[Advaita-l] viShNu and caturbhuja viShNu
Sujal Upadhyay via Advaita-l
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Sun Sep 14 06:02:19 CDT 2014
Pranams Subramaniam ji,
Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I think I have read this one from your
blog. But didnt copy pasted it since it's your own hard work I am a good
On Sun, Sep 14, 2014 at 1:46 PM, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>
> You may also note the following details:
> Viṣṇu’s status as a created deity
> The Rgvedic mantra: *सोमः पवते* जनिता मतीनां जनिता दिवो जनिता पृथिव्या:।
> जनिताग्नेर्जनिता सूर्यस्य जनितेन्द्रस्य जनितोत विष्णोः 9.5
> has been commented upon by Sāyaṇācārya as Soma who is praised is the
> creator of the intellects, the heavens, the earth. Also he is the
> originator of sūrya, indra and viṣṇu, the all-pervading.
> In the subsequent mantra we have:
> *ब्रह्मा देवानां*पदवीः कवीनामृषिर्विप्राणां महिषो मृगाणाम् . श्येनो
> गृध्राणाँस्वधितिर्वनानाँसोमः पवित्रमत्येति रेभन् 9.6
> In this mantra which continues from the fifth mantra, Sāyaṇācārya says:
> Soma, of the earlier mantra, is assuming the post of brahmā in a sacrifice.
> Alternatively, the commentator says: soma is the head, ‘king’, of all the
> deva-s such as indra, stated in the previous mantra.
> Thus, from a study of these two mantras/commentaries we conclude that
> according to Sāyaṇācārya, viṣṇu is a created deity.
> In the Taittiriyopaniṣad shanti mantra bhāṣya, Shankaracharya has said
> that viṣṇu is the abhimānidevatā, presiding deity, for the limb, leg. Also,
> Shankara in that bhāṣya has said that vāyu is the one responsible for
> delivering the fruits of actions to all, thereby placing vāyu above viṣṇu.
> At the beginning of the bhashyam for the Prashnopanishat 2nd chapter,
> Shankara says;
> प्राणोऽत्ता प्रजापतिरित्युक्तम् । तस्य प्रजापतित्वमत्तृत्वं
> चास्मिञ्शरीरेऽवधारयितव्यमित्ययं प्रश्न आरभ्यते ।
> Prāṇa the consumer is stated to be the Prajāpati. This, its being the
> prajāpati and the consumer, is being demonstrated in this body.
> In the 9th mantra of this Chapter we have:
> इन्द्रस्त्वं प्राण तेजसा रुद्रोऽसि परिरक्षिता ।
> त्वमन्तरिक्षे चरसि सूर्यस्त्वं ज्योतिषां पतिः ॥ ९ ॥
> 9 Indra thou art, O Prana, and Rudra, too, in prowess. Thou art the
> Protector. Thou movest in the sky; thou art the sun, the lord of lights.
> The bhāṣya says:
> किंच, इन्द्रः परमेश्वरः त्वं हे प्राण, तेजसा वीर्येण रुद्रोऽसि संहरन्जगत्
> । स्थितौ च परि समन्तात् रक्षिता पालयिता; परिरक्षिता त्वमेव जगतःसौम्येन
> रूपेण । त्वम् अन्तरिक्षे अजस्रं चरसि उदयास्तमयाभ्यां सूर्यःत्वमेव च
> सर्वेषां ज्योतिषां पतिः ॥
> Further, O Prana, you are Indra, the Supreme Lord. By valour you are
> Rudra, engaged in destroying the world. Again, during the time of the
> existence of the universe, you, in your benign aspect, are the preserver
> (of the universe) on every side. You move for ever in the sky by rising
> and setting. You are the sun, the lord of all the luminaries.
> For the above highlighted portion, Anandagiri, the authoritative
> sub-commentator, says: विष्ण्वादिरूपेण इत्यrथः । ( You, through the form
> of Vishnu, etc.)
> Now, this upanishad itself stated that Prana is Prajapati., the Creator.
> And in this mantra we have Rdura, another form of prāṇa, being stated as
> the world-destroyer. And Vishnu (the benign form, as opposed to the
> valorous form of Rudra) is the Protector of the world. Since the Creator,
> Protector and Destroyer are all said to be the forms of Prana we see that
> Rudra, named in the mantra itself, Vishnu not named in the mantra as well
> as the bhashya but named by Anandagiri, on the implication of the word
> 'vishnu' are all 'created' ones.
> The sequence is thus: The PuruSha, Supreme Brahman, creates prāṇa, called
> Hiraṇyagarbha. From this Hirānyagarbha, the creator of all the objects,
> names / forms, both sentient and insentient, the deva-s too are created.
> The mantra that we saw above lists these. Indra, etc. including Rudra, for
> destruction function and Vishnu for protection function, are all
> manifestations of this Prana (Hiranyagarbha). While up to this it is all
> within the realm of creation, the ONLY entity that transcends creation is
> the Puruṣa who is the subject matter of the Sixth Praṣna, the final chapter
> of this upaniṣad.
> The point to be noted is: This upaniṣad provides a very interesting
> instance of Rudra and Vishnu as particular functionaries, with allotted
> portfolios, along with Indra, etc.
> AppayyaDikṣita in his works on portraying Shiva as the Supreme has cited
> the above Rg. Vedic mantra as authority for the created nature of Viṣṇu and
> asked, if Rudra has birth, why not Viṣṇu?
> The sūtasamhitā, which is a part of the skandapurāṇa, too shows Viṣṇu as
> one of the deities who get instructions from the Supreme Shiva.
> It should also be kept in mind that in Advaita the saguna brahman is a
> superimposition on Nirguna Brahman. And as such the saguna brahman derives
> its consciousness and power from Brahman and māyā. In the absence of these
> two, the consciousness and power, saguṇa brahman is a non-entity.
> It follows from the above that whenever it is said that all the j'iva-s
> (including devatās like Shiva, Indra, Brahmā) are controlled by Viṣṇu as
> the antaryāmin, it is also to be kept in mind that Viṣṇu the antaryāmin too
> has Nirguṇa brahman as his antaryāmin chaitanya. On the basis of the
> kenopanishad initial mantras, no entity in creation can act without the
> backing of the Pure consciousness. So, if Viṣṇu were to be regarded as the
> antaryāmin of all else, then even Viṣṇu has / gets the power to do so only
> from Nirguna Brahman Pure Consciousness. The name-formed Viṣṇu as the
> Parameshwara being a superimposition on Nirguna Brahman, it is essential
> that the Consciousness/power of Viṣṇu is derived from NB and māyā.
> Vaiṣṇavas might not like this explanation but Advaita has no problem in
> having it this way.
> On Sun, Sep 14, 2014 at 1:16 PM, Sujal Upadhyay <sujal.u at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Namaste Subramaniam ji,
>> Yes. That is what I have understood too. The reason for saying viShNu as
>> a person in 11th Chapter is because our AcArya has faithfully explained
>> what arjuna had said.
>> I went ahead quoting viShNu and bhAgavat purANa for understanding that
>> viShNu is not caturbhuja viShNu.
>> Conclusions in brief
>> 1. Whenever any form of ISvara is described as 'that which is
>> worshipped as AtmasvarUpa in heart', it is always nirguNa brahman.
>> 2. brahman is GYanasvarUpa and is nirguNa only, but is seen by 5
>> senses as having guNa-s due to faulty vision.
>> 3. viShNu is not always carutbhUja viShNu. viShNu or nArAyana when
>> described as substratum of entire universe as the sole creator, preserver
>> and destroyer, and as the source of all avatAra-s then not catur-bhUja
>> viShNu, the deity of preservation, but brahman.
>> 4. viShNu is sometimes taken as pradhAna prakruti meaning it is
>> feminine form, SAkti of nirguNa brahman.
>> 5. viShNu or any form of ISvara is saguNa brahman and is the closest
>> manifested form of brahman, and hence this all-powerful form 'viShNu' is
>> worthy of worship
>> 6. When is it said, 'I am you *and* you are me', then it confirms
>> non-duality. e.g. if viShNu bhagavAn says that I am Siva', but Siva never
>> says that 'I am viShNu', then one can understand that Siva is a part of
>> viShNu, but when viShNu says, 'I am you and you are me', then it confirms
>> non-duality. In the same way, at one instance, viShNu says 'I am Siva,
>> brahmA, etc' and at a separate instance, Siva says, 'I am viShNu, brahmA,
>> etc', then this too confirms non-duality.
>> 7. 'I' or 'Me' in gItA can be taken as 'brahman'
>> Thank you for the link. I was very buy these days and so skipped that
>> article. I will surely read it.
>> On Sat, Sep 13, 2014 at 11:24 PM, V Subrahmanian <
>> v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Shankara has not referred to 'Viṣṇu' and other names as the one with
>>> chaturbhuja, etc. The only reference is in the BG 11th chapter end where
>>> Arjuna, unable to bear the fearsome viśwarūpa, wants Krishna to resume His
>>> benign chaturbhuja form and this is specific to the Krishna avatāra.
>>> A detailed analysis of the question as to whether Shankara identified or
>>> preferred any deity as saguṇa brahman, be it Viṣṇu or Śiva or any other, is
>>> available in an article I posted a few weeks ago:
>>> On Sat, Sep 13, 2014 at 5:54 PM, Sujal Upadhyay via Advaita-l <
>>> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>>>> || Hari OM ||
>>>> Please read article viShNu and caturbhuja viShNu
>>>> We can understand from the commentaries by Sri Adi SankarAcArya ji that
>>>> use to refer to kruShNa, nArAyaNa, viShNu, hari as brahman. Did our
>>>> really meant caturbhuja viShNu or is it something different.
>>>> Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/
>>>> To unsubscribe or change your options:
>>>> For assistance, contact:
>>>> listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list