[Advaita-l] Jagadguru Speaks: One God Manifests as Many

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Mon Dec 5 11:02:27 EST 2022

(Around the beginning of the month, a nugget of Wisdom from the Jagadguru may be posted
on the Chaturamnaya list : http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/cgi-bin/listinfo/chaturamnaya )
Paramatma, referred to as Bhagavan or Isvara, is eternal,
omnipresent, all-powerful, part-less and self-effulgent
(svayaMjyotisvabhAva). It is at the behest of the all-pervading
Bhagavan that even time runs systematically, and the units
of time such as seconds, muhurtas, days and nights,
fortnights, seasons and years are fixed (without undergoing
a change in their respective durations).
The Upanishads state -

  etasya vA akSharasya prashAsane etasya vai akSharasya prashAsane gArgi nimeShA muhUrtA
  ahorAtrANyardhamAsA mAsA R^itavaH saMvatsarA iti vidhR^itAstiShThanti ..
(Brihadaranyaka Upanishad)
The Sastras reiterate -
  yastvevaM lakshito yogibhihRRidayaH IshAno bhUtabhavyasya sa eva nityaH
  kUtastho.adyedAnIM prANiShu vartamAnaH sa ushvo.api vartiShyate
It is Isvara who is the Lord of the past and future, and
perceived in the heart of yogis. Eternal and changeless, He
exists in all beings now; indeed He alone will exist tomorrow
as well, says the Brahma Sutra Bhashya. In a nutshell,
Bhagavan permeates the entire universe.
As such, a conception of Bhagavan in His absolute nirguna
aspect cannot be conceived by ordinary mortals. Isvara
Himself assumes different names and forms through His
maya in order to bless devotees -
  syAt.h parameshvarasyApi ichchhAvashAt.h mAyAmayaM rUpaM sAdhakAnugrahArtham.h
By making Himself accessible for worship through various
manifestations having different names and forms, like Siva,
Vishnu, Ganapati, Lakshmi etc., He provides an
opportunity for one to have his Kuladevata or Ishtadevata,
depending upon the devotee's preference, competence,
tradition, prenatal tendencies etc.
Thus, though Paramatma is one, His names and forms can
be many. Everyone should remember that it is the one
Paramatma who alone is worshipped in His different
We bless everyone to understand this, foster steadfast devotion and
make life fruitful.

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