Sankara SampradhAyam - 1
Anand V. Hudli
anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 6 09:46:52 CDT 1999
>Even I'm considered to be a saivaite AchAryA by many. A professor
>from Japan (Hajme Nakamura) had come to me. He said, "I've studied
>[*Adi*] AchAryAl's sUtra bhAshyam, gIta bhAshyAm etc. In all of them,
>only advaita is elaborated but no mention had been made at all about
>Siva" and asked me "How is that you remain a Saivaite ?"
>I asked him back, "On what basis do you consider me a saivaite?".
>He replied,"You are wearing only vibhUthi? You are doing Shiva
>pUja (Chandhra moUlIswara pUja). All other ShankarAchAryAs are also
>happened to be saivaites like this. When [*Adi*] AchAryA hasn't found
>any bhEdha between Shiva and Vishnu, why is that you and those of
>other Shankara MathAs wear saivaite symbols and do Shiva pUja?"
Thanks for the interesting article and I am looking forward to
the next one. The dichotomy or should I say animosity between
shaivas and vaishnavas is sharp in Tamilnadu and adjoining areas
where there has been a history of kings of one faith persecuting
people of the other. But as one proceeds further north, eg. Maharashtra
and beyond, one does not see such animosity at all between shaivas
and vaishnavas. Perhaps as a result of this, the smArtas, outside the
area of influence of such relations between vaishnavas and shaivas, are
more balanced in their worship of Shiva and Vishnu.
Did the vaishnava AchAryas take sides in the quarrel and push for Vishnu
as the parabrahman? Or in other words, was there a socio-political motive
behind the identification of Vishnu with the Brahman of vedAnta, by the
Vaishnava AchAryas? I am not alleging that this was indeed the case. I am
just asking out of curiousity. As per history, Ramanuja is said to migrated
to Karnataka to avoid persecution from the Shaivas. I would like to know
what others have to comment on this.
Also, if the smArtas of the area under question showed a slant towards
Shiva, that would perhaps explain why Madhva comes out for Vishnu. True,
Madhva may not have been persecuted by any Shaiva king, but it should
be noted that he was a staunch opponent of advaita. As an opponent of
smArtas, the-supremacy-of-Vishnu (hari-sarvottamatva) principle of Madhva
would help in differentiating his own followers from the smArtas and in
making his point, so to speak.
So is it fair to at least speculate that the Shiva-Vishnu debate
is the reason why 1) smArtas of the region show an _apparent_ slant
towards Shiva, and 2) the Vaishnava AchAryas, either due to persecution
from Shaivas or just to oppose smArtas, uphold the supremacy of
Vishnu and identify only Vishnu as the Brahman of the upanishads?
I agree these are only speculations and may easily be dismissed, but
I would like to know.
Of course, this is a minor issue and it is of little significance to
advaita philosophy, although it may give smArtas a proper perspective
of the shiva-vishnu debate.
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