A new Article Series has been started on the specific Upaniṣadic content of the Sūtasamhitā. The Part 1 of the series, on the Chandogya upanishad 6th chapter is available here for reading:
Traits of a True Vaiṣṇava
In order to get an idea of the traits of a true Vaiṣṇava one has to look at a sample of the works of the Advaitins, that include Veda Vyasa, Shankara, Madhusudana Saraswati, Appayya Dikṣita, etc. a few of which are presented here.
- The Vaiṣṇava believes that Viṣṇu, under an apparent ignorance, is the one in samsāra.
- The Vaiṣṇava believes that Hari and Hara are non-different; it is One tattvam appearing as two.
- The Vaiṣṇava believes that the upāsana, worship, of any deity of the purāṇic/vedic pantheon leads to liberation through chitta shuddhi since the worship is directed to Brahman that is what is the core of all deities.
- The Vaiṣṇava believes that all lokas, including Vaikunṭha, are not eternal, even in the creation sphere. For the Vaiṣṇava these are subject to pralaya.
- The Vaiṣṇava believes that all attributes, guṇas, of Bhagavan, Brahman, are superimposed by the shāstra on the Nirguṇa Brahman in order to aid the aspirant to reach the goal of securing the realization of the attributeless Brahman.
In the Viṣnu sahasra nāma bhāṣya Shankara brings out the first two of the above. For example he cites these verses:
In the commentary of Shankaracharya to the Viṣṇu sahasranāma (VSN) the following verses are cited for explaining the verse पवित्राणां पवित्रं यो……
सर्पवद्रज्जुखण्दस्तु निशायां वेश्ममध्यगः ।
एको हि चन्द्रो द्वौ व्योम्नि तिमिराहतचक्षुषः ॥
[Just as a piece of rope appears as snake and just as the single moon appears as two to a diseased eye..]
आभाति परमात्मा च सर्वोपाधिषु संस्थितः ।
नित्योदितः स्वयंज्योतिः सर्वगः पुरुषः परः ॥
अहंकाराविवेकेन कर्ताहमिति मन्यते ।
[…so too the Paramātman appears in all the upādhis. He is truly the ever-emergent, self-luminous, all-pervading, Puruṣa the Supreme, owing to the non-discrimination between the ego and the Self thinks himself to be the doer.]
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.]
Shankara further cites a few verses from the Harivamṣa 3.88. 61, 61, 62 which are addressed by Maheśwara during the Kailāsa yātra episode:
अहं त्वं सर्वगो देव त्वमेवाहं जनार्दन ।
आवयोरन्तरं नास्ति शब्दैरर्थैर्जगत्त्रये ॥
[I am thou and thou alone am I, O Janārdana. There is no difference between us, by word or by sense in all the three worlsd.] That is being elucidated in the sequel:
नामानि तव गोविन्द यानि लोके महान्ति च ।
तान्येव मम नामानि नात्र कार्या विचारणा ॥
[O Govinda, your esteemed names alone are mine as well; no doubt need to be had in this regard] There Veda Vyasa, through Shiva, conveys that all the names of Viṣṇu, including the name ‘Nārāyaṇa’ are that of Śiva. Thus the thousand names of Viṣṇu are also those of Śiva since there is no difference in name and sense between the pair Hari and Hara.
त्वदुपासा जगन्नाथ सैवास्तु मम गोपते ।
यश्च त्वां द्वेष्टि भो देव स मां द्वेष्टि न संशयः ॥
[The worship/meditation of You, O Gopati, let that be meditation of mine too. He who hates you O Deva, hates me too, undoubtedly.]
At the end of citing these verses Shankara says that these establish ‘ekatva’, Oneness, Advaita, the core teaching of the Vedas and the Smrtis.
This is just a sample of such countless pronouncements of Veda Vyasa, based on the Vedas, across the Mahabharata and the puranas.
Shankara’s core message of the Upanishad bhāṣya too is none other than the above. One can see that in the Brhadaraṇyaka 1.4.10 and others like the Praśṇopaniṣad.
We can see the above message carried on by Madhusudana Saraswati too:
- The opening (invocatory) verse of the Advaitasiddhi of MS is rendered thus by him:
सत्यज्ञानसुखात्मकः श्रुतिशिखोत्थाखण्डधीगोचरः ।
मोक्षं प्राप्त इव स्वयं विजयते विष्णुर्विकल्पोज्झितः ॥ इति ।
The verse says ‘Viṣṇu’ (Brahman) who is innately satyam, jñānam and sukham, is the abode of the universe consisting of the unreal dvaita of knower, knowing and known conjured up by māyā, and owing to the akhaṇḍkāravṛtti-based realization of His native ānanda svarūpa, being freed from the apparent bondage shines as though liberated, free from all the vikalpa-s.’
Here MS is depicting ‘Viṣṇu’ as the way Brahman is done in Advaita: Brahman alone, owing to ignorance of its own nature, appears as a bound jīva, samsārin, and owing to the knowledge of its true nature, is liberated as though. A vaiṣṇava who is a bigot and a fanatic would never bear to think of the Lord to be subject to avidyā and therefore a samsārin.
- In the same work Advaita siddhi, MS has denied eternality to Viṣṇu lokas such as vaikuṇṭha. He admits only relative permanence to those loka-s. For a vaiṣṇava who is a fanatic the reality and permanence of vaikuṇṭha are non-negotiable. However MS does not admit of such lokas as being outside the purview of creation-dissolution cycle. He does not also admit of a real form for Iśvara/Brahman. See an article on this topic here: https://adbhutam.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/madhusudana-saraswati-misrepresented/
- A vaiṣṇava who is a fanatic does not admit of the oneness of Śiva and Viṣṇu and the non-difference of the trimūrtis consisting Śiva, Viṣṇu and Brahmā. For MS, however, the idea of Hari-Hara abheda and the trimūrti aikya are quite scriptural and therefore, admissible. MS has commented upon the famous work ‘Mahimna stotram’ of Puṣpadanta as applying to both Śiva and Viṣṇu. At the end of the work MS composes a few verses depicting the Hari-Hara abheda:
भूतिभूषितदेहाय द्विजराजेन राजते ।
एकात्मने नमो नित्यं हरये च हराय च ॥ ६
Obeisance ever to Him, who is resplendent with His body adorned with vibhūti, ashes, and is of the complexion of camphor (or having the moon on His head), the One Atman that is both Hara and Hari.
हरिशंकरयोरभेदबोधो भवतु क्षुद्रधियामपीति यत्नात् ।
उभयार्थतया मयेदमुक्तं सुधियः साधुतयैव शोधयन्तु ॥ १
[With the benediction that the understanding of non-difference between Hari and Shankara may rise even in those with a lowly intellect have I, with effort, commented on the Shivamahimna stotra verses in dual-meaning mode (as applying to Hari and Hara). Let the noble ones accept this as admissible alone.]
See this page too for more inputs about Madhusudana Saraswati’s vision:
MS’s trimūrti aikya approval, on the lines of Veda Vyāsa and Shankara, is expressed in this verse-commentary of the Mahimna stotra:
बहलरजसे विश्वोत्पत्तौ भवाय नमो नमः
प्रबलतमसे तत्संहारे हराय नमो नमः ।
जनसुखकृते सत्त्वोद्रिक्तौ मृडाय नमो नमः
प्रमहसिपदे निस्त्रैगुण्ये शिवाय नमो नमः ॥३०॥
[Salutation to Brahmā in whom rajas preponderates for the creation of the universe, salutation to Rudra in whom Tamas preponderates for the destruction of the same. Salutation to Viṣṇu in whom Sattva preponderates for giving happiness to the people (by preservation of the created universe). Salutation to Śiva who is effulgent and beyond the three attributes. ]
The last line of the above verse is explained by Madhusudana thus:
प्रमहसिपदे निस्त्रैगुण्ये शिवाय नमो नमः – निर्गतं त्रैगुण्यं यस्मात्न्निस्त्रैगुण्यं तस्मिन्पदे पदनीये तत्पदप्राप्तििमित्तम् । कीदृशे? प्रमहसि प्रकष्टं मायया अनभिभूतं महो ज्योिर्स्मिन्स्था । सर्वोत्तमप्रकाशरूपत्रिगुणशून्यमोक्षनिमित्तमित्यर्थः ।शिवाय – निस्त्रैगुण्यमङ्गलस्वरूपाय ’शिवमद्वैतं चतुर्थं मन्यन्ते ’ इति श्रुतेः । प्रमहसि पदे सथिताय इति वा । हरिपक्षेऽप्येवम् ।
The above means: ‘Shiva’ is the tattvam, the Turiya, which transcends the three guṇas. Why is Shiva to be prostrated? With a view to attain Him, His state. What is His nature, state? The Supreme Consciousness, effulgence, unaffected, untouched by māyā is what He is. [Alternatively, He is established in such effulgence.] [’स्वे महिम्नि प्रतिष्ठितः’ Chandogya up.7.4.1] That is the supreme state of mokṣa which is free of all three guṇas. For the word ‘Shiva’ the author cites the Mandukya 7th mantra: ‘shivam advaitam chaturtham manyante’ That pure auspicious essence that is free of the three guṇas which is non-dual, called the ‘fourth’ (Turiya).
Having explained thus to refer to Hara, Shiva, the commentator Madhusudana Saraswato, for whom Hari and Hara are non-different, says: the above explanation applies to Hari too in exactly the same manner. Thus, for Madhusūdana the Supreme Brahman can be called Hari or Hara. It makes no difference for the advaitins such as Veda Vyāsa, Shankara and Appayya Dikṣita.
We cannot but bow in admiration to Madhusūdana Saraswati’s broad vision that is conspicuous by its freedom from narrow-mindedness that is characterized by fanaticism and bigotry. MS, just like the venerable Advaita Achārya Shankara (who too steered clear of all fanaticism and bigotry by expressing Hari-Hara abheda and trimūrti aikya in his various works including the Viṣṇu sahasra nāma bhāṣyam) stands firm in the tradition of Advaita Acharyas.
Madhusudana Saraswti has left no trace of doubt that he was not a bigot. While his iṣṭa devatā bhakti was for Viṣṇu, he has not displayed the least intolerance that would normally go with a vaiṣṇava or even a śaiva. MS has emerged as a true Advaitin whose primary, fundamental, allegiance was with the Advaitic Nirguṇa Brahman which is devoid of any attributes. At the end of the 14th ch. commentary MS says: कल्पितस्य चाधिष्ठानानतिरेकाद्भगवतः कृष्णस्य च सर्वकल्पनाधिष्ठानत्वेन परमार्थसत्यनिरुपाधिकब्रह्मरूपत्वात्। [Since the superiposed is non-different from the substratum, Lord Kṛṣṇa being the substratum for all superimposition is the Absolute Reality since it is the very essence, Brahman, free of all upādhis. This reminds one of the Sri Lalitā sahasra nāma: sarvopādhi vinirmukta sadāśiva pativratā [She is free of all upādhis, the chaste consort of Sadāśiva]. In the sequel are shown a few instances from the works of MS in evidence of his mature thinking:
- In the BG 6.47 the Lord teaches:
योगिनामपि सर्वेषां मद्गतेनान्तरात्मना ।
श्रद्धावान्भजते यो मां स मे युक्ततमो मतः ॥ ४७ ॥
// 6.47 Even among all the yogis, he who adores Me with his mind fixed on Me and with faith, he is considered by Me to be the best of the yogis. //
In the commentary of Sri Shankaracharya we have:
6.47 Api, even; sarveṣām yoginām, among all the yogis, among those who are immersed in meditation on Rudra, Āditya, and others; yah, he who; bhajate, adores; mām, Me; antarātmanā,with his mind; madgatena, fixed on Me, concentrated on Me who am Vāsudeva; and sraddhāvān, with faith, becoming filled with faith; sah, he; is matah, considered; me, by Me; to be yukta-tamah, the best of the yogis, engaged in Yoga most intensely.
While most people, especially vaiṣṇava bigots, take the words ‘Rudra’ in the above commentary to refer to Lord Śiva, MS, of his own accord, even though the verse of the BG does not contain that word, chooses to write in his GD: योगिनां वसुरुद्रादित्यादिक्षुद्रदेवताभक्तानां सर्वेषामपि मध्ये मयि भगवति..[Among all the yogins who are devoted to the lowly deities such as the vasu-s, rudra-s and āditya-s, he who is devoted to Me…] MS does not take the word ‘Rudra’ (and ‘Aditya’) in Shankara’s commentary to mean the well known Lord Śiva etc. as some like the author of the Tamil book ‘śankararum vaiṇavamum’ has done displaying their hatred for Śiva, verily non-different from Nārāyaṇa. MS gives the correct clarification by taking them to mean the gaṇas such as the eight vasus, the eleven rudras and the twelve ādityas. See an article on this topic here: http://www.mediafire.com/view/610a95362eprvy3/Reference_to_Rudra_and_Āditya_in_the_Bh.g.pdf
Nor does MS compel anyone to meditate on any specific form of any specific devatā:
…संयम्य विषयाकारवृत्तिशून्यं कृत्वा मयि परमेश्वरे प्रत्यक्चिति सगुणे निर्गुणे वा चित्तं यस्य स मच्चित्तो मद्विषयकधारावाहिकचित्तवृत्तिमान्। [BG 6.14]
[One having controlled the mind, that is, making it free of taking any form, installing the mind in Me, the, Supreme Lord, who is the inmost self, either saguṇa or nirguṇa,…he is the one who has given his mind, chittam, to Me.]
In this commentary MS cites a number of Patanjali Yoga sutras. One sutra, though not cited, but related to the means of attaining samādhi, is: yathābhimatadhyānād vā [Samādhi is attained by meditating on any object that is agreeable to the mind]. Of course, such an object should not be objectionable, as clarified by the commentaries.
That all devata-upāsanas have the Brahman in their core is brought out by MS in his BG commentary at the end of the 15th chapter:
शैवाः सौराश्च गाणेशा वैष्णवाः शक्तिपूजकाः। भवन्ति यन्मयाः सर्वे सोहमस्मि परः शिवः।।
[Those worshipers/meditators of the deities such as Śiva, Sūrya, Gaṇeśa, Viṣṇu and Śakti ultimately become one with That Supreme Consciousness that verily am I] MS is definitely not saying that he is the substratum of all these upāsakas. All these upāsanas culminate in the upāsaka realizing his oneness with the Supreme Reality, Brahman.
This verse is reminiscent of the Mahimnastotram verse:
त्रयी साङ्ख्यं योगः पशुपतिमतं वैष्णवमिति
प्रभिन्ने प्रस्थाने परमिदमदः पथ्यमिति च।
रुचीनां वैचित्र्यादृजुकुटिल नानापथजुषां
नृणामेको गम्यस्त्वमसि पयसामर्णव इव॥ ७॥
The different practices based on the three Vedas, SaMkhya, Yoga, Pashupata-mata, VaishhNava-mata etc . are but different paths (to reach to the Greatest Truth) and people on account of their different aptitude choose from them whatever they think best and deserved to be accepted . But as the sea is the final resting place for all types of streams , You are the only reaching place for all people whichever path,straight or zigzag, they may accept . (7)
MS has written a very elaborate commentary for the above verse.
The early Advaitain Sri Vācaspati Miśra too, in his invocation to the famous ‘bhāmati’ commentary to Shankara’s Brahmasutra Bhashya says:
षड्भिरङ्गैरुपेताय विविधैरव्ययैरपि शाश्वताय नमस्कुर्मो वेदाय च भवाय च ॥३ ॥
मार्तण्डतिलकस्वामिमहागणपतीन् वयम् । विश्ववन्द्यान्नमस्यामः सर्वसिद्धिविधायिनः ॥४
ब्रह्मसूत्रकृते तस्मै व्यासायापरवेधसे । ज्ञानशक्त्यवताराय नमो भगवतो हरेः ॥५ ॥
The summary of the above verses is: Obeisance to the Veda and Bhava (Śiva). That the author of the Bhāmatī was a great vaidika is brought out from his preference to offer his first namaskara to the Veda. Then in the same breath he pays respects to Śiva, his iṣṭa devatā. He seeks the grace of Sūrya, Subrahmaṇya and Gaṇapati and says that these deities are propitiated by the whole world, viśva vandyān. Then his respects are offered to Veda Vyāsa whom he says is an incarnation of Bhagavan Hari. From this triad of invocatory verses we come to know that the period during which Shankara and Vācaspati Misra flourished the Hari-Hara bhakti along with bhakti/worship of Surya, Skanda and Ganapati was extensively prevalent. That very state of affairs is carried on by the savants of the Advaita tradition to this day where, too, like that period of Shankara and the Bhāmatikāra, we see devotion to all the gods of the vedic religion being practiced. This is an important trait of the Vedic-Vaiṣṇava. Even though a great opposition to this Vedic religion came from non-advaitic so-called vaiṣṇavas, the tremendous efforts of Vaidikas such as the illustrious Appayya Dikṣita could offer resistance to the downfall of the true vedic worship of the various gods and see it vibrant today. One can easily see that the vaiṣṇavism that opposed this vedic religion is marked by bigotry and is truly a mockery of the very etymology of the word ‘viṣṇu’ which is ‘vyāpaka’ that pervades everything. The opposing forces tried to finitize Viṣṇu by forging a non-existent divide between Hari and Hara and other devatās.
To conclude, the traits of a true vaiṣṇava are:
- The Vaiṣṇava believes that Viṣṇu, under an apparent ignorance, is the one in samsāra.
- The Vaiṣṇava believes that Hari and Hara are non-different; it is One tattvam appearing as two.
- The Vaiṣṇava believes that the upāsana, worship, of any deity of the purāṇic/vedic pantheon leads to liberation through chitta shuddhi since the worship is directed to Brahman that is what is the core of all deities.
- The Vaiṣṇava believes that all lokas, including Vaikunṭha, are not eternal, even in the creation sphere. For the Vaiṣṇava these are subject to pralaya.
- The Vaiṣṇava believes that all attributes, guṇas, of Bhagavan, Brahman, are superimposed by the shāstra on the Nirguṇa Brahman in order to aid the aspirant to reach the goal of securing the realization of the attributeless Brahman.
It is to the credit of Sri Amalānanda, a true vaiṣnava of the above characteristics, who is the author of the work ‘kalpataru’, a commentary on the Bhāmatī, who composed the following verse that elucidates the sense of the point no.5 above:
निर्विशेषं परं ब्रह्म साक्षात्कर्तुमनीश्वराः ।
ये मन्दास्तेऽनुकम्प्यन्ते सविशेषनिरूपणैः ॥
वशीकृते मनस्तेषां सगुणब्रह्मशीलनात् ।
तदेवाविर्भवेत्साक्षादपेतोपाधिकल्पनम् ॥ [Kalpataru 18.104.22.168]
The meaning is:
It is beyond the ken of many to realize the Supreme Brahman that is without any attributes. The scripture talks about Brahman with attributes with a view to help these people, out of compassion. Once their mind becomes attenuated by practicing saguṇabrahma disciplines, with not much effort the upādhi-free Brahman realization comes about.
This is the admitted view of the Advaita Vedanta tradition. Shankaracharya has said a lot about this across the bhAshyam literature. One such statement of His isthe Sutra bhashyam:
स्यात्परमेश्वरस्यापि इच्छावशात् मायामयं रूपं साधकानुग्रहार्थम् । (1.1.vii.20)
(Ishwara, out of compassion, takes on, by His Maya, a form to grace the spiritual aspirant.)
The above is the characteristic of a true vaiṣṇava who holds that the attributes [ananta kalyāṇa guṇa gaṇa] is an adhyāropa by the śāstram on Brahman which is by itself nirviśeṣa. It is this characteristic that angered the neo-vaiṣṇavas who are unable to admit the fact of being unable to contemplate on the attributeless Brahman. That is the reason for their not accepting Shankara and those who followed him as vaiṣṇavas and therefore vaidikas. For them the attributes of Brahman are non-negotiable. For them only avaidikas like Śankara can spell out such blasphemous concepts like the one articulated beautifully by Amalānanda above. Hence alone Amalānanda can never be a vaiṣṇava of their brand. This above pronouncement of Amalānanda straight away makes him a fierce opponent of the Pāñcarātra doctrine that Śankara, based on Veda Vyāsa, refuted. This is because the pāñcarātra doctrine of the so-called vaiṣṇavas can never afford to give up the concept of eternal, inalienable, infinite auspicious attributes of Brahman. While, quite opposed to this, here we have Amalānanda bulldozing the very heart of pāñcarātra, by denying all those divine auspicious attributes as an adhyāropa, avidyākalpita, only meant for those who are incapable of rising to the heights of the Vedāntic Nirviśeṣa Brahman. This marks one of the several points that fundamentally divide the Vedantic Vaiṣṇava from the neo-vaiṣṇava of the non-advaitc brand. Thus, by no means can anyone call Amalānanda a friend of the pāñcarātra. In the BSB 2.2.42 etc. of his own Śāstradarpaṇam, Amalānanda upholds Shankara’s view saying that there is this difference between the Śruti and the pāñcarātra in the aspect of jīvotpatti, the creation of the jīva. While the śruti does not teach the creation of the jīva since the pāñcarātra teaches that, the latter’s view is inadmissible in the Vedānta. Even though the ‘created’ jīva is non-contradictory to the absolute nirviśeṣa Brahman of the Vedānta, since in that state the jiva is mithyā, yet, from the point of mokṣa of the jiva, there is this contradiction with the śruti: the jīva, being created, will attain extinction, svarūpa nāśa, when the prakṛti of which he is a product is negated/destroyed. Thus Amalānanda never differs from Shankara not even in a single aspect. Nor does he or any other advaitin accept the pāñcarātra as ‘devoid of defects.’ Appayya Dikṣita points out a vaikhānasa refutation of the pāñcarātra. Those who are unable to bear the refutation of this (their) school by Veda Vyāsa, Shankara and all the other commentators who followed him, spread lies that ‘later advaitins’ have accepted this school. A careful reading of all the commentaries available to this adhikaraṇam will reveal the emptiness of such desperate claims of such perpetrators of lies about Veda, Veda Vyāsa, Shankara and advaitins.
Om Tat Sat
Advaita taught in the Śaiva Purāṇa
In the 8th Chapter (verses 56-59) of the Panchadaśīi, Swami Vidyaranya has cited a few verses from the Parāśara Upapurāṇa, a text belonging to the Śiva Purāṇa. These verses are about the true nature of the Vedantic Brahman-Atman:
These are the verses from the above text cited in the Panchadashi:
वृत्तेः साक्षितया वृत्तिप्रागभावस्य च स्थितः १८
असत्यालम्बनत्वेन सत्यः सर्वजडस्य तु १९
साधकत्वेन चिद्रूपः सदा प्रेमास्पदत्वतः
आनन्दरूपः सर्वार्थसाधकत्वेन हेतुना २०
सर्वसम्बन्धकत्वेन सम्पूर्णः शिवसंज्ञितः
जीवेशत्वादिरहितः केवलः स्वप्रभः शिवः
Panchadaśi 8.56. It is said in the Shiva Purana that pure consciousness (Kutastha) exists as a witness to (the rise and fall of) the mental modifications (Vrittis), their prior (and posterior) non-existence and the state of ignorance prior to inquiry about truth.
8.57-58. As the support of the unreal world, its nature is existence; as it cognises all insentient objects, its nature is consciousness; and as it is always the object of love, its nature is bliss. It is called Shiva, the infinite, being the means of revelation of all objects and being related to them as their substratum.
8.59. Thus in the Śaiva-Puranas Kutastha has been described as having no particular characteristics of Jiva and Ishvara and as being non-dual, self-luminous and the highest good.
One can see that the nature of Atman/Brahman taught there as ‘Śiva’ is found in the Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣad 7th mantra too: शान्तं शिवम् अद्वैतम् [prapañcopamam ’śāntam śivam advaitam..]. Shankara has also stated in the Bhāṣyas this word ‘śiva’ as Atman/Brahman:
प्रपञ्चोपशमः शिवः अद्वैतः [Mā.up.12]
सर्वद्वैतोपशमत्वादेव शिवः । while commenting on the Kārikā 1.29: अमात्रोऽनन्तमात्रश्च द्वैतस्योपशमः शिवः । ]
शिवं शान्तमविकृतमक्षरं सत्यं परविद्यागम्यं पुरुषाख्यं सबाह्याभ्यन्तरमजं वक्तव्यमित्युत्तरं प्रश्नत्रयमारभ्यते । Praśnopaniṣat 4.1 bhāṣyam.
त एते कर्माणि विज्ञानमयश्च आत्मा उपाध्यपनये सति परे अव्यये अनन्तेऽक्षये ब्रह्मणि आकाशकल्पेऽजेऽजरेऽमृतेऽभये-
ऽपूर्वेऽनपरेऽनन्तरेऽबाह्येऽद्वये शिवे शान्ते सर्वे एकीभवन्ति अविशेषतां गच्छन्ति एकत्वमापद्यन्ते जलाद्याधारापनय इव सूर्यादिप्रतिबिम्बाः सूर्ये, घटाद्यपनय इवाकाशे घटाद्याकाशाः ॥
प्रसन्नं शिवमतुलमनायासं नित्यतृप्तमेकरसमित्यर्थः [Bṛ.up. 3.9.28]
Shankara has also cited a seminal verse from the Śivapurāṇa itself (considered to be a tāmasa purāna by Vaiśṇvas as it teaches the supreme status of Śiva) in the Viśṇu sahasra nāma bhāṣya explaining the name ‘Rudra’ (114th name):
रुर्दुःखं दुःखहेतुं वा तद् द्रावयति यः प्रभुः ।
रुद्र इत्युच्यते तस्माच्छिवः परमकारणम् ॥ (samhitā 6, ch.9, verse 14)
(‘Ruḥ’ means misery or the cause thereof. This is destroyed, melted away, by Rudra. Hence the Supreme Lord, Shiva, who is the Ultimate Cause (of creation, etc.) is called ‘Rudra’).
In the Brahmasutras, the Cause of creation, etc. of the universe is called ‘Brahman’ which alone is stated by the names Śiva and Viṣṇu in the scripture.
In the same Purāṇa cited above, subsequent to the above verses is taught the method of devotion to Bhagavān Śiva is to be practiced, as part of the Brahmavidyā sādhana. Shankara, keeping such teaching in mind alone has said in the BSB 2.2.42:
//यदपि तस्य भगवतोऽभिगमनादिलक्षणमाराधनमजस्रमनन्यचित्ततयाभिप्रेयते, तदपि न प्रतिषिध्यते, श्रुतिस्मृत्योरीश्वरप्रणिधानस्य प्रसिद्धत्वात् ।
Nor do we mean to object to the inculcation of unceasing concentration of mind on the highest Being which appears in the Bhâgavata doctrine under the forms of reverential approach, &c.; for that we are to meditate on the Lord we know full well from Smṛti and Scripture.//
That the teaching of the core Advaitic Atman, Brahman, and the means in the Purāṇa is what is significant. It is with this in mind that such purāṇas as the Sūta samhitā are considered tāmasic by Vaiṣṇavas who could not tolerate the explicit pronouncement of the Advaita Tattva as taught by Shankara in them by Veda Vyasa. For those who are opposed to Veda Vyasa teaching the Vedanta, such verses are there to delude those who are not fit to take to the ‘true’ vedic teaching that holds the Lakṣmipati Viṣṇu alone to be the Vedantic Brahman. All those subscribing to this view also admit that Shankara and other Acharyas like Sureśvara and Sarvajñātman are also those deluded since they have taught the Vedanta as expounded in the Śruti and Smṛti.
Om Tat Sat
The following article is based on a recent conversation initiated by a Kannada/Telugu smartha in a blog:
In the stated pdf there was mention about the practice of Kannada and Telugu smartas reciting certain verses (‘Śivāya viṣṇurūpāya…’) during their daily sandhyā worship. In this connection the appropriate references were not provided. 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.
Knowing Brahman Completely
The purpose of the delineation of Brahman in the śāstra is to enable the aspirant to get the direct knowledge thereof. It is not that the scripture wants the aspirant to get a partial knowledge of Brahman for it is an impossibility and also absurd for there are no parts in Brahman. Qualitatively too it is impossible to know Brahman in some less or more measure for such concepts are all alien to Vedanta.
There are attributes to Brahman mentioned in the scripture and these are grouped under the name ‘vibhūti-s’, manifestations of Brahman available for experiencing in the world, here or hereafter. But then there is also the statement that there are no limits to such manifestations and that makes the attributed/vibhūti endowed Brahman not a candidate of being the content of the liberating knowledge, which demands ‘complete’ knowledge of Brahman. Thus, it makes the attributeless Brahman, that is, Brahman without any vibhuti-s, alone to be the crucial content of the liberating knowledge. The following is a compilation of a sample of statements from the śāstra in support of the above.
- In the Puruśa sūktam we have: The first few statements mentioning the manifestation: http://www.greenmesg.org/mantras_slokas/vedas-purusha_suktam.php
सहस्रशीर्षा पुरुषः सहस्राक्षः सहस्रपात् ।
स भूमिं विश्वतो वृत्वात्यतिष्ठद्दशाङुलम् ॥१॥
Sahasra-Shiirssaa Purussah Sahasra-Akssah Sahasra-Paat |
Sa Bhuumim Vishvato Vrtva-Atya[i]-Tisstthad-Dasha-Angulam ||1||
1.1: The Purusha (The Universal Being) has Thousand Heads, Thousand Eyes and Thousand Feet (Thousand signifies innumerable which points to the omnipresence of the Universal Being),
1.2: He envelops the World from all sides (i.e. He pervades each part of the Creation), and extends beyond in the TenDirections ( represented by Ten Fingers ), पुरुष एवेदं सर्वं यद्भूतं यच्च भव्यम् ।
उतामृतत्वस्येशानो यदन्नेनातिरोहति ॥२॥
Purussa Evedam Sarvam Yad-Bhuutam Yacca Bhavyam |
Uta-Amrtatvasye[a-I]shaano Yad-Annena-Ati-Rohati ||2||
2.1: The Purusha is indeed All this (Creation) in essence; That which existed in the Past, and that which will exist in theFuture,
2.2: Everything (i.e the whole Creation) is woven by the Immortal essence of the Great Lord (Purusha); by becoming Foodof which (i.e. by getting consumed in Whose Immortal essence through surrender) one transcends the gross world (and becomes Immortal). एतावानस्य महिमातो ज्यायाँश्च पूरुषः ।
एतावानस्य महिमातो ज्यायाँश्च पूरुषः । पादोऽस्य विश्वा भूतानि त्रिपादस्यामृतं दिवि ॥३॥
Etaavaanasya Mahima-Ato Jyaayaash-Ca Puurussah |
Paado-Asya Vishvaa Bhuutaani Tri-Paad-Asya-Amrtam Divi ||3||
3.1: The Purusha is Greater than all the Greatness (which can be expressed by words),
3.2: His One Foot has become all these (visible) Worlds, and His Three Feet rests in the Immortal World of theTranscendence. त्रिपादूर्ध्व उदैत्पूरुषः पादोऽस्येहाभवत्पुनः ।
ततो विष्वङ् व्यक्रामत्साशनानशने अभि ॥४॥
Tri-Paad-Uurdhva Udait-Puurussah Paado-Asye[a-I]ha-Abhavat-Punah |
Tato Vissvang Vya[i-A]kraamat-Saashana-Anashane Abhi ||4||
4.1: The Three Feet of the Purusha is raised high Above (in Transcendental Realm), and His One Foot becomes the Creation again and again.
4.2: There, in the Creation, He pervades all the Living ( who eats ) and the Non-Living ( who does not eat ) beings.
Up to the ‘Etāvānasya mahimā’ is the description of the vibhūti. Immediately after that the veda says: ‘ato jyāyānścha pūruṣaḥ’ (highlighted in blue) [The Puruṣa, Brahman, is greater than the vibhūti, transcends the vibhūti. ] And goes to explain how the Puruṣa is pervading the creation and yet transcends it. Sāyanācārya comments:
The world of the past, present and the future is entirely the glory, mahimā, of the Puruśa, His own splendor and not His true nature. The true Puruṣa is ‘greater’ than this mahimā. The entire creation is His one quarter and the three quarters are what He transcendentally is.
This very sūkta says later: It is that transcendental Puruṣa that is stated to be the subject matter, content, of the realization: वेदाहमेतं पुरुषं महान्तम्, आदित्यवर्णं तमसः परस्तात्….
I know that great Purusha, lustrous as the Sun beyond darkness. The Wise One, having made all the forms appear, gave them names, and uttered these as they were.
One who knows Him whom Dhata (Creator) first revealed, and so did Sakra (Indra) who fully knew the four quarters, becomes immortal here. There is no other way.
The ‘darkness’ mentioned above is the entire causal ignorance and the world that is its effect. In the Bh.Gitā 9.33 the Lord has said:
अनित्यम्-असुखं लोकमिमं प्राप्य भजस्व माम्
anityam-asukhaM lokamimaM praapya bhajasva maam.h
## Having come to this ephemeral and miserable world, you do worship Me.##
Surely this is not the svarūpa of the Puruṣa and hence the correct way of understanding the true nature of the Puruṣa is as what is stated in the foregoing with the Puruṣa sūktam teaching.
- The Bṛhadāraṇyaka upaniṣat says:
1.4.7 अकृत्स्नो हि स प्राणन्नेव प्राणो नाम भवति । वदन्वाक्पश्यंश्चक्षुः शृण्वञ्श्रोत्रं मन्वानो मनस्तान्यस्यैतानि कर्मनामान्येव । स योऽत एकैकमुपास्ते न स वेदाकृत्स्नो ह्येषोऽत एकैकेन भवत्यात्मेत्येवोपासीतात्र ह्येते सर्व एकं भवन्ति । तदेतत्पदनीयमस्य सर्वस्य यदयमात्मानेन ह्येतत्सर्वं वेद । [ People do not see the Self, for when viewed in parts It is incomplete: It is called the vital breath (prana); when speaking, the organ of speech; when seeing, the eye; when hearing, the ear; when thinking, the mind. These are merely Its names according to Its functions. He who meditates on one or another of Its aspects does not know, for It is then incomplete: the Self is separated from Its totality by being associated with a single characteristic. The Self alone is to be meditated upon, for in It all these become unified.]
So, here too is the teaching that the attributed Brahman is not the one to be known, realized, for liberation. Also, there is no pramāṇa in the śāstra that Brahman is realized in parts, portions or percentages, for liberation. This is because, Brahman is partless. To impose parts in It, the partless Whole, is to limit It.
- The Praśnopaniṣat concludes with the revered Ācārya Pippalāda declaring to his pupils at the end of his instruction: तान्होवाचैतावदेवाहमेतत्परं ब्रह्म वेद नातः परमस्तीति ॥ ६. ७ ॥ [7 Pippalāda said to them: Thus far, indeed, I know the Supreme Brahman; there is nothing more than this.] Shankara comments here: तान् एवमनुशिष्य शिष्यान् तान् होवाच पिप्पलादः किल एतावदेव वेद्यं परं ब्रह्म वेद विजानाम्यहमेतत् । न अतः अस्मात् परम् अस्ति प्रकृष्टतरं वेदितव्यम् इत्येवमुक्तवान् शिष्याणामविदितशेषास्तित्वाशङ्कानिवृत्तये कृतार्थबुद्धिजननार्थं च ॥ [‘I know thus far alone, this Supreme Brahman that is worthy to be known. Beyond this there is not anything higher to be known. Thus did he say this in order to remove from the disciples any doubt that there might still remain something unknown; and also in order to generate in them the conviction that they had attained the final goal. ]
- Further there is the teaching of the Bhagavadgītā on the knowledge of the ‘complete’ Brahman:
मय्यासक्तमनाः पार्थ योगं युञ्जन्मदाश्रयः ।
असंशयं समग्रं मां यथा ज्ञास्यसि तच्छृणु ॥ १ ॥
The Blessed Lord said O Partha, hear how you, having the mind fixed on Me, practicing the Yoga of Meditation and taking refuge in Me, will know Me with certainty and in fulness.
ज्ञानं तेऽहं सविज्ञानमिदं वक्ष्याम्यशेषतः।
यज्ज्ञात्वा नेह भूयोऽन्यज्ज्ञातव्यमवशिष्यते।।7.2।।
[7.2 I shall tell you completely of this Knowledge which is combined with realization, [From the statement, ‘jnāsyasi, you will know’, in the earlier verse, one may conclude that the Lord is speaking of indirect or theoretical knowledge. The word ‘idam, this’ rules out such a conclusion; and it has also been said that this Knowledge is ‘savijnānam, combined with direct experienece, realization'; it is Consciousness.] after experience which there remains nothing else here to be known again.] ।7.2।। Shankara’s commentary: ज्ञानं ते तुभ्यम् अहं सविज्ञानं विज्ञानसहितं स्वानुभवयुक्तम् इदं वक्ष्यामिकथयिष्यामि अशेषतः कार्त्स्न्र्येन। तत् ज्ञानं विवक्षितं स्तौति श्रोतुः अभिमुखीकरणाय यत् ज्ञात्वा यत् ज्ञानं ज्ञात्वा न इह भूयः पुनः अन्यत् ज्ञातव्यंपुरुषार्थसाधनम् अवशिष्यते नावशिष्टं भवति। इति मत्तत्त्वज्ञो यः सः सर्वज्ञो भवतीत्यर्थः। अतो विशिष्टफलत्वात् दुर्लभं ज्ञानम्।।
The word ‘kārtsnyena’ in the bhāṣyam is very significant for it refers to the verse-word ‘aśeṣataḥ’ (without any remainder, completely). It can also be appreciated that the chapter concludes 7.29 with the word ‘kṛtsnam’ for Brahman. Now, if the Lord had intended that ‘Brahman cannot be known completely but in parts/percentages’ He would not be saying that He is now delineating Brahman in all Its fullness. And that He intends that this complete knowledge alone is the liberating one is also clear from the verse that there will be nothing remaining for you to be known. This goes against the erroneous thinking that ‘None can know Brahman completely and that one can only end up knowing It partially, in percentages according to one’s capacity.’ Such a thinking is dispelled by the Lord in yet another verse in this chapter itself:
मनुष्याणां सहस्रेषु कश्चिद्द्यतति सिद्धये।
यततामपि सिद्धानां कश्चिन्मां वेत्ति तत्त्वतः।।7.3।।
7.3 Among thousands of men a rare one endeavors for perfection. Even of the perfected ones who are diligent, one perchance knows Me in truth.
Thus, going by the 7.2, the ‘tattvataḥ’ in 7.3 cannot be anything but the complete knowledge and anything other than that will not be a ‘complete’ knowledge.
There is this reference in the BG 18th ch. using this word ‘tattvataḥ’ (‘in truth’) to show that such a knowledge alone is the liberating one:
यावान्यश्चास्मि तत्त्वतः ।
ततो मां तत्त्वतो ज्ञात्वा
विशते तदनन्तरम् ॥ ५५ ॥
18.55 Through devotion he knows Me in reality, as to what and who I am. Then, having known Me in truth, he enters (into Me) immediately after that (Knowledge).
Shankara’s comments: भक्त्या माम् अभिजानाति यावान् अहम् उपाधिकृतविस्तरभेदः यश्च अहम् अस्मि विध्वस्तसर्वोपाधिभेदः उत्तमः पुरुषः आकाशकल्पः तं माम् अद्वैतं चैतन्यमात्रैकरसम् अजरम् अभयम् अनिधनं तत्त्वतः अभिजानाति। ततः माम् एवं तत्त्वतः ज्ञात्वा विशते तदनन्तरं मामेव ज्ञानानन्तरम्। नात्र ज्ञानप्रवेशक्रिये भिन्ने विवक्षिते ज्ञात्वा विशते तदनन्तरम् इति। किं तर्हि फलान्तराभावात् ज्ञानमात्रमेव? क्षेत्रज्ञं चापि मां विद्धि (गीता 13।2) इति उक्तत्वात्।।
One can see the resemblance of the above verse to the Puruṣa sūkta: ‘yāvān’ of the verse and ‘etāvān’ (setting a limit to the manifestation) of the sūkta. That is exactly what is in the Lord’s mind as brought out beautifully by Shankara’s, a translation of which is given here below. The word ‘Uttama Puruṣa’ is also significant, which is taught in the 15th chapter as ‘He who is beyond the kṣara and akṣara, the manifest world. And the ‘ato jyāyāmścha pūruṣaḥ’ of the sūktam is also annotated subtly in the verse and clearly in the bhāṣya: the Puruṣa transcends the manifest world (which is the vibhūti) and He is the absolute One, the one to be known for liberation: vedāhametam puruṣam mahāntam…tamasaḥ parastāt, beyond ignorance signified by the kṣara and akṣara puruṣas.
// he knows; mām, Me; tattvatah, in reality; as to yāvān, what I am, with the extensive differences created by limiting adjuncts; and yah asmi, who I am when all distinctions created by the limiting adjuncts are destroyed– Me who am the supreme Person comparable to space [In points of all-pervasiveness and non-attachment.] and one-without-a-second, absolute, homogeneous Consciousness, birthless, ageless, immortal, fearless and deathless. Tatah, then; jnātvā, having known; mām, Me, thus; tattvatah, in truth; viśate, he enters into Me, Myself; tadanantaram, immediately after that (Knowledge).//
The 7th chapter has this crucial verse too at the end:
जरामरणमोक्षाय मामाश्रित्य यतन्ति ये।
ते ब्रह्म तद्विदुः कृत्स्नमध्यात्मं कर्म चाखिलम्।।7.29।।
7.29 Those who strive by resorting to Me for becoming free from old age and death, they know that Brahman, completely…
Shankara: ते यत् ब्रह्म परं तत् विदुः कृत्स्नं समस्तम् [One can see the consistency here: For the 7.1 Shankara had commented for the word ‘samagram’ as ‘samastam’ (completely), and here at the end of the chapter too Shankara says for the word ‘kṛtsnam’ (which is only another word for samagram) = ‘samastam’.
- That the knowledge of the attributed / vibhūti endowed Brahman does not constitute the complete knowledge is brought out from the fact that the 18.55 teaches that the aspirant gets the knowledge of ‘yāvān’ (the attributed) and ‘yaḥ’ (the absolute). In other words, as taught by the sāyaṇa commentary for the Puruṣa sūktam, the attributed manifestation of the Puruṣa is not absolute and only relative and therefore not true and the transcendental, attributeless, absolute nature alone is true.
- There are statements in almost all the Upaniṣads that the aspirant ended up securing the liberating knowledge. Nowhere is it stated that such knowledge is about an incomplete Brahman.
Thus, to conclude, the Puruṣa sūktam method of delineating the mahimā (attributed/vibhūti endowed) of Brahman as the one in the relative plane and the transcendental (Puruṣa) as the absolute one is amply translated in the Bhagavadgītā verses that have been taken up for this study in the foregoing. That all this has the solid correspondence in the Bṛhadāraṇyaka mantra cited above is also to be remembered. To sum up, the attributed Brahman is not the complete One and the knowledge of the latter alone leads to liberation. There is also no basis for the thinking that Brahman is known in parts/percentage as per one’s capacity for liberation. This is because, the BG 7th ch. also teaches that the knowledge has to be something that has no remainder. If Brahman is admitted to be known according to one’s capacity, there will always be something, more or less, remaining that is not known, for the thinking is: Brahman cannot be known completely. Such knowledge is useful for upāsana to enable the aspirant to subsequently attain the complete knowledge, when his mental capacity gains further strength to grasp the subtle attributeless Brahman.
Om Tat Sat
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Veda Vyāsa was not a Bigot
Veda Vyāsa, true to his loyalty to the Veda, has, in the Mahābhārata (MB) and the various purāṇas, has portrayed both Viṣṇu and Śiva as the Supreme Brahman. While it is well known that the vaiṣṇavas have undertaken a lot of pains to highlight the Hari-supremacy and oftentimes explicitly showing Śiva in poor light, sometimes using the Mahābhārata and other purāṇas, the authentic Śiva-supremacy portions have by and large not highlighted or even obfuscated without showing them at all. The intolerance of those bigots goes to the extent of caricaturing Śiva as a ‘tāmasa devatā’, not correctly understanding the purport of those references in the MB that speak of Śiva’s emergence/manifestation from the ‘wrath’ of Viṣṇu or Brahmā. Sri Appayya Dikṣita is the one who brought out the correct understanding of the term ‘wrath’ to set right the propaganda of the bigots. Here is an endeavor to bring to the fore just a sample of those portions from the Mahābhārata that speak of Śiva’s supreme personality. A few excerpts from Sri Appayya Dikṣita’s ‘Brahma tarka stava’ are also provided in this regard as further supportive material to show the Śiva supremacy.
Here are a few verses from the Mahābhārata, 13 Ānuśāsanika parva:
13014182a स एष भगवान्देवः सर्वतत्त्वादिरव्ययः
13014182c सर्वतत्त्वविधानज्ञः प्रधानपुरुषेश्वरः
13014183a योऽसृजद्दक्षिणादङ्गाद्ब्रह्माणं लोकसंभवम्
13014183c वामपार्श्वात्तथा विष्णुं लोकरक्षार्थमीश्वरः
13014183e युगान्ते चैव संप्राप्ते रुद्रमङ्गात्सृजत्प्रभुः
13014184a स रुद्रः संहरन्कृत्स्नं जगत्स्थावरजङ्गमम्
13014184c कालो भूत्वा महातेजाः संवर्तक इवानलः
13014185a एष देवो महादेवो जगत्सृष्ट्वा चराचरम्
13014185c कल्पान्ते चैव सर्वेषां स्मृतिमाक्षिप्य तिष्ठति
13014186a सर्वगः सर्वभूतात्मा सर्वभूतभवोद्भवः
13014186c आस्ते सर्वगतो नित्यमदृश्यः सर्वदैवतैः
//Thou art he that hadst created from thy right side the Grandsire Brahma, the Creator of all things. Thou art he that hadst created from thy left side Vishnu for protecting the Creation. Thou art that puissant Lord who didst create Rudra when the end of the Yuga came and when the Creation was once more to be dissolved. That Rudra, who sprang from thee destroyed the Creation with all its mobile and immobile beings, assuming the form of Kāla of great energy, of the cloud Samvartaka (charged with water which myriads of oceans are not capacious enough to bear), and of the all consuming fire. Verily, when the period comes for the dissolution of the universe, that Rudra stands, ready to swallow up the universe. Thou art that Mahadeva, who is the original Creator of the universe with all its mobile and immobile entities. Thou art he, who, at the end of the Kalpa, stands, withdrawing all things into thyself. Thou art he that pervadest all things, that art the Soul of all things, thou art the Creator of the Creator of all entities.Incapable of being seen by even any of the deities, thou art he that exists, pervading all entities. //
This description, especially the statement that Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Rudra are created from Mahādeva, corresponds to the Atharvashikha shruti that has been cited by Rāmanuja too. It can be noticed that while Ramanuja, only after a struggle, could identify the ‘Śambhu’ of that mantra with Viṣṇu, Appayya Dikṣita has no difficulty in identifying the Śambhu with Lord Mahadeva, Paramaśiva, the consort of Pārvati.
The MB continues:
//He is indestructible and Supreme Brahman. He is both existent and non-existent. Agitating both Prakriti and Purusha by means of His energy, He created therefrom the universal lord of creatures, viz., Brahma. Who is there that is competent to tell the virtues of that god of gods, that is endued with supreme Intelligence? Man is subject to conception (in the mother’s womb), birth, decrepitude, and death. Being such, what man like me is competent to understand Bhava? Only Narayana, O son, that bearer of the discus and the mace, can comprehend Mahadeva. He is without deterioration. He is the foremost of all beings in attributes. He is Vishnu, because of his pervading the universe. He is irresistible. Endued with spiritual vision, He is possessed of supreme Energy. He sees all things with the eye of Yoga. It is in consequence of the devotion of the high-souled Krishna to the illustrious Rudra whom he gratified. O Bharata, in the retreat of Badari, by penances, that he has succeeded in pervading the entire universe. O king of kings, it is through Maheswara of celestial vision that Vāsudeva has obtained the attribute of universal agreeableness,–an agreeableness that is much greater than what is possessed by all articles included under the name of wealth. 1 For a full thousand years this Madhava underwent the austerest penances and at last succeeded in gratifying the illustrious and boon-giving Siva, that Master of all the mobile and the immobile universe. In every new Yuga has Krishna (by such penances) gratified Mahadeva. In every Yuga has Mahadeva been gratified with the great devotion of the high-souled Krishna. How great is the puissance of the high-souled Mahadeva,–that original cause of the universe,–has been seen with his own eyes by Hari who himself transcends all deterioration, on the occasion of his penances in the retreat of Badari undergone for obtaining a son. 2 I do not, O Bharata, behold anyone that is superior to Mahadeva. To expound the names of that god of gods fully and without creating the desire of hearing more, only Krishna is competent. This mighty-armed one of Yadu’s race is alone competent to tell the attributes of the illustrious Siva. Verily, O king, only he is able to discourse on the puissance, in its entirety of the Supreme deity’
Says the MB:
//Thou art Kāla or Time which is the universal destroyer……Thou art the mighty ape Hanuman that aided Vishnu in the incarnation of Rama in his expedition against Ravana. …. Thou art eternal and immutable as also dependent on thyself….Thou art that Brahma who was unable to see thy end….. Thou art he who is endued with innumerable rays of light, who brings forth the universe, and who is of the form of that Soma which is drunk in sacrifices. Thou art Vyasa, the author of the Puranas and other sacred histories….Thou art he who rescues thy creatures from death (by granting them Emancipation). Thou art the cleanser of all including Brahma himself.. Endued with omnipotence, he it is that gives Emancipation to those that worship him. Thou art of terrible wrath (which thou displayest at the time of the universal dissolution). Thou ownest for thy offspring, beings higher than men and deities (viz., Brahma and Vishnu).Thou art of the form of that Vishnu who floats on the waters after the universal dissolution.(markandeya vision)//
[While there is a popular belief that it is Viṣṇu that is seen on the pipal leaf at the time of dissolution, here Vyasa says it is the form of Shiva. Shiva is the Lord of Dissolution, Pralya, as stated in the foregoing.]
[One can also notice the correct meaning of ‘wrath’, which is personified by Rudra, the power that brings about the praḷaya, cosmic dissolution. Not knowing this, the vaiṣṇavas have erred by portraying Śiva as tāmasa and try to show that Viṣṇu alone is sāttvic. The negative sense attributed to ‘wrath’ has been corrected by Appayya Dikṣita by specifically delving on this topic in his work ‘Brahmatarka stava’.]
Says the MB:
“Vasudeva said, ‘Upamanyu, who seemed to blaze with effulgence like the Sun, said unto me,–Those sinful men that are stained with unrighteous deeds, do not succeed in attaining to Isana. Their dispositions being stained by the attributes of Rajas and Tamas, they can never approach the Supreme Deity. It is only those regenerate persons who are of cleansed souls that succeed in attaining to the Supreme Deity. Even if a person lives in the enjoyment of every pleasure and luxury, yet if he be devoted to the Supreme Deity, he comes to be regarded as the equal of forest recluses of cleansed souls. If Rudra be gratified with a person, he can confer upon him the states of ether Brahma or of Kesava or of Sakra with all the deities under him, or the sovereignty of the three worlds. Those men, O sire, who worship Bhava even mentally, succeed in freeing themselves from all sins and attain to a residence in heaven with all the gods. A person who raises houses to the ground and destroys tanks and lakes indeed, who devastates the whole universe, does not become stained with sin, if he adores and worships the illustrious Deity of three eyes. A person that is destitute of every auspicious indication and that is stained by every sin, has all his sins destroyed by meditating upon Siva. Even worm and insects and birds, O Kesava, that devote themselves to Mahadeva, are enabled to rove in perfect fearlessness. Even this is my settled conviction that those men who devote themselves to Mahadeva become certainly emancipated from rebirth. After this, Krishna again addressed Yudhishthira the son of Dharma in the following words.
[There is an erroneous notion among some sectarians that Shiva cannot grant mokṣa. This is dispelled by the above statement of Veda Vyasa through the words of Kṛṣṇa. ]
Veda Vyasa was not intolerant. He has given the status of Supreme Brahman to both Shiva and Narayana. He is the foremost Hari-Hara abheda vādin. http://sanskritdocuments.org/mirrors/mahabharata/unic/mbh12_sa.html
‘Rudro nārāyaṇaścaiva ekatattvam dvidhākṛtam…’ रुद्रो नारायणश्चैव सत्त्वमेकं द्विधाकृतम् |लोके चरति कौन्तेय व्यक्तिस्थं सर्वकर्मसु ||२४|| [Rudra and Nārāyaṇa are one Principle appearing as two.]
In innumerable places in the Bhagavata and other puraṇas Veda Vyasa has brought out the trimūrti aikya too apart from Hari-Hara abheda. While he has said in the MB that Rudra and Brahma are expressions of Vishnu, he has also said that the trimurtis emanate from Shiva. In other puranas such as the Śiva and Liṅga, he has narrated the story of Brahma and Vishnu going in search of the Head and Feet of Shiva.
LiP, 1, 18
ekākṣarāya rudrāya akārāyātmarūpiṇe
ukārāyādidevāya vidyādehāya vai namaḥ // LiP_1,18.1 //
tṛtīyāya makārāya śivāya paramātmane
sūryāgnisomavarṇāya yajamānāya vai namaḥ // LiP_1,18.2 //
agnaye rudrarūpāya rudrāṇāṃ pataye namaḥ
śivāya śivamantrāya sadyojātāya vedhase // LiP_1,18.3 //
vāmāya vāmadevāya varadāyāmṛtāya te
aghorāyātighorāya sadyojātāya raṃhase // LiP_1,18.4 //
īśānāya śmaśānāya ativegāya vegine
namo ‘stu śrutipādāya ūrdhvaliṅgāya liṅgine // LiP_1,18.5 //
hemaliṅgāya hemāya vāriliṅgāya cāṃbhase
śivāya śivaliṅgāya vyāpine vyomavyāpine // LiP_1,18.6 //
vāyave vāyuvegāya namaste vāyuvyāpine
tejase tejasāṃ bhartre namastejo ‘dhivyāpine // LiP_1,18.7 //
jalāya jalabhūtāya namaste jalavyāpine
pṛthivyai cāntarikṣāya pṛthivīvyāpine namaḥ // LiP_1,18.8 //
śabdasparśasvarūpāya rasagandhāya gandhine
gaṇādhipataye tubhyaṃ | guhyādguhyatamāya te // LiP_1,18.9 //
anantāya virūpāya anantānāmayāya ca
śāśvatāya variṣṭhāya | vārigarbhāya yogine // LiP_1,18.10 //
saṃsthitāyāmbhasāṃ madhye āvayormadhyavarcase
goptre hartre sadā kartre | nidhanāyeśvarāya ca // LiP_1,18.11 //
acetanāya cintyāya cetanāyāsahāriṇe
arūpāya surūpāya | anaṅgāyāṅgahāriṇe // LiP_1,18.12 //
śvetāya śvetavarṇāya | tuhinādricarāya ca // LiP_1,18.13 //
suśvetāya suvaktrāya namaḥ śvetaśikhāya ca
śvetāsyāya mahāsyāya | namaste śvetalohita // LiP_1,18.14 //
sutārāya viśiṣṭāya namo dundubhine hara
śatarūpavirūpāya | namaḥ ketumate sadā // LiP_1,18.15 //
ṛddhiśokaviśokāya pinākāya kapardine
vipāśāya supāśāya | namaste pāśanāśine // LiP_1,18.16 //
suhotrāya haviṣyāya subrahmaṇyāya sūriṇe
sumukhāya suvaktrāya | durdamāya damāya ca // LiP_1,18.17 //
kaṅkāya kaṅkarūpāya kaṅkaṇīkṛtapannaga
sanakāya namastubhyaṃ | sanātana sanandana // LiP_1,18.18 //
sanatkumārasāraṅgam āraṇāya mahātmane
lokākṣiṇe tridhāmāya | namo virajase sadā // LiP_1,18.19 //
śaṅkhapālāya śaṅkhāya rajase tamase namaḥ
sārasvatāya meghāya | meghavāhana te namaḥ // LiP_1,18.20 //
suvāhāya vivāhāya vivādavaradāya ca
namaḥ śivāya rudrāya | pradhānāya namonamaḥ // LiP_1,18.21 //
triguṇāya namastubhyaṃ caturvyūhātmane namaḥ
saṃsārāya namastubhyaṃ | namaḥ saṃsārahetave // LiP_1,18.22 //
mokṣāya mokṣarūpāya mokṣakartre namonamaḥ
ātmane ṛṣaye tubhyaṃ | svāmine viṣṇave namaḥ // LiP_1,18.23 //
namo bhagavate tubhyaṃ nāgānāṃ pataye namaḥ
oṅkārāya namastubhyaṃ | sarvajñāya namo namaḥ // LiP_1,18.24 //
sarvāya ca namastubhyaṃ namo nārāyaṇāya ca
namo hiraṇyagarbhāya | ādidevāya te namaḥ // LiP_1,18.25 //
namo ‘stvajāya pataye prajānāṃ vyūhahetave
mahādevāya devānām | īśvarāya namo namaḥ // LiP_1,18.26 //
śarvāya ca namastubhyaṃ satyāya śamanāya ca
brahmaṇe caiva bhūtānāṃ | sarvajñāya namo namaḥ // LiP_1,18.27 //
mahātmane namastubhyaṃ prajñārūpāya vai namaḥ
citaye citirūpāya | smṛtirūpāya vai namaḥ // LiP_1,18.28 //
jñānāya jñānagamyāya namaste saṃvide sadā
śikharāya namastubhyaṃ | nīlakaṇṭhāya vai namaḥ // LiP_1,18.29 //
ardhanārīśarīrāya avyaktāya namonamaḥ
ekādaśavibhedāya | sthāṇave te namaḥ sadā // LiP_1,18.30 //
namaḥ somāya sūryāya bhavāya bhavahāriṇe
yaśaskarāya devāya | śaṅkarāyeśvarāya ca // LiP_1,18.31 //
namo ‘ṃbikādhipataye umāyāḥ pataye namaḥ
hiraṇyabāhave tubhyaṃ | namaste hemaretase // LiP_1,18.32 //
nīlakeśāya vittāya śitikaṇṭhāya vai namaḥ
kapardine namastubhyaṃ | nāgāṅgābharaṇāya ca // LiP_1,18.33 //
vṛṣārūḍhāya sarvasya hartre kartre namonamaḥ
vīrarāmātirāmāya | rāmanāthāya te vibho // LiP_1,18.34 //
namo rājādhirājāya rājñāmadhigatāya te
namaḥ pālādhipataye | pālāśākṛntate namaḥ // LiP_1,18.35 //
namaḥ keyūrabhūṣāya gopate te namonamaḥ
namaḥ śrīkaṇṭhanāthāya | namo likucapāṇaye // LiP_1,18.36 //
bhuvaneśāya devāya vedaśāstra namo ‘stu te
sāraṅgāya namastubhyaṃ | rājahaṃsāya te namaḥ // LiP_1,18.37 //
kanakāṅgadahārāya namaḥ sarpopavītine
sarpakuṇḍalamālāya | kaṭisūtrīkṛtāhine // LiP_1,18.38 //
vedagarbhāya garbhāya viśvagarbhāya te śiva
virarāmeti saṃstutvā | brahmaṇā sahito hariḥ // LiP_1,18.39 //
etatstotravaraṃ puṇyaṃ sarvapāpapraṇāśanam
yaḥ paṭhecchrāvayedvāpi | brāhmaṇān vedapāragān // LiP_1,18.40 //
sa yāti brahmaṇo loke pāpakarmarato ‘pi vai
tasmājjapetpaṭhennityaṃ | śrāvayedbrāhmaṇāñchubhān // LiP_1,18.41 //
sarvapāpaviśuddhyarthaṃ viṣṇunā paribhāṣitam // LiP_1,18.42 //
A gist, not exact translation, of the above is:
The sages said, “We know that a linga is Shiva’s image. But why is Shiva worshipped in the form of a linga?”
Lomaharshana recounted the following story.
Many years ago, at the end of a destruction, there was water everywhere in the universe and the universe was shrouded in darkness. Vishnu slept on the water in his form of Narayana.
Brahma discovered Vishnu sleeping thus and woke him up. Failing to recognize Vishnu, he asked, “Who are you and what are you doing here?”
Vishnu woke up and noticed Brahma standing there. He smiled and said, “How are you, Brahma? Is everything well with my son?’
“How dare you call me your son?’ demanded Brahma. “I am Brahma, the lord of everything. I am the creator of the universe. How dare anyone call me his son?”
“You seem to have forgotten everything,” said Vishnu. “I am Vishnu and you were born from me. That is the reason why I addressed you as my son.”
Brahma did not accept this and started to fight with Vishnu. While the two were thus grappling, a shining linga suddenly appeared. It was almost as if the linga had emerged to settle Brahma and Vishnu’s dispute. The linga rose way up into the sky and it seemed to have no beginning or end.
“What on earth is this pillar of fire doing here?” Vishnu asked Brahma. “Let us investigate it. Why don’t you go up and see where it ends? As for me, I shall proceed downwards. Let us meet after a while and compare notes.”
Brahma agreed to do this. He adopted the form of a swan and flew up. Vishnu adopted the form of a boar and went down. No matter how further down Vishnu went, he could find no end to the linga. Nor could Brahma discover its upper extremity.
They returned and were amazed to find that neither had been able to find the end of the linga. They realized that they must be in the presence of a power that was greater than their own. They therefore began to pray to the linga and the sound of the mantra (incantation) om echoed all around the linga. Shiva appeared from within the linga in the form of a sage named Vedanama. He told them that it was the linga which was the origin of the universe. It was from the linga that the primordial egg (anda), the origin of the universe, had been created.
//As per the sixth chapter titled Liṅgapratiṣṭhāvarṇanam of the Kedārakhaṇḍa within the Māheśvarakhaṇḍa of Skandapurāṇa, the Ketakī flower gave a false testimony that Brahmā had seen the top of the cosmic and ever-expanding Liṅga. As a result Śiva cursed the flower that it will never be used in the worship of Śiva.//
The verse describing the curse is (Sk.Pu. 22.214.171.124)
सुगन्धकेतकी चापि अयोग्या त्वं शिवार्चने।
भविष्यसि न सन्देहो अनृता चैव भामिनी॥
There are accounts in the Devī Bhāgavata and the Śiva Purāṇa also.//
//In the Devī Bhāgavata, the account occurs in the thirty-third Adhyāya of the fifth Skandha. The curse of Śiva is described in the verses (DB 5.33.44-47)//
तदाकर्ण्य हरेर्वाक्यं महादेवः सनातनः॥ कुपितः केतकीं प्राह मिथ्यावादिनि मा वद। गच्छतो मध्यतः प्राप्ता पतिता मस्तकान्मम॥ मिथ्याभिभाषिणी त्यक्ता मया त्वं सर्वदैव हि। ब्रह्मा लज्जापरो भूत्वा ननाम मधुसूदनम्॥ शिवेन केतकी त्यक्ता तद्दिनात्कुसुमेषु वै।
Translation by Svāmī Vijñānānanda under http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/db/bk05ch33.htm
//32-39. The Risi said :– O King! Hearing thus the divine word, both of them became ready and began energetically to measure the length of the wonderful Lingam that stood in front of them. Visnu went down to Pâtâla and Brahmâ went up to Âkâs’a to measure the Lingam and thus to ascertain their superiority. Going down some distance Visnu got tired and doing his best, when he could not find out the end of the Lingam, he returned and remained at the desired meeting place. On the other hand, Brahmâ was ascending to the skies when he got one Ketakî flower dropping from the head of the Lingam. He became over glad and returned also to the desired meeting place. Brahmâ became very much elated with vanity and when he returned, he at once showed that flower to Visnu and spoke thus the false words :– “O Visnu! This Ketakî flower has been obtained from the head of the Lingam. I have brought this to you simply that you would recognise it and be convinced in your heart.” Hearing these words of Brahmâ, Visnu saw the Ketakî flower and said :– “O Brahmâ! Who is your witness in this matter? He whose words are true, who is equal to all, who is intelligent, pure, and always of good conduct, he can be the witness in such matters of dispute.”//
The eternal Mahâ Deva, hearing the words of Visnu, spoke thus to Ketakî with great anger, “O Liar! Do not utter such false words; You dropped down from My head and Brahmâ while ascending up, picked you up on the way. Now as you have told a lie, I will never take you; you are henceforth forsaken by Me.” Brahmâ was then very much put to shame; he bowed down to Visnu; Mahâ Deva, forsook the Ketakî flower from that date.
English translation of the whole chapter can be read under the above link.
A Mahatmā is the one who unifies the various beliefs/followings. Veda Vyasa was the pioneer in that. He explicitly denounced the differentiation/fight over the supremacy of Hari or Hara:
Veda Vyasa says in the Sūtasamhitā 4 yajñavaibhavakhaṇḍa, sūtagītā 2nd chapter:
अस्ति रुद्रस्य विप्रेन्द्रा अन्तःसत्त्वं बहिस्तमः
विष्णोरन्तस्तमः सत्त्वं बहिरस्ति रजोगुणः
अन्तर्बहिश्च विप्रेन्द्रा अस्ति तस्य प्रजापतेः
अतोऽपेक्ष्य गुणं सत्त्वं मनुष्या विवदन्ति च
हरिः श्रेष्ठो हरः श्रेष्ठ इत्यहो मोहवैभवम्
सत्त्वाभावात्प्रजानाथं वरिष्ठं नैव मन्वते (40 -42)
The above cited last verse says: On the basis of ‘sattva’ deluded people dispute whether Hari or Hara that is superior. Alas! What a play of delusion!! Exclaims Veda Vyasa. Sridhara Swamin says at the end of that set of verses/commentary:
तत्तद्भक्तानां तु कलहो मोहमात्रम् इति (Bhāgavatam 10.88.5-7)
[‘the disputes between the devotees of trimurtis, however, is mere delusion.] And Vamśīdhara, another commentator to the Śrīmadbhāgavatam who elucidates Śrīdhara Swamin too, explains this line as: since there is none that is lesser among the three, the disputes among their bhaktas in the form of: one is superior and the other is inferior – is just ignorance, ajñānam.
amakrishna Paramahamsa: Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna: p.165 : //There was fighting even between Shiva and Rama. Shiva was Rama’s spiritual Guru. After a little fighting, they made it up and became once more as good friends as ever. But the fighting went on among their followers. The gibbering of the ghosts and the chattering of the monkeys could not so easily be quieted down.//
//How wonderful is its power! It entangles even a Divine Incarnation and makes Him Delusive pow- suffer from hunger, thirst, sorrow, power of Maya, misery, like an ordinary mortal. Do you not see how Rama, the Divine Incarnation, suffered for Sita? How with great sorrow, He wept bitterly when Sita was stolen away from Him ? In the Hindu mythology there is a story that Vishnu incarnated in the form of a boar to
Vishnu. He did not care to return to his Heaven, “He wanted to live as a boar. He had some little ones and He was happy with them. The Devas of the heaven thought: “How is it that our Lord does not comeback? What has happened ?” Then they went to Shiva and asked Him to persuade Vishnu to return to His heaven. Shiva came and entreated Him, but He was taking care of His young ones and paid no heed. Then Shiva tore open His body with His triad and freed Him from His self-delusion. Vishnu then laughed and returned to His heavenly abode. Such is the power of Maya! To go beyond its realm and rise above the Gunas (qualities) is extremely difficult. He who has attained to God has transcended Maya with its qualities. p.260//
Shankaracharya says in his ‘māyāpañcakam’:
Batha virachayya budhānapi prakāmam,
Nagaṭhitaghaṭanāpaṭīyasī māyā. 5
5. Alas! Maya, which is adept at making the impossible happen, creates in Brahman which is homogeneous, without any parts, distinctions such as Brahma, Vishnu and Siva and thereby perplexes even the learned by making them look upon Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva as different from one another.
Thus it is clear that it is out of delusion that people think Hari-Hara bheda is absolute.
Vamśīdhara, commenting on the Srimadbhāgavatam says that all acts of Vishnu involving slaying the wicked has a Shiva-amśa in it since it is done in krodha:
In the above document the author has given innumerable references from the shruti, smrti, bhāgavatam and other puranas to establish that One Brahman alone, with a view to engage in the creation, sustenance and dissolution takes up the form of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Rudra. These three deities represent rajas, sattva and tamas. The author hastens to add that the very mention of tamas should not remind the reader of sloth, sleep, etc. that are the effects of tamas. The tamas mentioned here is the power that is essential to the work of destruction. Hence, the author says, even in the widely-admitted Viṣṇu acts of slaying of the wicked and establishing order, the slaying aspect is done not without the role of Rudra and only the establishing order is that of Viṣṇu. Hence, as taught in the Bhāgavatam Dakṣa yajna episode by Bhagavan that the knowledge of the oneness of the three: Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Rudra, alone is conducive to mokṣa, peace. And therefore the difference between the three is mere ignorance.
Shankara Bhagavatpāda too, in the footsteps of Veda Vyasa, never encouraged sectarianism. For him Hari and Hara were one and the same: In his Viṣṇu sahasranāma bhāṣya Shankara says:
While commenting on the name ‘Śiva’ occurring as the 27th name in the Viṣṇu sahasra nāma (VS), Sri Shankaracharya says: निस्त्रैगुण्यतया शुद्धत्वात् शिवः ‘स ब्रह्मा स शिवः..’ (कै.उ.८) इत्यभेदोपदेशात् शिवादिनामभिः हरिरेव स्तूयते । [being free of the three guṇas (sattva, etc.), He is Śiva. Since the Kaivalyopaniṣat instructs that He is non-different from Brahmā, Śiva…’ by the names Śiva, etc. Hari Himself is praised.
Shankara says for the name ‘bhūtakṛt’ (5th name), तमोगुणमास्थाय स रुद्रात्मना भूतानि कृन्तति कृणोति हिनस्तीति भूतकृत् [(Viśṇu) as Rudra, assuming Tamoguṇa, destroys all beings. Hence He is called ‘bhūtakṛt’.]
Shankara does not speak of a ‘separate’ Shiva/Rudra here; he makes it clear that the Vishnu about whom he is commenting in the VS, is assuming tamoguṇa to destroy the world. The word kṛntati, hinasti, show the cruelty involved in the act of killing/destroying. None can wish away these natural emotions manifesting when one engages in slaying the opponent.
For the name ‘Rudra’ (114) of the VS, Shankara cites the following Shivapurana verse:
रुद्दुःखं दुःखहेतुर्वा तद्रावयति नः प्रभुः ॥ रुद्र इत्युच्यते सद्भिः शिवः परमकारणम् ॥ 6.9.14 to say that Shiva is the Supreme Cause of the creation.
From MB Drona parva:
Also available in:
The translations given below are not very perfect; they are only indicative. One may read the available translations from the appropriate source.
महान्तमेतमर्थं मां यं त्वं पृच्छसि विस्मयात् |
तत्प्रवक्ष्यामि ते सर्वं समाधाय मनः शृणु ||५०||
[Ashvathāma had asked Vyasa: ‘Why, with what power, did the Āgneya astra go in vain?’ To this Vyāsa replied: I shall reply this great question of yours.]
योऽसौ नारायणो नाम पूर्वेषामपि पूर्वजः |
अजायत च कार्यार्थं पुत्रो धर्मस्य विश्वकृत् ||५१||
[This Nārāyaṇa is born before all. He was born for a particular purpose as son of Dharma, the Viśvakṛt]
स तपस्तीव्रमातस्थे मैनाकं गिरिमास्थितः |
ऊर्ध्वबाहुर्महातेजा ज्वलनादित्यसंनिभः ||५२||
[He engaged in severe penance on the Maināka mountain. He held up his hands.]
षष्टिं वर्षसहस्राणि तावन्त्येव शतानि च |
अशोषयत्तदात्मानं वायुभक्षोऽम्बुजेक्षणः ||५३||
[For sixty thousand years and hundreds by surviving on air]
अथापरं तपस्तप्त्वा द्विस्ततोऽन्यत्पुनर्महत् |
द्यावापृथिव्योर्विवरं तेजसा समपूरयत् ||५४||
स तेन तपसा तात ब्रह्मभूतो यदाभवत् |
ततो विश्वेश्वरं योनिं विश्वस्य जगतः पतिम् ||५५||
ददर्श भृशदुर्दर्शं सर्वदेवैरपीश्वरम् |
अणीयसामणीयांसं बृहद्भ्यश्च बृहत्तरम् ||५६||
[As a result of such severe penance Nārāyaṇa beheld that being most difficult to be seen, who is smaller/subtler than the subtlest and greater than the great.]
रुद्रमीशानमृषभं चेकितानमजं परम् |
गच्छतस्तिष्ठतो वापि सर्वभूतहृदि स्थितम् ||५७||
[That is Rudra, the Lord who dwells in everyone’s heart. One is reminded of the BG 18.xx ‘Īśvaraḥ sarvabhūtānām..’ verse]
दुर्वारणं दुर्दृशं तिग्ममन्युं; महात्मानं सर्वहरं प्रचेतसम् |
दिव्यं चापमिषुधी चाददानं; हिरण्यवर्माणमनन्तवीर्यम् ||५८||
[Rudra’s great prowess is stated here]
पिनाकिनं वज्रिणं दीप्तशूलं; परश्वधिं गदिनं स्वायतासिम् |
सुभ्रुं जटामण्डलचन्द्रमौलिं; व्याघ्राजिनं परिघं दण्डपाणिम् ||५९||
शुभाङ्गदं नागयज्ञोपवीतिं; विश्वैर्गणैः शोभितं भूतसङ्घैः |
एकीभूतं तपसां संनिधानं; वयोतिगैः सुष्टुतमिष्टवाग्भिः ||६०||
जलं दिवं खं क्षितिं चन्द्रसूर्यौ; तथा वाय्वग्नी प्रतिमानं जगच्च |
नालं द्रष्टुं यमजं भिन्नवृत्ता; ब्रह्मद्विषघ्नममृतस्य योनिम् ||६१||
यं पश्यन्ति ब्राह्मणाः साधुवृत्ताः; क्षीणे पापे मनसा ये विशोकाः |
स तन्निष्ठस्तपसा धर्ममीड्यं; तद्भक्त्या वै विश्वरूपं ददर्श ||६२||
दृष्ट्वा चैनं वाङ्मनोबुद्धिदेहैः; संहृष्टात्मा मुमुदे देवदेवम् ||६२||
अक्षमालापरिक्षिप्तं ज्योतिषां परमं निधिम् |
ततो नारायणो दृष्ट्वा ववन्दे विश्वसम्भवम् ||६३||
वरदं पृथुचार्वङ्ग्या पार्वत्या सहितं प्रभुम् |
अजमीशानमव्यग्रं कारणात्मानमच्युतम् ||६४||
[Beholding the Rudra, the Viśvarūpa, Nārāyaṇa, bowed to Him. He appeared with His consort Pārvatī. He is the Cause. One is reminded of the Atharvaśikhopaniṣad where Shambhu is taught as the Jagatkāraṇam from whom Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Rudra emerged.]
अभिवाद्याथ रुद्राय सद्योऽन्धकनिपातिने |
पद्माक्षस्तं विरूपाक्षमभितुष्टाव भक्तिमान् ||६५||
[The lotus-eyed one, Hari, bowed respectfully the odd-formed-eyed Hara.]
त्वत्सम्भूता भूतकृतो वरेण्य; गोप्तारोऽद्य भुवनं पूर्वदेवाः |
आविश्येमां धरणीं येऽभ्यरक्षपुराणां तव देव सृष्टिम् ||६६||
सुरासुरान्नागरक्षःपिशाचान्नरान्सुपर्णानथ गन्धर्वयक्षान् |
पृथग्विधान्भूतसङ्घांश्च विश्वांस्त्वत्सम्भूतान्विद्म सर्वांस्तथैव ||६७||
[The entire variegated creation has sprung from You, O Rudra]
ऐन्द्रं याम्यं वारुणं वैत्तपाल्यं; मैत्रं त्वाष्ट्रं कर्म सौम्यं च तुभ्यम् ||६७||
रूपं ज्योतिः शब्द आकाशवायुः; स्पर्शः स्वाद्यं सलिलं गन्ध उर्वी |
कामो ब्रह्मा ब्रह्म च ब्राह्मणाश्च; त्वत्सम्भूतं स्थास्नु चरिष्णु चेदम् ||६८||
अद्भ्यः स्तोका यान्ति यथा पृथक्त्वंताभिश्चैक्यं सङ्क्षये यान्ति भूयः |
एवं विद्वान्प्रभवं चाप्ययं च; हित्वा भूतानां तत्र सायुज्यमेति ||६९||
दिव्यावृतौ मानसौ द्वौ सुपर्णा; ववाक्षाखः पिप्पलः सप्त गोपाः |
दशाप्यन्ये ये पुरं धारयन्ति; त्वया सृष्टास्ते हि तेभ्यः परस्त्वम् ||७०||
भूतं भव्यं भविता चाप्यधृष्यं; त्वत्सम्भूता भुवनानीह विश्वा ||७०||
भक्तं च मां भजमानं भजस्व; मा रीरिषो मामहिताहितेन |
आत्मानं त्वामात्मनोऽनन्यभावो; विद्वानेवं गच्छति ब्रह्म शुक्रम् ||७१||
अस्तौषं त्वां तव संमानमिच्छ; न्विचिन्वन्वै सवृषं देववर्य |
सुदुर्लभान्देहि वरान्ममेष्टानभिष्टुतः प्रतिकार्षीश्च मा माम् ||७२||
[Grant me boons that are dear to my heart – so asked Hari of Hara]
तस्मै वरानचिन्त्यात्मा नीलकण्ठः पिनाकधृक् |
अर्हते देवमुख्याय प्रायच्छदृषिसंस्तुतः ||७३||
[Nīlakanṭha obliged Nārāyaṇa with the boons]
मत्प्रसादान्मनुष्येषु देवगन्धर्वयोनिषु |
अप्रमेयबलात्मा त्वं नारायण भविष्यसि ||७४||
[[Nīlakanṭha said: By My grace, you Nārāyaṇa, will be of unequalled strength among humans, gods and other divine beings.]
न च त्वा प्रसहिष्यन्ति देवासुरमहोरगाः |
न पिशाचा न गन्धर्वा न नरा न च राक्षसाः ||७५||
न सुपर्णास्तथा नागा न च विश्वे वियोनिजाः |
न कश्चित्त्वां च देवोऽपि समरेषु विजेष्यति ||७६||
न शस्त्रेण न वज्रेण नाग्निना न च वायुना |
नार्द्रेण न च शुष्केण त्रसेन स्थावरेण वा ||७७||
कश्चित्तव रुजं कर्ता मत्प्रसादात्कथञ्चन |
अपि चेत्समरं गत्वा भविष्यसि ममाधिकः ||७८||
[Due to My grace, You, Nārāyaṇa, will not be harmed/killed by any of the beings or weapons of this creation. Also in the event of your entering a battle, you will be more powerful than Me, Rudra.]
एवमेते वरा लब्धाः पुरस्ताद्विद्धि शौरिणा |
स एष देवश्चरति मायया मोहयञ्जगत् ||७९||
Vyāsa concluded his reply to Ashwatthāma’s question: These boons were secured by Shourie (Hari) (from Rudra). Hari, wanders this earth deluding beings with Māyā. ]
तस्यैव तपसा जातं नरं नाम महामुनिम् |
तुल्यमेतेन देवेन तं जानीह्यर्जुनं सदा ||८०||
[Of His (Nārāyaṇa’s) penance has Arjuna, the Nara, been born. Arjuna is equal to Nārāyana. Thus Vyāsa answered Ashvatthāma’s question on how/why indeed Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna remained unaffected by the Āgneya missile that was released against them.]
The above episode of the MB is also reflected in the Harivamśa:
“yathA mainAkamAshritya tapastvamakaroH prabho |
tathA mama varaM kR^iShNa saMsmR^itya sthairyamApnuhi |
avadhyastvamajeyashcha mattaH shUratarastathA |
bhavitAsItyavochaM yattattathA na tadanyathA |” (Harivamsa Purana 2:74:37-38)
“O kRiShNa! As you did penance staying on mainAka, you received a boon from me. Be firm in your mind, remembering that boon. You can not be killed, you can not be conquered, and you will be more valiant than me. All this will happen as told by me. None will be able to change this”.
It is because of this that wherever there is a ‘fight’ reported between Rudra and Nārāyaṇa, in the MB or the Vālmiki Rāmāyaṇa or anywhere else, where Nārāyāna is invariably the winner. This is the boon granted by Shiva to Nārāyaṇa: you will be more valiant than me.
Obfuscating this fact, the bigoted ones try to show Śiva as someone inferior who is subdued by Nārāyaṇa.
Here is a comment by a blogger:
//That Appayya was under severe attack can be seen in his own works where he frequently contradicts himself – in one place, he says Sri Rama was suffering the effects of karma, while in another place, he negates it by saying Rama is verily Parabrahman. In one place, he says the Ganga from Shiva’s hair is different from the one emerging from Trivikrama’s foot – the former being “pure” Ganga and latter being “impure” (shows his hatred for Vishnu here) – but contradicts it elsewhere by saying Ganga on Shiva’s head comes from Vishnu’s feet.
He also contradicts himself philosophically – at times arguing for a “sadA shiva” above nArAyaNa by arguing that it is “nArAyaNAt param brahma” in the nArAyaNa sUkta, at times equating nArAyaNa to shiva and declaring nArAyaNa is Parabrahman, at times saying Uma and Vishnu are “shaktis” of Shiva, etc. This shows his utter inability to prove shiva paratva in any manner whatsover.//
Response to the above:
It can easily be appreciated that the ‘objections’, if that is what they are, stated above, actually apply to Veda Vyāsa rather than Appayya Dikṣita. As someone who is not a bigot, Veda Vyasa has portrayed both Śiva and Nārayana as the Supreme. In the Vālmiki Ramayana itself we see a set of verses where Rama laments on his misfortunes, blaming his past karma. We also see Rama being spoken of as the Supreme in that text itself.
Aranya Kandam sarga 63:
स लक्ष्मणं शोकवशाभिपन्नं शोके निमग्नो विपुले तु रामः।
उवाच वाक्यं व्यसनानुरूपमुष्णं विनिश्श्वस्य रुदंत्सशोकम्।।3.63.2।।
विपुले शोके in intense grief, निमग्नः plunged, सः that, रामः Rama, सशोकम् with sorrow, रुदन् crying, शोकवशाभिपन्नम् who was caught in sorrow, लक्ष्मणम् Lakshmana, उष्णम् hot, विनिश्वस्य sighing, व्यसनानुरूपम् in his grief, वाक्यम् these words, उवाच said.
Plunged in deep grief, Rama heaved hot sighs and said these words to griefstricken Lakshmana, weeping:
न मद्विधो दुष्कृतकर्मकारी मन्ये द्वितीयोऽस्ति वसुन्धरायाम्।
शोकेन शोको हि परम्पराया मा मेति भिन्दन्हृदयं मनश्च।।3.63.3।।
I think there is none on earth like me who has performed such forbidden acts. One grief after the other is successively piercing my heart and my mind.
पूर्वं मया नूनमभीप्सितानि पापानि कर्माण्यसकृत्कृतानि।
तत्रायमद्यापतितो विपाको दुःखेन दुःखं यदहं विशामि।।3.63.4।।
In the past I had certainly done some sinful deeds I often liked the consequences of which have descended on me now as I am experiencing one sorrow after another. [Here is where the ‘anapahatapāpmatvam’ (lack of freedom from sins) of Rāma is brought out by Himself. The blogger’s tirade on Shiva in the śatapathabrāhmaṇa is replayed, and returned with compliments by Vālmiki, with some changes though, in this episode of the Rāmāyaṇa.]
राज्यप्रणाशस्स्वजनैर्वियोगः पितुर्विनाशो जननीवियोगः।
सर्वाणि मे लक्ष्मण शोकवेगमापूरयन्ति प्रविचिन्तितानि।।3.63.5।।
O Lakshmana, loss of kingdom, separation from kith and kin, death of father, separation from mother–all these thoughts augment my sorrow faster and in greater measure.
It is only those who are bigoted that cannot rise to the heights of Veda Vyasa and Appayya Dikshita by not subscribing to the often-paraded bigoted view: Hari alone is the Supreme.
The above blogger’s remark that Appayya did not succeed in proving Shiva-paratva also is misguided. Appayya has very clearly stated why he undertook the task of bringing to light Shiva-supremacy:
// viShNurvA shankaro vA shruti-shikhara-girAmastu tAtparya-bhUmiH
na-asmAkam tatra vAdaH prasarati kimapi spaShTam-advaita-bhAjAm |
kintu-Isha-dveSha-gADhAnala-kalita-hRRidAm durmatInAm duruktIH
bhanktum yatno mama-ayam nahi bhavatu tato viShNu-vidveSha-shankAm ||
The meaning of the above beautiful verse is:
‘I have not the slightest objection, to anyone coming to any conclusion, that the spirit of the Vedas and the Vedantas, declare either Vishnu or Shiva as the First God. I am a follower of the Advaita doctrine. I have no difference between Shiva and VishNu. But if in order to establish Vishnu as the main God, if somebody starts abusing Shiva or hates him, I cannot bear it. There are as many proofs or pramanas in the Vedas, Vedantas, Puranas and Agamas to establish that Shiva is a mighty God, as there are to prove that Vishnu is a powerful one. However, I am propagating my religion and indulging in debate and disputation, only to persuade everyone not to hate Shiva. Let no one have the slightest doubt that I either hate or wish to denigrate Lord Vishnu simply because I praise the grace and greatness of Lord Shiva.’
The sublime devotion of Dikshita to Lord Vishnu is fully seen from his great work ‘Varadaraja stava’ where he has sung in ecstatic poetry about Lord Varadaraja of Kanchipuram. Vaishnavas declare that Vishnu is the supreme being and that Shiva has a lower status, being a mere jiva. Sri Dikshita however proves in his ‘Ratna-traya-parIkShA’ that Shiva, Vishnu, Ambika, all the three are the same, viz., the supreme reality, and proves it with the pramanas taken from the puranas, vedas and agamas. //
The above is quoted from the book: ‘Sri Appayya Dikshita’ (p.66,67) by Dr.N.Ramesan, IAS.
At the beginning of his ‘brahmatarka stava’ too Appayya Dikṣita clarifies: तत्र साधकोपन्यासेन बाधकोद्धारेण च प्रतिपादनीयः । [It is incumbent upon me to establish the Shiva-supremacy by both supporting evidence and also negating/refuting those views that deny supremacy to Shiva.] He has also dwelt upon the topic of some misguided elements portraying Shiva as a tāmasa deity by analyzing the meaning/purport of the tamoguṇa that is associated with the cosmic destruction-function of the creation.
The blogger says: // This shows his utter inability to prove shiva paratva in any manner whatsoever.//
Again, the purpose with which Appayya Dikṣita ventured into this endeavor is missed by the blogger. It is not with a view to establish ‘Shiva-alone-is supreme’. His intention, as stated by himself in the above-cited verse, is to show that the scriptures afford enough support to both Shiva and Vishnu supremacy. This is exactly what Veda Vyasa also has done through his various works. In fact it was the non-Advaitic Acharyas that came after Shankaracharya that utterly failed in their efforts to establish the bigoted Vishnu-alone-supreme doctrine. This is proved by the fact that the largest following among vaidikas, the smarthas, have never subscribed to such bigoted views. Their Hari-Hara abheda acceptance is reflected amply in their culture, daily worship, temple association, maṭha affiliations, giving both Shiva and Vishnu names to children, etc. The bigoted view is confined to a separate section of the vaidikas and not by the smartha community that is inclusive in its character. For the vaishnavas giving Shiva-related names to children is reprehensible. So, the failure is only of those who tried to push the Vishnu alone is supreme ideas into society, resulting in the dividing of the vaidika community on sectarian lines. Their achievement is only this, by doing that which is antithetical to what Veda Vyasa and Shankara did.
Appayya Dikshita in the Brahmatarka stave has also eminently established that the entire Vishvarupa darshana (not just the destruction-related part) had by Arjuna as depicted in the Bhagavadgita, is that of Lord Shiva alone. One can read those portions from the work which has ample supporting evidences given by the author himself. He has analyzed the tamas attributed to Shiva and proved with innumerous citations from the Ramayana, Mahabharata, etc. that Rama and Krishna/Vishnu were subject to sloth, wrath, etc. Dikshita has also proved in that work that there is not a single instance of Shiva being born of a womb or disappearing/dying whereas Rama and Krishna/Vishnu have undergone womb-stay before birth and also disappeared/died. However, Appayya never shows Rama or Krishna or Vishnu in a negative way; he hastens to add that they were none other than the Supreme Brahman, ever omniscient, etc. That is what sets apart Appayya Dikshita from all others who only ended up painting Shiva in poor light in their bigotry to parade Vishnu as the only-supreme. Thus, contrary to the blogger’s erroneous assessment, Appayya Dikṣita’s efforts have met tremendous success in that the time-immemorial Hari-Hara abheda of the Veda, MB, puranas, etc. have been given a further boost, a rejuvenation, a greater strength, for the non-vaiṣṇava vaidikas.
Madhusudana Saraswati too, in that tradition of Veda Vyasa, has only upheld Hari-Hara abheda. He has written a detailed commentary to the Shiva mahimna stava where twin-commentary to verses are given, one for Shiva and another for Vishnu. At the end of the commentary he explicitly says that he has with great pains done this kind of a commentary only to convey the message to those deluded people that there is absolutely no difference between Hari and Hara, an undeniable feature repeatedly coming from the words of Veda Vyasa. Narayana himself, in the MB tells Shiva: There is absolutely no difference between us.
Thus, it can be easily seen that it is the illustrious Advaita tradition alone, starting from Shankaracharya (whose very name, as reiterated by Sureshwaracharya, is that of Shiva, which name the bigoted elements would not even like to take or give to their children), Vidyaranya, Madhusudana Saraswati, Appayya Dikṣita right up to the Acharyas of the smartha following, both pontiff and scholar, have upheld and nurtured, protected and handed down to the subsequent generations the Hari-Hara abheda enshrined in the Veda, brought out ably by Veda Vyāsa. None other than the Advaita tradition can truly claim to be part of this Veda Vyāsa tradition.
For more details on the several concepts covered above one can read the following articles: (all these articles are available in the ‘archives’ of this blog: adbhutam. By suitably navigating or by copying the article name to the browser and giving a search, it will show up:
The Role of Lord Śiva in the Bh.Gītā 11th Chapter
‘KILL TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE’
SHANKARACHARYA WAS NOT A VAISHNAVA
ŚRĪDHARA SWĀMIN MISREPRESENTED
THE ‘KEŚĪ SŪKTAM’ COMMENTARY – A TRAVESTY OF VEDĀNTA
AN ETYMOLOGY FOR THE NAME ‘RUDRA’?
AN ETYMOLOGY FOR ‘RUDRA’? – 2
TRIMURTI AIKYA – THE FEMININE VERSION
WAS MADHUSŪDANA SARASWATI A BIGOT?
TURIYA SHIVA OF THE KAIVALYOPANISHAT
MADHUSUDANA SARASWATI MISREPRESENTED
’Tad-viṣṇoḥ paramam padam’
SHIVA-VISHNU ABHEDA IN THE KAIVALYOPANISHAT
WHO IS THE ‘UTTAMA PURUṢA’ ?
The ‘Bhāratamanjari’ of Kshemendra
THE ANDHRA MAHA BHARATAMU – A SHORT STUDY
MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SHIVA
All the above articles bring out the true tradition initiated by the Veda and Veda Vyasa.
Om Tat Sat
Passages teaching ‘vastu pariccheda abhāva’ for Brahman
There are innumerous passages in the śruti, smṛti and purāṇas to denote that Brahman is free of the limitation caused by objects. That is, there are no objects really that can cause any limitation to Brahman. In other words, if there are objects/entities that are admitted other than, different from, Brahman on absolute terms, then there is no way that Brahman can remain ananta, infinite. Finitude can occur on three grounds: time, space and objects. Brahman is eternal and there is no time-wise limitation to It. Being all-pervading, in and out, Brahman is free of space-wise limitation. Having no objects other than Itself, Brahman is free of object-wise limitation too. In order to make this last aspect clear there are several passages in the scriptures:
- सत्यंज्ञानमनन्तं ब्रह्म । (Brahman is Existence, Consciousness and Infinite) (Taittiriya Up. 2.1). The Bhāṣyam for this, in part, in particular the anantam epithet is:
कथं पुनर्वस्तुत आनन्त्यम्? सर्वानन्यत्वात् । भिन्नं हि वस्तु वस्त्वन्तरस्य अन्तो भवति, वस्त्वन्तरबुद्धिर्हि प्रसक्ताद्वस्त्वन्तरान्निवर्तते । यतो यस्य बुद्धेर्निवृत्तिः, स तस्यान्तः । तद्यथा गोत्वबुद्धिरश्वत्वान्निवर्तत इत्यश्वत्वान्तं गोत्वमित्यन्तवदेव भवति । स चान्तो भिन्नेषु वस्तुषु दृष्टः । नैवं ब्रह्मणो भेदः । अतो वस्तुतोऽप्यानन्त्यम् । कथं पुनः सर्वानन्यत्वं ब्रह्मण इति, उच्यते – सर्ववस्तुकारणत्वात् । सर्वेषां हि वस्तूनां कालाकाशादीनां कारणं ब्रह्म । कार्यापेक्षया वस्तुतोऽन्तवत्त्वमिति चेत्, न; अनृतत्वात्कार्यस्य वस्तुनः । न हि कारणव्यतिरेकेण कार्यं नाम वस्तुतोऽस्ति, यतः कारणबुद्धिर्विनिवर्तेत; ‘वाचारंभणं विकारो नामधेयं मृत्तिकेत्येव सत्यम्’ (छा. उ. ६-१-४) एवं सदेव सत्यमिति श्रुत्यन्तरात् ।
[How again is Brahman infinite object-wise? Since It is non-different from everything. An object that is different from another object, limits the latter. The awareness about the other object is annulled by the awareness of the object that is being perceived at present. That which limits the consciousness (awareness) of the other object is the limiter of the latter. Just as cow-awareness is thwarted by the horse-awareness and thus the latter is certainly the limiter of the former. Such a limitation is seen in objects that are different from each other. Not so is a difference with respect to Brahman. Therefore Brahman is infinite object-wise too. How again is Brahman non-different from everything? This is said thus: Since It is the cause of all objects. Brahman is the Cause of all objects including time and space. Objection: Brahman is object-wise limited, finite, from the standpoint of Its effects. Reply: No, since the object called ‘effect’ is unreal. Never does an object remain different from its cause so as to thwart/annul the cause-awareness. For, the Chā.up. 6.1.4 teaches: ‘all clay-transformations are mere words and the material cause, clay, alone is real.’ Likewise ‘existence alone is real’ teaches another passage.
Continues the bhāṣya:
आकाशो ह्यनन्त इति प्रसिद्धं देशतः; तस्येदं कारणम् ; तस्मात्सिद्धं देशत आत्मन आनन्त्यम् । न ह्यसर्वगतात्सर्वगतमुत्पद्यमानं लोके किञ्चिद्दृश्यते । अतो निरतिशयमात्मन आनन्त्यं देशतः । तथा अकार्यत्वात्कालतः ; तद्भिन्नवस्त्वन्तराभावाच्च वस्तुतः । अत एव निरतिशयसत्यत्वम् ॥] [It is quite well known that space, ākāśa, is infinite. Brahman is the cause of even space and therefore Brahman-Atman is infinite. It is not seen anywhere in the world that something all-pervading issuing forth from a finite cause. Therefore Atman’s infinitude is absolute. And since Brahman is not caused, that is, It is not a product, It is infinite time-wise too. (that which is a product, being absent before its creation, and after its destruction, is indeed finite time-wise and Brahman being uncaused, and thus indestructible, is ever existent and hence infinite time-wise too). And since there is no object other than Brahman, It is infinite object-wise too. Therefore alone is Its absolute Existence as well. ]
- The Tai.up. 2.6.1 says, in part: इदं सर्वमसृजत । यदिदं किञ्च । तत्सृष्ट्वा । तदेवानुप्राविशत् । तदनुप्रविश्य । सच्च त्यच्चाभवत् । …सत्यं चानृतं च सत्यमभवत् । [Brahman created all this and whatever is in creation and experienced as ‘this’. Having created It entered It. And became everything that is real and false…] The bhāṣya says: एतत्सर्वमभवत्, सत्यं परमार्थसत्यम्; किं पुनस्तत्? ब्रह्म, ‘सत्यं ज्ञानमनन्तं ब्रह्म’ इति प्रकृतत्वात् । यस्मात्, सत्त्यदादिकं मूर्तामूर्तधर्मजातं यत्किंचेदं सर्वमविशिष्टं विकारजातमेकमेव सच्छब्दवाच्यं ब्रह्माभवत्, तद्व्यतिरेकेणाभावान्नामरूपविकारस्य, तस्मात् तत् ब्रह्म सत्यमित्याचक्षते ब्रह्मविदः । [ Brahman became all this. Since all transformation that is denoted as formed and un-formed is a manifestation of Brahman alone, being non-existent as different from It, therefore Brahman is called ‘Satyam’.]
- The Bṛ.up. 1.4.10 teaches ब्रह्म वा इदमग्र आसीत्तदात्मानमेवावेत् । अहं ब्रह्मास्मीति । तस्मात्तत्सर्वमभवत् ।[Brahman existed before. It knew Itself as ‘I am Brahman.’ Therefore It became all. The relevant bhashyam is:
तस्मात् — यत्प्रविष्टं स्रष्टृ ब्रह्म, तद्ब्रह्म, वै-शब्दोऽवधारणार्थः, इदं शरीरस्थं यद्गृह्यते, अग्रे प्राक्प्रतिबोधादपि, ब्रह्मैवासीत्, …..तस्मात् एवं विज्ञानात् तद्ब्रह्म सर्वमभवत् – अब्रह्माध्यारोपणापगमात् तत्कार्यस्यासर्वत्वस्य निवृत्त्या सर्वमभवत् ।
(Therefore) That Brahman that has created the world and entered into it, that Brahman, ‘vā’ is for emphasis, idam: that which is available in the body, was Brahman alone before the knowledge too. Upon knowing Itself as ‘I am Brahman’, …it realized Its true nature of being ‘All’.
Here too, the Upaniṣad teaches that the nature of Brahman is to be ‘All’. That is being free of vastu-pariccheda, object-wise limitation.
- The Bṛ.up. 2.4.14 teaches: यत्र हि द्वैतमिव भवति तदितर इतरं जिघ्रति तदितर इतरं पश्यति तदितर इतरं शृणोति तदितर इतरमभिवदति तदितर इतरं मनुते मदितर इतरं विजानाति यत्र वा अस्य सर्वमात्मैवाभूत्तत्केन कं जिघ्रेत्तत्केन कं पश्येत्तत्केन कं शृणुयात्तत्केन कमभिवदेत्तत्केन कं मन्वीत तत्केन कं विजानीयात् । येनेदं सर्वं विजानाति तं केन विजानीयाद्विज्ञातारमरे केन विजानीयादिति ॥ १४ ॥ [ “For when there is duality, as it were, then one smells another, one sees another, one hears another, one speaks to another, one thinks of another, one knows another. But when everything has become the Self, then what should one smell and through what, what should one see and through what, what should one hear and through what, what should one speak and through what, what should one think and through what, what should one know and through what? Through what should One know That owing to which all this is known—through what, my dear, should one know the Knower?”] In this passage too, just as the Bṛ.up.1.4.10 shown above, the ‘corrected’ vision of infinitude is taught through the words ‘sarvam’, ‘All’. In fact the corrected vision transcends the knower-knowing-knowledge tripuṭī, along with the instrument of knowing. This is an unmistakable mark of vastu-pariccheda abhāva to teach Brahman as Infinite. The anvaya-vyatireka method is involved in this mantra too, just as in the 1.4.10 where it is implied. In the state of ignorance, there is finitude, bondage. In the vision of Knowledge, there is infinitude, liberation.
- The famous passage पुरुष एवेदं सर्वम् (All this is verily the Puruṣa, Brahman) of the Puruṣa sūkta too teaches Brahman as one devoid of object-wise limitation. There is this explanation from the Dvaita school for this mantra: The identity between the ‘all’ and ‘Puruṣa’ is not the one of advaita but it signifies only a dependence of the all on the Puruṣa for its very existence, sattā. However, such a view only culminates in the ‘all’ being non-different from the category of the ‘rope-snake’ where alone there is dependence of the imagined snake on the real rope for its very existence. Ultimately such an explanation as above will render the ‘all’ no different from a superimposition. And thru that, the Advaitic identity.
- The Māṇḍūkya upaniṣad too teaches that everything is non-different from the Supreme: सर्वं ह्येतद्ब्रह्मायमात्मा ब्रह्म सोऽयमात्मा चतुष्पात् ॥ २ ॥ [All this is, indeed, Brahman. This Atman is Brahman. This same Atman has four quarters.]
- The Chāndogya up. 7.25.2 teaches: आत्मैवेदं सर्वमिति[All this is verily the Ātman]
- The Muṇḍakopaniṣat 2.2.11 too teaches on the same lines as the above: ब्रह्मैवेदममृतं पुरस्ताद्ब्रह्म पश्चाद्ब्रह्म दक्षिणतश्चोत्तरेण ।
अधश्चोर्ध्वं च प्रसृतं ब्रह्मैवेदं विश्वमिदं वरिष्ठम् ॥ १२ ॥ [11 That immortal Brahman alone is before, that Brahman is behind, that Brahman is to the right and left. Brahman alone pervades everything above and below; this universe is that Supreme Brahman alone.]
- The Bṛ.up 2.4.6 makes this teaching extremely lucid: ब्रह्म तं परादाद्योऽन्यत्रात्मनो ब्रह्म वेद क्षत्त्रं तं परादाद्योऽन्यत्रात्मनः क्षत्त्रं वेद लोकास्तं परादुर्योऽन्यत्रात्मनो लोकान्वेद देवास्तं परादुर्योऽन्यत्रात्मनो देवान्वेद भूतानि तं परादुर्योऽन्यत्रात्मनो भूतानि वेद सर्वं तं परादाद्योऽन्यत्रात्मनः सर्वं वेदेदं ब्रह्मेदं क्षत्त्रमिमे लोका इमे देवा इमानि भूतानीदं सर्वं यदयमात्मा ॥ ६ ॥[“The brahmin rejects one who knows him as different from the Self. The kshatriya rejects one who knows him as different from the Self. The worlds reject one who knows them as different from the Self. The gods reject one who knows them as different from the Self. The beings reject one who knows them as different from the Self. The All rejects one who knows it as different from the Self. This brahmin, this kshatriya, these worlds, these gods, these beings and this All — are that Self.]
- The Smṛti, Bhagavadgītā 7.19 emphatically teaches the mode of realization of the Self: बहूनां जन्मनामन्ते ज्ञानवान्मां प्रपद्यते । वासुदेवः सर्वमिति स महात्मा सुदुर्लभः ॥ १९ ॥ [19 At the end of many births the man of Knowledge attains Me, (realizing) that Vasudeva is all. Such a high-souled one is very rare.] Shankaracharya’s commentary:
बहूनां जन्मनां ज्ञानार्थसंस्काराश्रयाणाम् अन्ते समाप्तौ ज्ञानवान् प्राप्तपरिपाकज्ञानः मां वासुदेवं प्रत्यगात्मानं प्रत्यक्षतः प्रपद्यते । कथम् ? वासुदेवः सर्वम् इति । यः एवं सर्वात्मानं मां नारायणं प्रतिपद्यते, सः महात्मा ; न तत्समः अन्यः अस्ति, अधिको वा । अतः सुदुर्लभः, ‘मनुष्याणां सहस्रेषु’ (भ. गी. ७-३) इति हि उक्तम् ॥ 7.19 Ante, at the end, after the completion; bahūnām, of many; janmanām, births, which became the repository for accumulating the tendencies leading to Knowledge; jnānavān, the man of Knowledge, who has got his Knowledge matured; directly prapadyate, attains; mām, Me, Vāsudeva, who am the inmost Self; (realizing)-in what way?-iti, that; Vāsudeva is sarvam, all. Sah, such a one, who realizes Me [Here Ast. adds the word Narayana.-Tr.] thus as the Self of all; is mahatma, a high-souled one. There is none else who can equal or excel him. Therefore he is su-durlabhah, very rare among thousands of men, as it has been said (in verse 3).
11. The Viṣṇu purāṇa brings out the above teaching thus: सकलमिदमहं च* *वासुदेवः*
*परमपुमान्*परमेश्वरः स एकः ।
इति मतिरचला भवत्यनन्ते
हृदयगते व्रज तान्विहाय दूरात् ॥ 3.7.32 ||
[‘All this including me is nothing but Vāsudeva, the supreme Person (uttama puruṣaḥ), the supreme Ishwara, One alone.’ He who has fixed his mind thus in the Infinite Brahman that is established in his heart (‘yo veda nihitam guhāyām parame vyoman’ of the Taittiriya which teaches that the Supreme has to be realized in the heart) – will never be touched by death, samsāra).
Shankara cites another verse from the same Vishnupurāṇa in that
introduction, a little later:
*अहं हरिः सर्वमिदं जनार्द्दनो* नान्यत् ततः कारणकार्य्यजातम् ।
ईदृङूमनो यस्य न तस्य भूयो भवोद्भवा द्वन्द्वगदा भवन्ति ।। 1.22.86 ।।
(‘I am Hari, all this (universe) is Janārdana, there is none other than Him
as cause-effect combine. He who has thus realized will never be caught in samsāra.)
- Apart from the above kind of ‘postive’ teaching of ‘all’ being Brahman, there is the ‘negative’ kind of teaching too to drive home the same message: Bṛ.up.4.4.19: मनसैवानुद्रष्टव्यं नेह नानास्ति किञ्चन । मृत्योः स मृत्युमाप्नोति य इह नानेव पश्यति ॥ १९ [ ‘Through the mind alone is Brahman to be realized. There is in It no diversity. He goes from death to death who sees in It, as it were, diversity.’ ] All such non-advaitic explanations for the above mantra such as ‘this mantra only denies difference between the various Avatāras of Viṣṇu as Rāma and Kṛṣṇa and one who holds such absolute difference will go from death to death’ does not convey the Upaniṣadic purport. For, the Upaniṣad is never of the opinion anywhere that the perception of difference between Rāma and Kṛṣṇa is the cause of samsāra. The Upaniṣad comes to redeem us from ignorance that is the cause of samsāra. Anyone with a basic knowledge of purāṇa will know that Rāma, Kṛṣṇa, etc. are only manifestations of one Viṣṇu and there is no absolute difference between those forms/persons. The Upaniṣad need not therefore teach that such difference is censurable. On the other hand, it is not common knowledge that the perception of difference, duality, nānātva, is what is samsāra and the knowledge that annuls this is the one of Ekatva. Innumerable passages such as ‘यस्मिन्सर्वाणि भूतानि आत्मैवाभूद्विजानतः । तत्र को मोहः कः शोक एकत्वमनुपश्यतः ॥ ७ ॥ [7 To the seer, all things have verily become the Self: what delusion, what sorrow, can there be for him who beholds that oneness? ] teach us that it is the knowledge of Unity, oneness, that redeems one from delusion and misery, the manifestations of samsāra.
The foregoing passages from the śruti, smṛti and purāṇa are only a representative sample of several such passages that unmistakably teach that Brahman is devoid of the finitude caused by object-wise difference. In other words, if there are objects/persons/entities that are admitted to be absolutely different, atyanta bheda, from Brahman, then Brahman cannot be admitted to be ananta. Vastu-pariccheda will bring about paricchinnatva, finitude, limitation, in Brahman, by that very vastu, object/person/entity, that is admitted to be different from Brahman. Thus the Vedanta does not admit of such a finitude in Brahman. The Advaitic commentaries alone bring out in no unmistakable terms this aupaniṣadic ānantya of Brahman. In non-advaitic interpretations the ānantya of Brahman is only compromised as they do not admit of the vastu-pariccheda abhāva taught by the innumerable passages cited above. To sum up, the word ‘sarvam’ is the key to understand the negation of vastu-pariccheda in Brahman-Ātman.
Om Tat Sat
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