[Advaita-l] Anya Devata

Ramanan Subramanian prahladadasa at gmail.com
Tue Jul 27 09:45:30 CDT 2010

Shri Vidyasankar,

Thanks for the explanation.

However, it may not be possible to assert that there is no stratification of
the devatas in the Bhashyas. Acharya does state specifically that Indra,
Vayu, Surya, Agni etc. are all subordinate to Saguna-Ishwara. Acharya in
Brahma Sutra Bhashya 1.2.17 says so:

Immortality, &c. also cannot be predicated of him (Surya), as Scripture
speaks of his origin and his dissolution. For the (so-called) deathlessness
of the gods only means their (comparatively) long existence. And their
lordly power also is based on the highest Lord and does not naturally belong
to them; as the mantra declares, 'From terror of it (Brahman) the wind
blows, from terror the Sun rises; from terror of it Agni and Indra, yea,
Death runs as the fifth.'--Hence the person in the eye must be viewed as the
highest Lord only.

The above is Geoerge Thibaut's translation. It is pretty accurate to the
Sanskrit version of the Bhashya which runs from "amRtatvAdayo'pi...tasmAt
parameshvara eva ayam akSisthAnaH pratyetavyaH".

So is Lord Brahma subordinate to the Saguna-Ishvara in the Bhashyas. Acharya
says "from Brahma to a blade of grass, all are subject to the effects of
good and bad karma" (Chatussutri portion, 1.1.4)

Also Sutra Bhashya 1.3.30 declares:
> This objection, we reply, is not valid. For although a mahâpralaya does
cut short the entire current of practical {213} existence, yet, by the
favour of the highest Lord, the Lords (îsvara), such as Hiranyagarbha and so
on, may continue the same form of existence which belonged to them in the
preceding kalpa. Although ordinary animated beings do not, as we see, resume
that form of existence which belonged to them in a former birth; still we
cannot judge of the Lords as we do of ordinary beings. For as in the series
of beings which descends from man to blades of grass a successive diminution
of knowledge, power, and so on, is observed—although they all have the
common attribute of being animated—so in the ascending series extending from
man up to Hiranyagarbha, a gradually increasing manifestation of knowledge,
power, &c. takes place; a circumstance which Sruti and Smriti mention in
many places, and which it is impossible to deny. On that account it may very
well be the case that the Lords, such as Hiranyagarbha and so on, who in a
past kalpa were distinguished by superior knowledge and power of action, and
who again appear in the present kalpa, do, if favoured by the highest Lord,
continue (in the present kalpa) the same kind of existence which they
enjoyed in the preceding kalpa; just as a man who rises from sleep continues
the same form of existence which he enjoyed previously to his sleep.

Hari Smaranam

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