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Dark Warrior

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  1. Sri Vaishnavas have written some interesting things on this subject. When someone becomes an ardent devotee of the Lord, His karmas get destroyed and he achieves moksha. The Lord, however, being paramatma, cannot comprehend the minuteness of the Jivatma. This doesn't mean He isn't omniscient...like I explained before, He knows everything that is to be known, but some things have no limit (such as His own greatness or our own Smallness) and He does not know the limits of something that is unlimited. So, in His childish haste to reward someone, He polishes off their karma in one go, by a terrible accident or disease. To onlookers, it will seem as though the devotee has been forsaken, but this is the real truth - that Sriman Narayana is eager to destroy His devotee's karma. However, Sri Vaishnavas say that it is for this reason that an acharya is important. The acharya is not paramatma, so he can understand the minuteness of the Jivatma. The acharya also has Jnana equal to that of the Lord. Hence, the acharya will provide salvation to the devotee, and unlike Bhagavan, he will do it tactfully, instilling faith into the hearts of onlookers. Sri Nampillai, a Sri Vaishnava acharya, was feeling weak and thin as the days went by. His disciples asked him, 'Why are you so weak?'. Acharya replied jokingly, 'When one waxes, the other wanes'. Meaning, when Jnana and Bhakti increases, material body's condition worsens. That is why Pancha Samskaram, initiation rites have to be performed at the age of 7. Only after this rite is performed, Bhagavan accepts the devotee's surrender officially and removes his karmas. If you do this ritual at say, the age of 70, there will be less time for the Lord to remove a whole lot of karmas, and hence, instead of little by little, He will do it in one shot. And you will be a goner!!
  2. There is no such thing as true secularism. A person who advocates all religious paths to be equal will reject those people who insist that there is only one god. It is unfortunate that Vaishnavism has been accused of sectarianism, when all that we do is done with rigorous logic and strict obedience of scripture. There is not one instance in history where a Vaishnava has attacked a person's belief. Rather, we seek to differentiate the belief from scripture. There is, like I said, an overwhelming evidence in favor of Vaishnavism, as far as Scripture goes. One look at Bhagavad Gita should tell you that. While we respect the tradition of Shaivas and even Christians for that matter, we simply cannot allow them to filter their thoughts into Vedanta. Therefore, if we see a person claiming to follow Vedas and then saying 'Vishnu is not supreme', naturally, we react. It is no big deal. The major schools of Vedanta are all Vaishnavite, and all 'sectarian'.
  3. To understand Sarira/Sariri bhava, look at Bhagavan's beautiful example, 'Everything is strung on Me, like pearls on a thread'. Now, the pearls represent the Universe, the Jivas, devas and everything that is created. The thread represents Vishnu. The pearls are beautiful when they are seen together, but they depend wholly on the thread. Otherwise, they would fall apart. The thread, is also present in each pearl, holding it up. Together, the pearls and the thread can be called by one name, ie, 'Necklace'. However, even though you refer to this by one name it is clear that there is a difference between the pearls and the necklace. Each pearl can be said to be a part of the Necklace. Loss of a pearl does not harm the necklace in anyway. But the Thread is the main reason the Necklace exists, without which there is no Necklace. Thus, the thread can say, 'I am the whole Necklace, without me there is nothing'. An individual pearl cannot do that. Similarly, Bhagavan can say 'I am Brahma, I am Vayu, I am Rudra' because they are all strung on Him and He is the indweller of their souls. In the Vishvarupa, Arjuna saw all of them as the body of Vishnu. Mahanarayana Upanishad (from the other thread): atha puruSho ha vai naaraayaNo 'kaamayata prajaa sRijeyeti | naaraayaNaat praaNo jaayate manaH sarvendriyaaNi cha kha.m vaayur jyotir aapaH pRithivii vishvasya dhaariNii | naaraayaNaad brahmaa jaayate | naaraayaNaad rudro jaayate | naaraayaNaad indro jaayate | naaraayaNat prajaapatiH prajaayate | naaraayaNaad dvadashaadityaa rudraa vasavaH sarvaaNi chandaa.msi naaraayaNaad eva samutpadyante naaraayaNat pravartante naaraayaNe praliiyante | etad Rig-vedo-shiro 'dhiite || Naaraayana is the Supreme Purusha. He desired, "I shall create children." From Naaraayana the life breath, mind, all the senses, either, air, fire, water, and earth, which maintains the universe, were born. From Naaraayana Brahmaa was born. From Naaraayana Shiva was born. From Naaraayana Indra was born. From Naaraayana Prajaapati was born. From Naaraayana the twelve Adityas, the Rudras, the Vasus, and all the Vedic hymns were born. From Naaraayana they were manifested. Into Naaraayana they again enter. This is the crown of the Rig Veda. Note, that first the Upanishad says 'Narayana rudro jaayate', then once again later on, mentions creation of 'Rudras'. There are 11 Rudras, of which Sankara is the chief. So, the Upanishad mentions him first, then the other 10 lesser Rudras. Who is this chief? Mahanarayana Up. says his name is Isana, and he has 3 eyes and a trident. He was created by Narayana shortly after the birth of Brahma. Just like thread and pearls together are called by one name 'Necklace', The Vedas praise each Deva as Supreme. Simple logic.
  4. Last time, so that you can understand. These are the rules of Vedanta: - Shruti is apaurusheya and uncontaminated. Whatever Shruti says is ultimate. Commentaries exist from ancient times for all canonical Shruti texts. Every hymn is identified as authentic. - Smriti is valid pramana as long as it doesn't contradict Shruti. - Those portions of Smriti such as Ramayana, Puranas, etc. which have been proven to have existed atleast during the time of Sri Madhva are pramana. Because they have already been quoted by scholars in debates. Commentaries also exist for these books. - Since no-one has written a commentary on Mahabharata, and no Shaivite has quoted Shiva Gita or Shiva Sahasranama. You cannot interpolate the Vedas. Are you even aware of why its called 'Apaurusheya'? If you had a working knowledge of Vedanta, you wouldn't ask these things. There are many fake Upanishads, but only the 10 (+3) that have been quoted by Sankara are accepted. Look, its clear that you doesn't understand anything about the Vedas. Then why keep arguing about it? Shruti has had many commentaries, as has Srimad Ramayana. Hence, one can be sure of its authenticity. Srimad Bhagavatam has been quoted by Sri Madhva and by Sri Nayanar in the 11th century. It has been used in debates as well. That is all I am asking. Show me a commentary of Shiva Gita or Sahasranama by the 11th century atleast. Because during those times, debates were pretty much fierce. A Shaivite would have grasped at all straws to win the argument. Forget the 11th century. In the 14th Century, Appaya Dikshitar did not quote Shiva Sahasranama in his works. And he was a staunch Shaivite trying to prove Shiva's supremacy. Therefore, your quotes can be dismissed as very late interpolations. They weren't even around during the 16th century. It is strange that no shaivite has used these texts in debates to attempt to prove Shiva's Supremacy. I do not feel the need to post the same things that I already did. Look at the Shiva is a Demigod thread, you will know. Fools like you keep coming, so I can't keep writing the same things again and again. In which case, there was no need for him to condemn Rudra worship or Shaivism. Sankara calls Shaivism and Shaktism as Unvedic. 'Ishta Devta' is a Vivekananda concept, not Advaitic. And if any Vedantin believed in that concept, one would see him mentioning it in his commetaries. Sankara was not a follower of this ludicrous concept. No scholar ever passes his sentiments on Bhashya. Sankara meant every word he wrote, that's for sure. Nobody ever forces 'ishta devta' on a sastra. Sankara was not an emotional type. The verse says 'SvadhAvne'. It does not mean 'Self Dependant'. Roughly, it translates as 'By his own will' or 'His own individuality' or 'Voluntary'. Therefore, it does not mean he is self dependant, but that he performed this action of using his bow and shafts out of his own desire/characteristic or did it voluntarily. No indication of supremacy here. Copy and Paste from Sacred Texts.com, huh? Did you even understand what I said about all Devas being the body of Brahman? Vishnu is the soul of Rudra's soul. Hence, all praise goes to Vishnu alone. Therefore, 'Rudra is Self Dependant' simply pertains to Vishnu and not to the Jiva named Rudra. Three ways to explain it: 1) Rudra means 'He who causes people to cry'. Hence, 'Rudra' is a common noun and can be applied to any person, not just Mahadeva. It is not just Rudra deva's name, but is also a name of Narayana. Hence, Narayana is being referred to here and not Shiva. (Chaga Pasu Nyaaya) 2) If we take it to mean the deva Rudra, then also, by using body/soul concept, the actual praise goes to Vishnu, the indweller of Rudra's soul. Because, Rudra is mentioned to be born, and to have acquired powers by meditating on Vishnu (Sarira/Sariri Bhava). 3) Rig Veda says Brahman is the referrent of all names. Hence, by default, Rudra here is Narayana and not Mahadeva (Sarva Shabdha Vachyatva). In any case, that verse says 'svadhAvne'. It does not mean 'Self Dependent'. You can't rely on translations by Indologists. However, it doesn't matter much. In any case, every god, such as Agni, Indra is praised as 'Unconquerable' or defeating enemies with ease. All you have to do is use the Sariri/Sarira bhava. I told you that whenever any god is addressed, it is only Brahman, ie, Vishnu, who is being addressed. At the most, even if we take the translation as 'Self Dependant God', the Sarira/Sariri bhava can be used. Birth of Rudra is mentioned elsewhere. Rig Veda says Rudra gets his power by meditating on Vishnu, hence he is dependant on Vishnu. Rudra is a Jiva who has Narayana as his indweller. Since the soul of Rudra is the body of the indwelling Narayana, saying 'Rudra is Self dependant' would simply pertain to Narayana and not to Rudra. Thus, even the most biased translation cannot disprove Sri Hari's supremacy. Therefore, even if Mahadeva is called 'God of Gods', or 'Unconquerable god', or 'Greatest', it doesn't matter. Again, stop posting nonsense. You do not even know how to proceed in proving a particular point. Not even Shaivites have quoted that verse as proof, then why do you do it? Even Shaivites like Dikshitar had a methodology. They did not even bother quoting these verses. A knowledge of philosophy is needed to prove the supremacy of a God.
  5. Krishna is Vishnu Secondly, Rama never worshipped Shiva. Valmiki Ramayana says Rama worshipped Himself, ie, Narayana. Stop relying on Tulasidas Ramayana. It isn't authentic. Valmiki says Rama broke Shiva's bow. There is no reference of Rama consecrating a Shiva Linga, as mordern day hindus believe. And nice logic. Rama being supreme is interpolated? That means the entire Ramayana is an interpolation!! The Ramayana is in pristine form. The only identified interpolation is Aditya Hridayam. ..The very fact that you ask if the Vedas are interpolated shows your complete ignorance of Vedanta. The Veda cannot be interpolated because an interpolation will cause the metre of the hymn to fall. This way, a couple of interpolations have been identified. Therefore, Vedas are apaurusheya and authority. Whatever they say is ultimate. So, only those parts that agree with Shruti are accepted. This is the first and most important rule of Vedanta. Quite simple. You, being an ignoramus, lack a complete knowledge of Veda. If you want a reference to Santi Parva, I suggest you search these forums. Not just me, many people have quoted it here. Not hard to find in the old Shiva/Vishnu threads. it is your duty to show me a reference. Give me a Shaivite commentary of Shiva Gita or Shiva Sahasranama dating to the 13th century. Srimad Bhagavatam agrees with Shruti. It is also quoted by Sri Madhva. Since Madhva was able to identify spurious versions of many texts, I believe his scholarship. Happened with Appaya Dikshitar's works. The deterioration of Advaita came about the 16th century. Advaitins naturally will not be able to understand why they should worship one god alone, naturally, it has resulted in this. Sankara and his disciples were Vaishnavas and that cannot be denied. Although in a sense, it seems useless to restrict worship to one god if you are an advaitin, Sri Sankara apparently still advocated only Vishnu bhakti because he, being a Vedantin, knew that Vishnu was praised as Supreme throughout the Veda. This will be the last time I explain this. If anyone else comes again asking for it, I won't. In one portion, Shruti says Rudra is supreme. In another portion, it says Rudra was created. Brihadaranyaka says, everything, Prakrti, Jivas, etc. are the body of Brahman. When I call you 'Radhey', I refer to your body and soul together as one entity. Since Brahman resides in the soul of Shiva, to say 'Shiva is Supreme' addresses Brahman within Shiva. Purusha Suktam identifies Brahman as Lakshmi Pathi. In an analogy, if I address a woman saying 'hair is beautiful', the praise goes to the woman and not just to the hair. Hence, all devas are parts/limbs of Vishnu, and praise of any deva goes to Vishnu. Anganyanya Devata, meaning, all these devas are His limbs. Confirmed by Vishnu Sahasranama as well. That Vishnu is Brahman is substantiated everywhere in Veda. If you do not interpret Veda his way, you have contradictions everywhere because in some portions one deity is called supreme, and elsewhere this same deity also has faults. There are 3 ways of interpretation: 1) Vishnu is the referrant of all names. 'Shiva' simply means 'Auspicious'. 'Rudra' means 'Destroyer of Evil'. Hence, 'Brahman is Shiva' can mean 'Brahman is Auspicious' and not Mahadeva. 2) If however, the Vedas say something like 'Mahadeva with 3 eyes is Supreme', the body/soul concept I explained can be applied. Because in Mahanarayana Upanishad, Shiva is mentioned to be a part of creation. 3) Thirdly, each deva is endowed with an attribute of Brahman. However, Brahman, being Vishnu, has all their attributes. Praise of any deva is equivalent to praising one attribute of Brahman. Hence, do not aimlessly post 'Agni is Supreme', 'Indra is Supreme', 'Rudra is Supreme', etc. There is a systematic way to understand who is Supreme. Just because Krishna says 'I am Brahma, I am Vayu' it does not mean these devas are identical to Him. Rather, He is the soul of Brahma's soul (as per Brihadaranyaka) and hence, just like your body and soul are together called by one name, Vishnu alone is the referrent of hymns like 'Indra/Rudra/Agni is Supreme'. You might ask, why can't we say, 'All praise goes to Shiva and not Vishnu? Simple. Because, the birth of Mahadeva is given in S.Brahmana, Yajur Veda, Rig Veda and Mahanarayana Upanishad. He is mentioned to vanish during pralaya along with stars, sun, moon and Brahma. A created and flawed entity cannot be supreme. Vishnu, however, is praised as unborn and the Lord of Devas. Purusha Suktam and Narayana Suktam further elaborate the supremacy of Vishnu. Now, I suggest you read up on systems of interpretation. An ignorant Radha cult follower is one of the worst to argue with. Too lazy to look up my earlier posts, where I have explained everything so thoroughly and yet, keeps pushing irrelevant topics in this thread. I have explained this many times, and yet people are unwilling to accept the facts. Well, I can't be bothered explaining it to every Tom, Dick and Harry who asks for it.
  6. No. Understand this. The Svarupa of Brahman is formless. However, it possesses the attributes of Satyam, Jnanam and Anantam. And, according to Brihadaranyaka, this Svarupa has the entire Universe and Jivas as its body. At the same time, this Svarupa also exists inside a beautiful body. By His own will and power, Bhagavan exists inside of His own body (which includes Universe and Vaikuntha) as a beautiful God. Both Rupa and Svarupa are eternal. The Svarupa pervades and at the sametime, exists inside a beautiful Rupa, just like we exist in our body. However, Vishnu's body is not material, but Shudha Sattva. There is no pramana for Nirguna or Saguna Brahman. 'Nirguna' means, beyond all sattva, rajas and tamas. The Upanishads speak gloriously of Brahman with attributes. Brahman covered by maya is not tenable. Advaita says Brahman has no attributes. So, Maya is not an attribute of Brahman. Advaita does not accept anything other than Brahman as real, so Maya cannot be distinct from Brahman. So, that would mean, Brahman IS Maya, which is contradictory to many vakyas talking about the flawlessness of Brahman. If Maya is unreal, then we have an unreal Jiva suffering in illusion due to an unreal maya, and realisation of avidya, which is also unreal, results in Identity. This isn't logical. Sankaracharya was a staunch Advaitin. No sense saying otherwise. I accept the Veda. Hence, I will argue only based on Veda. If you think Advaita is the ultimate reality despite lack of pramanas, that's your belief.
  7. *Sigh* Back again. the only parts that are interpolated pertain to the supremacy of a God. Incidents such as the Kurukshetra war are intact. When Shruti says Vishnu is Supreme, when Bhagavad Gita says Vishnu is Supreme, When Ramayana says Rama is Supreme, then there is little doubt that Mahabharata is interpolated. We cannot go to Ithihasas or Purana without clarifying the Vedas first. Vedas say Vishnu is Supreme. Hence, the portions of Smriti that agree with this are accepted. If Puranas do not agree with vedas, they are rejected. Besides, Sri Madhva and Sri Desikar have quoted the 'Shiva is a Jivatma' verse. Understand the rules - Shruti is apaurusheya. Hence, whatever it says is correct. Smriti can be accepted only if it agrees with Shruti. Otherwise, discard it wholesale. Furthermore, Vaishnavas had provided many proofs from the Mahabharata itself in ancient times to prove the Supremacy of Vishnu. If Shiva Sahasranama had existed, don't you think people would have come forward to refute them, or to question their selective usage of verses glorifying Vishnu alone? Lastly, I do not need to quote it 'indirectly'. Go refer it yourself. You are a nutjob. It is your duty to provide me with a reference. Show me a commentary on Shiva Gita or Sahasranama dating to 12-13th century. Read Sankara Bhashya. Should be enough. For that matter, I do not think anyone who thinks Radha Sahasranama is a pramana can actually be qualified for that. Sri Puttur Swami and Sri PBA Swami presented the same evidence to Sri Chandrashekar Saraswati of Kanchi Mutt. When Sankara clearly discourages worship of Rudra in his Gita Bhashya, rejects Shaivism and Shaktism in his Brahma Sutra Bhashya, accepts the Bhagavata doctrine of Narayana being Supreme, there is little doubt about what his inclination was. I have explained all this many times. Read my earlier posts. Ignoramuses like you unfortunately, never get the gist of what I am saying, so I am not going to repeat it. Or, get a copy of Ramanuja bhashya to understand. Or, go to a Vaishnava website for the basics. Its clear that you know nothing. Anyone who takes one isolated verse of Veda, without a knowledge of systems like Chaga Pasu Nyaaya or Sarva Shabdha Vachyatva is sorely lacking. Ever heard of these systems? Obviously not. Simply quoting a dozen verses of 'Agni is Supreme', 'Vayu is Supreme', or Krishna saying 'I am Brahma, I am Shiva' without a knowledge of philosophy and metaphysics is useless. Vishnu is Paramatma. How can He have an indweller? His svarupa pervades, and at the same time, He exists in a beautiful form localised. Again, RadheyRadhey108, I advise you to open another thread. Quite frankly, you have not produced one sensible post.
  8. Dude, I don't insult or attack anyone for their beliefs, though I follow Vedanta. For that matter, I myself have great respect for the tradition of Shaivism, as it has a colorful and vibrant history of poets and mystics. I only want people to stick to the topic. For the last time, whether you are a Shaiva, Shakta, Vaishnava, etc., it is irrelevant to this thread.
  9. Whatever Shruti says is authority. Whatever follows Shruti is authority. A basic rule in Vedanta. Hence, those parts not contradictory to Shruti are accepted. Vaishnavas are undefeated as far as Shruti is concerned. It is a historical fact that Shiva Sahasranama was not mentioned by anyone before the 16th century atleast. Not even Devout Shaivites. Otherwise, people would have questioned why Adi Sankara and others chose Vishnu Sahasranama exclusively and not Shiva Sahasranama. Every School of Vedanta is Vaishnavite. You can check that yourself. Even Advaita was originally a Vaishnavite school. Shaivism is a diverse faith. Majority of them reject the Vedas fully. And most of the sects of Shaivas are always monistic. Unless you use Atman=Brahman Logic, you cannot prove Shaivism. Dualistic Shaivism is quite a rarity. Srikantha tried such a thing, but Appaya Dikshitar absorbed that into his Shiva Advaita as well. On the contrary, there is no school of Vaishnavism that is unvedic. Every sect of Vaishnavism has its own, organised commentaries on the prasthna trayam. Most Shaivas do not even have a single commentary to their credit. Ignorance. Rama and Krishna are Brahman, ie, Vishnu. Shiva is a Jivatman who has Vishnu as His indweller. Rama or Krishna don't have indwellers. It is pretty clear that you do not have a working knowledge of sastra. So, I suggest, stick to the topic, or just open another thread to announce your beliefs.
  10. Exactly how is this relevant to the topic? In any case, That's Srila Prabhupada's commentary. First of all, Lakshmi resides on the chest of Narayana at all times. Even when Sita was abducted, in reality, Lakshmi was always there on the chest of Lord Rama. Hence, Lakshmi resides on the chest of Sri Krishna as well. The name 'Madhava' itself indicates that. She was also there during the rasa lila. The Gopis, Radha, etc. are not avatars of Lakshmi. They are Jivas who earned that position and attained moksha. There are differing opinions on who they were. Sri Vaishnavas believe that they were Vanaras in their previous birth, those who served Lord Rama. Tattvavadis believe the gopis to be apsaras.
  11. No, I believe that the Mahabharata is a historical tale that has been interpolated many, many times. If Shiva Sahasranama was an integral part of the Mahabharata, it is very striking that no scholar has even referred to it. 10 Commentaries on Vishnu Sahasranama exist, but none on Shiva Sahasranama. And indeed, if it had existed earlier, it would be a text of great importance, because it proposes a completely different view of Brahman. One text cannot contain diametrically opposed views, viz., Shiva is Brahman and Shiva is Jiva unless it is interpolated. Hence, it is unsuitable as a valid pramana. There were a dozen different versions of the Mahabharata during Madhva's times. Speaks for itself, doesn't it? I suggest you stop acting belligerently and follow your beliefs. This thread is about Advaita, not Shaivism. EDIT: Same goes for Ranjeetmore's irrelevant posts.
  12. I suggest, people stop taking the subject of this thread away. Mahabharata is an interpolated text and is not pramana. In Santi Parva, Krishna tells Arjuna that Narayana resides within the atman of Shiva, therby labelling Shiva as a Jivatma. In another place, Shiva is equated to Vishnu. Both cannot be the opinion of Vyasa. Hence, it is safe to conclude that Shiva Sahasranama and other parts are interpolations. Brahman has one specific rupa and is present in one specific location (despite being all pervading) according to the Veda. This rupa is described to have two eyes that are as beautiful as lotuses blossomed by the Sun. The Jitante Stotram says that Brahman manifests His divine form with weapons, etc. for the sake of His devotees. Hence, Shiva=Vishnu is not tenable, unless you use the Advaitin equation of Atman=Brahman. Either Vishnu > Shiva, or Shiva > Vishnu. And the former view carries more weight. Now, stick to the topic of the thread.
  13. You mean Sankaracharya became a Gaudiya Vaishnava? No, those hymns are simply reflective of his devotion to Saguna Brahman. Everything is real, including duality at the Vyavaharika. Hence, Brahman with attributes and personal form exists at the illusory level. In his Gita Bhashya, Sankaracharya translates 'Akshara' as Nirguna Brahman. Hence, according to him, meditating on Nirguna Brahman is a pretty tough ask, so, one can first devote himself to Isvara, Saguna Brahman. That is the basis of so many devotional hymns. He even advocates worship of archa avatara, the deity in temples, for this purpose. He certainly did not change his mind, trust me. Advaita is a crazy philosophy. Of course. I have great respect for Adi Sankaracharya, and certainly for his followers. Sri Krishna Premi is a great advaitin scholar and a Krishna bhakta who has become quite popular here. However, In my opinion, it is a long stretch to call the philosophy of Vedanta as Advaitic. One look at the core scriptures can tell you that they don't talk of advaita at all. The Mahavakyas, as Advaitins call them, along with the concept of Avidya, are the supporting pillars of Advaita. And they can be easily refuted. Advaita is an intellectual error.
  14. Well, Sri Azhagia Manavala Perumal Nayanar, an acharya who wasn't too far off from Sri Ramanuja's time, quotes it. The Bhagavatam could not have become that popular by then. There is only speculation, and both Indologists as well as Devotees have equal claim. However, the argument that the Bhagavatam resembles the works of the alvars can be answered by a devotee - that both the alvars and Sukar had the same realisation. That there are such differences is answered by the fact that not all Puranas describe the events of the same Yuga. No scholar will accept it. However, according to devotees, Vishnu Purana of one Yuga changes from the Purana of another Yuga. Hence, Matsya Purana of X Yuga may give different information pertaining to the Vishnu Purana of that Yuga. The Vishnu Purana we have may be from Z Yuga. Yuga Bheda is often left out of the equation. Considering that the Bhagavatam does not veer from vedic philosophy or the paratvam of Sriman Narayana, there is no substantial proof either way. And also considering the fact that the name 'Bhagavata' implies that it is for rasikas, whereas the Vishnu Purana is more of a neutral style, also may imply the reason for it not being quoted.
  15. Nope. That isn't the Bhagavata Purana. In that verse, Sri Sankara is claiming that the Pancharatra Agama is not authentic because he thinks it promotes creation of souls (actually, it doesn't). While he accepted the Bhagavata religion as Vedantic, he did not accept the Pancharatra. 'Bhagavata' here refers to followers of Pancharatra and not the Purana. In any case, Sri Yamunacharya has written a rebuttal to this. Satapatha Brahmana itself mentions the Pancharatra, I believe. Sankarshana is not a soul, but a manifestation of Narayana, who is responsible for destruction. The Mandukya, when interpreted the Vishishtadvaitic way, conveys the concept of the 4 Vyuhas. So does the Purnamidam Mantra. There are also other references in the Veda.
  16. Number One. Sri Sankara and Sri Ramanuja never quoted the Bhagavata Purana because the Vishnu Purana was more ideal for philosophical concepts. While the Bhagavata stresses on the reader to accept Vishnu bhakti, the Vishnu Purana is more philosophical, enumerating the tattvas (Chit, Achit, Isvara). Another reason why it attracted Sri Ramanuja is because it gives great importance to Lakshmi. Hence, it is quite redundant to quote from Bhagavata when Vishnu P. has everything. And I dunno if Adi Sankara refuted Bhagavata. For one thing, he does not quote bhagavata at all. For another thing, there are many passages in Bhagavata that can be cleverly interpreted as advaitic. As far as dating of literature goes, there are differences within Puranas itself, in the case of linguistics. However, traditionalists have the faith that Tamil itself is as old as Treta yuga, hence there is a clear chance of intermixing. Furthermore, it is possible that the rishis who preserved the work of Vyasa used the conventions of their time. There is no substantial proof to call the Bhagavatam as a recent work. Lastly, Rama did not worship Shiva. Valmiki Ramayana mentions that Rama worshipped Lord Narayana only. Tulasidas's devotional work is not scripture and any version of Ramayana other than Valmiki cannot be accepted as pramana. Krishna worshipped Shiva because Shiva wanted a boon from Him, that He (Krishna), despite being Supreme, would worship Shiva for a son. Bhagavan loves to satsify His devotees, hence He worshipped Shiva. However, Krishna tells Arjuna in Santi Parva that He never worshipped Shiva, but rather, the Narayana dwelling within the atman of Shiva. And the Mahabharata, as anyone knows, is highly interpolated with many slokas praising Shiva (like Shiva Sahasranama). No offense. Your parents/uncle/gurus should be respected, but you don't call them paramatman. Similarly, respect devas like Shiva and Brahma as realised souls. The scriptures say they will attain moksha after pralaya.
  17. Unfortunately, you have no pramanas to back it up. This 'kindergarten' translation is espoused by Sri Sankara, Sri Ramanuja, Sri Madhva. Your interpretation is not even an interpretation...its a mess. The verse says 'All names belong to Brahman'. If you stick to your way of reading directly, you, by your own method, must admit that there is NO mention of 'all gods are Brahman'. NarayaNa is a proper noun and is the specific name for Brahman. Nobody can attribute 'Narayana' to a lesser deva. Sanskrit grammar. And the trick is to identify which deva can be called as Narayana. Only Vishnu fits the bill. Purusha Suktam hails Narayana, Brahman as 'Lakshmi Pathi'. Mahanarayana Upanishad says Narayana created Shiva. Indra is mentioned to have ahankara. Tell me, does Brahman have false ego? Because Kena Upanishad pretty much details some major faults of Vayu, Agni and Indra. "yo devAnAM nAmadhA eka eva" says the Rig Veda, Which clearly says that there is only one Deva who has all these names. Hence, it is not just my opinion. All names belong to one God, and there is only ONE god, ie, Vishnu. So, without taking the whole text into consideration, stop saying 'all gods are one'. When Krishna says His abode is different from the devas, and that His abode gives moksha, it implies that the Devas abode WON'T give moksha. Common sense, right? Otherwise, why does He ask everyone to worship Him alone (Mam ekam Saranam vraja). Brahma Loka is in material world because Brahma is a Jivatma. Furthermore, 'Eko Narayana Asit Na Brahma Na Isana' says that before CREATION, neither Brahma nor Shiva existed. This verse also says that no moon, no stars existed. Thus, it is safe to conclude that Brahma, Shiva, Stars, Moon, etc. are dissolved during pralaya. Krishna says He is Brahma and He is the father of Brahma using the soul/body concept. As per Brihadaranyaka, Krishna is the indweller of Brahma's soul. As per Rig Veda, all names belong to Brahman. Krishna is Brahman, hence, He is Brahma. The very fact that Gita says 'People who worship the Devas go to the Devas and people who worship Me go to Me', shows that the abode of Krishna is different from devas. Krishna also mentions that His abode is the place of moksha. Since the devas' abode is different from Krishna's and you cannot attain Krishna's abode by worshipping the Devas, it means, moksha cannot be obtained by worshipping Devas. Elementary, Watson. Not just an opinion. Refer Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, where it is mentioned that everything from wind and water to fire and ice to Jivatma and entire Universe is the BODY of Brahman. This is called 'Ghataka Sruti'. Meditate on everything as Brahman's body, implying that Brahman is the indweller. If this is from the Kena Upanishad, I agree. Uma is Parvati. She is the guru for Indra, Vayu and Agni. When these three devas failed to realise Brahman, Parvati came before them and taught them to realise Brahman. So, Parvati and hence, Shiva are these Devas' gurus. They teach the devas about Brahman, but that doesn't make the gurus Brahman, does it? Just like acharyas know more than common people, Shiva has more realisation than the Devas. This verse does not say Uma or Shiva are Brahman. It says Uma knows Brahman. What makes you think that this Brahman is automatically her husband Shiva? Furthermore, here you have Indra asking someone who is Brahman. Clear proof that Devas are not Brahman. Yes. Hardly anyone knows Him in truth. Everyone equates Him to Devas, and our corrupt Indians consider Him to be a normal person. They do not know His supremacy. Arjuna asks How may I worship Krishna? Krishna replies 'I am the Self of all beings'. Which means, when you meditate on the atman, you realise the Paramatman dwelling WITHIN the atman. Then, you realise that although Atman and Paramatman are not one, they are inseparable. Hence, since they are inseparable, they can be referred to as ONE entity. So, I call you Ganeshprasad which hails both your body AND soul as one entity. He then goes on to say 'Among Rudras, I am Sankara' etc because, He is the indweller of these entities and hence is inseparable from them. Kapish? 1) A deity named Ugra, Rudra, Bhava, Pasupati, Sarva, Isana, Mahadeva is mentioned to have a birth in Satapatha Brahmana. If you think this isn't Shiva, then on what basis can you take verses like 'Shiva is Supreme' to mean your Shiva? Use your ;direct interpretation' technique for both. 2) Mahanarayana Upanishad mentions Isana, with 3 eyes and a trident to have been born, ie, created by Narayana. 3) Yajur Veda calls Rudra cruel. Cruelty is not a trait of Brahman. 4) Rig Veda says Rudra gets his powers by meditating on Vishnu. This means, he had to earn his powers and didn't possess them before. 5) Eko Narayana Asit Na Brahma Na Isana is crystal clear in saying that Shiva was not present during Pralaya. 6) Ambhrani Sukta quoted by Sri Madhva has Lakshmi saying that She can make anyone Rudra or Brahma, if She desires. Hence, these are just posts. 7) Rig Veda puts the kibosh on it all and says that Rudra worships a deity in the cave of his heart. This clearly shows that Rudra has an indweller. It further says that the deity in Rudra's heart is Supreme. And there are no verses detailing the birth of Shiva? Now who is ignoring verses? You have been selectively ignoring these pramanas, and simply blabbering on without reason. My opinion? Look at my replies. Everyone of them has a Vedic pramana. Heck, if you look below, I have even given a pramana for why Tulasidas was wrong in equating Shiva=Vishnu!! I am chockfull of pramanas. All you have been doing is chanting 'Opinion, Opinion, Opinion', without considering the pramanas. So, is the word 'Opinion' a new mantra for meditating on Brahman now? 1) Vishnu is the younger brother of Indra because in His avatara as Vamana, He was born as an Aditya. However, an avatar is not a normal birth. By that same logic, Krishna is a cowherd. Would you call Him a mere cowherd? 2) A deity named Rudra, Pasupati, Isana, Mahadeva, Ugra, Sarva, Bhava is mentioned to be born and was given names to free him from sins. The son of this deity is mentioned to be Skanda. Thus, there is no doubt that this deity is Umapathi. Since Rig Veda says 'Vishnu is Agni, Rudra is Agni, Brahma is Agni', even if you take the literal interpretation, it means Mahadeva Shiva only. 3) Thirdly, Vishnu is often associated with Surya because the Sun is the life force of all beings. In one Vidya, the seeker is advised to meditate on Brahman within the sun. This Brahman has a flowing moustache and lotus eyes!! 4) When S.Brahmana says Vishnu was severed by a bow, did you read the whole story? It says, Vishnu's head became the Sun, his body oozed a sap which gave strength to Devas. Thus, here, Vishnu is shown to provide strength to Devas. Hence, this isn't the death of Vishnu. It means, Vishnu is the act of Sacrifice. All Sacrifices go to Him and He gives the merits of Sacrifice. That is why He is called Yajneswara. The Purusha Suktam mentions the Purusha being tied to a stake and sacrificed. This doesn't mean the Purusha was killed. Remember the Gita, 'The Gods performed a Sacrifice in the beginning of creation'. There you go. Like I said before, Vaishnavas have NEVER ignored one single verse. Everything explained, no contradictions. This is the sad problem. People like Ganeshprasad make a quick read and note words without understanding their meanings. Then, they come to some awful conclusions. And if people like these are exposed to Christian Missionaries and Islamists, then Hinduism is mistaken to be nothing more than superstition and myth. The very fact that we have tales of Indra fighting Shiva, Shiva plucking the head of Brahma, etc. appear quite rational if these devas are called jivatmas. After all, Gods do not fight, but Jivas certainly do. Quite normal for Shiva, a Vaishnava, to have a wife named Parvati and a son named Skanda as well. If its Unvedic, then why every Vedic Scholar has followed this line of reasoning? Take a poll. How many scholars follow your line and how many have interpreted it my way? Result - I win. Tattiriya Upanishad says, 'Obey your elders and follow them only till the point they are right'. Tulasidas was a great bhakta, but his philosophy of Vishnu=Shiva is not right. There is no mention of Rama worshipping Shiva in Valmiki Ramayana. The same Taittiriya says that Manushyas have so much of bliss and realisation of Brahman, that Gandharvas have a greater amount of realisation, that Devas have a still greater amount of Realisation, etc. Thus, it differentiates Brahman and Devas, plus makes it clear that Devas are just beings that have realised Brahman to some extent, that's all. Ganeshprasad, its rudimentary calculation. The very fact that Kena Upanishad calls Indra, Agni and Vayu as having false ego and lack of proper realisation shows that they are not Brahman. Or do you think Brahman has false ego? Now that's a new philosophy. So, I suggest that you go follow your faith if you cannot do anything but quote the same verses 'I am Brahma, I am Vayu', etc. I just came back from watching Batman -The Dark Knight., which is why I feel up to this. Heath Ledger was pretty awesome as the Joker!!
  18. Dude, you have it reversed. Vaishnavas do not reject even one portion of Shruti. However, we interpret it the right way. However, you ignore pramanas which clearly say Shiva is created and disappears along with Brahma, Moon, Stars, Sun during pralaya. Since such pramanas exist, unless you accept the Vaishnava interpretation of 'Rudra is Supreme', your interpretation causes Shruti to clash horribly. You reject whatever you do not like and blindly quote two sentences out of context. This is against all rules of interpretation. 'Truth is One, but it has many names'. You never stop prattling, do you? This translation is atrocious. It means, there is only one truth, ie, Brahman. And this Brahman has many names. Which means, all names like Rudra, Indra, Chandra belong to Brahman only. However, the gods are not Brahman. Only the names belong to Brahman. Since Brahman is Vishnu, all names like Rudra, Shiva, etc. belong to him. The deities are simply named after him. All names are Brahman's. All gods are not Brahman. The Vedas clarify that all gods are not the same. thus, by default, this means that the Vedas provide sanction. Wherever Rudra is mentioned to be Supreme, it only indicates Narayana. Because Narayana is the One Truth and all Names belong to Him. Again, mindlessly quoting Gita without understanding the context. In one verse, Krishna clarifies that even the abode of Brahma won't give moksha. Then how can Brahma be Krishna? He makes a clear distinction by saying that those who worship Devas will go to Devas and those who worship Him will go to Him. 'I am Brahma, I am the father of Brahma'. How can one entity be both of these things? A mindless interpretation like yours has no place in Vedanta. The verse, 'I am Brahma, I am Vayu' etc. simply indicate relative identity. For the thousandth time, do not quote mindlessly without understanding the concept. All of creation is the body of Narayana. The body is identified with the soul. To say 'Ganeshprasad' means I address Ganeshprasad's body and soul together. Hence, since Brahma, Vayu, etc. are the body of Krishna, they are addressed in a sense of relative identity with Krishna. Lord Krishna also says 'I am the Self of all beings'. Does this mean Ganeshprasad or myself is krishna? No. As Brihadaranyaka Upanishad clarifies, Paramatma is the indweller of the Atman itself. Hence, Krishna is the soul of our soul, and relative identity is seen here. In the Kena Upanishad, Indra, Agni and Vayu admit that they have failed to realise Brahman. So, how can they be Brahman? Use common sense. By your interpretation, if Agni and Vayu are Brahman, then Kena Upanishad says Vayu and Agni have false ego and incomplete knowledge. This means, Brahman has some faults and has incomplete knowledge. Which contradicts the vakya 'Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahma'. That's 'letter'. And if you also believe that Mahesvara is not Shiva there, what is the point of quoting that verse? There are innumerable verses praising Shiva as Supreme. There are innumerable verses that say he was created by Narayana and that he had a birth. Hence, to accept one portion at face value and ignore the other is not Vedantic. A woman has beautiful hair, but the praise not only goes to the hair, but also goes to the woman. Similarly, Vishnu has many beautiful and powerful devas as part of His body. therefore, praise of any portion of Vishnu's body (ie, Rudra, Indra, etc.) goes to Vishnu alone. The very fact that your 'interpretations' have not been accepted by any scholar in history should prove to you that you are in a clear minority. Even a Shaivite does not interpret those verses that way. Of course, if you feel you are above the level of seeking a Guru, kindly go ahead. Then, I suggest you stop pushing your stupid 'All Gods are One' theology here. Without understanding the basic way of debate, simply using a neovedantic interpretation for 'Truth is One, but it has many names' is useless. Shiva is a jivatma for Vaishnavas based on authentic pramanas from Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Satapatha Brahmana and Mahanarayana Upanishad. I suggest that you stop posting inane interpretations if you believe otherwise. Someone said Sri Ramanuja and Sri Madhva were not Vaishnavas, which is what I came to clarify. I am not here to proselytize anyone. My best friend is a Shaivite anyway!! Even Advaitins (except Neovedantins perhaps) do not accept that Upanishad. The authentic Upanishads are identified based on what Sri Sankara, Sri Ramanuja, Sri Madhva identified. In any case, the phrase, 'Shiva is in heart of Vishnu' is itself faulty. Vishnu means 'to pervade'. A pervader can only be the indweller. He can never have an indweller. Hence, the very act of pervading can only be a unique trait of Brahman. You can't say that Brahman gives the duty of pervasiveness to a lesser deity. However, Shiva is auspicious and Brahman can certainly give auspiciousness to a deity and still remain auspicious. There is a 'Trivikrama Upanishad', a 'Ramakrishno Upanishad', a 'Gopalatapani Upanishad', etc. Its apparently very easy to write an Upanishad, it seems. However, these spurious texts are nowhere near the level of beauty seen in the authentic Upanishads.
  19. It is to prove that there are NO contradictions that such interpretations are needed. One verse says Rudra is Supreme and another says Rudra gets his powers by meditating on Vishnu. By studying etymology, one can resolve contradictions. There are no contradictions in Shruti, but on the surface, Shruti 'appears' contradictory. In one place, Indra is praised as Supreme. In another place, Indra is mentioned to have failed at realising Brahman, and is shown to have 'Ahamkara' (Kena Upanishad). So, either we have to admit that Shruti is faulty, or a deeper reading is needed. If we take the Vishishtadvaitic concept of Creation being the body of Brahman, there are no contradictions. Hence, since Indra has a fault, statements like 'Indra is Brahman' simply pertains to the Soul/Body concept. Why does Shruti do this? Well, if truth was known to everyone, then what about those under the effects of Karma? Lord Vishnu is not like the semitic God that He gives one scripture and one revelation. Vedanta is not like Islam or Christianity. Intelligence is needed to first find out who Brahman is, and then to find out what the philosophy of Vedanta is. The Vedanga itself provides instructions on how the Vedas should be interpreted. Read the instructions. 'Mahesvara' simply means 'Lord of the Worlds'. It is not a specific name for Shiva. I name myself Narayana, that doesn't mean I am the Brahman of the Vedas. No commentator has ever said that this verse in Gita pertains to Shiva. Not even Shaivites. Everyone has translated Mahesvara as 'Lord of the Worlds'. Sankara explicitly says Mahesvara is a name of Vishnu. However, if Ganeshprasad wants to start his own guru parampara, I don't really care. Krishna says, 'Those who know me as Mahesvara, ie, Lord of the Worlds (and not Shiva, Brahma, etc.) will get moksha'. For example, in Valmiki Ramayana, Sugriva is called 'Harisvara'. Does this mean Sugriva is Vishnu? Nope. 'Harisvara' means 'Possessor of Wealth'. While Hari is a name of Vishnu, anyone possessing wealth can be called by this name. --- Like I said before, you ae free to worship Shiva if you wish. Just don't turn this thread into another Shiva/Vishnu debate.
  20. Yep, its a long one. Most of my posts have been deleted there due to abuses. However, I won't abuse you because you are a devotee of Krishna. The debators in that thread kept arguing that the Kumara named Mahadeva, Isana, Pasupati, etc. is actually Agni and not Rudra, because Rudra had been hailed as Agni there. However, Veda clarifies that every Deva is called Agni simply because the Devas accept prayers by Sacrifice. And Sacrifice=Fire, hence, every Deva is Agni. And the debators kept quoting Shiva Purana.
  21. Mordern Smarthas, yes. But you can check Sankara Bhashya itself if you wish. He clearly says that Meditation on Vasudeva is superior to Rudra, Agni, etc. After all, he's your guru, right? Mahanarayana Upanishad claims Narayana created Brahma, Rudra, Adityas, Vasus, Indra, etc. The Upanishad hails Narayana as flawless. However, the other deities are dismissed by their flaws. Kena Upanishad says Indra and Agni have false ego. Satapatha Brahmana says that the deity named Rudra, Ugra, Pasupati, Isana, Mahadeva, etc. is not flawless due to past karma. Sorry, no offense. I am stating facts. In case you are going to state Vishnu is an aditya (Gita says Adityanam Aham Vishnu), your own guru, Sankara clarifies that the Aditya named Vishnu is a Gandharva and is not the Lord Vishnu on Adi Sesha. This Gandharva apparently is subordinate to Indra. It is because of all these complications that no-one understands Shruti.
  22. Padma Purana, Matsya Purana, etc. state this explicitly 'The Puranas glorifying Hari are Sattvik, those glorifying Brahma are rajasic and those glorifying Shiva are Tamasic'. The Padma Purana, Vishnu Purana, Bhagavata Purana and 3 other Sattvik puranas that praise Hari have been accepted by all schools. However, no scholar has used Shiva Purana or Linga Purana to prove the supremacy of a God. Now, you may argue that this is an interpolation by Vaishnavas. However, the fact is, every Vedantin has abided by its rules. Shankara refrains from quoting the tamasic/rajasic Puranas. He sticks to Vishnu and Padma Puranas. Sri Ramanuja actually mentions this sloka classifying Shiva Purana as tamasic. Sri Madhva also abides by this, and provides proof to show why these Puranas are tamasic. In those days, Vedantins were under tremendous pressure. If any spurious verse had been quoted, opponents would pounce on them and rip their philosophy apart. However, it seems as though even Shaivites have accepted this classification. Appaya Dikshitar himself did not quote Shiva Purana at all. Next point - Rama and Krishna are avatars of that Brahman, Vishnu. Brahman has one rupa, which is described as 'Lotus Eyed'. This Rupa is the eternal form in Vaikuntha (Om Tad Visnoh Paramam Padam). The Vyuha avatars and Vaibhava Avataras are also the complete avatars of this Brahman. You may argue that Shiva is an avatar of this brahman. However, explicit quotes like 'Eko Narayana Asit na Brahma na Isana' clearly distinguish Narayana from Brahma and Shiva. Furthermore, Anya Devata are mentioned to be part of creation, making them Jivas. Rama and Krishna were not created and are hailed as unborn. Mahanarayana Upanishad calls Brahman as the 'Son of Devaki'. Krishna confirms it in Bhagavad Gita. A created entity cannot be an avatar. Unless you want to say that all Jivas are Brahman, hence Brahma and Shiva are Brahman. Thirdly, it has been proven that Saundarya Lahiri and other works are not authored by Sankara. He discourages the worship of Rudra in his Gita Bashya. Hence, it is logical to assume that he wouldn't change his mind after writing a Bhashya. These works arose in the 16th century. To be perfectly fair, I have not mentioned Bhaja Govindam as well. A scholar's opinion is judged by his commentaries on Prasthna Traya and not by devotional hymns.
  23. Oh really? If Shiva Gita was present in Padma Purana, care to explain why nobody has commentated on it from the past? Shankara never commentated on Shiva Gita or Shiva Sahasranama. The Nayanmars, staunch Shaivites, make no mention of these two texts. Furthermore, Appaya Dikshitar, who was desperately trying to prove that Shiva is Supreme, does not quote either Shiva Gita or Shiva Sahasranama. Shankara commentated on Vishnu Sahasranama, where He interprets Kesava as 'One who has Ka (Brahma) and Isa (Shiva) as his parts'. I have his Bhashya right now. And He commentated on Bhagavad Gita, not Shiva Gita. Vaishnavism means 'Vishnu is Supreme'. Shiva is a Jivatma because of reasons you can read in the Shiva is a Demigod thread. Shiva Gita, Shiva Sahasranama, etc. are interpolations because no scholar has ever referenced them. However, like I said before, I have no intention to prove the Supremacy of Vishnu to Shaivites here. The evidence is there in both Sri Bhashya and Madhva Bhashya. Heck, sufficient proof is even there in Sankara's Gita Bhashya itself. The fact is, Vishnu=Shiva is logically untenable. Even according to Advaita, you have a personal entity in Saguna Brahman. Upanishads say that this entity has ONE form (rupa) and simply is ONE person. Hence, it can only be either Vishnu or Shiva. Vaishnavas have defeated Shaivites in this respect. Vishnu=Shiva is not possible as there cannot be two different Brahmans, or two manifestations from an 'impersonal' source, as Upanishads state that Brahman has a distinct form. Even Sri Sankara accepts that there can only be one Saguna Brahman. Correction. Sri Ramanuja and Sri Madhva attacked the philosophy of Advaita. This is not related to the Supremacy of Vishnu at all. Advaitins, VA and Dvaitins during those times were agreed on one point - that Hari is Supreme. Similarly, the followers of Sri Ramanuja and Sri Madhva have attacked each other over philosophy (VA or Dvaita). But both agree on the supremacy of Vishnu.
  24. Interesting. So, Sri Ramanuja and Sri Madhva are not Vaishnavas? I suggest you brush up on Vedanta before making these statements. If you are referring to the Padma Purana verse that says 'Shiva is Vishnu and Vishnu is Shiva', I am afraid that is an interpolation. Proof? Because there are 4 versions of Padma Purana and this little verse does not occur in all of them, nor is it quoted by the Big 3 - Sri Sankara, Sri Ramanuja, Sri Madhva. And all 3 of them have used the Padma Purana liberally in their works. Coming to Sri Sankara - What makes you think he was a Shaiva or Shakta? Read his works on the Prasthna Traya - Upanishads, Brahma Sutras and Bhagavad Gita. Everywhere he has equated only Vishnu as Saguna Brahman. In his Gita Bhashya, he denounces worship of Rudra, Agni, etc. Furthermore, his chief disciples, Sureshvara and Anandagiri too affirm that Vishnu is Saguna Brahman. This 'Vishnu=Shiva' is just nothing more than a Neovedantic premise, and is not Classical Advaita. Works like Saundarya-Lahiri, Sivananda Lahiri, etc. are later compositions passed off as Sankara's. He was a staunch Vaishnavite, atleast, as staunch as an Advaitin can be. He never said Vishnu=Shiva. Just because people depict him with ash smeared across his forehead doesn't mean it is true. All evidence points to the fact that he was wearing a tilak. And no, I am not interested in proving the supremacy of Vishnu in this thread. Its been done many times already. Refer the 'Shiva is a Demigod' thread. If you want to worship Shiva as Supreme, that's fine by me. Just don't define 'Vaishnavism' by your own terms. Its a disservice to the likes of Sri Ramanuja and Sri Madhva that nobody has even read their works on proving Vishnu's Supremacy, and yet rabidly argue that all gods are equal. Advaita, Vishishtadvaita, Dvaita, etc. are philosophies. They have nothing to do with supremacy of a God. Early Vedantins, from the time of Sankara were all vaishnavas. The debate was only as to whether the Vedanta preached Advaita, VA or Dvaita. Hence, a Mayavadi should actually be a Vaishnava. Historically, Adi Sankara was a Vaishnavite 'Mayavadi'. Number two, Shiva is not considered Paramatma by any school of Vaishnavism, but as a Jivatma. The Gaudiyas, apparently, give him a unique position as 'neither jiva nor Brahman', but that is based on their sampradayic texts like Brahma Samhita. Thirdly, Shaivism has never been considered as a Vedantic tradition. Shiva may be a Vedic deity, but Shaivism is not Vedic because it is not based on Vedic Pramanas. Adi Sankara himself condemns the Pasupata and Shakta Religions as unvedic. He, however, accepts the Bhagavata (Vaishnava) sect as Vedantic, although he rejects the Pancharatra Agama. This rejection though, is a misunderstanding on his part, as he considered the agamas to promote creation of souls. Sri Yamunacharya has written a brilliant work proving the authenticity of Pancharatra. No Shaivite, to date, has ever succeeded in proving that Shiva is Supreme, from the Vedas. Vishnu Sarvottama has remained undefeated, and that is a historical fact. Use Pratyaksha - How many Bhashyas of Vedanta are Shaivite? Very few (Srikantha and Appaya Dikshitar, for instance), and these have been disproved easily. Only Vaishnavas have written Bhashyas for the source texts of Vedanta. And there is absolutely no scholar who has mentioned that all gods are equal!! Please, I beg people to first read up on historical and philosophical details before blindly expressing your beliefs.
  25. Wow, this thread has certainly degenerated... Far be it for me to cause an argument, however, just a few points I'd like to clarify, for my own good: 1) Someone posted pramanas saying Gita encourages worship of Devas. Actually, no. The Gita only says that Sattvik people worship Devas. That is quite true. However, just like Tamas is a prison that binds you to samsara, Sattva Guna is a golden cage as well. Sattva Guna gets you good births, but not moksha. To get moksha, one needs to be above the 3 modes. Achieved by Eka Bhakti to Vishnu. That is why Krishna says, 'Mam EKAM Saranam Vraja'. The 'Ekam' signifies, 'Him alone and no other'. Worshipping Devas for material benefits and worshipping Krishna for material benefits is not the same. Even if you worship Bhagavan for material benefits, He will turn you to the path of bhakti soon. However, it would take longer with worshipping the Devas. Lord Krishna clearly says that people should worship Him for material benefits as well. Its better than going a roundabout way by worshipping Devas. Those who worship Vishnu for material benefits are also better than those who worship Anya Devata for Moksha. Because, the former is acting according to Krishna's desire (4 types of devotees worship Me...) whereas the latter does not find sanction. Even the verse prescribing Yajna to Devas is seen in the light of Satapatha Brahmana which says that Yajna is Vishnu, and hence, Krishna clarifies that all Sacrifices to Devas should be done with this knowledge alone. Draupadi surrendered to Govinda to protect her material body, Pandavas surrendered to get a Kingdom, Sugriva surrendered to Rama to beat Vali, Indra surrendered to Vishnu to get back his post (Vamana Avatara) etc. Hence, not all Vaishnavas are virtuous - but the Lord clearly says that rather than worshipping anya devata, even if you cannot remain detached, atleast worship Him for a car or a house, if you want. He also makes a clear distinction, 'Those who worship Devas will reach the Devas, and My devotees will come to Me'. In another sloka, He clarifies that even the abode of Brahma is not free from disease or death. Hence, it is clear that even the abode of Brahma is not the state of moksha. A mother loves a child who is with her all the time. A son or daughter who stays abroad is also loved by his/her mother, but the bond with the child who stays close to the mother is far greater. This is just Vaishnavite theology. Not the topic of the thread, though. However, do not turn this thread into another devas worshipper vs. Vaishnava debate. 2) Someone said that Krishna was Non-Vedic, and that worship of murtis is not in Vedas. However, Sri Ramanuja proved otherwise. There was once a dispute as to whether Lord Srinivasa of Tirupati was Shiva or Vishnu. Sri Ramanuja defeated Shaivites by showing that Lord Venkateswara is referenced in Rig Veda: arAyikANE vikatE girim gaccha sadAnvE Sirim biTasya sattvabhih tE(a)bhishtvA chAtayAmasi This mantra advises the chetana to go to the hill where the Lord has His consort on His chest. Sri Ramanuja identifies it as Lord Srinivasa and begins his Sri Bhashyam with a prayer to Him. 3) People often think that the Avatars of the Lord are concoctions that were later passed off as Vedic. Well, the 3 steps of Trivikrama have been referenced in the Vedas. There is a reference to Matsya avatara in Shathapatha Brahmana, and brief mentions of Varaha and Narasimha Avatara. The Avatara concept is also detailed by the Purnamidam.... mantra and by the Rig Veda which says that Vishnu, who is unborn, takes multiple births. Now, here is a reference to Krishna in Shruti: BrahmaNyO Devaki putrO BrahmaNyO madhusUdhanOM ~ Mahanarayana Upanishad. This is quoted by Sri Vaishnava acharyas, so one can trust its authenticity. Furthermore, Mahanarayana Upanishad makes reference to the 'Being on the Ocean' which signifies Vishnu on Adi Sesha in the Ocean of Milk. --- The reason why the Vedas do not elaborate on avatars is because they are primarily concerned with the Svarupa of Brahman. However, there is a clear indication that the Vedas are only talking about the same Vishnu that we know and love. There has been no fabrication, or invention of deities to link them to the Vedas. Vedas focus on Paratvam. Gita focuses on Soulabhyam.
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