[Advaita-l] Anya Devata

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Jul 27 02:14:29 CDT 2010

On Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 3:12 AM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> I had raised this question earlier but did not get an answer - hence
> raising again. I would like to know who is anya devata (BG 9.25)
> according to advaita tradition please. I know that some Vaishnavas
> hold the opinion that Sankara was a Vaishnava but he tradition got
> influenced over time.


In the Bhashya to the above verse Shankaracharya uses the word 'vaiShNavaaH'
to indicate those worshipers of the Lord Vishnu.  He distinguishes them from
those who worship the 'others' such as vinAyaka-mAtrigaNa-chaturbhagini.

In quite a number of places across the prasthAna traya bhAshyam
Shankaracharya uses ViShnu to talk of Ishwara, God.  And the use of Shiva by
Shankaracharya is nowhere to be seen in the Bhashyas.  This could have given
an impression to many that Shankara was a Vaishnava.  However, here is one,
perhaps the only, instance, where Shankara speaks of Lord Shiva:

In the Kenopanishat mantra 3.12  there occurs the word 'umAhaimavatee' who
appeared before Indra.  Shankara comments for this word  thus:

//athavaa umaiva himavato duhitaa haimavatee nityameva  sarvajnena IshvareNa
saha vartata iti...//

Here, the two words 'sarvajna Ishwara' are significant.  Do Vaishnava-s
admit of any other entity as 'sarvajna Ishwara'? Of course here the word
'Ishwara' could refer to Shiva.

If any other reference to Shiva as the Ishwara, God, is found in the
prasthAna traya bhAshya, members may please point out the instance/s.


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