Posted by: adbhutam | January 31, 2018


A Conspiracy exposed by Sridhara Swamin

In the Vishnu Purana is a story about the creation of Rudra:

श्रीपराशर उवाच

कथितस्तामसः सर्गो ब्रह्मणस्ते महामुने  ।

रुद्रसर्गं प्रवक्ष्यामि तन्मे निगदतः शृणु  ॥ १,८.१ ॥

कल्पादावात्मनस्तुल्यं सुतं प्रध्यायतस्ततः  ।

प्रादुरासीत्प्रभोरङ्के कुमारो नीललोहितः  ॥ १,८.२ ॥

At the beginning of the Kalpa, Brahma, desiring a child that is of his own nature, contemplated and then emerged Nilalohita, Kumara, in the bosom of Brahma.

रुरोद सुस्वरं सोथ प्राद्रवद्द्विजसत्तम  ।

किं त्वं रोदिषि तं ब्रह्म रुदन्तं प्रत्युवाच ह  ॥ १,८.३ ॥

नाम देहीति तं सोऽथ प्रत्युवाच प्रजापतिः  ।

रुद्रस्त्वं देव नाम्नासि मा रोदीर्धैर्यमावह  ।

एवमुक्तः पुनः सोऽथ सप्तकृत्वो रुरोद वै  ॥ १,८.४ ॥

ततोन्यानि ददौ तस्मै सप्त नामानि वै प्रभुः  ।

स्थानानि चैषामष्टानां पत्नीः पुत्रांश्च स प्रभुः  ॥ १,८.५ ॥

भवं शर्वमथेशानं तथा पशुपतिं द्विज  ।

भीममुग्रं महादेवमुवाच स पितामहः  ॥ १,८.६ ॥

चक्रे नामान्यथैतानि स्थानान्येषां चकार सः  ।

सूर्यो जलं मही वायुर्वह्निराकाशमेव च  ।

दीक्षितो ब्रह्मणः सोम इत्येतास्तनवः क्रमात् ॥ १,८.७

Sridhara Swamin gives the purport of the story:This story is distinct from the earlier stated story of Tamasa Rudra’s creation (the earlier chapter details how Brahma, out of anger created Rudra, and that is tamasa (Brahma’s anger-born Rudra) and the present chapter has the birth of Sattvika Rudra that is within the birth of the Kumara.

Sridhara Swamin cites a verse that he says is from the Vayaviya samhita of the Shiva Purana:  एवमुक्तास्तु रुरुदुर्दुवुश्च समन्ततः|रोदनाद्द्रवणाच्चैव रुद्रा नाम्नेति विश्रुताः || Since the names were culled out of the ‘rodanam’, weeping, these names such as Rudra, are famous as such. Upon Rudra weeping, Brahma responds: हे देव, त्वं रुद्रोऽसि रोदनात् द्रवणाच्च इत्यर्थ: [Oh God, you are Rudra, because of weeping and melting]. That is the purport. (4). For the next verse Sridhara Swamin explains: परमेश्वरस्यापि सतो रोदनादि शिशुत्वनाट्यं लोकसंग्रहाय पितृपारतन्त्र्यद्योतनार्थम् | अत एव आश्चर्याद् रोदनादेः नामनिरुक्तिहेतुत्वाद् रोदनादिनामोपाधिभेदात् अष्टानामित्युच्यते | [Even though he (Shiva) is the Supreme Lord, his enacting a babe’s way  of weeping is aimed at showing that a child is dependent on the father. Hence alone, being an event of wonderment, the weeping, etc. become the source of giving etymological names and hence alone the eight names given to him.]

भवं शर्वमथेशानं तथा पशुपतिं द्विज  ।

भीममुग्रं महादेवमुवाच स पितामहः  ॥ १,८.६ ॥

चक्रे नामान्यथैतानि स्थानान्येषां चकार सः  ।

सूर्यो जलं मही वायुर्वह्निराकाशमेव च  ।

दीक्षितो ब्रह्मणः सोम इत्येतास्तनवः क्रमात् ॥ १,८.७ ॥

The eight names having been stated, Sridhara Swamin summarizes the purport by citing two verses from the Shiva Puranam:आत्मा तस्याष्टमी मूर्तिः शिवस्य परमात्मनः ॥ 
व्यापिकेतरमूर्तीनां विश्वं तस्माच्छिवात्मकम् ॥
The Self is the eighth form of the Supreme Lord, Shiva. Since this form pervades all other forms in the universe, the entire universe is Shivaatmakam, having Shiva as its Self. 

स्थानेष्वेतेषु ये रुद्रं ध्यायन्ति प्रणमन्ति च ।

तेषामष्टतनुर्देवो ददाति परमं पदम् ॥ Those who meditate on Rudra in these eight centers and bow to him, for them the Eight-formed God (Rudra) bestows the Supreme State of liberation.Having cited these two verses, Sridhara Swamin says: iti vAyUkteH. The first cited verse is available in the Vayaviyasamhita of the Shiva Puranam. The second verse is found in the Kurma Puranam. In any case Sridhara Swamin says that the verses are from the va.samhita (of the Shiva Puranam).The Eight-fold form of Rudra is stated in the Harivamsha, Shatapatha Brahmanam, the Bhagavatam, etc. The Sridakshinamurti Stotram of Shankaracharya too has this description in the 9th verse. The points that are noteworthy in the above commentary of Sridhara Swamin are:

    1. While stating the types of pralaya, the Vishnu Purana says:

सर्गस्थितिविनाशांश्च भगवान्मधुसूदनः  ।

तैस्तै रूपैरचिन्त्यात्मा करोत्यव्याहतो विभुः  ॥ १,७.४० ॥

    1. Sridhara Swamin says: Even though the agents such as Manu are not eternal, how is it possible for them to be the cause of the eternal sthiti, pralaya, etc.? In reply the above verse says: Through those forms of Manu, Daksha, etc. the Lord (Madhusudana) himself performs all these actions of creation, etc. Thus, as stated even earlier by Sridhara Swamin, all these agents are non-different from Brahman.
    2. Since the Trimurtis have already been stated to be non-different from Brahman, the ‘birth’of Rudra (first from Brahma for the purpose of destruction – tamasa Rudra) and later (from Brahma) for the purpose of becoming the consort of Sati and therefore Saattvika Rudra) is not any real birth of a jiva. All through it has to be remembered that the Trimurtis are non-different from each other and non-different from Brahman.
    3. Sridhara Swamin brings this point to the fore by saying: Even though Rudra is the Supreme Lord, the act of weeping, etc. is only a posture assumed by him for a specific purpose and not any mark of misery. – NATyam.
    4. Sine the VP has already said that it is Brahman (Vishnu) that is Brahma and Rudra,

ब्रह्मरूपधरो देवस्ततोऽसौ रजसा वृतः  ।

चकार सृष्टिं भगवांश्चतुर्वक्रधरो हरिः  ॥ १,४.५० ॥ [The Lord Hari, the four-faced, enveloped by Rajoguna, is the one, taking the form of Brahma, engaged in creating.], the krodha expressed by Brahma, which came to be designated as ‘Tamasa Rudra’, is actually of Hari. In the schema of Vedanta taught by the VP, as Sridhara Swamin has pointed out, Brahma and Rudra  (and Vishnu) are avatara-s of Brahman, Vishnu. Thus if someone were to derogatorily say ‘Rudra is Tamasa’, ‘Brahma is Rajasa’, the caricature goes directly to Vishnu, who is the one that takes on those gunas as per the VP.The Srimadbhagavatam, while condensing the Ramayana story, too states that Rama’s wailing and feeling miserable on the abduction of Sita is to tell the world that someone attached to a wife can’t escape misery. Thus, Rudra’s weeping is on similar lines; not any real but only acted out for conveying a message. It is also significant that the verses cited by Sridhara Swamin from the [Tamasa :-)] Shiva Purana are about the Paratva of Shiva. This is in tune with the citing by Shankara in the Vishnu Sahasra Nama Bhashyam from the Shiva Purana, for the very purpose of showing the Paratva of Shiva: Shivah parama Kaaranam.  Also is significant that both these texts, the VP and the VSN are believed by theological schools to be texts glorifying a deity. It is only a Vedantin such as Shankara and Sridhara Swamin that can view these texts as primarily sources of Brahman-knowledge.

    1. This exposes the conspiracy indulged in by the Shiva-hating Vaishnavas who have concocted theories such as ‘Rudra was not free from karma and hence wept in regret and so on’: Even persons such as Vedanta Desika are nowhere near Sridhara Swamin who alone gives the correct purport of the incident of the so-called birth of Rudra. One can also appreciate that the Advaitin alone rises above petty considerations bogged by bigotry and desperation to somehow, even by hook or crook, portray Vishnu as the supreme at the cost of even resorting to misinterpretation of the scriptural passages. It is only natural since their devotion being directed at a finite god, their understanding of the scripture is also fractured. The Kenopanishat teaches that a god that is not one’s self is a-brahman and anatman. The non-advaitin does not have the guts to take the stand of Sridhara Swamin for fear of the collapse of their very theological siddhanta that precariously hangs on a deity rather than the Upanishadic Brahman. It is a sign of weakness that they have to, by compulsion, labor hard to somehow convert patent Shiva-supreme Upanishads to deny that resorting to laughable interpretation of Upanishadic and Vedic and other scriptural passages. The Vedantin, in contrast, has no compulsion to expend even a word to alter, twist, torture, the texts and their meaning. This is evident from Ramanuja’s struggle in dabbling with certain Upanishads in the Vedartha sangraha. The Upanishads are valid ‘as they are’ – yathaa shruthaartha – for the Vedantin.
    2. It is apt to recall that Sridhara swamin has stated at the very outset that the VP is a work that teaches Advaita.
    3. The Hari-Hara abheda brought out by the VP is highlighted by Sridhara Swamin and the VP itself: आवयोरन्तरं नास्ति [Vishnu telling Shiva: There is no difference between us].
    4. Both Veda Vyasa and Sridhara Swamin are emphatic about this:
    5. रुद्रो नारायणश्चैव सत्त्वमेकं द्विधा कृतम्

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

      [Rudra and Narayana are only two manifestations of One Principle…….] Thus, for Veda Vyasa, Brahman, whether called by the name Vishnu or Shiva, is the Jagatkaranam, Vishvakaranam. [This verse is found in the Andhra Bharatam too of the 11 CE. This work was endorsed as a vaishnava- -friendly one by a vishishtadvaitin scholar by name ‘Puttur Swamy.’]
    6. Sridhara swamin’s invocation to the Srimadbhagavatam: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.   Only a non-vaishnava will be capable of composing such a verse and this has been proved by the above two examples. One can see similar Hari-Hara bheda-denouncing and abheda affirming verses cited by Shankara in the VSN Bhashya. None other than an advaitin will have the guts to cite this kind of verses for the purpose that Shankara has quoted them and Veda Vyasa has composed them.

Thus the Veda, Veda Vyasa, Shankara, Sureshwara (in the vartika has explicitly said: One Ishwara is spoken of by names such as Hari, Brahma and Pinaki), Anandagiri, Amalananda (who authenticated the Prapanchasara as that of Shankara), down to the present day advaitins (such as Narayana Bhattathiri and Desamangalam Arya, the latter even stated that the VSN and the BG can be interpreted in such a way that the Brahman there is Shiva )   – all vedantins denounce the Hari-Hara bheda and Trimurti bheda.  Theological schools outside the purview of Vedanta cannot survive if this Vedic truth is admitted. Hence they stoke animosity among the followers of sanatana dharma by denigrating Shiva.  What is ironical is that Sridhara Swamin, who was touted as a Vaishnava-friendly Advaitin, has given the greatest blow to the malicious propaganda that ‘Rudra wept due to karma baggage’. Sridhara swamin is just one example in this toppling of the apple cart of those who hoped to rope in the support of Advaita Acharyas from Shankara onward to their bigotry. Every Acharya of the Advaita tradition has been demonstrated to be Hari-Hara, Trimurti abheda vadins, no different from the post 15 CE Advaita Acharyas. All these Acharyas have followed the tradition of Veda Vyasa, who represents the Veda/Vedanta tradition.

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: [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]  [This mantra is chanted by the vaidikas of the smarta following of the Karnataka and Andhra regions during their three-time sandhya vandanam.]

[(Obeisance to Śiva who is of the form of Viṣṇu, 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.]

Om Tat Sat


  1. Nice article. Where is the Eight-fold form of Rudra is stated in Bhagavatham?

    • Please read here: See 3.12.11. Even though the count goes up to 11, they can be integrated into eight. The Harivamsha too gives a list which can be integrated to eight. In essence, the eight-fold form is: the five elements, the sun, the moon and the individual jiva (indicated by mind, senses, pranas and the tapas).

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