A few selections from Ballala Sena’s (12th Century CE) ‘Daana saagara’

In this selection the aspect of kind of texts he used in this work, the deities, especially Shiva and Vishnu, are highlighted. See the various images in the attachment to this article here.


Vallalasena or Ballala Sena (Bengali: বল্লাল সেন; reign: 1160–1179), also known as Ballal Sen in vernacular literature, was the second ruler of the Sena dynasty of Bengal region of the Indian subcontinent.[1] He was the son and successor of Vijaya Sena, and ended the Pala Empire by defeating Govindapala.[2]

Ballala Sena married Ramadevi a princess of the Western Chalukya Empire which indicates that the Sena rulers maintained close social contact with south India.[3]

He is the best-known Sena ruler and consolidated the kingdom. He might have completed the conquest of North Bengal and also conquered Magadha and Mithila. According to a tradition in Bengal, Ballala Sena’s kingdom consisted of five provinces, viz., Banga, Barendra, Rar, Bagri (possibly a portion of lower Bengal) and Mithila. But neither the two inscriptions that survive from this region, nor the two great literary works, which were attributed to him, viz., Dan Sagar and Adbhut Sagar, allude to his military victories. On the other hand, these refer to his scholastic activities and social reforms. Ballala Sena is associated with the revival of orthodox Hindu practices in Bengal.

Ballala’s book. The kind of deities-related daana. The texts used by Ballala Sena in this work include Puranas like Devi and Kalika Puranas apart from Vishnu Dharmottara and Shiva Puranas. See image. All deities like Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are placed on equal status. That Ballala was also a Vedantin is brought out by his quoting from the Kurma Purana. The Teacher, Guru, is praised as Lord Shankara, Shiva, himself. The Trimurtis are to be equally worshiped. Ballala Sena opens his work with an obeisance to Brahmanas. The pinnacle of Ballala Sena’s attitude towards Shiva and Vishnu as non-different comes from his own words as shown in this last image, where he cites the Kurmapurana. यत्किञ्चिद् देवमीशानमुद्दिश्य ब्राह्मणे शुचौ ।
दीयते विष्णवे वापि तदनन्तफलप्रदम् ।। २६.३४ || Whatever is gifted to a pious Brahmana with the attitude that it is offered to Shiva or Vishnu will result in infinite fruit (to the giver).

I have made the above observations in order to guide the reader who will be viewing these several images I have tagged to this post. Do not miss out on any image here. Please read the above paragraph before viewing the images.  See images in the FB link provided below.

Om Tat Sat

Posted by: adbhutam | December 2, 2018

Selections from the Kavyalankara of Bhamaha (7th Century CE)

Selections from the Kavyalankara of Bhamaha (7th Century CE)

Sri Bhamaha was a Sanskrit poetician, apparently from Kashmir, believed to be contemporaneous with Sri Daṇḍin (7th century CE). This article is based on records available about Sri Bamaha’s native place, time, work, etc.

A commentary to this work, though not fully available, has been extracted, completed and given a full shape by a Vishishta Advaitin scholar of the yesteryears (dating back to the 1930s) by name Sri D.T. Tatacharya. His commentary has also been taken into consideration while making these selections.

Sri Bamaha proves himself a Vedantin – a Vaidika (i.e. someone with good knowledge of the Vedic scriptural aspects). This fact is obvious through many of the verses selected here. The purpose of this article is to bring out those aspects in Sri Bhamaha, who belongs to a very ancient period, predating even Sri Adi Shankaracharya!


Some of the features of Bhamaha’s work:

Hari-Hara Abedha and Reference to Deities

Vedantic Inclination

Bhamaha was the son of Rakrila Gomin. Maskar: was probably his son.’ From the word Gomin and from the salutation to Sarva Sarvagna at the commencement  of his work, it has been said he was a Buddhist. Chandra in his grammar mentions Gomin as a termination of respect. The epithets Sarva and Sarvagna have been used for various divine incarnations without limitation. Bhamaha’s reverence to the Hindu pantheons and his elegant references to heroes of Ramayana, Mahabliarata  and  Puranas indicate more properly his Vedic persuasion. This surmise is supported by Bhamalaa’s scathing criticism of Buddhist theory of Anyapoha.

Download the article that contains several images from the Kaavyaalankaara here:


Posted by: adbhutam | November 30, 2018

Jayantha Bhatta on Shaiva-Vaishnava tussle

There is no basis, justification, for Shaiva-Vaishnava quarrels – says Jayantha Bhatta, a vaidika, of 9th Century CE in his Nyayamanjari.

சைவ-வைணவப் பூசலுக்கு ஆதாரமும் ந்யாமமும் இல்லவே இல்லை – 9 ஆம் நூற்றாண்டில் வாழ்ந்த ஜெயந்த பட்டன் கூற்று. [எனது இக்கட்டுரையை அன்பர் யாரேனும் தமிழாக்கம் செய்து முக நூலில் பதிவு செய்ய்லாம்.]

ಶೈವ-ವೈಷ್ಣವ ತಗಾದಿಗೆ ಆಧಾರವೂ ನ್ಯಾಯವೂ ಇಲ್ಲ – 9ನೆ ಶತಮಾನದ ಪ್ರಸಿದ್ಧ ನೈಯಾಯಿಕ ಜಯಂತ ಭಟ್ಟನೆಂಬ ವೈದಿಕನ ಮಾತಿದು.

ನನ್ನ ಈ ಪ್ರಬಂಧವನ್ನು ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೆ ಅನುವದಿಸಿ ಯಾರಾದರೂ ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ ಮಾಡ ಬಹುದು.


The ‘nyayamanjari’ is a renowned work of Jayantha Bhatta https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jayanta_Bhatta This work is a detailed exposition of the Nyaya sutras of Gautama. Under the section of Veda praamaaNya, Jayantha Bhatta discusses the issues related to the Veda vs. Agama problem. The entire discussion, in simple Sanskrit, is available in the link shown above. Just one aspect is highlighted here: [there are several typos in the above page. Incidentally, Jayantha Bhatta, while refuting the Vedanta Darshana, along with Sankhya, etc. has considered Shankara’s Advaita as the purva paksha and made a detailed refutation. One can see the analogies, arguments, etc. present in Shaankara Bhashya replicated while refuting.]

In order to see the embedded comments please read from the linked page.

शैववैष्णवकलहस्य निर्मूलत्वम्

[The baselessness of the Shaiva-Vaishnava tussle]

214एकस्य कस्यचिदशेषजगत्प्रसूति-

हेतोरनादिपुरुषस्य महाविभूतेः ।


ब्रह्मेति विष्णुरिति रुद्र इति प्रतीतिः ॥ ८३ ॥

[In this verse, Jayantha Bhatta says ‘One Beginningless, Infinite, Purusha, of great splendor, who is the One complete cause of the creation, sustenance and destruction, owing to these very cosmic functions, comes to be called Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra.]

The embedded commentary 214 in the above citation cites the famous Vishnu Purana verse:

सृष्टिस्थित्यन्तकरणीं ब्रह्मविष्णुशिवात्मिकाम् ।
स संज्ञां याति भगवान् एक एव जनार्दनःवि. पु. १-२-६६

The meaning of the above verse is the same as what is given for Jayantha Bhatta’s verse.

इत्याद्यप्यत्र द्रष्टव्यम् ॥

शैवपञ्चरात्रोक्तधर्माणां वैदिकत्वम्

[The Vedic nature of the practices taught in the Shaiva and Pancharatra Agamas]

वेदे च पदे पदे एक एव रुद्रोऽवतस्थे न द्वितीयः अथ. ३,
इदं विष्णुर्विचक्रमे तै. सं. १-२-१३, ऋ. सं. १-२२-७ इति रुद्रो
विष्णुश्च पठ्यते । तद्योगाश्च 215तदाराधनोपाया वेदेऽपि चोदिता
एव । शैवपञ्चरात्रयोस्तु तद्योगा एवा216न्यथोपदिश्यन्ते । न चैष
I.637 एव वेदविरोधः; वैकल्पिकत्वादुपायानाम् । अतः आप्तप्रणीतत्वात्,
वेदाविरुद्धत्वाच्च न तयोरप्रामाण्यम् ॥

[Jayantha Bhatta says: In the Veda, repeatedly we hear ‘One Rudra alone, none second to him (Atharvashikha/shira 3). And ‘idam vishnurvichakrame’ Tai Samhita 1.2.13, Rg.samhita1.22.7 thus about Rudra and Vishnu. The method of worshiping these deities is also taught in the Veda itself. In the Shaiva and Pancharatra Agma-s these methods alone have been taught in a different way. This much is no ground to hold the latter to be contradicting the Veda as methods are always optional. Therefore, since these Agamas have been composed by ‘Apta-s’, venerable ones, and also since these do not contradict the Veda, the two stated Agama-s are quite valid.]

This highly catholic view of Jayantha Bhatta, of the 9th Century, is very commendable. His another work ‘AagamaDambara’, a drama, is also full of such concepts.

In conclusion, I am copying two images from the Editor Sri V.Raghavan’s  note to the AagamaDambara that captures Jayantha Bhatta’s thought and also the attitude that prevailed in those distant times.

I request interested readers to bring out many more such aspects of Jayantha Bhatta’s thought.

Om Tat Sat

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Posted by: adbhutam | November 23, 2018

Bondage is Unreal; The Jiva is Nityamukta, ever-liberated

Bondage is Unreal; The Jiva is Nityamukta, ever-liberated

ಬಂಧ ಸತ್ಯವಲ್ಲ. ಆತ್ಮನು ನಿತ್ಯಮುಕ್ತ ಎಂದು ಉಪನಿಷತ್ತಿನ ಸಂದೇಶ.

In the face of many Upanishadic statements proclaiming that the Atman is nityamukta (i.e. ever liberated), we conclude that the bondage experienced by the jiva is not real. Such a conclusion is derived because if the Atman is nityamukta, then it definitely follows that bondage has to be unreal. If bondage is real, the statement that the Atman is nityamukta will not hold good.

We have many Upanishadic statements declaring that the Atman is never bound and ever free; such statements only indirectly affirm that the bondage we experience is unreal. Sri Shankaracharya in His Bhashyas often uses the statement nitya-shudda-buddha-mukta-svabhaavaH. This is not a statement concocted by Sri Shankara, but one firmly rooted in the Upanishads. In Advaita, the jiva is verily Brahman, and Brahman is ever-liberated and never bound. Consequently, the bondage that the jiva appears to be experiencing is not real. Therefore, liberation of the jiva occurs when a person realizes that he is ever-free, ever-liberated and never bound.

From the transcendental standpoint, there is no bondage or liberation. However, from the empirical (vyavahaara) standpoint, when the jiva experiences bondage, the Upanishads do give him methods to extricate from the bondage – thus, the aforementioned statement regarding liberation of the jiva is also valid. Ultimately, though, when the jiva realizes his true nature, he realizes thus: ‘I was never bound before; I am not bound now; I will never be bound in the future too. I am ever free.’ This is the realization that dawns.

The following is a sample of Upanishadic statements where the ‘nitya mukta’ word appears:


षड्भिर्मासैस्तुयुक्तस्य नित्यमुक्तस्य देहिनः। अनन्तः परमो गुह्यः सम्यग्योगः प्रवर्तते ।रजस्तमोभ्यां विद्धस्य सुसमिद्धस्य देहिनः । पुत्रदारकुटुम्बेषु सक्तस्य नकदाचन ॥ २८

वराहोपनिषत् –

॥ स्वस्वरूपानुसंधानान्नृत्यन्तं सर्वसाक्षिणम् । मुहूर्तंचिन्तयेन्मां यः सर्वबन्धैः प्रमुच्यते ॥ ३२

॥ सर्वभूतान्तरस्थाय नित्यमुक्त-चिदात्मने । प्रत्यक्चैतन्यरूपाय मह्यमेव नमो नमः ॥ ३३

॥ त्वं वाऽहमस्मि भगवो देवतेऽहं वै त्वमसि । तुभ्यं मह्यमनन्ताय मह्यं तुभ्यं चिदात्मने॥ ३४

॥ नमो मह्यं परेशाय नमस्तुभ्यं शिवाय च । किं करोमि क्व गच्छामिकिं गृह्णामि त्यजामि किम् ॥ ३५

This line above त्वं वाऽहमस्मिभगवो देव तेऽहं वै त्वमसि । is present in Shankara’s bhashyam with a slight variation:

Brahma Sutra Bhashya 3.3.37:

तथा जाबालाः — ‘त्वं वा अहमस्मि भगवो देवतेऽहं वै त्वमसि’ इति ।

अथर्वणमहानारायणोपनिषत्सु –

नित्यमुक्तस्वरूपमनाधारमादिमध्यान्तशून्यं कैवल्यं परम्शान्तं सूक्ष्मतरं महतो महत्तरमपरिमितानन्दविशेषं शुद्धबोधानन्दविभूतिविशेषमनन्तानन्दविभूतिविशेषसमष्टिरूपमक्षरमनिर्देश्यं कूटस्थमचलं ध्रुवमदिग्देशकालमन्तर्बहिश्च तत्सर्वं व्याप्य परिपूर्णं परमयोगिभिर्विमृग्यं देशतःकालतो वस्तुतः परिच्छेदरहितं निरन्तराभिनवं नित्यपरिपूर्णमखण्डानन्दामृ-तविशेषं शाश्वतं परमं पदं निरतिशयानन्दानन्ततडित्पर्वताकारमद्वितीयंस्वयंप्रकाशमनिशं ज्वलति ।

तेजोबिन्दूपनिषत्सु –

॥एकसंख्याविहीनोऽस्ति नित्यमुक्तस्वरूपवान् । आकाशादपि सूक्ष्मोऽहमाद्य-न्ताभाववानहम् ॥ २९

॥ सर्वप्रकाशरूपोऽहं परावरसुखोऽस्म्यहम् । सत्ता-मात्रस्वरूपोऽहं शुद्धमोक्षस्वरूपवान् ॥ ३०

॥ सत्यानन्दस्वरूपोऽहं ज्ञानान-न्दघनोऽस्म्यहम् । विज्ञानमात्ररूपोऽहं सच्चिदानन्दलक्षणः ॥ ३१

॥ ब्रह्म-मात्रमिदं सर्वं ब्रह्मणोऽन्यन्न किंचन । तदेवाहं सदानन्दं ब्रह्मैवाहं सनात-नम् ॥ ३२

शुकरहस्योपनिषत् –

। परमं पदमिति च प्राणेन्द्रियाद्यन्तःकरण-गुणादेः परतरं सच्चिदानन्दमयं नित्यमुक्तब्रह्मस्थानं परमं पदम् ।

मैत्रेय्युपनिषत्सु –

॥ नित्यः शुद्धो बुद्धमुक्तस्वभावः सत्यःसूक्ष्मः संविभुश्चाद्वितीयः । आनन्दाब्धिर्यः परः सोऽहमस्मि प्रत्यग्धातुर्नात्रसंशीतिरस्ति ॥ ११

Om Tat Sat

Posted by: adbhutam | November 20, 2018

Selections from Baudhayana Gruhya Sutras

Selections from Baudhayana Gruhya Sutras
The Baudhayana Sutras are a group of Vedic Sanskrit texts which cover dharma, daily ritual, mathematics, etc. They belong to the Taittiriya branch of the Krishna Yajurveda school and are among the earliest texts of the sutra genre.
This article on the Baudhayana Grihya Sutras focuses on select portions from the text, with specific focus on various deities as specified in the Sutras.  This study has relevance to followers of Vedanta, especially Advaitins, for their practices match the ones contained in the Bodhayana text.
Download link to the article:
Om Tat Sat
Posted by: adbhutam | November 15, 2018

Vishnu is also a vibhuti of Brahman – Vishnupuranam

Vishnu is also a vibhuti of Brahman – Vishnupuranam

In the following verses of the Vishnupuranam we get to know a very important philosophical concept. In Vedanta, Brahman is the jagatkaaranam. Even though in the ultimate analysis since the jagat is not there at all, yet, in order to guide us to the knowledge of Brahman, the Veda adopts the method of first positing Brahman as the cause of creation (sustenance and destruction) of the world and then shows us Brahman as completely bereft of the jagat. In the sequel are the verses that teach how the creator, sustainer and destroyer are all Brahman’s vibhutis. Thus, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are all taught here as the vibhutis of Brahman. One has to be careful in following the verses because the term ‘Vishnu’ is used to refer to Brahman as well as the sustainer, vibhuti, Vishnu. The meaning of the verses in English is condensed at the end of the verses. So, those who wish to skip the Sanskrit verses may do so.

< श्रीविष्णुपुराणम्-प्रथमांशः

ते सर्व्वे सर्व्वभूतस्य विष्णोरंशसमुद्भवाः ।
न हि पालनसामर्थ्यमृते सर्व्वेश्वरं हरिम् ।। १९ ।।

स्थितौ स्थिरं महाप्राज्ञ भवत्यन्यस्य कस्यचित् ।। २० ।।
सजत्येष जगत्सृष्टौ स्थितौ पाति सनातनः ।

हन्ति चैवान्तकत्वे च रजः सत्त्वादिसंश्वयः ।। २१ ।।

चतुर्विभागः संसृष्टौ चतुर्भेदो जनार्दनः ।। २२ ।।

एकेनांशेन ब्रह्मासौ भवत्यव्यक्तमूर्त्तिमान् ।
मरीचिमिश्वाः पतयः प्रजानामन्यभागतः ।। २३ ।।

कालस्तृतीयस्तस्यांशः सर्व्वभूतानि चापरः ।
इत्थ चतुर्धा संसृष्टौ वर्त्ततेऽसौ रजोगुणः ।। २४ ।।

एकांशेन स्थितौ विष्णुः करोति प्रतिपालनम् ।
मन्वादिरूपश्चान्येन कालरूपोऽपरेण च ।। २५ ।।

सर्व्वबूतेषु चान्येन संस्थितः कुरुते रतिम् ।
सत्त्वं गुणां समाश्रित्य जगतः पुरुषोत्तमः ।। २६ ।।

आश्रित्य तमसो वृत्तिमन्तकाले तथा पुनः ।
रुद्रस्वरूपो भगवानेकांशेन भवत्यजः ।। २७

अग्न्यन्तकादिरूपेणा भागेनान्येन वर्त्तते ।
कालखरूपो भागोऽन्यः सर्वभूतानि चापरः ।। २८ ।।

विनाशं कुवेतस्तस्य चतुर्धैवं महात्मनः ।
विभगकल्पना ब्रह्मन् कथ्यते सार्वकालिकी ।। २९ ।।

ब्रह्मा दक्षादयः कालस्तथैवाखिलजन्तवः ।
विभूतयो हरेरेता जगतः सृष्टिहेतवः ।। ३० ।।

विष्णुर्म्मन्वादयः कालः सर्वभूतानि च द्रिज ।
स्थितेर्निमित्तभूतस्य विष्णोरेता विभूतयः ।। ३१ ।।

रुद्रकालान्तकाद्याश्च समस्ताशचैव जन्तवः ।
चतुर्धा प्रलयायैता जनार्दृनविभूतयः ।। ३२ ।।

जगदादौ तथा मध्ये सृष्टिरा प्रलयाद द्रिज ।
धात्रा मरीचिमिश्रश्च क्रियते जन्तुभिस्तथा ।। ३३ ।।

ब्रह्मा सृजत्यादिकाले मरीचिप्रमुखास्ततः ।
उत्पादयन्त्यपत्यानि जन्तवश्च प्रतिक्षणम् ।। ३४ ।।

न कालेन विना ब्रह्मा सृष्टिनिष्पादको द्रिज ।
न प्रजापतयः सर्वे न चैवाखिलजन्तवः ।। ३५ ।।

एवमेव विभागोऽयं स्थितावप्युपदिश्यते ।
चतुर्धा देवदेवस्य मैत्रेय प्रलये तथा ।। ३६ ।।

यत्किञ्चित् सज्यते येन सत्त्वजातेन वै द्रिज ।
तस्य सृज्यस्य संभूतौ तत् सर्वं वै हरेस्तनुः ।। ३७ ।।

हन्ति वा यत् क्वचितू किञ्चिदू भूतं स्थाबरजंगमम् ।
जनार्दनस्य तद रौद्र मैत्रेयान्तकरं वपुः ।। ३८ ।।

एवमेव जगत्स्त्रष्टा जगत्पाता तथैव च ।
जगदू भक्षयता चेशः समस्तस्य जनार्दनः ।। ३९ ।।

सर्गस्थित्यन्तकालेषु त्रिधैवं सम्प्रवर्त्तते ।
गुणप्रवृत्त्या परमं पदं तस्यागुणां महत् ।। ४० ।।

[NB: There are many spelling mistakes in the above verses. I have not taken the trouble of correcting them. Kindly supply the corrections while understanding them. The English translation below helps.]


Meaning of the above: The power of protecting created things, the preservation of the world, resides with no other than Hari, the lord of all. He is the creator, who creates the world; he, the eternal, preserves it in its existence; and he, the destroyer, destroys it; invested severally with the attributes of foulness, goodness, and gloom. By a fourfold manifestation does Janárddana operate in creation, preservation, and destruction. In one portion, as Brahmá, the invisible assumes a visible form; in another portion he, as Maríchi and the rest, is the progenitor of all creatures; his third portion is time; his fourth is all beings: and thus he becomes quadruple in creation, invested with the quality of passion. In the preservation of the world he is, in one portion, Vishńu; in another portion he is Manu and the other patriarchs; he is time in a third; and all beings in a fourth portion: and thus, endowed with the property of goodness, Purushottama preserves the world. When he assumes the property of darkness, at the end of all things, the unborn deity becomes in one portion Rudra; in another, the destroying fire; in a third, time; and in a fourth, all beings: and thus, in a quadruple form, he is the destroyer of the world. This, Brahman, is the fourfold condition of the deity at all seasons.

Brahmá, Daksha, time, and all creatures are the four energies of Hari, which are the causes of creation. Vishńu, Manu and the rest, time, and all creatures are the four energies of Vishńu, which are the causes of duration. Rudra, the destroying fire, time, and all creatures are the four energies of Janárddana that are exerted for universal dissolution. In the beginning and the duration of the world, until the period of its end, creation is the work of Brahmá, the patriarchs, and living animals. Brahmá creates in the beginning; then the patriarchs beget progeny; and then animals incessantly multiply their kinds: but Brahmá is not the active agent in creation, independent of time; neither are the patriarchs, nor living animals. So, in the periods of creation and of dissolution, the four portions of the god of gods are equally essential. Whatever, oh Brahman, is engendered by any living being, the body of Hari is cooperative in the birth of that being; so whatever destroys any existing thing, movable or stationary, at any time, is the destroying form of Janárddana as Rudra. Thus Janárddana is the creator, the preserver, and the destroyer of the whole world–being threefold–in the several seasons of creation, preservation, and destruction, according to his assumption of the three qualities: but his highest glory is detached from all qualities; for the fourfold essence of the supreme spirit is composed of true wisdom, pervades all things, is only to be appreciated by itself, and admits of no similitude.

The verses 30, 31 and 32 are crucial here. Sridhara Swamin comments: एते च ब्रह्मादयो हरेरेव विभूतयः इत्याह् – ब्रहेति त्रिभिः | [These, Brahma, etc (Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra) are the vibhutis of Hari alone. This is stated in the three verses. The verse 31 is the one that says in unmistakable terms that Vishnu, the sustainer, is also a vibhuti of ‘Vishnu’ the Jagatkaaranam Brahman:

विष्णुर्म्मन्वादयः कालः सर्वभूतानि च द्विज ।
स्थितेर्निमित्तभूतस्य विष्णोरेता विभूतयः ।। ३१ ।।

[Vishnu, Manu, etc. Kaala (Time), all beings, O Brahmana, are the vibhutis of Vishnu who is the cause of sustenance, sthiti.]

Thus, Brahmaa, etc. are the vibhuti-s of Vishnu, the cause of creation, srishti. Rudra, etc. are the vibhuti-s of Vishnu, the cause of destruction. Vishnu, etc. are the vibhuti-s of Vishnu the cause of sustenanace. Therefore, the Vishnupurana teaches that Brahman is the cause of the three functions of creation, etc. and those who carry out these functions are Brahmaa, Vishnu and Rudra – all three of whom are the vibhuti-s of Brahman. The verses cited above clearly say that the One Brahman, the Primordial Cause, takes on various gunas, rajas, sattva and tamas, to perform these functions. Thus, sattva is also a guna that Brahman assumes to perform sustenance. Sattva, thus, is not the svarupa guNa of Brahman. Many think that Vishnu is sattva and Rudra is tamas and Brahma is rajas. Actually, the Purana teaches that these three gunas are only assumed by Brahman, by taking up the three forms of Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra to perform the functions. Thus, Brahman takes on the form of Vishnu also. Hence, Vishnu is also one of the many vibhutis of Brahman. Shankara has clearly explained this in the Vishnu sahasra nama bhashya for Bhutakrit, etc. Sattva guna is also only assumed, resorted to, by Brahman. The 26th verse above says that explicitly:
सर्व्वभूतेषु चान्येन संस्थितः कुरुते रतिम् ।
सत्त्वं गुणं समाश्रित्य जगतः पुरुषोत्तमः ।। २६ ।।

Thus, Brahman the Jagatkaaranam is really free of All three guNas. Even sattva is not the svarupa guNa of Brahman. In order to perform the sustenance function, Brahman takes upon the form of Vishnu by resorting to sattva.

Om Tat Sat

In the Silappadhikaram of the 5 – 6 Century CE, there occurs a stuti of Durga, the Parashakti.


ஆனைத் தோல் போர்த்து, புலியின் உரி உடுத்து, கானத்து எருமைக் கருந் தலைமேல் நின்றாயால்-

வானோர் வணங்க, மறைமேல் மறை ஆகி,
ஞானக் கொழுந்து ஆய், நடுக்கு இன்றியே நிற்பாய்!(வேட்டுவ வரி, சிலப்பதிகாரம்)

Having draped the elephant skin, with the tiger skin as garment, you stood victorious on the head of the demon buffalo – Mahishasura, with the gods saluting you, you are the Truth taught in the Vedas, the Pure Consciousness, immutable. The expression மறைமேல் மறையாகி – in the above text finds correspondence in Upanishadic lore, as for example:  गुह्यादपि गुह्यतरं – मुद्गलोपनिषत् , नमो गुह्यतमाय च – मैत्रायण्युपनिषत्. परमं रहस्यम्  etc.

This stuti brings to the fore that even in the early times of the fifth Century, Durga, the Parashakti, was worshiped as the Supreme Brahman, knowable through the Veda.

வரிவளைக்கை வாளேந்தி மாமயிடற் செற்றுக்
கரியதிரி கோட்டுக் கலைமிசைமேல் நின்றாயால்
அரியரன்பூ மேலோன் அகமலர்மேல் மன்னும்
விரிகதிரஞ் சோதி விளக்காகி யேநிற்பாய் ;


        “வரிவளைக்கை…..நிற்பாய்” வரிவளைக்கை வாள் ஏந்தி மா மயிடற் செற்று – வரிகள் பொருந்திய வளையணிந்த கையில் வாளைத் தாங்கிப் பெரிய மகிடாசுரனை அழித்து, கரிய திரி கோட்டுக் கலைமிசைமேல் நின்றாயால் – கரிய முறுக்குண்ட கொம்பினையுடைய கலைமான்மீது நின்றாய்; அரி அரன் பூமே லோன் அகமலர்மேல் மன்னும் – திருமாலும் சிவபிரானும் நான் முகனும் ஆகிய இவர்களுடைய உள்ளத் தாமரையில் நிலைபெற்றிருக்கும், விரிகதிர் அஞ்சோதி விளக்காகியே நிற்பாய் – விரிந்த கதிர்களையுடைய அழகிய ஒளிவிடும் விளக்கமாகி நிற்பவளே, இஃதென்ன மாயமோ ; அகமலர்மேல் மன்னும் விளக்காகி நிற்பாய் என்க

With the sword in hand you stand victorious having killed the Mahishasura, you are the Consciousness that rests in the heart-lotus of Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma.

From the above sample of the very ancient Tamil work, we see that:

1. Parashakti Durga was worshiped as the Supreme Brahman

2. This power was admitted as the antaryami of the Trimurtis

3. From the mention of the Mahishasuramardini episode, which is popular in the puranas such as the Brahmanda, it is clear that the basis for the episode in that Tamil work is a Purana, in whatever name and form, it might have existed.

This also brings to the fore that there is no basis for the claim that ‘the texts such as the Devi Bhagavatam is a concoction of recent times by Shaktas, that it was not cited in the works prior to four hundred years from now, etc.’ There are countless works of the very ancient times that have cited the Mahatmyam of Devi in one form or the other.

Om Tat Sat

There is a complete commentary of Madhusudana Saraswati for Purshpadanta’s Mahimna stotram
and the highlights of the same are shown below:

https://www.facebook.com/subrahmanian.vaidyanathan/posts/2385054338174580  [For images of the commentary see this FB post]

Turiya’ Shiva and Vishnu – in the words of Madhusudana Saraswati


Purshpadanta’s Mahimna stotram is commented upon by Madhusudana Saraswati as applicable to Hara and Hari. In this particular verse –

त्रयीं तिस्रो वृत्तीस्त्रिभुवनमथो त्रीनपि सुरान्।
अकाराद्यैर्वर्णैस्त्रिभिरभिदधत् तीर्णविकृति।।
तुरीयं ते धाम ध्वनिभिरवरुन्धानमणुभिः।
समस्त-व्यस्तं त्वां शरणद गृणात्योमिति पदम्।। २७।।

Trayim tisro vrittis tribhuvana-matho trinapi sura
nakaradyair-varnais tribhir-abhi-dadhat-tirnavikri- ti,
turiyam te dhama dhvanibhi-rava-rundhana-manubh- ih
samastam vyastam tvam sharanada grinat-yomiti padam.

O Giver of refuge, with the three letters A, U, M, indicating the three Vedas, three states, three worlds and the three gods, the word AUM(Om) describes You separately. By its subtle sound the word Om collectively denotes You – Your absolute transcendental state which is free from change. (27)

The highlights of the commentary are:

1. त्रीनपि सुरान् = Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
2. They represent srishti, sthiti and laya
3. The Turiya is the principle that transcends the three
4. The Mandukya, the Nrsimha Tapini, the Atharvashikha, etc. expound this idea.
5. Turiya = undivided pure consciousness, nirguna brahman.
6. ते धाम of the verse is explained as ‘your svarupam’. ‘your’ is non-different from ‘svarupam’. This is on the lines of ‘rahoh shirah = rahu’s head. Rahu is just head only. Yet the usage Rahu’s head only means अभेदे षष्ठी.

[Shankaracharya, in the Kathopanishad bhashyam for तद्विष्णोः परमं पदम् has used the above method of explaining which only means: There is no paramam padam ‘OF’ Vishnu; Vishnu ‘IS’ paramam padam. And Paramam padam is undivided pure consciousness, nirguna brahman. Some commentators have stated the ‘rahoh shirah = rahu’s head example.]

7. Madhusudana demonstrates the Triad of waking, etc. eminently according to the Mandukya Upanishad. It is a must read for a student of Vedanta. The images from the pdf are appended here.

8. Madhusudana signs off the commentary by stating: what has been stated here as Shiva is Turiya, holds good to Vishnu as well.

Om Tat Sat

Posted by: adbhutam | November 12, 2018

‘Turiya’ Shiva and Vishnu

‘Turiya’ Shiva and Vishnu  
सायण says for the name ‘trayambaka’:

त्रयाणां ब्रह्मविष्णुरुद्राणाम् अम्बकं पितरम् – ie., the father of Brahma, Vishnu & Rudra. [The Sayana Bhashya for the Rg.Veda mantra is attached. 59th सूक्तं of 7th मण्डलं from ऋग्वेदः .. The Rsi for this sUkta is मैत्रवरुणिः वसिष्ठः ]. [Thanks to Sri Venkata Sriram ji for the Sayana bhashya reference]

There are 12 Rks in this sUkta and the 12th (last) Rk is called मृत्युविमोचनी ऋक् ie., a verse which frees the devotee from death.

Though not directly related to ‘trayambaka’, for the name ‘Keśava’ in the Vishnu Sahasra nama – Shankaracharya, alternatively, has given an etymological meaning: 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.]

Just as Trayambaka is an entity ‘above’ the Trimurtis, Keshava too is ‘above’ the Trimurtis. This idea of the Supreme Brahman as transcending the Trimurtis is admitted by Kamban too. In Advaita this is known by the term ‘Turiya’. Turiya can be looked upon through any name such as Shiva (Para Shiva) and Vishnu (Keshava as determined by Shankara above). The Para Vishnu idea is found in the Vishnu Puranam too:

सृष्टिस्थित्यन्तकरणीं ब्रह्मविष्णुशिवात्मिकाम् ।
स संज्ञां याति भगवानेक एव जनार्दनः ॥ १,२.६६ ॥
स्त्रष्टा सृजति चात्मानं विष्णुः पाल्यं च पाति च ।
उपसंह्रियते चान्ते संहर्ता च स्वयं प्रभुः ॥ १,२.६७ ॥
[One Supreme, called Janardana, takes upon the names Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva with relation to creation, sustenance and destruction.] Here, the Turiya Vishnu is denoted by the name ‘Janardana’.

Also read a post here: [ Contains image of Sayana bhashya as well in comments section]
Posted by: adbhutam | November 10, 2018

The Devi, Kaalikaa and other puranas

The Devi, Kaalikaa and other puranas
The article on the above topic is about the authenticity and antiquity of the puranas exclusively devoted to Devi, in the face of an objection that this category is a recent concoction:

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