Posted by: adbhutam | July 21, 2018

IN ADVAITA ALONE THE JIVA IS NOT INERT (JADA)

In Advaita alone the jiva is not jaDa

In the Kenopanishad there is the opening question:  Impelled by what does the mind, prana, sense organs function in their respective fields.?

केनेषितं पतति प्रेषितं मनः केन प्राणः प्रथमः प्रैति युक्तः ।
केनेषितां वाचमिमां वदन्ति चक्षुःश्रोत्रं क उ देवो युनक्ति ॥ १ ॥
The disciple asked: Om. By whose will directed does the mind proceed to its object? At whose command does the prana, the foremost, do its duty? At whose will do men utter speech? Who is the god that directs the eyes and ears?
And in reply it is said:
श्रोत्रस्य श्रोत्रं मनसो मनो यद्वाचो ह वाचं स उ प्राणस्य प्राणः ।
चक्षुषश्चक्षुरतिमुच्य धीराः प्रेत्यास्माल्लोकादमृता भवन्ति ॥ २ ॥
 The teacher replied: It is the Ear of the ear, the Mind of the mind, the Speech of speech, the Life of life and the Eye of the eye. Having detached the Self from the sense-organs and renounced the world, the Wise attain to Immortality.
And further:
यद्वाचानभ्युदितं येन वागभ्युद्यते ।
तदेव ब्रह्म त्वं विद्धि नेदं यदिदमुपासते ॥ ५ ॥

5     That which cannot be expressed by speech, but by which speech is expressed-That alone know as Brahman and not that which people here worship.
For the above mantra, Shankara concludes the bhashyam thus:
नेदं ब्रह्म यदिदम् इत्युपाधिभेदविशिष्टमनात्मेश्वरादि उपासते ध्यायन्ति । तदेव ब्रह्म त्वं विद्धि इत्युक्तेऽपि नेदं ब्रह्म इत्यनात्मनोऽब्रह्मत्वं पुनरुच्यते नियमार्थम् अन्यब्रह्मबुद्धिपरिसङ्ख्यानार्थं वा ॥  That is not Brahman which people meditate upon as ‘this’, which is characterized by a differentiating upadhi, which is anatma, not-self, that is Ishvara, etc. You have to know that alone as Brahman which is not of the above description.  In other words, if something is known as ‘this’, that is anatma, abrahma. The Upanishad wants to preclude the aspirant from realizing something that is not his own self.
From the above we see that the Upanisahad is teaching that the power that impels the mind, prana, sense organs, etc. is Consciousness and the ones that are impelled are inert entities.  The teaching culminates in emphasizing that it is this impelling consiciousness that one should realize oneself to be, as Brahman, and not that which is a-brahman and an-atman.
A look at the Antaryami Brahmanam of Br.Up. 3.7.3 too gives us the same conclusion:
यः पृथिव्यां तिष्ठन्पृथिव्या अन्तरो यं पृथिवी न वेद यस्य पृथिवी शरीरं यः पृथिवीमन्तरो यमयत्येष त आत्मान्तर्याम्यमृतः ॥ ३ ॥   mantra.  Bhashya:
देवताकार्यकरणस्य ईश्वरसाक्षिमात्रसान्निध्येन हि नियमेन प्रवृत्तिनिवृत्ती स्याताम् ; य ईदृगीश्वरो नारायणाख्यः, पृथिवीं पृथिवीदेवताम् , यमयति नियमयति स्वव्यापारे, अन्तरः अभ्यन्तरस्तिष्ठन् , एष त आत्मा, ते तव, मम च सर्वभूतानां च इत्युपलक्षणार्थमेतत् , अन्तर्यामी यस्त्वया पृष्टः, अमृतः सर्वसंसारधर्मवर्जित इत्येतत् ॥
The ‘antaryami’ is the consciousness that impels the ‘body-mind’ complex of the devataa.  This impelling consciousness is taught as the Atma of the aspirant. From the Kenopanishad we understand that one should not realize oneself as the ‘Narayana’ who is different from oneself but only that which is the Atman.  [Therefore, this ‘Narayana’ is impelling merely by the presence as witness and therefore is not any deity.]
Thus, the impelling Consciousness is the Atman, the true nature of the jiva and that which is impelled is only the anatman consisting of the body, mind, sense organs. Even when the Br.up. mantra says यः पृथिवीमन्तरो यमयति, it is only the body-mind-senses of Prthvi devataa that is being impelled. The impelling consciousness is the jiva divested of the body-mind-senses complex. Thus the jiva is pure chaitanyam without any tinge of anatma.
On a perusal of the commentary of Madhva for the Kenopanishad mantra we find that the impeller is the ‘niyamaka’ of the jiva, devatas, etc.
Madhva parsed the word upaasate into three words 🙂   upa aasa te:  (someone who is sitting close to you) [see the second line in the bhashya].
नेदं जीवस्वरूपं यद् ब्रह्म  विष्ण्वाख्यमव्ययम् |
 किन्तु यत् ते समीपस्थमास ते विनियामकम् |   [upa has the meaning of sameepe.  Madhva takes the one word upaasate, a verb, as three different words: upa aasa te]
[That which is the immutable named Vishnu is not the svarupa of the jiva. On the other hand that which is your (jiva’s) niyamaka, impeller, regulator, controller, who sits near you.]
तदेव ब्रह्म त्वं विद्धि विष्ण्वाख्यं परमव्ययम् |
नियामकं तद्देवानां मर्त्यानां किमुतोत्तमम् ||
[That alone you realize as Brahman which is called Vishnu, the immutable supreme.  That is the controller of the devas and others and there is none other higher than that.]
We see that Madhva specifies that the impeller is the controller of the jiva.  We get the impression that the jiva is impelled, like the inert mind, prana, sense organs, etc. That means the jiva in such a construct is not something that is completely divested of the not-self, anatma, that is called kshetram in the BG 13th chapter:
महाभूतान्यहङ्कारो बुद्धिरव्यक्तमेव च।
इन्द्रियाणि दशैकं च पञ्च चेन्द्रियगोचराः।।13.6।।
The great elements, egoism, intellect and the Unmanifest itself; the ten organs and the one, and the five objects of the senses;

इच्छा द्वेषः सुखं दुःखं सङ्घातश्चेतनाधृतिः।
एतत्क्षेत्रं समासेन सविकारमुदाहृतम्।।13.7।।

Desire, repulsion, happiness, sorrow, the aggregate (of body and organs), sentience, fortitude- this field, together with its modifications, has been spoken of briefly.
Nowhere in the Upanishads and the Bhagavadgita we have a situation where the jiva, having discriminated the inert kshetra, not-self, from the kshetrajna, the sentient self, is still something who is not just pure consciousness, prakriti sambandha rahita atma.  If such a jiva is not just pure consciousness, then it is evident that the kshetra amsha has not been completely separated from the jiva. This is because, any possibility of knowing an entity, objects, enjoying, experiencing, etc. will have to be only with a set of mind, sense and motor organs. If such a mind-body-organs complex is going to be an inseparable part of the jiva even in liberation, then such a jiva cannot be free from jaDatva.  The Upanishads do not teach a bhoga-vishishta mukti. Bhoga can happen only within the realm of the fourteen lokas which are bhautika. Abhautika loka with bhoga is not the teaching of the Upanishads.
 
In a nutshell, niyamana by chaitanya is required only for jaDa, the niyamya.  If jiva is said to be really niyamya, then the message is: the jiva is jaDa. Shankara alone has emphatically said that the niyaamaka chaitanya does the niyamana of only the jaDa manas, indriyas, etc. and the jaDa rahita jiva is nothing but the niyaamaka chaitanya as per the Kenopanishad and the antaryami brahmana of the Brihadaranyaka. If anyone says the jiva is different from the niyamaka then it is inevitable that the jiva is jaDa. 
Om Tat Sat
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Regarding the Pancharatra: Shankara one with Purvamimamsa

It is well known that in the Brahma Sutra and the Bhashya, along with many non-Vedantic schools, the Pancharatra (Bhagavata) school also has been refuted. We find that a similar refutation of all those schools along with the Pancharatra is refuted in the Purvamimamsa too.  Here is the Tantra Vartika of Kumarila Bhatta along with his own prose part:

It is stated under the section:

बाह्यग्रन्थानामप्रामाण्यनिरूपणम् ।

[the determining of the status of non-vedic texts as not being pramana]

http://sarit.indology.info/exist/apps/sarit-data/data/kumarila-tantravarttika.xml?root=1.4.4.2.8.16&odd=sarit.odd&view=div

वार्तामात्रेण तद्यावत्तावन्नैव ग्रहीष्यते ।
यदा तु श्रवणं प्राप्तं तदाऽस्मान्न विशिष्यते ॥
अतश्चैवं श्रुतिस्मृत्योर्विशेषोऽनेन दर्श्यते ।
नात्यन्तमेव बाध्यत्वं न चाप्यत्यन्ततुल्यता ॥ 
 
यद्वा यान्येतानि त्रयीविद्भिर्न परिगृहीतानि किंचित्तन्मिश्रधर्मकञ्चुकच्छायापतितानि लोकोपसंग्रहलाभपूजाख्यातिप्रयोजनपराणि त्रयीविपरीतासंबद्धदृष्टशोभादिप्रत्यक्षानुमानोपमानार्थापत्तिप्राययुक्तिमूलोपनिबद्धानि सांख्ययोगपाञ्चरात्रपाशुपतशाक्यग्रन्थपरिगृहीतधर्माधर्मनिबन्धनानि विषचिकित्सावशीकरणोच्चाटनोन्मादनादिसमर्थकतिपयमन्त्रौषधिकादाचित्कसिद्धिनिदर्शनबलेनाहिंसासत्यवचनदमदानदयादिश्रुतिस्मृतिसंवादिस्तोकार्थगन्धवासितजीविकाप्रायार्थान्तरोपदेशीनि यानि च बाह्यतराणि म्लेच्छाचारमिश्रकभोजनाचरणनिबन्धनानि तेषामेवैतच्छ्रुतिविरोधहेतुदर्शनाभ्यामनपेक्षणीयत्वं प्रतिपाद्यते । न चैतत्क्वचिदधिकरणान्तरे निरूपितं न चावक्तव्यमेव गाव्यादिशब्दवाचकत्वबुद्धिवदतिप्रसिद्धत्वात् । 
 
It is significant that those schools, Sankhya, yoga, pancharatra, pashupata, bauddha.. that Veda Vyasa has listed as un-vedantic in the Brahma sutra have been held by the Purva Mimamsa shaastra too as not admissible for the purpose of determining what is ‘dharma.’
 
The feature that Shankara adopted, ‘para matam apratishiddham anumatam bhavati’, [that which is non-contradictory in the opponents’ doctrine is admissible to us] is voiced by Kumarila Bhatta too.  Going further, Kumarila Bhatta cites a verse from the Manu Smriti which Shankara too has cited in the Mundaka 1.1.5, Kena Vakyabhashyam 2.3 and alluded to in the Taittiriya Bhashyam 2.8.5:
 
एतदीया ग्रन्था एव च मन्वादिभिः परिहार्यत्वेनोक्ताः ।
या वेदबाह्याः स्मृतयो याश्च काश्चित्कुदृष्टयः ।
सर्वास्ता निष्फलाः प्रोक्तास्तमोनिष्ठा हि ताः स्मृताः ॥

तस्माद्धर्मं प्रति त्रयीबाह्यमेवंजातीयकं प्रामाण्येनानपेक्ष्यं स्यादिति सिद्धम् ॥ ४ ॥

[‘Those smritis which are outside the Veda (vedic purport), those with incorrect vision, all these are stated to be not giving the avowed fruit as they are in the realm of tamas.’  Manu smriti: 12.95.  Kumarila Bhatta concludes after citing this Manu verse: Therefore to determine ‘dharma’ the unvedic doctrines (as listed above) do not qualify to be pramana and therefore not considered (in this Purva Mimamsa Shastra)].

Thus, we have someone preceding Shankara, in a non-Vedantic, but highly revered, shaastra, not admitting the Pancharatra as a flawless doctrine. Shankara is not, therefore, alone in taking such a view of this doctrine. After all, Shankara was doing that in the Brahma Sutras of Badarayana. It is also significant that Bhaskara, who is an avowed critic of Shankara, too has taken the same stand, using the similar reasons/yukti/logic/ arguments as Shankara to refute the Pancharatra system.

Om Tat Sat

   

Posted by: adbhutam | July 12, 2018

HARI ALONE APPEARS AS THE JIVA – SHANKARA

Brahman (Hari) alone appears as the jiva – Shankara in Haristuti

In the Vedantic work titled ‘Hari Stuti’ (also called HarimeeDe stotram), Shankara brings out the idea of the Upanishads:  Brahman alone appears as the samsari:

https://sanskritdocuments.org/doc_vishhnu/harimIDestotra.html?lang=sa

क्षेत्रज्ञत्वं प्राप्य विभुः पञ्चमुखैर्यो

भुङ्क्तेऽजस्त्रं भोग्यपदार्थान् प्रकृतिस्थः ।

क्षेत्रे क्षेत्रेऽप्स्विन्दुवदेको बहुधास्ते

तं संसारध्वान्तविनाशं हरिमीडे ॥ २७॥

युक्त्यालोड्य व्यासवचांस्यत्र हि लभ्यः

क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञान्तरविद्भिः पुरुषाख्यः ।

योऽहं सोऽसौ सोऽस्म्यहमेवेति विदुर्यं

तं संसारध्वान्तविनाशं हरिमीडे ॥ २८॥

Him, the Infinite, who, assuming the condition of the individual self and dwelling in nature, incessantly enjoys the objects of enjoyment through the five gateways of the senses, and who, though one, appears as different in different bodies like the moon reflected in the waters – that Hari, the destroyer of the darkness of samsara, I praise.  (27)

Him who is named Purusha and who is realised, even in this world, as “He who is I is that Supreme Lord and I am verily he” by those who intelligently investigate the teachings of Vyasa (the Brahma Sutras of Vyasa) and understand the distinction between the field and the knower of the field, Kshetra, the field or the body, and Kshetrajna, the knower of the field or the individual self – that Hari, the destroyer of the darkness of samsara, I praise. (28)

The purport of the BG.13th chapter is captured well (see also the last verse and bhashyam of the 13th chapter)  in these two verses. Shankara has cited a verse, from a source not so far known, in the Vishnu Sahasra Nama bhashya:  स्वमायया स्वमात्मानं मोहयन्द्वैतमायया । गुणाहितं स्वमात्मानं लभते च स्वयं हरिः ॥ [By his own Māyā, deluding himself with the illusion of dvaita, Hari Himself comes to see himself endowed with guṇas.]

The analogy of ‘different bodies like the moon reflected in the waters’ is brought out by Shankara by another citation from the Brahma Bindu Upanishad in the Brahma sutra bhashya 3.2.18:

यत एव च अयमात्मा चैतन्यरूपो निर्विशेषो वाङ्मनसातीतः परप्रतिषेधोपदेश्यः, अत एव च अस्योपाधिनिमित्तामपारमार्थिकीं विशेषवत्तामभिप्रेत्य जलसूर्यकादिवदित्युपमा उपादीयते मोक्षशास्त्रेषु — ‘यथा ह्ययं ज्योतिरात्मा विवस्वानपो भिन्न बहुधैकोऽनुगच्छन् । उपाधिना क्रियते भेदरूपो देवः क्षेत्रेष्वेवमजोऽयमात्मा’ इति, ‘एक एव हि भूतात्मा भूते भूते व्यवस्थितः । एकधा बहुधा चैव दृश्यते जलचन्द्रवत्’ (ब्र. बिं. १२) इति चैवमादिषु ॥ १८ ॥

Thus, for Shankara, Hari (not any formed deity but Nirguna Brahman) is the one that appears as the samsari.  This position is antithetical and anathema to non-advaitins.  They can never accept the formed person Vishnu, which is Brahman to them, to be appearing as the samsari jiva.

Om Tat Sat

Posted by: adbhutam | June 29, 2018

‘PRANAVA’ AS SAGUNA BRAHMAN

‘Pranava’ as Saguna Brahman

In the Upanishads the status of Pranava (Omkara, Om syllable) as a means to attain liberation is quite popular.  Shankara summarizes those references in his commentary to the Bh.G. 8.12 introduction:  यो  वै तद्भगवन्मनुष्येषु प्रायणान्तमोङ्कारमभिध्यायीत कतमम् वाव  तेन लोकं जयतीति । ’ (प्र. उ. ५ । १)तस्मै  होवाच एतद्वै सत्यकाम परं चापरं  ब्रह्म यदोङ्कारः’ (प्र. उ. ५ । २)इत्युपक्रम्य यः पुनरेतं त्रिमात्रेणोमित्येतेनैवाक्षरेण परं पुरुषमभिध्यायीत —  सामभिरुन्नीयते ब्रह्मलोकम्’ (प्र. उ. ५ । ५) इत्यादिना वचनेनअन्यत्र धर्मादन्यत्राधर्मात्’ (क. उ. १ । २ । १४) इति उपक्रम्य सर्वे वेदा यत्पदमामनन्ति । तपांसि सर्वाणि  यद्वदन्ति । यदिच्छन्तो ब्रह्मचर्यं चरन्ति तत्ते पदं सङ्ग्रहेण ब्रवीम्योमित्येतत्’ (क. उ. १ । २ ।   १५) इत्यादिभिश्च वचनैः परस्य ब्रह्मणो वाचकरूपेणप्रतिमावत् प्रतीकरूपेण वापरब्रह्मप्रतिपत्तिसाधनत्वेन मन्दमध्यमबुद्धीनां विवक्षितस्य ओङ्कारस्य उपासनं कालान्तरे मुक्तिफलम् उक्तं यत् , तदेव इहापि कविं पुराणमनुशासितारम्’ (भ. गी. ८ । ९)यदक्षरं वेदविदो वदन्ति’ (भ. गी. ८ । ११) इति  उपन्यस्तस्य परस्य ब्रह्मणः पूर्वोक्तरूपेण प्रतिपत्त्युपायभूतस्य ओङ्कारस्य कालान्तरमुक्तिफलम् उपासनं योगधारणासहितं वक्तव्यम् , प्रसक्तानुप्रसक्तं यत्किञ्चित् , इत्येवमर्थः उत्तरो ग्रन्थ आरभ्यते —

The Prashnopanishat 5.1, 25, the Kathopanishat 1.2.14,15 teach that the Omkara is upasya for krama mukti. This is applied in the Bh.G.8.9, 11, etc. Anandagiri says here:

तच्च उपासनं ब्रह्मदृष्ट्या श्रुतिभिरुपदिष्टम् , इत्यर्थः । तस्य क्रममुक्तिफलत्वात् अनुष्ठेयत्वं सूचयति – कालान्तरेति ।

This upasana, with the idea that ‘Omkara is Brahman’ leads to liberation through the process of krama mukti and therefore prescribed.

Shankara, at the end of the chapter 8.23 introduces the verse thus:  प्रकृतानां योगिनां प्रणवावेशितब्रह्मबुद्धीनां कालान्तरमुक्तिभाजां ब्रह्मप्रतिपत्तये  [the yogins spoken of here who have infused the brahma buddhi in the pranava, who intend to get liberated through the krama mukti proces…  ] Anandagiri says here:  सगुणशरणानां तदुपदेशो अर्थवान्  [the specification of the maarga, path, of these saguna brahma upasakas is quite in order…]
From the above it is very clear that Omkara is a prateeka, symbol, for Brahman. And it is considered a form of Saguna Brahman. This is definitely not a deity like Vishnu, Shiva, etc. It is a separate category by itself. Deities such as Vishnu, Ishwara (Shiva), Indra, Prana as upasya with Brahma drishti has been admitted by Shankara in the Kenopanishat 1.5 bhashya:  तत्तस्मादन्य उपास्यो विष्णुरीश्वर इन्द्रः प्राणो वा ब्रह्म भवितुमर्हति, while refuting the idea that jiva (upasaka) cannot be brahman (upasya). Shankara also admits images, saligrama, of deities such as Vishnu, etc. as symbols/pratimaa for this purpose. Thus Shankara nowhere restricts the upaya to one deity alone. He offers an extremely broad variety for the aspirant to choose from, depending on his inclination. This idea of ‘inclination’ has been stressed by the commentators to the Narayaneeyam.
This very concept of deploying the saguna brahman as a means, upaya, for nirguna brahma realization is summarized by the famous verse of Amalananda in the Kalpataru:
निर्विशेषं परं ब्रह्म साक्षात्कर्तुमनीश्वराः ।
ये मन्दास्ते
नुकम्प्यन्ते सविशेषनिरूपणैः ।
वशीकृते मनस्तेषां सगुणब्रह्मशीलनात् ।
तदेवाविर्भवेत्साक्षादपेतोपाधिकल्पनम् ॥
 
The scripture, out of compassion, prescribes saguṇa brahma upāsana for those who are ‘manda‘, incapable of realizing the nirguna brahman. When they have tamed their mind by saguna brahma worship, etc. then the realization of nirguna brahman is only a matter of happening.

This idea of saguna brahma upasana is for manda adhikarins is endorsed by Anandagiri in his gloss for the BGB 8.12 introduction cited above:  परब्रह्मप्रतिपत्तिसाधनत्वेन मन्दमध्यमबुद्धीनां विवक्षितस्य ओङ्कारस्य उपासनं कालान्तरे मुक्तिफलम्

Thus, in Advaita taught by Shankara there is no compulsion/imposition that a deity (Vishnu) alone can be saguna brahman. Any deity, a symbol, can play the role of saguna brahman. In fact Swami Vidyaranya, in the Panchadashi has discoursed at length on this concept and has said even a blade of grass, the ashwattha tree, a bamboo tree, local deities, etc. can all qualify for meditation, upasana, as Ishwara. Non-advaitins who have not studied the Shankara bhashya thoroughly have erroneously concluded that ‘Shankara admitted Vishnu alone as saguna brahman’ thereby making Advaita also a deity-centered system no different from theirs. This laughable, completely un-shaankaran, idea they even propagate nonchalantly to their gullible readers. A vishishtdvaitin scholar Sri Krishnaswamy Iyengar’s Tamil book ‘Sankararum Vainavamum’ is an example for this sad situation.
Om Tat Sat

A small selection from the Brihat Brahma Samhita (Part of Narada Pancharatram)

The post, containing images, on the above topic is available here:

https://www.facebook.com/subrahmanian.vaidyanathan/posts/2163830320296984

It is relevant to Adaita in the sense that ‘mAyAvAda’ is delineated and also criticized in the text.

regards

Posted by: adbhutam | June 24, 2018

Something Shankara alone can dare to say….

Something Shankara alone can dare to say…. In the BG 2.12 the Lord says:

न त्वेवाहं जातु नासं न त्वं नेमे जनाधिपाः ।
न चैव न भविष्यामः सर्वे वयमतः परम् ॥ १२ ॥
2.12 But certainly (it is) not (a fact) that I did not exist at any time; nor you, nor these rulers of men. And surely it is not that we all shall cease to exist after this.
In the Bhashya Shankara observes, with regard to Bhagavan’s remark about himself:
न तु एव जातु कदाचित् अहं नासम् , किं तु आसमेव । अतीतेषु देहोत्पत्तिविनाशेषु घटादिषु वियदिव नित्य एव अहमासमित्यभिप्रायः ।
2.12 Why are they not to be grieved for? Because they are eternal. How? Na tu eva, but certainly it is not (a fact); that jatu, at any time; aham, I ; na āsam, did not exist; on the contrary, I did exist. The idea is that when the bodies were born or died in the past, I existed eternally, like Space in pot etc.
From the above we know that Shankara holds the bodies of Bhagavān too to be subject to utpatti – birth and vināśa – destruction. He gives the example of the pot-space for the bodies of Bhagavān as well, that Shankara has given in the case of all the jiva-bodies, in the Mundaka Upanishat:
मुण्डकोपनिषद्भाष्यम्द्वितीयं मुण्डकम्प्रथमः खण्डःमन्त्र १ – भाष्यम्
………एव, तथा उक्तलक्षणात् अक्षरात् विविधाः नानादेहोपाधिभेदमनुविधीयमानत्वाद्विविधाः हे सोम्य, भावाः जीवाः आकाशादिवद्घटादिपरिच्छिन्नाः सुषिरभेदा घटाद्युपाधिप्रभेदमनु भवन्ति ; एवं नानानामरूपकृतदेहोपाधिप्रभवमनु प्रजायन्ते, तत्र चैव तस्मिन्नेव चाक्षरे अपियन्ति देहोपाधिविलयमनु विलीयन्ते घटादिविलयमन्विव सुषिरभेदाः । यथाऽऽकाशस्य सुषिरभेदोत्पत्तिप्रलयनिमित्तत्वं घटाद्युपाधिकृतमेव, तद्वदक्षरस्यापि नामरूपकृतदेहोपाधिनिमित्तमेव जीवोत्पत्तिप्रलयनिमित्तत्वम् ॥ ………(one may look up the translation in Sw.Gambhirananda’s book)

That is, the pot is akin to the bodies and the space that does not get affected by the birth and destruction of the pot, is likened to the Ātmā, Pure Consciousness. Shankara has Bhagavan’s own words for evidence of even the bodies of Bhagavan too are subject to origin and destruction/lapse/disappearance:
In BG 4.5 too the Lord says:

बहूनि मे व्यतीतानि जन्मानि तव चार्जुन ।
तान्यहं वेद सर्वाणि न त्वं वेत्थ परन्तप ॥ ५ ॥
4.5 The Blessed Lord said O Arjuna, many lives of Mine have passed, and so have yours. I know them all, (but) you know not, O scorcher of enemies!

Shankara says: बहूनि मे मम व्यतीतानि अतिक्रान्तानि जन्मानि तव च हे अर्जुन । [Many births of mine have gone by.]

This is something Shankara alone will dare to say which is blasphemy for others. They can’t tolerate the idea of the bodies of Bhagavan (aka avatara-s) originating and disappearing. A neo-Vaishnava will never be able to stomach this ‘outrageous’ observation of Shankara.

regards

Posted by: adbhutam | June 20, 2018

A profound Advaitic crisp expression by Shankara

A profound Advaitic crisp expression by Shankara
In the Bh.Gita 2.10 commentary, Shankara says:
यस्य तु अज्ञानात् रागादिदोषतो कर्मणि प्रवृत्तस्य यज्ञेन दानेन तपसा वा विशुद्धसत्त्वस्य ज्ञानमुत्पन्नम्परमार्थतत्त्वविषयम् एकमेवेदं सर्वं ब्रह्म अकर्तृ  इतितस्य कर्मणि कर्मप्रयोजने  निवृत्तेऽपि लोकसङ्ग्रहार्थं यत्नपूर्वं यथा प्रवृत्तिः,
But in the case of a man who had engaged himself in rites and duties because of ignorance and defects like the attachment, and then got his mind purified through sacrifices, charities or austerities (see Br. 4.4.22), there arises the knowledge about the supreme Reality that all this is but One, and Brahman is not an agent (of any action). With regard to him, although there is a cessation of rites and duties as also of the need for them, yet, what may, appear as his diligent continuance, just as before, in those rites and duties for setting an example before people …
In the above passage Shankara brings out the nature, prakaara, of realization of an aspirant who has walked the path of Vedanta that does not belittle but lays supreme emphasis on the devout performance of vihita karma in the form of karma yoga, dedicating them to Ishwara.  To him because of such karma yoga the mind is extremely purified and the Vedanta Vichara gives rise to the realization of Brahman.  What is the form/content of this realization?  Shankara says: ‘Ekam eva idam sarvam, Brahma akartru.’  This means: All this experienced world is One only and Brahman is not the doer of any action. There are several shruti / smruti passages embedded in this profound statement of Shankara:
एकमेव अद्वितीयम्, इदं सर्वम् यत् अयमात्मा, आत्मैवेदम् सर्वम्, ब्रह्मैवेदं सर्वम्, प्रज्ञानं ब्रह्म, सर्वं खल्विदं ब्रह्म,  ब्रह्मैवेदममृतं पुरस्ताद्ब्रह्म पश्चाद्ब्रह्म दक्षिणतश्चोत्तरेण । अधश्चोर्ध्वं च प्रसृतं ब्रह्मैवेदं विश्वमिदं वरिष्ठम् ॥ 2.2.12 of Mundaka,  मत्तः परतरं नान्यत्किञ्चिदस्ति धनञ्जय । मयि सर्वमिदं प्रोतं सूत्रे मणिगणा इव ॥ ७ ॥ of Bhagavadgita 7.6.   *सकलमिदमहं च* *वासुदेवः* *परमपुमान्*परमेश्वरः स एकः । इति मतिरचला भवत्यनन्ते हृदयगते व्रज तान्विहाय दूरात् ॥ विष्णुपुराणम् 3.7.32 ||
The above are only representative; there are countless such passages to show that everything is Brahman.
Shankara’s statement also has the jiva-component which is  ब्रह्म अकर्तृ  Brahman is not a doer of any action. The shruti passages are निष्क्रियं निष्कलं ब्रह्म..,   न कर्तृत्वं न कर्माणि लोकस्य सृजति प्रभुः । न कर्मफलसंयोगं स्वभावस्तु प्रवर्तते ॥ १४ ॥ Bh.gita 5.14. There are many more. In this component it is clear that since the previous component  एकमेवेदं सर्वम्   the jiva too is included in ‘sarvam’, it follows that he is also Brahman and since Brahman is nishkriyam, the jiva too is really not kartr of any action.  What appears to be his action is only maya’s gymnastics. There are several passages for this too.
Thus, the above short crisp statement of Shankara is very effective for contemplation. It comprises of Tat and Tvam pada viveka and aikya. It encompasses enquiry of jiva, jagat and jagadishvara and comes out with the tattva of all three: Brahman. Jiva is Brahman, jagat is Brahman and Ishwara is Brahman.
Om Tat Sat
Posted by: adbhutam | June 18, 2018

A ‘shivastuti’ by Sri Goswami Tulasidas

In the Ramacharitamanas we find a beautiful ‘shivastuti’ that has become very popular.  In fact Sri Tulasidas commences his work with a grand invocation of Shiva’s blessings:

http://hindi.webdunia.com/religion/religion/hindu/ramcharitmanas/BalKand/1.htm
प्रथम सोपान-मंगलाचरण
श्लोक :
* वर्णानामर्थसंघानां रसानां छन्दसामपि।
मंगलानां च कर्त्तारौ वन्दे वाणीविनायकौ॥1॥
भावार्थ:-अक्षरों, अर्थ समूहों, रसों, छन्दों और मंगलों को करने वाली सरस्वतीजी और गणेशजी की मैं वंदना करता हूँ॥1॥
* भवानीशंकरौ वन्दे श्रद्धाविश्वासरूपिणौ।
याभ्यां विना न पश्यन्ति सिद्धाः स्वान्तःस्थमीश्वरम्‌॥2॥
भावार्थ:-श्रद्धा और विश्वास के स्वरूप श्री पार्वतीजी और श्री शंकरजी की मैं वंदना करता हूँ, जिनके बिना सिद्धजन अपने अन्तःकरण में स्थित ईश्वर को नहीं देख सकते॥2॥
* वन्दे बोधमयं नित्यं गुरुं शंकररूपिणम्‌।
यमाश्रितो हि वक्रोऽपि चन्द्रः सर्वत्र वन्द्यते॥3॥
भावार्थ:-ज्ञानमय, नित्य, शंकर रूपी गुरु की मैं वन्दना करता हूँ, जिनके आश्रित होने से ही टेढ़ा चन्द्रमा भी सर्वत्र वन्दित होता है॥3॥
* सीतारामगुणग्रामपुण्यारण्यविहारिणौ।
वन्दे विशुद्धविज्ञानौ कवीश्वरकपीश्वरौ॥4॥
भावार्थ:-श्री सीतारामजी के गुणसमूह रूपी पवित्र वन में विहार करने वाले, विशुद्ध विज्ञान सम्पन्न कवीश्वर श्री वाल्मीकिजी और कपीश्वर श्री हनुमानजी की मैं वन्दना करता हूँ॥4॥
* उद्भवस्थितिसंहारकारिणीं क्लेशहारिणीम्‌।
सर्वश्रेयस्करीं सीतां नतोऽहं रामवल्लभाम्‌॥5॥
भावार्थ:-उत्पत्ति, स्थिति (पालन) और संहार करने वाली, क्लेशों को हरने वाली तथा सम्पूर्ण कल्याणों को करने वाली श्री रामचन्द्रजी की प्रियतमा श्री सीताजी को मैं नमस्कार करता हूँ॥5॥
This depiction of the ‘shakti’ (feminine) power is reminiscent of the first verse of Shankaracharya’s Soundarya lahari verse: शिवः शक्त्या युक्तो यदि भवति शक्तः प्रभवितुं न चेदेवं देवो न खलु कुशलः स्पन्दितुमपि । अतस्त्वामाराध्यां हरिहविरिन्च्यादिभिरपि प्रणन्तुं स्तोतुं वा कथमकृतपुण्यः प्रभवति ।।.
* यन्मायावशवर्ति विश्वमखिलं ब्रह्मादिदेवासुरा
यत्सत्त्वादमृषैव भाति सकलं रज्जौ यथाहेर्भ्रमः।
यत्पादप्लवमेकमेव हि भवाम्भोधेस्तितीर्षावतां
वन्देऽहं तमशेषकारणपरं रामाख्यमीशं हरिम्‌॥6॥
भावार्थ:-जिनकी माया के वशीभूत सम्पूर्ण विश्व, ब्रह्मादि देवता और असुर हैं, जिनकी सत्ता से रस्सी में सर्प के भ्रम की भाँति यह सारा दृश्य जगत्‌ सत्य ही प्रतीत होता है और जिनके केवल चरण ही भवसागर से तरने की इच्छा वालों के लिए एकमात्र नौका हैं, उन समस्त कारणों से पर (सब कारणों के कारण और सबसे श्रेष्ठ) राम कहलाने वाले भगवान हरि की मैं वंदना करता हूँ॥6॥
This verse echoes the Advaitic treatment of the world-appearance: In the substratum that is Brahman is the appearance of the entire universe of knowers, knowing and known objects, owing to the mAyA power just like the appearance of a snake in the substratum of rope owing to the ignorance of the rope. The relief from this state of world-appearance and taking it to be real, comes from the only upAya that is realizing the true nature of oneself by taking refuge at the Substratum:  Says Krishna in the Bhagavadgita 7th chapter:
दैवी ह्येषा गुणमयी मम माया दुरत्यया । मां एव ये प्रपद्यन्ते मायां एतां तरन्ति ते । । इति [गीता ७.१४]. We can substitute the ‘shakti (sItA) for the ‘daivI mAyA’ and Raama for the ‘mAm’ in the Gita verse.

Also the depiction of SitA as mAyA and Rama as Brahman has the basis in the Advaitic doctrine of ‘mAyAshabalitam brahma’ where it is only the Brahman in association of mAyA that can bring about the world creation.

Now we see here the Shiva stuti by Tulasidasa in the Ramacharitamanas UttarakAnDa:

नमामीशमीशाननिर्वाणरूपं विभुं व्यापकं ब्रह्मवेदस्वरूपम् |
निजं निर्गुणं निर्विकल्पं निरीहं चिदाकाशमाकाशवासं भजेऽहम् ||१||

निराकारमोंकारमूलं तुरीयं गिराज्ञानगोतीतमीशं गिरीशम् |
करालं महाकालकालं कृपालं गुणागारसंसारपारं नतोहम् ||२||

तुषाराद्रिसंकाशगौरं गभीरं मनोभूतकोटिप्रभाश्रीशरीरम् |
स्फुरन्मौलिकल्लोलिनी चारुगंगा लसद्भालबालेन्दुकण्ठे भुजंगा ||३||

चलत्कुण्डलं भ्रूसुनेत्रं विशालं प्रसन्नाननं नीलकण्ठं दयालम् |
मृगाधीशचर्माम्बरं मुण्डमालं प्रियं शंकरं सर्वनाथं भजामि ||४||

प्रचण्डं प्रकृष्टं प्रगल्भं परेशं अखण्डं अजं भानुकोटिप्रकाशम् |
त्रयः शूलनिर्मूलनं शूलपाणिं भजेऽहं भावानीपतिं भावगम्यम् ||५||

कलातीतकल्याणकल्पान्तकारी सदा सज्जनान्ददाता पुरारी |
चिदानंदसंदोहमोहापहारी प्रसीद प्रसीद प्रभो मन्मथारी ||६||

न यावदुमानाथपादारविन्दं भजन्तीह लोके परे वा नराणाम् |
न तावत्सुखं शान्ति संतापनाशं प्रसीद प्रभो सर्वभूताधिवासम् ||७||

न जानामि योगं जपं नैव पूजां नतोऽहं सदा सर्वदा शम्भु तुभ्यम् |
जराजन्मदुःखौघतातप्यमानं प्रभो पाहि आपन्नमामीश शम्भो ||८||

रुद्राष्टकमिदं प्रोक्तं विप्रेण हरतुष्टये |
ये पठन्ति नरा भक्त्या तेषां शम्भुः प्रसीदति ||

|| इति श्री गोस्वामी तुलसीदास कृतं श्रीरुद्राष्टकम् संपूर्णम् ||

We are reminded of the famous verse on Ganesha which shows the Parabrahmatvam of Ganesha:

अजं निर्विकल्पं निराकारमेकं

निरानन्दमानन्दम् अद्वैतपूर्णम्
परं निर्गुणं निर्विशेषं निरीहं
परब्रह्मरूपं गणेशं भजेम ॥ १ ॥
गुणातीतमानं चिदानन्दरूपं
चिदाभासकं सर्वगं ज्ञानगम्यम् ।
मुनिध्येयमाकाश रूपं परेशं
परब्रह्मरूपं गणेशं भजेम ॥ २ ॥
 
जगत्कारणं कारणज्ञानरूपं
सुरादिं सुखादिं गुणेशं गणेशम् ।
जगद्व्यापिनं विश्ववन्द्यं सुरेशं
परब्रह्मरूपं गणेशं भजेम ॥ ३ ॥
The Ramacharitamanas is a fine example of Shiva-Keshava abheda as brought out by this book:
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/br/2002/05/21/stories/2002052100120303.htm

// He (Tulasidas) made a conscious effort to create unity among different religious sects. He gives equal importance to Saivism together with the doctrine of Shivakesava Advaita, where, Siva and Kesava are treated with same devotion. No wonder this book has swept the entire North India with its mellifluous style and inherent melody for over 500 years now and continues to be so. //

Only someone with the Advaitic orientation can accomplish this.  We find a parallel in Saint Thyagaraja swami, the great Telugu composer.  Thyagaraja composed numerous songs in praise of Sri Rama.  Rama is his ‘prANanAtha’, iShTadeivam.  Yet Thyagaraja has sung the famous song on Shiva:   नादतनुमनिशं शंकरं नमामि मे मनसा शिरसा ….http://sahityam.net/wiki/Nada_tanumanisham  
where Thyagaraja shows that Shiva is no different for him than Rama as his ‘heart deity’.  In yet another composition Thyagaraja brings this concept to the fore:  राम नन्नु ब्रोवर..(telugu) where he says: cimalO brahmalO shiva kEshavAdulalO prEma mIra melugu cuNDe birudu vAhincina sItA  …which means: You are acclaimed as the benefactor of all Creation from the tiny ant to the Trinity.
Just as Tulasidas, Thyagaraja too sees Rama as Para brahman that is what manifests in everything in creation, including the Trinity: BrahmA, Vishnu and Shiva. 

 
Thyagaraja Swamin’s idea of ‘Rama as Para Brahman that is the impeller, antaryami, of the Trimurtis’ is contained in Shankara’s commentary on the Vishnu Sahasra Nama for the word/name ‘Keshava’  alternatively, has given an etymological meaning for the name  in the VSN Bhāṣya number 23: कश्च अश्च ईशश्च त्रिमूर्तयः केशास्ते यद्वशेन वर्तन्ते स केशवः ।

 
[Brahmā, Vishnu and Shiva are the trimūrti-s – all of whom are under the control of that entity which is called Keśava.] Thus Shankara clubs Viṣṇu too along with the other two and shows Viśṇu is also under the control of a higher authority. 


In these lines Tulasidas brings out the ShivapAramyam:
न यावदुमानाथपादारविन्दं भजन्तीह लोके परे वा नराणाम् |
न तावत्सुखं शान्ति संतापनाशं प्रसीद प्रभो सर्वभूताधिवासम् ||७||

Just like Adishankara, who sees Shiva, Vishnu and other deities as manifestations of Para Brahman, so too Tulasidas sees no difference between Shiva and Vishnu.  Shiva is the greatest Vaishnava (‘paramavaishnava’ as the Madhwa school holds) and Vishnu is the greatest Shivabhakta.

Om Tat Sat


Posted by: adbhutam | June 15, 2018

The Bhagavatam – Padma Puranam close correspondence

The Bhagavatam – Padma Puranam close correspondence

In the Srimadbhagavatam, at the very end of the text, in the 13th chapter of the 12th Canto occurs this verse:
यं ब्रह्मा वरुणेन्द्ररुद्रमरुतः स्तुन्वन्ति दिव्यैः स्तवैर्वेदैः सांगपदक्रमोपनिषदैर्गायन्ति यं सामगाः। ध्यानावस्थिततद्गतेन मनसा पश्यन्ति यं योगिनो यस्यान्तं न विदुः सुरासुरगण देवाय तस्मै नमः॥ 12.13.1
[ That Supreme Brahman whom Brahma, Varuna, Indra, Rudra and the Maruts praise by chanting transcendental hymns and reciting the Vedas with all their corollaries, pada-kramas and Upanisads, to whom the chanters of the Sama Veda always sing, whom the perfected yogis see within their minds after fixing themselves in trance and absorbing themselves within Him, and whose limit can never be found by any demigod or demon — unto that Supreme Personality of Godhead I offer my humble obeisances.]
The Infinite nature of Brahman and that it cannot be comprehended in its infinite nature by anyone is being stated in this verse. Nididhyasanam brings about the ‘brahmaakaara vritti’ which only removes the idea of finitude on the part of the aspirant.
The Upanishads teach ‘manasaivaanu drashTavayam..’  [Brahman can be realized only through the mind]. ‘Drushyate tu agryayaa buddhyaa sUkshmayaa sUkshma darshibhih’  [It is comprehended by the intellect rendered extremely subtle, that is, by keeping at bay gross objectifications.]
We find this reflected in the Padma Purana, Shiva Gita, in a discourse by Shiva with Rama:
ब्रह्मा हरिश्च भगवानाद्यन्तं नोपलब्धवान् ।
ततोऽन्ये च सुरा यस्मादनन्तोऽहमितीरितः ॥ ३५॥
[I am spoken of as  ananta, Infinite, since Brahma, Bhagavan Hari and other deva-s did not comprehend me. ]
The commentary of HH Sri Abhinava Nrsimha Bharati Swaminah, who was the Jagadguru of the Sringeri Peetham from 1599 to 1632 CE:
Alluding to the story of Brahma and Vishnu trying in vain to comprehend the limits of Shiva, the Effulgence, described in the Shiva and Devi Puranas extensively, the Acharya says: अत्र ब्रह्मा उपरि भागं न दृष्टवान्, हरिरादिमधोभागं न दृष्टवानित्यर्थः पुराणानुसारेण द्रष्टव्यः | कैमुतिकन्यायेन ततो अन्ये चेति यस्मात्तावाद्यन्तौ नोपलब्धव्न्तौ ततः कारणात् अन्येऽपि सुराः ….अतः कारणात् अहमनन्तो मतः, अवधिरहित इत्यर्थ: |
[Brahma did not comprehend the top portion,Hari did not see the top and bottom, this has to be understood from the Purana-s (that speak of this story). When these two great entities could not comprehend the limits of Shiva, Brahman, what to say of the other gods. For this reason I am held to be ananta, infinite, devoid of limitation.]
Thus, Veda Vyasa in the Shivagita of the Padma Purana has stated what he has said in the Bhagavatapuranam. The entities in the two puranams held as infinite Brahman may be given two different names: Vishnu in Bhagavatam and Shiva in the Padmapuranam, but the one designated by the names is One alone.  If the entities are different, then Brahman cannot be infinite, being tainted by vastu paricchinnatvam, that cuts at the root of anantatvam.
The Sringeri Acharya’s commentary to the Shiva Gita also emphasizes the fact that Vedantins do not resort to the weak alibis of ‘taamasa purana, tamasic portions of sattva purana, interpolation, sharira-atma, etc.’ For Vedantins have no need to resort to such excuses for Brahman is One that is spoken of with many names. It is only non-vedantins, compelled by theological considerations that grab those crutches to stand upon. The Vedantin does not need any such crutches as the Upanishads speak of Brahman alone with various names in various places depicting the jagatkaaranam.
The Padma Purana itself, in the discourse on the 12th Canto Bhagavata Mahatmyam has said that ‘he is the parama vaishnava who holds Shiva, Vishnu and Durga as Brahman, non-different from each other. Vedantins like Veda Vyasa adhere to this as is evidenced by the composition of the Bhagavata, Vishnu, Shiva and Devi Puranams.
Sridhara swamin makes a remark at the portion above stated Bhagavata verse:
सर्वपुराणसंख्यादीनुपवर्णयिष्यन्  तत्प्रतिपाद्यं देवं प्रणमति – यमिति |  [Setting out to give the size of the various puranas number of verses in each purana, the ‘Deva’ that is taught in all the puranas is being saluted.]  ‘Deva’ is not any finite deity but the Supreme Brahman that is Consciousness. Shankara cites from a Jabala upanishad in th Brahma sutra bhashya 4.1.3 परमेश्वरप्रक्रियायां जाबाला आत्मत्वेनैव एतमुपगच्छन्ति — ‘त्वं वा अहमस्मि भगवो देवतेऽहं वै त्वमसि भगवो देवते’   ‘ You are verily Me, O Devataa, I am indeed You.’  This identity is possible only when the entities involved are Pure consciousness and not any persons with different attributes.
Thus we see Veda Vyasa, Shankara and his followers not deviating from the Upanishadic idea of Brahman which is not a finite person. For theological schools, Brahman is no more than a person. If they give up their ‘person’ identity, their schools will collapse. Shankara says in the Taittiriya Bhashya for the word ‘purusha’ who is a product of prithvi tattvam, ‘shirahpaanyaadimaan’ , someone endowed with head, hands, etc. The Yoga Sutras too hold their Ishwara to be a special Purusha:  “क्लेशकर्मविपाकाशयैरपरामृष्टः पुरुषविशेष ईश्वरः”। (क्लेष, कर्म, विपाक और आशय से अछूता (अप्रभावित) वह विशेष पुरुष है। As they are not Brahmavadins, they hold their Ishwara to be a Purusha, surely not the Vedantic Purusha.  For Brahmavadins alone Brahman is not confined to a mere purusha, a person.  Rather, Brahman is a tattva having no attributes that can inhere only in a ‘person’.
Om Tat Sat
Posted by: adbhutam | June 11, 2018

Anandagiri composes  saguna-nirguna specific verse

Anandagiri composes  saguna-nirguna specific verse
Anandagiri, the famous  ancient Advaita Acharya of the 13 CE who has composed gloss, Teekaa, on the prasthana traya bhashya-s of Shankaracharya, the Vartika of Sureshvaracharya, has authored several independent works too. One such is Vedanta Tattvaloka, a short work where he deals with a number of Vedantic topics. There, after refuting the doctrine of the Naiyayika who admits of an Ishwara merely based on anumana, Anandagiri composes a verse in benediction. This is just one of the several verses he composes in the body of the book which is predominantly prose.
The Vedanta Tattvaloka was published by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in 1969.
p.44 of pdf:
भजामि शम्भुं भवभीविदारणं जगत्प्रसूतिस्थितिनाशकारणम् |
विधूतभेदं निरवद्यमाद्यं परं पदं वेदशिरस्सु वेद्यम् || 12 ||
 
[I venerate Shambhu, the destroyer of the fear of samsara, the cause of the creation, sustenance and lapsing of the world, free of differences, devoid of any defects, the First, the Supreme Reality, that can be known from the Upanishads.]
 
Several features come to the fore from the above verse:
  • It is a verse combining saguna and nirguna brahman, like the famous  एको देवः सर्वभूतेषु गूढः सर्वव्यापी सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा । कर्माध्यक्षः सर्वभूताधिवासः साक्षी चेता केवलो निर्गुणश्च ॥ – श्वेताश्वतरोपनिषत् ६-११.  of the Shvetashvatara Upanishad.
  • The lakshana of saguna brahman (taTastha lakshana) of jagatkaranatvam is brought out.
  • Ishwara is held to be the Master who annihilates the fear of samsara of his devotees.
  • This very Ishwra who is saguna, the jagatkaaranam, is free of differences, the Advaitic truth, taught in the Upanishads, for example, the Mandukya 7th mantra, where all bheda obtaining in creation/samsara, is denied in the Turiya.
  • Brahman is free of all defects. Ishwara too is free of any defect. Only then he is fit to be worshiped as saguna brahman and realized as nirguna brahman by negating the gunas.
  • Ishwara is taught as the Adya, First. There is nothing before Him/That.
  • Ishwara is taught as Param, in contrast to apara brahman, saguna brahman.
  • Brahman is the subject matter of the Upanishads.  Through the Upanishads alone it can be known. तं तु औपनिषदं पुरुषं पृच्छामि says the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. ‘I seek to know That which is established in the Upanishads, for which the Upanishads alone are the means.’
  • The saguna Ishwara is taught as Shambhu by Anandagiri. This ‘Shambhu’ is the Brahman of the Atharva Shikha Upanishad (which Ramanuja tried to convert to Vishnu).
  • Anandagiri, expounding the verse of Sureshwaracharya in the Br.up.bh.vartika, says that ‘if puranas try to differentiate between the Trimurtis, being discordant with the Shruti, they have to be rejected as apramana. For, the Veda does not hold the Trimurtis to be distinct entities. One Ishwara alone is spoken of in different names such as Hari, Brahma and Pinaki says Sureshwara.
  • This is perfect tune with Veda Vyasa whom Shankara has extensively quoted in the Vishnu sahasra nama bhashya bringing out the Hari-Hara abheda and Trimurti aikya, both in anvaya and vyatireka modes – both teaching the unity and denouncing in strongest terms the difference. These verses are anathema for non-advaitins. Anandagiri’s present verse is an example of this siddhanta.
  • Anadagiri was a contemporary of Amalananda, Sridhara Swamin, Hemadri, etc. All their ideas on the Hari Hara abheda and Trimurti aikyam has been in agreement.
  • Anandagiri’s present verse, within the body of the Tattvaloka, is comparable to Amalananda’s verse on Vinayaka within the body of his Kalpataru.  Amalannda has also authenticated the Prapanchasara (a text that advocates upasana on almost all deities for moksha and other purusharthas) as that of Shankaracharya.
  • Anandagiri hails Shambhu as the Jagatkaranam and the Advaitic Brahman free of faults as the Vedanta Vedya.
  • Shankara has cited the Kaivalya Upanishad ‘sa brahma sa shivah, sendrah sa eva vishnu…’ and said that it teaches abheda, in the VSN bhashya. Anandagiri is endorsing that in the present verse.
  • Sridhara Swamin has hailed Madhava and Umadhava, Hari and Hara as both Ishwara, the self of each other and venerated by each other and givers of sarva siddhi, that is all purusharthas. Veda Vyasa has said in the Mahabharata, through the words of Krishna that worship of Hari or Hara result in the same effect. Anandagiri’s verse is an endorsement of that.
  • That Anandagiri was equally devoted to all gods, Vishnu, Shiva, Ganapati, Saraswati, is evident from his verses on these gods in his various works. His ishtadevata is believed to be the lord of Puri Jagannatha temple. There is an opinion that he was a native of Orissa. This is proof of his not being a bigot, something non-advaitins cannot measure up to.
  • The verse of Anandagiri is a fine example of the Vedantic idea of saguna and nirguna brahman being spoken of together, not always excluding the two, for it is One that appears as saguna to enable the aspirant to attain the nirguna. Shankara brings this idea in the BSB: Parameshwara too takes illusory forms out of mere will to bless the seeker.
  • Anandagiri’s other works are also worth studying; they bring out a great deal of concepts of Advaita.
Om Tat  Sat

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