Posted by: adbhutam | November 15, 2018

Vishnu is also a vibhuti of Brahman – Vishnupuranam

Vishnu is also a vibhuti of Brahman – Vishnupuranam

In the following verses of the Vishnupuranam we get to know a very important philosophical concept. In Vedanta, Brahman is the jagatkaaranam. Even though in the ultimate analysis since the jagat is not there at all, yet, in order to guide us to the knowledge of Brahman, the Veda adopts the method of first positing Brahman as the cause of creation (sustenance and destruction) of the world and then shows us Brahman as completely bereft of the jagat. In the sequel are the verses that teach how the creator, sustainer and destroyer are all Brahman’s vibhutis. Thus, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are all taught here as the vibhutis of Brahman. One has to be careful in following the verses because the term ‘Vishnu’ is used to refer to Brahman as well as the sustainer, vibhuti, Vishnu. The meaning of the verses in English is condensed at the end of the verses. So, those who wish to skip the Sanskrit verses may do so.

https://sa.wikisource.org/s/52e
< श्रीविष्णुपुराणम्-प्रथमांशः

ते सर्व्वे सर्व्वभूतस्य विष्णोरंशसमुद्भवाः ।
न हि पालनसामर्थ्यमृते सर्व्वेश्वरं हरिम् ।। १९ ।।

स्थितौ स्थिरं महाप्राज्ञ भवत्यन्यस्य कस्यचित् ।। २० ।।
सृजत्येष जगत्सृष्टौ स्थितौ पाति सनातनः ।

हन्ति चैवान्तकत्वे च रजः सत्त्वादिसंश्रयः ।। २१ ।।

चतुर्विभागः संसृष्टौ चतुर्भेदो जनार्दनः ।। २२ ।।

एकेनांशेन ब्रह्मासौ भवत्यव्यक्तमूर्त्तिमान् ।
मरीचिमिश्वाः पतयः प्रजानामन्यभागतः ।। २३ ।।

कालस्तृतीयस्तस्यांशः सर्व्वभूतानि चापरः ।
इत्थ चतुर्धा संसृष्टौ वर्त्ततेऽसौ रजोगुणः ।। २४ ।।

एकांशेन स्थितौ विष्णुः करोति प्रतिपालनम् ।
मन्वादिरूपश्चान्येन कालरूपोऽपरेण च ।। २५ ।।

सर्व्वबूतेषु चान्येन संस्थितः कुरुते रतिम् ।
सत्त्वं गुणां समाश्रित्य जगतः पुरुषोत्तमः ।। २६ ।।

आश्रित्य तमसो वृत्तिमन्तकाले तथा पुनः ।
रुद्रस्वरूपो भगवानेकांशेन भवत्यजः ।। २७

अग्न्यन्तकादिरूपेणा भागेनान्येन वर्त्तते ।
कालखरूपो भागोऽन्यः सर्वभूतानि चापरः ।। २८ ।।

विनाशं कुवेतस्तस्य चतुर्धैवं महात्मनः ।
विभगकल्पना ब्रह्मन् कथ्यते सार्वकालिकी ।। २९ ।।

ब्रह्मा दक्षादयः कालस्तथैवाखिलजन्तवः ।
विभूतयो हरेरेता जगतः सृष्टिहेतवः ।। ३० ।।

विष्णुर्म्मन्वादयः कालः सर्वभूतानि च द्रिज ।
स्थितेर्निमित्तभूतस्य विष्णोरेता विभूतयः ।। ३१ ।।

रुद्रकालान्तकाद्याश्च समस्ताशचैव जन्तवः ।
चतुर्धा प्रलयायैता जनार्दृनविभूतयः ।। ३२ ।।

जगदादौ तथा मध्ये सृष्टिरा प्रलयाद द्रिज ।
धात्रा मरीचिमिश्रश्च क्रियते जन्तुभिस्तथा ।। ३३ ।।

ब्रह्मा सृजत्यादिकाले मरीचिप्रमुखास्ततः ।
उत्पादयन्त्यपत्यानि जन्तवश्च प्रतिक्षणम् ।। ३४ ।।

न कालेन विना ब्रह्मा सृष्टिनिष्पादको द्रिज ।
न प्रजापतयः सर्वे न चैवाखिलजन्तवः ।। ३५ ।।

एवमेव विभागोऽयं स्थितावप्युपदिश्यते ।
चतुर्धा देवदेवस्य मैत्रेय प्रलये तथा ।। ३६ ।।

यत्किञ्चित् सज्यते येन सत्त्वजातेन वै द्रिज ।
तस्य सृज्यस्य संभूतौ तत् सर्वं वै हरेस्तनुः ।। ३७ ।।

हन्ति वा यत् क्वचितू किञ्चिदू भूतं स्थाबरजंगमम् ।
जनार्दनस्य तद रौद्र मैत्रेयान्तकरं वपुः ।। ३८ ।।

एवमेव जगत्स्त्रष्टा जगत्पाता तथैव च ।
जगदू भक्षयता चेशः समस्तस्य जनार्दनः ।। ३९ ।।

सर्गस्थित्यन्तकालेषु त्रिधैवं सम्प्रवर्त्तते ।
गुणप्रवृत्त्या परमं पदं तस्यागुणां महत् ।। ४० ।।

[NB: There are many spelling mistakes in the above verses. I have not taken the trouble of correcting them. Kindly supply the corrections while understanding them. The English translation below helps.]

http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/vp/vp057.htm

Meaning of the above: The power of protecting created things, the preservation of the world, resides with no other than Hari, the lord of all. He is the creator, who creates the world; he, the eternal, preserves it in its existence; and he, the destroyer, destroys it; invested severally with the attributes of foulness, goodness, and gloom. By a fourfold manifestation does Janárddana operate in creation, preservation, and destruction. In one portion, as Brahmá, the invisible assumes a visible form; in another portion he, as Maríchi and the rest, is the progenitor of all creatures; his third portion is time; his fourth is all beings: and thus he becomes quadruple in creation, invested with the quality of passion. In the preservation of the world he is, in one portion, Vishńu; in another portion he is Manu and the other patriarchs; he is time in a third; and all beings in a fourth portion: and thus, endowed with the property of goodness, Purushottama preserves the world. When he assumes the property of darkness, at the end of all things, the unborn deity becomes in one portion Rudra; in another, the destroying fire; in a third, time; and in a fourth, all beings: and thus, in a quadruple form, he is the destroyer of the world. This, Brahman, is the fourfold condition of the deity at all seasons.

Brahmá, Daksha, time, and all creatures are the four energies of Hari, which are the causes of creation. Vishńu, Manu and the rest, time, and all creatures are the four energies of Vishńu, which are the causes of duration. Rudra, the destroying fire, time, and all creatures are the four energies of Janárddana that are exerted for universal dissolution. In the beginning and the duration of the world, until the period of its end, creation is the work of Brahmá, the patriarchs, and living animals. Brahmá creates in the beginning; then the patriarchs beget progeny; and then animals incessantly multiply their kinds: but Brahmá is not the active agent in creation, independent of time; neither are the patriarchs, nor living animals. So, in the periods of creation and of dissolution, the four portions of the god of gods are equally essential. Whatever, oh Brahman, is engendered by any living being, the body of Hari is cooperative in the birth of that being; so whatever destroys any existing thing, movable or stationary, at any time, is the destroying form of Janárddana as Rudra. Thus Janárddana is the creator, the preserver, and the destroyer of the whole world–being threefold–in the several seasons of creation, preservation, and destruction, according to his assumption of the three qualities: but his highest glory is detached from all qualities; for the fourfold essence of the supreme spirit is composed of true wisdom, pervades all things, is only to be appreciated by itself, and admits of no similitude.

The verses 30, 31 and 32 are crucial here. Sridhara Swamin comments: एते च ब्रह्मादयो हरेरेव विभूतयः इत्याह् – ब्रहेति त्रिभिः | [These, Brahma, etc (Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra) are the vibhutis of Hari alone. This is stated in the three verses. The verse 31 is the one that says in unmistakable terms that Vishnu, the sustainer, is also a vibhuti of ‘Vishnu’ the Jagatkaaranam Brahman:

विष्णुर्म्मन्वादयः कालः सर्वभूतानि च द्विज ।
स्थितेर्निमित्तभूतस्य विष्णोरेता विभूतयः ।। ३१ ।।

[Vishnu, Manu, etc. Kaala (Time), all beings, O Brahmana, are the vibhutis of Vishnu who is the cause of sustenance, sthiti.]

Thus, Brahmaa, etc. are the vibhuti-s of Vishnu, the cause of creation, srishti. Rudra, etc. are the vibhuti-s of Vishnu, the cause of destruction. Vishnu, etc. are the vibhuti-s of Vishnu the cause of sustenanace. Therefore, the Vishnupurana teaches that Brahman is the cause of the three functions of creation, etc. and those who carry out these functions are Brahmaa, Vishnu and Rudra – all three of whom are the vibhuti-s of Brahman. The verses cited above clearly say that the One Brahman, the Primordial Cause, takes on various gunas, rajas, sattva and tamas, to perform these functions. Thus, sattva is also a guna that Brahman assumes to perform sustenance. Sattva, thus, is not the svarupa guNa of Brahman. Many think that Vishnu is sattva and Rudra is tamas and Brahma is rajas. Actually, the Purana teaches that these three gunas are only assumed by Brahman, by taking up the three forms of Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra to perform the functions. Thus, Brahman takes on the form of Vishnu also. Hence, Vishnu is also one of the many vibhutis of Brahman. Shankara has clearly explained this in the Vishnu sahasra nama bhashya for Bhutakrit, etc. Sattva guna is also only assumed, resorted to, by Brahman. The 26th verse above says that explicitly:
सर्व्वभूतेषु चान्येन संस्थितः कुरुते रतिम् ।
सत्त्वं गुणं समाश्रित्य जगतः पुरुषोत्तमः ।। २६ ।।

Thus, Brahman the Jagatkaaranam is really free of All three guNas. Even sattva is not the svarupa guNa of Brahman. In order to perform the sustenance function, Brahman takes upon the form of Vishnu by resorting to sattva.

Om Tat Sat


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