Ravisankar S. Mayavaram
msr at COMCO.COM
Tue May 16 12:11:53 CDT 2000
1) You can find an online (ongoing work) compartive commentary on
vishhNu sahasranaama in
As the name indicates, there is a greater emphasis on
shriivaishNava commentary of parashara bhatta. Also some
comparitive notes from shrii shankara's commentary is given
On this list shriimatii Savithriji is posting a brief translation
based on shankara's commentary and also the original in
Sanskrit. This is also an ongoing work and you can find it in the
179. anirdeSya-vapuh - He who possesses an indescribable body.
Om anirdeSya-vapushe namah.
Something that can be described as this or that, or can be pointed to
as this or that, is nirdeSa - idam tat ityAdi rUpeNa vi~jnApanam,
~jnApyasya prakASanam vA nirdeSah. AnirdeSa is something that cannot
be described as above. vapu means SarIra or body. vapu also can be
derived from the dhAtu vap - bIjasantAne chedane ca - to sow, to
scatter, etc. SrI satyadevo vAsishTha uses this later approach and
gives a meaning for anirdeSyavapu as One who cannot be easily
described and who is the sower of the seed for this Universe. He
indicates that the word bAp, bApu etc., - father in Hindi is derived
from a colloquial derivative of vapu.
All beings who have a body as we know it have the body which is formed
from the panca-bhuta-s, mahat and ahamkAram. BhagavAn's body is
different - it is formed from the six maha-guNa-s that we just learned
about. He becomes whatever He wants to become. He is pure
effulgence, pure knowledge, pure power, pure lordship incarnate, etc.
In vishNu purANa, we have "rUpa varNAdi nirdeSa viSeshaNa vivarjitah -
Regarding His form, color, etc., there is nothing that can be compared
to them" - (1.2.10). SrI rAdhAkRshNa Sastri remarks in his commentary
that the mahA-guNas cannot be visualized by the meager knowledge that
we possess, and it is only by the inner experience that He can be
SrI chinmayAnanda points out that He is the knowledge through which we
can describe everything else, but He himself cannot be described.
(Just as the eye can see others, but the eye cannot be used to see
2) Mu. The way you have stated your 2nd question does not make
much sense to me. I would say, you should unask the question.
3) The concept of first sin is from religions like Christianity,
and not accepted by advaita-vedanta. This concept is fraught with
logical errors. Literal interpretation of genesis can be shown
wrong, however, an allegorical interpretation does make a lot of
sense. You can find an allegorical interpretation in
Autobiography of a Yogi by shrI shrI paramaha.nsa yogananda.
In advaita-vedanta, avidya is anaadi. But it ends once
realization happens. avidya has to anaadi otherwise we will end
up in logical errors (this is pointed out shrii shankara in
trishatii bhaashhya). If it is not, God cannot function as an
impartial karma phala dhaata, but becomes an arbitrary dictator.
If we assume that jivaa-s are created at time t=0 then what is
their puurva karma accorinding to which their lives will shape?
If God were to assign someting to them arbitrarily then it will
go against iishwara's nature. Hence, we start at t= -infinity and
state avidya is anaadi.
It is more pragmatic not question the beginning and look at what
can be done now. When a person is shot with an arrow, our first
concern is only what needs to be done to heal his wound. The
person may die if one goes on investigating the facts who shot
the arrow, why he did that, what it is made of, how and when, and
so on. Another example that is given similar to that is house on
fire. We first extinguish the fire. So better to investigate what
one needs to do now to attain mukti.
bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam
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