[Advaita-l] Narayana in Advaita

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Feb 3 18:28:12 CST 2014

The introduction to the Bhagavadgita bhAShyam has at the start this verse

नारायणः परोऽव्यक्तात् अण्डमव्यक्तसंभवम् ।

अण्डस्यान्तस्त्विमे लोकाः सप्तद्वीपा च मेदिनी ॥ [a purANic verse]

Narayana is beyond the avyakta; From the avyakta the Mundane Egg is born;
Within the Mundane Egg, verily, are these worlds and the Earth made up of
the seven dvipa-s.

The above 'status' of nArAyaNa as the One beyond the avyakta/unmanifest
(mAyA) is comparable with the kaThopaniShat mantra:

महतः परमव्यक्तमव्यत्कात पुरुषः परः पुरुषान्न परं किंचित्सा काष्ठा सा परा
गतिः ॥ कठोपनिषद /१/३/११

Beyond the mahat is avyakta and beyond avyakta is the puruSha. Nothing is
greater than the pupruSha which is the ultimate Goal.

Here, the nArAyaNa of the verse is seen to be replaced by the word puruSha.

We also have this mantra in the same upanishad :

विज्ञानसारथिर्यस्तु मनःप्रग्रहवान् नरः ।

सोऽध्वनः पारमाप्नोति तद्विष्णोः परमं पदम् ॥ 1.3.8 ॥

A man who has discrimination for his charioteer and holds the reins of the
mind firmly, reaches the end of the road; and that is the supreme state of

Shankara comments for the 'state of VishNu' thus: //... the exalted state
of Vishnu, the all-pervading Consciousness.// viShNoH vyApanashIlasya [the
etymological meaning of the word viShNu]



On Mon, Feb 3, 2014 at 12:29 PM, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>wrote:

> I think the subject line word should be 'nArAyaNa' and not with 'ya' in
> the end in which case it would mean 'for nArAyaNa', in the chaturthI
> vibhakti.
> In the sAyaNa bhAShya for the nArAyaNa sUktam occurring in the Taittiriya
> AraNyaka it is given, for the line 'nArAyaNaH param brahma...':
> 'purANEShu nArAyaNashabdena vyavahriyamANo yaH sa eva param utkRShTam
> satyajnAnAnandAdivAkyaiH pratipAdyasya brahmaNaH tattvam.  Ato 'nArAyaNaH
> para' evAtmA na tu aparo mUrtivisheShaH....'
> That means: //The one mentioned in the purANa-s by the name nArAyaNa is
> the Supreme Brahman denoted by the upanishadic words/passages 'satyam,
> jnAnam, Ananda, etc.' and is the true nature of Brahman.  Therefore
> 'nArAyanNa' is the Supreme AtmA and not the relative deity with a specific
> form.//
> In the VishnusahasranAma bhashyam Shankara has given several etymological
> and other verses for the name/word.  They denote nArAyana as the
> source/cause of the universe and therefore the one who has the created
> universe as His abode since the cause pervades the effect.
> regards
> subrahmanian.v
> On Mon, Feb 3, 2014 at 9:08 AM, ravi chandrasekhara <vadhula at yahoo.com>wrote:
>> Pranam to all,
>> In Advaita, if my understanding is correct, Nirguna Brahman is equivalent
>> to Paramatma = Ishwara. Is it also equal to Narayanaya ? In the Vaishnava
>> Sampradayas, Narayanaya = Vishnu. What has Adi Shankaracharya stated ?
>> Dhanyavaad,
>> Ravi Chandrasekhara
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