In the above page, under the ‘comments’ section is seen the following:
//So, effectively in writing this article, he has failed to understand that we ARE staunch vishishtadvaitins and not those “with vishishtadvaitic leanings”. His “research” has been so hasty that he doesn’t even understand this simple fact.//
No vishishtadvaitin worth his salt will make dubious claims such as these bloggers are doing, like, ‘Shankara is a vaishnava’, ‘Advaitins admit of an eternal vaikunta’, etc. For the simple reason, the cult of vishishtadvaita mushroomed only because Shankara had explicitly said in the BSB 2.1.14 that omniscience, omnipotence, Ishwaratva, etc. are only avidyakalpita upadhis and therefore not absolute. Shankara had criticized the pāncharātra school in the BSB as a product of ‘veda nindā’. Shankara has denounced the vaishnava doctrines of multi-jivas, jiva-ishwara bheda, eternal vaikuntha, etc. None of these will be palatable to a vishishtadvaitin. Yet they propagate their funny pet theories of ‘Shankara a Vaishnava’. That is what betrays their vishishtadvaitic claims.
See what badmouthing Ramanuja indulged in against Shankara extending to Sureshwara and Sarvajnatman:
//तदिदमौपनिषदपरमपुरुषवरणीयताहेुतुगुणविशेषविरहिणां अनादिपापवासनादूषिताशेषशेमुषीकाणां अनधिगतपदवाक्यस्वरूपतदर्थयाथात्म्यप्रत्यक्षादिसकलप्रमाणवृत्त-तदितिकर्तव्यतारूपसमीचीनन्यायमार्गाणां विकल्पासहविविधकुतर्ककल्ककल्पितमिति न्यायानुगृहीतप्रत्यक्षादिसकलप्रमणवृत्तयाथात्म्यविद्भिः अनादरणीयम् ।//
(as quoted by MM Śrī S.Subrahmaṇya Śāstri in his foreword to the book ‘Upaniṣad bhāṣyam’ published by the Mahesh Research Institute, Varanasi)
Ramanuja accuses Shankara (and Sureshwara and Sarvajnatman):
- As those devoid of appreciation for the auspicious attributes of the Lord
- As those soaked in immense sinful tendencies
- As those who are ignorant of fundamentals of epistemology and its application
- As those who engage in intolerant fallacious argumentation
- And therefore all right-knowing/thinking people should reject them (Shankara, Sureshwara and Sarvajnatman).
Such being the case, the bloggers, in blatant defiance to their Founding Acharya, are putting up Shankara, Sureshwara and Sarvajnatman and others as their brand ambassadors, having realized well that Ramanuja is a failed champion of Vaishnavism. So much for their ‘staunch’ following of their school.
//Neither is there any “struggle” in the Vishishtadvaitic position. The interpretation of “sarvAtma” as pertaining to all pervasive knowledge is perfectly within the realms of grammar and context where it says “visnor cAtma bhagavatO bhava” – vishNu is the antaryAmin of bhava. The person who tried to refute us lacks a basic knowledge of sanskrit grammar itself if he thinks this interpretation is a struggle.//
The word ‘sarvātmā’ will never mean ‘all pervasive knowledge’ by any stretch of grammar. The compound word will have to be stated as ‘sarveṣām ātmā’ (‘the self of all’), or ‘sarvasya ātmā’ which is also the same as the former. Another way is: sarvaśca asau ātmā ca’ [‘the self that is the all’]. The blogger is displaying his poor knowledge of Sanskrit grammar in giving that meaning. Not being sure of what he is saying, he goes on to give a quote, with a ‘meaning’: //”visnor cAtma bhagavatO bhava” – vishNu is the antaryAmin of bhava// No one can make out the equation between the quote and the meaning. Also, despite my pointing out on an earlier occasion that in that construction it should be ‘viṣṇoḥ’ and not ‘viṣṇor’, he fails to correct himself and continues with that awkward depiction. And he faults my Sanskrit grammar. The Vishishtadvaitic struggle with the interpretation of that word ‘sarvātmā’ is there for all to see.
See what Nilakantha says for the name ‘sarvātmā’ occurring in the Shiva Sahasranama of the Mahabharatha:
// HBB addressed this to me in a private communication that the nIlakaNtha mentioned by this person as a disciple of sridhara swamin is not the one who commented on the mahAbhArata. //
Now see how poorly he has comprehended what his partner might have written to him in that purported private communication, which the latter is at pains to ‘clarify’ in his subsequent comment:
// I clarify what I intended to say here: Sridhara, the teacher of Nilakantha who commented on the mahAbhArata, is not the same Sridharaswami who commented on Bhagavatam, Bhagavad Gita etc.//
One can see the sea of difference between the two statements, of which less said the better. With such poor comprehension the blogger writes essays and also faults others. In his haste to vilify his opponent he fails to even get his own points correct.
Here is another comment on that page: [My replies are in italics in between]
To the following remark of subbu:
Now, in the following post I am adding that the Madhva recension of the MB contains the same Shiva sahasra nama (pl see attachment). I have it on the authority of a renowned Madhva scholar Vidwan Dr. Haridasa Bhatta Acharya of the Purnaprajna vidya pitha, Bangalore, who regularly discourses on the MB (in Kannada and Tulu too sometimes) that the Kumbhakonam edition is what is authoritative to them and that it contains the Shiva sahasra nama. I am citing the Madhva admissibility here because the blogger had said that Madhva has in his MBTN mentioned that there are interpolations in the MB and therefore *according to the blogger*, stories of Shiva being eulogized are mere interpolations and the sahasra nama too is one such. In order to just show that the Madhvas admit the sahasra nama not as interpolation, I made the enquiry and here is the result.
We reply as follows:
1) The text quoted (Kumbhakonam edition) is not a “mAdhva recension” but an edition of the mahAbhArata, based on southern manuscripts, that have been compiled and published by a press managed by vaidika mAdhvas in Kumbhakonam. The publishers happen to be mAdhvas, that’s all. And they have published the manuscripts “as is” without making any changes to suit their beliefs.
[On the contrary, the screenshot of the cover page I provided clearly says ‘A New Edition ….with footnotes and readings.’ And also ‘Edited by…’. Further, it is not printed in a ‘press managed by vaidika…’ but in the ‘Nirnayasagar’ press, Bombay. That there is enough evidence of editorial work by the two Madhva scholars is seen all over the book/volumes. Even in the particular instance of the chapter 48 where the Shiva Sahasra nāma (SS) occurs, there is a title: ‘A recounting by Krishna to Yudhiṣṭhira of the SS that was told to Himself by Upamanyu’. This is surely an editor’s work. The Nilakantha edition does not contain the above title. There are a number of footnotes too by way of meanings, etc. given by the editors. It is not by any means a reproduction ‘as is’ of the various manuscripts. In fact in the inside cover of the book the editors say that ‘this edition is done with the help of many scholars’. ]
2) The mAdhva vidwAn simply stops at saying ” Kumbhakonam edition is what is authoritative to them and that it contains the Shiva sahasra nama”. This might be a politically correct statement to suit the public without giving up the truth. Note that the vidwAn has not stated “we accept Shiva sahasra nama as an authentic portion”.
[The Madhva vidwan does not mean simply that ‘it contains the ss’. When he gave that reply he meant that the SS is indeed a part of the Kumbhakonam edition which is admissible to them. He was in no need to make any politically correct statement since he was not doing any pravachana then. He was on a one-on-one basis with me when he said that. Also, he is not that type who would make such ‘politically…’ statements since he is a vociferous debator and say clearly what his system holds to be genuine. Note that the vidwan did not say: the SS is an interpolation’.]
3) As I stated before, even otherwise, a lone mAdhva accepting Shiva Sahasranama as authentic does not make it so, because –
[Here is another mādhva scholar, Smt. Meera Tadipatri (who resides in the US and teaches their works), also saying, in reply to a question:
// On August 26, 2006 omkar_deshpande wrote:
> I have been having a long-standing question on the Mahabharata, which
> I have not got an answer to. There is a big section in Anushasana
In the MBTN, Acharya notes that the original Mbh text has been
corrupted even during his time!
In the absence of reliable Mbh text, we find it safer to follow
the 1906 Satguru publication of Mbh edited by Sri T.R Krishnachar
and Sri T.R. Vyasacharya of Kumbakonam, and not the popular versions.
This Satguru edition also has a big section of 417 verses with
Shiva Stuthi etc.
Madhva-s don’t have any problem with the Shiva Stuthi as it refers
to Vishnu in the parama mukhyArtha.//
Another madhva scholar, Sri Gururaja Kalkura, now teaching Pūrvamīmāmsā at the Madras Sanskrit College, recently purchased the Kumbhakonam edition alone for his personal use.
Many more scholars attached to well-known Madhva institutions also confirmed to me that it is the Kumbhakonam edition that is admissible to them and that they do not consider the SS to be an interpolation in the MB.
When I visited the PPSM, Bangalore, and requested the senior scholar there to show me the Mahabharata, what he brought to the table was, by default, the Kumbhakonam edition.
In fact, there is no reason for Madhvas to doubt the authenticity of the SS in the MB since, as noted above by that scholar, there are three levels of attribution of names: mukhya artha (to Shiva, in the case of SS), mukhya-tara artha (to vāyu) and mukhyatama artha (to Vishnu). This is what another contemporary vidwan Sri Bannanje Govindacharya says in his very recent book on the Rudrādhyāya.
Sri Vādirāja Tirtha (1480 to 1600 CE) a highly respected Acharya of the Madhva school, has authored the ‘Lakṣālaṅkāra’ (a work that explains selected points/words/verses of the MB. An institution called the ‘Mahabharata Samshodhana…’, Girinagar, Bangalore, under a committee headed by top-ranking scholars of the Madhva school too has in recent years brought out a multi-volume edition of this mighty work. There, in almost every page in the footnote is given several corresponding references to the Kumbhakonam edition of the chapter / verse numbers of the Lakshalankara. There, in chapter 33 of the Ānuśāsanika parva of the MB (acc. to Sri Vadiraja) is an explanation on a MB verse ‘सुरासुरगुरो देव…’. The 33rd chapter of this book corresponds to the 45th chapter of the Kumbhakonam edition. (The actual SS occurs in the 48th chapter in the K edition as shown in my screenshot.) Taking the above verse as the prateeka the author says:
//वक्ष्यमाणशिवसर्वोत्तमादिकमप्रामाणिकमिति सूचयितुं ’सुरासुराणां गुरो’ इति सम्बुद्धिः..//
(The above verse does occur in the Kumbhakonam edition too. Incidentally, a chapter 44 in the K edition occurs prior to ch.33 of the Lakshalankara text. Such cases are also to be seen and the MB research committee has done a very painstaking work in identifying them and mapping the verses/chapters of the two books, the Lakshalanakara and the Kumbhakonam edition.)
(The meaning is: The idea of ‘Shiva’s Absolute Supremacy’ etc. that is going to be told is not authoritative. To indicate this (the Lord) is addressed ‘O the Preceptor of the devas and asuras..’ )
(The intention is: Since You are the Guru of asuras too, You, in order to delude them, teach / propagate ideas such as ‘Shiva is the Supreme’ even as You did in the form of Buddha. The Madhvas hold Buddha to be an incarnation of Vishnu.)
The author conveys this idea in a long paragraph that follows the above sentence: Bhishma, in his death bed, is hesitant, lajjā, even to give the names of Shiva (since according to him ‘the shiva-supreme idea and the SS implied by the word ‘etc.’ are only a retelling, alluding, of ‘shaiva darshana’ which is meant for deluding the asuras – ‘asuramohanārtham’, and therefore not approved by Veda Vyasa. So, Bhishma asks Lord Krishna Himself to give out the episode/SS.’
I mention the above only to show that all that is contained in the chapters around the above deal with Krishna getting eight boons from Shiva-Parvati, His praying to Shiva for progeny, Upamanyu instructing Krishna on the SS, etc. and Krishna retelling it to Yudhishthira, are completely admissible to the Madhvas, as evidenced by the Lakshalankara (15th / 16th CE) and the Kumbhakonam edition. The author has included the Kailasa yatra, etc. episodes of the MB also to be ‘aprāmāṇika’ but mentioned in the MB for ‘asuramohana’ (deluding the asuras).
Another important point the author Sri Vadiraja makes is, by citing a verse of Veda Vyasa to the effect that ‘the MB contains three types of renderings/languages – bhāṣā-s: ‘darśana, guhya and samādhi’. The ideas/episodes concerned with ‘Shiva-supreme, including the SS’ fall in the first category, an alluding of the un-vedic shaiva darshana. (This fact, two other Madhva scholars too confirmed to me while talking about the Lakṣhalankara work.)
One may read this communication:
Hence, the Madhvas are not unnecessarily worried about these episodes/SS in the MB. For them it is an authentic part of the MB though the idea of ‘Shiva Supremacy and the SS that teaches that’ are aprāmāṇika’ – not to be held as true and that they are there in the MB for ‘some other purpose’. In fact Sri Vadiraja also says at the end of the paragraph…’even though these can be explained as meaning the Supremacy of Vishnu alone…’ ]
The blogger says:
// 4) Even some Srivaishnava vidwAns who conduct upanyAsas have stated in public to the effect that Shiva Sahasranama is an authentic portion of the mahAbhArata (to point out how Shankara chose to comment only on the Vishnu Sahasranama). However, it does not imply that all Srivaishnavas accept it so. As I have stated in the article, Sri Puthur Swami, a towering Srivaishnava Vidwan, has given a number of compelling reasons to reject Shiva Sahasranama as an interpolation.//
[There are some Srivaishnava vidwAns/yatis who have a screen draped over the Shiva shrine wherever they are invited to give a discourse. Such ‘vidwans’ would never authenticate the SS for any political reason for their stated act defies all such public decency.
In fact a lone Vishishtadvaitin scholar’s opinion on the SS in the MB amounts to nothing.]
Om Tat Sat