‘Vishnu-Hiranyagarbha identity’ – Shankara in VSN Bhashya

While commenting on the name ‘agrajah’ – first born, in the Vishnu Sahasra Nama (891), Shankara says: अग्रे जायते इति अग्रजः हिरण्यगर्भः [One who is born first is called agrajah, hiranyagarbhah] and cites the Rg.Veda हिरण्यगर्भः समवर्तताग्रे…in support of this.

Shankara has cited this mantra in the BSB 1.2.23:

श्रुतिस्मृत्योश्च त्रैलोक्यशरीरस्य प्रजापतेर्जन्मादि निर्दिश्यमानमुपलभामहे — ‘हिरण्यगर्भः समवर्तताग्रे भूतस्य जातः पतिरेक आसीत् । स दाधार पृथिवीं द्यामुतेमां कस्मै देवाय हविषा विधेम’ (ऋ. सं. १० । १२१ । १) इति — समवर्ततेति अजायतेत्यर्थः — तथा, ‘स वै शरीरी प्रथमः स वै पुरुष उच्यते । आदिकर्ता स भूतानां ब्रह्माग्रे समवर्तत’ इति च ।

In the shruti-smriti the birth, etc. of Prajapati is stated ‘Hiranyagarbha was born at the beginning..he is the Lord of all the beings….’  ‘samavartata’ means ‘ajaayata’, ‘was born’. The Adikarta of all beings, Brahma, was born at the beginning.

In BSB 1.3.13 Shankara says:  जीवानां हि सर्वेषां करणपरिवृतानां सर्वकरणात्मनि हिरण्यगर्भे ब्रह्मलोकनिवासिनि सङ्घातोपपत्तेर्भवति ब्रह्मलोको जीवघनः ।   Hiranyagarbha is the samashti jiva and resides in Brahmaloka.  In BSB 1.4.1:  या प्रथमजस्य हिरण्यगर्भस्य बुद्धिः, सा सर्वासां बुद्धीनां परमा प्रतिष्ठा ; सेह महानात्मेत्युच्यते…   Hiranyagarbha is the Prathamaja, called Mahat. This idea Shankara reiterates in the Kathopanishat too. In Gita bhashya:   यतः ब्रह्मणः हिरण्यगर्भस्य अपि आदिकर्ता कारणम् अतः तस्मात् आदिकर्त्रे ।    You are the creator of Brahma, Hiranyagarbha.

Thus, the Brahma-Hiranyagarbha-Prathamaja-identity is admitted by Shankara and the entity being a created one too. Yet, Shankara also admits of the Brahman (Vishnu)-Hiranyagarbha identity. Just as he has admitted the Vishnu-Virat (another created entity, lower than Hiranyagarbha) identity in the Mundaka Bhashya. In two more places the term ‘Hiranyagarbha’ occurs in the VSN and in the first place Shankara cites the same Rg.veda mantra. In the second instance says Brahman is the cause of Hiranyagarbha and hence that name.

We thus find that the Karya-kaarana ananyatvam principle is upheld by Shankara.  The same is found in the Vishnu Puranam too.

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 are avatara-s of Brahman, Vishnu.

For ‘bhUtakrt’ Shankara gives two meanings: The one resorting to Rajo guna, in the form of Virinchi (Brahma) (विरिञ्चिरूपेण) creates the beings: Bhutakrit. The one resorting to tamoguna, as Rudra, रुद्रात्मना destroys beings, and so bhutakrit. It is interesting to see that the Hindi translation for both the triteeyaa forms Shankara has used, virinchi-rupena and rudraatmanaa, is ब्रह्मारूपसे, रुद्ररूपसे. Even in the below stated triteeyaa of Shankara, विश्वप्रपञ्चरूपेण, the Hindi translation is: विश्वप्रपञ्चरूपसे. Only those who have fundamental knowledge of Sanskrit can appreciate this. Others will get confused and end up in funny interpretations. Sridhara swamin too, in the Bhagavatam commentary stated: One Brahman alone performs the three cosmic functions taking the three forms: brahma rupena, vishnu rupena and rudra rupena. All this is in perfect agreement with Shankara: Brahman alone takes various forms through maya.

One can appreciate this further by the name ‘anantarupah’ (932) where Shankara says: अनन्तानि रूपाणि अस्य विश्वप्रपञ्चरूपेण स्थितस्य इति अनन्तरूपः [Infinite are the forms of Brahman which appears as the expansive world]. This is consistent with the BG chapters 10 and 11 and Shankara’s bhashya. Thus for Veda Vyasa, Shankara and all advaitins, the entire world of varied forms and names is only a manifestation of Brahman through the agency of Maya/Shakti. Any difference across beings and between Brahman and beings will render Brahman tainted with svagatabheda-defect and vastu paricchinnatva defect.

Om Tat Sat

Advertisements
Posted by: adbhutam | June 6, 2018

The Mundakopanishat and Madhusudana Saraswati

The Mundakopanishat and Madhusudana Saraswati

Mundaka Upanishad 2.2.3 and 4 there is the teaching of meditating on the Omkara as the means to gain the liberating knowledge of identity of the jiva with Brahman:

धनुर्गृहीत्वौपनिषदं महास्त्रं शरं ह्युपासानिशितं सन्दधीत । आयम्य तद्भावगतेन चेतसा लक्ष्यं तदेवाक्षरं सोम्य विद्धि ॥ ३ ॥

The imagery of aiming and shooting the arrow ending up with the striking of the target, thereby uniting the arrow with the target is employed here.  प्रणवो धनुः शरो ह्यात्मा ब्रह्म तल्लक्ष्यमुच्यते । अप्रमत्तेन वेद्धव्यं शरवत्तन्मयो भवेत् ॥ ४ ॥ Shankara says here for the 4th mantra:  तत्रैवं सति अप्रमत्तेन बाह्यविषयोपलब्धितृष्णाप्रमादवर्जितेन सर्वतो विरक्तेन जितेन्द्रियेणैकाग्रचित्तेन वेद्धव्यं ब्रह्म लक्ष्यम् । ततस्तद्वेधनादूर्ध्वं शरवत् तन्मयः भवेत् ; यथा शरस्य लक्ष्यैकात्मत्वं फलं भवति, तथा देहाद्यात्मताप्रत्ययतिरस्करणेनाक्षरैकात्मत्वं फलमापादयेदित्यर्थः ॥  By carefully avoiding distraction from the worldly snares, one should engage in deep concentration giving up the body-mind-organs identification and realize the Aksharam, Brahman, as one’s true self.

This whole process involves the aspirant constantly delving on his goal, lakshya, and finally becoming one with it, tanmaya. This word ‘tanmaya’ finds its consummation in Madhusudana Saraswati’s verse in the Bh.Gita 15th chapter commentary:
शैवाः सौराश्च गाणेशा वैष्णवाः शक्तिपूजकाः। भवन्ति यन्मयाः सर्वे सोहमस्मि परः शिवः।।3।
‘I am that Supreme Śiva which is what the Śaivas, Sauras, Gāṇeśas, Vaiśṇavas, Śāktas meditate upon.’

Whichever devataa one chooses, as per his inclinations developed over several births, one attaches himself with it, to the exclusion of all else in creation. This is ekabhakti. When he does that he looks upon his Ishtadevataa as not any paricchinna, limited, entity but the Supreme Brahman that encompasses everything in creation consisting of sura, nara, deva, gandharva, chara, achara, chit, jaDa constituents. Thus, for example, a Shiva bhakta would hold his Shiva to be the Supreme Brahman, the jagatkaaranam, as both upadana and nimitta. All other deities like Vishnu, Ganapati, Surya and Devi are manifestations of Shiva for that aspirant. His meditation on Shiva with this bhAva culminates in his becoming one with the Shiva tattva. This is called ‘tanmayatvam.’  This is exactly what the Mundakopanishat cited above speaks of. Madhusudana Saraswati says that the devotees of any of the devataa-s take their saadhana to the logical end of becoming one with their Ishtadevataa, Brahman. That Brahman, the Supreme Shiva, of the Mandukya 7th mantra ‘shaantam, shivam, advaitam’ the Turiya, am I. The ‘tanmaya’ of Mundaka upanishat corresponds with ‘yanmaya’ of Madhusudana’s verse.

Thus, whichever devataa a devotee takes up with one-pointed devotion, he reaches the same Brahman which is what is manifesting as various devataas. Shankara says this in his Sutra bhashya:

स्यात्परमेश्वरस्यापि इच्छावशात् मायामयं रूपं साधकानुग्रहार्थम् । (1.1.vii.20) (Ishwara, out of compassion, takes on, by His Maya, a form to grace the spiritual aspirant.)
[The context in the BSB is that Brahman is devoid of any form but takes up forms to help the aspirant.  In the Kenopanishad bhashya too Shankara lists several deities Vishnu, Ishvara, Indra, Prana, etc. as upasya as Brahman]
There is no bigotry in Vedanta. Only Advaitins like Veda Vyasa, Gaudapada, Shankara, Sureshwara, of the earliest period, Amalananda, Sridhara Swamin, etc. of the medieval period and Madhusudana, Appayya Dikshita, etc. up to the present day Advaitins can have this Shaastra Drishti sans bigotry.  For non-advaitins this is unvedantic and blasphemy since it cuts at the roots of their narrow view of deities.
Om Tat Sat.

Where is the overlap between Saguna and Nirguna Brahman?

In advaita, the concept of Saguna Brahman has been introduced to explain the creation of the world, the maintenance, etc. and through this, more importantly, to enable the aspirant to relate to Brahman. Since no relation is possible with Nirguna Tattva, the aspirant being no different from it, yet, in the process of realizing this identity there is the need for relating with the Saguna Brahman through bhakti, upasana, etc.

Saguna Brahman is nothing but Nirguna Brahman in association with Maya shakti. Then, what Nirguna Brahman does not have really is the Maya Shakti as its svarupa. Saguna Brahman is one which cannot exist without this Maya shakti. And all the attributes associated with the hypothetical ‘Ishwara’ like sarvajnatva, sarvashaktitva, karma phala daatrutva, etc. are not there in Nirguna Brahman. However there is something that is common to both saguna and nirguna brahman by default. And that is: the svarupa lakshnam of satyam, jnanam, anantam/anandam. This svarupa lakshanam of Brahman will not cease to be there in saguna brahman. This is because, the gunas have been added not after removing the satyam, jnanam, etc. but over them. Since the gunas are only additions, they do not belong to the svarupam. Hence, whichever form/name/attribute that is given to the saguna brahman, the triad of satyam, jnanam anantam does not cease. Hence, the saguna brahman in the form of Vishnu, for example, cannot be different from all other forms in creation. This is because, it is that saguna brahman has ‘become’ the entire creation through the abhinna nimitta upadana kaaranatvam. On the rule of karya karana ananyatvam, the creation is non-different from the creator. This is the essence of the Vishvarupa adhyaya of the Bh.Gita. Hence, when Veda Vyasa says: ‘brahmano api aadi kartre’ addressing saguna brahman (in the form of Krishna), it is not that Krishna is different from what he has created; he is non-different from what he has created. If this is not admitted, then that saguna brahman Krishna will suffer from vastu paricchedatvam, thereby giving up his anantatva lakshanam. This is the essence of Vedanta which is reflected completely correctly only in Advaita. Any form given to saguna Brahman, for example, the Shiva gita, the Rudradhyaya of the veda, feature a vishva rupa of Shiva. This Shiva is non-different from everything in creation, which is nothing but he himself. The rule of ‘sarva ananyatvam’ is applicable here by default. If this is not there, then that Shiva will be vastu paricchedavaan and paricchinna and cease to be saguna brahman.

Just as a sample one verse is given here from the BG 11 chapter along with the bhashyam:

नमः पुरस्तादथ पृष्ठतस्ते
नमोऽस्तु ते सर्वत एव सर्व ।
अनन्तवीर्यामितविक्रमस्त्वं
सर्वं समाप्नोषि ततोऽसि सर्वः ॥ ४० ॥
नमः पुरस्तात् पूर्वस्यां दिशि तुभ्यम् , अथ पृष्ठतः ते पृष्ठतः अपि च ते नमोऽस्तु, ते सर्वत एव सर्वासु दिक्षु सर्वत्र स्थिताय हे सर्व ।….सर्वं समस्तं जगत् समाप्तोषि सम्यक् एकेन आत्मना व्याप्नोषि यतः, ततः तस्मात् असि भवसि सर्वः त्वम् , त्वया विनाभूतं न किञ्चित् अस्ति इति अभिप्रायः ॥ ४० ॥
Brahmananda translation: Namah, salutation to You; purastat, in the East; atha, and; even prsthatah, behind. Salutation be sarvatah, on all sides; eva, indeed; te, to You who exist everywhere; sarva, O All! …. Samapnosi, You pervade, interpenetrate; sarvam, everything, the whole Universe, by Your single Self. Tatah, hence; asi, You are; sarvah, All, i.e., no entity exists without You.
The above advaitic meaning of absolute aikya of Brahman with the entire creation is refuted by the other schools. Says Vedanta Desika in the commentary to the same verse:
11.40 इन्द्रं मित्रं वरुणमग्निमाहुरथो दिव्यः स सुपर्णो गरुत्मान्। एकं सद्विप्रा बहुधा वन्दन्त्यग्निं यमं मातरिश्वानमाहुः [ऋक्सं.2।3।22।6तै.ब्रा.3।7।9।3] तदेवाग्निस्तद्वायुस्तत्सूर्यस्तदु चन्द्रमाः। तदेव शुक्रममृतं तद्ब्रह्म तदापः स प्रजापतिः [तै.ना.1।7] इत्यादिश्रुत्युपबृंहणाभिप्रायेणत्वया ततं विश्वम् [11।38] इति निर्दिष्टं शरीरात्मभावं वायुर्यमोऽग्निः इत्यादिसामानाधिकरण्यहेतुत्वेनाह अतस्त्वमेवेति।
For the Ramanuja school, the ‘Brahman is All’ can be explained only by resorting to ‘sharira atma bhaava, samanadhikaranyam’. The shruti passages that he cites are cited by Shankara too in the BSB but Advaita does not feel compelled to resort to the sharira atma bhaava thereby denying the Veda, Veda Vyasa purport of absolute identity. For them Indra, Vayu, etc. have to be forever kept away from Vishnu as different entities. Continues Vedanta Desika:
सर्वं समाप्नोपि इत्यत्राकाशादिवद्व्याप्तिव्युदासाय अन्तः प्रविष्टः शास्ता जनानां सर्वात्मा [चित्यु.11।1] इत्यादिश्रुत्युक्तात्मत्वपर्यवसितनियमनार्थव्याप्तिर्विवक्षितेत्यभिप्रयन्नाह — सर्वमात्मतयेति। पुरुष एवेदं सर्वम् [ऋक्सं.8।4।17।2यजुस्सं.31।2]आत्मैवेदं सर्वं [छां.उ.7।25।2]नारायण एवेदं सर्वम् [ना.उ.2] इत्यादिश्रुतिस्थसर्वशब्दसामानाधिकरण्योपबृंहणायसर्वत एव सर्व इति पूर्वोक्तसर्वशब्दसामानाधिकरण्यं न बाधाद्यर्थम्| अपितु शरीरात्मभावनिबन्धनविशिष्टैक्यपरमित्युक्तमित्यभिप्रायेणाह — यतस्त्वमित्यादि। सकलवेदवेदान्ततदुपबृंहणेषु भगवद्वाचिशब्दानां सर्वचिदचिद्वस्तुवाचिसामान्यविशेषसकलशब्दसामानाधिकरण्यस्यापि शरीरात्मभाव एव निबन्धनमित्येतत्प्रघट्टफलितमित्यभिप्रायेणाहत्वमक्षरं सदसदित्यादि। From the reiteration of sharira atma bhaava, samanadhikaranyam’ several times, it is clear that the absolute identity of Advaita is unacceptable to Ramanuja system.He also specifically refutes the Shankara bhashya which is giving the meaning of ‘pervading like space’. All the shruti passages he gives here are taken for absolute identity in Advaita. His special mention of न बाधाद्यर्थम्| is to refute Shankara who takes ‘baadhaayaam saamaanaadhikaranyam’ to arrive at the absolute identity of saguna Brahman and creation.
Jayatirtha, annotating Madhva’s commentary too takes care to deny/refute the Advaitic interpretation:
सदसद्भावात्मकं विश्वं त्वमेवेति सत्तादिप्रदत्वादेवोच्यते। नत्वन्यथा | For Dvaita, the lending of satta, existence, sphurti, shine, to the world by Brahman alone is meant here but never the identity as in Advaita.
The above was shown to emphasize that the Saguna Brahman (Krishna) is non-different from the entire creation. This is unacceptable for non-advaitins. Hence, all the devatas, etc. are one with Saguna Brahman. If Brahman were different from the creation, it will be vastu paricchinna and therefore be jaDa. This proves that those who tried to co-opt Shankara into their version of ‘vaishnavism’ by trying to misrepresent Advaita, Shankara and all purvacharyas, as holding ‘Vishnu/Krishna alone as saguna brahman and not any other deity’ is completely wrong and misleading their gullible readers. The root cause of this fraud is one Sri Krishnaswamy Iyengar who wrote a Tamil book titled ‘Sankararum Vainavamum’ by totally misquoting and misrepresenting Advaita/Shankara by superimposing their brand of vaishnavism on Shankara/Advaita. Everyone can see now, from the above comparative study across the three schools, as to how Advaita has been misrepresented by those who wanted to malign Shankara by showing him as another bigot like themselves. In the same way they tried to show Sridhara Swamin also in poor light, like themselves:

https://narayanastra.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_80.html

Quote:

//Sridhara Swamin captures the purport of the Veda thus:

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.//

Twisting Shridhara’s words as usual. “Ishas” simply means great lords. They are both lords, no doubt about it. Shiva himself says in Harivamsha — “Isoham sarva dehinAm”. One is Saguna Brahman and another is Visva-Guru. Hence, both worshippable for advaitins.

They are “parasparAtmanou” in the sense that Hari is the self of Shiva. This is mentioned by Shankara in his VSB for “bhUta-krt, bhUta-brt” as “rudrAtmaNa” there. Shiva is the self of Hari as per “jnAni tu Atmaiva me matham”. That they praise each other is also nothing out of the ordinary. //

Unquote

It is clear that they could not tolerate an Advaitin, Sridhara Swamin, saying what an Advaitin would do. They wanted him to deny Shiva’s Selfhood of Vishnu. So they devised the funny plan of ‘”jnAni tu Atmaiva me matham”, sadly ignorant of the fact that the Jnani is none other than Brahman in all periods of time. Says Shankara there BGB 7.18: ज्ञानी तु आत्मैव न अन्यो मत्तः इति मे मम मतं निश्चयः । [The Jnani is verily the Atman, not ‘a different entity from Me’ – thus is My firm conclusion.] In fact this point is one of the many that brings the differences across the three schools. For non-advaitins, the jnani is forever a jiva and never Brahman. But for Advaitins, the Jnani is forever Brahman. So, Bhagavan’s assertion in repudiation of these blogger’s trickery and exposes them for all to see. Nor do advaitins hold Shiva to be a mere jnani-jiva. It is or could be the perception of non-advaitins.

Also, what the above blogger says //Hari is the self of Shiva. This is mentioned by Shankara in his VSB for “bhUta-krt, bhUta-brt” as “rudrAtmaNa” there.// is wrong. That is not the meaning of ‘rudraatmanaa’ – what it means is ‘as rudra’.  The blogger is trying to superimpose his own ideas on the Advaita bhashya. Even Sridhara Swamin in the Srimadbhagavatam has clearly said: brahma rupena, vishnu rupena and rudra rupena..to say that one Brahman alone takes the three forms to perform the cosmic function. The blogger’s fraudulent twist to the Sridhara Swamin’s verse and Shankara’s bhashya cannot be camouflaged.

The purpose of saguna brahma upasana is to help the aspirant to look for the satyam, jnanam anantam lakshanam thereby negating the attributes like sarvajnatvam, etc. This is possible only when that saguna brahman, whichever form that is chosen by the upasaka, is sarva ananya. If he holds his ishta devata is different from other devatas, then he is not on the right track of the upasana. He is doing upasana on a paricchinna vastu. He will not end up realizing nirguna brahman. This is the essential message of the Bh.Gita 11 Chapter. All the devatas, rishis, manushyas, animals, etc. in creation and all objects like oceans, mountains, forests, surya chandra, etc. is non-different from Ishwara. Only then the saguna Ishta devata can be purna. Otherwise, if the Krishna of the 11 th chapter is different from Brahma, Shiva, the adityas, rudras, etc. then he is apurna, paricchinna. Thus, the fundamental satyam, jnanam, anantam lakshanam is inalienable from the saguna brahman. And if anantatva is to be valid, then by default, the saguna brahman has to be non-different from all other entities, both sentient and insentient. This is incomprehensible and blasphemy for non-advaitins. For advaitins, this is the truth that has to be comprehended properly for successful Advaita siddhi.

Om Tat Sat

 

 

‘Bheda’ is vyaapya (pervaded) and ‘abheda’ is vyaapaka (pervader)

In Vedanta we have the Brahman’s svarupa lakshanam being taught as ‘Satyam, Jnanam, Anantham’.  In these, the third one is indicative of the Infinite nature of Brahman.  Three types of bheda are admitted: desha, kaala and vastu, translating to space-wise, time-wise and object-wise distinction/limitation.  While everything in creation is limited in time, space and object, Brahman alone is free of these limitations. Shankara has said while explaining the vastu paricchedatvam, rather the absence of it in Brahman, that Brahman is sarva ananyam, it is non-different from everything in creation. (Taittiriya Bhashya).

If there is any entity admitted as different from Brahman, that object will limit Brahman as an object.  This is different from space-wise limitation.
When there are two objects, different from each other, we cognize them as two different things.  In other words, the different objects become objects of our cognition and therefore are pervaded by our buddhi.  This is called ‘buddhivyaapyam.’   On the other hand, if the objects are realized to be non-different, that is, one only, then we have abheda buddhi.  This abheda buddhi pervades the bheda, bhinna vastus, and thereby is vyaapaka.  Surely, the pervaded is of a lower status than the pervader.
Supposing someone holds Vishnu to be different from Shiva, then we have two buddhis: Vishnu- buddhi and Shiva-buddhi, both being paricchinna buddhis. As explained by Shankara in the Taittiriya Upanishad, a horse-buddhi and a cow-buddhi limit each other mutually .  Vishnu-buddhi  and Shiva-buddhi limit each other mutually. This is because the two are admitted to be different. On the other hand, if one has the idea of non-difference between Vishnu and Shiva, then there is abheda buddhi which is vyaapaka, the pervader.  Naturally, the pervader is higher than the pervaded.  Ultimately, when there are no bhinna vastus, entities, like Vishnu, Shiva, etc. the name ‘vyaapakabuddhi’ is also redundant.
In fact the Upanishad is very smartly avoiding any objection to Brahmabuddhi.  In the Kenopanishat we have a mantra: ‘pratibodha viditam matam….’  where it teaches, it is Brahma buddhi that is running through all individual perceptions like pot-perception, cloth-perception, etc. that a person would get in the course of a day. Since it is Brahman that is being wrongly perceived as pot, cloth, etc. the perception itself being in the form ‘pot is, cloth is..’ the ‘is-ness’ in every perception is Brahman. That way, no perception is bereft of Brahman-perception also being the basis/part of it. What constitutes moksha jnanam is, however, the perception of Brahman without the pot-cloth-etc. upadhis.
The Advaitin alone can achieve this since for him even the Vishnu-buddhi is only an aupadhika buddhi, Brahman being the basis for even that. So, naturally, Shiva-buddhi, also aupadhika, which also has Brahman as its basis, evidently limits Vishnu-buddhi. And therefore alone neither Vishnu buddhi nor Shiva buddhi can be moksha phalaka jnanam.  Everywhere in the itihasa purana when Vishnu/Shiva buddhi is taught as moksha phalaka jnanam, it is implicit that that Vishnu or Shiva is the Turiya entity that transcends the Trimurtis.
Thus, in the scenario of bheda, the vyaapyatva of bheda (bhinna vastu) is unavoidable; the vyaapaka being abheda.
Here is an article that has more details on the topic:
Om Tat Sat

Hari-Hara abheda and Trimurti aikyam in the ‘Narayaniyam’

The famous work ‘Srimannarayaniyam’ of Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri is well known for its depiction of Krishna Bhakti. Even though the author is looked upon as an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna of the Guruvayur temple, yet, he reveals that this Krishna is Nirguna Brahman in the 95th  dashakam of the work.  We know this from the aikyam as mukti that he is talking about/praying for.   Being a work of a Vedantin, it is quite natural that it contains, by default, the ideas of Hari-Hara abheda and Trimurti aikyam. In other words, if any such work does not contain this concept, it is clear that it is not a work of a Vedantin.

The article bringing out the above aspects in the light of two commentaries is available here for download.
In case of difficulty of downloading, one may use https:// with the URL.
regards
HH Sri Sannidhanam Speaks on a variety of topics

Here is a talk by HH Sri Sannidhanam, Sri Vidhushekhara Bharati Swaminjah of Sringeri, in Telugu, in the form of a dialogue.

The questions posed to him are addressed in an extremely mature way.  The stamp of the Shankara Parampara is vibrantly visible in his replies, expositions, analogies, etc. His devotion and reverence to Acharya Bhagavatpada, his mastery of the Tattva, Shastra, Dharma, etc. and the manner of conveying their essence, is all so very well in tune with his own Guru and his purvacharyas,  Really feeling proud of him. Blessed we are to be in his times.  ‘Vidhushekhara Bharati, Sharada peetha saarathi.’
Even others who are not familiar with Telugu can benefit a lot from the recording.   The URL to the video is useful in forums where videos cannot be attached. It is easy to share.
Please share this talk with all friends, groups, etc.
Om Tat Sat
‘Brahman alone appears as Brahma and individual jivas’ – Narayaneeyam

A post on the above topic, along with Desamangalam Arya’s commentary, is available here:

Shankara: Knower-knowing-knowable Triad (Triputee) is kshetram, not-self

In the Bh.Gita 13th chapter we have the viveka of Kshetra-Kshetrajna.  The observer is the Kshetrajna, consciousness and the observed is the kshetra, the insentient prakriti. The verses 5 and 6 define concisely the kshetra:

महाभूतान्यहङ्कारो बुद्धिरव्यक्तमेव च।
इन्द्रियाणि दशैकं च पञ्च चेन्द्रियगोचराः।।13.6।।
13.6 The great elements, egoism, intellect and the Unmanifest itself; the ten organs and the one, and the five objects of the senses;
इच्छा द्वेषः सुखं दुःखं सङ्घातश्चेतनाधृतिः।
एतत्क्षेत्रं समासेन सविकारमुदाहृतम्।।13.7।।
13.7 Desire, repulsion, happiness, sorrow, the aggregate (of body and organs), sentience, fortitude- this field, together with its modifications, has been spoken of briefly.
In the Bhashya, Shankara brings out the essence of the constituents of the Kshetram:
13.6: The pancha maha bhuta-s, in their subtle state, the ahankara (in its cosmic aspect which is the cause of the five elements), buddhi, again, in its cosmic aspect which is called Mahat (Kathopanishat), which is the cause of the ahankara. Then, avyakta, the primordial Maya Shakti:   तत्कारणम् अव्यक्तमेव  व्यक्तम् अव्यक्तम् अव्याकृतम् ईश्वरशक्तिः मम माया दुरत्यया’ (भ. गी. ७ । १४) इत्युक्तम् ।
Here, Shankara says ‘the cause of Mahat, the cosmic Intellect, is Avyakta, which is also called avyaakrtam, unmanifest. This is the Ishvara Shakti and cites the BG 7.14:
दैवी ह्येषा गुणमयी मम माया दुरत्यया।
मामेव ये प्रपद्यन्ते मायामेतां तरन्ति ते।।7.14।।
7.14 Since this divine Maya of Mine which is constituted by the gunas is difficult to cross over, (therefore) those who take refuge in Me alone cross over this Maya.
 
Anandagiri says:  जगतस्तत्त्वप्रतिपत्तिप्रतिबन्धभूता गुणाः सत्त्वादयः। [The three gunas of Maya are Sattva, etc. that obstruct the arising of the correct knowledge about the world. 
 
It is pertinent to note that Maya, the Shakti of Ishwara (Brahman) is also within the category of Kshetram, the insentient, ‘observed’, principle.  Thus, the Atman, Consciousness, is the observer principle and everything other than this is in the field of kshetram, observed, insentient. In the 7th verse, the perceptible objective world is described.  
Anandagiri gives a clarification:

ईश्वरशक्तिः इत्युक्ते चैतन्यमपि शङ्क्येत, तदर्यमाह –  ममेति ।

    The word ‘ Ishvara-shakti’ in the Bhashya could mean ‘Pure Consciousness’ (because Shankara himself has used the term  सर्वप्रत्ययदर्शी चिच्छक्तिस्वरूपमात्रः  (Kena.pada bhashya 2.4), to denote the Pure Consciousness by the word ‘shakti’) Shankara is clarifying citing the BG 7.14 ‘mama maayaa…’.  Thus, Maya Shakti is also of the observed category, kshetram.  

 
In the 7th verse there is the word ‘chetanaa’ for which Shankara has said, with an analogy: सङ्घातः देहेन्द्रियाणां संहतिः ।  तस्यामभिव्यक्तान्तःकरणवृत्तिःतप्त इव लोहपिण्डे अग्निः आत्मचैतन्याभासरसविद्धा चेतना ; सा  क्षेत्रं ज्ञेयत्वात् ।  [The body-mind-senses complex is called ‘sanghaata’.  In this complex there is the reflection of the Atma Chaitanyam, in the antahkarana vritti.  Just as a red-hot iron has the reflection of fire in it and appears as thought it is itself fire, the mind-vritti, with the Atman reflection in it appears itself to be chaitanyam.  And since this vritti, enlivened by and reflecting consciousness is observable, it is called kshetram. 
 
Anandagiri gives a clarification with an analogy:

विज्ञानवादं प्रत्याह –  तस्यामिति ।

तप्ते लोहपिण्डे वह्रेः अभिव्यक्तिवत् उक्तसंहतौ बुद्धिवृत्तिः अभिव्यज्यते । तत्र च अग्निः अभिव्यक्तः लोहपिण्डमेव अग्निबुद्ध्या ग्राहयति । तथा आत्मचैतन्यं बुद्धिवृत्तौ अभिव्यक्तं तामेव आत्मतया बोधयति । अतः तदाभासानुविद्धा सैव चेतना इत्युच्यते । सा च मुख्यचेतनं प्रति ज्ञेयत्वात् अतद्रूपत्वात् क्षेत्रमेव इत्यर्थः  Anandagiri adds that ‘the fire that manifests in the iron piece makes the onlooker think that the iron piece indeed is fire. So too the Atma chaitanyam that manifests in the buddhi vritti makes the person take it (buddhi vritti itself) as the Atman. This is an observable, vishaya, to the Real Atma chaitanyam and hence kshetram/jneyam.

It is pertinent to recall Shankara’s statement in the Adhyasa Bhashya:  देहेन्द्रियादिषु अहंममाभिमानरहितस्य प्रमातृत्वानुपपत्तौ प्रमाणप्रवृत्त्यनुपपत्तेः ।  हीन्द्रियाण्यनुपादाय प्रत्यक्षादिव्यवहारः सम्भवति । चाधिष्ठानमन्तरेण इन्द्रियाणां व्यापारः सम्भवति ।  चानध्यस्तात्मभावेन देहेन कश्चिद्व्याप्रियते ।  चैतस्मिन् सर्वस्मिन्नसति असङ्गस्यात्मनः प्रमातृत्वमुपपद्यते ।   प्रमातृत्वमन्तरेणप्रमाणप्रवृत्तिरस्ति ।     It is very rewarding to delve on the purport of these lines.  Pramaatrutvam, knowerhood is a product of having the identification of I and mine in the body and senses. Without taking the senses, perception, etc. activity is impossible. Without the gross body, the senses-activity is impossible. Without the body-adhyasa identification none acts. In the absence of all these – identification with body, senses, perception, etc. the completely detached Atman cannot be endowed with pramaatrtvam, knowerhood.

From the above we can derive:

  • Pramaatru, knower, is denoted by the BG Bhashyam giving the red-hot iron analogy, the verse has the term: chetanaa.
  • Pramaanam, the knowing, instrument, is clearly enumerated by the BG 6 by the words: ten senses and the eleventh one, the mind-organ.
  • Prameya, knowable, is also explicitly stated by the 6th verse  पञ्च चेन्द्रियगोचराः   the five object-groups namely shabda, sparsha, rupa, rasa and gandha, knowable, graspable, by the senses.
  • Maya Shakti is also an ‘observable’, a vishaya, and thus mithya.
Thus, we have the BG 13.6 and 7 along with the Bhashyam and the Teekaa, a fine analytical study concluding in the idea:  the triad of pramatru, pramana, prameya belongs to the kshetram, not-self, insentient, knowable group, and therefore mithya:  jneyatvaat (drushyatvaat).
Om Tat Sat
Posted by: adbhutam | May 13, 2018

Three more commentaries on the ‘Shiva Gita’

Three more commentaries on the ‘Shiva Gita’

Apart from the commentary by the 16 – 17 CE Sringeri Acharya, there are three more known commentaries to the Shiva Gita of the Padma Purana:

The book by Dr.P.K. Sundaram (on Siva Gita: Translated into English with notes and introduction by Dr. P.K. Sundaram , a noted Advaitic scholar. published by Centenarian Trust in Chennai., 1997) mentions  the following three commentaries:
1. Tatparyaprakasika by His Holiness Jagadguru Paramashivendra Saraswati,printed in 1906 by Vani Vilas Press, Srirangam. The revered author is none other than the Guru of Sri Sadashivendra Saraswati (whose samadhi is in Nerur, T.N.) who is an extremely highly honored and revered Acharya for Advaitins. He has penned ‘vritti’ -s, short concise commentaries for the Brahma Sutras and the Patanjali Yoga Sutras.  He has a number of Advaitic works in verse form such as ‘Atma Vidya Vilasam’, ‘Dakshinamurti Dhyanam’, ‘Svapnoditam’, ‘Manoniyamanam’, etc.  He has also composed a number of songs that are extremely popular in the Carnatic music field. One such is ‘maanasa sanchara re’.  Jagadguru Paramashivendra Saraswati is very well known for a work ‘Vedanta Naama Ratna Sahasram’, a compilation of a 1000 names of Brahman from the Upanishads. This work has his own commentary consisting of copious citations from the Shruti, Mahabharata, Puranas, etc.
2. Brahmananda Saraswati, disciple of Sadashivatirtha, a para-sishya of Adi Shankaracharya and
3. the commentary ‘Balanandini’ by Hari Pandita, s/o Lakshmi Harahiri.
The number of commentaries go to enhance the esteem of the Shiva Purana as a medium of Moksha Shaastra. Shankara has always stated in his commentaries that the ‘background story in an Upanishad is only a stuti, eulogy, to the vidya, instruction, contained in the Upanishad.’ Thus Advaitins alone emerge as the true ‘saara graahi-s’ of Vedantic works, paying not much value that is unnecessary to the story, persons involved, etc. For others the chaff is more important than the grain.
Om Tat Sat
Posted by: adbhutam | May 10, 2018

Classes on ‘Shiva Gita Bhashyam’ – Bangalore

Classes on ‘Shiva Gita Bhashyam’ – Bangalore

The Shiva Gita is a part of the Padma Purana. The content of this Gita is of no less philosophical and saadhana value compared to the Bhagavad Gita. The worth of the Shiva Gita can be gauged by the fact of a Pontiff of the Sringeri Peetham HH Sri Abhinava Nrsimha Bharati Mahasvamin who adorned the Peetham from 1599 to 1622 penning a commentary to it.

The Shiva Gita contains all that is needed to know about the Vedanta and mukti saadhana. The commentary brings out the hidden purport of the Gita with a huge number of quotations from the Shruti and smriti. Comparisons with the Narasimha Tapini Upanishad is also found.

The sublime worth of the Shiva Gita is further enhanced by the fact that an eminent scholar of Vishishtadvaita, Mahamahopadhyaya Vidwan Sri M.E.Rangachar is teaching the work with the bhashya in Bangalore. Anyone interested in joining the class can contact me for further details. The Acharya, in a conversation with me, was all praise for the work and the bhashya. Only an accomplished scholar can appreciate the scholarly worth of another author.

The Sringeri MaTha has published, for the second time, in 2012, (the first publication, from the Manuscript existing in the Sringeri MaTha archives was in 1962). One can download the new edition of the text here:

https://archive.org/…/ShivaGitaBhashyaByAbhinavaNrisimhaBha…

The perusal of the contents itself makes it clear that it is a work of extremely authentic moksha shaastra. Only those who have transcended the disease of sectarian tendencies can make the best out of Veda Vyasa’s works.

Om Tat Sat

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Categories