Posted by: adbhutam | September 19, 2018

Atharva Shikha – some more points

In the Atharvashikhopanishad occurs this sentence:

‘सर्वमिदं ब्रह्मविष्णुरुद्रेन्द्रास्ते सम्प्रसूयन्ते सर्वाणि चेन्द्रियाणि सह भूतैः..’ 
‘All these, Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Indra, are born (created/manifested), all the sense/motor organs, along with their elements, pancha bhutas  (the cause of the sense/motor organs).’
The Ranga Ramanuja  bhashya gives the interpretation that the creation of Vishnu is to be taken as the creation of his incarnations.
But this will not hold since the sentence there is about creation of the world.
We have the Mundakopanishat, another Upanishat of the Atharva Veda, like the Atharva Shikha, that says about creation:
एतस्माज्जायते प्राणो मनः सर्वेन्द्रियाणि च । 
खं वायुर्ज्योतिरापः पृथिवी विश्वस्य धारिणी ॥ ३ ॥   2.1.3

[From Brahman manifested Prana, manas, all the organs (sens and motor), the five elements: ether, air, fire, water and earth that is the bearer of the entire world.]
 एवं मनः सर्वाणि चेन्द्रियाणि विषयाश्चैतस्मादेव जायन्ते ।   [Shankara’s commentary]

One can see the close correspondence between this mantra and the Atharva shikha line cited. The Bhashya of Narayanashrama is quite faithful to the Upanishad:  It says: Brahman is the creator of all the entities listed in the mantra, the four ‘lords’ (Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra and Indra). 
It will be quite  in order if all the entities stated there are understood to have manifested at the beginning of creation. This is because all the Trimurtis are required for creation, sustenance and dissolution. To separate just Vishnu from that context and say it is about his avatara would not depict the intent of the Shruti as the avataras happened only much after creation, to meet certain specific purposes, when dharma-glaani takes place and the saadhus are in distress. Certainly, this did not happen at the time of creation itself. The ‘sustainer’ Vishnu has to be there even when avatara-s are not there. 
In the Prasnopanishat 6.9 mantra:
इन्द्रस्त्वं प्राण तेजसा रुद्रोऽसि परिरक्षिता । 
त्वमन्तरिक्षे चरसि सूर्यस्त्वं ज्योतिषां पतिः ॥ ९ ॥
‘Prana is praised: You are Indra, Rudra and the Protector…..’
Shankara says:  किञ्च, इन्द्रः परमेश्वरः त्वं हे प्राण, तेजसा वीर्येण रुद्रोऽसि संहरन् जगत् । स्थितौ च परि समन्तात् रक्षिता पालयिता ; परिरक्षिता त्वमेव जगतः सौम्येन रूपेण । ….[You are the protector of the world during sthitikaala in the benign form…]  Anandagiri has said: by taking the forms such as Vishnu.
Thus, the idea of all the Trimurtis manifesting at the beginning of creation is conveyed by the Atharvashikha.  The Maitrayani Upanishad also holds thus alone. 
Also, Rangaramanuja interpretation is contradicted by the Shruti: The Brhajjabalopanishad which has been authenticated by Veda Vyasa in the Shiva Purana (which has been cited by ancient Advaitins to bring out Shiva Paratvam) says: trayaanaam janakah (the source/progenitor of the ‘three’).
त्रिनेत्रं त्रिगुणाधारं त्रयाणां जनकं प्रभुम् ।
स्मरन्नमः शिवायेति ललाटे तत्त्रिपुण्ड्रकम् ॥ २९॥ 
Paramashivendra Saraswati, the Guru of Sadashivendra Saraswati, in his  book  (a compilation of 1000 names from the shruti. In support of those names, as far as possible, the author has cited references from Itihasa and puranas) has mentioned this name ‘trayaanaam janakah’ as a name of Brahman. [A similar exercise, though not aiming at a 1000 names, has been taken up by Sri Uttamoor Viraraghavachariar in his explanatory book to the Ranga Ramanuja Bhashya for several Upanishads. He culls out names of Brahman as he identifies in the various Upanishads that are commented upon by Ranga Ramanuja.] 
The above stated name is supported by innumerable shruti and puranic/mahabharata passages as can be seen here:
The name ‘Brhajjabalopanishad’ cited by Veda Vyasa in the Shiva Puranam:

जाबालकोक्तमंत्रेण भस्मना च त्रिपुंड्रकम्  ॥ १,१३.२१
अन्यथा चेज्जले पात इतस्तन्नरकमृच्छति  ॥ १,१३.२१
तत्रैतेबहवोलोकाबृहज्जाबालचोदिताः  ॥ १,२४.४९
त्रिपुंड्रोद्धूलनंप्रोक्तजाबालैरादरेणच  ॥ १,२४.९

अग्निरित्यादिभिर्मंत्रैर्जाबालोपनिषद्गतेः ॥ १,२४.८ 
The third line above carries the name of the Upanishad.  
Thus, to exclude Vishnu from the trimurtis + Indra in the Atharvashikha commentary by the Vishishtadvaitin is against shruti and yukti. The Advaitin is not at all in such a predicament as he understands the Turiya (Shiva/Vishnu) concept of the Upanishads and without resorting to such dubious means he can explain the shruti passages. 
Om Tat Sat

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