Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Mon Aug 16 18:38:38 CDT 1999

Sankaran Panchapagesan <panchap at> wrote:

>         Regarding Yaska's views on the devas being different
> manifestations of the same Atman, I read it in the book "The Hindu
> by Arvind Sharma (page 247).
> He in turn quotes from "Revelation and Reason in Advaita Vedanta" by
> K.Satchidananda Murty.

[ ... ]

Thanks for this interesting excerpt. In any case, we should be very
careful when using words like polytheism and monotheism when talking
about Indian philosophies. For the Westerners monotheism means there
is God and he is to be worshiped, anyone else is not to be worshiped.
Of course catholocism does not strictly obey this. In the Indian
philosophies no such thing. Even the so called monotheistic Vaishnavas
("vIra vaishhNavas") worship Garuda, etc. The system of Madhva would
not fall under either polytheism or monotheism. Ditto with advaita. So
there is really no point in using these terms when discussing Indian
philosophies. Interestingly Yaska seems to echo the advaita viewpoint.
Of course, he could also have been a bhedAbhedavAdin, they also do not
talk about any gradation of deities.


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