[Advaita-l] Anya Devata

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 27 08:54:54 CDT 2010

> 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.

Please note how Sankara bhagavatpAda describes umA haimavatI in this
bhAshya too, as vidyA and as sahacAriNI of brahman. The word sahacAriNI
immediately resonates with the notion of the wife/consort, not a daughter,
sister or mother. And of course, umA is a personification of brahmavidyA
here, so the resonance with jnAnamUrti indeed exists.
Also note, earlier in the same upanishad bhAshya, commenting upon what
brahman is as opposed to what is worshipped here in this world, Sankara
bhagavatpAda includes indra, vishNu, pinAkI (Siva) and others on the same
footing. There is no argument whatsoever from his side about vishNu being
superior to Siva or either vishNu or Siva being superior to indra etc. Neither
vaishNavas nor Saivas with exclusive mindsets can really find comfort or
support in the bhAshya wording here!

Regarding Sankara as an incarnation of Siva, note the salutation verses in the
pancapAdikA (namamy abhogi-parivAra-sampadaM ...) and naishkarmyasiddhi
(vishNoH pAdAnugAM yAM ...) where the comparison of Sankara bhagavatpAda
is to Siva. These are texts that were written soon after his lifetime. True, there
may be no explicit avatAra conception here, but then padmapAda and sureSvara 
were writing philosophical texts, not creating mythology surrounding the person
of their guru.

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