Posted by: adbhutam | November 3, 2017

DIVISION OF PURĀṆA-S AS ‘SĀTTVIKA’, ETC. IS UNVEDIC

The avaidikatvam of the purāṇic division as sāttvika, etc.

Sri Sureshwaracharya in the Br.Up.Vārtika has said:

यः पृथिव्यामितीशोऽसावन्तर्यामी जगद्गुरुः ।

हरिर्ब्रह्मा पिनाकीति बहुधैकोऽपि गीयते ॥

[The Br.Up. ‘he who, stationed in the pṛthvī devatā impels the mind-body-organs of that devatā….’ who is the antaryāmī, jagadguru, even though one, is variously spoken of as Hari, Brahmā and Pinākī (Śiva).]

Anandagiri: कथं श्रुत्यवष्टम्भेन ईश्वरस्य कारणत्वं, मूर्तित्रयस्य इतिहासादौ सर्गस्थितिलयेषु यथायोगं कर्तृत्वश्रुतेः, अत आह । यः पृथिव्यामिति । प्रकृतो हि ईश्वरः स्वरूपेण एकोऽपि मूर्तित्रयात्मना बहुधा उच्यते पृथिव्यादौ तस्यैव अन्तर्यामित्वेन स्थितिश्रुतेः, न च तद्विरोधे पुराणादिप्रामाण्यं सापेक्षत्वेन दौर्बल्यादिति भावः । स पूर्वेषां गुरुरितिन्यायेन अन्तर्यामी इत्यस्य व्याख्या जगद्गुरुरिति ।

 

Anandagiri says: How is it that while Isvara  is the jagatkāraṇam according to the Shruti,  the itihāsa, etc. say that there is the causehood as appropriately assigned to the trimūrti-s in creation, sustenance and dissolution? [the idea is: while the shruti says Brahman, Ishvara, is the jagatkāraṇam, we find the itihāsa, purāna, etc. distributing that to three different entities functionally?] The above verse of Sureshvara is answering this question: Even though Ishwara is one only, he is spoken of as many, Hari, Brahmā, Pinākī. Why is it that Ishwara is admitted to be one only? Since it is one Ishwara alone (not many) that is taught in the shruti as the antaryāmin. If the purāṇa-s, etc. say something different (three different individuals performing distinct functions), then since these texts are dependent on the Shruti for their prāmāṇya, they do not enjoy the status of the shruti; they are durbala, weak, only when they say something contradictory to the Shruti. Since He, Ishwara, is the Guru of everyone (including devatā-s) this antaryāmin, Ishwara, alone gets the epithet of ‘Jagadguru’.

This statement of Sureshwara and the explanation of Anandagiri tell us clearly that the idea of classification of purāṇa-s as sāttivka, etc. is shruti viruddha and not to be adhered to by Vedantins. This is because, as Sureshwara says, all the three, Hari, Brahmā and Pinākī, are verily one Ishwara, the antaryāmin, the jagatkāraṇam, with only different names, and it is a case of ‘one only, only spoken of as several entities.’  Even the Guru is verily Ishwara, the jagatkāraṇam, antaryāmin.

It is like Vāmana, Trivikrama, Nṛsimha, Mādhava, are different names of only one Viṣṇu, and not that they are distinct individuals.

Shankara is the only Vedāntin that adheres to the Shruti tātparya that Sureshwara has stated above. He says in the BSB janmādi asya yataḥ:

अस्य जगतो नामरूपाभ्यां व्याकृतस्य अनेककर्तृभोक्तृसंयुक्तस्य प्रतिनियतदेशकालनिमित्तक्रियाफलाश्रयस्य मनसाप्यचिन्त्यरचनारूपस्य जन्मस्थितिभङ्गं यतः सर्वज्ञात्सर्वशक्तेः कारणाद्भवति, तद्ब्रह्मेति वाक्यशेषः ।  He specifies only one entity, Brahman,  and not three different entities, as the cause of creation, sustenance and dissolution of the universe. In the Praśnopaniṣat bhāṣya too Shankara says that one Brahman alone performs the functions of creation, etc. as different upādhi-s. He has maintained this stand alone everywhere, even in the Viṣṇu sahasra nāma bhāṣya. The other Advaitin commentator Sridhara Swamin too has clearly explained in the Bhāgavatam that Brahman alone in the three forms, brahma rūpeṇa, viṣṇu rūpeṇa, etc. performs the triad of functions and not three distinct individuals. This Vedic idea is not palatable to non-Advaitins as their very philosophy rests precariously on the absolute distinction of the tri murtis. And hence their penchant for the avaidika classification of puranas as sāttvika, etc.

Quite interestingly, the non-shruti scripture too, sometimes offers the correct position, voicing the Shruti-stand. Shankara cites verses that teach non-difference across the tri-mūrtis and the identity, abheda, of Hari and Hara, by bringing out the criticism of upholding the distinction across the three forms and also by extolling the vision of non-difference. Here is a sample that Shankara cites in the VSN Bhāṣya:

Two seminal verses from the Bhaviṣyottara purāṇa in the introduction to the VSN:

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.]

One can recall a similar verse in the Śrīmadbhāgavatam (Dakṣayajña section) as said by Viṣṇu: such jiva-s will not attain liberation.

Clearly, such verses of the scripture are never a favorite of non-advaitins.

That Hari and Hara are non-different is brought out by the Mahabharata, etc. in many ways: as Hari worshiping Hara and as Hara praising Hari, etc. This inalienable identity is beautifully brought out by Sridhara Swamin in his invocation to his commentary to the Bhagavatam:

माधवोमाधवावीशौ सर्वसिद्धिविधायिनौ। वन्दे परस्परात्मानौ परस्परनुतिप्रियौ॥

I bow to Mādhava and Umādhava (Shiva) who are both ‘Isha-s’ Supreme Lords. They are capable of bestowing all accomplishments (to their devotees). They are both the selves of each other and both love to engage in the stuti of each other.

http://dravidaveda.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3044

There is a ‘shankara-nārāyaṇa avatāra’ which has been praised by an Azhwar.

// எம்பெருமான் செய்தருளின பல அவதாரங்களில் சங்கர நாராயணவதார மென்பது மொன்று, இது ஹரிஹராவதாரமென்றும் சொல்லப்படும். பாதிவடிவம் ஸ்ரீமந்நாராயணமூர்த்தி யாகவும் பாதிவடிவம் பரமசிவமூர்த்தியாகவும் கொண்டதாமிது, //

//English Translation

In the streaming-hills venkatam, the Lord my father seems to have both mat hair and crown.  He wields both the axe and the discus, wears, both a snake around his neck and the sacred thread. Two images blended into one, -what a wonder!//

This idea is contained in the Sauptika Parva of the Mahabharata too where Krishna says that the worship of both Hari and Hara leads to the same result. Only Advaitins such as Veda Vyasa, Shankara, Sridhara Swamin, Sureshwara can boldly proclaim the aikya/abheda theme. In fact such verses are easily comprehensible requiring no convoluted explanations and apologies such as ‘Śiva says that as antaryāmi, praises go to the antaryami, śarīra-ātma, etc.’ It is a defect, kalpanā gauravam, in the nyāya śāstra, when something can be explained without resorting to such excuses.

There is the other very well known shruti passage that directly proclaims the identity between Śiva and Viṣṇu where too the concept of ‘vyatihāra’ is present:

http://upanishad.info/upanishads/text/krishna-yajurveda/sanskrit/skanda [Sri Upaniṣad Brahma Yogin, an advaita Acharya, has written the commentary for this Upaniṣad as well along with the entire 108 Upaniṣads.)

शिवाय विष्णुरूपाय शिवरूपाय विष्णवे ।
शिवस्य हृदयं विष्णुः विष्णोश्च हृदयं शिवः ॥८॥
यथा शिवमयो विष्णुरेवं विष्णुमयः शिवः ।
यथान्तरं न पश्यामि तथा मे स्वस्तिरायुषि ॥९॥
यथान्तरं न भेदाः स्युः शिवकेशवयोस्तथा ।[Skandopaniṣat]

[(obeisance to Śiva who is of the form of Viḷṣṇu, and to Viṣṇu of the form of Śiva. Śiva’s heart (self) is Viṣṇu and Viṣṇu’s self is Śiva. Just as Viṣṇu is fully verily Śiva, so too Śiva is fully verily Viṣṇu. As I do not see any difference between them, let me be prosperous and long-lived. Let there be no difference between Śiva and Keśava. In fact the Mahabharata itself contains a similar verse:

शिवाय विष्णुरूपाय विष्णवे शिवरूपिणे ।।

दक्षयज्ञविनाशाय हरिरूपाय ते नमः। 3.39.76 (हरिरुद्राय) [These are the words of Arjuna to Lord Śiva.]

In the Harivamśa, an extension of the Mahabharata, we have Markandeya’s words:

मार्कण्डेय उवाच॥ शिवाय विष्णुरूपाय विष्णवे शिवरूपिणे। अथान्तरं न पश्यामि तेन ते दिशतः शिवम् ।

It is Sri Appayya Dikshitar who has made the unnegatable statement:

// 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.

And Veda Vyasa in the Mahabharata vouches for the above view of Appayya Dikshita:

रुद्रो नारायणश्चैव सत्त्वमेकं द्विधा कृतम्।

लोके चरति कौन्तेय व्यक्तिस्थं सर्वकर्मसु।। 12-350-27a 12-350-27b.

The Padmapurāṇa, in the section on the Srimadbhāgavatapurāṇa māhātmyam of the 12th canto says that ‘he is the greatest vaiṣṇava who holds Śiva, Viṣṇu and Durga as non-different, Brahman.    Shankara, Sureshwara, etc. alone qualify in this litmus test.

The verses Shankara cites in the VSN bhāṣya, and those of the Mahabharata and Harivamśa do not suffer from such a weakness of the need to appealing to ‘interpolation’, etc. and resorting to any secondary meaning by giving up the primary meaning: yathāśrutārtha.

All the above pramāṇa-s authenticate the shruti-teaching of ‘One Ishwara alone is spoken of in many names’; there are absolutely no three distinct entities. The classification of purāṇa-s as sāttvika, etc. is therefore avaidika according to Shankara, Sureshwara, etc.

Om Tat Sat

 


Responses

  1. Even the great Tulsidas – who promotes Rama to Supreme status has composed a song in poor taste:

    Bhajman Ram Charan Sukhdai

    “jin caranan se nikalIn surasari shankar jaTA samAyI
    jaTA shankarI nAm paDyo hai tribhuvan tAran AyI

    From (se) which (jin) feet (caranan) emanated (nikalI) the river of gods (surasarI – ganga) and immersed (samAI) in the matted locks (jaTA) of Lord Shiva. Since then, she was named (nAm paDyO) jaTA ShankarI and she came (AyI) for the redemption (tAran) of the three worlds (tribhuvan).”

    ——————————————————————————–

    “shiv sanakAdik aru brahmAdik sheS sahas mukh gAI
    tulasIdAs mArutasut kI prabhu nij mukh karat baDHAI

    Siva, the four sanakAdI kumAras [sanaka, sanandana, sanAtana and sanatkumAr] (sanakAdika), brahmA, ananta Sesa (Ses) with his thousand (sahas) mouths (mukh) have sung (gAI) the glories of His feet. TulasIdAs says, the same Lord of such intense glory, glorifies (karat baDHAI) the son of wind (maruta suta – hanumAn) with His own (nija) lips (mukh).”

    to say that Lord Siva sang the glories of Rama’s feet is as bigoted as modern day vaishnavas.

    • So true

  2. Some self proclaimed ‘vedantic’ cults survive only by this division.

  3. unfortunately Sankara seems to have endorsed the “sattvika purana” concept:

    In his philosophical work known as “Sarva vedanta siddhanta sara sangraha”(verse 371) states as follows:

    srutya sattva purananam sevaya sattva vastunah

    anivrttya ca sadhunam sattva vruttih prajayate

    “By listening to the sattvik puranas, eating the sattvik food,carrying out the service of sadhus(a devotees of lord ),one can increase one’s sattva guna.”

    Say it ain’t so, Sankaracharya.

    • Shankara says in that very work ‘sarva-vedānta-siddhānta-sāra-sangraha’ : जन्मानेकशतैः सदादरयुजा भक्त्या समाराधितो
      भक्तैर्वैदिकलक्षणेन विधिना सन्तुष्ट ईश स्वयम् ।
      साक्षाच्छ्रीगुरुरूपमेत्य कृपया दृग्गोचरः सन्प्रभुः
      तत्त्वं साधु विबोध्य तारयति तान्संसारदुःखार्णवात् ॥ २५४॥
      Ishwara, pleased by the aspirant’s karma-bhakti yoga sādhana, Himself appears as the Guru and enlightens the disciple and liberates him.

      शिव एव गुरुः साक्षात् गुरुरेव शिवः स्वयम् ।
      उभयोरन्तरं किञ्चिन्न द्रष्टव्यं मुमुक्षुभिः ॥ २५६॥
      The Guru-Shiva identity is emphasized here. So, Ishwara is non-different from Shiva who is the Guru.
      In all the following verses Shiva is stated as the Supreme:
      श्रीगुरुः –
      धन्यः कृतार्थस्त्वमहो विवेकः
      शिवप्रसादस्तव विद्यते महान् ।
      विसृज्य तु प्राकृतलोकमार्गं
      ब्रह्मावगन्तुं यतसे यतस्त्वम् ॥ २७८॥

      शिवप्रसादेन विना न सिद्धिः
      शिवप्रसादेन विना न बुद्धिः ।
      शिवप्रसादेन विना न युक्तिः
      शिवप्रसादेन विना न मुक्तिः ॥ २७९॥

      यस्य प्रसादेन विमुक्तसङ्गाः
      शुकादयः संसृतिबन्धमुक्ताः ।
      तस्य प्रसादो बहुजन्मलभ्यो
      भक्त्येकगम्यो भवमुक्तिहेतुः ॥ २८०॥

      विवेको जन्तूनां प्रभवति जनिष्वेव बहुषु
      प्रसादादेवैशाद्बहुसुकृतपाकोदयवशात् ।
      यतस्तस्मादेव त्वमपि परमार्थावगमने
      कृतारम्भः पुंसामिदमिह विवेकस्य तु फलम् ॥ २८१॥
      The word ‘Īśa’ also means Shiva in this text:
      मूढा अश्रुतवेदान्ताः स्वयं पण्डितमानिनः ।
      ईशप्रसादरहिताः सद्गुरोश्च बहिर्मुखाः ॥ ५२१॥
      See also the first cited verse above. There too Isha, though can mean ‘Ishvara’, by the Shiva-Guru identity, means Shiva only.

      सर्वस्यानित्यत्वे सावयवत्वेन सर्वतः सिद्धे ।
      वैकुण्ठादिषु नित्यत्वमतिर्भ्रम एव मूढबुद्धीनाम् ॥ २०॥
      Here Shankara denies eternality to Vaikuntha, etc. loka-s. He has held a similar view in the Mundakopanishad bhashyam too. Madhusudana Saraswati, and Brahmānanda, the commentator to the Advaitasiddhi, too have endorsed this view.

      So, the sattvapurāṇa word in the verse cited is not to be taken as reference to sāttvika-division of purāṇa-s but simply means: sat kathā śravaṇam. HH Sri Narasimha Bharati Swamin, 33rd pontiff of the Sringeri Peeṭham, has used this word ‘sat kathā’ in his hymnal work: kamalaja-dayitāṣṭakam. Also at the beginning of the work Shankara pays obeisance to Ganapati:
      यदालम्बो दरं हन्ति सतां प्रत्यूहसम्भवम् ।
      तदालम्बे दयालम्बं लम्बोदरपदाम्बुजम् ॥ ३॥

      The work can be accessed here: https://sanskritdocuments.org/doc_z_misc_shankara/ved.html?lang=sa

      • astounding. Thank you.

        I was deceived by this kesav kashmiri chap making partial citations. Why they think they have to resort to deceit to establish “vishnu paratvam” I don’t understand.

  4. Western scholars agree from a secular viewpoint:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puranas#cite_note-ludorocher2021-40

    “Scholars consider the Sattva-Rajas-Tamas classification as “entirely fanciful” and there is nothing in each text that actually justifies this classification.[40]”

    Apparently a very different Skanda Purana manuscript was discovered in Nepal recently.

  5. Vijayendra Tīrtha (also known as Vijayīndra Tīrtha) (1514-1593) has used this division that negates everything he has written.

    I think Kooratthazhvan, that venomous hater has also used it.

    If the big enchilada, ramanuja himself has used the Guna-based classification of Puranas – we know what we have always kind of felt – Vaishnavism at least of Iyengars is based only on hate.

  6. There are several Upanishads that have Shiva as the Jagatkāraṇam and no one has proposed a guṇa-based classification of them. This is another reason that such a purāṇic division is foul.

  7. “There are several Upanishads that have Shiva as the Jagatkāraṇam”

    The haters would say that “Siva” means “Vishnu” in those cases !

  8. https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/SriRangaSri/conversations/messages/14538

    “If at all, the Saivas try to show pramana for their stand, it is stated only in thamasa purana written by Veda Vyasa to popularise the Mohana sastra created by Shiva as per Thirumal’s instruction. These tamasa pramana includes Skanda purana and Rudra geeta.”

    It looks like the grotesque Koorattazhwan bought into the “tamasa purana” notion. Since he was a contemporary of Ramanjua – it is very strong proof that Iyengar vaishnavism is just infantile hate.

    I make a bold prediction – Iyengars will fold into Hare Krishnaism very soon.

  9. http://www.baps.org/Article/2011/The-Kathopanishad-(pt-4)-2051.aspx


    He says: ‘यस्य ब्रह्म च क्षत्रं च उभे भवत ओदनः। मृत्युर्यस्योपसेचनम्‌’ – ‘Yasya brahma cha kshatram cha ubhe bhavat odanaha! Mrutyuryasyopasechanam – ‘O Nachiketa! These bodies of the Brahmins, Kshatriyas and other communities and whatever creation you see spread around you is all food for Paramatma; that is, at the time of dissolution Paramatma consumes (destroys) them all’ (Katha Upanishad 2/25).

    The hateful Iyengar person at Rangasri writes the above as


    Another verse of Sruthi goes by this:

    Yasya Brahma Kshathram chope bavatha vothanam”

    Lord Vishnu eats Brahma and Shiva like an Odhana anna (food) during Pralaya.”

    These are negligible people. The real fight is with the Hare Krishnas.

  10. found this in the varaha purana, a so called satvika purana

    Click to access varakha_purana.pdf

    This is just after Siva and Vishnu had fought a long fight over the daksha yagna, stopped by Brahma; There isn’t any room here for “antaryami” tricks.

    He is Brahma’s son, but also his father. Interestingly, he’s called “lord of Uma” , although he is not yet married to Dakshsa’s daughter who is called “Gauri”.

    “The
    gods
    said:
    69-70. “Bow to the uneven-eyed, bow to the three-eyed,
    bow to the hundred-eyed, bow to the bearer of trident, bow to
    the
    bearer of Khatvanga,
    1
    bow to the holder of
    staff.
    71.
    You are resplendent like the shooting flame as
    well
    as
    like a crore of suns. We were foolish before seeing you, we arc
    enlightened now at your sight.
    72. Bow to the three-eyed Sambhu, the remover of all dis-
    tress, holder of the trident, with mouth fierce, lord of all gods,
    the
    essence of purity, immanent, omnipresent, О Rudra, be
    pleased.
    73.
    О lord of the worlds pervading the universe, О fierce
    destroyer of the teeth of Pusa, with neck full of hanging serpents
    with expansive body and bluish neck, be pleased.
    74. О great lord endowed with all virtues, the crusher of
    Bhaga’s eye, be pleased to receive the main share of the sacrificial
    offering and
    save
    us all.
    75.
    О lord that arose from Brahma, О lord of Uma, О des-
    troyer of Tripura, О holder of the bowl, with ash smeared in
    body,
    save
    us from all fear.
    76. We find in your person, О Lord of gods, the entire
    1. A mace with a skull at the head.
    21.77-90
    79
    creation,
    the
    Vedas
    with their Pada, Krama etc.,
    1
    and the
    Vedangas and all branches of knowledge.

  11. in the same work on page 90:

    (The antaryami trick won’t work, because he is equated with Brahma also.)

    “26. In the form of your matted hair remain all oceans, all
    great mountains and all rivers. The whole universe is your body,
    though
    men without proper inner vision see only the physical
    aspect.
    27. You are Xarayana, the source of the universe. Similarly,
    you are the great Brahma,
    li.y
    the difference in the Gunas and
    difference in the
    fires
    and by the difference in the
    yugas
    you re-
    main
    threefold.”

  12. Regarding this guna based classification of puranas, skanda purana goes on to say this:-

    dashashaivapurANAni sAttvikAni vidurbudhAH |
    tAmasAni cha chatvAri vaiShNavAni prachakShate ||

    • Ha Ha…these people will say ‘this is a tamasic portion of Skanda Puranam’ 🙂

      • नमश्शिवाय।🙏🏻 dear Adbhutaṃ

        Here someone above here quoted a verse from Sarva vedanta siddhanta sara sangraha”(verse 371) states as follows:

        srutya sattva purananam sevaya sattva vastunah

        anivrttya ca sadhunam sattva vruttih prajayate

        “By listening to the sattvik puranas, eating the sattvik food,carrying out the service of sadhus(a devotees of lord ),one can increase one’s sattva guna.”

        But Dīpak Ji has mentioned a verse from Skāṅda Purāṇaṃ which describes Guṇa classification on Purāṇa.

        So, I suppose that we actually need to understand what is the inner meaning of Tāmasa. Most of the people consider it as ignorance, darkness & so on. But, I feel something is lagging in our understanding. What do you say Subrahmaṇiaṃ avargal?


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