[Advaita-l] Some unique correspondences between the VSN and SS

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Jan 6 02:36:14 EST 2018

Some unique correspondences between VSN and SSN

The Vishnu Sahsara Nama and Shiva Sahasra Nama stotrams are both part of
the Mahabharatha.  For someone who is familiar with both these texts,
several instances of similarity come to the fore.

The very first name of the VSN is 'Vishvam'.  The very last name of the SSN
is 'Jagat'.  Both the words mean the same.  Shankara in his commentary to
the VSN gives the meaning that this signifies the Cause of the universe,
Brahman. It is Brahman that has created the universe and has 'entered' it.

About 'Jagat', Shankara's words in the very second Brahmasutra Bhashya are

 अस्य जगतो   नामरूपाभ्यां व्याकृतस्य अनेककर्तृभोक्तृसंयुक्तस्य
प्रतिनियतदेशकालनिमित्तक्रियाफलाश्रयस्य मनसाप्यचिन्त्यरचनारूपस्य
जन्मस्थितिभङ्गं यतः सर्वज्ञात्सर्वशक्तेः कारणाद्भवति, तद्ब्रह्मेति
वाक्यशेषः ।
The Brahman of the Vedanta is taught as the Jagatkaaranam, the Cause, of
the universe. This Cause is further stated as the origin, the sustainer and
the destroyer of the world. The first and last names of the two texts put
together gives us the 'tatparya linga' of upakrama-upasamhara, and all the
other lingas such as abhyasa, apurvata, etc. can be appropriately gleaned
by a study of the two texts, to finally appreciate that the texts are
teaching about Brahman.

Another point of correspondence is the name: muktaanaam paramaa gatih (VSN)
which means: Brahman is the 'destination' for those who have secured the
realization of Brahman.' Destination' does not mean any physical location;
it is one's very true self, Brahman.

In the SSN we have 'Bhaktaanaam paramaa gatih':  Brahman is the ultimate
abode, destination, of Bhaktas.  For Shankara, Bhakta is Jnani, as the BG
says that the Jnani is the Supreme Bhakta.  The Lord also has said that
there is no distinction between Brahman and the Jnani. Paraa bhakti is
Paraa jnana nishtha in Shankara's Gita Bhashya.

This is only a sample; one can look for many more such
correspondences.  Repeatedly
one can encounter such statements in the Mahabharata that bring out the
central theme of not only the Maha Bharata but the entire Veda. Says Veda
Vyasa in the Maha Bharata:

रुद्रो नारायणश्चैव सत्त्वमेकं द्विधा कृतम्।

लोके चरति कौन्तेय व्यक्तिस्थं सर्वकर्मसु।। 12-350-27a 12-350-27b.

[Rudra and Narayana are only two manifestations of One Principle.......] Thus,
for Veda Vyasa, Brahman, whether called by the name Vishnu or Shiva, is the
Jagatkaranam, Vishvakaranam.

The SSN is explicitly alluded to in the Bharata Manjari, a condensed
retelling of the Epic, of Kshemendra (10 CE) The SSN is also part of the
Kumbhakonam edition of the Maha Bharata that Madhvas approve of. Sri
Vadiraja Tirtha also has recognized the SSN in his work: Lakshalankara.

Om Tat Sat

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