[Advaita-l] Anya Devata
svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 27 10:44:58 CDT 2010
> However, it may not be possible to assert that there is no stratification of
> the devatas in the Bhashyas.
That is hardly my intent. However, it is my position that it is impossible to
identify the saguNa brahman or ISvara of the bhAshya-s with either vishNu
or Siva exclusively, the way vaishNavas and Saivas would like to do. The
debate (and the supposed academic "consensus") about whether Sankara
was primarily a vaishNava and whether the later tradition has changed for
whatever reason, is meaningless. Such views can only come from not
knowing and understanding the tradition properly.
It is not within Sankara's view to go down such a path at all. If he were as
strong a vaishNava as some would like to believe, the kenopanishat would
have been a great place for him to describe umA-haimavatI as the sahodarI
of sarvajna-ISvara, rather than a sahacAriNI. If he were as strong a Saiva
as others would like to believe, he could have used the gItA reference
"rudrANAM SankaraH" effectively to make Saiva points. Or he could have
chosen to ignore the gItA altogether and used some other smRti text that
would suit the purposes of discussion for any particular topic. And to date,
the tradition that has upheld and transmitted Sankara bhagavatpAda's texts
has stayed true to this world-view. Popular perception and myth-making
are a different story altogether.
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