[Advaita-l] Who Is the Ultimate GOD in Vedic dharma ?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Jan 18 13:08:36 EST 2018

It is interesting to look at some verses of the Anubhuti Prakasha of Swami
Vidyaranya for the Shvetashvataropanishat:

In verse 99 he says:

विष्ण्वादीनाम् ईश्वराणां परमं तं महेश्वरम् |
देवानां परमं देवं विदामोऽस्य प्रसादतः ||

Let us realize that Divine Being, by its own grace, who is the god of gods,
who is the Supreme Lord of lords such as Vishnu.

In  103  he says:

सर्वप्राण्यतरात्माऽसौ अध्यक्षः सर्वकर्मणाम् |
सर्वभूताश्रयः साक्षी निर्गुणः शुद्धचिद्वपुः ||

He is the innermost self of all beings, the supervisor of  all actions. He
is the support of all beings, the Witness, Nirguna, Pure Consciousness.

Then the author goes on to say: those who realize this (stated above) are
blessed and are liberated. The sage Shvetashvatara (after whom this
Upanishad is named) realized this Entity and communicated this vidya to
other sannyasins.

So, from the above we know that it is Nirguna Brahman that is the ultimate
God. All other deities including Vishnu were discounted from this status.


On Wed, Jan 17, 2018 at 12:18 PM, Shrinivas Gadkari via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste,
> Over the last several months, we have seen many posts
> on this forum showcasing Shiva as the Ultimate GOD in
> Vedic dharma. I understand that most of these posts
> were largely motivated by a desire to counter posts
> in other forums where Vishnu is showcased at the
> Ultimate GOD in the Vedic dharma. I would like to
> present a view point wherein these differences can be
> easily resolved.
> To begin with, please do not comment by saying "brahma
> which is non dual is the only reality and hence the
> only GOD". We all are well aware of this "para tattva".
> These type of discussions certainly fall in the realm
> of dvaita - advaita. That is, that realm of vyavahAra
> where knowledge and working of para tattva is integrated
> with the knowledge and workings of other tattva-s.
> While there is enough evidence in our Puranas that
> glorify viSNu or shiva or gaNapati or any other deity,
> as the Ultimate GOD, there is also equally compelling
> evidence to start thinking that none of these are the
> Ultimate GOD.
> Who then in the Vedic dharma is the Ultimate GOD?
> Here is my understanding:
> - The "Adi-puruSa" who is glorified in the puruSa sUkta is the
>   most promising candidate for the Ultimate GOD of Vedic dharma.
> - Very likely, this is the uttama puruSa of gitA chapter 15.
> - Even bhAgavatam clarifies in Book 1, Chapter 3, Shloka 1,
>   (and indirectly at other places) that puruSa is the original
>   avatAra of bhagavAn (the GOD of bhAgavatam). And all other
>   avatAra-s of bhagavAn are parts of this puruSa avatAra.
> - brahmA, viSNu, shiva, gaNapati are major avatAra-s of this
>   puruSa avatAra.
> For sake of completeness, upAsanA texts of the any specific deity
> include a reference to puruSa avatAra as the supreme form of their
> chosen deity (which is not incorrect), and also the source of
> "other" deities (this is also not incorrect).
> For example, a vaiSNava text would use a term like "mahA viSNu"
> to refer to the puruSa avatAra, and go on to say that brahmA,
> and shiva are parts of "mahAviSNu". On the other hand a shaiva
> text would use a term like "sadAshiva" or "paramashiva" to refer
> to puruSa avatAra, and go on to say that brahmA, and viSNu are parts
> of "sadAshiva" or "paramashiva". Note that, in principle this is
> accurate, however for most of the people, these statements can be
> the primary source of misunderstanding or confusion.
> With regards,
> Shrinivas Gadkari
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