (liberation). For that they prostrate at your feet and smear themselves with the glow that is the chandana (sandal paste) available on your feet. They lie down on the ground that is blessed, cooled, by thy lotus like feet walking on it. They, forever, are endowed with the firm faith in their dear friend that is your mercy. They have nothing else than this to rely on in this world.
क्षिप्रं देवि!शिरस्पदेन महिषं पिष्ट्वा ततोऽध:पदंदित्सन्त्यां त्वयि कण्ठभञ्जनभिया कण्ठीरवे विद्रुते ।मेदिन्यामपि भीतिकम्पिततनौ प्रेमत्वराशालिनाशर्वेणैव निजाङ्कसीम्नि निहितं पादद्वयं ते जयेत् ॥ ४८॥ Having pounded Mahiṣāsura with your upper foot, you intend to bring your other foot on the floor. Fearing a fatal blow from that foot, your simha vāhana, has fled from the place. Mother earth has started shaking (earthquake), fearing the force of thy foot falling on her. At that moment, with love for your surging, Śarva takes your feet and keeps it on his lap. Glory to thy Feet!!
I have not given the purport of the rest of the verses in the selection from the seventy. One can study these and arrive at the purport, maybe with the help of a scholar.
It may be noted that some bigoted elements have tried to portray Narayana Bhattatiri as a ‘vaiṣṇava advaitin’ by relying on the author’s famous ‘Nārāyaṇīyam’:
// This has been stated by shrI nArAyaNa bhaTTa in nArAyaNIyam, 90.5 [Nym:1]:
śrīśaṅkaro’pi bhagavān sakaleṣu tāvat
tvāmeva mānayati yo na hi pakṣapātī /
tvanniṣṭhameva sa hi nāmasahasrakādi
vyākhyad bhavatstutiparaśca gatiṃ gato’nte //
Translation: Sri Sankara Bhagavadpada, who is reputedly free from bias, worshipped Thee particularly among all Sakala forms (those having attributes) of Thine. He wrote Commentatries only on Vishnu Sahasranama, Bhagavadgita and other works depicting Thee. In the end, he also attained salvation singing Thy praises.
In the commentary to the above nArAyaNIyam verse, desha maN^gala varya, another Keralite advaitin states that “Shankara wrote commentaries explaining Vishnu alone and not Shiva and others as the Supreme. He was not inclined to writing stotras glorifying Shiva.”. [Nym:1]
This establishes that the stotras glorifying Shiva, Shakti etc. (such as the two Laharis) are authored by some recent Shankaracharyas who are heads of mutts, and they have been attributed to Adi Shankara for the cause of Shaivite propaganda and anti-Vaishnavism.//
It is strange that the blogger has relied upon an author and commentator who came over 800 years after Shankaracharya to vouch for the authenticity of works of Shankara!! However, in that very Narayaniyam, the very next verse 90.6 says:
मूर्तित्रयातिगमुवाच च मन्त्रशास्त्र-
स्यादौ कलायसुषमं सकलेश्वरं त्वाम् ।
ध्यानं च निष्कलमसौ प्रणवे खलूक्त्वा
त्वामेव तत्र सकलं निजगाद नान्यम् ॥६॥
In his famous work of Mantra Shastra, known as Prapanchasaara, Shri Shankara has described Thee as transcending the Trinity – Brahmaa, Vishnu and Mahesha. He has described Thee as a beautiful blue lily and the Lord of all. When he describes the meditation on Nishkala, while dealing with Pranava, he also propounds Thy Sakala form, and of no other deity, Thee as the object of meditation.
When one studies the Prapanchasāra, one will find that several deities have been spoken of there as the Supreme. For example, there is a verse in that text which glorifies Ganapati as the Creator, sustainer and destroyer of the universe. Thus, while a ‘vaiṣṇava’ advaitin has cited the Prapanchasara, a work that admits of other deities as the Supreme, the blogger has tried to bask in the ‘feel good factor’ of a verse from the Narayaniyam. And that very ‘vaiṣṇava’ advaitin, at the end of his life, composes a work on the greatness of the Devi, the consort of Śiva!!
Thus, the blogger’s mischievous motive of taking or rather assuming the support of Advaitins to buttress his bigotry is exposed several times and this work of Narayana Bhattatiri on Devi, the Srīpādasaptatiḥ’ is another proof that Advaitins have never given themselves to bigotry. They are with the Padmapurana which, in its narration of the Greatness of the 12th canto of the Srimadbhāgavatam, says:
//He is admitted to be a great vaiṣṇava who does not differentiate between Durgā, Viṣṇu and Śiva and looks upon the three to be Brahman Itself. //
It is to be specially noted that Sri Appayya Dikśita in his famous work ‘Ratna traya parīkṣā’ has brought out the above theme of Veda Vyasa in the Padmapurāṇa that the three, Durgā, Viṣṇu and Śiva, are none other than Brahman.
The rest of the selection of verses of the ‘Srīpādasaptatiḥ’:
᳚पूर्वं देवि! पदाम्बुजेन महिषप्रध्वंसनाभ्यासतःपश्चात् कुत्सितसुम्भदैत्यविजयोप्येवं कृतः किं त्वया? ।नो चेत् भाति कथं कुसुम्भविजयी पादाब्जदेशोयऽऽमि-त्यालापे गिरिशस्य तद्विजयते मन्दस्मितं देवि! ते ॥ ४९॥
᳚देव्या पङ्कशयोद्य कोपि महिषच्छत्मा महान् कण्टकःपादेनाहतऽऽ इत्युदूढहसितं सख्या समावेदिते ।सद्यः कण्टकशालिना करतलेनासाद्य पादाम्बुजंगृह्णन्नार्तिविनोदनाय गिरिशो जीयाल् प्रियस्ते शिवे! ॥ ५२॥
त्वत्पादाङ्गुलिपल्लवैरागसुते देवि! स्वयं पञ्चभिःपञ्चत्वं गमितो महासुर इति स्वात्मानुरूपं कृतं ।एतैरेव नतो जनस्त्रिदशतां नीतो, महेशः पुनर्-लक्षत्वं गमितः प्रसूनधनुषो विस्मापनं तत् द्वयं ॥ ५३॥
ब्राह्मं माघवनं च वाहनमहो मन्दैर्गतैर्निन्दितंधावल्येन नखत्विषां विहसितो वाहोपि माहेश्वर: ।इत्थं वाहनवैरितां भजति ते पादस्ततोमन्महेकात्यायन्यमुना न्यघानि महिषः कार्त्तान्तवाहभ्रमाल् ॥ ५४॥
सीमन्तप्रकरे सुरेन्द्रसुदृशां सिन्दूररेखात्मनामाणीक्यद्युतिसञ्ज्ञयैव मकुटीकोटीषु दैत्यद्रुहां ।
शम्भोर्म्मूर्द्ध्नि जटाघटारुणरुचिव्याजेन पादप्रभै-वैका ते परिणाममेति करुणा मूर्ते! गिरीन्द्रात्मजे! ॥ ५५॥
नाथे! तावकवाहसिंहचकितास्त्वत् पादमूले नतानूनं बभ्रमुरभ्रमुप्रियमुखा दिक्कुम्भिवीराश्चिरं ।नोचेदेष कथं तदुन्नतशिरस्सिन्दूरसन्दोहजोरागस्ते चरणाम्बुजे परिणमन्नद्यापि विद्योतते ॥ ५७॥
त्वत् पादोयमजाश्रितश्च रुचिरस्पर्शान्वितो योगिना-मन्तःस्थाकृतिरूष्मभाक् च महिषप्रध्वंसनप्रक्रमे ।एवं खल्वखिलाक्षरात्मकममुं शैलेन्द्रकन्ये! कथंभाषन्ते नतवर्ग्गबन्धुमपवर्ग्गालम्बनं वा जनाः? ॥ ५८॥
᳚त्वत्भक्ताघमबुद्धिपूर्वलिखितं स्याच्चेत् क्षमेथाः शिवे!कान्तस्ते मयि रोषवान्, कुरु पुनस्तस्यार्द्रभावं शनै: ।देवि त्वं महिषाभिहन्त्रि! चकितं त्रायस्व मे वाहनं᳚,कालस्येति जयन्ति ते पदनतौ लोलस्य सम्प्रार्थनाः ॥ ६३॥
“मत्पुत्र्या मम वा मुकुन्दगृहताभाग्यं न संक्षीयतां
माहं पायिषि कुंभजेन मुनिना कल्पान्तसूर्येण वा।
द्वेधा मे सुरवाहिनीदयितता साधु त्वया रक्ष्यतां”
त्वत्पादांबुजपातिनो जलपतेरित्थं जयन्त्यर्थनाः ॥६५॥
आविश्वप्राणमयी त्वमेव, मम तु प्राहुर्जगत्प्राणतांसर्वस्यापि सदा गतिर्हि भवती, मामेवमाहुर्जनाः ।लज्जापादकमीदृशं जननि! नः, किं कुर्म्महे, पाहि माऽऽ- [Prāṇa seeking Her blessing?]मित्येवं पवनस्य ते पदनतौ वाचो जयन्त्याकुलाः ॥ ६६॥
“शंखोल्लासिगलोज्ज्वले! समकरे! पद्मेन कुन्दस्मिते
पादाग्रादृतकच्छपे! मुखहापद्मे! मुकुन्दाश्रिते!।
इत्यस्मन्निधिगात्रि! नीलनयने! चर्चात्मिके पाहि मा”-
मित्थं पादनतिः शिवे! विजयते सख्युः कुबेरस्य ते ॥६७॥
“नाभीतोभवमादितस्तव बलात् पश्चादभीतोस्म्यहं
त्र्यक्षेण त्रिमुखीकृतोऽपि चतुरास्योऽहं तवैव स्तवैः।
त्वं विश्वात्मतयोपजन्य न पुनः स्रष्टारमाख्याहि मा” [Brahmā’s story/prayer]
मित्थं देवि! जयन्ति ते पदनतौ वाणीपतेर्वाणयः ॥६९॥
“आशीरस्ति मुखे विडंबयति मां भूयोऽपि चाशीःस्पृहा
भोगाः सन्ति सहस्रधा पुनरहं भोगान् कथं प्रार्थये । [Nāgarāja praying ]
शेषोहं स्पृहयाम्यशेषसुखमित्येतच्च हासास्तदं
नाथे चिन्तय सर्व” मित्यहिपतेस्त्वत्पादपातो जयेत् ॥७०॥
पार्वत्याः पदमत्रदृश्यमितिवा पादे भवत्वेन वा
साधुत्वात्तदुपास्तये हिततया पद्यान्यमूनि स्फूटं ।
सैषा मुक्तिपुरीगिरीन्द्रतनयाभक्तेन नारायणे-
नाबद्धा खलु सप्ततिर्दिशतु वः कल्याणहल्लोहलम् ॥७१॥
Om Tat Sat
THE ‘PARA BRAHMAN’ OF ADVAITA
In the following blog is a comment which says:
//Many articles in this website provide a lot of pramanas from vedantha and puranas. But they do not mention one of the most ancient ideas that the brahmanas have been implicitly following for ages and which demonstrate the vishNu tatvam. That is why I am citing atreya brahmana verse 1 and sandyAvandana mantra. They explicitly portray what the vedic tradition emphasizes – vishNu aka nArAyAnA is saguna parabrahmam.//
A response to the above:
While the person who comments there and the bloggers might have their own idea of what the term ‘saguna parabrahmam’ means, for Advaitins such a term is an oxymoron.
For Shankara the saguna Brahman is also kāryam, aparam [created, lower]: BSB 4.3.7 [kāryādhikaraṇam]
‘स एनान्ब्रह्म गमयति’ (छा. उ. ४-१५-५) इत्यत्र विचिकित्स्यते — किं कार्यमपरं ब्रह्म गमयति,आहोस्वित्परमेवाविकृतं मुख्यं ब्रह्मेति । कुतः संशयः ? ब्रह्मशब्दप्रयोगात्, गतिश्रुतेश्च । तत्र कार्यमेव सगुणमपरं ब्रह्मएनान्गमयत्यमानवः पुरुष इति बादरिराचार्यो मन्यते । कुतः ? अस्य गत्युपपत्तेः — अस्य हि कार्यब्रह्मणोगन्तव्यत्वमुपपद्यते, प्रदेशवत्त्वात् ; न तु परस्मिन्ब्रह्मणि गन्तृत्वं गन्तव्यत्वं गतिर्वा अवकल्पते,सर्वगतत्वात्प्रत्यगात्मत्वाच्च गन्तॄणाम् ॥ ७ ॥
Shankara distinguishes the saguna Brahman which is also a kāryam, created, and aparam, lower, from the mukhyam brahma which is the Nirguna Brahman that alone is not created and thus, the Supreme tattva of the Vedanta. If Nārāyaṇa is admitted as one of the deities that can be the saguna Brahman, then as per advaita, that Nārāyaṇa is essentially a created one. Anything saguna is a created one.
The commenting person does not perhaps realize this anomaly. If X is designated as ‘Para Brahman’, then it cannot be saguṇa. If it is saguṇa, then it is kāryam, created, and therefore, of a lower status than the Nirguna Brahman, which alone is Para Brahman. Since the bloggers also are ignorant of these terms and their meanings as per Advaita, they endorse such ignorance coming from their followers.
The above is only to bring to the notice of the followers of the Advaita bhāṣya the particular, rare, instance from the bhāṣyam where the three terms, saguṇam, kāryam and aparam, are used in one place, in sāmānādhikaraṇyam to denote that Brahmā, who is the lord and resident of Brahmaloka. It can also be noted that generally, perhaps exceptionally, Advaitins alone use the adjective ‘saguṇa’ for Brahman since they alone distinguish it from their Nirguna Brahman. For non-advaitins what advaitins consider saguna, created and lower brahman, is the supreme. They may object saying: ‘No, for us the Supreme Brahman, Vishnu, is not a created one or a lower one and is definitely different from the chaturmukha brahmā. ‘ However, for advaitins, if it is saguṇam then there is no way it cannot be kāryam and lower, being aupādhika.
In the above cited comment, he also says:
//Also vedanta has been indicated to be the crest jewel in the sarvadarsanasangra of Vidyaranya. //
Response to the above: What Sāyaṇa (Vidyāraṇya) has said for this mantra that Tamil smartas recite during their sandhya worship thrice a day:
ऋतँ सत्यं परं ब्रह्म पुरुषं कृष्णपिङ्गलम्। ऊर्ध्वरेतं विरूपाक्षं विश्वरूपाय वै नमो नमः ॥ This occurs in the Mahanarayana upanishat of the Taittiriya āraṇyaka 1.12. Sāyana says that the deity here is Umāmaheśvara. This adds to the point that ‘the sandhyāvandana mantras are not completely Viṣṇu-specific’ as the commenting person claims. This is in addition to the information given in the recent article: https://adbhutam.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/a-false-propaganda-vi%E1%B9%A3%E1%B9%87u-and-sandhyavandanam/
Also, Sāyaṇa does not give the impression, as the commentator of the blog claims, that the Aitareya brāhmaṇa first mantra is anything about the supremacy of Vishnu. It is about a ritual where offerings are made to various deities, including Viṣnu, like all other deities, in a certain order, which no way means any supremacy of Vishnu.
I am extremely happy to announce the launch of the first Android Application on Shree Shankaracharya. This application is developed as an attempt to propagate the life history, teachings, glory and achievements of Shree Shankaracharya.
As soon as the development of the application was completed, it was submitted before Jagadguru Shankaracharya Shree Bharathi Tirtha Mahasvamiji. He was extremely happy to see the application. He examined some of the contents of the application very carefully. He also gave valuable feedback which have been duly updated. At the end, he was very happy and blessed wholeheartedly. Jagadguru Vidhusekhara Bharathi Mahaswamiji too examined the contents of the application. He was also very happy to see the work and graced the work with his complete blessings.
I offer humble prostrations to Shree V. Subramaniam and to Shree S.S. Subrahmanya for providing complete support and guidance throughout the course of development of this application.
I request all the interested seekers to download, for free, this application using the link given below and contribute in fulfilling the motto of the application. Seekers are advised to first study “Know about Shree Shankara” section and then take up the Quiz part. Links are also provided for accessing various materials related to the works of Shree Shankara and Vedanta.
Kindly also forward this message and the link to your friends and relatives through all the available media including the ones like FB and Whats App.
Link to download the application:
Om Tat Sat
Pramod Bharadwaj //
‘Viṣnu’ and Sandhyāvandanam, etc.
Here is a ‘comment’ from a person to the following blog. Since the commenting person is evidently wrong in his assumptions, the correct position is stated herein between [ ].The original comment is shown in italics.
Also sandyavandana mantras provide another pramanam for claiming primacy for vishNu’s and nArAyana’s in vedic tradition.
[There is no proof for the above claim]
You can hear a lot of vishnu namas in this yajur veda nitya vidhi mantras.
[Ironically, the above video, demonstrating the Kannada (Andhra too) sandhyāvandanam, etc. contains the famous verses/mantras:
Śivāya viṣṇurūpāya śivarūpāya viṣānave
Śivasya hṛdayam viṣṇuḥ viṣṇoścha hṛdayam śivaḥ
Yathā śivamayo viṣṇuḥ evam viṣṇuymayam śivah
Yathāntaram na paśyāmi tathā mey svastirāyuśṣī
at timing 1.01.. of the over 3 hrs video.
The above verses are part of the daily three times sandhyā worship of Kannada and Andhra smārtas. The Tamil smartas do not recite these mantras. In any case, the claim of the commenting person that there is primacy for viṣṇu/nārāyaṇa in sandhya mantras, is belied by the above smārta practice, which clearly offsets the ‘primacy’ claimed and rather teaches the śiva-viṣṇu abheda, by emphasizing the concept by repetition. Unfortunately the bloggers published the comment, along with the video, evidently without checking it, only to weaken their cause and claims. They even went to the extent of claiming in a different reply of theirs that the above verses (actually these mantras are found in the Skandopaniṣat) are not found in the early Telugu Sandhyavandanam books which they posed to have ‘researched.’ Here are the pages which contain those verses in the Telugu Sandhya vandanam books printed over a hundred years ago. The following URL contains a file where images from the pages of three Telugu Sandhyavandanam books printed in 1910, 1913 and 1917, and also from Krishna Pandita’s Telugu Sandhyavandana bhashyam, from two sources, are included where the stated verses are found part of the sandhya worship, though with a few variations.
The URL for the file containing the five images from Telugu books is:
Here are links to the complete sandhyā practice of Telugu and Kannada smartas:
Both these have the stated verses. One can notice that there is hardly any difference in the sampradaya of the two smartas, Telugu and Kannada. As far as I have noticed both in the above URLs and in the Telugu books printed in the early 1900’s the sankalpa uttered is ‘sri parameśvara prītyartham.’
In fact the Telugu-Kannada (together called ‘Andhra sampradāya) smartas utter 24 names (Keśava, etc.) while the Tamils, only 12 during each āchamanam. In any case, the above ‘śivāya…’ mantras automatically make all the 24 names applicable to, and therefore of, Śiva. So, on this count too there is no truth in the claim of the commenting person ‘Also sandyavandana mantras provide another pramanam for claiming primacy for vishNu’s and nArAyana’s in vedic tradition.’]
Vedic tradition has settled on vishNu, nArAyAna, madhava, and govinda as worthy of maximum worship on a daily basis.
[The above claim stands falsified by what is stated in [ ] above based on facts.
Advaitam, vishishtAdvaitam, and dvaitam take the same perspective. Contrary opinion is not in line with vedic tradition.
[This claim is also wrong. Smartas, prior to the sandhyā worship, perform the bhasma dhāraṇam ritual by uttering five mantras from the Taittiriya Araṇyaka (Mahanarayanopaniṣad) which are ‘sadyo jātam..etc.’ All these are patently śiva mantras only and Sāyana bhāṣya too says so. So, the majority of vaidikas who are evidently smartas, cannot be said to have given any place for ‘maximum worship’ of Viṣṇu in their daily practices. They also engage in daily Śiva linga puja chanting Rudram-Chamakam and śiva aṣṭottara with bilva etc. Their important festivals/functions/celebrations are not without Rudra japam, abhiṣekam, etc. For example, during the 60th birthday, a Rudraikādaśī is mandatorily performed. Such practices are not there in non-smartas who are only a minority of vaidikas. ]
Rudram itself provides an ancient perspective on how rishis felt about the viswam and vishNu. This is a very ancient perspective. We have a more refined and divisive perspective even starting with latter vedic period. Yet common practice starting with sandyavandanam provides proof as to what rishis thought. We need to reflect on these symbolisms and hierarchize the devatas according to primary vedic tradition.
[The above conclusion is false and without any basis. There is no ‘ancient-more refined’ divide. To reiterate, the ‘śivāya viṣṇurūpāya..’ mantras are enough to neutralize any apparent ‘viṣṇu-predominance’ in the sandhya and daily practices of vaidikas. There is no substance in the desperate viṣṇu-para commentary for the Rudram anuvāka-s. One can easily see how artificial and convoluted they are.]
Above all, the smartas bear the names such as Shankara, Parameshvara, Somasundara, Chandrashekhara/mouli, Gowrīsha, Subrahmanya, etc. which account for the ‘maximum’ such names of vaidikas. Even if one were to point out several names of popular viṣṇu among vaidikas, on the rule, ‘nyāya’, established by the ‘śivāya viṣṇurūpāya..’ mantras, all such names will be equally that of Śiva and thereby proclaiming only Hari-Hara abheda. Smartas are never desperate to make any such claims as the above comment / blogger indulge in. For smartas there is no need to rake up such unwanted issues. Their philosophy is not dependent on such flimsy grounds. They are happy with the veda-purāṇa-Mahābhārata, śiṣṭācāra and Shankaracharya onwards all Advaita Acharyas based Hari-Hara abheda and go about their lives pursuing the Tattva jnanam that transcends such petty quarrels.
Om Tat Sat
Here are two audio clippings from a Gurupurnima talk of Pujya Swami Sri Paramarthananda on how an Advaitin viewsDvaita and Vishishtadvaita:
Download from here:
A view of the Advaita Vedanta in a capsule or compressed form
With a view to help one remember well and recall with ease the essential message of the Vedanta a digest is given below.
The two main categories are stated as ‘dṛk’, the seer/observer, and ‘dṛśya’, the seen/observed. Several, if not all, of those entities, terms, used to denote these two, that are found in the Upanishads, the Bhagavadgita and other Advaitic works are shown under these two categories, to enable a quick appreciation of the Vedantic doctrine.
- DṚK is the sentient entity, and DṚŚYA is the insentient entity. Each of the following twin-terms are to be related to the twin terms: dṛk – dṛśya and will be shown in the same hyphen format:
- Viṣayī – viṣaya , Asmat – yuṣmat, Prakāśa – tamas [adhyāsa bhāṣya]
- Turīya (chaturtha pāda) – pādatrayam (jāgrat, svapna and suṣupti) [Māṇḍukya up.]
- Kṣetrajña – kṣetra [BG 13th], Puruṣottama – kṣara and akṣara [BG 15th ch.]
- Parā prakṛti – aparā prakṛti [BG 7th]
[In the BG 7.5 bhāṣya, Shankara says: इतः अस्याः यथोक्तायाः तु अन्यां विशुद्धां प्रकृतिं मम आत्मभूतां विद्धि मे परां प्रकृष्टां जीवभूतां क्षेत्रज्ञलक्षणां प्राणधारणनिमित्तभूतां हे महाबाहो, यया प्रकृत्या इदं धार्यते जगत् अन्तः प्रविष्टया ॥
In the 13.2 bhāṣya too Shankara strikes a relationship between the 7th ch. and the 13th ch.: सप्तमे अध्याये सूचिते द्वे प्रकृती ईश्वरस्य — त्रिगुणात्मिका अष्टधा भिन्ना अपरा, संसारहेतुत्वात्; परा च अन्या जीवभूता क्षेत्रज्ञलक्षणा ईश्वरात्मिका…
Shankara has said that the aparā prakṛti of the 7th ch. that is none other than kṣetrajña, is Iśvarātmikā, that is none other than Brahman. Hence alone it is non-different from dṛk and therefore Turiya. In the 13.2 the identity between the kṣetrajña and Brahman is well established.
In the Gūḍārthadīpikā (commentary on the Bh.gita) for the BG 7.5 by Sri Madhusudana Saraswati, the famous Chāndogya Up. passage is cited:
अनेन जीवेनात्मना अनुप्रविश्य नामरूपे व्याकरवाणि [6.3.2 ] ’(Brahman) entered the body (ies) as the jīvātmā and manifested the names and forms of objects in creation.’ :
हे महाबाहो यया क्षेत्रज्ञलक्षणया जीवभूतयाऽन्तरनुप्रविष्टया प्रकृत्येदं जगदचेतनजातं भाव्यते स्वतो विशीर्य उत्तभ्यते अनेन जीवेनात्मनानुप्रविश्य नामरूपे व्याकरवाणि इति श्रुतेः।
That shows that the one who is in the form of the jīva is not any other than Brahman. He is the bhoktā and the entire aparā prakṛti is the bhojyam.
- Hence we get another pair: bhoktā – bhojyam.
In the work ‘Vāsudevamananam’ of Sri Vāsudeva Yati, in the fifth chapter, it is stated:
तथा – ’एतमेव सीमानं विदार्यैतय् द्वारा प्रापद्यत’, ’तत्सृष्ट्वा तदेवानु प्राविशत्’, अनेन जीवेनात्मना अनुप्रविश्य नामरूपे व्याकरवाणि’ – इत्याद्याः श्रुतयः ब्रह्मण एव जीवरूपेण प्रवेशं ब्रुवन्त्यः, बहिःस्थितस्य गृहं प्रविष्टस्य देवदत्तस्येव, वीवब्रह्मणोरभेदं महावाक्यार्थं सम्भावयन्ति ।
[The Aitareya Upaniṣad 1.3.12 says that Brahman alone entered the body of the jīva through the aperture on the crown. The Taittiriya Up. says: Brahman created the universe and entered the created bodies. The Chandogya Upanishad says that Brahman alone entered the bodies as the jīva and manifested the name-form universe. The passages teach that Brahman alone, as jīva, has entered the bodies and enlivens it. It is similar to a person standing outside, subsequently enters a house. The one who was outside alone is now inside; there are no two entities. These passages make the Mahāvākyas’ message of identity of the jīva and Brahman possible.]
That the body, and by extension, the entire kṣetram, is dṛśya, the experienced, observed, (see verses 13.5 and 6 where the entire gamut of the observed world, including the experiences, is grouped as ‘kṣetram’) is stated by Anandagiri in the 13.1 gloss:
तत्र द्रष्टृत्वेन संघातदृश्यादन्यमात्मानं निर्दिशति — इदमिति। उक्तं प्रत्यक्षदृश्यविशिष्टं किंचिदिति शेषः।
He says that the body, a conglomerate of the gross and the subtle organs, is the dṛśya, seen, and the Ātmā is the drṣṭā, seer.
Madhusudana Saraswati, in the commentary to the BG 13.6. where the entire ‘kṣetram’ is enumerated in a capsule form, says:
एतत्परिदृश्यमानं सर्वं महाभूतादिधृत्यन्तं जडं क्षेत्रज्ञेन साक्षिणावभास्यमानत्वात्तदनात्मकं क्षेत्रं भास्यमचेतनं समासेनोदाहृतमुक्तम्।
He says, the entire seen objective world, comprising of the tattvas from mahābhūta to dhṛti, is inert, kṣetram, revealed by the sākśī and therefore anātmā. This encompasses the whole experienced universe as one unit of which the one conscious entity is the observer.
From this we understand that the parā prakṛti, also called jīva and kṣetrajña, is actually the witness to the entire aparā prakṛti, kṣetra and sākṣya, dṛśya.
This takes us to the other pair: dṛk and dṛśya. Madusudana gives another important input to this analysis in the commentary to the BG 13.1:
अत्र चाभिधीयत इति कर्मणिप्रयोगेण क्षेत्रस्य जडत्वात्कर्मत्वं क्षेत्रज्ञशब्दस्य द्वितीयां विनैवेतिशब्दमाहरन् स्वप्रकाशत्वात्कर्मत्वाभावमभिप्रैति।
The word ‘kṣetrajña’ is distinct from the ‘kṣetra’. The distinction is in the fact that the former is sentient, self-luminous, and the latter is inert and requires to be illumined by an entity other than itself. Thus, the knower-consciousness is never in the category of an object, karmatva abhāvaḥ. [‘karma’ in this sense is the objective case, dvitīyā vibhakti.]
- The BG 15th chapter has these two groups: Puruṣottama and kṣara –akṣara combined. The Puruṣottama is none other than the supreme, transcendental Truth, the Turiya. The kṣara is the entire manifest world that is subject to birth/creation and death/dissolution. The akṣara, the unmanifest, is the seed of this manifest world. This is akin to the pāda-traya consisting of the waking, dream and sleep states of the Mandukya Upanishad.
Thus, we have several pairs to denote the dṛk – dṛṣya [observer – observed] concept. One can add to the above list, which is not exhaustive, other pairs too that may be available across the scriptures.
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