[Advaita-l] TrimUrti tattvam in the Prashna Upanishad

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Mar 24 02:10:58 CDT 2013

In the Prashnopanishat 2.9 we read:

इन्द्रस्त्वं प्राण तेजसा रुद्रोऽसि परिरक्षिता । त्वमन्तरिक्षे चरसि
सूर्यस्त्वं ज्योतिषां पतिः ॥९ ॥

9     Indra thou art, O Prana and Rudra, too, in prowess. Thou art the
Protector. Thou movest in the sky; thou art the sun, the lord of lights.

इन्द्रः परमेश्वरस्त्वं हे प्राण तेजसा वीर्येण रुद्रोऽसि संहरञ्जगत् । स्थितौ
च परि समन्ताद्रक्षिता पालयिता परिरक्षिता त्वमेव जगतः सौम्येन रूपेण  ।
त्वमन्तरिक्षेऽजस्रं चरसि उदयास्तमयाभ्यां सूर्यस्त्वमेव च सर्वेषां ज्योतिषां
पतिः  ॥९ ॥

//O prANa, you are Indra, the supreme Lord.  By valour you are Rudra,
engaged in destroying the world.  Again during the time of the existence of
the universe, you, in your benign aspect, are the preserver of the universe
on every side.  You move for ever in the sky by rising and setting are the
sun, the lord of all the luminaries. //

Here, along with the other mantras in this section, we see the Upanishad is
teaching that One Brahman alone is taking the forms of all devatA-s  and
engaged in the cosmic administration.  Here we get a glimpse of the
Upanishadic concept of TrimUrti, the Three Forms engaged in Creation,
Sustenance and Destruction of the universe.  Rudra, Shiva, is shown as the
entity engaged in the destruction function.  The Sustainer deity too is
another form of the Supreme prANa alone.

While Anandagiri adds, 'by the forms of ViShNu, etc...' (which is not found
in the BhAShyam, however), the editor Sri Subrahmanyam Sastri feels it is
Rudra alone that is the sustaining principle too in his sowmya form.
Generally the creation principle is allotted to BrahmA who represents the
rajas shakti.  In any case the Upanishadic teaching of the One Principle
alone that is engaged in the various functions is unmistakable.


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list