[Advaita-l] Vishnu is Brahma and Shiva as well

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun May 21 13:11:03 EDT 2017

Vishnu is Brahma and Shiva as well

In the Mahabharata, Shantiparvan, Bhishma in his deathbed engages in a
stuti of Vishnu. In that occurs this:


12047051a जटिने दण्डिने नित्यं लम्बोदरशरीरिणे
12047051c कमण्डलुनिषङ्गाय तस्मै ब्रह्मात्मने नमः
12047052a शूलिने त्रिदशेशाय त्र्यम्बकाय महात्मने

12047052c भस्मदिग्धोर्ध्वलिङ्गाय तस्मै रुद्रात्मने नमः

Translation by Ganguly:


Thou hadst assumed the form of a recluse with matted locks on head, staff
in hand, a long stomach, and having thy begging bowl for thy quiver.
Salutations to thee in thy form of *Brahma*. 3
<http://sacred-texts.com/hin/m12/m12a047.htm#fn_152> Thou bearest the
trident, thou art the lord of the celestials, thou hast three eyes, and
thou art high-souled. Thy body is always besmeared with ashes, and thy
phallic emblem is always turned upwards. Salutations to thee in thy form of
*Rudra*! The half-moon forms the ornament of thy forehead. Thou hast snakes
for the holy thread circling thy neck. Thou art armed with *Pinaka* and
trident. Salutations to thy form of Fierceness!

Bhishma did not have any problems with looking upon Vishnu with matted
locks, three eyes, bhasma, the ūrdhva linga etc. But there are some
'vaishnavas' who hold these as inauspicious and unworthy of contemplation.
They hold these as ashubha!!

The very same idea of Bhishma is echoed in the words of Pey Azhwar:


தாழ்சடையும் நீண்முடியும் ஒண்மழுவும் சக்கரமும்,

சூழரவும் பொன்னாணும் தோன்றுமால்,- சூழும்

திரண்டருவி பாயும் திருமலைமேல் எந்தைக்கு,

இரண்டுருவு மொன்றாய் இசைந்து.

The Lord on Tirumala sports matted locks (of Shiva) and long hair/crown (of
Vishnu). He has the axe (Shiva's) and the discus (Vishnu's). Snakes are
coiled around (shiva) as well as golden girdle around the
waist.(vishnu).....He appears as both forms (Shiva and Vishnu) as One.

A Srivaishnava scholar PBA's explanation of the above poem is:

*ஸ்ரீ காஞ்சி பிரதிவாதி பயங்கரம் அண்ணங்கராசாரியார் எழுதிய*

*விளக்க உரை*
***- எம்பெருமான் செய்தருளின பல அவதாரங்களில் சங்கர நாராயணவதார மென்பது
மொன்று, இது ஹரிஹராவ்தாரமென்றும் சொல்லப்படும். பாதிவடிவம்
ஸ்ரீமந்நாராயணமூர்த்தி யாகவும் பாதிவடிவம் பரமசிவமூர்த்தியாகவும் கொண்டதாமிது,
எம்பெருமான் கொண்ட கோலங்களெல்லாம் பகவத்பக்தர்கட்கு உத்தேச்யமாகையாலே
இவ்வுருவந்தன்னையும் ஆழ்வார்கள் அநுஸந்தித்துப் பாசுரங்கள் பேசுவதுண்டு.

[Of the many incarnations the Lord Vishnu assumed, the Shankara-Narayana
form is also included. This is also called 'Hari-Hara avatara'. Half the
form is of Sri Narayana and the other half is of Para Shiva form. Since all
the forms that the Lord assumed are aimed at the benefit of the devotees,
the Azhwars have contemplated on this form too and expressed in poems.]

Thus, the matted locks, snake, axe, etc. that are Shiva's insignia  are
happily agreeable as upāsya, shubha, forms of Lord Vishnu by the Azhwars as
stated by that great scholar of the Ramanuja tradition.

One can see how Veda Vyasa, Bhishma and the Azhwars have deserted these
self-styled vaishnavas:


just a sample of their bigotry:

//Matted Hair and Moon: He is an upAsaka, and the heat of his penances
towards bhagavAn is indicated by his matted locks. However, the meditation
on bhagavAn is very cool and graceful despite the arduous efforts, which is
signified by the cool moon on his head. Similarly, the cool mind that
meditates on bhagavAn is adorned.This again, is the characteristic of a
jIvAtma and not paramAtma, and hence, is not worthy of meditation.//

Om Tat Sat

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