Posted by: adbhutam | March 17, 2015


An Etymology for the name ‘Rudra’?

The blogger, in this blog
which is written with the sole purpose of vilifying Lord Śiva but pretending to bring out the glory of Lord Viṣṇu, says:
//The term “Rudra” is used to denote Shiva here. “Rudra” means “One who weeps” – rOdayati iti rudra. He got this name because he wept on being born after realising he was “anapahatapApma” or not cleansed of karmas. //


In his enthusiasm to vilify Śiva, the blogger has exhibited his ignorance of basic Sanskrit grammar. The blessed Lord Viśṇu, whom the Mahabharata describes as the twin of Lord Śiva, could not bear this blogger’s tirade against His very Self, despite the blogger claiming Him to be his Antaryāmin. He did not prevent the blogger from the mistaken expression of the verb in that etymology to caricature Śiva. The Antaryāmin wanted to punish the blogger for his misdemeanor.
The root ‘rud’, when used in the singular present third person (prathama puruṣa) is: ‘roditi’ as shown in the following dictionary:
रोदिति { रुद् } roditi { rud } verb wail

रोदिति { रुद् } roditi { rud } verb bewail

रोदिति { रुद् } roditi { rud } verb howl

रोदिति { रुद् } roditi { rud } verb deplore

रोदिति { रुद् } roditi { rud } verb roar

रोदिति { रुद् } roditi { rud } verb cry

रोदिति { रुद् } roditi { rud } verb lament

रोदिति { रुद् } roditi { rud } verb 2 weep

What the blogger has given, however, is the causative form of the same root, which means ‘to make one weep..’:
रोदयति { रुद् } rodayati { rud } verb caus. cause to weep or lament

Says the blogger further:
//So, by using this name, the rk asserts two things –
1. As Shiva cried due to his “anapahatapApmatva”, bhagavAn made him the instrument to drink the poison and hence enabled Shiva to cleanse his karmas (as he has acted in favor of bhagavAn). What pleases bhagavAn is puNya, what displeases him is pApa karma. Shiva thus acquired merit in this incident.


The blogger had claimed in another blog that Rudra cried soon after birth and was cleansed subsequently by the ‘names’ of Viṣṇu:

Quote// And this clearly shows that pArvati pati, the presiding deity of the mind, was born of karma and cleansed by giving names. The names were linked to the characteristics of the mind. By virtue of his punya karma, his dharma bhUta jnAna (attributive knowledge channelled by the mind) increased each time he was given the name. Since intellect only increases by destruction of pApa karmas, it is clear that these names were given because pArvati pati was not yet cleansed of karma (anapahatapApma).
So this proves, 1) This kumara is pArvati pati, 2) He was not cleansed of pApa karmas,// Unquote

Now, when according to the blogger, Lord Śiva is a jñāni (which the blogger accepts), where is the need to ‘cleanse’ the karmas? The Mundakopanishat 2.2.9 says:
क्षीयन्ते चास्य कर्माणि तस्मिन्दृष्टे परावरे ॥ ९ ॥
[Upon obtaining the direct realization of the Supreme, all karma-s are destroyed…(excepting prārabdha karmas, which, however, have to be expended only by experiencing).]

So, when Śiiva has no karma to be ‘cleansed’ where is the question of the ‘drinking’ of the poison ‘cleansing’ him and his ‘acquiring’ merit? The scriptures are very clear that a Jnāni does not earn any puṇya or any pāpa. Moreover, when according to the blogger it is Viṣṇu who actually, really, drank the poison and ‘saved’ the world, only He gets merit because of this puṇya karma of saving the world. The instrument does not get any punya. When a man murders another, it is not the weapon that is punished; but the wielder of the weapon. So too the mere ‘vessel’ that was Śiva will not earn any puṇya when he actually never drank the poison, as per the blogger.

He further says:
//2. Since Shiva is known as “Rudra” – One who wept on being born due to karmas, he is not capable of drinking the poison independently. He only drunk it because the antaryAmin empowered him to. This meaning also comes out in addressing him as Rudra here.//

The same response above applies here too. How can the devas approach Śiva, who is a sinner, to save them? Why did they not approach Viśṇu or pray to him even when he was present in the scene? In fact they all go, along with Viṣṇu, to Śiva’s abode. The blogger has said in this very blog:

// Shiva was used as a vessel for bhagavAn to drink up the poison. Why didn’t bhagavAn do it directly? Because Shiva, by virtue of his merit, had performed severe austerities to attain the position of the lord of the devas. The mahAbhArata records this as follows –
mahAdEva: sarvamEdhEMahAthmAhuthvaa aathmAnam dEvadEvO BhabhUva visvAn lOkAn vyApya vishtabhya keerthyA virAjathE dhyuthimAn KrutthivAsa: –MahAbhAratha: 20.12
(Meaning): The noble soul known as “mahAdeva” (shiva) performed the sarvamEdha yAga , where He offered Himself as Havis and became the greatest among DevAs. He shines brilliantly in all the worlds with His jnAna, took on eight kinds of radiant forms (ashtamUrthy) and became renowned (keerthimAn ,DhyutimAn virAjathE).
Since Shiva had acquired merit, the gracious bhagavAn fulfilled the fruits of his penances by allowing him to swallow the poison and thus lead the devas as their head. //

When Śiva has attained the position of ‘Mahādeva’ could he still be a ‘weeping’ baby? If he still did not have the capacity to contain the poison, the ‘names’ of Viśṇu that were given to him and the great austerities he had performed, have not had any effect. What austerity/karma does the scripture prescribe, according to the blogger, to merit/enable the containing of the poison? This is asked because the blogger has given a strange kārya-kāraṇa bhāva in the above cited point no.2:
// Since Shiva is known as “Rudra” – One who wept on being born due to karmas, he is not capable of drinking the poison independently// According to this reasoning which translates to ‘He who wept due to sinful karma is not capable of drinking the poison independently’
Contrary to what the blogger reports, the deva-s praise Śiva as the Cause of creation, etc. Even otherwise, when Śiva is ‘loka samhāra kartā’ as per the VS bhashya of Shankara, and also the Praśnopaniṣat and bhāṣya, where the entire created universe is absorbed, the kālakūṭa containing, which is an infinitesimal part of the entire creation, is no big issue. Sridhara swamin says that ‘Siva pretended to take Umā’s permission before imbibing the poison with the idea that She might not have the complete knowledge of His capabilities.’

Continues the bloger:
//3. In comparison to the devas, Shiva was called “agni” in the first rk – he who leads the devas. That is an indication of Shiva’s glory as the chief of the devas. But here, in comparison to nArAyaNa, he is rudra – one who weeps because he still has karmas – this indicates he is a jivAtma subject to nArAyaNa.//

This point too, as the earlier two, is devoid of any substance. When the chief of the devas has no capacity to protect the devas, there is no meaning in that position/designation. It is a powerless, sterile, post to attain which Śiva performed austerities according to the blogger. Also, there is no reference in the Bhagavatam or any other puranas where the Amṛtamathanam event is alluded to that ‘Rudra was weeping because of his karmas’ when the churning took place. And if as the blogger says that Śiva was a jīvātmā subject to Nārāyaṇa, Veda Vyasa, in the Mahabharata would not say:

वैशंपायनेन जनमेजयंप्रति अर्जुनाय स्वमाहात्म्यख्यापनपूर्वकं श्रीकृष्णकृतनारायणादि-स्वनामनिर्वचनानुवादः।। 1।।
The Chapter 352 of the Original Mahābhārata (OMB) in the above URL is a continuation of the ‘etymology…’ chapter of 350. In this chapter of the Śāntiparva 350 of the OMB Vaiśampāyana addresses Janamejaya and recounts Kṛṣṇa giving the etymology for His names. In that dialogue, Kṛṣṇa says to Arjuna about the prayer the former made to Śiva for progeny:

रुद्रो नारायणश्चैव सत्त्वमेकं द्विधा कृतम्। 12.350.27 a
लोके चरति कौन्तेय व्यक्तिस्थं सर्वकर्मसु।। “ b
It is one Truth that treads the world in the twin-form of Rudra and Narayana….

And the Lord Viṣnu Himself in the Bhāgavatam, in the Dakṣa yajna episode would not say:
(IV.7.50 – 54)

(50) Lord Vishnu said: ‘I, Brahmâ and Lord S’iva as well, do not differ in being the supreme cause and Supersoul, the witness and the self-sufficient one of the material manifestation.) Him the Supreme Brahmân that is without a second, is as one Supersoul with both Brahmâ and S’iva, but the living ones who are not conversant with this, think of them as being separate. (53) The way a person sometimes does not make a difference between the head, hands and other parts of his own body, so does My devotee thus make no difference between living beings. (54) He who having the one nature of the three, verily does, of the Supersoul in all beings, not see the separateness, o brahmin, realizes the peace.’

The blogger concludes:
//Thus, this mantra shows that Rudra was used as an instrument, ie, a vibhUti of bhagavAn, and that that it was Rudra’s inner self, namely nArAyaNa, who drank the poison by using the former as his instrument. And this also corroborates the stuti of Shiva in the bhAgavatam being interpreted as pratIkOpAsaNa and Shiva referring to Hari as “sarvAtma” in the same section. //

The Keṣī sūktam never has anything to do with the amṛta mathanam episode. Yet, the Mādhvas have taken it to be ‘Vāyu’ drinking up the essence of the poison and rendering it harmless for Śiva to ‘safely’ drink and not Visnu as the blogger has it. For Advaitins it is completely a different topic in that sūktam. There was no need for Nārāyaṇa to drink the poison ‘through’ Śiva and ‘give him the credit’. An intelligent reader of the purānas can easily see through such weak excuses. By saying that Nārāyaṇa passed on the credit to Śiva who did not do anything actually amounts to only hoodwink the readers. No one who realizes the stated ‘stage managing’ will ever regard Śiva as anyone great, for, the real greatness lies, then, in Viṣṇu. Hence, the aim of such stage managing fails utterly. While the blogger thinks he is intelligent enough to see through the game of Vśṇu drinking the poison and passing on the credit to Śiva, are not the devas who are much more accomplished than humans capable of seeing thru the game and yet accept Śiva as their ‘leader’ which the blogger wants them to as desired by Nārāyaṇa? If the devas praise really was addressed to Nārāyaṇa, why did they all, along with Viṣṇu who was very much there, approach Śiva in His abode? They could have easily directly prayed to Nārāyaṇa. There is a saying:
अर्के चेन्मधु विंदेत किमर्थं पर्वतं व्रजेत् । – शाबरभाष्य
[If one gets honey in the plant in the backyard, who will climb the mountain to get honey? They will not.] Śābarabhāṣya

Now, since the blogger has labored so hard to vilify Śiva with the etymology for the word ‘Rudra’, here is what Shankara says, as one of the meanings, for the word ‘Rudra’ in the Viṣṇusahasranāma bhāṣyam, citing a Śivapurāṇam (tāmasa purāṇa according to the blogger: verse:

(114th): 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’).
Shankara is establishing the Hari-Hara abheda by citing the above verse for the name ‘Rudra’ in the VS.

Shankara cites two seminal verses from the Bhaviṣyottara purāṇa in the introduction to the VS:

Maheśvara (Śiva) says:
विष्णोरन्यं तु पश्यन्ति ये मां ब्रह्माणमेव वा । कुतर्कमतयो मूढाः पच्यन्ते नरकेष्वधः ॥
[Those fools. who, devoid of proper thinking, consider Me and Brahmā as different from Viṣṇu will be baked in the lowly hells.]

ये च मूढा दुरात्मानो भिन्नं पश्यन्ति मां हरेः । ब्रह्माणं च ततस्तस्माद् ब्रह्महत्यासमं त्वघम् ॥
[Those fools, wicked ones, by seeing Me and Brahmā as different from Hari are committing the heinous sin of brahmahatyā.]

See for more such references on Shiva-Viṣṇu abheda:

If the blogger thinks he can get away with giving such etymological derivations for ‘Rudra’ and vilify Him, it is equally possible for someone to apply that etymology to Krishna and Rama too:
(I am not providing the core texts of the Bhagavatam for these events as the points conveyed are actually there in those texts)
//Yasodanandana, whose beauty defeats beauty personified, started crying due to hunger and a desire to drink Yasoda’s breast milk. But Vrajesvari could not hear Him due to the loud music and singing.// (Shakatasura vadha)

Since Vishnu has a name ‘Rudra’ in the VS, one can give the above explanation, with the blogger’s etymology (in the corrected form).
// Rama: Raama wept and ran hither and thither in the grove round the cottage. The leaves and flowers on the trees had faded. Seeta was nowhere to be seen. He wandered about like one mad. His eyes were bloodshot. He cried, “Alas, have they eaten her up? Have they carried her away. O, how she must have trembled in terror! I cannot bear the thought of it.”

After wandering and weeping in vain for a long time, he fell on the ground moaning, “Ha Lakshmana! Ha Seeta!” He cried like an elephant trapped in a pit. //

The weeping of Rama can easily attract the blogger’s etymology for the word ‘Rudra’, for nothing prevents one from explaining that name of the VS by citing the above episode.

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.
[Here is where the blogger’s (corrected) etymology for the word ‘Rudra’ perfectly fits Rāma, who as Viṣṇu has a name ‘Rudra’ in the VS.]
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।।
वसुन्धरायाम् on earth, मद्विधः like me, दुष्कृतकर्मकारी who undertakes forbidden acts, द्वितीयः second person, नास्ति not, मन्ये I think, शोकेन grief, शोकः grief, परम्परायाः continuously, हृदयम् heart, मनश्च mind also, भिन्दन् shattered, माम् my, एति हि is befalling.
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।।
मया by me, पूर्वम् in the past, नूनम् certainly, अभीप्सितानि dear to me, पापानि कर्माणि sinful deeds, असकृत् often, कृतानि done, तत्र there, अद्य now, विपाकः consequence of that, आपतितः has descended, यत् since, अहम् I, दुःखेन by sorrow, दुःखम् sorrow, विशामि I am entering.
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 Rama is brought out by Himself. The blogger’s tirade on the śatapathabrāhmaṇa about Śiva is replayed, with some changes though, in this episode of the Rāmāyaṇa.]

राज्यप्रणाशस्स्वजनैर्वियोगः पितुर्विनाशो जननीवियोगः।
सर्वाणि मे लक्ष्मण शोकवेगमापूरयन्ति प्रविचिन्तितानि।।3.63.5।।
लक्ष्मण Lakshmana, राज्यप्रणाशः loss of kingdom, स्वजनैः kith and kin, वियोगः separation from, पितुः father, विनाशः death, जननीवियोगः separation from mother, सर्वाणि all, प्रविचिन्तितानि thinking over, मे I, शोकवेगम् fast increase sorrow, आपूरयन्ति greater measure.

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.

If Krishna’s and Rama’s weeping, wailing, crying, are not to be seriously taken to deserve the Rudra-etymology of the blogger, so too does Śiva’s ‘weeping’. If the formers’ weeping has some hidden meaning, so too does the latter’s. If Nārāyaṇa can enact the poison-drinking to merely make Śiva gain popularity and applause, so too Śiva can enact the weeping and thereby give credit and fame to Nārāyaṇa’s names that Śiva ‘allowed’ to ‘cleanse’ him. After all, the two are non-different. They love, respect, and glorify each other.
Says Śuka in reply to Parikṣit’s question on the propriety of the Lord indulging in amorous play with the gopis who are others’ wives:

श्रीशुक उवाच
धर्मव्यतिक्रमो दृष्ट ईश्वराणां च साहसम्
तेजीयसां न दोषाय वह्नेः सर्वभुजो यथा 10.33.29
Sukadeva Gosvami said: The status of powerful controllers is not harmed by any apparently audacious transgression of morality we may see in them, for they are just like fire, which devours everything fed into it and remains unpolluted.
नैतत्समाचरेज्जातु मनसापि ह्यनीश्वरः
विनश्यत्याचरन्मौढ्याद्यथारुद्रोऽब्धिजं विषम् 10.33.30
One who is not a great controller should never imitate the behavior of ruling personalities, even mentally. If out of foolishness an ordinary person does imitate such behavior, he will simply destroy himself, just as a person who is not Rudra would destroy himself if he tried to drink poison emanated from the churning of the ocean.
[Just as we should not imitate this pastime of Śiva’s, we should not imitate Lord Kṛṣṇa’s activities with the gopis.]

Śrīdharaswāmin comments: तर्हि “यद्यद्आचरति श्रेष्ठः”इतिन्यायेनान्योऽपि कुर्यात् इत्याशङ्क्याह, नैतदिति । अनीश्वरो देहादिपरतन्त्रः यथा रुद्रव्यतिरिक्तो विषमाचरन्भक्षयन् । [Then, is it that whatever the Great ones do, that can be imitated/followed by others too? Not so. He who is not a master of his body-mind-senses, that is, one who is other than Rudra (who is a master of his body-mind-senses) were to consume that poison…]

So, in the opinion of Śuka (Veda Vyāsa), Rudra is extraordinary and is held as an example of having accomplished the feat of drinking the poison and not affected by it. If it were a fact that Śiva did not drink the poison but only Viṣṇu drank it, Śuka’s statement above would amount to a lie.
Read also the following in connection with the actual event of amṛta mathanam:

Sridhara swamin says:
अत एवासह्यं विलोक्य भीता अन्येन केनापि अरक्ष्यमाणाः सदाशिवं शरणं दुद्रुवु र्जग्मुः. [Frightened by the terrible poison, not being protected by anyone the devas took refuge in, surrendered to, Sadāśiva.]
[Those not able to stand this straightforward statement of the Bhāgavata using the word ‘Sadāśiva’ to refer to Rudra want to somehow hijack that name to Viṣṇu by saying: it is Viṣṇu who is saḍaśiva, ever-auspicious. One can clearly see the desperation. Why should the devas, along with Viṣṇu make a trip to Sadāśiva’s abode only to end up looking upon Viṣṇu as Sadāśiva there?]
The scenario is that even Lord Viṣṇu was there. Śiva was in His abode at that time. That is where the entourage went.
//O King, when that uncontrollable poison was forcefully spreading up and down in all directions, all the demigods, along with the Lord Himself, approached Lord Śiva [Sadāśiva]. Feeling unsheltered and very much afraid, they sought shelter of him.//
While non-Śrīdhara commentaries somehow struggle to save the situation by giving excuses such as ‘Viṣṇu, though capable of containing the poison, just in order to give credit to Śiva, let this happen.’, one can easily see how artificial and roundabout is such an explanation. अन्येन केनापि अरक्ष्यमाणाः

When Śiva is ‘loka samhāra kartā’ as per the VS bhashya of Shankara, and also the Praśnopaniṣat and bhāṣya, where the entire created universe is absorbed, the kālakūṭa containing, which is an infinitesimal part of the entire creation, is no big issue. Sridhara swamin says that ‘Siva pretended to take Umā’s permission before imbibing the poison with the idea that She might not have the complete knowledge of His capabilities.’

All the references about Śiva ‘taking the names of Viṣṇu before the act’ are comparable to Viṣṇu’s (as Kriṣṇa) praying to Śiva for progeny and worshiping Him with the thousand names. Such incidents only go to show the identity of Hari and Hara as the MB itself has said (see verse cited above): One Principle alone appears in the twin-form of Rudra and Nārāyaṇa.

The blogger says the Sāyaṇa commentary of the Keśī sūkta is not to be followed for he has not done any good work in explaining the Śatarudrīyam’ as no tattvam has been brought out. One can see here what advaitins have to say about the ‘Tattvam’ of the Sri Rudram:

Shankaracharya has composed verses involving the poison-containing in the Śivānandalahari which, for obvious reasons, is not admitted by bigoted non-advaitins as an ‘authentic’ work of Shankara. Traditional advaitins are not bothered about such misgivings.
नालं वा परमोपकारकमिदं त्वेकं पशूनां पते
पश्यन् कुक्षिगतांश्चराचरगणान् बाह्यस्थितान् रक्षितुम् ।
सर्वामर्त्यपलायनौषधमतिज्वालाकरं भीकरं
निक्षिप्तं गरलं गले न गिलितं नोद्गीर्णमेव त्वया ॥३१॥

[When the ocean of milk was churned for nectar, from the ocean emerged scorching deadly poison which Lord Shiva imbibed]. The poet devotee says ” O Lord of all beings! Seeing that all movable and immovable life forms were in your belly you neither swallowed the poison nor spat it out to save those outside. Thus you kept in your neck the deadly poison which was frightening and emitting flames causing all devas to run away from it. O Lord! Is not this single act of yours which saved all from extinction enough (to prove your compassion)?

ज्वालोग्रस्सकलामरातिभयदः क्ष्वेल: कथं वा त्वया
दृष्टः किं च करे धृतः करतले किं पक्वजम्बूफलम्
जिह्वायां निहितश्च सिद्धघुटिका वा कण्ठदेशे भृतः
किं ते नीलमणिर्विभूषणमयं शंभो महात्मन् वद ॥३२॥

O Lord ! How did you see the poison which was emitting flames of fire and creating great fear in the minds of the devas? When you took it in the palm of your hand did you see it merely as a ripe jāmun fruit ? When you placed it on your tongue did you think it was a globule of siddha medicine? When you retained it at the neck did you think that it was an ornament made of a precious stones of dark blue colour ? O Shambhu, The great one! Please tell me.

In fact the Śivānandalahari has several verses recounting the purāṇic event of Brahmā and Viṣṇu embarking on a cosmic journey to locate the beginning and end of Śiva who appeared as a mammoth effulgence.

There is no end to such attacks and counter-attacks. It is maturity that is required in all such cases. The Kamakoti blog ( ) is a result of grave provocation on the part of the srivaishnava article. Advaitins have retaliated to such deity-based fights initiated always by non-advaitins.

In conclusion, I am citing a passage from Shankara’s Brahmasutra bhāṣya to show that the talk of ‘Nārāyaṇa drinking the poison as antaryāmi, while Śiva was incapable of doing so, and thereby saw to it that Śiva got the credit/fame’ has no basis. The bhāṣya says that Ishwara is only a common cause, sādhāraṇam kāraṇam, and the specific causes are the karma, merit or otherwise, of the individuals. So, for all karma of all individuals to take effect, the common cause alone is Ishwara and He does nothing more than being that common cause. It is the individual’s effort that decides what kind of fruit he gets. I gave this general rule that applies to all jivas. So, even granting that Śiva is a jīva as wishfully thought by the blogger, the role of Viṣṇu, if He is the Iṣvara of the jīva Śiva, is not any active one; it is just a passive one of being the manager of the infrastructure. He has no role in the actual drinking of the poison by Śiva which happens by His own capability. For that matter, the role of the Lord is the same in the defeat of the asuras too. This is how advaita looks at the concept of antaryāmi. This rule is no exception even to the BG declaration:

मयैवैते निहताः पूर्वमेव निमित्तमात्रं भव सव्यसाचिन्।।11.33।।
[These adversaries of yours, O Arjuna, have been killed by Me, even before]

Madhusudana Saraswati says: एते च तव शत्रवो मयैव कालात्मना निहताः संहतायुषः त्वदीययुद्धात्पूर्वमेव। केवलं तव यशोलाभाय रथान्न पातिताः। अतस्त्वं निमित्तमात्रं अर्जुनेनैते निर्जिता इति सार्वलौकिकव्यपदेशास्पदं भव। [These enemies of yours have been killed, their lives have been ended, by Me alone as Kāla, Time, before your fighting them. …Therefore be just a mere efficient cause or instrumental cause for the universal fame that you will earn by actually fighting the war: ‘These great warriors have been defeated by Arjuna’.]

Thus, the role of the Lord is clearly stated in the above commentary as the Time, which, as per the destiny of every jīva, will take its toll. Every jīva is bound to die and that is the inescapable law. Yet, the Lord did not ask Arjuna to keep quiet; He goaded him to take up arms and really fight. So too, even if Śiva were to be a jīva, the role of the antaryāmi is to let everything happen as destined and not interfere in the law of nature. Shankara says, for the word ‘anumantā’ of the BG 13.22:
अनुमन्ता च, अनुमोदनम् अनुमननं कुर्वत्सु तत्क्रियासु परितोषः, तत्कर्ता अनुमन्ता च । अथवा, अनुमन्ता, कार्यकरणप्रवृत्तिषु स्वयम् अप्रवृत्तोऽपि प्रवृत्त इव तदनुकूलः विभाव्यते, तेन अनुमन्ता । अथवा, प्रवृत्तान् स्वव्यापारेषु तत्साक्षिभूतः कदाचिदपि न निवारयति इति अनुमन्ता ।
//And He is the anu-mantā, Permitter: Anumananam, approval, means satisfaction with those performers (viz body and organs) as also their perfomances. The agent of that (approval) is the anumantā. Or, He is the anumantā since, even though Himself not engaged in the activities of the body and organs, He appears to be favourably disposed towards and engaged in them. Or, He is the anumanta because, when the body and organs are engaged in their own functions, He remains as a witness and never dissuades them.//

ब्रह्मसूत्रभाष्यम् । द्वितीयः अध्यायः । प्रथमः पादः । वैषम्यनैर्घृण्याधिकरणम् । सूत्रम् ३४ – भाष्यम्
वैषम्यनैर्घृण्ये नेश्वरस्य प्रसज्येते । कस्मात् ? सापेक्षत्वात् । यदि हि निरपेक्षः केवल ईश्वरो विषमां सृष्टिं निर्मिमीते, स्यातामेतौ दोषौ — वैषम्यं नैर्घृण्यं च ; न तु निरपेक्षस्य निर्मातृत्वमस्ति ; सापेक्षो हीश्वरो विषमां सृष्टिं निर्मिमीते । किमपेक्षत इति चेत् — धर्माधर्मावपेक्षत इति वदामः ; अतः सृज्यमानप्राणिधर्माधर्मापेक्षा विषमा सृष्टिरिति नायमीश्वरस्यापराधः ; ईश्वरस्तु पर्जन्यवद्द्रष्टव्यः — यथा हि पर्जन्यो व्रीहियवादिसृष्टौ साधारणं कारणं भवति, व्रीहियवादिवैषम्ये तु तत्तद्बीजगतान्येवासाधारणानि सामर्थ्यानि कारणानि भवन्ति, एवमीश्वरो देवमनुष्यादिसृष्टौ साधारणं कारणं भवति, देवमनुष्यादिवैषम्ये तु तत्तज्जीवगतान्येवासाधारणानि कर्माणि कारणानि भवन्ति ; एवमीश्वरः सापेक्षत्वान्न वैषम्यनैर्घृण्याभ्यां दुष्यति । कथं पुनरवगम्यते सापेक्ष ईश्वरो नीचमध्यमोत्तमं संसारं निर्मिमीत इति ? तथा हि दर्शयति श्रुतिः — ‘एष ह्येव साधु कर्म कारयति तं यमेभ्यो लोकेभ्य उन्निनीषत एष उ एवासाधु कर्म कारयति तं यमधो निनीषते’ (कौ. ब्रा. ३-८) इति, ‘पुण्यो वै पुण्येन कर्मणा भवति पापः पापेन’ (बृ. उ. ३-२-१३) इति च ; स्मृतिरपि प्राणिकर्मविशेषापेक्षमेवेश्वरस्यानुग्रहीतृत्वं निग्रहीतृत्वं च दर्शयति — ‘ये यथा मां प्रपद्यन्ते तांस्तथैव भजाम्यहम्’ (भ. गी. ४-११) इत्येवंजातीयका ॥ ३४ ॥
Translation of George Thibaut at
// The Lord, we reply, cannot be reproached with inequality of dispensation and cruelty, “because he is bound by regards.” If the Lord on his own account, without any extraneous regards, produced this unequal creation, he would expose himself to blame; but the fact is, that in creating he is bound by certain regards, i. e. he has to look to merit and demerit. Hence the circumstance of the creation being unequal is due to the merit and demerit of the living creatures created, and is not a fault for which the Lord is to blame. The position of the Lord is to be looked on as analogous to that of Parjanya, the Giver of rain. For as Parjanya is the common cause of the production of rice, barley, and other plants, while the difference between the various species is due to the various potentialities lying hidden in the respective seeds, so the Lord is the common cause of the creation of gods, men, &c., while the differences between these classes of beings are due to the different merit belonging to the individual souls. Hence the Lord, being bound by regards, cannot be reproached with inequality of dispensation and cruelty.–And if we are asked how we come to know that the Lord, in creating this world with its various conditions, is bound by regards, we reply that Scripture declares that; compare, for instance, the two following passages, ‘For he (the Lord) makes him, whom he wishes to lead up from these worlds, do a good deed; and the same makes him, whom he wishes to lead down from these worlds, do a bad deed’ (Kaush. Up. III, 8) 1; and, ‘A man becomes good by good work, bad by bad work’ (Bri. Up. III, 2, 13). Smriti passages also declare the favour of the Lord and its opposite to depend on the different quality of the works of living beings; so, for instance, ‘I serve men in the way in which they approach me’ (Bha. Gî. IV, 11).//
Thus, there is no way the blogger’s theory of ‘Nārāyaṇa the antaryāmi of Śiva actually drinking the poison while Śiva was a mere vessel. ‘svabhāvastu pravartae’ says the Lord in the BG:5.14:
न कर्तृत्वं न कर्माणि लोकस्य सृजति प्रभुः ।
न कर्मफलसंयोगं स्वभावस्तु प्रवर्तते ॥ १४ ॥
The translation of the commentary: 5.14 Prabhuh, the Self; na srjati, does not create; lokasya, for anyone; kartrtvam, agentship, by saying ‘Do this’; or even karmani, any objects – such objects as chariot, pot, palace, etc. which are intensely longed for; nor even karma-phala-samyogam, association with the results of actions – association of the creator of a chariot etc. with the result of his work. Objection: If the embodied one does not do anything himself, and does not make others do, then who is it that engages in work by doing and making others do? The answer is: Tu, but; it is svabhāvaḥ, Nature- one’s own (sva) nature (bhāva)-characterized as ignorance, Māyā, which will be spoken of in, ‘Since this divine Maya’ (7.14); pravartate, that acts.
The above is to point out that as per Advaita the Lord, antaryāmi, does not do anything; It is a passive observer, a concept much objected to by non-advaitins. So, even granting that Śiva is a jīva, the containing of the poison is not any act of the antaryāmi, nor any special enabling by the latter. There is no room for Viṣṇu drinking it or Śiva being enabled by taking the former’s name to accomplish the act. Such utterances are no more than arthavādas; the actual situation is stated above in various passages along with the commentary. To take such arthavādas as actual happenings and propagate fanciful theories is the folly of bigots.

Om Tat Sat


  1. Namaste,

    **Now, when according to the blogger, Lord Śiva is a jñāni (which the blogger accepts), where is the need to ‘cleanse’ the karmas?**

    BhagavAn in gItA BG 4.37 also says that same.

    ज्ञानाग्निः सर्वकर्माणि भस्मसात्कुरुते तथा।।4.37।।

    The fire of Knowledge reduces all actions to ashes.

    Adi Sankara’s and rAmAnuja’s commentaries are interesting.

    Adi Sankara says that since prArabhdha was already effective before true nature was realized, it gets exhausted only through experiencing it

    … since the result of actions owing to which the present body has been born has already become effective, therefore it gets eshausted only through experiencing it.

    Hence, Knowledge reduces to ashes only all those actions

    -that were done (in this life) prior to the rise of Knowledge and
    -that have not become effective,
    -as also those performed along with (i.e. after the dawn of) Knowledge, and
    -those that were done in the many past lives…

    Note: ‘Experiencing it’ is said from vyavahArika POV, as GYAnI is a ‘witness’ and ‘witness’ is not a ‘doer’. We have ‘गुणा गुणेषु वर्तन्त … ।।3.28।।’ ‘guNA guNeShu vartante …’

    So GYAnI is not affected by pleasures and pain.

    rAmAnuja says,

    4.37 The fire of knowledge concerning the real nature of the self reduces to ashes the collection of endless Karmas accumulated from beginningless times, just as a well-kindled fire reduces to ashes a bundle of firewood.


    The site is revamped and is working fine. You will have to select additional commentaries and translation from drop down list with title ‘
    Show Select the Translation’s and Commentaries to be Displayed’

  2. Thanks for your responses. I wondered why Gitasupersite meta was not opening when I stumbled upon the revamped version and since used it many times now.

  3. Hi,
    How would you interpret the following passage from Mahabharata, Shanti Parva?

    brahmANaM shitikaNThaM cha yAshchAnyA devatAH smRRitAH |
    prabuddhavaryAH sevante mAmevaiShyanti yatparam || 32||

    (Śrī Bhagavān said): The wise ones do not worship Brahma, Shiva, and other Devatas mentioned in the Smritis because the fruits that they give are limited.

    Vedanta Desikan and Parasar Bhattar have quoted this in their works to prove that Vishnu alone can give one the highest and not Shiva.

    • There are many verses/sources that contradict the above statement of the Mahabharata. The Mahabharata itself says: The post of Keshava, Brahma, Indra, etc. will be granted by Rudra to his devotee when he is pleased by such worship.

    • नमश्शिवायोम्। 🙏🏼 mādhava

      हे माधव​! 🙏🏼😄

      mādhava, I wonder where in the quoted verse by you, It’s said as “do not worship!”
      I really wonder! Where it’s stated that way? If you have noticed “do not worship” in the above verse in saṃskṛtam, please educate others, so that others would learn.

      And I also wonder where in the above verse it’s stated about स्मृतिः (स्मृतयः its plural form), like you have written others devatāḥ mentioned in the स्मृतिः (स्मृतयः its plural form)?

      स्मृतः is remembered/called It’s कृत स्मरणः, the verse isn’t talking about texts called as स्मृतिः (स्मृतयः its plural form)

      And also, the verse isn’t conveying that “do not worship”

      It’s indeed ridiculous to say “do not worship!”

      The bhaktaḥ/devotee should have ananya-bhaktiḥ or the avyabhicara bhaktiḥ/अव्यभिचरभक्तिः on ईश्वरः, only in this sense one will come out of the notion of anyadevatā, indeed there is only one devaḥ & no anya is it not

      P.S.: Also It’s Śaṅkara deśika who is to be called as vedānta deśika, but not notorious idiots like veṅkaṭanātha alias paradeśī

      P.P.S.: So, butler & paradeśī would’ve quoted some verses, their interest is only to show that Śivaḥ is a jīvaḥ, but they’ve never succeeded in their attempts. The verse from शतपथब्राह्मणः (prajāpati sin & so on) that they show itself refutes their bogus notions, the same section of that ब्राह्मणः indeed clearly tells who is indeed the subject of that मन्त्रः
      These people like butler, paradeśī, madhvaḥ, mādhvaḥ etc have never ever succeeded in their attempts to show that Śivaḥ is a jīvaḥ.

      These people are expecting us to pity them.

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