[Advaita-l] Worship of Shiva or Vishnu lead to the same effect - Mahabharata
v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Apr 24 07:04:02 EDT 2017
Worship of Shiva or Vishnu lead to the same effect - Mahabharata
In the Mahabharata, Ashvamedha parvan, there is a dialogue between Krishna
and Yudhishthira on the 'vaishnava dharma shāstra':
All these verses are also found in the Kumbhaghoṇam edition too:
14_004_1454 निवेशयति मन्मूर्त्या आत्मानं मद्गतः शुचिः
14_004_1455 रुद्रदक्षिणमूर्त्यां वा चतुर्दश्यां विशेषतः
14_004_1456 सिद्धैर्ब्रह्मर्षिभिश्चैव देवलोकैश्च पूजितः
14_004_1457 गन्धर्वैर्भूतसंघैश्च गीयमानो महातपाः
14_004_1458 प्रविशेत्स महातेजा मां वा शंकरमेव वा
14_004_1459 तस्यापुनर्भवं (sic) राजन्नात्र कार्या विचारणा
Whoever on the Chaturdashī, gives himself up in devotion to My (Vishnu's)
form or to the form of Rudra-Dakshināmūrti, will be worshiped by the
siddha-s, brahmaṛṣi-s and the devaloka-s and praised by the gandharva-s and
the bhūta-groups, he, such a devotee is Mahātapāḥ. Such a devotee endowed
with great Tejas will be united with Me or Shankara; he will be freed from
rebirth. No doubt need to be had in this, O Yudhishtira!
14_004_3095 विषुवे स्नपनं यस्तु मम कुर्याद्धरस्य वा
14_004_3096 अर्चनं च यथान्यायं तस्य पुण्यफलं शृणु
He who observes the vow of Viṣu, devoted to Me or Hara and worship as
per the rules, hear what great merit he attains:
14_004_3097 दशजन्मकृतं पापं तस्य सद्यो विनश्यति
14_004_3098 दशानामश्वमेधानामिष्टानां लभते फलम्
His sins of ten births vanishes at once and he attains the merit of
performing ten ashvamedha sacrifices.
14_004_3099 विमानं दिव्यमारूढः कामरूपी यथासुखम्
14_004_3100 स याति मामकं लोकं रुद्रलोकमथापि वा
Mounting the divine vimāna, with the form of his liking, with great
ease, he attains to My world or Rudra loka.
14_004_3101 तत्रस्थैर्देवगन्धर्वैर्गीयमानो यथासुखम्
14_004_3102 दिव्यवर्षसहस्राणि कोटिमेकं तु मोदते
There, he remains joyfully for very long periods of heavenly scale,
being praised by the divine beings of those worlds.
14_004_3103 ततश्चापि च्युतः कालादिह लोके द्विजोत्तमः
14_004_3104 चतुर्णामपि वेदानां पारगो ब्रह्मविद्भवेत्
Thereafter returning to this world, he becomes a brahmin, versed in
the four vedas and finally a Realized soul.
14_004_3105 चन्द्रसूर्यग्रहे वापि मम वा शंकरस्य वा
14_004_3106 गायत्रीं मामिकां वापि जपेद्यः शंकरस्य वा
He who chants during the lunar or (and) solar eclipse the Gāyatri of
Mine (Vishnu) or that of Shankara
14_004_3107 शङ्खतूर्यनिनादैश्च कांस्यघण्टास्वनैरपि
14_004_3108 कारयेत्तु ध्वनिं भक्त्या तस्य पुण्यफलं शृणु
He who performs worshipful rituals using the conch, brass/bronze
bells, hear what he attains:
14_004_3067 स गच्छेद्दक्षिणामूर्तिं मां वा नात्र विचारणा
He attains oneness with Dakshinamurti or Me. No doubt about this.
14_004_3320 विशेषतीर्थं सर्वेषामशक्तानामनुग्रहात्
14_004_3321 भक्तानां तारणार्थं वै वक्तुमर्हसि धर्मतः
Lord, tell us about those special pilgrim spots, by resorting to
which, devotees who have incapacities, can emancipate themselves.
14_004_3322 प्रवरं सर्वतीर्थानां सत्यं गायन्ति सामगाः
14_004_3323 सत्यस्य वचनं तीर्थमहिंसा तीर्थमुच्यते
14_004_3324 तपस्तीर्थं दया तीर्थं शीलं तीर्थं युधिष्ठिर
14_004_3325 अल्पसंतोषणं तीर्थं नारी तीर्थं पतिव्रता
14_004_3326 संतुष्टो ब्राह्मणस्तीर्थं ज्ञानं वा तीर्थमुच्यते
14_004_3327 मद्भक्तः सततं तीर्थं शंकरस्य विशेषतः
The Lord enumerates: The 'holy places' are: pravara, truth,
non-injury, austerity, compassion, character, contentment even with
what little one gets, a chaste woman, a contented brahmin, Knowledge -
these are all 'holy spots' and finally My (Vishnu's) devotee is a holy
spot; Shankara's devotee is especially a holy spot.
By saying this, Vishnu holds a devotee of Shiva to be higher than His
own devotee. In the Aranyaparvan (of the Mahabharata), talking of
pilgrimages, it is said that worshiping at certain Shaiva holy places
one attains 'gāṇāpatyam' (Lordliness) and at certain other Shaiva
places one attains 'parā gati' (liberation).
After citing all the above passages from the Mahabharata in his
'Bhārata sāra sangraha stotram', Sri Appayya Dikshitar concludes his
explanation to his own verse number 19 (the penultimate verse in this
Thus, the passage in the Mahabharata (Mokshadharma):
ब्राह्माणं शितिकण्ठं (नीलकण्ठं) च याश्चान्या देवताः स्मृताः ।
प्रतिबुद्धा न सेवन्ते यस्मात्परिमितं फलम् ||
[Those with proper discrimination will not worship Brahmā, Shiva or
any other deity enumerated in the scriptures. This is because such
worship yields only limited fruit.]
is stated with a view to enthuse people to worship Vishnu.
[This is as per the maxim: na hi nindā nindyam ninditum pravartate,
api cha vidheyam stotum': the denigration of X is not with a view to
actually devalue X but with a view to eulogize Y.]
From the above verses we conclude:
- Vishnu holds that his own form and Shiva's form are both equally
worthy of worship.
- Worship of both Vishnu and Shiva is equal in liberating the aspirant.
- Worship of both Vishnu and Shiva, alternatively, is equally
effective in freeing one from sins.
- There is absolutely no difference in the efficacy of Vishnu
gayatri (nārāyaṇāya vidmahe...') and Rudra Gayatri (tat purushāya
vidmahe mahādevāya dhīmahi, tanno rudraḥ prachodayāt). Veda Vyasa, and
the Lord, in the Mahabharatha, refute the mischievous propaganda of
disgruntled vaishnavas in misguiding the gullible public by claiming
that the Vishnu gayatri alone is unique, superior etc:
http://narayanastra.blogspot.in/p/blog-page_7196.html Quote //"Om
nArAyaNaya vidmahE, vAsudevAya dimahi, tanno vishnu prachOdayat".
It should be noted that the gAyatri mantras for other devatas start
with `tatpurushAya vidmahE', whereas the one for Vishnu starts with
`nArAyaNa', which is the proper noun denoting the parabrahman.
For instance, Parvati Pati Rudran's gAyatri is `tatpurushAya
vidmahE mahAdevAya dimahi, tanno rudra prachOdayAt'. The gAyatri for
GarudA is `tatpurushAya vidmahE suvarnapakshAya dimahi, tanno garuda
prachOdayAt'. It is only for Vishnu that `nArAyaNa' is mentioned in
the gAyatri. Thus, the equation of the supreme reality nArAyaNa with
Vishnu is established. They are not two different beings, but the one
and same. // unquote
- Lord Vishnu says that Shiva's devotee is holier than his own devotee.
- Worship at Shiva kshetram results in liberation from samsāra.
- The idea of 'Dakshinamurti' is available in the Mahabharata
Thus, the Mahabharata makes emphatic statements to uphold Shiva-Vishnu
abheda. Appayya Dikshitar gives countless passages from the
Mahabharata to finally conclude that this Epic has for its purport the
Supremacy of Shiva.
One should not forget what impelled Appayya Dikshitar to take up such
a task of proclaiming the Supremacy of Shiva:
//This is an important aspect to note. It was only the great Advaitin
Sri Appayya Dikshitar that said:
// viShNurvA shankaro vA shruti-shikhara-girAmastu tAtparya-bhUmiH
na-asmAkam tatra vAdaH prasarati kimapi spaShTam-advaita-bhAjAm |
kintu-Isha-dveSha-gADhAnala-kalita-hRRidAm durmatInAm duruktIH
bhanktum yatno mama-ayam nahi bhavatu tato viShNu-vidveSha-shankAm ||
The meaning of the above beautiful verse is:
'I have not the slightest objection, to anyone coming to any conclusion,
that the spirit of the Vedas and the Vedantas, declare either Vishnu or
Shiva as the First God. I am a follower of the Advaita doctrine. I have no
difference between Shiva and VishNu. But if in order to establish Vishnu as
the main God, if somebody starts abusing Shiva or hates him, I cannot bear
it. There are as many proofs or pramanas in the Vedas, Vedantas, Puranas
and Agamas to establish that Shiva is a mighty God, as there are to prove
that Vishnu is a powerful one. However, I am propagating my religion and
indulging in debate and disputation, only to persuade everyone not
to hate Shiva. Let no one have the slightest doubt that I either hate or
wish to denigrate Lord Vishnu simply because I praise the grace and
greatness of Lord Shiva.'
The sublime devotion of Dikshita to Lord Vishnu is fully seen from his
great work 'Varadaraja stava' where he has sung in ecstatic poetry about
Lord Varadaraja of Kanchipuram. Vaishnavas declare that Vishnu is the
supreme being and that Shiva has a lower status, being a mere jiva. Sri
Dikshita however proves in his 'Ratna-traya-parIkShA' that Shiva, Vishnu,
Ambika, all the three are the same, viz., the supreme reality, and proves
it with the pramanas taken from the puranas, vedas and agamas. //
The above is quoted from the book: 'Sri Appayya Dikshita' (p.66,67) by
And Veda Vyasa in the Mahabharata vouches for the above view of Appayya
रुद्रो नारायणश्चैव सत्त्वमेकं द्विधा कृतम्।
लोके चरति कौन्तेय व्यक्तिस्थं सर्वकर्मसु।। 12-350-27a 12-350-27b.
Om Tat Sat
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list