[Advaita-l] Anya Devata

Ramanan Subramanian prahladadasa at gmail.com
Tue Jul 27 03:02:15 CDT 2010

Dear Sri Subrahmanian,

Kenopanishad Pada Bhashya... yes "sarvaj~nena IshvareNa" is found.

> Of course here the word
> 'Ishwara' could refer to Shiva.

'Ishvara' is used by Shankara in a couple of different ways:
(a) the Saguna Brahman who is Jagat-kAraNa (innumerable),
(b) Vishnu in several places,
(c) devatas such as Brahma, Agni, Indra, Varuna, etc. (In Brahma Sutra first
adhyaya, second pAda).
(d) In Pasupata-adhikarana of Brahma Sutra Bhashya 2.2.37, Shankara refers
to "Pasupati-Ishvara".

Of course, Bhagavatpada Sankara does mean Lord Siva in the Kenopanishad
Bhashya statement. Howeer, I would be inclined to just translate the
statement as "the all-knowing Lord" rather than "Ishvara" itself as Shiva's
name like non-Vaishnava Tamils do ("Ishvaran").
Another thing... reference to Siva as "sarvajna" could be a recollection of
the Dakshinamurti-form as the jnAna-mUrti guru? I have a feeling this is so,
but I don't have convincing reasons for the critical opponent.

There are a few interesting and fascinating references to Lord Shiva
mentioned in the Bhashyas, which could itself be a "light snack" sort of
topic in the otherwise heavily-philosophical discussions in this group :-)

(1) In Brihadaranyaka Bhashya 1.4.11, Shankara writes "RudraH pashUnAM
(rAjA)" referring to Rudra-Siva's popular connotation as Pasu-pati, where
the text itself enumerates, Indra, Rudra, Varuna, Parjanya, Isana.

(2) In Brahma Sutra Bhashya 2.2.37 Shankara and other sub-commentators
(prakaTArtha-kAra, Anandagiri) refers to "Pashupati-Ishvara a.k.a.
Maheshvara" as the author of the Maheshvara-Pasupata Agamas.

(3) In Brahma Sutra Bhashya 3.3.32 Shankara says that Sanatkumara was born
as Skanda "as a result of a boon that he granted to the latter" (rudrAya

(4) In Kenopanishad Vakya Bhashya Shankara refers to "rudra-patni-umA"

(5) In Gita 6.47, there is reference to "rudrAdityAdi dhyAnaparAH" -- yogis
whose object of meditation is Rudra(s)/Aditya(s). Frankly, I am not sure if
the Ekadasha Rudras are mentioned or Lord Siva who is the leader of them who
is also called "Rudra" by the AcAarya.

(6) In Gita 2.33, Shankara's commentary says: "If, on the other hand, you
will not fight this battle which is enjoined on you as a duty, and which is
not opposed to Law, you will, by neglecting this battle, have abandoned your
duty and lost the fame that you acquired by your encounter with such persons
as Mahadeva." referring to Arjuna's obtaining of Pasupata-astra. Sanskrit
text can be found in Gita Supersite and other places. I think Shri
Subrahmanian and other members are familiar with this.

 Personally, I take Shri Vishnu Sahasranama (SVS) Bhashya to be as authentic
as prasthAna-traya, even though it is not accepted by Western scholars.
There are very convincing reasons which I can enumerate if someone is
interested, but that is out of scope of the current discussion. So if you
take SVS commentary, there are innumerable references to Rudra-Siva there.

If members can add more, that would be enlightening. Another interesting
thing is, Padmapada (in Mangala Slokam of Panchapadika) and Sureshvaracharya
(in last few slokas of Naishkarmyasiddhi) compare Lord Siva to the Acharya
in double-entendre. No reference to "Shankara is an incarnation of Lord Siva
himself" is made, but just a word-play on the name "Sankara".

Brings me to another interesting peppy topic... Do any AcAryas before
Madhaviya Sankara Digvijaya write anything about Shankara's being an
incarnation of Shiva himself? Are any incidents in Shankara's life reported
by the vArttika-Tiika kAras? Sureshvara mentions Shankara's gotra at the end
of Taittiriya Bhashya Vartika. Anandagiri refers to an incident in
Gaudapada's life where Sriman Narayana appeared to this Acharya.

Sad-gurubhyo namaH

Hari Smaranam

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