[Advaita-l] The Andhra Maha Bharatamu - A short study

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Wed Jan 14 10:48:05 CST 2015

Interesting study. In fact, advaitins do not recognize differences between
Vishnu and Shiva, consistent with the mAyApanchaka saying:

 bata virachayya budhAnapi prakAmam.h |
 bhramayati hariharabhedabhAvA-
 naghaTitaghaTanApaTIyasI mAyA ||

    Alas! Even in the indivisible Brahman, it (mAyA) creates
    differences called BrahmA, ViShNu, and Shiva and deludes
    or tricks exceedingly even intelligent people into feeling
    differences of Hari and Hara. mAyA is an expert in
    making incompatible things compatible!

Rather, the advaitin is amused by the Vishnu-Shiva debate and the
quarrels between the followers of both. In this connection, there is a
humorous story told to drive home the point. Once a Shiva Bhakta
accidentally found a Hari-Hara vigraha (idol)in his backyard. He was
certainly inclined to worship it daily, but there was one problem.
Half of the vigraha was Hari and the other half Hara. He did not want
to worship Hari under any circumstance. So he covered the Hari half
with a cloth so that it was hidden from his view, and he proceeded to
offer daily worship to the Hara half. After he had spent many days in
worshipping the vigraha thus, one fine day, to his utter surprise,
Vishnu, none other than Shri Hari, appeared before him!

The Shiva Bhakta asked Vishnu, "I never worshipped you. Why did you
appear before me?"

Vishnu replied, "True. You did not worship Me. Nevertheless your faith
in Me was so immense that I had to appear before you."

The Shiva Bhakta asked, "What faith are you talking about?"

Vishnu said, "You had immense faith in the fact that I really reside
in one half of the vigraha. This made you cover that half. But the
point is you really believed that I resided in one half. You are a
true believer! So here I am. Ask any boon from Me."

Needless to say, the same story can be told by interchanging Hari and
Hara for Vishnu Bhaktas. :-). The message is the same.


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