Posted by: adbhutam | February 3, 2018


Advaitic message in the Yama Gita of the Vishnu Purana

In the Vishnu purana there is a Yama Gita where there is a teaching for attaining the Advaitic knowledge: The verses are presented with Sridhara Swamin’s commentary:

हरिगुरुवशगोस्मि न स्वतन्त्रः प्रभवति संयमने ममापि विष्णुः  ॥ ३,७.१५ ॥

I am under the control of Hari the Guru. And hence am not independent. Vishnu is capable of controlling, containing, me as well. How is this so?

कटकमुकुटकर्णिकादिभेदैः कनकमभेदमपीष्यते यथैकम्  ।

As the cause of the origin and destruction, the Lord is sarvAtma and therefore is the controller of all. The analogy is: The various ornaments such as bangle, crown, earrings, etc. the effects named so. They are but transformations of gold that is one alone, …

सुरपशुमनुजादिकल्पनाभिर्हरिः अखिलाभिरुदीर्यते तथैकः  ॥ ३,७.१६ ॥

So too by the imagined disctinctions, which are mere names, such as gods, animals and humans, One Hari alone is articulated. The verse itself uses the word ‘kalpana’ to indicate that the different entities and the differences  among them is a mere kalpana. Hari alone is spoken of variously as gods, humans, etc.

[The Chandogya Shruti ‘वाचारम्भणं विकारो नामधेयम्, मृत्तिकेत्येव सत्यम्’ is what is meant here.  The shruti teaches that the transformations of gold, clay, etc. are mere names and the truth in them is the material cause.  So too the entities such as gods, animals and humans are mere names and they are essentially Hari, Brahman, alone. In other words, difference across various ornaments, various entities such as gods, humans and animals, is due to maya, ignorance. The truth is the material cause, Brahman.]

क्षितितलपरमाणवोनिलान्ते पुनरुपयान्ति यथैकतां धरित्र्याः  ।

सुरपशुमनुजादयस्तथान्ते गुणकलषेण सनातनेन तेन  ॥ ३,७.१७ ॥

Further, since bheda, difference, is maayika, when the maya, ignorance, is gone, Hari alone remains. Gods, humans and animals are only manifestations of gunas. When gunas subside, one becomes one with Vishnu.

Evidently the ‘Vishnu’ of the Vishnu Puranam is Nirguna Brahman. For, the ‘becoming one with..’ is possible only with Nirguna Brahman and not a formed saguna deity.


From the above verses and the commentary we find that bheda is due to ignorance and abheda is Knowledge. It is the rule that even when bheda persists due to ignorance, abheda is not absent; abheda is the Truth that is never absent at any time, past present and future. Thus whether there is difference across the Trimurtis or humans or animals, it is due to ignorance. Knowledge, being the Truth, is not lost during the state of ignorance. Thus, when the scripture teaches non-difference, whether between Hari-Hara, Trimurtis, jiva-Brahman, etc.’pAramArthika abheda’ is not something that is of a particular time or state. Abheda is present even when the bheda is perceived. So, the misconception that abheda is only pAramArthika while there is real bheda in vyavaharika is refuted by Shankara in the BSB 2.1.14. Such a misconceived idea of Advaita is stated here:



  • What else is the significance of these statements?


Ans: That trimUrti aikyatva can never be attributed to Shankara. The AcArya says clearly that brahmA is subordinate to the Supreme Lord, whose identity has been declared to be Vishnu. Moreover, statements such as “one should not see the difference between Vishnu, Brahma, and Siva” quoted by Shankara/Sureshvara etc. means that one should see the paramArtha tattva that they are all in essence Nirguna Brahman only (though the upAdhis differ, making one Ishvara and the others jIvas).

Moreover, it shows that it is incorrect to say that Shankara considered Vishnu and Shiva to be the one and the same, quoting such examples. One would then have to accept that Shankara considered the trimUrtis to be equal, which as we have shown is untenable.

Thus, today’s advaitins who constantly invoke trimUrti aikyatva to prove Hari-Hara aikyatva are contradicting Shankara directly.


One can easily see how Advaita is misunderstood and misrepresented to deceive the unwary reader. Piqued by the several puranic verses Shankara has cited in the Vishnu Sahasra Nama bhashya that have been brought to the limelight by the ‘today’s advaitin’, the above is an attempt to somehow camouflage these under the garb of ‘paramarthika-vyavaharika’ idea of Advaita. Now consider these two verses that Shankara has cited in the VSN bhashya:

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. The Vishnu Purana too very emphatically teaches abheda of Trimurtis, Hari-Hara, that Sridhara Swamin has clearly elucidated.

अविद्यामोहितात्मानः पुरुषा भिन्नदर्शिनः  ।

वदन्ति भेदं पश्यन्ति चावयोरन्तरं हर  ॥ ५,३३.४९ ॥

[Those with deluded minds see and articulate difference between Me and You, Shiva.] Evidently, Vishnu is not teaching any ‘pAramArthika abheda’ here. The abheda is there even now, when the ignorant ones see and articulate bheda. If we were to hold that the teaching here is about the pAramArthika abheda, then the non-advaitic schools will have conceded that the VP indeed teaches absolute non-difference, a position that is detrimental to them. In any case, the message of the verse is crystal clear. Shankara or Sureshwara have not mistaken the teaching of these verses.

Where is the teaching there in the verses cited above that ‘only pAramArthika abheda’ is intended? That is a clear teaching of abheda ‘now’ in the vyavaharika. Shankara has refuted the idea ‘abheda in pAramArthika and bheda in vyavaharika’ in the BSB 2.1.14.

Moreover, 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’.

Surely, Sureshwara is not implying an abheda ‘only in the pAramArthika’ sense. It is One Ishwara that is spoken of  variously as Hari, Brahma and Pinaki.  The similarity with the VP verse cited at the beginning with gold-ornaments example, with the word ‘kalpana’ and Sridhara Swamin’s commentary that ‘One Hari alone is spoken of variously’ is significant. Thus, it is a misrepresentation of Advaita on the part of the blogger to give the impression that ‘ Moreover, statements such as “one should not see the difference between Vishnu, Brahma, and Siva” quoted by Shankara/Sureshvara etc. means that one should see the paramArtha tattva that they are all in essence Nirguna Brahman only (though the upAdhis differ, making one Ishvara and the others jIvas).’  Rather than the ‘today’s advaitins’, it is he who is directly contradicting, misrepresenting not just Shankara but the Shruti, smritis, Veda Vyasa, etc. 

That bheda across the Trimurtis is ‘aropita’ by the disputants is stated by none other than Sri Nrsimhasrama, the commentator of Sarvajnatman’s Sankshepasariraka, in his very first invocation:

…..आरोपिता वादिभिः विष्णुः शंकर आत्मभूरिति भिदा तत् सन्निधत्तां महः ||

//I bow to that Supreme Consciousness in which the vādins, disputants, superimpose the difference between Hari, Hara and Brahma.//

Surely, such bheda that is ‘aropita’ can’t be taken to be real, even in the vyavaharika, for abheda is what persists even when this bheda, out of ignorance, is perceived. Even as when one perceives the snake in the place of the rope, it is the rope that is the truth there.

The essence of the above study is: Abheda is not of any particular state; it is the Truth of all times, even when bheda is perceived whether out of ignorance or when the shAstra teaches karma, upasana, etc. The latter is called ‘adhyaropa’ by the ShAstra. Even during such upasana, karma, abheda is not lost. The Vedanta exhorts one to shed the bheda buddhi as quickly as possible and realize the abheda which is the truth ‘even when bheda is perceived.’

Om Tat Sat

Posted by: adbhutam | February 2, 2018


Bigotry can’t get any worse
The Bhamati 1.3.24 BSB on the bhashya for the sutra ‘शब्दादेव प्रमितः’ cites this following verses while putting forward the prima facie view that the jiva and not the Paramatma, is the one that is taught as ‘ angushtha maatrah purusha’ (the purusha is of the size of the thumb):
अपि च जीवात्मनः स्पष्टमङ्गुष्ठमात्रत्वं स्मर्यते ‘अङ्गुष्ठमात्रं पुरुषं निशिचकर्ष यमो बलात्’ इति ।
[Yama, forcefully pulled away the ‘ purusha of the size of the thumb’ and set out on the journey to the pitruloka…] Bhavishya puranam.
The Bhamati continues, in support of this idea:
नहि सर्वेशस्य ब्रह्मणो यमेन बलान्निष्कर्षः कल्पते । [Indeed it is impossible to propose that the Supreme Lord Brahman can be pulled away forcefully by Yama.] And in substantiation of this statement cites a verse from the  of the Vishnu Purana:
यमो हि जगौ ‘हरिगुरुवशगोऽस्मि न स्वतन्त्रः प्रभवति संयमने ममापि विष्णुः’ इति । [Yama indeed said ‘I am under the control of Hari, the Superior, and not independent. Vishnu is the one capable of controlling me as well.]
The statement of Vachaspathi Mishra that Yama cannot pull away forcefully the ‘Supreme Lord, Brahman’ and the immediate citing of a verse that says that such a Supreme Lord Brahman is Vishnu proves that he had no reservations in holding Vishnu to be the Supreme Brahman.
We have the bigoted blogger maligning Vachaspathi Mishra (VM), the renowned Advaita Acharya, who wrote the famous Bhamati as ‘a non-vedantin, a shaiva, etc.’:
Much to the chagrin of the blogger, the author of the Kalpataru (commentary to the Bhamati), Swami Amalananda, whom he tried to promote as a ‘vaishnava-advaitin’ favoring the cause of Vaishnavism of the Ramanuja brand, has himself said in no unequivocal terms that the author of the Bhamati was an aparoksha jnani, in his concluding part of the Kalpataru. This very Swami Amalananda, in this very work, Kalpataru, authenticated the Prapanchasara as a work of Shankara and even cited a verse from it.  It is very well known that the Prapanchasara is the complete antithesis of all that is Vaishnavite. There is everything in it that holds all deities as upasya, as giving moksha and has even a verse that holds Hari and Hara as to be worshiped on par.
Now, added to all this, is this statement of VM himself where he holds Vishnu to be the Supreme. If he was really a ‘Shaiva’, he would never have held Vishnu to be the Supreme Brahman. In fact there was no need for him to make that statement; he could have simply cited the verse from the VP and that would have served his purpose of portraying the prima facie view. That he has done what he has speaks volumes of his Hari-Hara abheda acceptance as all other Advaitins before and after him have been.
The sole cause of the blogger’s hatred towards VM is primarily triggered by his own shiva-hatred. The crime of VM was that, in all innocence, he paid obeisance to Lord Shiva in his invocation to the Bhamati:
षड्भिरङ्गैरुपेताय विविधैरव्ययैरपि  ।
शाश्वताय नमस्कुर्मो वेदाय च भवाय च  ॥३॥
Even a mere obeisance to Shiva would not have caused so much rage in the blogger, for the invocation qualifies Shiva with the adjective:   शाश्वताय which means ‘eternal.’  For the fanatical vaishnava, no one other than Vishnu can be eternal.  He would not have been so much disturbed if the Bhamati had given that adjective to just the Veda, but it went on to include Bhava, Shiva, too as the one qualified by that adjective. So much for the fanaticism of someone who has received modern education.
It is to be noted that VM nowhere denigrated Vishnu. In fact he has referred to Vishnu as ‘Bhagavan’, an undoubtedly exalting honorific, while paying obeisance to Veda Vyasa:
ब्रह्मसूत्रकृते तस्मै वेदव्यासाय वेधसे  ।
ज्ञानशक्त्यवताराय नमो भगवतो हरेः  ॥५॥
VM praises Veda Vyasa as the jnana shakti avatara of Bhagavan Hari.
Of course, when one’s heart is filled with hatred to Shiva, the intellect to recognize a Hari-stuti in the immediate proximity, is sadly clouded.
Now, the Bhamati’s statement about Vishnu as the Supreme Brahman, strikes on the face of the blogger’s fanatical animosity towards Shiva and, by extension, the author of the Bhamati, and all smartas. Even a vishishtadvaitin has recognized the Bhamati citing the verse above:
பீஷ்மர் நகுலனுக்கு வர்ணித்ததைப் பராசரர்வர்ணித்தார்இந்தம்வாதத்தில் ஸ்ரீசங்கரர் முதலிய‌ அத்வைதப் பெரியார்களுக்கு விசேஷ‌ ஈடுபாடுன் பாடினான் என்றுஹ‌ரிகுருவ‌ஶ‌கோऽஸ்மி ந‌ ஸ்வந்த்ரப்ரதி ஸம்யதே மமாபி விஷ்ணு:” (हरिगुरुवशगोऽस्मि न स्वतन्त्रप्र्भवति संयमते ममापि विष्णु🙂 என்ற‌ சுலோகத்தை  பாதீ க்ரந்தம் உதாஹரித்தது
It is really unfortunate that so much animosity to Shiva, the smarta sampradaya and the Acharyas of the Advaita tradtion (who have been maligned by projecting them as supporters of the bigoted strand of vaishnavism) emerges from someone who has his roots in the very smarta tradtion that he has continuously maligned:
(These are from public domain)
Here is a Tamil blog where he has admitted his smarta roots:
As ‘ கந்தர்வன்’ on January 29, 2010  this blogger wrote in :
// (நான் ஸ்ரீவைஷ்னவன் அல்லன்; சங்கர சம்பிரதாயத்தை அடியொற்றி வந்த அத்வைத குலத்தவன்)//  [The translation is: ‘I am not a Srivaishnava; I belong to the Advaita lineage that has adhered to the Shankara sampradaya.’]
And in this page too refers to his ‘conversion’ to the Ramanuja following:
How can there be such Shiva-hatred and hatred for those who worship Shiva? If Vaishnavism needs to stay afloat by means of cheap gimmicks such as hatred, bigotry, factually false proclamations, etc, indeed one has to pity that ‘ism.’  Those who have partnered with such a mentality will have to seriously reconsider their stand. Rather than promoting Srivaishnavism such behaviour only blotches the image of that school and its founding fathers and those who have nurtured it.
Om Tat Sat
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

A very inspiring talk on Sri Rudram in Tamil

On the 26th Jan 2018 a program for unmarried girls was held in Chennai. On that occasion 12 students of Sri Sarma Sastrigal gave a test of the chanting of Sri Rudram. Brahmasri Gururam Ghanapadigal’s talk on the greatness of Sri Rudram:

What a thought provoking talk on the significance of Sri Rudram.! Talk by Brahmasri Gururama Ghanapadigal of Sri Mantra Peeteswari Veda Gurukulam in Kumbakonam.
Even those who have no knowledge of Tamil can appreciate the talk as a lot of Sanskrit is there in it.
A new book: Brahmasutra bhashyam – Chatussuutrii

A new book titled: ‘ब्रह्मसूत्रशांकरभाश्यम् (चतुःसूत्री) पूर्णानन्दीयव्याख्यासहितया भाष्यरत्नप्रभया समन्वितम्’ was released last year during the Maha Ganapati Vakyartha Sadas at Sringeri. It is a publication of the Sri Shankara Advaita Shodha Kendram of the Sringeri Sharada Peetham.

The book is in hard-bound, p.240+  Price: Rs.100. Available at the Peetham book house at Sringeri and also from Vidya Bharati Press, Shankara MaTha Road, Bangalore 560004. Contact Sri K.Srinivasan at
A book of 20 divine hymns composed by the Jagadguru of Sringeri

Here is a book ‘Guru Devata Stotra Manjari’ containing twenty hymns addressed to various Gurus and Gods, composed by His Holiness Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamin. Most of the hymns have the verses in Devanagari, English transliteration and meaning in English. It is priced at Rs.20 and is available at Sringeri and the Book stall at the Bangalore MaTha.

Posted by: adbhutam | January 21, 2018


Hari-hara Yoga and Hari-hara Murti

In the Chaturvarga Chintamani, the author Hemadri (13-14 CE), mentions a ‘Hari-Hara yoga’ and a ‘Hari-Hara murti’.  The former occurs in the Vol.4, p.828:

अथ हरिहरयोगे हरिहरप्रतिमाप्रतिग्रहप्रायश्चित्तम्
मार्कण्डेयपुराणे –
खरसंवत्सरे राजन् कार्तिके पूर्णिमादिने | योगो हरिहरो नाम सर्वपापप्रणाशनः ||
क्रतुकोटिसमायोगो गङ्गास्नानयुतैः समम् | महापातकसङ्घातदावानलसमो मुने ||
तत्र स्नानानि दानानि पितृश्राद्धं महत्तरम् | योगे तत्र तदा राजन् मुखजो वा नरेश्वरः ||
हरिहरं स्वर्णमयं गन्धवस्त्राक्षतादिभिः | पूजयित्वा जागरित्वा विप्रायाऽध्यात्मवेदिने ||
ददाति यदि पूतात्मा मुक्तिमाप्नोते पार्थिव |
[On the Full moon day of the Kaarthika month of the Khara year occurs the astrological phenomenon called Hari-Hara Yoga. Snana, daana, shraaddha of the pitru-s performed at that time is productive of immense fruit. It is conducive to expiation of maha paataka, sins. The observance of this occasion by duly worshiping a golden image of Hari-Hara, vigil during the night and gifting the image to a learned,enlightened brahmana, results in the liberation of the donor.]
In Vol.2 Part 1, p.126, there is a long list of images of several deities, to be made, and used in the vratas, etc. related to those deities. Among these, is the Hari-Hara murti as stated in the Vishnudharmottara (a work that Shankaracharya has cited from in the Vishnu Sahasra nama Bhashya):
कार्यं हरिहरस्यापि दक्षिणार्द्धं  सदाशिवः | वाममर्द्धं हृषीकेशः श्वेतनीलाकृतिः क्रमात् ||
वरं त्रिशूलं चक्राब्जधारिणो बाहवः क्रमात् | दक्षिणे वृषभः पार्श्वे वामभागे विहङ्गराडिति ||
[An image of Hari-Hara has to be made thus: The right half of the image is Sadaashiva and the left half is Hrishikesha, of white and black colors respectively. The hands are respectively holding/indicating the vara mudra, the trident, the discus and lotus respectively. Thus there are four arms to the image, two for Shiva and two for Vishnu. One the right side is the Bull and to the left part is the Garuda in the image.]
It is interesting to note that this very book and purana gives the specification for Ardha-naarishvara image too, where the left side is that of Devi Parvati. We are reminded of the Shiva Paadaadi Keshaanta stotram  of Shankaracharya where a poetic excellence was brought out depicting both Vishnu and Parvati as occupying the body of Shiva:
The Hari-Hara fusion concept is also alluded to by the Kamba Ramayanam:
See also:
On p.302 of his book ‘Tamil Studies’,  Sri Srinivas Aiyyangar, 1914,   says:
//…It would be interesting to note here that the god on the Tirupati Hills (Tiruvengadam) had the appearance of both Siva and Vishnu during the days of Peyalvar. //
Another interesting reference:    ஆழ்வார்களும், திருவேங்கடமுடையானிடம் காணப்படும் சிவாம்சத்தை விவரித்துள்ளனர்………..
Read also this letter: சேஷாத்ரி on July 2, 2011 at 5:29 pm   on :

சில பத்து ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன்னர், காஞ்சிபுரம் கோயிலில் யானைக்கு என்ன வகை திருமண் இடவேண்டும் ( வடகலையா தென்கலையா ) என்று ஒரு வழக்கு நடைபெற்று தீர்ப்பு வந்தது என்பதை நாம் அறிவோம்.

இந்து மதத்தின் பல பிரிவுகளுக்குள்ளும் சில தீவிர வைஷ்ணவர்களும், வீர சைவர்களும் இருந்தனர். ஆனால் இதுபோன்ற நபர்கள் அவ்வாறு இருந்ததற்கு என்ன காரணம் எனில், அவர்களின் அறியாமை மட்டுமல்ல , அன்றைய கால கட்டங்களில் நல்ல குருமார்கள் அவர்களுக்கு கிடைக்காததும் ஒரு காரணமாகும்.

திருமங்கையாழ்வார் தம்முடைய பாடலில் –

“பாருருவில் நீறேரிகால் விசும்புமாகிப் பல்வேறு சமயமாய்ப் பறந்து நின்ற
ஏறுருவில் மூவருமே என்னநின்ற விமையவர் தந்திருவுறு வேறென்னும்போது ,
ஓருருவம் பொன்னுருவம் ஒன்று செந்தீ ஒன்று மாகடலுருவமொத்து நின்ற
மூவுருவும் கண்டபோது ஒன்றாம் சோதி முகிலுருவம் எம்மடிகளுருவந்தானே.” என்று

மிக அழகாக வலியுறுத்தி , சைவம், வைணவம் என்ற சண்டைக்கு சாவுமணி அடித்துள்ளார்.

பொய்கை ஆழ்வார் தம்முடைய பாடலில் –

“பொன் திகழுமேனிப் புரிசடையம்புண்ணியனும் ,
நின்றுலகம் தாய நெடுமாலும் – என்றும்
இருவரங்கத்தால் திரிவரேனும் ஒருவன்
ஒருவன் அங்கத்து உளன்” .

என்று அழகாக பாடி , சைவம், வைணவம் என்ற
சண்டைக்கு சாவுமணி அடித்துள்ளார்.

இதே போல, சிவவாக்கியரும் தனது பாடலில்,

“இடது கண்கள் சந்திரன் வலது கண்கள் சூரியன்
இடக்கை சங்கு சக்கரம் வலக்கை சூலம் மான் மழு
எடுத்த பாதம் நீண்முடி எண்டிசைக்கு மப்புறம்
உடல் கடந்து நின்ற மாயம் யாவர் காண வல்லரே.”

என்று பாடி வைணவ சைவ ஒற்றுமையை வலியுறுத்தி உள்ளார். இனியாவது இந்த தீவீர வைஷ்ணவர்களும், வீர சைவர்களும் திருந்துவார்களா ?

ஒரே இறைவனுக்கு இது மட்டுமே அவன் பெயர், இது மட்டுமே அவன் உருவம், அல்லது அவனுக்கு உருவமே இல்லை , இது மட்டுமே வேதம் என்று சொல்லி , அளக்க முடியாத சக்தியான இறைவனுக்கு எல்லைகள் வகுக்கும் இந்த மூடர்களுக்கு நிச்சயம் கடவுள் நல்ல பாடம் கற்பிப்பார்.

Om Tat Sat
An Ode to the ‘Bhasma’ – Thiruneetru padhikam – திருநீற்றுப் பதிகம்

The Tamil Brahmin saint Thirujnana sambandar of the 7 CE has composed a decad of verses on the glory of the ‘Bhasma’, Vibhuti, that the vaidikas of the past millennium were adorning themselves with.  //At his investiture with the sacred thread, at the age of seven, he is said to have expounded the Vedas with great clarity. //

  1. The Bhasma itself is a mantra. The Devas adorn themselves with it. It is spoken of in religious texts.
  2. It is praised in the Vedas. It gives one the true knowledge of Shiva.  [There are many Upanishads such as the Atharva Shira, Bhasma jabala, Brhad jabala, etc.describing the method of wearing the bhasma, the mantras to be chanted while doing so, etc.]
  3. It gives liberation. Sages adorn themselves with it. It also bestows one with the eight siddhis.
  4. It is lovely to the sight. Gives knowledge. Prevents death.
  5. It gives punya to those who use it. It destroys desire of the mumukshus. It is praised by the people.
  6. It destroys misery. The exalted ones wear it.
  7. It bestows purity. Gives the company of the exalted.
  8. It is the Parashakti tattva.
  9. It’s glory is beyond the comprehension of even Brahma and Vishnu
  10. It made the heretics wonder about its glory
  11. The author, Jnana Sambandar, gives the phalashruti: It is composed by the Brahmana who lived in the temple town of Pugali. He wrought a miracle by curing the Pandya King’s ailment by using the Bhasma. Those who recite this padhikam will gain great good.
There are innumerable references in the first three chapters of the Thirumurai for the practice of Brahmanas practicing agnihotra and other rituals worshiping Shiva with Veda mantras.  All this has happened in abundance during the time of Adi Shankara, very close to his home. Adi Shankara’s father, Shiva Guru, himself was a great vaidika who worshiped the Lord at the Thrissur Shiva Temple with his wife Aryamba seeking progeny and Shankara was the gift of the Lord. The very name ‘Shankara’ is reprehensible to certain Vaishnavas (of the Ramanuja brand) as they never give that and any name related to Shiva, male or female, to their children.
Thiru Jnana Sambandar’s legend is inseparably associated with Adi Shankara. This event: //According to the ancient texts, Sambandar was born to Sivapada Hrudiyar and his wife Bhagavathiar who lived in Sirkazhi in what is now Tamil Nadu. They were Saivite brahmins. When Sambandar was three years old his parents took him to the Shiva temple where Shiva and his consort Parvati appeared before the child. His father saw drops of milk on the child’s mouth and asked who had fed him, whereupon the boy pointed to the sky and responded with the song Todudaya Seviyan, the first verse of the Tevaram. //  has caused people to think that the word ‘dravida shishu’ (the child of the Tamil country) found in the Soundarya Lahari is a reference by Shankara to the Tamil Brahmin Vaidika Saint:


तव स्तन्यं मन्ये धरणिधरकन्ये हृदयतः
पयः पारावारः परिवहति सारस्वतमिव ।
दयावत्या दत्तं द्रविडशिशु-रास्वाद्य तव यत्
कवीनां प्रौढाना मजनि कमनीयः कवयिता
tava stanyam manye dharanidhara kanye hrdayatah
payah paravarah parivahati sarasvatam iva
dayavatya dattam dravidasisur asvadya tava yat
kavinam praudhanam ajani kamaniyah kavayita
Your breast milk, I consider, O Maiden born to the Earth- Supporting Lord,
As if it were word-wisdom’s ocean of nectar, flooding from out of Your heart
Offered by one who is kind, which, on tasting,
This Dravidian child, amidst superior poets, is born a composer of charming verse.
While there is ample textual evidence for vaidikas of the pre-Shankara era have been using the Bhasma and involved in Shiva worship, it is only laughable that some bigoted elements calling themselves ‘vaishnavas’ have indulged in cheap tactics to deny these practices and have demonised Appayya Dikshitar who came into the world a  millennium after these practices were already thriving in South India, for having propagated and forced vaidikas into these practices. What can be more reprehensible than this?
We have an old verse, cited in the 12CE ‘Prabodha chandrodaya’ of Krishna Misra (some authors place the work at 5CE)  and later in the Sarvadarshana sangraha of Vidyaranya:

अग्निहोत्रं त्रयो वेदास्त्रिदण्डं भस्मगुण्ठनम्। बुद्धिपौरुषहीनानां जीविका धातृनिर्मिता॥ 
The verse is a satire on the vaidika ways: agnihotram, study of the vedas, practice of holding the three staffs by a renunciate and applying bhasma are all mere ways of eking out a living, initiated by the Creator, for those who have neither intellect nor industry. 
The verse shows that in the distant past too vaidikas donned the bhasma.
Here are some verses that would be of interest to the Tamil savvy:
2747. பொடிகள் பூசிப் பலதொண்டர் கூடி, புலர் காலையே,
அடிகள் ஆரத் தொழுது, ஏத்த நின்ற(வ்) அழகன்(ன்) இடம்
கொடிகள் ஓங்கிக் குலவும் விழவு ஆர் திலதைப்பதி,
வடி கொள் சோலை(ம்) மலர் மணம் கமழும் மதிமுத்தமே.

3755. வெந்தவெண் பொடியணி யடிகளை விளமருள்
சிந்தையு ளிடைபெற வுரைசெய்த தமிழிவை
அந்தணர் புகலியு ளழகம ரருமறை
பந்தன மொழியிவை யுரைசெயு மவர்வினை
பறையுமே.                         11

     11. பொ-ரை: பசுவின் சாணம் வெந்ததாலான
திருவெண்நீற்றினை அணிந்த தலைவரை, திருவிளமர் என்னும்
திருத்தலத்தில் வீற்றிருந்தருளும் வேறுபட்டவரை (விகிர்தர்),
சிந்தையுள் இடையறாது இருத்தும்படி, அந்தணர்கள் வாழ்கின்ற
செழுமையான திருப்புகலியில் அவதரித்த அருமறைவல்ல
ஞானசம்பந்தர் போற்றி அருளிச் செய்த தமிழாகிய இத்திருப்
பதிகத்தை ஓதுவோர் வினை அழியும்.

This page has many verses that say Shiva was worshiped by Vaidikas.
அங்கமும் வேதமும் ஓதும்நாவர் அந்தணர் நாளும் அடிபரவ
மங்குன் மதிதவழ் மாடவீதி மருகல் நிலாவிய மைந்தசொல்லாய்
செங்கய லார்புனற் செல்வமல்கு சீர்கொள்செங் காட்டங் குடியதனுள்
கங்குல் விளங்கெரி யேந்தியாடுங் கணபதி யீச்சரங் காமுறவே.

பொழிப்புரை :

நான்கு வேதங்களையும் ஆறு அங்கங்களையும் ஓதும் நாவினராகிய அந்தணர்கள் நாள்தோறும் தன் திருவடிகளை வணங்க, வானமண்டலத்திலுள்ள சந்திரன் தவழ்ந்து செல்லுதற்கு இடமாய் உயர்ந்து விளங்கும் மாடவீதிகளை உடைய திருமருகலில் எழுந்தருளியுள்ள இறைவனே! செங்கயல்கள் நிறைந்த புனல்சூழ்ந்ததும், செல்வ வளம் நிறைந்ததுமான புகழார்ந்த திருச்செங்காட்டங்குடியில் எரியைக்கையில் ஏந்தி நள்ளிருளில் நட்டம் ஆடுதற்கு இடமாய்க் கணபதியீச்சரத்தைக் காமுறுதல் ஏன்? சொல்வாயாக.

பாடல் எண் : 2

நெய்தவழ் மூவெரி காவலோம்பும் நேர்புரி நூன்மறை யாளரேத்த
மைதவழ் மாட மலிந்தவீதி மருகல் நிலாவிய மைந்தசொல்லாய்
செய்தவ நான்மறை யோர்களேத்துஞ் சீர்கொள்செங் காட்டங் குடியதனுள்
கைதவழ் கூரெரி யேந்தியாடுங் கணபதி யீச்சரங் காமுறவே.

பொழிப்புரை :

அவியாக அளிக்கப் பெறும் நெய் தவழ்ந்து எரியும் முத்தீயைப் பாதுகாப்பாக ஓம்பி வரும் நேர்மையாளரும், முப்புரி நூல் அணிந்த வேத வித்துக்களும் ஆகிய அந்தணர் ஏத்த, கரிய மேகங்கள் தவழும் மாட வீடுகள் நிறைந்த வீதிகளை உடைய திருமருகலில் எழுந்தருளிய இறைவனே! தவங்கள் பலவும் செய்யும் நான்மறையோர் போற்றும் புகழ் பொருந்திய திருச்செங்காட்டங்குடியில், திருக்கரத்தில் மிக்க தீயை ஏந்தி ஆடுதற்கு இடமாய்க் கணபதியீச்சரத்தைக் காமுறக் காரணம் என்ன? சொல்வாயாக. அக்கினிகாரியம் செய்யும் அந்தணர்கள் வழிபடும் மருகல் என்றும், தவமுதியோர்களாகிய மறையோர் போற்றும் செங்காட்டங்குடி என்றும் இரண்டினியல்பும் ஒத்தமை உரைக்கப் பெறுகின்றது. மூஎரி – ஆகவனீயம், காருகபத்யம், தக்ஷிணாக்கினி என்ற முத்தீ. அந்தணர்கள் மணக்காலத்து எடுத்த தீயை அவியாதே பாதுகாக்க வேண்டியது மரபாதலின் மூ எரிகாவல் ஓம்பும் மறையாளர் என்றார்.

பாடல் எண் : 5

ஆயாதன சமயம்பல வறியாதவன் நெறியின்
தாயானவ னுயிர்கட்குமுன் தலையானவன் மறைமுத்
தீயானவன் சிவனெம்மிறை செல்வத்திரு வாரூர்
மேயானவ னுறையும்மிடம் வீழிம்மிழ லையே.

பொழிப்புரை :

சுருதி, யுக்தி, அநுபவங்களால் ஆராய்ச்சி செய்யாத பல சமயங்களால் அறியப் பெறாதவன். அறநெறிகளின் தாயாய் விளங்குவோன். எல்லா உயிர்கட்கும் அநாதியாகவே தலைவன். வேத வேள்விகளில் முத்தீ வடிவினன். சிவன் எனும் திருப்பெயருடையவன். எங்கட்குத்தலைவன். செல்வம் நிறைந்த திருவாரூரில் எழுந்தருளியிருப்பவன். அத்தகையோன் உறையுமிடம் திருவீழிமிழலை.
Om Tat Sat

Brahma, Shiva – non-different from Vishnu, Brahman

In the Vishnu Purana, at the very beginning, we have this message that tells us in no uncertain terms that the cosmic functions such as creation and destruction are ‘really’ that of Brahman. The functions require the operation of guna-s and thereby it is only Brahman, assuming the appropriate gunas indulges in those functions:  

जुषन् रजो गुणं तत्र स्वयं विश्वेश्वरो हरिः  ।

ब्रह्माभूत्वास्य जगतो विसृष्टौ संप्रवर्तते  ॥ १,२.६१ ॥

सृष्टं च पात्यनुयुगं यावत्कल्पविकल्पना  ।

सत्त्वभृद्भगवान्विष्णुरप्रमेयपराक्रमः  ॥ १,२.६२ ॥

By attaching himself to Rajo guna, and himself having become Brahma, Vishnu (Brahman/Ishwara) engages in the creation of the world. And assuming the Sattva guna, Vishnu himself of mighty power engages in maintaining the created world. [the particle ‘bhrt’ after sattva in the above verse teaches that Brahman ‘assumes’ sattvaguna. This is a strong refutation of the unvedic idea that Vishnu is ‘always of sattva guna.’ For, the Vedanta teaches that Brahman is beyond all gunas, even sattva.]

तमोद्रेकी च कल्पान्ते रुद्ररूपी जर्नादनः  ।

मैत्रेयाखिलभूतानि भक्षयत्यतिदारूणः  ॥ १,२.६३ ॥

भक्षयित्वा च भूतानि जगत्येकार्णवीकृते  ।

नागपर्यङ्कशयने शेते च परमेश्वरः  ॥ १,२.६४ ॥

At the end of the Kalpa, Janardana of Rudra-form, who is of immense Tamas, O Maitreya, gobbles up the entire creation. And having made the world one mass, Parameshwara rests on the serpent-couch. [Sridhara Swamin says here: Parameshwara sleeps in his mula svarupa of brahma, shiva, etc. avatara.  Thus Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are only avataras of Brahman, no different from Rama, Krishna, Narasimha, etc., a concept that is anathema for those theological schools that hold a Vishnu that is absolutely distinct from the ‘jivas’ 🙂 that are Brahma and Shiva is the Para Brahman.]

Here the Purana clearly says it is Vishnu alone, owing to immense Tamas, has become Rudra. This also is a refutation of the theological schools’ idea that Vishnu is different from Brahma and Rudra. Such laughable ideas have no place in the Vedanta/Vishnu Purana.

प्रबुद्धश्च पुनः सृष्टिं करोति ब्रह्मरूपधृक् ॥ १,२.६५ ॥

सृष्टिस्थित्यन्तकरणीं ब्रह्मविष्णुशिवात्मिकाम्  ।

स संज्ञां याति भगवानेक एव जनार्दनः  ॥ १,२.६६ ॥

The Purana confirms the idea by reiterating that again, at the beginning of the next cycle, Brahman (Vishnu), taking up the form of Brahma, engages in creation. Thus, One Lord, Janardana, alone gets the names of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.  This is what is stated by Sureshwara in the Brihadaranya Vartika. This idea is also inimical to theological schools as they cannot tolerate Vishnu  (a finite deity) being also Brahma and Rudra. They come up with childish ideas as ‘these statements mean ‘Vishnu is antaryami of Brahma and Shiva.’ They fail to understand that if one Janardana has to get three names owing to different functions, upadhis, then Janardana has to be the antaryami of Vishnu also. Because even this function is also only an assumed one, assuming sattva guna, which is not the native guna of Janardana. This is what is taught in the above lines. Sridhara Swamin continues; ब्रह्मादिरूपाणि च तद्व्यतिरिक्तानि न भवन्ति इत्येतदाह – सृष्टिस्थित्यन्तकरणीं.  The VP says: the forms such as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are not distinct from Janardana by the verse: सृष्टिस्थित्यन्तकरणीं…

स्त्रष्टा सृजति चात्मानं विष्णुः पाल्यं च पाति च  ।

उपसंह्रियते चान्ते संहर्ता च स्वयं प्रभुः  ॥ १,२.६७ ॥

Again the idea is reiterated in other words: Vishnu creates himself and sustains himself and destroys/resolves himself by assuming the roles of creator, sustainer and destroyer. Thus the created/sustained/destroyed world and the creator, sustainer and destroyer – both the sets are non-different from Vishnu/Janardana. This is further clarified in the sequel.

पृथिव्यापस्तथा तेजो वायुराकाश एव च  ।

सर्वेन्द्रियान्तःकरणं पुरुषाख्यं हि यज्जगत् ॥ १,२.६८ ॥

स एव सर्वभूतात्मा विश्वरूपो यतोऽव्ययः  ।

सर्गादिकं तु तस्यैव भूतस्थमुपकारकम्  ॥ १,२.६९ ॥

The Pancha bhutas, their products that are the sense organs and mind stuff is all the world, and is one entity called Purusha. He himself is the self of all beings and is the vishva rupa.  ‘Purusha eva idam sarvam’, ‘sarvam khalvidam brahma’ etc. are the vedic passages that confirm this. Also, if ‘Purusha’ were only Vishnu and not the rest of creation, the former cannot escape being vastu-parichchinna, limited by an object that is not oneself. Such a situation will thwart Brahman from being the Absolute, Ananta, Infinite (of the Taittiriya Upanishad).

स एव सृज्यः स च सर्गकर्ता स एव पात्यत्ति च पाल्यते च  ।

ब्रह्माद्यवस्थाभिरशेषमूर्तिर्विष्णुर्वरिष्ठो वरदो वरेण्यः  ॥ १,२.७० ॥

He himself is the created world, he is the creator, the sustainer and the sustained. He is the One, secondless Brahman, Vishnu the Supreme. [This is the vivarta vada of Vedanta.]

निर्गुणस्याप्रमेयस्य शुद्धस्याप्यमलात्मनः  ।

कथं सर्गादिकर्तृत्वं ब्रह्मणोभ्युपगम्यते  ॥ १,३.१ ॥

While Brahman is Nirguna and cannot be grasped through any pramana, how can we admit the roles of creator, etc. to such an entity?

श्रीपराशार उवाच

शक्तयः सर्वभावानामचिन्त्यज्ञानगोचराः  ।

यतोऽतो ब्रह्मणस्तस्तु सर्गाद्या भावशक्तयः  ।

भवन्ति तपतां श्रेष्ठ पावकस्य यथोष्णता  ॥ १,३.२ ॥

Just as fire has heat, so too Brahman has this power to create, etc. These powers are illusory, beyond the grasp of the intellect.

तन्निबोध यथा सर्गे भगवान्संप्रवर्तते  ।

नारायणाख्यो भगवान्ब्रह्मा लोकपितामाहः  ॥ १,३.३ ॥

उत्पन्नः प्रोच्यते विद्वन्नित्यमेवोपचारतः  ॥ १,३.४ ॥

The Bhagavan called by the name ‘Narayana’ is himself born as Brahma the Pitamaha, the Grandsire. Such ‘becoming’ as Brahma is spoken of only metaphorically for there cannot be any real ‘becoming’ for Brahman.

The above explanations of the verses are based on Sridhara Swamin’s commentary. Nirguna = being devoid of sattva, etc. ‘shuddha’ = being devoid of a body. Question: If Brahma is really not other than Narayana (who has been described as Para Brahman, nirguna, etc.) how is it that the vedic passages such as ‘Hiranyagarbha came into being..’ etc. talk of his (Narayana’s) originating? The reply is: It is spoken of so in such passages cited only metaphorically, upachaaratah. For someone who has originated by his own will, there is a similarity of being created. By this similarity, the metaphorical usage is justified.

The above is the absolute position of the Veda, Itihasa, Purana, etc. texts. All that may be found in these and other texts that might appear (for an uninformed reader) contrary to the above is to be understood in the above light.

Thus, there is absolutely no room in the Vedas or in the Vishnu Purana (‘Purana Ratnam’) for an absolute distinction/difference between the Trimurtis. What is confirmed by the above text is that the Trimurtis are  non-different from the Turiya Janardana. This is what Shankara also has said in the Vishnu Sahasra Nama bhashya for the terms ‘bhutakrit, etc.’. Those who have no exposure to Vedanta misunderstand such passages of Shankara and the Vishnu Purana and try to posit their own sectarian ideas on the sacred scriptural texts. Sridhara Swamin has clearly given the absolute Vedantic conclusion about these matters.

Thus the VP, ‘Purana Ratnam’, deals the death blow to all unvedantic ideas propagated by non-advaitic schools with the malicious design of dividing the society on sectarian lines. All the venerable Advaita Acharyas starting from Shankara, Sureshwara, Sarvajnatman, Amalananda, Anandagiri, Sridhara Swamin, etc. and others such as Narayana Bhatta, Desamangalam Arya and Krishna Misra who are all touted to be supporters of a particular unvedic brand of vaishnavism have been proved to be only antithetical to it. There is a hidden agenda to malign these Acharyas and scholars by parading them as supporters of bigotry. Such designs will not succeed in the face of textual evidences that are available galore to the informed. Only the uninformed are likely to fall a prey to such malicious propaganda.


Shiva’s 100 names in a Mahabharata stuti – Vedantic import
In the Mahabharatha there is a Shiva-stuti involving a 100 names of the Lord.
14008001  संवर्त उवाच
14008001a गिरेर्हिमवतः पृष्ठे मुञ्जवान्नाम पर्वतः
14008001c तप्यते यत्र भगवांस्तपो नित्यमुमापतिः
14008002a वनस्पतीनां मूलेषु टङ्केषु शिखरेषु च
14008002c गुहासु शैलराजस्य यथाकामं यथासुखम्
14008003a उमासहायो भगवान्यत्र नित्यं महेश्वरः [Uma-sahaya : Kaivalyopanishat. 
Maheshvara: Taittiriya Aranyaka, Shvetashvatara, etc.]
14008003c आस्ते शूली महातेजा नानाभूतगणावृतः
14008004a तत्र रुद्राश्च साध्याश्च विश्वेऽथ वसवस्तथा
14008004c यमश्च वरुणश्चैव कुबेरश्च सहानुगः
14008005a भूतानि च पिशाचाश्च नासत्यावश्विनावपि
14008005c गन्धर्वाप्सरसश्चैव यक्षा देवर्षयस्तथा
14008006a आदित्या मरुतश्चैव यातुधानाश्च सर्वशः
14008006c उपासन्ते महात्मानं बहुरूपमुमापतिम्
All celestial beings worship Umapati who is of innumerable forms 
14008007a रमते भगवांस्तत्र कुबेरानुचरैः सह
14008007c विकृतैर्विकृताकारैः क्रीडद्भिः पृथिवीपते
14008007e श्रिया ज्वलन्दृश्यते वै बालादित्यसमद्युतिः
14008008a न रूपं दृश्यते तस्य संस्थानं वा कथंचन
14008008c निर्देष्टुं प्राणिभिः कैश्चित्प्राकृतैर्मांसलोचनैः
14008009a नोष्णं न शिशिरं तत्र न वायुर्न च भास्करः
14008009c न जरा क्षुत्पिपासे वा न मृत्युर्न भयं नृप
14008010a तस्य शैलस्य पार्श्वेषु सर्वेषु जयतां वर
14008010c धातवो जातरूपस्य रश्मयः सवितुर्यथा
14008011a रक्ष्यन्ते ते कुबेरस्य सहायैरुद्यतायुधैः
14008011c चिकीर्षद्भिः प्रियं राजन्कुबेरस्य महात्मनः
14008012a तस्मै भगवते कृत्वा नमः शर्वाय वेधसे
14008012c रुद्राय शितिकण्ठाय सुरूपाय सुवर्चसे
14008013a कपर्दिने करालाय हर्यक्ष्णे वरदाय च
14008013c त्र्यक्ष्णे पूष्णो दन्तभिदे वामनाय शिवाय च
14008014a याम्यायाव्यक्तकेशाय सद्वृत्ते शंकराय च
14008014c क्षेम्याय हरिनेत्राय स्थाणवे पुरुषाय च
14008015a हरिकेशाय मुण्डाय कृशायोत्तारणाय च
14008015c भास्कराय सुतीर्थाय देवदेवाय रंहसे
14008016a उष्णीषिणे सुवक्त्राय सहस्राक्षाय मीढुषे
14008016c गिरिशाय प्रशान्ताय यतये चीरवाससे
14008017a बिल्वदण्डाय सिद्धाय सर्वदण्डधराय च
14008017c मृगव्याधाय महते धन्विनेऽथ भवाय च
14008018a वराय सौम्यवक्त्राय पशुहस्ताय वर्षिणे
14008018c हिरण्यबाहवे राजन्नुग्राय पतये दिशाम्
14008019a पशूनां पतये चैव भूतानां पतये तथा
14008019c वृषाय मातृभक्ताय सेनान्ये मध्यमाय च
14008020a स्रुवहस्ताय पतये धन्विने भार्गवाय च
14008020c अजाय कृष्णनेत्राय विरूपाक्षाय चैव ह
14008021a तीक्ष्णदंष्ट्राय तीक्ष्णाय वैश्वानरमुखाय च
14008021c महाद्युतयेऽनङ्गाय सर्वाङ्गाय प्रजावते
14008022a तथा शुक्राधिपतये पृथवे कृत्तिवाससे
14008022c कपालमालिने नित्यं सुवर्णमुकुटाय च
14008023a महादेवाय कृष्णाय त्र्यम्बकायानघाय च
14008023c क्रोधनाय नृशंसाय मृदवे बाहुशालिने
14008024a दण्डिने तप्ततपसे तथैव क्रूरकर्मणे
14008024c सहस्रशिरसे चैव सहस्रचरणाय च
Many of the names above are from the Shatarudriyam. The last two seen 
above are the re-stating of the famous 'sahasra shirsha purushah,.... s
ahasrapaat.' In the Bhagavadgita 13.13 the Lord explains Brahman's 
lakshanam: सर्वतः पाणिपादं तत्सर्वतोक्षिशिरोमुखम् । सर्वतःश्रुतिमल्लोके 
सर्वमावृत्य तिष्ठति ॥ १३ ॥  Shankara explains there that this is adhyaropa for 
teaching Brahman exists (apavada follows in the next verse there). 
Brahman the Jagatkaaranam is what is stated in the above verse. 
All heads, eyes, limbs, are of Brahman. In other words, 
Brahman alone appears as the entire creation, created beings, etc.)
14008024e नमः स्वधास्वरूपाय बहुरूपाय दंष्ट्रिणे
14008025a पिनाकिनं महादेवं महायोगिनमव्ययम्
14008025c त्रिशूलपाणिं वरदं त्र्यम्बकं भुवनेश्वरम्
14008026a त्रिपुरघ्नं त्रिनयनं त्रिलोकेशं महौजसम्
14008026c प्रभवं सर्वभूतानां धारणं धरणीधरम्
The last line shows Shiva is the Jagat srishti karta and 
sthithi kartaa as well.
14008027a ईशानं शंकरं सर्वं शिवं विश्वेश्वरं भवम्
14008027c उमापतिं पशुपतिं विश्वरूपं महेश्वरम्
14008028a विरूपाक्षं दशभुजं तिष्यगोवृषभध्वजम्
14008028c उग्रं स्थाणुं शिवं घोरं शर्वं गौरीशमीश्वरम्
The word 'ugram' reminds one of the famous Nrsimha Mantra of the 
Tapini Upanishat. Sri Vamshidhara, the revered commentator of the 
Srimadbhagavatam says that the Avataras of Vishnu such as Narasimha that 
are aimed at destruction are not without the Rudraamsha. The Tamoguna 
inevitable for destruction is an inherent guna of these avataras such 
as Narasimha.
14008029a शितिकण्ठमजं शुक्रं पृथुं पृथुहरं हरम्
14008029c विश्वरूपं विरूपाक्षं बहुरूपमुमापतिम्
14008030a प्रणम्य शिरसा देवमनङ्गाङ्गहरं हरम्
14008030c शरण्यं शरणं याहि महादेवं चतुर्मुखम्
14008031a एवं कृत्वा नमस्तस्मै महादेवाय रंहसे
14008031c महात्मने क्षितिपते तत्सुवर्णमवाप्स्यसि
14008031e सुवर्णमाहरिष्यन्तस्तत्र गच्छन्तु ते नराः
14008032  व्यास उवाच
Since Shiva's abode described above is close to that of Kubera, 
the above stuti is stated to beget one wealth for one who performs 
this stuti for that purpose. The Vishnu sahasra nama phala shruti too 
accords with this: vaishyo dhana samruddhah syaat.  In many of the 
Upanishads there is upasana too and as a fruit of that one attains 
great fame, wealth, varchchas, etc. Chaturvidhaa bhajante maam of the 
BG too has this element: arthaarthi. Mokshaarthi will get that if he 
is free of other longings. Thus, the same stuti serves multiple purposes.
From the statement of Desamangalam Arya, the commentator of 
Srimannarayaniyam [and a vaishnava-friendly Advaitin :-)], the 
BG and the VSN can be interpreted to be  Shiva-specific texts too. 
In other words, one can have either Vishnu or Shiva, as one pleases, 
as the Brahman in those texts. The BG is famed to be the Upanishad 
saara: essence of Upanishads:
सर्वोपनिषदो गावो दोग्धा गोपालनन्दनः ।
पार्थो वत्सः सुधीर्भोक्ता दुग्थं गीतामृतं महत् ॥
Om Tat Sat
Shankara’s amazing poetic imagination –  The Jagadguru expounds

Here is a video of the talk (in Kannada) of the Sringeri Acharya where he brings out just one example of the amazing poetic imagination, kalpana shakti, of Shankaracharya:

One can definitely enjoy the above exposition as much of the content is in Sanskrit.
This is what the Jagadguru says:
Shri Shankara’s kavita shakti is simply indescribable. His stotraas like ‘Shivaananda lahari’, ‘Soundarya lahari’ and many others, are not mere descriptions, but are ingrained with amazing poetic imagination. A poet is extremely skilled in ascribing amazing imaginations to even small things. This Kalpana Shakti was abundantly present in Shri Shankara.
One such instance of Shri Shankara’s poetic skill can be found in his ‘Shiva Keshaadi Paadaanta Stotra’. Shiva is called Neelakantha. The poison taken by him, neither comes outside his mouth nor descends down to his stomach but rests in his throat only. Shankara ascribes a beautiful poetic imagination to this.  Shri Shankara says :
सम्भ्रान्तायाः शिवायाः पतिविलयभिया सर्वलोकोपतापात्
संविग्नस्यापि विष्णोः सरभसमुभयोर्वारणप्रेरणाभ्याम्।
मध्ये त्रैशड्०कवीयामनुभवति दशां यत्र हालाहलोष्मा
सोयं सर्वापदां नः शमयतु निचयं नीलकण्ठस्य कण्ठः।।
 As per the Puranas, Shri Paarvati resides in half portion of Shiva’s body. While, in certain other context, the Puraanas say that Shri Vishnu resides in the half portion of Shiva’s body. Thus, Parvati resided in one half of Shiv’s body while Vishnu resides in the other half. Considering this, Shri Shankara comes up with a beautiful poetic imagination.
The moment Shiva partook the poison, both Parvati and Vishnu were afraid for different reasons. Parvati feared that if the poison enters her husband’s stomach, it may cause him harm. A naarimani, a pativrata never wishes to see her husband in trouble, she always desires for his well-being. A pativrata’s mind abides by this principle. Shri Shankara superimposes this mind set of a Bhaaratiya Naarimani on Parvati. Thus, wishing that no harm must come to her husband, she is commanding the poison to move out from Shiva’s throat.
Vishnu, on the other hand, doesn’t have this fear. It is known to him that Shiva wont be harmed even if the poison is swallowed by him. However, he is afraid that if the poison comes out of Shiva’s mouth , the whole world will be turned into ashes. Thus, contrary to Parvati’s command, Vishnu is commanding the poison to descend down into Shiva’s stomach. Thus, says Shankara, the poison, unable to come out of Shiva’s mouth or descend down into his stomach, stays in his throat only! Such is the Kalpana Shakti of Shankara which exceeds the kalpana shakti of great poests like Kalidasa, Shri Harsha, Magha, Bhavabhuti and others. Pithy verses such as this, can be found abundantly in Shankara’s poetic literature.
This verse is from Shankara’s ‘Shiva-Keshadi-Padanta stotra’. Shri Shankara has also composed ‘Vishnu Keshadi Padanta stotra’. Thus, he never perceived any difference between Shiva and Keshava. For this reason, Shri Sacchidananda Shivabhinava Nrushima Bharati Mahaswamiji, in one of his stotras on Shankaracharya, describes Shri Shankara in the following manner :
Shri Shankara is a lion which slays the shiva-vishnu-bheda-buddhi personified elephant.
Shri Shankara had remarkable poetic skills. Such an enriched literature is not to be found anywhere else.
[The write-up is by my friend Sri Natraj Maneshinde, a young Engineer from Bangalore.]

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