[Advaita-l] Fwd: Rama and Krishna are Jiva-s - Mahabharata

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed May 24 13:01:11 EDT 2017

On Wed, May 24, 2017 at 8:58 PM, Praveen R. Bhat via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste Kalyanji,
> > Vaishnavaites do not believe Shiva can give moksha.​
> ​They are a few steps ahead of dvaitins in this area perhaps, since
> Purandara Dasa prays to Shiva for a tailadhAravat manas in harI, which is
> hopefully the means to their mokSha.

Here is a statement from the Mundakopanishat 3.2.1 that says the meditation
on a Jnani results in the aspirant's liberation:

स वेदैतत्परमं ब्रह्म धाम यत्र विश्वं निहितं भाति शुभ्रम् ।
उपासते पुरुषं ये ह्यकामास्ते शुक्रमेतदतिवर्तन्ति धीराः ॥ १ ॥

1 He, the Knower of the Self, knows that Supreme Abode of Brahman, which
shines brightly and in which the universe rests. Those wise men who, free
from desires, worship such a person transcend the seed of birth.

Vaishnavites accept Shiva to be a Jnani, though a jiva. For Advaitins,
Shiva being a Jnani, as Shankara says in the Kenopanishat bhashya: Sarvajna
Ishwara, Umapati, is no different from the name 'Brahmavit' occurring in
the Vishnu sahasra nama. So, anyone without worldly attachments, aiming at
moksha, gets liberation by worshiping/meditating upon Shiva. The Upanishad
does not say 'who gives moksha'. No one need to *give *moksha. Moksha
results through right knowledge. It is not even a result; the destruction
of avidya is moksha. Of course Ishwara's grace is required to generate
right knowledge as Shankara has observed in the BSB.

Here is what Rangaramanuja, the upanishad commentator of the Ramanuja
school says for the above mantra, in the introduction:

आत्मवित्पूजायाः मोक्षफलकत्वमाह -  [The mantra says that the worship of an
Atmavit results in moksha]. So, it is not just veda viruddha but also
sva-siddhanta viruddha to say that Shiva is not worthy of meditation.


//Parvati/Uma as his half: “Uma” signifies “yaShas”, which is possessed by
a yOgi. This is again, an attribute of an enlightened jIvAtma and hence is
not worthy of meditation.//

While the Upanishad guarantees moksha to someone who worships a jiva-jnani,
what to say of Shiva!!

Not just that, it is also Veda Vyasa vachana viruddha:

12328019c नारायणात्मको ज्ञेयः पाण्डवेय युगे युगे
12328020a तस्मिन्हि पूज्यमाने वै देवदेवे महेश्वरे
12328020c संपूजितो भवेत्पार्थ देवो नारायणः प्रभुः
12328021a अहमात्मा हि लोकानां विश्वानां पाण्डुनन्दन
12328021c तस्मादात्मानमेवाग्रे रुद्रं संपूजयाम्यहम्
12328022a यद्यहं नार्चयेयं वै ईशानं वरदं शिवम्
12328022c आत्मानं नार्चयेत्कश्चिदिति मे भावितं मनः
12328022e मया प्रमाणं हि कृतं लोकः समनुवर्तते
12328023a प्रमाणानि हि पूज्यानि ततस्तं पूजयाम्यहम्
12328023c यस्तं वेत्ति स मां वेत्ति योऽनु तं स हि मामनु
12328024a रुद्रो नारायणश्चैव सत्त्वमेकं द्विधाकृतम्

12328024c लोके चरति कौन्तेय व्यक्तिस्थं सर्वकर्मसु

The above Mahabharata verses say that when Shiva is worshiped, Narayana is
automatically worshiped. Whoever knows/ realizes Shiva, knows Me too says
Krishna. Krishna also says: If I do not worship Shiva, the world will not
do that either. Whatever a Leader sets as an example, the others follow.
So, some vaishnavites not worshiping Shiva amounts to throwing to winds
Krishna's/Veda Vyasa's words.

The converse of this is cited by Shankara in the VSN bhashya:

Harivamṣa 3.88. 61, 61, 62 which are addressed by Maheśwara during the
Kailāsa yātra episode:

अहं त्वं सर्वगो देव त्वमेवाहं जनार्दन ।

आवयोरन्तरं नास्ति शब्दैरर्थैर्जगत्त्रये ॥

[I am thou and thou alone am I, O Janārdana.  There is no difference
between us, by word or by sense in all the three worlsd.] That is being
elucidated in the sequel:

नामानि तव गोविन्द यानि लोके महान्ति च ।

तान्येव मम नामानि नात्र कार्या विचारणा ॥

[O Govinda, your esteemed names alone are mine as well; no doubt need to be
had in this regard] There Veda Vyasa, through Shiva, conveys that all the
names of Viṣṇu, including the name ‘Nārāyaṇa’ are that of Śiva.  Thus the
thousand names of Viṣṇu are also those of Śiva since there is no difference
in name and sense between the pair Hari and Hara.

त्वदुपासा जगन्नाथ सैवास्तु मम गोपते ।

यश्च त्वां द्वेष्टि भो देव स मां द्वेष्टि न संशयः ॥

[The worship/meditation of You, O Gopati, let that be meditation of mine
too.  He who hates you O Deva, hates me too, undoubtedly.]

Thus, the denigration of Shiva by Vedanta Desika amounts to denigration of

And this silly observation of the bloggers is also refuted by a very
eminent scholar of their own school:


//Why did vishNu flee? Because Bhakti Yoga, is a path that uses self-effort
due to the ego of the jIvAtma. ParamAtma is thus not fond of this path, but
since it is prescribed by the shAstra, he reluctantly allows it. But this
bhakti yOga, being a flawed path, is not enough to conquer paramAtma
despite the arrow (mind) striking (meditating on) the target
(yajna/paramAtma). This is signified by vishNu fleeing the scene.

.....Immediately, the embodied form of sacrifice, that is vishNu, comes
back! Without any effort of the jIvAtma, bhagavAn has come back. Thus,
rather than self-effort, it is the abandonment of self-effort that gets us
close to paramAtma. This is prapatti.//

Recently I was listening to the well-known Vishishtadvaitin scholar and
exponent Sri VeLukkuDi Krishnan Swami's discourses on the Tiruppavai. He
mentioned something that was very new and interesting to me:

In the srivaishnava (vishishtadvaita) tradition there are two streams:
propounded by Vedanta Desika and Pillai Lokaacharya. While the former
advocates sharaNAgati (prapatti) the latter disagrees with him that that is
not the upAya but the Lord Himself is the upAya to be sought for mokSha.
These two streams have gained very distinct positions in the srivaishnava
tradition that they go by the names 'vaDakalai' and 'tengalai' respectively
and a considerable amount of animosity too prevails between the two groups.

The Swami presented the two 'schools' and appealed to the srivaishnavas in
general to give up animosity. He sought to reconcile the two this way: For
both these AchAryas, Ramanuja is the Master. They owe their highest loyalty
to him. While Vedanta Desika advocated sharaNAgati as upAya he was basing
it on the Vedanta {'mumukShurvai sharaNam aham prapadye' of the Upanishad).
Pillai LokAchArya while denouncing the sharaNAgati as upAya argued that the
Lord is Compassion personified and it is owing to His compassion that there
can be moksha. 'sharaNAgati' would be a business approach for one will
think: I have done sharaNAgati and therefore I must get moksha'. But the
Lord's chief guNa of 'compassion' does not get a place in such a situation.
Therefore, one should seek the Lord Himself and will get liberated out of
His compassion. The reconciliation is this way: Both the Acharyas are only
highlighting one aspect while they know for sure that the other aspect is
also not to be lost sight of. Unless asked for one cannot get moksha. And
unless 'granted' one cannot get mokSha. Thus both sharaNAgati and the
Lord's compassion have their respective roles in an aspirant getting moksha.




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