Vaidya N. Sundaram sundaram at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Mon Sep 7 16:12:30 CDT 1998

On Sep 5th , Chelluri at wrote:

>                                               Om
> Being a Master and propunder of Advaita why Adi Shankara composed several
> stuti's, stotras etc. to multitude of Gods and Godesses  advancing
> Dwaita
> view?


 I believe that the introduction of Sri Suta Brahmam to Parikshit on the
banks of the Ganges before the seven day recital of the Bhagavatam is, in
my opinion, specifically to answer this question. The question Parikshit
asks of Sri Suta was: "I do not know what I should be doing, I know only
that seven days hence I will die, and even then I do not know what death
means etc. " So is the case of almost every one of us. We are worse off,
as we do not have the assurance, as Sri Suta Himself points out, that we
will be alive for the next seven days.
 Anyways, the answer goes as follows:
 There are three basic kinds of embodied people: the Jivan Mukthas, the
Mumukshus, and the ordinary people. All three kinds of people have the
same problem in a different form, and the answer is the same.
        akAmaha sarvakAmOva mOkshakAma udhradhIh |
        tivrena bhaktiyogena yajesa purusham param ||
 If you desire desirelessness, or desire everything, or if you desire
moksha, or anything else, or bhakti etc, the only person to who can grant
you all of this is Sriman Narayana Himself. When that is the case, how do
you pray to Him without stotras.
 The ideal example, as given by Sri Suta Himself, is of VedaVyasar. Even
after a mastery of all the vedas, he was not fully at peace he needed the
panacea of the Srimad Bhagavatam.
 Similarly, perhaps more so, even for ordinary humans like us, we need the
touch and feel of everyday things to act as reminders of the One truth.
As explained by Sri Anantharama Dikshithar, if we were to talk on about
Nirguna Brahman, it is incomplete for two reasons. One is that, it would
become too uninteresting to talk about something changeless etc, from
which even speech recoils etc ... , and by default, miss the audience as
it were.  The second reason, and perhaps more importantly, that is not all
there is to it. There is the aspect of Saguna Brahman which is Siva,
Vishu, kaamaakshi and so on.
 (kindly refer to the Srimad Bhagavatam for a detailed analysis)

 Also, each person finds different things appealing. Parikshit needed the
example of the King KitvAngan who attained Moksha by hearing His glories.
We, who are almost always hankering after wealth and this and that, need
the consolation, or enticement if you will, of a God who will listen to
our prayers, and shower us with His mercy. When it is said that skanda
gives this and ganesha showers this, and so on and so on, we begin to pray
more and more, to different deities, for our needs never seem to get
satiated. The hope is, I guess, that with all this multiplication of
desire, the aspect of desirelessness also creeps in slowly.

 So, in my opinion, it is far from being dvaitic that Sri Shankara wrote
so many stotras in praise of all the deities. He was being complete in
His revival of the ancient and timeless system.
 Should it be a surprise, or does it become an additional qualification
that He was also a great poet? For the eternal Shambu Himself, what is not

bhava Shankara desikame sharaNam.


                      Vaidya N. Sundaram
 The place, time, objects and their knower etc., projected in a dream
during sleep are all mithyA (an illusion/false). So too, here. in the
waking state, the world that is seen is a projection by one's own
ignorance. Likewise, this body, the senses, the breath, the ego etc.,
are all unreal. Therefore, That thou art, the peaceful, defectless,
supreme, non-dual Brahman.  -- Adi Shankara in VivekacUdAmani.

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