Posted by: adbhutam | March 7, 2017


The verse ‘Gururbrahmā…..’ is perfectly scriptural

In the pdf available for download here:


the author has taken objection to the extremely popular verse:

गुरुर्ब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णुर्गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः ।

गुरुस्साक्षात्परब्रह्म तस्मै श्री गुरवे नमः ।।

The Guru is Brahmā, the Guru is Viṣṇu, the Guru is the Deva,  Maheśwara (Shiva). The Guru is verily the Para-Brahman (Supreme Brahman); Salutations to that Guru.

On page 5 he says:


Gurur brahmā shloka is Viṣṇu hatred. Why?

//As the Bhāgavata provides the nava-vidha bhakti, the Mahābhārata Tātparya Nirṇaya provides nava-vidha dveṣa. Nine ways of hating Lord Viṣṇu. The relevant ones among them for the current discussion are:

  • Jeeva Deva abheda (Thinking that God and jīva are equal)
  • Jeeva deva sāmyatā (Thinking Brahmā and Rudra are equal to Lord)
  • Aham Brahmaāsmi (Thinking that I am God)

As one can never be liberated by hating Viṣṇu,

  1. Such thought expounded in Gurur Brahmā shloka is tantamount to hating Viṣṇu
  2. Plus it neither pleases a real Guru or devatā (who is compared with Lord)

Viṣṇu sarvottama is unquestionable and is proven. Hence no Guru can be compared with Lord.//


A response to the above and other points:

In the Śrīmadbhāgavatam (uddhava gītā) 11.17.27, the Lord says:

आचार्यं मां विजानीयान्नावमन्येत कर्हिचित्।

न मर्त्यबुद्ध्यासूयेत सर्वदेवमयो गुरुः।।27।।

Know the Āchārya (Guru) to be verily Me. Never is the Guru to be undermined/humiliated. Nor should the Guru be seen as a mere human, for he is the abode of all divinities, deva-s.

Among the ‘nava vidha dveṣa’ (the nine ways one can hate the Lord Viṣṇu, as propounded by Madhva) the author has stated ‘C.Aham Brahmāsmi (Thinking I am God).

This is a fundamental misconception of the statement ‘Aham Brahmāsmi’. It does not amount to saying ‘I am God’. ‘I am Brahman’ is different from ‘I am God’. The ‘Aham Brahmāsmi’ refers to the identity of the Attributeless Consciousness and not the attributed aiśvaryavān. Only if the latter kind of identity is expressed, as demonstrated for instance in the episode of Pauṇḍraka Vāsudeva (in the Srīmadbhāgavatam), it is inadmissible.

For the contention of the author,  ‘jeeva-deva sāmyatā (thinking Brahmā and Rudra to be equal to the Lord) is a form of hating Viṣṇu, we reply that such an idea is alien to the scriptures. There are innumerable instances across the Purāṇa-s where the non-difference, aikya, of the trimūrti-s is explicitly taught. Not just that, the perception of difference within the trimūrti-s is also severely condemned. A sample from the purāṇa-s is shown below:

ब्रह्मविष्णुशिवा ब्रह्मन्प्रधाना ब्रह्मशक्तयः । ततश्च देवा मैत्रेय न्यूना दक्षादयस्ततः ॥५८॥   (Viṣṇupurāṇa 1.22.58)

[Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva are the foremost powers of Brahman. O Maitreya, other deva-s such as Dakṣa are lower than these three.]

And the Lord Viṣnu Himself in the Bhāgavatam, in the Dakṣa yajna episode, says:

(IV.7.50 – 54)

(50) Lord Vishnu said: ‘I, Brahmâ and Lord Śiva 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 Śiva, 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.

In the above teaching, the Lord, Viṣṇu, Himself exhorts us to shun the difference across the Trimūrti-s. There are several such instances in the Srimadbhāgavatam itself.

Says Veda Vyasa in the Mahābhārata 12.328.24:

रुद्रो नारायणश्चैव सत्त्वमेकं द्विधाकृतम् |लोके चरति कौन्तेय व्यक्तिस्थं सर्वकर्मसु ||२४||[Rudra and Nārāyaṇa are one Principle appearing as two…..]

In the Bhaviṣyottara purāṇa is stated:

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.]

The above verses are cited by Shankaracharya in the Viṣṇusahasra nāma bhāṣya.

Thus there is no absolute proof in the scriptures for the difference within the Trimūrti-s.

On Page 6 of the pdf, the author says:


yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau

tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ

yasya deve parā bhaktih yathā (yogya bhaktih) deve *=devataayaam+ tathā (yogya bhaktih) gurau With the applied adhyahara, the upanishad vakya fits like a glove with siddhanta. Taratamya krama bhakti is very important. One should not worship without understanding their position in taratamya. Such being the case, we should *NEVER* purposefully pray Guru as Lord as in GururBrahma shloka.



The above passage occurs in the śvetāśvataropaniṣad which is available here for search too:

In the above page when a search for the word ‘deva’ is initiated, we get 43 results. Of these the term ‘deva’ relevant to this discussion is occurring in the following (over 25) instances:

ज्ञात्वा देवं मुच्यते सर्वपाशैः ॥ ८ ॥ 1.8  [By knowing the Deva one is freed from all bonds]

क्षरं प्रधानममृताक्षरं हरः
क्षरात्मानावीशते देव एकः ।  1.10 [Pradhāna, Māyā, is kṣara, and Akṣara is Hara, Śiva. The kṣara and the jivātman are ruled by One Deva]

ज्ञात्वा देवं सर्वपाशापहानिः  1.11 [Upon knowing the Deva all bonds are destroyed]

अजं ध्रुवं सर्वतत्त्वैर्विशुद्धं
ज्ञात्वा देवं मुच्यते सर्वपापैः ॥ १५ ॥ 2.15 [The unborn, firm untouched by prakṛti-tattva-s, knowing this Deva one is freed from all sins.]

एषो ह देवः प्रदिशोऽनु सर्वाः ।
पूर्वो ह जातः स उ गर्भे अन्तः ।  2.16 [This Deva is all the directions, he is the One first born, exists in the womb, ….exists in all beings, His faces are everywhere]

यो देवो अग्नौ योऽप्सु
यो विश्वं भुवनमाविवेश ।
य ओषधीषु यो वनस्पतिषु
तस्मै देवाय नमो नमः ॥ १७ ॥  2.17  [The all-pervading, all-existing glory of Deva is described here]

विश्वतश्चक्षुरुत विश्वतो मुखो
विश्वतो बाहुरुत विश्वतस्पात् ।
सं बाहुभ्यां धमति सम्पतत्रै –
र्द्यावाभूमी जनयन् देव एकः ॥ ३ ॥ 3.3 [This Deva is One, and everything in creation ]

विचैति चान्ते विश्वमादौ च देवः
स नो बुद्ध्या शुभया संयुनक्तु ॥ १ ॥

तदेवाग्निस्तदादित्य –
स्तद्वायुस्तदु चन्द्रमाः ।
तदेव शुक्रं तद् ब्रह्म
तदापस्तत् प्रजापतिः ॥ २ ॥4.1 and 2 [The two mantras show that this Deva is appearing as all deva-s, agni, vāyu, etc. ]

तमीशानं वरदं देवमीड्यं
निचाय्येमां शान्तिमत्यन्तमेति ॥ ११ ॥ 4.11 [This Deva, the one worthy of worship is the Lord, realizing Him one attains Supreme Peace.]

यो देवानामधिपो
यस्मिन्ल्लोका अधिश्रिताः ।
य ईशे अस्य द्विपदश्चतुष्पदः
कस्मै देवाय हविषा विधेम ॥ १३ ॥

सूक्ष्मातिसूक्ष्मं कलिलस्य मध्ये
विश्वस्य स्रष्ठारमनेकरूपम् ।
विश्वस्यैकं परिवेष्टितारं
ज्ञात्वा शिवं शान्तिमत्यन्तमेति ॥ १४ ॥ 4.13 and 14 show that this Deva is the Supreme Brahman, Śiva, knowing whom one attains Supreme Peace.]

एष देवो विश्वकर्मा महात्मा
सदा जनानां हृदये सन्निविष्टः ।
हृदा मनीषा मनसाभिक्लृप्तो
य एतद् विदुरमृतास्ते भवन्ति ॥ १७ ॥ 4.17 [This Deva is the antaryāmin and knowing Him one becomes liberated]

एकैक जालं बहुधा विकुर्व –
न्नस्मिन् क्षेत्रे संहरत्येष देवः ।
भूयः सृष्ट्वा पतयस्तथेशः
सर्वाधिपत्यं कुरुते महात्मा ॥ ३ ॥

सर्वा दिश ऊर्ध्वमधश्च तिर्यक्
प्रकाशयन् भ्राजते यद्वनड्वान् ।
एवं स देवो भगवान् वरेण्यो
योनिस्वभावानधितिष्ठत्येकः ॥ ४ ॥ 5.3,4 [The Deva is the Creator, Sustainer, Destroyer. He is the One to be meditated upon.]


अनाद्यनन्तं कलिलस्य मध्ये
विश्वस्य स्रष्ठारमनेकरूपम् ।
विश्वस्यैकं परिवेष्टितारं
ज्ञात्वा देवं मुच्यते सर्वपाशैः ॥ १३ ॥ 5.13 [The Supreme Deva, the Creator of the universe, knowing whom one is freed of all bonds.]

भावग्राह्यमनीडाख्यं भावाभावकरं शिवम् ।
कलासर्गकरं देवं ये विदुस्ते जहुस्तनुम् ॥ १४ ॥ 5.14 [Supreme Brahman…knowing whom one is freed from the body-bondage forever.]

स्वभावमेके कवयो वदन्ति
कालं तथान्ये परिमुह्यमानाः ।
देवस्यैष महिमा तु लोके
येनेदं भ्राम्यते ब्रह्मचक्रम् ॥ १ ॥ 6.1 [The Supreme Brahman, whose glory is the universe …]

आदिः स संयोगनिमित्तहेतुः
परस्त्रिकालादकलोऽपि दृष्टः ।
तं विश्वरूपं भवभूतमीड्यं
देवं स्वचित्तस्थमुपास्य पूर्वम् ॥ ५ ॥ 6.5 [He is the Universal Form, Deva, residing in everyone’s heart.]

तमीश्वराणां परमं महेश्वरं
तं देवतानां परमं च दैवतम् ।
पतिं पतीनां परमं परस्ताद् –
विदाम देवं भुवनेशमीड्यम् ॥ ७ ॥ 6.7 [The Lord of lords, Lord of the Universe….]

यस्तन्तुनाभ इव तन्तुभिः प्रधानजैः स्वभावतः ।
देव एकः स्वमावृणोति स नो दधातु ब्रह्माप्ययम् ॥ १० ॥ 6.10  [This Deva pervades the entire creation…]

Now, the famous mantra:

एको देवः सर्वभूतेषु गूढः
सर्वव्यापी सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा ।
कर्माध्यक्षः सर्वभूताधिवासः
साक्षी चेता केवलो निर्गुणश्च ॥ ११ ॥ 6.11 [He is the One Deva who resides in everyone….the nirguṇa Brahman.]

नित्यो नित्यानां चेतनश्चेतनाना –
मेको बहूनां यो विदधाति कामान् ।
तत्कारणं साङ्ख्ययोगाधिगम्यं
ज्ञात्वा देवं मुच्यते सर्वपाशैः ॥ १३ ॥ 6.13 [He is the Eternal, the Consciousness…. to be realized for liberation.]

यो ब्रह्माणं विदधाति पूर्वं
यो वै वेदांश्च प्रहिणोति तस्मै ।
तं ह देवं आत्मबुद्धिप्रकाशं
मुमुक्षुर्वै शरणमहं प्रपद्ये ॥ १८ ॥ 6.18 [This Deva first teaches Brahmā…..sought as refuge by seekers of liberation.]

Another famous mantra:

यदा चर्मवदाकाशं वेष्टयिष्यन्ति मानवाः ।
तदा देवमविज्ञाय दुःखस्यान्तो भविष्यति ॥ २० ॥ 6.20 [The indispensability of Brahman-knowledge for liberation.] This mantra has the word ‘deva’, which is read as Śiva in some texts. In any case, the Deva refers to Śiva, the Supreme.

तपःप्रभावाद् देवप्रसादाच्च
ब्रह्म ह श्वेताश्वतरोऽथ विद्वान् ।
अत्याश्रमिभ्यः परमं पवित्रं
प्रोवाच सम्यगृषिसङ्घजुष्टम् ॥ २१ ॥ 6.21 [The Muni Śvetaśvatara taught this Supreme Truth by the grace of Deva, Śiva, Brahman.]

Now comes the mantra the pdf-author has cited:

यस्य देवे परा भक्तिः यथा देवे तथा गुरौ ।
तस्यैते कथिता ह्यर्थाः प्रकाशन्ते महात्मनः ॥ २३ ॥ 6.23
प्रकाशन्ते महात्मन इति ।

The Deva stated here is none other than the Supreme Brahman, as corroborated by all the mantras that precede it. It is that ‘Deva’ by realizing whom one is liberated from samsāra, as brought out many times, abhyāsa, in the above Upaniṣad. Evidently it is not any one-of-the deva-s that is available as a choice here. Rather, it is the Supreme Brahman that is enjoined in this Upaniṣad by the word ‘Deva’. The mumukṣu has to be devoted to the Guru the same way he is devoted to the Lord, Brahman.  It is this that the Lord has stated in the Srīmadbhāgavatam that has been cited at the beginning. Thus, Guruḥ sākṣāt param Brahma, is a truth that is enshrined in the Veda.

There are other references in the Upaniṣads for the fact that the Guru, who communicates the liberating Knowledge is the Supreme:

Mundakopanishad: In 3.2.1 of this Upaniṣad it is taught that by worshiping the aparokṣa Jñānī, a seeker free from worldly desires, attains freedom from rebirth:

स वेदैतत्परमं ब्रह्म धाम यत्र विश्वं निहितं भाति शुभ्रम् ।
उपासते पुरुषं ये ह्यकामास्ते शुक्रमेतदतिवर्तन्ति धीराः ॥ १ ॥

Praśnopaniṣat: 6.8 says that the disciples, having attained the direct realization of the Truth, worshiped the Guru saying: You are verily our Father who have ferried us to the other shore of samsāra. Obeisance to the Great Ṛṣi-s, again and again.

ते तमर्चयन्तस्त्वं हि नः पिता योऽस्माकमविद्यायाः परं पारं तारयसीति । नमः परमऋषिभ्यो नमः परमऋषिभ्यः ॥ ८ ॥

The above two sample instances nowhere bring in Viṣṇu (or Vāyu) as the ‘giver’ of Mokṣa. Mokṣa is a consequence of jñāna and is not ‘given’ by anyone. By dint of sādhana, with the grace of the Lord and the Guru, one gains knowledge which immediately results in liberation.

Śiva the Teacher in Bhāgavata, Dakśayajña. The Bhāgavatam describes in detail the instance where Lord Śiva is seen imparting brahmavidyā to seekers.

Brahmā the Teacher in Chandogya, prajāpati vidya. This Upaniṣad gives a very detailed account of Prajāpati giving out the Supreme Knowledge to Indra.

Viṣṇu the Teacher in Bhagavadgita. It is only too well known that Viṣṇu as Srī Kṛṣṇa expounded the liberating knowledge to Arjuna.

All the instances bear no difference in the Knowledge per se whether it was taught by Brahmā, Viṣṇu or Śiva. Hence, the trimūrti-s are Guru-s, without any difference within them.

Madhva scholars recite this verse:

आपादमौलिपर्यन्तं गुरूणामाकृतिं स्मरेत् ।

येन विघ्नाः प्रणश्यन्ति सिद्ध्यन्ति च मनोरथाः ॥

Meaning:  One aught to contemplate on the form of the Guru from foot to head. By such contemplation obstacles are destroyed and one’s longings are fulfilled.

This verse clearly says that the contemplation of the Guru’s form brings about commendable fruit. There is nothing in the verse to limit the fruits just because it is a contemplation of the Guru’s form and not the Lord’s form.

Thus, the famous verse addressed to the Guru as –

गुरुर्ब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णुर्गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः ।

गुरुस्साक्षात्परब्रह्म तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः ।।

The Guru is Brahmā, the Guru is Viṣṇu, the Guru is the Deva,  Maheśwara (Shiva). The Guru is verily the Para-Brahman (Supreme Brahman); Salutations to that Guru.

is free of any blemish and is completely in tune with the spirit of the Veda and purāṇa-s.

Says the Sarva-vedānta-siddhAnta-sAra-sangraha of Shankaracharya:

जन्मानेकशतै:  सदादरयुजा भक्त्या समाराधितो

भक्तैर्वैदिकलक्षणेन विधिना सन्तुष्ट ईश: स्वयम्।

साक्षात् श्रीगुरुरूपमेत्य कृपया द्रूग्गोचरस्सन् प्रभु:

तत्त्वं साधु विशोध्य तारयति तान् संसारदु:खार्णवात् ॥ (225)

[The Lord, being pleased with the constant and unflinching devotion andworship in the prescribed manner (consisting of adherence to nitya karma, vrata-s, etc.), extending over many lives on the part of the seeker, manifests Himself, in His infinite mercy in the human form ofthe Guru, thereby becoming accessible to the śiṣya for śuśrūṣā and vichāra which culminate in his crossing over the perilous ocean of samsara.]


Om Tat Sat











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