[Advaita-l] Shiva and Vishnu abheda in Shivananda lahari
uramakrishna at gmail.com
Thu Jun 30 12:55:22 CDT 2011
One theme of Shivananda lahari is the supremacy of Shiva when compared
to Vishnu, Brahma and others. In #4, 18, 23, 86, 99, Shri Adi Shankara
refers to the brahma and viShNu.
haribrahmaadiinaamaapi nikaTabhaajaamasulabhaM #4
bhajante harimukhaaH: #18
vidhitvaM vishhNutvaM dishasi khalu tasyaaH phalamiti #23
pakshitvaM na cha vaa kiTitvamapi na praaptaM mayaa durlabham.h #86
haribrahmaaNau tau divi bhuvi charantau shramayutau #99
#86,#99 above of the above references is the purANic episode of Brahma
and Vishnu not being able to attain the Shiva, when He manifested in
the form of a pillar of fire.
But, the non-difference of shiva and viShnu, has been beautifully
answered by Shri Adi Shankara in shivaananda-lahari #82 'baaNatvaM'.
In that shloka, He describes that vishNu is 'puujyaatpuujyataraH sa
eva hi na chet.h ko vaa tadaanyo.adhikaH' ("पूज्यात्पूज्यतरः स एव हि न
चेत् को वा तदान्योऽधिकः'"). Note the use of:
1. 'pUjyataraH', with a medium degree of use, and not the superlative
use 'pUjyatamaH', meaning that the ones to be respected 'pUjyaat.h'
are brahma and others, viShNu is to be more respected 'pUjyataraH',
implying that the superlative use 'pUjyatamaH' has been reserved for
2. "Vishnu is 'ko vaa adhikaH'". Contextually, this can be interpreted
that He the best among the rest! But, this can also mean that Vishnu
is Highest with no one above Him meaning that He is the greatest among
So, the above shloka is a beautiful example to describe the supremacy
of Shiva, while at the same time accepting that viShNu is the accepted
supreme among the all. Meaning that there is a non-difference between
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