Posted by: adbhutam | May 28, 2017

ALL GODS DERIVE THEIR KNOWLEDGE FROM BRAHMAN ALONE

All gods derive their knowledge from Brahman only

It is well known in the Upanishads that Brahman is Jnanasvarupam and everything else in the created world shines by that Pure Consciousness. All gods, humans, and other sentient entities derive their sentience from that Pure Consciousness alone. This Consciousness is the essence of all beings. Even those entities in the cosmos such as the sun derive their illumining power from this Pure Consciousness alone. In this background let us see the tenability or otherwise of this verse of Sri Vedanta Desika:

वेदान्त देशिकः when he makes a remark against  दक्षिणामुर्तिः vide shloka no. 7 of his हयग्रीवस्तोत्रं :
दाक्षिण्यरम्या  गिरिशस्य मूर्तिः देवी
सरोजासनधर्मपत्नी ।
व्यासादयोऽपि  व्यपदेश्यवाचः
स्फुरन्ति सर्वे तव  शक्तिलेशैः ॥ ७॥

http://www.parakalamatham.org/Sri-Matham/Sri-Hayagriva-Stotram

//The pretty-to-behold (ramyA) form of KailAsanAthan (GirIsan) known as DakshiNAmUrthy, the “Goddess of Learning” and the wife of Brahma Devan with the name of Sarasvathi having the white lotus as Her abode and even Sage VyAsA and others famous for their powers of divine Vaak –all of them derive their Saarasvatham (power of divine speech) from a mere fragment of the power of the Adhi VidhyA Moorthy, Lord HayagrIvan.//

We have in the Shvetashvatoropanishat the mention of Dakshinamurti, Lord Shiva:

अजात इत्येवं कश्चिद्भीरुः प्रपद्यते।
रुद्र यत्ते दक्षिणं मुखं तेन मां पाहि नित्यम्।।4.1.21।।

[Unborn Thou art, in Thee does a mortal in the throes of fear take refuge, O Rudra (destroyer of ignorance), ever protect me with Thy able inspiring South-facing countenance.]

In the Mahabharata Lord Krishna says:

14_004_1454 निवेशयति मन्मूर्त्या आत्मानं मद्गतः शुचिः

14_004_1455 रुद्रदक्षिणमूर्त्यां वा चतुर्दश्यां विशेषतः

14_004_1456 सिद्धैर्ब्रह्मर्षिभिश्चैव देवलोकैश्च पूजितः

14_004_1457 गन्धर्वैर्भूतसंघैश्च गीयमानो महातपाः

14_004_1458 प्रविशेत्स महातेजा मां वा शंकरमेव वा

14_004_1459 तस्यापुनर्भवं (sic) राजन्नात्र कार्या विचारणा

Whoever on the Chaturdashī, gives himself up in devotion to My (Vishnu’s) form or to the form of Rudra-Dakshināmūrti, will be worshiped by the siddha-s, brahmaṛṣi-s and the devaloka-s and praised by the gandharva-s and the bhūta-groups, he, such a devotee is Mahātapāḥ. Such a devotee endowed with great Tejas will be united with Me or Shankara; he will be freed from rebirth. No doubt need to be had in this, O Yudhishtira!

https://adbhutam.wordpress.com/2017/04/24/worship-of-shiva-or-vishnu-lead-to-the-same-result-mahabharata/

The Sūtasamhitā, a part of the Skanda Purāṇa, has a ‘Dakshinamurti stotram’:

http://sanskritdocuments.org/doc_shiva/dakShiNAmUrtistotraSutasamhita.html?lang=sa

ईशानं सर्वविद्यानामीश्वरेश्वरमव्ययम् । उत्पत्त्यादिविनिर्मुक्तं ओङ्कारकमलासनम् ॥ ९॥
The Lord of all vidyā-s, the Lord of all lords, transcending birth, etc., seated on the lotus of Omakāra,

रुद्र यत्ते मुखं तेन दक्षिणं पाहि मामिति । उक्त्वा पुनः पुनर्देवं पूजयामास भक्तितः ॥ १३॥
He was worshiped by beseeching Him again and again as ‘O Rudra, protect us, with Thy South-faced countenance..’ (a reference to the Shvetashvataropanishat which has been proclaimed to be Shiva specific alone and not any other deity by puranas.)

The epithet ‘ādhāram sarvavidyānām’ used in the Hayagriva stotra:

http://www.parakalamatham.org/Sri-Matham/Sri-Hayagriva-Stotram

ज्ञानानन्दमयं देवं निर्मलस्फटिकाकृतिम् । 
आधारं सर्वविद्यानां हयग्रीवमुपास्महे ॥ १॥

MEANING: 
We meditate upon that Supreme One, who has the neck and face of a horse and who is the embodiment of Jn~AnA (divine Knowledge) and AnandhA (Bliss). He has a ThirumEni (body) like a radiant, blemishless Spatikam (Crystal) and is the abode of all VidhyAs (branches of Learning).

is not unique. It is also used by Krishna in the Mahabharatha 12.46/17th chapter applying it to Bhīṣma. Krishna is in rapt meditation while Bhishma on his death bed is meditating on Krishna. Yudhishtira asks Krishna ‘Whom are you meditating upon?’ and Krishna in reply says it is on Bhishma and in that discourse says:

17 rāmasya dayitaṃ śiṣyaṃ jāmadagnyasya pāṇḍava
ādhāraṃ sarvavidyānāṃ tam asmi manasā gataḥ

http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m12/m12a046.htm

[I was thinking of him, O son of Pandu, who is the favourite disciple of (Parashu) Rama, the son of Jamadagni, and who is the receptacle of the sciences.]

We find a variant of that epithet as ‘Īśānam sarvavidyānām’ used in the praise of Dakshinamurti in the Suta samhita verse. That the epithet, in one or the other variant, is quite common and is not unique can be seen even from the Bhagavadgita 15th chapter 19th verse:

यो मामेवमसंमूढो जानाति पुरुषोत्तमम् ।
स सर्वविद्भजति मां सर्वभावेन भारत ॥ १९ ॥

The word ‘sarvavit’ means: all-knowing. Shankara comments that word as: // सर्ववित् सर्वात्मना सर्वं वेत्तीति सर्वज्ञः He who knows everything in their comprehensive way is omniscient.// Any self-realized person is sarvavit.

Brahmavidyā sarvavidyā pratiṣṭhā:

The Mundakopanishat opens with this mantra:

ब्रह्मा देवानां प्रथमः सम्बभूव विश्वस्य कर्ता भुवनस्य गोप्ता ।
स ब्रह्मविद्यां सर्वविद्याप्रतिष्ठामथर्वाय ज्येष्ठपुत्राय प्राह ॥ १ ॥

1 Om. Brahma, the Creator of the universe and the Preserver of the world, was the first among the devas. He told His eldest son Atharva about the Knowledge of Brahman, the foundation of all knowledge. 

Shankara says for the terms: तां ब्रह्मविद्याम्  सर्वविद्याप्रतिष्ठां सर्वविद्याभिव्यक्तिहेतुत्वात्सर्वविद्याश्रयामित्यर्थः ;

सर्वविद्यावेद्यं वा वस्त्वनयैव ज्ञायत इति, ‘येनाश्रुतं श्रुतं भवति अमतं मतमविज्ञातं विज्ञातम्’ (छा. उ. ६ । १ । ३) इति श्रुतेः ।

Brahmavidyā, knowledge of Brahman, is the abode, support, of all knowledge because it is the cause of the manifestation of all knowledge. It is due to this Consciousness that the object of all sciences is known. The Chandogya shruti says: By hearing which everything else is deemed to have been heard…..’

Thus, it is the Pure consciousness the realization of which constitutes the means for liberation, is the abode, ādhāram, of all vidyā. Therefore any Jnani being endowed with the realization of the Supreme Consciousness is the ādhāram of all vidyā.

The Padmapurana, Shivagita (for which a Jagadguru of the Sringeri Peetham has written a bhashya in the 15/16 CE) holds the Shvetashvatara Upanishad and also the Kaivalyopanishat as being Shiva-specific:

श्वेताश्वतरमन्त्रेण स्तुवन्तं गिरिजापतिम् ।

अनन्तादिमहानागान्कैलासगिरिसन्निभान् ॥ ४२॥

कैवल्योपनिषत्पाठान्मणिरत्नविभूषितान् ।  [clear that the Kaivalyopaniṣat is Rudra-specific]

Also, there itself:

कैवल्योपनिषत्सूक्तं श्वेताश्वतरमेव च । [Kaivalya and Śvetāśvatara are Rudra-specific]

Even before the Hayagriva stotram claims that Dakshinamurti, Shiva, derives his knowledge from Hayagriva, the Suta samhita of the Skanda purana has said:

ब्रह्माणं मुनयः पूर्वं सृष्ट्वा तस्मै महेश्वरः ।

दत्तवानखिलान्वेदानात्मन्येव स्थितानिमान् ॥ ४०

Maheshvara created in the yore Brahmā and to him bestowed all the Vedas that are stored in His Self.

ब्रह्मा सर्वजगत्कर्ता शिवस्य परमात्मनः ।

प्रसादादेव रुद्रस्य स्मृतीः सस्मार सुव्रताः ॥ ४१

Brahmā, the Creator of all the worlds, attained the memory of all smrtis by the grace of Rudra alone, the Supreme Self.

विष्णुर्विश्वजगन्नाथो विश्वेशस्य शिवस्य तु ।

आज्ञया परया युक्तो व्यासो जज्ञे गुरुर्मम ॥ ४२

Vishnu, the Lord of the universe, by the command of Shiva alone incarnated as Vyasa.

स पुनर्देवदेवस्य प्रसादादम्बिकापतेः ।

संक्षिप्य सकलान्वेदांश्चतुर्धा कृतवान्द्विजाः ॥ ४३

Vyasa, again, by the grace of the Lord, Ambikāpati, Shiva, condensed the entire vedic corpus and codified it four-fold.

Thus, the idea conveyed by Vedanta Desika in the Hayagriva stotra is already there in the Purana, with Shiva as the Source of all knowledge that all divinities possess. For the Vedantin, this Shiva is Turiya, Brahman. On this template any one deity can be placed as the Source and all the other deities can be shown as the ‘receivers’ of knowledge. That is perfectly in order in view of the variety of tastes, proclivities, etc. Trouble arises only when someone becomes a victim of bigotry and tries to claim supremacy of ‘his’ iṣṭa deity to the detriment of all other deities. An Advaitin alone, as exemplified by Appayya Dikshta, can transcend all petty ideas and portray the true spirit of the Vedanta. Non-advaitic schools, dependent on a particular deity, therefore, cannot be free from partisan handicaps.

For the Upanishadic expression ‘Eko Narayanaḥ’, the Brahmanandi commentary for the Advaitasiddhi says that it is Chinmātra, Pure Consciousness, that is, not any formed deity.

Om Tat Sat

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Responses

  1. This is a very well written article, Thanks to the author for such a clarity in thought. The very foundation of hari hara abhedha seen in the works of Sri Bodhendra, Appaya dikshita and others are all built upon the idea that brahman can be represented as any deity and historically hari and hara are valid representations of the same brahman/ishvara. The author proves this point beautifully.

  2. Thanks, Aravind for your words.


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