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Ganeshprasad
15 February 2013, 07:00 AM
Pranam

Puranas extols certain deities that are unpalatable to certain people for various reasons.

to some it is not acceptable if it does not align with sruti, rightly so, but then the question arises did Vyasdev not know sruti when he compiled the Puranas?
Off course he did because he compiled, the Vedas, in written form.

to some it is not accepted because they say it is Tamsik or Rajsik, apparently Padma puranas (no surprise here) categorise them in such a manner.

Question, would that not be easy if the author had from the onset classified them all!! instead we are at a mercy of Padma puran to tell us the different divisions, so if one never read that said puran one would never have known that they are reading a particular type of Purana. strange to say the least it would have saved us endless amount of debate and anguish.
Perhaps we are forgetting the purpose of Puranas, hear and learn the the divinity of those great personalities, instead we indulge in mud slinging.

Why is this so ridiculous?

This was stated in other thread;



Why indeed. Lots of smRiti texts teach "some nonsense." There is the padma purANa in which Lord Krishna decorates His body with ash and takes shaivite initiation (alluded to by omkar previously), linga purANa which teaches that brahmA and viShNu were fighting over who is supreme ------ The "why" of it can be attributed to human agency if you wish, -----

Nonsense!!!

Is it because Lord Krishna smear Ash on his body? Hope not because he smears much more than ash on his body in his bal lila.

Brahman who is Umapati Lord Shiva (ok, I am happy to know him as Narayan only) actually smears ash on his body, is he so ridiculous?

Is Vyasdev taken leave of his senses for writing such rubbish! Is Avadhut in our hindu tradition who smears ash on his body, so ridiculous ?

Why is it the idea that Krishna actually worshiped lord shiva so repulsive ?
Because it should not be, both Mahabharata and bhagvatam informs us that at various stages Krishna or his associate whom he ask actually to worship lord shiva.


Human agency, possible!!
I think of several incidence that what Purana describes, sounds so ridiculous, at least to me for several reasons,
The passage that says, rather orders lord Shiva to lie and mislead the public by teaching Mayavad! Now I can't imagine lord Vishnu actually do such an act but even if we think it was for some higher purpose(cant imagine what) are they really that stupid! That they would broadcast their plan in advance for people to know.
If such a passage were to be in the Purana why would Madhavacharya not quote it, would have saved him a lot of time and energy to negate Adwaita. this was discussed here
http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=5098&page=5&highlight=puran+classification

Bhagvat Purana great work of Bhakti for Hindu's and Vaishnava in particular have few passages that crack me up, In fact it use to infuriate me especially because in the days gone by Iskcon' s bhaktivedanta players use to have this play in glorification of Lord Shiva, on Maha Shivratri day, Vaishnava Yatha Sambhu( what a joke), yes that play, "Bhasmasura" Lord Shiva is shaking and trembling fleeing from this demon, who had a boon from lord Shiva. Is this the great lord who can destroy by his mere glance, one who is described in Vedas as sparkling God whom no one can defeat. Whose work?surely not Veda Vyas ji.

But then I know nothing happens without a reason, what reason that I don't know.

Jai Shree Krishna

Omkara
15 February 2013, 09:53 AM
I think the main objection of the poster in question is that Sri Krishna is shown taking Shaivite initiation and accepting Shiva's supremacy over him, something which you would find equally unpalatable. The passage is from the Mahabharata,Shiva and Vayu puranas by the way, not from padma purana. The padma purana contains a description of Sri Rama worshipping Shiva.

Viraja
15 February 2013, 10:56 AM
I respect both Shaiva and Vaishnava deities. But I agree with the poster whose quote you have referred - not because Krishna or Rama are shown to have taken Shaivite initiation - but because then arises the question, "What of Vishnu then?". It is similar to saying, for instance, "Ganesha was a devotee of Vishnu" -if some smriti which is not considered authoritative says this, then Shaivites do feel like saying, "this is not agreeable to me because it then goes to show as if our Shiva is not sufficient to be prayed to" -- it is a similar feeling for Vaishnavas too. (Well, atleast to me).

devotee
15 February 2013, 08:35 PM
Namaste Ganeshprasad ji,

I couldn't get who said this. However, imho, this must have come from people who swear by other smritis alone and not the Veda Samhitas and VedAnta.

Some people would vouch for the supremacy of Padma PurAna and some for Srimad Bhagwat and conveniently discard what doesn't suit them. The Six VedAngas, the Gitas, the ItihAsAs and the PurANas are all clubbed as Smriti.

People suspect that everything was not written/compiled by VedvyAs. That is why the seers have decided to have an order of hierarchy in authority in case of dispute for understanding the Smritis. The Smritis if understood in right perspective won't pose any problem. Those who try to show Lord Shiva as inferior God by quoting excerpt from Padma PurANa forget that Shiva Gita is part of Padma PurANa which extols Lord Shiva as the Supreme.

I remember here the great Vaishnava Sri TulsidAs who was very much fond of RAm's form of God. However, when he wrote Rudrashtakam, he praised Lord Shiva as Supreme Brahman. When we read Veda SamhitAs we find that the SamhitAs praise almost every form of God, Agni, VAyu, Surya, Indra, Soma etc. as Supreme at one point or the other. It finally says, "Ekam Sad Vipra Bahudha vadanti".

The real message is that you can choose any form and worship that form as the Supreme. God will come to the devotee in that chosen form. There is no harm in it. However, when someone wants to ridicule others with assertion, "I worship the real God and your God is actually a demi-God" .... then certainly he is fit for AbrAhimic religions and not for Hindu-Dharma.

OM

Omkara
15 February 2013, 09:29 PM
However, when someone wants to ridicule others with assertion, "I worship the real God and your God is actually a demi-God" .... then certainly he is fit for AbrAhimic religions and not for Hindu-Dharma.



I.e. Ramanuja, Madhva,Nimbarka,Vallabha,Caitanya,Srikantha,Meykandar,Gorakshanath,Abhinavagupta,Vedanta Desika,Vyasa Tirtha,Jaya Tirtha,Shripati Pandita,Nayanars,Azhwars etc. are all unfit to be called Hindu according to you? Oh well.....

brahma jijnasa
16 February 2013, 07:10 AM
The real message is that you can choose any form and worship that form as the Supreme. God will come to the devotee in that chosen form. There is no harm in it. However, when someone wants to ridicule others with assertion, "I worship the real God and your God is actually a demi-God" .... then certainly he is fit for AbrAhimic religions and not for Hindu-Dharma.


If this is really so, if every deva is the Supreme, then why Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gītā 9.25:


yānti deva-vratā devān

"Worshipers of devas will go to the devas"

yānti mad-yājino 'pi mām

"but My devotees will come to Me"

Here we clearly see that Lord Krishna differentiates between Himself and devas. If Lord Krishna thought that to go to the devas actually means to come to Him, He would not differentiate but would have said "Worshipers of devas will come to Me". But He doesn't say so! Neither He says "My worshipers will go to the devas".

In Bhagavad-gītā 9.24 Lord Krishna says


"I am the only enjoyer and master of all sacrifices. Therefore, those who do not recognize My true transcendental nature fall down."

What about some particular deva. Would anybody fall down if he fails to recognize some particular deva such as Brahma, Indra or Agni?

In Bhagavad-gītā 7.19 Lord Krishna says


"After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare."

Would anyone who is actually in knowledge surrender himself to some particular deva such as Brahma, Indra or Agni?

In Bhagavad-gītā 7.14 Lord Krishna says


"This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it."

Would anybody who have surrendered unto Brahma, Indra or Agni be able to cross beyond it?

In Bhagavad-gītā 7.18 Lord Krishna describes himself as


mām evānuttamām gatim

"the highest and most perfect goal"

What about devas such as Brahma, Indra or Agni. Are they "the highest and most perfect goal"?

I do not see how to attain deva such as Indra would be "the highest and most perfect goal" if we look at Bhagavad-gītā 9.20 - 21 where heavenly planet of Indra is described as "achieve only repeated birth and death".

regards

Viraja
16 February 2013, 07:53 AM
Actually in this site, it is being repeatedly said that Rama and Krishna worshiped Shiva - actually, the deity Rama worshiped is Sri Ranganatha who was brought over to SriRangam, and the deity Krishna worshiped is another form of Vishnu known as 'Ramapriyan' (as he was also worshiped by Rama before) and is now currently in 'Melkote'. This clearly shows Rama and Krishna did not take Shaivite initiation.

Amrut
16 February 2013, 08:32 AM
I.e. Ramanuja, Madhva,Nimbarka,Vallabha,Caitanya,Srikantha,Meykandar,Gorakshanath,Abhinavagupta,Vedanta Desika,Vyasa Tirtha,Jaya Tirtha,Shripati Pandita,Nayanars,Azhwars etc. are all unfit to be called Hindu according to you? Oh well.....

Do you understand the difference between

Dis-agreement, rejection, denial, defamation, hate speech.

What is the foundation of these paths or as you say beliefs?

Defamation / hate speech. Whats their intention? and whats yours?

An Idea or philosophy or concept is not agreed / rejected / denied pm fair logical basis.

re-read the statement



However, when someone wants to ridicule others with assertion, "I worship the real God and your God is actually a demi-God" .... then certainly he is fit for AbrAhimic religions and not for Hindu-Dharma.

OM

In an attempt to defame / criticize other members you are actually defaming


I.e. Ramanuja, Madhva,Nimbarka,Vallabha,Caitanya,Srikantha,Meykandar,Gorakshanath,Abhinavagupta,Vedanta Desika,Vyasa Tirtha,Jaya Tirtha,Shripati Pandita,Nayanars,Azhwars etc.

so much so of your intelligence and your intentions and purity of mind.

I am yet to see politeness and salutations (which find may find it so unecessary) to other members specially who are of your father's age.
Just to make you aware namaste, pranama, etc, these are starting and ending salutation

Omkara
16 February 2013, 08:43 AM
Do you understand the difference between

Dis-agreement, rejection, denial, defamation, hate speech.

What is the foundation of these paths or as you say beliefs?

Defamation / hate speech. Whats their intention? and whats yours?

An Idea or philosophy or concept is not agreed / rejected / denied pm fair logical basis.

re-read the statement



In an attempt to defame / criticize other members you are actually defaming



so much so of your intelligence and your intentions and purity of mind.

Do you understand english? If, as devotee says, mere assertion of a hierarchy among devas is ridicule/hate speech and makes one an abrahamic, all those eminent personalities I named are guilty of hate speech.

Omkara
16 February 2013, 09:42 AM
Do you understand the difference between

Dis-agreement, rejection, denial, defamation, hate speech.



Just out of curiousity, in what category would you classify Ramanuja's comments on Advaita-

This entire theory rests on a fictitious foundation of altogether hollow and vicious arguments, incapable of being stated in definite logical alternatives, and devised by men who are destitute of those particular qualities which cause individuals to be chosen by the Supreme Person revealed in the Upanishads; whose intellects are darkened by the impression of beginningless evil; and who thus have no insight into the nature of words and sentences, into the real purport conveyed by them, and into the procedure of sound argumentation, with all its methods depending on perception and the other instruments of right knowledge. The theory therefore must needs be rejected by all those who, through texts, perception and the other means of knowledge--assisted by sound reasoning--have an insight into the true nature of things.

Shankara has used similar language,as have all the other acharyas. Obviously this does not justify us using the same kind of language, but the point is, as you have self-admittedly not read anything by those acharyas, do not make baseless statements.

Ganeshprasad
16 February 2013, 10:37 AM
Pranam

I hope we can all remain civil to each other and don't turn this in to some kind of personal vendetta.

It also does not hurt, as has been a practice here on HDF to start and end with with some kind of greetings.

Having said this I realise the nature of question, could lead to debating hierarchy of Devas, that is not my intention.

My questions are related to Smriti text, we accept Vyasdev having authored them.

Question was did Vyas not know the Vedas?

If he had extol a certain deity in ithihas or Puranas why should it become nonsense?
Are we not insulting the author here? Omkara how about this personality?

Is it not a reasonable question to ask, why did the author not mention the calcification in each purana, as is alleged in Padma Purana ?

Sure there are interpolation for that there is no doubt but the core remains intact, each deities that the text extol is neither exaggerated or made up so how can it be a nonsense?

Jai Shree Krishna

Amrut
16 February 2013, 12:10 PM
Pranam

I hope we can all remain civil to each other and don't turn this in to some kind of personal vendetta.

It also does not hurt, as has been a practice here on HDF to start and end with with some kind of greetings.

Having said this I realise the nature of question, could lead to debating hierarchy of Devas, that is not my intention.

My questions are related to Smriti text, we accept Vyasdev having authored them.

Question was did Vyas not know the Vedas?

If he had extol a certain deity in ithihas or Puranas why should it become nonsense?
Are we not insulting the author here? Omkara how about this personality?

Is it not a reasonable question to ask, why did the author not mention the calcification in each purana, as is alleged in Padma Purana ?

Sure there are interpolation for that there is no doubt but the core remains intact, each deities that the text extol is neither exaggerated or made up so how can it be a nonsense?

Jai Shree Krishna

Namaste,

Sorry for the trouble. My apologies, but things are blown out of proportion.

I have not read all puranas and so I did not comment on this thread,but was keeping an eye as it was of interest to me.

To your question, I would say that Gods (Ishwara) never fight like us.

Ask the question WHY? Whats the purpose behind their saying or contradiction.

Krushna takes initiation from Shiva and applies ash - what is the purpose.

To prove superiority of Shiva adn make himself inferior. NO. The purpose, as I understand is to make us understand that Each rupa of ishwara is equally powerful and worthy of respect and worship. Krushna shows respect to Shiva and his farourite ash, but it is us who do not show respects to other devas (forms of Ishwara). Krushna, by applying ash acknowledges that the way of Shiva and so shiavites is equally divine like that of vaishnava way.

But what do we do?

I was talking to a staunch devotee of Krushna (Vaishnav) on phone over general matters. At the end, I simply said 'Hari Aum'. She simply said 'haa' and quickly disconnected. When we talked again, I said, 'Jai Shri Krushna' I got a reply 'Jai Shri Krushna' :)

I always say, ask the purpose behind the actions. Ask, Why? what's the reason? It cannot be negative. Can you think that all they want is to quarrel each other?

It definitely cannot be.

It is our impure mind that wrongly interprets things. Mind reflects it's status. By thinking and talking about superiority / inferiority, in-equality, etc, we are reflecting our status of mind and it's purity.

Saints like Veda Vyasa can never intent to destroy harmony.

The purpose, as I understand, when any form of God is praised and declared as supreme is just to make the mind stable in one god and not to keep peeping into other paths and other Gods. Any one God is capable to take to to reach the supreme state and give his darshan (vision) and also makes us know who they are.

A demi-god is praised:

Everybody do not have moksha as the only goal. everybody do not have faith in god. We want to live and enjoy, take responsibility. If something is hindering our progress in social and professional life, we are upset. So we take refuge in demi-god. By doing bhakti, and observing fasts, rituals, etc, we can please a demi-god. We get what we want.

Now, whats the purpose of all this. What do you gain from spiritual stand point.

1. Faith. Faith is a quality and it can be turned towards God (ishwara)
2. Onepointedness.
3. Control over senses and mind - by observing strict rituals and fasts, etc
4. Peace of mind. When you get what you wish, mind becomes peaceful. So a religious person can progress on spiritual path if he/she chooses to. When prarabhdha, dis-satisfied desires are satisfied, one feels peace and develops faith in the system.

Later, one can divert all this qualities towards the worship of supreme God.

Our mind is such that it gets influenced by things which it finds important. So when you here that this god is the best and than if you chant his name, your sorrows will be gone, mind will find a ray of hope. I think this is the intention. Not to defame any other God.

As the mind becomes pure by meditation, it gets clarity and understands better. So an advanced meditator or a bhakta of Krushna can experience bliss and ananda if someone is devotionally (bhava) singing praise of Shiva.

Respect all forms of God, but worship only once for salvation. Worshiping other forms are not required. All forms of Gods are equally potent and capable if giving what you want.

I think the intention or purpose behind the so-called controversies has to be known. An important factor is mental purity.

Entire shastra and it's upadesha is based on adhikaara bheda - I heard this in a discourse. This is seen in Gita and in prakarana granths too.

e.g.

Ashtavakra Gita is based on Ajata vada

Ajat-vada rejects even Advaita of Shankara. Advaita says Maya is mithya, Ajata means a-janma. Nothing is born. It says that there si no such thing as maya. only Brahman. nothing else. No meditation, no sadhaka, no guru, etc. It talks about pure non-dual state.

Ashtavakra Gita is not for impure / immature hearts:

It is said in AG that if impure heart or mind reads it and wrongly interprets it, he will fall like anything and will leave everything (puja path, etc), but if a mature mind, pure mind reads it, he/she can quickly rise above maya and just be in Atma-shiti.

Moksha - also a desire - a Mahabranti

If bandhan is Branti, Moksha is Mahabranti says Ashtavakra Gita.

I want Moksha - is also the desire. With the help of his desire, all other desires are renounced. Only desire - I want Moksha, remains. This produces agitation. So Ashtavakra Gita comes into picture and says, you think yo are meditating? you are still on duality, as you are still meditating on supreme brahman. Do you need to Meditate? You are Brahman !!. Drop this mahabrahti of Moksha. Even meditation is a mental kriya. Drop it. It breaks our presumptions. there is no doer, no bhakta, no guru, no God, no experience, just Brahman - You - consciousness, beyond maya, beyond the reach of mind - Just Brahman. nothing else.

there is khandan, but the purpose is to rise above it, as all things are tools, meditation is tool, body is tool and not destination.

Likewise, for some people, they simply cannot accept that God is without form. They find it hard to accept. Their consciousness is strongly tied to body.. So it is better to give them a form of God. Now if you give a form of God, you will need to add divine character and praise it. I do not say Krushna / Rama are just mythologies.

Now, since you find it hard to accept formless god, but you want to progress in spirituality, what can be done. Another point is that generally, we live by mind and not intellect. Even an intelligent person smokes, can have issues co-members, wife, etc. Why does an intelligent person have issues? Cannot he understand? Why are there likes and dislikes? Mind. Mind makes us to do. An intelligent Grand parent will protect his grandson, no matter is grandson is right or wrong. I see this often. Mind is an important factor.

Coming back,

If a person finds hard to accept formless God or a person has read a lot of advaita shastras intellectually, but mind is not that pure so that he can apply them, what will be the condition? Hell - you cannot live what you say, accept and believe. Intellectually you can accept even ajata vada, but cannot you live in that state. No.

So what can be done in this case? show another way. But there is already so much dumped into your little brain. Can you write on a slate which is already filled? So what you need to do? Erase it, right. Make it blank. Now since those concepts of advaita cannot be applied by you, how to remove them. Contradict them. Do ''khandan'

Tell them, if your wife is dying in front of you, will you keep watching her as she is suffering her own doing, or god will protect or just be an observer. The answer is no. Do karma take responsibility, you will do whatever best you can in those circumstances. Now where is your tatva Jnana. etc, etc.

You contract advaita and say this world is real, it is not illusion and give explanation.

The purpose of contradiction is not to defame, but the ultimate purpose and intention is to make one progress in spirituality.

One quesiton can have 2 different answers, but to person with differnet mindset.

Q: How can you attain moksha by living in this world.
A: right, do not have a second thought. Do not waste a single moment. Walk away from this mundane world. ... and Guru gives a list of 101 men who have realized brahman after renunciation.

Q:Is it necessary to take sanyas to attain moksha? Should I take it?
A: No, there is no need.... and Guru will give a list of 101 men who have attained moksha by staying in society.

In the process, same Guru will contradict another way of life to each other. To one, he will talk about the temporary nature of world, etc and to other he will give e.g. of King Janak and say that by renouncing fruits of karma and being neutral, youy are already living like a sanyasin. It is attachment and your mental state and not a colour of cloth that matters.

Summary and conclusion:

The purpose of contradiction - to establish faith, confidence in path, remove thoughts and concepts that obstruct it. All these is ultimately done so that a disciple can progress. A Guru never makes disciple. Guru always makes another Guru.

Again, I have not studied puranas or upanishads, so cannot quote them. This reply is a compilation of the discourses by a Swami ji who has studied shastras for 25 years, my Guru, limited but repeat study of shastras like Gita, vivekchudamani, Ramakrihsna's teachings, Sri Ramana Maharshi's teachings and insights in meditation. My reply flows from my heart refer blue line in my signature :)

Our deeds and words, reflect our mental status and our purity.

Does it now make sense :)

Aum
IS

NOTE: I have not tried to make advaita superior than other path. It's just for explanation only. All paths are created by God. Disrespecting them means disrespecting Gods.

Amrut
16 February 2013, 12:29 PM
condt..

when Buddhism was in full swing and brahmins were just satisfied by mere parroting of shastras, Shankarcharya came, saved hinduism, our shastras, and re-established Vedanta and Advaita-Vedanta.

When other acharyas came, there was a time when again brahmins or advaitains did not gave any imortance to bhava, bhakti and did not practiced advaita, but just by-hearting shastras.

Ramajuna, madha, and other acharya, brought back the long lost and less appreciated ways of bhakti to reach the supreme. They say, better to practice then mere parroting. Have direct experience and let the experience flow through you.

This was their purpose, not to just contradict and destroy the harmony.

What you say to establish one faith or a way one has to do 'khandan' of another one

Again, ask the purpose?

For one-pointedness, and devotion to one path. It does not apply to all people, but to people of a particular mindset and prakruti, else there would have been just one path, one way, one god, one approach to worship and reach him.

Purpose - Bhatki is NOT inferior. You WILL reach the supreme God through bhakti. Ultimate purpose of contradiction is make people progress on spiritual path according to the prakruti.

Jnana does not suits everyone. Same with bhakti, karma and Yog. Thats why Gita covers them all. Else there could have been one God, one Religion, one path to reach supreme God.

Saints and acharyas counter the popular belief / theory / philosophy / path at that time, so that people can stop parroting and start living a spiritual life and to cover and encourage people whom the current popular path does not suit their prakruti. Popular widespread belief does have influence, as a person is brought up in that environment (vAtAvaraNa).

Saints do not feel happy by seeing us fighting. It is the need of the hour, necessary at that time.

Sri Ramakrishna gave ashtavakra gita to Swami Vivekananda. Sri Ramakrishan was a bhakta of Maa Kali.

Sri Ramana Maharshi instructed and even blseed one person who was practising Yog.

Nisargaddata ji Maharaj, who practiced advaita, also told some devotees to go and sing bhajans. He said it positively so that they can progress in spirituality.

Guru will never try to hinder a sincere devotee's progress and encourage him to go ahead in his path. But devotees make mess.

But it's like snake has gone, now only marks of it's vakra gati are left.


To me, different paths to Gods are paths and not just beliefs. Yes, I do not remain contended by just believing in them. I live them. I apply them in practical life. I meditate as they instruct. I walk on the path.

--

This is my personal opinion.

Aum
IS

philosoraptor
16 February 2013, 03:27 PM
Pranams,

This thread, which started as a response to a comment I made on another thread (which was itself a response to another comment), is certainly a lot shorter than when I last left it.

I hesitate to add any comments, as experience has taught me that those who profess the greatest "tolerance" are not uncommonly the ones who have the greatest objections to those opinions which fail to match their own. Case in point: the original poster argues against the idea that any passages in the smRiti are incorrect, and then goes on to ridicule those passages from the smRiti which he has a personal problem with:



The passage that says, rather orders lord Shiva to lie and mislead the public by teaching Mayavad! Now I can't imagine lord Vishnu actually do such an act but even if we think it was for some higher purpose(cant imagine what) are they really that stupid!

Bhagvat Purana great work of Bhakti for Hindu's and Vaishnava in particular have few passages that crack me up,

As if this self-contradictory behavior were not strange enough, another poster chimes in support with the following:



However, when someone wants to ridicule others with assertion, "I worship the real God and your God is actually a demi-God" .... then certainly he is fit for AbrAhimic religions and not for Hindu-Dharma.

Now, there is more than adequate evidence from both shruti and smRiti that there is an hierarchy of devas (see here (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=86153&postcount=22) and here (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=9703) for a brief list of evidences), and more importantly, almost all of the traditional Hindu scholars acknowledge and accept that view. One response gave a long list of those scholars. Unfortunately, that message, which made a very valid and so far unanswered point, was deleted, while the original ugly remark above, which essentially insults all those great scholars who don't agree with it, remains.

Let me again state the truth of the matter. In the Hinduism of the Vedas, Puranas, and Itihasas, deva-tAratamya (hierarchy) is an accepted fact, even to schools with very different God-concepts (like Vaishnavas and Shaivas). The idea that "all gods are the same God" is not based on our scriptures and is basically a modern idea which became popular in the last few centuries. Those who wish to believe that all "gods" are the same are welcome to do so. But those of us who insist on a standard of truth-telling are not going to sit idly by as this belief is advertised as the de facto standard for Hinduism. More to the point, when some posters insist on arguing that the hierarchical paradigm is equivalent to Abrahamic religions, e.g:



However, when someone wants to ridicule others with assertion, "I worship the real God and your God is actually a demi-God" .... then certainly he is fit for AbrAhimic religions and not for Hindu-Dharma.

... then I am going to join in with the voices of protest which request him to own up to those nasty comments, and get him to acknowledge who he is disagreeing with: almost every Sanskrit scholar who has ever written a commentary on the vedAnta.

Now, I don't mean to stir up bad feelings, but when you don't even know Sanskrit, does it strike you as perhaps difficult to swallow that you know something about these Sanskrit texts which all those great vidvAns did not? Let's be honest with ourselves. You didn't even know how to decline "brahman" in Sanskrit and plainly advertised your lack of understanding of basic Sanskrit grammar just a few weeks ago, yet you are labeling quite a few true Sanskrit scholars with a very broad stroke.

Those who speak the truth need not be afraid of discussion. I've calmly allowed you to insult me and even insult traditions you thought I represented. Yet here I am, ready to have a discussion about the facts. You should consider what it is you want out of a forum like this. Do you want free discussion of ideas, or an ideologically-slanted forum where all detractors are labeled as offensive and summarily dismissed?

philosoraptor
16 February 2013, 03:54 PM
Namaste,

I would just like to add one thing. Though I've been insulted several times by members of these forums, and even seen the same members utter insulting remarks about great acharyas whom I respect, I have never asked the moderators to censor anything to protect my sensibilities, and I never will.

I repeat my request that anyone who wishes to hurl insults at me in the course of a discussion be allowed to do so. When people look back on these digital discussions immortalized in the newsgroup archives, I want them to see who is being a gentleman arguing based on evidence and logic, and who is arguing based on sectarian prejudice.

regards,

Sahasranama
16 February 2013, 08:26 PM
Whenever posts get deleted I feel like I am too late to the party.

devotee
16 February 2013, 09:18 PM
Namaste Brahmajijnasa,

As I said, if the Smritis are understood "correctly", there won't be any conflict. However, when there is a biased understanding, we find conflicting views expressed in various places in Shruti and between Shruti and Smriti.

My understanding is based on reading Veda-samhitAs and VedAnta and also Bhagwad Gita. I had started a thread which has been contaminated by some members' biased views and distorted meanings but please read what is written in Veda-smahitAs and VedAnta at various places which has been quoted in that thread and form your own opinion. http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=9647

I don't disagree that Bhagwad Gita does say, "Krishna is supreme" but such statements can be quoted for Rudra/Shiva too from one or the other ShAstra which is not purely Vaishnava (ref : Sharabhopanishad, Rudrahrdayopanishad etc.). MahAnArAyaNa Upanishad extols both Shiva and NArAyANa "XXIV-1: All this verily is Rudra. To Rudra who is such we offer our salutation. We salute again and again that Being, Rudra, who alone is the light and the Soul of creatures. The material universe the created beings and whatever there is manifoldly and profusely created in the past and in the present in the form of the world, all that is indeed this Rudra. Salutations be to Rudra who is such" as the Supreme. AtaharvashirA Upanishad says :

"Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra and Indra are creating all beings, all organs and all karanas. They are also capable of controlling them. But Lord Shiva exists in between them like sky and is permanently stable. 2.2"


Similarly, if we see Veda SmhitAs, it extols many devAs as the supreme at one or the other places : See Rig Veda's richas for Agni :

2.1.1-6 .... You are born from water. You grant the boons (to Hota) for the Yagna. You are Adhvaryu and BrahmA. You alone are Vishnu, the God worth praising through Stutis, Lord and you guide the intellect of people. You are Varuna, the strict observer of rules. You are Aryama and you are Surya. You are the terrible doer, the Rudra and power of MarudgaNa. You alone are PushA who guard the people from all sides.

for Indra it says :

10.128.7 I adore Indra who is the Creator of the creator of this creation, who is the Lord of the worlds and and who proptect us.

For Soma it says :

9.86.28-29 O Lord of the world, all Jeevas are born by your tejas. You support the world and the directions. ... You are the knower of the world.

etc.

********

Now, is Bhagwad Gita wrong when it says that Anya-devatA are inferior to Lord Krishna ? No, if the meaning is taken correctly. If you read the verse it says that these anya-devatAs are worshiped by people for worldly gains and they get that as decreed by God/Lord Krishna by that worship. Now, here the catch is the motive behind worshiping a form and not the form or the name itself. If the form and name was so important, the Lord would have not appeared as MahAkAl with his most fearsome form to Arjuna in MahAbhArata war. Now, if we see that form of God ... and also his form with four arms, chakra, gadA etc. in hands ... which should be accepted as the true one and which the false or both as True ? Certainly all forms must be accepted as True.

One God Itself takes various names and forms depending upon his devotee's faith, motive and for the purpose and larger interests of this universe. God is beyond form and also formlessness ... "MaYA tatam idam sarvam jagat avyakta murtinA" and "I am in the heart of all beings" ... is impossible if God has a certain form only. The same God is BrahmA, Vishnu and also Shiva, Agni, VAyu etc. Why ? Because He is sarvagatah, sthAnuh, achala and SanAtana ... He is Infinite and if there is one Infinite then there can't be anything else. When he is worshipped as Krishna's supreme form and name, his other forms like Surya, Agni, VAyu, Shiva become inferior .... however when the same God is worshipped as Shiva as the supreme, then Shiva's form/name becomes supreme and his other forms become inferior.

**************

That said, is Krishna not supreme ? Yes, undoubtedly. However, if someone worships Shiva as the supreme, then the same God who is Krishna would come to him in the form of Shiva as the supreme. This has to be understood correctly. If I am a Vaishnava, then Vishnu/Krishna/NArAyaNa will act as supreme for me and Shiva and other forms of Gods will act inferior to Vishnu but if I am a Shaiva the reverse will be true i.e. Shiva will act as supreme and other forms would become inferior. That is why the Upanishads say, "He (God) became what He was worshipped as".

***************

BTW, I have no stakes here. You are free to accept whatever suits you. :)

OM

devotee
16 February 2013, 09:34 PM
Namaste,

Some members have expressed hurt feelings in this thread and also have said what they should not have said. My humble submission to them :

a) I sincerely am sorry if my any word or writing on this forum has hurt anyone's feelings. This is with no strings attached. I come here for sharing my views with knowledgeable members and not for mindless fights.

b) If someone feels that he has been insulted ... he should see his own language that he uses while posting. How ridiculing languages, unfair barbs, satire has been used without provocation ... must be seen by himself and see if that act was fair.

c) One member has undue ahamkaar over his knowledge of Sanskrit. May I request him not to read foreigner's translations of VedAs and VedAntas if he is really that knowledgeable ? However, if that knowledge is faked and is only due to Google search and paste ... then ... he should himself decide what he should do. I don't find his claim true when I see his posts which are copied from some internet translations and pasting and also so much distortions in his understanding belies his claims. We don't know what a person really is ... but his posts certainly give some indications.

******

BTW, I don't understand why is it important that everyone must discuss everything with everyone even if some member doesn't want to discuss things with a particular member ? If someone is unfairly hostile in language and in posting to someone else then both should stop responding to each other. Why it is so important for some people to gather brownies on this forum against fellow members is beyond my understanding. Do they have anything lacking in their real life that they seek satisfaction in playing games, "I know better than you", "I must win in arguments by hook or by crook" etc. on a virtual forum like this ? This is nothing but sickness and unripe mentality of a teenager.

OM

philosoraptor
16 February 2013, 11:12 PM
Of course, that is the typical excuse these days. "If I insulted someone, it's only because I imagined that they insulted me first. In this way, I am never at fault."

In any case, Devotee is merely rehashing arguments that were already refuted in previous threads. The shrutis clearly describe the one brahman nArAyaNa who is known by many names, including indra, agni, rudra, vAyu, varuNa, and so on. The same shrutis also acknowledge the existence of other entities known as indra, agni, vAyu, varuNa, etc who are subordinate, created entities - not the same as brahman. I gave explicit pramANas showing this already, in links referenced in my previous message.

Deva-tAratamya is a fact of Hinduism. Here is a partial list of Hindu scholars who accepted this concept:

viShNusvAmI / shrIdhar svAmI
nimbArka
Adi shankarAchArya (at least at the vyavahArika level of perception)
rAmAnujAchArya
madhvAchArya
madhusUdhana saraswatI
chaitanya
vallabhAchArya
tulasi dAsa
baladeva vidyAbhUshana
and so on, and so on....

This is just a small list of learned Hindu commentators whom Devotee regards as being "Abrahamic" because they accept the Vedic conclusion of one Brahman ruling over many devas, instead of the incorrectly fashionable "all gods are the same God" idea promoted by modern, Neo-Hindu thinkers. Now, everyone has a right to his opinion, obviously. But when one objectively weighs the qualifications of those holding each of these opinions, it's hard to come to anything other than this simple, obvious conclusion: It is absurd for scholars like these who lived and breathed the scriptures they taught to be criticized as "Abrahamic" by someone whose sole knowledge of those scriptures comes from translators preselected by him based on a shared set of biases.

philosoraptor
16 February 2013, 11:26 PM
I will again suggest that everyone consult Kena Upanishad 2nd and 3rd chapters (one translation available at http://www.celextel.org/upanishads/sama_veda/kena.html) which clearly describes how indra, agni, and vAyu were made to understand that brahman was the cause of their victory, and their own excellence was only due to their proximity to brahman. Any objective person can acknowledge that the shruti is clearly describing entities who are different from and subordinate to brahman. That they have the same names as brahman (i.e. indra, agni, and so on) does not change this basic fact. As always, those who doubt the translation are welcome to check the Sanskrit themselves. The Sanskrit Documents website has the mUla available for public review.

ShivaFan
17 February 2013, 02:27 AM
Namaste

I am a simple person, I do not know anything. I have a question, since I am not understanding this thread, as if some are having a problem back and forth even with each other. My question is, is "Realization of Supreme Brahman" and "Brahman" the same thing?

And is revealing the Supreme, and the Supreme, the Same?

When my Lord Mahadeva meditates, as shown in the picture below, what is this meditation?

http://www.coralsculpture.com/image/product/Shiva_Parvati_L_1914.jpg

The Devas and Devi show us how. Why do They bother? One day a mystic is very grateful to a bird which has shown the mystic something which the mystic claims is Supreme. But this same bird worships the mystic. Who is Greater?

The Devas and Devi have done many wonders in the Great Histories. Have all Their Histories come to their End? Or can something happen right now? Do not the sacred texts show us any moment another wonder can happen?

The sacred texts are so very, very vast. Thank goodness some can tell us what they were told, there would not be enough time in this short life otherwise without the help of others to taste all of the wonders. I love the Devas and Devi. When and if those times come in the presence of a Lord, then I bow to that Lord. Why cannot the Devas and Devi bow to each other?

Everyone has association but it is all about who you associate with. The Devas and Devi associate with each other, and have for a long time. And we can associate with devotees, or even with those Devas and Devi, yes?

I like all the devotees, be Saiva, Vaishnav, Shakta, Vedanta, because day by day I am here now. Even the Devas and Devi like the association of devotees. And with Each Other. So I may have Lord Shiva, and you may have Krishna, and so on. It never seems to me to be about one over the other. Every second, something is happening, and it is what these seconds are made of that matters. I may be greater than my daughter, whatever that means. But those moments with her are what was, and is great.

Shiva can come anytime, Welcomed. Krishna, too. Gauri, please come. Also those who know the sacred texts, you have my audience if I may hear. Hinduism is the Ganga. Where does the Ganga start, and where does She end? Throw my ashes in the Ganga.

Om Namah Sivaya

devotee
17 February 2013, 05:16 AM
In any case, Devotee is merely rehashing arguments that were already refuted in previous threads.

"Refuted" ! Indeed !! that is the delusion you are in. Refusing to respond to your posts because of your kutarka is not equal to "getting refuted". You also used another word in another post, "defeat" ! I am amazed how you can be so serious !!

Please come out of your make-believe world that you have made around yourself.

I JUST DON"T WANT TO DISCUSS ANYTHING WITH YOU. ALL YOUR POSTS ARE FULL OF KUTARKA, in my humble opinion. It is better if you are able to see the meaninglessness of your arguments. If you can't ... then please stay away from my posts.

You are not missing anything by not responding to my posts. I don't understand why you are compelled to respond to my posts if they appear meaningless and flawed to you. Why is this virtual world's discussion so important for you ?? I have given my opinion in my posts. If you think that is wrong ... what is so disturbing about it .... unless I say something against you ... an act that you keep doing against my posts. Have you ever thought why I don't interfere with your posts in various other forums in spite of your incorrigible behaviour of keep derailing every thread I start discussion in ? It is because I don't come here to "win" against anyone. It is your problem that you have taken it so seriously.

OM

Ganeshprasad
17 February 2013, 07:41 AM
Pranam

Now that's what you call a smart tactic, adopt a high moral ground make a vail attack on your perceived adversaries, avoid giving answers, instead heap insults back on to those whom you think you have been hard done by.

I have been accused of double standard that is putting it mildly,

tolerance" are not uncommonly the ones who have the greatest objections to those opinions which fail to match their own. Case in point: the original poster argues against the idea that any passages in the smRiti are incorrect, and then goes on to ridicule those passages from the smRiti which he has a personal problem with:

Let me reiterate my position on Puranas, I accept everyone of them that is authentic, unadulterated and not tempered with by vested interest.That means all the central theme of the the said Purana can not be questioned. I will not fall back on sruti to question the central theme, simply because for me to do so would only "insult"a great rishi who compiled them.

Sometimes this point is missed on people, that all forms belong to Brahman not just the names.
As soon as we think of a name the form is invoked, as soon as we think of Agni fire will manifest as would Vayu, the wind.

Now we may make accusation that this all Devas are one in nature is a recent phenomena though i can also accuse that only in the medieval times this supremacy or hierarchy problem have arisen, then again this is not the purpose of this thread.

Jai Shree Krishna

philosoraptor
17 February 2013, 08:41 AM
I have been accused of double standard that is putting it mildly,


Let me reiterate my position on Puranas, I accept everyone of them that is authentic, unadulterated and not tempered with by vested interest.


Except of course, for the verses from the bhAgavatam which "crack you up" and the verse from the padma purANa saying that Lord Shiva will come in kali-yuga to teach mAyAvAda....

Nope. No double standard there. Can't imagine why anyone would even think that!

Viraja
17 February 2013, 09:27 AM
I like all the devotees, be Saiva, Vaishnav, Shakta, Vedanta, because day by day I am here now. Even the Devas and Devi like the association of devotees. And with Each Other. So I may have Lord Shiva, and you may have Krishna, and so on. It never seems to me to be about one over the other. Every second, something is happening, and it is what these seconds are made of that matters. I may be greater than my daughter, whatever that means. But those moments with her are what was, and is great.

Shiva can come anytime, Welcomed. Krishna, too. Gauri, please come. Also those who know the sacred texts, you have my audience if I may hear. Hinduism is the Ganga. Where does the Ganga start, and where does She end? Throw my ashes in the Ganga.

Om Namah Sivaya

I feel odd to post in this thread, I have nothing to offer to the OP or any other poster. But I read this above message amidst what seemed to be many hurt feelings and I too thought of extending the peace message what ShivaFanji has written here conveys.

The reason why I chose to write here, is all these members' knowledge astounds me - they have all read vedas, vedangas, puranas, ithihasas and so forth.. So much scholarly articles on various bhaktas, incidents from puranas, excerpts from vedas can be written... I, for one, want to write a nice scholarly post on the 'pativratas' of India, or one on the mighty warrior kings of olden days, like Chatrapathi Shivaji. But owing to scanty knowledge, I cannot. If only I possessed this knowledge!

So members should give little or no importance to the question of 'who is brahman' but instead concentrate on 'who can give moksha' and put their good knowledge to use, for simple souls like me to understand and appreciate Hinduism and Hindustan in as many ways can be. :)

Also my humble apologies to Ganeshprasad ji, for writing this message in the midst of heated discussions.

Om Namah Shivaya!
Om Namo Bhagvate Vasudevaaya!
Vetrivel Muruganukku Arogara!

Ganeshprasad
17 February 2013, 09:31 AM
Pranam


Except of course, for the verses from the bhAgavatam which "crack you up" and the verse from the padma purANa saying that Lord Shiva will come in kali-yuga to teach mAyAvAda....

Nope. No double standard there. Can't imagine why anyone would even think that!

What part of authentic, unadulterated interpolation do you not understand?
Just that we are on same page, let us establish or do we agree that the Puranas in some instances have been tempered with?

Jai Shree Krishna

philosoraptor
17 February 2013, 09:48 AM
What part of authentic, unadulterated interpolation do you not understand?
Just that we are on same page, let us establish or do we agree that the Puranas in some instances have been tempered with?


It sounds to me like you need to decide what your view is before posting it here. At the very beginning of the thread you were arguing that nothing in the smRiti was unauthentic.

Now, it sounds like you are arguing that there are interpolated passages, and to consult you to determine which ones are real and which ones interpolated....

philosoraptor
17 February 2013, 09:53 AM
So, back on the original subject: Is Kena Upanishad Abrahamic? After all, the Kena satisfies Devotee's criteria of drawing distinctions between gods, and naming one as superior to the others. So: Abrahamic or not?

philosoraptor
17 February 2013, 09:55 AM
A brief list of other "Abrahamic" (as per devotee's criteria) Hindu scriptures given here:

http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=86253&postcount=4

Ganeshprasad
17 February 2013, 10:10 AM
Pranam

I asked a simple enough question for this I have this diatribe


It sounds to me like you need to decide what your view is before posting it here. At the very beginning of the thread you were arguing that nothing in the smRiti was unauthentic.

Now, it sounds like you are arguing that there are interpolated passages, and to consult you to determine which ones are real and which ones interpolated....

If you had bothered to read my first post, I did give acknowledge the possibility of human agency and gave example of Padma Puranas and I made explicitly clear in my second post, post count 7.

I don't think your remark about consulting me deserve a reply.
You take the cake when it comes to insults.

Jai Shree Krishna

Ganeshprasad
17 February 2013, 10:12 AM
Pranam


So, back on the original subject: Is Kena Upanishad Abrahamic? After all, the Kena satisfies Devotee's criteria of drawing distinctions between gods, and naming one as superior to the others. So: Abrahamic or not?

Original subject?
Wow

Jai Shree Krishna

philosoraptor
17 February 2013, 10:19 AM
That's right. There were two original subjects. The first original subject was Ganesh Prasad's view that the Puranas contain no incorrect material, with the caveat that they do contain incorrect material when he deems them as such. The second subject raised by devotee is that those who draw distinctions between deities, making one superior to the others, are supposedly "Abrahamic."

Hence, my question regarding Kena Upanishad in the context of the second subject. Is Kena Upanishad "Abrahamic?" Why or why not?

charitra
17 February 2013, 11:05 AM
'Arupavadev hi thath pradhanathvaath' (Brahmasutra Bhashya III.ii.13)

Brahman is only formless to be sure, for that is the dominant note (of Upanishadic teaching)

It is common knowledge that Puranas are not rated as high as the vedopanishads, Gita and BrSutraas.

.....that the texts like the following have for their main purport the transcendantal Brahman which is the Self, and not minute, neither short nor long (Br.III.viii,8), " soundless,touchless,colorless,undiminishing" (Ka.I.iii.15), That which is known as Spaceis the accomplisher of name and form:That which they are included is Brahman" (Ch, VIII.xiv,1), "Purusa is transcendental, since He is formless; He is coextensive with all that is external and internal, since He is birthless (Mu. II. i.2), "The Brahman is without prior or posterior, without exterior and interior. The Self, the perceiver of everything is Brahman "(Br.II.v.19), and so on.........But the other texts speaking of Brahman with form, have the injunction about meditation as their main objectives. So long as they do not lead to any contradiction their apparaent meaning should be accepted. But when they involve a contradiction, the principle to be followed for deciding one or the other is that, those that have the formless Brahman as their main purport are authoritative than the others which have not that as their main purport. (excerpt from Brahmasutra Bhasya of Shankaracharya , translated by Ghambirananda).

In post #15 Narayana was used interchangeably with the Brahman, and scriptures were cited for authenticity , I fully agree with this kind of usage of Brahman connotation for both Narayana or shiva. For that is the Sat really. Narayana has a synonym which is Brahman and similarly Shiva also has a synonym which is Brahman again. These sampradayak should be left alone to continue with their sadhana invoking the two figure heads as the sole authorities (supreme godheads) of their paths. One Brhman can be inferior or superior to other Brahman depending on the meditational requirement of the individual sadhaka. In their Bhakti Paravashya (devotional ecstacy) pouranic writers have gone all the way to praise the glory of Lord with the form and denounced the worth of other forms. It is in this extreme realm of Bhakti that shiva or vishnu are pitted against eachother. There is nothing wrong with this, the Advaita doesnt see which formed Brahman is superior or inferior if the form is used for Bhakti (meditational) purpose, at least that is the position of B.S.from my reading.

One has to go back to much more basic question before one decides on the sampradaya one prefers to profess. Is it Advaita or dvaita they are following ( or if it is VA then vishista avdvaita may be called the middle ground IMO). Very strict dvaitists are unwittingly lumping themselves with the abrahamic faiths, as thats what the Abrahamics do: God on oneside and the rest on the other (along with satan on the other end of the world of their god's non-creation, which of course hindus dont agree with) side of the cosmic aisle. Thus the 'abrahamic 'parallel has a two fold meaning: One is the dvaitist posturing, and the second being 'my way or highway' dictum. Again this is WRT to uncompromising dvaitins only. Namaste.

Amrut
17 February 2013, 11:29 AM
Namaste,

Not taking side of devotee ji, but as I understand it means

With the intention of making mockery, when someone says my God (ishwara) and yours is demi-god (deva) ...

I agree that there is a definite hierarchy among demi-gods and other higher spiritual beings like we have 7 lokas and 14 bhuvanas, some below and some above ground.

Even I am interested to know if the puranas are considered as accurate and authentic and upanishads and Gita.

Perhaps knowledgeable members can throw some light one it.

Ganeshprasad
17 February 2013, 11:47 AM
Pranam


That's right. There were two original subjects.

Wow again, I better agree to this or else I might get accused of insulting Phil!



The first original subject was Ganesh Prasad's view that the Puranas contain no incorrect material, with the caveat that they do contain incorrect material when he deems them as such.

Stop playing immature games, at least I don't call them nonsense.
Let me remind you a question that remains unanswered, does VedVyas ji know Sruti or not?

The second subject?

Not mine, please open a new thread.

Jai Shree Krishna

philosoraptor
17 February 2013, 11:58 AM
'Arupavadev hi thath pradhanathvaath' (Brahmasutra Bhashya III.ii.13)

Brahman is only formless to be sure, for that is the dominant note (of Upanishadic teaching)

Pranams,

Here is a translation of the same according to rAmAnuja's system:

The small (ether) (is Brahman), on account of the subsequent (arguments).




It is common knowledge that Puranas are not rated as high as the vedopanishads, Gita and BrSutraas.



Precisely. They are authoritative only to the extent that they do not contradict shruti. This was never controversial among informed persons.




.....that the texts like the following have for their main purport the transcendantal Brahman which is the Self, and not minute, neither short nor long (Br.III.viii,8), " soundless,touchless,colorless,undiminishing" (Ka.I.iii.15), That which is known as Spaceis the accomplisher of name and form:That which they are included is Brahman" (Ch, VIII.xiv,1), "Purusa is transcendental, since He is formless; He is coextensive with all that is external and internal, since He is birthless (Mu. II. i.2), "The Brahman is without prior or posterior, without exterior and interior. The Self, the perceiver of everything is Brahman "(Br.II.v.19), and so on.........But the other texts speaking of Brahman with form, have the injunction about meditation as their main objectives. So long as they do not lead to any contradiction their apparaent meaning should be accepted. But when they involve a contradiction, the principle to be followed for deciding one or the other is that, those that have the formless Brahman as their main purport are authoritative than the others which have not that as their main purport. (excerpt from Brahmasutra Bhasya of Shankaracharya , translated by Ghambiranand



Note in the above how Sankaraachaarya arbitrarily designates formless shrutis as being "more authoritative" than shrutis describing the Lord as having form. Whereas, a more consistent, integrative approach, is to accept all of the shruti in toto as equally authoritative, since the shrutis give us no reason to think otherwise.


In post #15 Narayana was used interchangeably with the Brahman, and scriptures were cited for authenticity , I fully agree with this kind of usage of Brahman connotation for both Narayana or shiva. For that is the Sat really. Narayana has a synonym which is Brahman and similarly Shiva also has a synonym which is Brahman again.

nArAyaNa, according to the rules of Sanskrit grammar formulated by pANinI, is a proper noun, and can thus only refer to one entity, namely the Lord of Lakshmi. In the yajur veda, nArAyaNa is equated to the puruSha of countless limbs and this entity is stated to be the consort of lakShMI. This entity is also various referred to as indra, agni, rudra, among other names. The principle is that when an entity is being referred to by a name associated with an entity other than brahman, and yet is described with characteristics exclusive to brahman, then it is to be understood that brahman aka nArAyaNa is the being referred to. Names like "rudra," "shiva," "indra," "agni," and so on are not proper nouns and can refer to more than one entity depending on context. For example, "indra" simply means "Lord" in a very generic sense and can apply to brahman just as much as it can apply to the king of the devas. However, "nArAyaNa" can only refer to the Lord of Lakshmi, for reasons mentioned above. That there are other devas by names like "indra" and so on who are not brahman was amply demonstrated in previous postings.



These sampradayak should be left alone to continue with their sadhana invoking the two figure heads as the sole authorities (supreme godheads) of their paths. One Brman can be inferior or superior to other Brahman depending on the meditational requirement of the individual sadhaka.


This is not a feature of devotional vedAnta. There is nothing like "one brahman superior to the other." Brahman is one without a second, period. He is formless in the sense that He does not have form made up of matter - rUpa is said to be the characteristic of the pancha-bhUtas. Yet, He is clearly described as having a divine form with countless limbs, eyes, heads, etc. Both descriptions apply to the same entity with countless divine attributes.



In their Bhakti Paravashya (devotional ecstacy) pouranic writers have gone all the way to praise the glory of Lord with the form and denounced the worth of other forms. It is in this extreme realm of Bhakti that shiva or vishnu are pitted against eachother. There is nothing wrong with this, the Advaita doesnt see which formed Brahman is superior or inferior if the form is used for Bhakti (meditational) purpose, at least that is the position of B.S.from my reading.

There is no need for any bhAgavata to "pit one deity against another." The purANas contain the histories of ancient dynasties, gods, the Lord and His descents, creation and secondary creation. They are mentioned in chAndogya upaniShad as one of the branches of veda studied by nArada muni. But they are not shruti, and their meaning has been corrupted over time from the interpolation of sectarian interests. This is why their authority is dependent on upholding shruti.



One has to go back to much more basic question before one decides on the sampradaya one prefers to profess. Is it Advaita or dvaita they are following ( or if it is VA then vishista avdvaita may be called the middle ground IMO). Very strict dvaitists are unwittingly lumping themselves with the abrahamic faiths, as thats what the Abrahamics do: God on oneside and the rest on the other (along with satan on the other end of the world of their god's non-creation, which of course hindus dont agree with) side of the cosmic aisle. Thus the 'abrahamic 'parallel has a two fold meaning: One is the dvaitist posturing, and the second being 'my way or highway' dictum. Again this is WRT to uncompromising dvaitins only. Namaste.


I cannot make any sense of the above. There is no dvaitist here or anywhere who is "lumping themselves with the abrahamic faiths." This is nothing more than a baseless accusation repeated by Neo-Vedantic Hindus who have inherited a very Christian prejudice against polytheism. Because they are ashamed of polytheism, they then try to interpret all scriptural references to a plurality of gods as being all one God, and usually they cite some watered down version of Advaita to support this view.

Again, I will continue to cite the Kena Upanishad until one of the Neos can offer a convincing explanation to explain away the fact that it clearly differentiates between brahman and other devas. Both brahman (God) and devas ("gods" "demigods" or whatever) exist and are part of Vedic cosmology and theology.

philosoraptor
17 February 2013, 12:22 PM
Again, I will continue to cite the Kena Upanishad until one of the Neos can offer a convincing explanation to explain away the fact that it clearly differentiates between brahman and other devas. Both brahman (God) and devas ("gods" "demigods" or whatever) exist and are part of Vedic cosmology and theology.

Actually, I can quote bRihadAraNyaka upaniShad, aitareya upaniShad, chAndogya upaniShad, and a wide variety of texts on this issue. However, I am trying to keep this focused, since the tendency of ideologues is to be evasive. Few people know most or even all of the shruti. But, if one has a consistent set of principles by which to approach the shruti, one should be able to employ them with any specific shruti in question. Hence, the kenopaniShad, which differentiates devas from brahman. What explanation, sufficiently convincing to an objective outsider, can be offered to explain this from the perspective of "all gods are the one brahman and anyone who disagrees is an Abrahamic?"

shiv.somashekhar
17 February 2013, 03:36 PM
Again, I will continue to cite the Kena Upanishad until one of the Neos can offer a convincing explanation to explain away the fact that it clearly differentiates between brahman and other devas. Both brahman (God) and devas ("gods" "demigods" or whatever) exist and are part of Vedic cosmology and theology.

Not just neos, traditional advaitins (including Shankra himself) would obviously not differentiate between a deva and Brahman. Ergo, their interpretation of the Kena would be different from yours - just like you posted a Ramanuja interpretation earlier.

So, I am a little unclear on your question. Are you saying, no one on this forum has access to Shankara's Kena Upanishad Bhashya or are you saying Shankara was wrong? I donated my copy a long time ago or else I could have posted it.

charitra
17 February 2013, 08:16 PM
Pranams,

I cannot make any sense of the above. There is no dvaitist here or anywhere who is "lumping themselves with the abrahamic faiths." This is nothing more than a baseless accusation repeated by Neo-Vedantic Hindus who have inherited a very Christian prejudice against polytheism. Because they are ashamed of polytheism, they then try to interpret all scriptural references to a plurality of gods as being all one God, and usually they cite some watered down version of Advaita to support this view.

.

polytheism is not the issue, it isthe comparativeanalysis and allocating a n ascending.descending order of importancethat has potential disharmony written all over it.

Speech which causes no excitement and is truthful, pleasnt and beneficial (satyam, priyam, hitam), and the practice of the study of vedas, these constitute "austrity of speech" (Gita XVII.15)

You have rightly cited Upanishads profusely, but i see Brahman written all over them, although saguna Brahman was very much mentioned, nirguna was more glorified in so far as i see it. As my quote from BrahmaSutras above, if one focuses on ones own daivarupa and be able to reach deeper planes of meditation, then it is the highly desirable practice, polytheism is fine. Whereas resorting to comparative analysis to bring down other rupas yields no rewarding outcome. Shiva, Vishnu, durga or Brahman are the names we gave them for our sadhana purposes. Thanks to puranas, we have to deal with the diiscrepancies and the inconsistencies inherent in this system ourselves, what counts in karma siddanta, as you all very well know, is the degree of dharma ingrained in our words and deeds. My analogy with abrahamic faith is mainly from the intolerence angle really (of other sampradayas) not against the dvaita itself . Namaste.

devotee
17 February 2013, 10:10 PM
Namaste Ganeshprasad ji,

Taking a few verses in isolation of a particular scripture without seeing the complete picture is sure to lead to erroneous interpretation of scriptures. We have to take all scriptures considered as Shruti and see the complete picture.

Indra, Agni, VAyu etc. have been extolled as the Supreme in the Vedas. However, they have also been described as devas for performing a particular job by the Brahman. Now, if they themselves are Supreme then they can't be subordinated and put to different jobs by anyone. A very pertinent example is Vishnu. Vishnu has been seen as the supreme at many places in the Vedas and the Upanishads. However, the same Vishnu has been described as the son of Aditi who is just like any other deva. Now, the Vishnu, if he is unborn, how can be a son of Aditi ? Vritra was conquered by Vishnu and Indra together. If Vishnu is really all powerful, why was there any necessity to take the help of Indra.

How do we solve this puzzle ?

We have forgotten that in the Vedas, the Devas are supposed to be assigned to a particular task and also shown as the supreme in different places. This is because, the same Brahman projects these deities and these deities are Brahman alone. If we remember PraSna Upanishad : PrANa is created by PrajApati with his tapasyA. However, just a few verses after, PrANa has been described as the PrajApati Himself. We all know how dear is held, "Gayatri" mantra by the Hindus. This Gayatri which has been accepted as a mantra dedicated to Brahman is actually devoted to SavitA i.e. Sun God and not NArAyaNa.

The key is the bhaava of the seeker. He has freedom to see Shiva as a deity assigned a certain task of annihilation and he also has liberty to see Shiva as the Supreme. You have liberty to see Agni as a deity assigned with the task of taking sacrifices to God and also have liberty ti worship it as the Supreme. Similarly is the case of Indra and other God/Goddess-forms. It is like position of an electron in the electron-cloud which is affected by the presence of observer.

Now, the question of hierarchy among the deities. When you don't consider a particular form and name as the Supreme but the deva then there are different devas assigned with various tasks and then there will be hierarchy ! This has to be understood very clearly and carefully. If one reads Veda samhitA then it becomes very very clear how the same deity can be seen as just a deva and also as the Supreme Brahman. It is also reflected in 108 Upanishads.

*********

I must clarify here why I said in one place that those who try to prove the superiority of one God-form above another are better fit for Abrahimic religions.

a) First of all, it was not directed at anyone on this forum. This statement was made due to these reasons :

AbrAhmic religions are very much bogged down with this question : Who is the True God /False God ? There have been strict actions recommended in their scriptures for people who worship "false" god(s).

Somehow, the Hindus in general accept that it is the same Brahman who is worshipped in various forms and names : Ekam sad vipra bahudha vadanti.

b) I have no issues if someone says, "NArAyana" is supreme ... it is ok as Shstras say so. But when you start saying that "Lord Shiva is a demi-god and not supreme" you are violating many Shruti texts. Shastras also say that "Shiva is Supreme".

Now, it may be difficult for an average person to accept so many supreme Gods ! So, if you are a Vaishnava, Vishnu is Supreme ... if you are a Shaiva, Shiva is supreme ... if you are a devotee of KAli, Goddess KAli is supreme ... if you worship Indra as the Supreme ... Indra is supreme.

There is famous couplets from Harivansa Roy Bacchan, father of great actor AmitAbh Bacchan :

"MadirAlaya jaane ko ghar se chaltaa hai peene waalaa, kis path se jaaon asmanjas main hai wo bholabhala, alag alag path batlate sab par main yah batlata hun, raah pakad too ek chalal paa jaayega madhusaalaa".

Literal meaning :

The habituated drinker sets out from home for going to the bar. He, a simpleton, is in a dilemma which path to choose to reach there (bar). Many people are advising him many different paths but I tell him just one thing : Pick up one path and keep going on that path ... you will reach the bar.

Real meaning :

For understanding the real meaning :

Replace "bar" with the highest spiritual goal/God. Habituated drinker is spiritual seeker who is lost in dilemma which path to choose from many paths in the front.

*******

There is no fight. Why to be so much angry/hurt/stubborn/combative over this issue ? Please choose any path that suits you .... but please don't ridicule others who choose paths different from you. That is the greatness of Hindu Dharma ... let's accept this as Hindus.

If anyone has any issue with it, I recommend that he should try to understand IsAvAsya Upanishad's invocation verse :

"Om pUrNamadah pUrNamidaM pUrNAt pUrNamudacyate
PUrNasya pUrNamAdAya pUrNamEvAvashiSyate"

You may read this : http://www.arshavidyacenter.org/verse/purna.pdf

OM

satay
17 February 2013, 10:59 PM
Admin note

Obviously I can close this thread too but I just want to see how far the esteemed knowledgeable members would go... Does anyone have any self control? Lets see...

HDF watches....

devotee
17 February 2013, 11:03 PM
Continued from last post :

Common noun or Proper Noun ?? What are the rules and how it proves that NArAyAna is proper noun and other devas like Agni/Vayu etc. names as common noun must be an interesting thing to understand.

Till the above is done, I will clarify here that in the Veda-samhitAs, it is not that the God is NArAyaNa and he is being referred to as Agni or Indra or VAyu or Rudra or Vishvedeva etc.. No, the devata being invoked in that chapter is Agni and it is referred to as the supreme ... or the Indra is the devatA and he is addressed as the supreme etc. Similarly, Vishnu and others.

The main thing is that if you have to describe an elephant, you must see the whole elephant and not that you catch hold of its bushy tail and say, "hey, elephant is like a brush !". This is nothing but blindness. If NArAyana is described at some places in the scriptures as the Supreme, then so is Shiva and so is Indra and so is Agni .... now you come to me catching hold of one book and a few verses from that scripture like holding the tail of the elephant and claim .... "hey, this alone is the truth as it is said in this scripture" ....No, no. It is not done that way. That is not the whole truth ... if that is the Truth then what about verses in other scriptures ... the falsity ? ... we must guard ourselves against this tendency if we want to realise the Truth as It is. It is not prudent to make hard-boiled opinion and become stubborn by reading a little of the whole VAngamaya of Shruti and claim that what has been understood by reading that in isolation is the Truth !

I have nothing more to add to this topic ... so, before this thread becomes a battleground ... I quit this thread here.

OM

brahma jijnasa
17 February 2013, 11:04 PM
Namaste ShivaFan




I am a simple person, I do not know anything. I have a question, since I am not understanding this thread, as if some are having a problem back and forth even with each other. My question is, is "Realization of Supreme Brahman" and "Brahman" the same thing?

And is revealing the Supreme, and the Supreme, the Same?


I'm not quite sure what you mean.
Is it "Supreme Brahman" and "Brahman" the same thing?
Yes Supreme Brahman is Brahman, but it depends on the particular tradition of what it includes precisely, what that Brahman is.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "And is revealing the Supreme, and the Supreme, the Same?"

regards

Ganeshprasad
18 February 2013, 09:34 AM
Pranam Satay


Admin note

Obviously I can close this thread too but I just want to see how far the esteemed knowledgeable members would go... Does anyone have any self control? Lets see...

HDF watches....



Thanks, what self control!!

Let it be known I had not asked for any post to be removed, how you moderate this thread is, to state the obvious, up to you.

Certain people have a tendency to bring the worst in others, perhaps without meaning it or perhaps deliberately or both, human tendency!

It seems I will not have a direct answer to a question, does Vyasdev not know sruti?

The statement like (Precisely. They are authoritative only to the extent that they do not contradict shruti. This was never controversial among informed persons. )

I hear the above, all the time, these so call informed people never explain as to why we should fall back on sruti?

Who and at what point this rule was made?

We are told Puranas are meant for general mass of people, most would not have read Vedas in fact they were forbidden to read Vedas and yet we have some how be able to match it with sruti!

Why I keep asking? I can't imagine anyone here think Vyasji does not know sruti.

Jai Shree Krishna

philosoraptor
18 February 2013, 11:10 AM
Not just neos, traditional advaitins (including Shankra himself) would obviously not differentiate between a deva and Brahman. Ergo, their interpretation of the Kena would be different from yours - just like you posted a Ramanuja interpretation earlier.

So, I am a little unclear on your question. Are you saying, no one on this forum has access to Shankara's Kena Upanishad Bhashya or are you saying Shankara was wrong? I donated my copy a long time ago or else I could have posted it.

I'm saying that the Upanishad clearly distinguishes between Brahman and other devas, and that it is not an "Abrahamic interpretation" to accept the distinction as real. Even Shankara accepted the distinction between the two, at least in his vyavahArika level of perception. See for example, his comments on vedAnta-sUtra describing the eligibility of devas to meditate on brahman, or his comments on gItA 7.23 among others.

There is of course, a corollary to this point, and that is that "those who live in glass houses should not throw stones." The distinction between brahman and devas is very much a part of the tradition with clear support in shruti. That it does not seem convenient for the genesis of modern, Neo-Hindu, nationalist ideology does not make it "Abrahamic."

Viraja
18 February 2013, 11:41 AM
Namaste,

I hope my small contribution here (as a Vaishnava) will not have any serious interference to any discussions.

"Vritra was conquered by Vishnu and Indra together. If Vishnu is really all powerful, why was there any necessity to take the help of Indra."

I browsed the net on the above-mentioned episode and it seems first the devas went to Shiva for assistance in vanquishing the said asura, and then even Shiva went to Vishnu in asking for help.

From https://www.maavaishnodevi.org/vritrasura.aspx:

"Vritra waged a battle against Indra and his forces and managed to give a crushing defeat to him as a result of which Indra had to flee from the battle scene leaving behind his elephant Airawat. Vritrasura then took over Inderlok, forcing Indra to flee to Lord Shankar for help. Shankar along with Brahma went to lord Vishnu to seek his help."

Even in the story of Lord Shiva slaying Tripurasura, it is said, he did 'Avahanaa' of Dasamukha-Mahaganapathi in the tip of his arrow and aimed it at the 3 forts of Tripurasura and thus vanquished him. While Shiva is capable of burning down anyone by opening his 3rd eye, why in this instance he took the assistance of his son Vinayaka to kill Tripurasura?

Pranam.

philosoraptor
18 February 2013, 11:46 AM
polytheism is not the issue, it isthe comparativeanalysis and allocating a n ascending.descending order of importancethat has potential disharmony written all over it.


Does the shruti have "potential disharmony written all over it?"

The shatapatha brAhmaNa 14.1.1.5 says:

viShNurdevAnAm shreShTaH | "Vishnu is the best among gods."

And the aitareya brAhmaNa 1.1.1. says:

agnir vai devAnAm avamo viShNuH paramas | tadantareNa sarvA anyA devatA ||

"Agni among the gods has the lowest, Vishnu has the highest place; between them stand all the other deities."

These statements are clear and do not require interpretation. The problem here is that some people motivated by ideological constraints cannot accept these statements as factual.




You have rightly cited Upanishads profusely, but i see Brahman written all over them, although saguna Brahman was very much mentioned, nirguna was more glorified in so far as i see it.

And where do you see that, exactly? Please quote pramANas which explicitly distinguish between a "saguNa" and "nirguNa" brahman. Because so far as I have seen to date, these concepts, as Advaitists use them, are not found in the shruti anywhere. As far as the shrutis are considered, He is nirguNa and still has infinite auspicious qualities, is formless and yet Has form with countless limbs. The puruSha-sukta says:

vaE-dA-ha-maE -tam pu-ru-SHam ma -hA-ntam |
A-di -tya-va-rNam ta-ma-sa -stu pA -raE |
sa-rvA-Ni rU -pA-Ni vi -ci-tya dhI-raH |
nA-mA-ni kRe- tvA a-bhi - va-da-nya-dA-staE ||16||

He is the puruSha who is beyond tamas - not that He is the puruSha only in association with the guNas and not a puruSha when He transcends them.



As my quote from BrahmaSutras above, if one focuses on ones own daivarupa and be able to reach deeper planes of meditation, then it is the highly desirable practice, polytheism is fine. Whereas resorting to comparative analysis to bring down other rupas yields no rewarding outcome.


You are mistaken. Sri Krishna Himself resorts to just this sort of comparative analysis when He says:

antavat tu phalaṁ teṣāṁ tad bhavaty alpa-medhasām |
devān deva-yajo yānti mad-bhaktā yānti mām api || gItA 7.23 ||

"But verily the reward gained by these persons of limited understanding is finite. The worshippers of the gods will go to the gods by My devotees will come to Me."

Again, it just goes to show that the real problem here isn't differentiation between brahman and the devas. The problem is that there are those who refuse to accept it.



Shiva, Vishnu, durga or Brahman are the names we gave them for our sadhana purposes.


There are multiple pramANas describing brahman by names like "viShNu" and "rudra." Please quote the evidence stating that these are merely names given for the purpose of meditation.



Thanks to puranas, we have to deal with the diiscrepancies and the inconsistencies inherent in this system ourselves,

No we don't. All we need to do is accept what is consistent with shruti and reject that which is not consistent with shruti, as vedAntists have been doing for centuries.



what counts in karma siddanta, as you all very well know, is the degree of dharma ingrained in our words and deeds. My analogy with abrahamic faith is mainly from the intolerence angle really (of other sampradayas) not against the dvaita itself . Namaste.


The only intolerance I saw in this thread was the esteemed member who declared all those who disagree with his "all gods are the same God" theory as "Abrahamic." It sounds like you are saying that you find these sorts of remarks acceptable, since they are only directed at those who hold views which do not match your own.

Namaste

brahma jijnasa
18 February 2013, 01:44 PM
Namaste devotee


You have liberty to see Agni as a deity assigned with the task of taking sacrifices to God and also have liberty ti worship it as the Supreme. Similarly is the case of Indra and other God/Goddess-forms.

Now, the question of hierarchy among the deities. When you don't consider a particular form and name as the Supreme but the deva then there are different devas assigned with various tasks and then there will be hierarchy ! This has to be understood very clearly and carefully. If one reads Veda samhitA then it becomes very very clear how the same deity can be seen as just a deva and also as the Supreme Brahman.


Somehow, the Hindus in general accept that it is the same Brahman who is worshipped in various forms and names : Ekam sad vipra bahudha vadanti.

Now, it may be difficult for an average person to accept so many supreme Gods ! So, if you are a Vaishnava, Vishnu is Supreme ... if you are a Shaiva, Shiva is supreme ... if you are a devotee of KAli, Goddess KAli is supreme ... if you worship Indra as the Supreme ... Indra is supreme.


for Indra it says :

10.128.7 I adore Indra who is the Creator of the creator of this creation, who is the Lord of the worlds and and who proptect us.

If we identify some verse in the sruti such as Rig Veda is talking about Indra or Brahmā etc in terms of "He is the creator of the world" or "He was in the beginning of the creation", then we should notice that there is also this:


"In the beginning of the creation there was only the Supreme Personality Nārāyaṇa. There was no Brahmā, no Śiva, no water, no fire, no moon, no stars in the sky, no sun." (Mahā Upaniṣad)

"From Nārāyaṇa, Brahmā is born, and from Nārāyaṇa the patriarchs are also born. From Nārāyaṇa, Indra is born, from Nārāyaṇa the eight Vasus are born, from Nārāyaṇa the eleven Rudras are born, from Nārāyaṇa the twelve Ādityas are born." (Nārāyaṇa Upaniṣad)

Now, from the standpoint of whatever philosophy you look at it, advaita or vaishnava this or that, we need to understand these passages so that they have a meaning.
It clearly says that in the beginning "there was no Brahmā, ... no moon, no stars etc" and also it says "Brahmā is born ... Indra is born ... etc" so we have to admit that some entities have not been there in the beginning. Otherwise there would be no sense to say "there was no ... there was no" and "is born ... is born" if we assume they were all there in the beginning.

If we follow the intention of the text, we must admit that entities as Brahmā Indra Vasus ... moon stars sun ... etc are not Nārāyaṇa but are different from Nārāyaṇa and when we come across some scriptural statement that says Brahmā or Indra were at the beginning then obviously that "Brahmā" and "Indra" are not Brahmā and Indra mentioned in the above passages, because above passages clearly say "There was no Brahmā in the beginning" and "Indra is born".
If we do not follow the intention of the text then really anything, even any kind of nonsense we can derive from the passages.

Thus Brahmā and Indra ... were not at the beginning and they are not the creator of the world.

regards

philosoraptor
18 February 2013, 07:55 PM
Taking a few verses in isolation of a particular scripture without seeing the complete picture is sure to lead to erroneous interpretation of scriptures. We have to take all scriptures considered as Shruti and see the complete picture.

Pranams. I agree with this. Let us focus on all texts acknowledged to be shruti, and not bring in obscure texts of dubious authority which have not been quoted by pUrvAchAryas.



Indra, Agni, VAyu etc. have been extolled as the Supreme in the Vedas. However, they have also been described as devas for performing a particular job by the Brahman. Now, if they themselves are Supreme then they can't be subordinated and put to different jobs by anyone. A very pertinent example is Vishnu. Vishnu has been seen as the supreme at many places in the Vedas and the Upanishads. However, the same Vishnu has been described as the son of Aditi who is just like any other deva. Now, the Vishnu, if he is unborn, how can be a son of Aditi ? Vritra was conquered by Vishnu and Indra together. If Vishnu is really all powerful, why was there any necessity to take the help of Indra.

Devas are NOT described as Supreme in the Vedas. They are described as created beings in the shruti.

bRihadAraNyaka upaniShad:

II-i-20: As a spider moves along the thread (it produces), and as from a fire tiny sparks fly in all directions, so from this Self emanate all organs, all worlds, all gods and all beings. Its secret name (Upanishad) is 'the Truth of Truth'. The vital force is truth, and It is the Truth of that.

These devas attained their position through sacrifice as mentioned in the mahAnArAyaNa upaniShad:

LXXVIII-10: Others devoted to the Vedic religion say that sacrifice is the means of liberation. Verily gods have attained heaven by their own prior deeds of sacrifice. Therefore seekers of the highest good delight in the performance of sacrifice.

Note that brahman is always brahman, and does not attain His position via sacrifice, in contrast to the devas. Note also that brahman is without origin/cause/birth, while the devas have their origin in Him. Two things with different properties cannot be the same. This is elementary logic 101.

When brahman is addressed by names like indra, agni, or vAyu, such references have to be understood to refer to brahman, and not the subordinate devas commonly known by those names. It is illogical to assert that something is supreme and not supreme at the same time. Thus, context must be used to determine who the referent is. Is it brahman being referred to as indra, or is it the deva indra whose victory was won by brahman as in the kena upaniShad? Names like "indra" and "agni" are not proper nouns, denote specific attributes, and can apply either to the deva who bears them or to the brahman who has all the attributes. "indra" for example means "Lord" in a generic sense and is by no means specific to deva-rAja.

Vishnu being the son of Aditi is no more compromising to His supremacy than being son of Yashoda (as Krishna) or son of Kausalyaa (as Raama). Factually He has no mother or father except when, for the purpose of lIlA, he selects an exalted soul to act in this function. There is no need to invoke complicated, illogical paradigms of interpretation to assert that someone can be supreme and not supreme at the same time. Vishnu is always supreme even when He chooses to appear otherwise.

Vishnu did not need Indra's help to deal with Vritra. But because Indra's enmity with Vritra was aroused when the former killed the latter's brother Vishvaruupa, it was only fitting that Indra deal with Vritra himself. This is mentioned in bhAgavata purANa, 6th skandhya, 9th adhyAya.



How do we solve this puzzle ?

We have forgotten that in the Vedas, the Devas are supposed to be assigned to a particular task and also shown as the supreme in different places. This is because, the same Brahman projects these deities and these deities are Brahman alone.

Members may note the circular logic being employed above. How do we know devas are brahman? Because devas are brahman.

In reality, there is no puzzle. "Indra" when spoken of as a deva is not the same as "Indra" spoken of as a supreme being. The logic that "both are called Indra, therefore they must be the same being," is silly. Would you argue that anyone whose name is Ganesh must be the son of Shiva? Seriously?



If we remember PraSna Upanishad : PrANa is created by PrajApati with his tapasyA. However, just a few verses after, PrANa has been described as the PrajApati Himself.

This is because brahman is the indweller (antaryAmin) of all other entities, conscious and unconscious. See chAndogya upaniShad:

VI-viii-7: 'That Being which is this subtle essence (cause), even That all this world has for its self. That is the true. That is the Atman. That thou art, O Svetaketu.' 'Revered sir, please explain it further to me'. 'So be it, dear boy', said (the father).

As such, He can be referred to by the names of any body within which He dwells, in the same way that you refer to a human being by name given to his body. Factually, the name "Ganesh Prasad" refers to a body composed of inert matter which has no life of its own, yet you address someone as "Ganesh Prasad" and expect a response? Why? Do dead bodies respond to questions? No. Obviously, you are referring to the jIva within the body known as "Ganesh Prasad." In the same way, "prANa" can refer to the vital air, or it can refer to the deity indwelling within the vital air. This is why the shruti can speak of it as a created entity and a supreme entity.



We all know how dear is held, "Gayatri" mantra by the Hindus. This Gayatri which has been accepted as a mantra dedicated to Brahman is actually devoted to SavitA i.e. Sun God and not NArAyaNa.

False. The gAyatrI mantra is in fact a meditation on nArAyaNa, as this mantra (which is chanted at the end of sandhya-vandanam) states:

dhyeya sadA savitr maNDala madhyavartI
nArAyaNaH sarasijAsana sanniviSTaH
keyUravAn makara kuNDalavAn kirITI
hArI hiraNmaya vapuH dhrta zaGkha cakraH

"One should meditate on the form of Lord NArAyaNa situated in the sun globe. He is seated on a lotus, with golden bracelets, crown, shark earrings; he is golden in complexion, and holds the shankha and chakra in his hands."

Specifically, it is nArAyaNa as the indwelling controller of savitA (sun-god) who in turn is the indwelling controller of the sun globe. The gAyatrI-mantra is clearly a prayer to a supreme deity, and the sun-god who was forced by Kunti's mantra to appear before her and give her a son is clearly not a supreme deity.

Other shAstras confirm that nArAyaNa can be worshiped as the sun. For example, viShNu purANa 3.5.14-20:

Yájnawalkya, who was perfect in ascetic practices, addressed himself strenuously to the sun, being anxious to recover possession of the texts of the Yajush. "Glory to the sun," he exclaimed, "the gate of liberation, the fountain of bright radiance, the triple source of splendour, as the Rig, the Yajur, and the Sáma Vedas. Glory to him, who, as fire and the moon, is one with the cause of the universe: to the sun, that is charged with radiant heat, and with the Sushumna ray (by which the moon is fed with light): to him who is one with the notion of time, and all its divisions of hours, minutes, and seconds: to him who is to be meditated upon as the visible form of Vishńu, as the impersonation of the mystic Om: to him who nourishes the troops of the gods, having filled the moon with his rays; who feeds the Pitris with nectar and ambrosia, and who nourishes mankind with rain; who pours down or absorbs the waters in the time of the rains, of cold, and of heat. Glory be to Brahmá, the sun, in the form of the three seasons: he who alone is the dispeller of the darkness of this earth, of which he is the sovereign lord: to the god who is clad in the raiment of purity be adoration. Glory to the sun, until whose rising man is incapable of devout acts, and water does not purify, and touched by whose rays the world is fitted for religious rites: to him who is the centre and source of purification. Glory to Savitrí, to Súrya, to Bháskara, to Vivaswat, to Áditya, to the first-born of gods or demons. I adore the eye of the universe, borne in a golden car, whose banners scatter ambrosia."

And the shruti also confirms brahman's representation as the sun. For example, paramAtmA-sukta of yajur-veda quoted in mahAnArAyaNa upaniShad:

1. The universe arose from Visvakarman through water, earth, fire and other elements. He excelled Aditya, Indra and other gods. The sun called Tvasta rises in the morning embodying His brilliance. In the beginning of creation the mortal world enveloped in gloom received its divine brilliance from the sun shining in the glory of Paramatman.
2. I know this Great Person who is beyond ignorance and darkness and whose splendour is comparable to that of the sun. Knowing Him thus in this life itself, one transcends death. There is no other path leading to the attainment of liberation.
3. The sun who is the Lord of creatures moves about in the space between heaven and earth causing day and night. Although He is unborn, being the Self of all, He manifests Himself as the manifold universe. Wise men realize the source of the universe, the all-pervading Paramatman. Prajapati, the first patriarchs, sought the position, which Marichi and other sages attained.
4. Salutation to the resplendent Sun-God who is the son of Para-Brahman, who shines for the benefit of gods, who is invoked as the beneficent leader of the gods, and who was born as the eldest among the gods.


Note here how the creator of the universe (brahman, here referred to as Vishvakarman) is described as excelling Aditya (the sun-god), who rises in the morning embodying His brilliance (i.e. gets His attribute of luminosity from that brahman). Then brahman's splendor is compared to the sun. Then brahman as Lord of all creatures is addressed as the sun, and finally obeisances to the sun-god as the progeny of parabrahman! It is not the same sun-god being described throughout! It is sun-god, then the parama puruSha as the sun-god's antaryAmin, and then finally again the sun-god himself who is addressed in succession.

Why meditate on brahman aka nArAyaNa specifically as the indwelling controller of sUrya-deva, who is himself the indwelling controller of the sun globe? Because of the meditation - He is beyond darkness and illumines the entire world by His effulgence. The sun also illumines the world by its effulgence. Factually, the sun represents a tiny spark of the Lord's total glories. Yet, one has to meditate on His attributes somehow, so the shrutis prescribe meditating on Him as the indwelling controller of the deva controlling the sun. Note that the meditation is not on the sun-globe, which is nothing more than inert matter, but the sun-god's self's Self, with the sun as its extension or body.



The key is the bhaava of the seeker. He has freedom to see Shiva as a deity assigned a certain task of annihilation and he also has liberty to see Shiva as the Supreme. You have liberty to see Agni as a deity assigned with the task of taking sacrifices to God and also have liberty ti worship it as the Supreme. Similarly is the case of Indra and other God/Goddess-forms. It is like position of an electron in the electron-cloud which is affected by the presence of observer.

This is refuted by bhagavad-gItA:

ye ’py anya-devatā-bhaktā yajante śraddhayānvitāḥ |
te ’pi mām eva kaunteya yajanty avidhi-pūrvakam || gItA 9.23 ||
ahaṁ hi sarva-yajñānāṁ bhoktā ca prabhur eva ca |
na tu mām abhijānanti tattvenātaś cyavanti te || gItA 9.24 ||
yānti deva-vratā devān pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ |
bhūtāni yānti bhūtejyā yānti mad-yājino ’pi mām || gItA 9.25 ||

Even those who, endowed with faith are devoted to other gods, they worship Me alone, O Kaunteya, in an indirect manner. For, I alone am the enjoyer and the only Lord of all sacrifices. They do no recognize Me in My true nature; hence they fall. Devotees of the gods go to the gods. The ancestor worshippers go to the manes; the worshippers of bhUta-s go to them; and those who worship Me come to Me.


This cannot be more clear. You have "freedom" to worship anya-devas, but failing to recognize that the fruits of anya-deva worship are bestowed by nArAyaNa alone, and that nArAyaNa is the only true enjoyer of all yagna (not the devas, who are merely intermediaries), you will fall down. Those who worship the devas go the worlds of the devas, in contrast to those who worship nArAyaNa who go to Him. Hence, the devas are different from nArAyaNa.

Note again that worship of other forms of nArAyaNa like rAma, kRiShNa, narasimha, etc is NEVER said to be "avidhi-pUrvakam" (without proper knowledge). Only anya-devata worship is characterized in this way. Hence, anya-devatas are not other forms of nArAyaNa; they are intermedaries who act as representatives of nArAyaNa in sacrifice.



Now, the question of hierarchy among the deities. When you don't consider a particular form and name as the Supreme but the deva then there are different devas assigned with various tasks and then there will be hierarchy ! This has to be understood very clearly and carefully. If one reads Veda samhitA then it becomes very very clear how the same deity can be seen as just a deva and also as the Supreme Brahman. It is also reflected in 108 Upanishads.

This is unintelligible. There is no "hierarchy" among the names and forms of the Lord. There is hierarchy amongst the devas. This is objectively stated in shrutis quoted previously, and it will not go away merely because it is not consistent with your sectarian views.



I must clarify here why I said in one place that those who try to prove the superiority of one God-form above another are better fit for Abrahimic religions.

a) First of all, it was not directed at anyone on this forum. This statement was made due to these reasons :

AbrAhmic religions are very much bogged down with this question : Who is the True God /False God ? There have been strict actions recommended in their scriptures for people who worship "false" god(s).

Somehow, the Hindus in general accept that it is the same Brahman who is worshipped in various forms and names : Ekam sad vipra bahudha vadanti.

b) I have no issues if someone says, "NArAyana" is supreme ... it is ok as Shstras say so. But when you start saying that "Lord Shiva is a demi-god and not supreme" you are violating many Shruti texts. Shastras also say that "Shiva is Supreme".

The only thing worse than uttering an ugly remark is rationalizing it.

Fact: no one here has employed wording like "false god," etc. Devotee's remarks are a strawman.

Fact: Devotee is misquoting the Rig Veda. The "ekam sat" mantra merely states that brahman is known by various names. It does not state that all devas are different forms of brahman.

Fact: Brahman is referred to by names of devas who are clearly different from Him. There is no "but he is Supreme also!" This is wishy-washy and illogical. The Supreme Lord is one without a second. Period.

It seems to me, that the reason some people hurl insults, such as comparing those whom they disagree with to Abrahamics, is because their own views on Hinduism do not stand up to polite scrutiny. Why come to terms with the contradictory nature of one's own opinions, when you can just villify those who disagree as "Abrahamics?" Insults like these are the tool of the insecure and the uninformed.



Now, it may be difficult for an average person to accept so many supreme Gods ! So, if you are a Vaishnava, Vishnu is Supreme ... if you are a Shaiva, Shiva is supreme ... if you are a devotee of KAli, Goddess KAli is supreme ... if you worship Indra as the Supreme ... Indra is supreme.

This of course, is the hallmark belief of Neo-Hinduism.




There is no fight. Why to be so much angry/hurt/stubborn/combative over this issue ? Please choose any path that suits you .... but please don't ridicule others who choose paths different from you.

So, devotee, why do you ridicule those who choose paths different from you as "Abrahamic?" This is pretty hypocritical, don't you think?



Common noun or Proper Noun ?? What are the rules and how it proves that NArAyAna is proper noun and other devas like Agni/Vayu etc. names as common noun must be an interesting thing to understand.

According to pANinI's aShTAdhyAyi, certain names containing Na-kArA when following certain consonants must be understood as proper nouns. The name "nArAyaNa" is one such word which fits this description. Note that "nArAyaNa" is a proper noun according to pANinI's rules, while "nArAyana" is not. Another example is "sUrpaNakha." While the name "sUpranakha" can refer to anyone having long nails, the name "sUrpaNakha" refers only to the sister of rAvaNa. Similarly, "nArAyana" could (in theory) refer to any deity with the attributes donated by the word, but "nArAyaNa" (as it is found in shruti) can refer only to one entity, namely, the husband of Sri.

I certainly hope you are not going to disagree with pANinI.



Till the above is done, I will clarify here that in the Veda-samhitAs, it is not that the God is NArAyaNa and he is being referred to as Agni or Indra or VAyu or Rudra or Vishvedeva etc.. No, the devata being invoked in that chapter is Agni and it is referred to as the supreme ... or the Indra is the devatA and he is addressed as the supreme etc. Similarly, Vishnu and others.

Incorrect and illogical, for reasons already mentioned. There is only One Supreme Being according to shruti, and addressing dependent entities as Supreme contradicts that principle.



The main thing is that if you have to describe an elephant, you must see the whole elephant and not that you catch hold of its bushy tail and say, "hey, elephant is like a brush !". This is nothing but blindness. If NArAyana is described at some places in the scriptures as the Supreme, then so is Shiva and so is Indra and so is Agni ....


Again, you are just not grasping the point. nArAyaNa is always described in the shruti as a Supreme Deity. Always.

Names like "Agni" and "Indra" do not always refer to a supreme deity.

A being cannot be supreme and not supreme at the same time. Indra being described as supreme in one place is not the same as the non-supreme Indra in another place.

The idea of addressing various devas in succession each as supreme, i.e. "henotheism," is a theory fabricated by Western Indologists. Of course, if you believe Western Indologists, you are more than welcome to do so. Just recognize the fact that it is an illogical theory.

Your comments attacking AchAryas who accept the straightforward meaning of shruti involving deva-tAratamya, is just one more indicator of the phenomenon of Hindus at war with their own culture.

pranams,

philosoraptor
18 February 2013, 09:32 PM
The specific sUtra is aShTAdhyAyi 8.4.3:

pUrvapadAt saMj~nAyAm agaH

This pada is all about the n --> N substitution and in the contexts in which it occurs. Here, pANinI states that in a word containing "n" preceded by another word with either "r" or "Sh" but not containing "g," the "n" becomes a "N" provided that the derivate denotes a name /saMj~na.

devotee
18 February 2013, 11:27 PM
Namaste all,

When you can twist the facts and stand firm on irrational arguments .... you are sure to win any argument.

Just for the sake of people who may have doubts due to so much irrational posts around :

Those who have not read Veda-samhitA and 108 Upanishads should not accept what is being offered by self declared experts here. PLease read from beginning to end and you will have no doubts that what I have stated above is all correct. There also you can see that how proper nouns have been cleverly declared as common nouns here. PANiNi or no PANiNi ... if someone is addressed with a name personally, that name has to be proper noun. Such arguments can be given by only those who have not thoroughly read samhitAs and the Upanishads .... why go for theory when practical proof is there ? One of my friends' name is Indra ... should I say that this Indra is a common noun just because of some unknown rule existing somewhere ? In fact, by the nature of name, NArAyaNa appears to be a common noun due to its meaning which it draws from combination of other words (NArA + Ayana) ... so this name can be used for anyone possessing that attribute related with the words' meaning and that is common noun whereas Agni/VAyu/Indra are not drawing their meaning from other words but these words are used to give special meanings with their characteristics to other words. It is like use of word, "Einstein" which is a proper noun for a particular scientist ... but a very intelligent and expert in math can also be called an "Einstein". So, what is being offered is nothing but all kutarka.

Anyway, my final words are ... those who want to know the Truth, should neither believe me nor any other poster on this forum. They should read the samhitAs themselves ... they should read the Upanishads themselves and that will give them the clarity.

Now I will not post in this thread and someone will go with this satisfaction that he has won ! How does it matter ? Truth cannot be changed by arguments.

OM

Sahasranama
19 February 2013, 12:24 AM
Now, it may be difficult for an average person to accept so many supreme Gods ! So, if you are a Vaishnava, Vishnu is Supreme ... if you are a Shaiva, Shiva is supreme ... if you are a devotee of KAli, Goddess KAli is supreme ... if you worship Indra as the Supreme ... Indra is supreme.I don't agree with the Vaishnava position, the shastras clearly give higher positions to deities like Shiva and Kali than Vaishnavas want to admit. But there is a very clear distinction between the Smartha point of view that the main deities of Sanatana Dharma, nota bene not all deities, are manifestations of the same brahman and the neo-Vedanta point of view that maintains that a deity reigns supreme by mere wishful thinking of a devotee. Indra cannot be considered supreme. Indra only temporarily holds a position as the ruler of svarga which he earned with his good deeds. He can fall or rise from this position. Wishful thinking can be extended ad absurdum to say that if a devotee worships a goat as supreme brahman, then the goat is supreme. This reasoning lays the foundation of Universalism and it's no wonder that neo-Vedantins start equating Gods from other religions with Brahman.

To go back to the original subject, Vaishnavas tend to raise eyebrows when there are instances like Krishna taking Shaiva initiation or Rama worshipping Shiva or Aditya and Internet-Advaitins and Shaivites tend to get offended by stories like Vishnu helping Shiva when he was being chased by Bhasmasura. I don't think any of these stories are dubious and I consider them to be part of the divine lila. It was quite inconsistent to raise of objections about such incidences in the Bhagavata while defending similar occurrences elsewhere in smriti. I agree that Tulasi Dasa has unbiasedly represented the greatness of Shiva according to Shastra without any sampradayik dogma.

shiv.somashekhar
19 February 2013, 12:57 AM
I don't agree with the Vaishnava position, the shastras clearly give higher positions to deities like Shiva and Kali than Vaishnavas want to admit. But there is a very clear distinction between the Smartha point of view that the main deities of Sanatana Dharma, nota bene not all deities, are manifestations of the same brahman and the neo-Vedanta point of view that maintains that a deity reigns supreme by mere wishful thinking of a devotee. Indra cannot be considered supreme.

That is interesting.

Not that I am disagreeing or anything, but what according to you is the criteria to differentiate between Supreme and non-supreme deities? How do you classify Ganesha, Sringeri Sharada, Tirupathi Venkatesh, Ambaal, etc.? We have quite a few people who are staunch devotees of these Gods and I am curious to know what would differentiate them from devotees of Shiva, Rama, etc.

Sahasranama
19 February 2013, 01:22 AM
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That is interesting.

Not that I am disagreeing or anything, but what according to you is the criteria to differentiate between Supreme and non-supreme deities? How do you classify Ganesha, Sringeri Sharada, Tirupathi Venkatesh, Ambaal, etc.? We have quite a few people who are staunch devotees of these Gods and I am curious to know what would differentiate them from devotees of Shiva, Rama, etc.



Ganesha is pratyaksha brahman. Sharada is a particular aspect of Shakti. Shakti is as much supreme as Shaktiman, as per Sri Sukta, ishvari sarvabhutanam. Venkatesh is how Vishnu is worshipped in the South. The criteria is that some deities are partial or full manifestations or aspects of Brahman and others are jivatmas that have temporarily obtained the position of devata through their good deeds. In a previous life you or me could have been Indra or Brahma, but not Vishnu, Shiva or Durga. In the smartha sampradaya (the word smartha originally comes from the word smriti, but was in later time associated with Shankaracharya's sect) five or six deities including their permutations are considered manifestations of the supreme. This idea is not exclusive to advaita vedanta and is a bigger theme in the Itihasas and Puranas, hence a Vaishnava like Tulasi Dasa also held this position. Fights between sampradayas are much stronger in people who adhere very strongly to one particular Agamic or Tantrik school, while the Itihasa and Puranas stress the equality of Vishnu and Shiva and also between Ishvara and Ishvari.

philosoraptor
19 February 2013, 11:19 AM
When you can twist the facts and stand firm on irrational arguments .... you are sure to win any argument.

Just for the sake of people who may have doubts due to so much irrational posts around :

Those who have not read Veda-samhitA and 108 Upanishads should not accept what is being offered by self declared experts here. PLease read from beginning to end and you will have no doubts that what I have stated above is all correct. There also you can see that how proper nouns have been cleverly declared as common nouns here. PANiNi or no PANiNi ... if someone is addressed with a name personally, that name has to be proper noun. Such arguments can be given by only those who have not thoroughly read samhitAs and the Upanishads .... why go for theory when practical proof is there ? One of my friends' name is Indra ... should I say that this Indra is a common noun just because of some unknown rule existing somewhere ? In fact, by the nature of name, NArAyaNa appears to be a common noun due to its meaning which it draws from combination of other words (NArA + Ayana) ... so this name can be used for anyone possessing that attribute related with the words' meaning and that is common noun whereas Agni/VAyu/Indra are not drawing their meaning from other words but these words are used to give special meanings with their characteristics to other words. It is like use of word, "Einstein" which is a proper noun for a particular scientist ... but a very intelligent and expert in math can also be called an "Einstein". So, what is being offered is nothing but all kutarka.

Anyway, my final words are ... those who want to know the Truth, should neither believe me nor any other poster on this forum. They should read the samhitAs themselves ... they should read the Upanishads themselves and that will give them the clarity.


Pranams,

Devotee has not responded to any arguments at all. Whenever one disagrees with him, that person is accused of making "irrational arguments," offering "kutarka," declaring himself an "expert," and so on. Merely assuming the correctness of one's opinions to be self-evident, and declaring any objection ipso facto argumentative or irrational, is not convincing in the least, except to those who have already decided they will believe in your opinions, and not conclusions based on facts and logic. Devotee's argument rests on believing that entities can be both Supreme and not Supreme at the same time, and that a flawless religious scripture can hold both contradictory views, with the contradiction being reconciled by the devotee's subjective belief. As one member noted, if reality becomes malleable under the weight of personal, wishful thinking, that by the same logic one can make anyone or anything the Supreme and be correct in worshiping it. I think I speak for all of us when I say that we object to Hinduism being portrayed in such a frivolous manner, as that would turn our grand traditions into a laughing stock in front of others.

I am gratified to hear that devotee has read translations of all the veda saMhitA-s and 108 upaniShad-s. However, I am continuously perplexed by his inability to offer a logical explanation for specific upaniShads I quoted which contradict his views, such as the Kena Upanishad in which "Supreme Lord" Indra, "Supreme Lord" Agni, and "Supreme Lord" Vaayu are all humbled by Brahman in the guise of a Yaksha. If you truly have a correct understanding of the shruti, then you should be able to offer, based on those principles of interpretation, a convincing explanation for any individual upaniShad of undisputed authenticity. Members may recall a time when you asserted that there was no such thing as "jIva" in the upaniShads, to which I corrected you by giving explicit evidence from the svetAshvatara upaniShad to the contrary. It was not very well received by you. I suggest that the reason you divert our attention to other texts in the name of "108 Upanishads" is because your philosophy does not fit what is taught in the principal upaniShads whose authority is accepted by all. It also seems to me that while you have no qualms attacking the beliefs of other acharyas (e.g. calling them "fit for Abrahamic religions" and so forth), you are uninterested and unprepared for anyone to question the validity of your own beliefs. Why not instead refrain from attacking other religions, and engage in healthy dialogue?

Again, it bears repeating that "nArAyaNa," when it occurs in the shruti, always is used in the context of a Supreme Deity. Always. The same is not true for many other names like "indra," "agni," "vAyu," "rudra," etc. These other names are sometimes used in the context of describing a Supreme Deity, and sometimes used in the context of describing a subordinate deva. This is factual observation and not interpretation.

Again, pANinI's rule is pretty clear, regardless of what it appears to you. I suggest that you are dismissing his views because you do not understand them, just as you dismissed the concept of sandhi rules when you did not understand those and your knowledge of Sanskrit was found wanting. Now, I don't have any problems with people not knowing Sanskrit, but I think when it is obvious that you do not understand something, you ought to suspend argument and try reading up on the issue. You just might find it worth your while.

Still, I agree with devotee on one thing. Don't believe anything because we say so. Read the scriptures yourself! And I will disagree with devotee on this additional point - please read them preferably under the tutelage of a qualified guru.

devotee
19 February 2013, 11:14 PM
Namaste Philosoraptor,

Though I don't like discussing with you due to your kutarkas which need lot of effort to to show how these are irrelevant but I think I owe you some answer why I said what I said. So, this may be my first post after a very long time directed to you. I have not responded to your arguments because I had promised you that I won't ... as it doesn't lead to the Truth but endless mindless discussion.

Please see these :

a) You have said that "NArAyANa" is Common noun. PLease show me texts from any of the SamhitAs where "NArAYaNa" has been used for Agni/Vayu/Indra etc. as common noun.

b) Why don't you accept the 108 Upanishads as the authority ? Your logic that except 10 major Upanishads all are spurious and unreliable has no support. You have said that as "Allopanishad" is fake Upanishad ... all these Upanishads must be fake is an irrational argument. Everyone knows that "Allopanishad" was written in the time of Akbar for a motive which is clear. With only that example, all other Upanishads cannot be considered fake and unreilable. Moreover, our discussion is for judging the supremacy of deities where these Major Upanishads don't say much.

c) In how many major Upanishads "NArAyANa" who is spouse of Laxmi has been considered Brahman ? Please quote only from major Upanishads i.e. Aitreya Upanishad, Chhandogya Upanishad, Kena, Katha, Taitriya, SvetAsvatar, Maitrayani, Isha, BrahdAraNyaka, MAndukya, Mundak and Prashna.

d) How do you refute verses of Veda SamhitAs where Shiva, Indra, Agni, Vayu etc. have been praised as Brahman is praised ?

e) You say that "NArAyANa' is always considered as Supreme ... is true. However, that was never an issue at all. However, SamhitAs don't talk about NArAyaNa (as far as remember. Please correct me if I wrong). Instead, Vishnu is mentioned therein. Vishnu has been praised as Supreme and also described as one of the Devas. So, your argument falls apart.

f) I don't refute what you quoted from Kena Upanishad. I am saying that if that was the Only Truth, then this should have echoed in Veda-samhitAs too. In the absence of that, Only Kena Upanishad cannot be interpreted as you are doing. Moreover, I would be grateful if you can show me where Kena Upanishad says that it was NArAyaNa. See, Brahman is Supreme ... there is no doubt about it. So, everyone agrees as all deities if shown separately with Brahman as another entity in the same context will be inferior to Brahman. However, it doesn't mean that that Brahman is NArAyana. Also, it doesn't mean that Brahman and deities are "really" different from each other. We must see what is written in all other texts considered as Shruti.


It also seems to me that while you have no qualms attacking the beliefs of other acharyas (e.g. calling them "fit for Abrahamic religions" and so forth)

Please don't malign me unnecessarily. I am not your enemy. I have nowhere said anything wrong against any Acharya. If I said so, please show me that. I would like to express my apology for that.

OM

philosoraptor
20 February 2013, 03:16 PM
a) You have said that "NArAyANa" is Common noun. PLease show me texts from any of the SamhitAs where "NArAYaNa" has been used for Agni/Vayu/Indra etc. as common noun.

I said no such thing. I said that it was a proper noun, as per pANinI's rules, and as such refers to only one deity, namely the Lord of Sri. This is in contrast to names like Indra, Agni, Vaayu, etc each of which can refer to 2 or more different entities based on context.



b) Why don't you accept the 108 Upanishads as the authority ? Your logic that except 10 major Upanishads all are spurious and unreliable has no support. You have said that as "Allopanishad" is fake Upanishad ... all these Upanishads must be fake is an irrational argument. Everyone knows that "Allopanishad" was written in the time of Akbar for a motive which is clear. With only that example, all other Upanishads cannot be considered fake and unreilable. Moreover, our discussion is for judging the supremacy of deities where these Major Upanishads don't say much.


The above is what is known as a "strawman" argument. I never said that "except 10 major Upanishads all are spurious and unreliable." What I have said is that there are texts of human origin that have been passed off as "Upanishads," and such texts cannot be genuine Upanishads when they are not unauthored. We know the principal Upanishads are canon because they have been commented on by AchAryas from multiple different traditions going back to 8th century, are still taught in living oral traditions today, and so no doubts exists regarding their authenticity. The same is true for a handful of other upaniShads such as the shvetAshvatara, the mahAnArAyaNa, and few others which have been quoted by pUrvAchAryas in their writings. By contrast, a large number of the so-called 108 Upanishads have never been quoted by any of the AchAryas, and it is not believable that they would have neglected to quote them when they contain such philosophically relevant material. Hence, I stated that their authority is dubious. As in, I'm waiting to hear proof of their antiquity, but until I do so, I can only assume that those who retreat into these other Upanishads do so because they cannot defend their views based on the principal ones quoted by the AchAryas. Just as an aside, several of these Upanishads contain material that does seem consistent with my position, but I am hesitant to quote them until I know for sure that they are genuine.



c) In how many major Upanishads "NArAyANa" who is spouse of Laxmi has been considered Brahman ? Please quote only from major Upanishads i.e. Aitreya Upanishad, Chhandogya Upanishad, Kena, Katha, Taitriya, SvetAsvatar, Maitrayani, Isha, BrahdAraNyaka, MAndukya, Mundak and Prashna.

The short answer is: All of them, since the genuine upaniShads represent a consistent school of thinking and do not contradict each other.

The long answer is: the question is irrelevant - you are the one who argued against artificially relying on only the principal upaniShads. I have argued for using all upaniShads known to be genuine. The mahAnArAyaNa upaniShad is the 10th prapataka of the taittirIya AraNyaka and has been quoted by Shankara, Shayana, and Raamaanuja. Although it is not one of the principal 10, its authenticity is not disputed, and any commentary on vedAnta must reconcile with it. Since the taittirIya AraNyaka equates nArAyaNa with brahman, several times unequivocally, and nArAyaNa is a proper noun according to pANinI's rules, it must be understood that brahman (who is one without a second) anywhere else also means nArAyaNa. Unless of course, you accept the Western Indologist view that shrutis are inconsistent hodge podge....

Even if (for whatever reason), you ignore mahAnArAyaNa upaniShad, you are still left with the unmistakeable conclusion that brahman is superior to the devas, that brahman is the parama puruSha, and that He is the Lord of Sri (as per puruSha-sukta). Now, if you want to argue that brahman is not nArAyaNa, but rather someone else, you are free to do so. But your logic must be consistent. There is no question that the devas are different, distinct beings throughout the Vedic canon. You have to pick one and see if that one really qualifies as the Supreme Brahman consistently or not.



d) How do you refute verses of Veda SamhitAs where Shiva, Indra, Agni, Vayu etc. have been praised as Brahman is praised ?


There is no need to refute them. All of shruti is 100% true. When brahman is addressed as rudra, indra, agni, vAyu, etc these have to be understood as referring to nArAyaNa aka brahman by those names. When rudra, indra, agni, vAyu, etc are spoken of as created entities who are subordinate to brahman, then those references must be understood to refer to subordinate devas rather than brahman. This is a clear and logical approach to the shruti, as opposed to the one which holds that the same entity can be the Supreme Lord in one context and not the Supreme Lord in another.



e) You say that "NArAyANa' is always considered as Supreme ... is true. However, that was never an issue at all. However, SamhitAs don't talk about NArAyaNa (as far as remember. Please correct me if I wrong). Instead, Vishnu is mentioned therein. Vishnu has been praised as Supreme and also described as one of the Devas. So, your argument falls apart.

If the shruti declares A to be Supreme, B to be Supreme, and C to be Supreme, then it logically follows that A = B = C. Again, elementary logic.



f) I don't refute what you quoted from Kena Upanishad. I am saying that if that was the Only Truth, then this should have echoed in Veda-samhitAs too. In the absence of that, Only Kena Upanishad cannot be interpreted as you are doing. Moreover, I would be grateful if you can show me where Kena Upanishad says that it was NArAyaNa. See, Brahman is Supreme ... there is no doubt about it. So, everyone agrees as all deities if shown separately with Brahman as another entity in the same context will be inferior to Brahman. However, it doesn't mean that that Brahman is NArAyana. Also, it doesn't mean that Brahman and deities are "really" different from each other. We must see what is written in all other texts considered as Shruti.

No, the problem is you cannot accept what the Kena Upanishad is saying, because it contradicts your theory that all devas are the same Brahman. The traditionalists' position has always been that there is only one truth in the veda-s from beginning to end. If devas are beings who depend on brahman in the Kena Upanishad, then they are beings who depend on brahman in every other shruti as well. Not just in the Kena, but many Upanishads speak of the devas as having attributes contradicting the notion that they are Brahman. For example, in the aitareya, they are spoken of as being created by brahman, and in the bRihadAraNyaka, they are spoken of as being dependent on prANa. Brahman, as you know, is one without a second, without origin, and completely independent. So let's apply common sense: if A is created and dependent, and B is without origin and independent, can A = B?

I have listed multiple shruti pramANas proving the different attributes of the devas with respect to brahman. There is no getting around it: Brahman and devas are different beings! What is correct may not be politically correct, but it is what it is.



Please don't malign me unnecessarily. I am not your enemy. I have nowhere said anything wrong against any Acharya. If I said so, please show me that. I would like to express my apology for that.


Nobody has maligned you. It was you who claimed that those who believed in deva-hierarchy were "fit for Abrahamic religions." Since the vast majority of Vedaantic and post-vedaantic thinkers accept deva-hierarchy, your remarks constitute an ill-conceived and uninformed attack against all of them: Sridhar Swami, Madhva, Raamaanuja, Chaitanya, Vallabha, Jayatirtha, Vyasatirtha, Vedanta Desika, Sri Ranga Ramanuja Muni, Baladeva Vidyabhushana, Jiva Gosvami, Nimbarka, Vishnuswami, Adi Shankara, Madhusudana Saraswati, and so on. These high-souled, erudite individuals all left their mark on Hinduism with their learned commentaries and other writings, and they deserve your respect even if you are going to disagree with them. And if you are going to disagree with them, let me suggest that you do so politely. No matter how much we read, we are certainly not on the level of any of these great scholars in terms of their dedication or erudition.

As far as I personally am concerned, I don't need any apology for myself from you. You are completely free to attack me and malign me whenever you wish.

pranams,

Ganeshprasad
20 February 2013, 06:01 PM
Pranam





Sridhar Swami, Madhva, Raamaanuja, Chaitanya, Vallabha, Jayatirtha, Vyasatirtha, Vedanta Desika, Sri Ranga Ramanuja Muni, Baladeva Vidyabhushana, Jiva Gosvami, Nimbarka, Vishnuswami, Adi Shankara, Madhusudana Saraswati, and so on. These high-souled, erudite individuals all left their mark on Hinduism with their learned commentaries and other writings, and they deserve your respect even if you are going to disagree with them. And if you are going to disagree with them, let me suggest that you do so politely. No matter how much we read, we are certainly not on the level of any of these great scholars in terms of their dedication or erudition.

pranams,

And towering above all these, great, mostly Vaishnava personalities( no surprise there), is our great Krishna Dvaipayana Veda Vyasa, who deserve our utmost respect, so i ask again the original purpose of this thread, does he teach some non sense in smriti text?
Did Vyasdev not know sruti? To think he could write non sense, is an insult of a monumental proportion don't you think?
How would majority of Hindus who had no access to Sruti, reconcile them? Mind boggles.

Jai Shree Krishna

philosoraptor
20 February 2013, 06:04 PM
And towering above all these, great, mostly Vaishnava personalities( no surprise there), is our great Krishna Dvaipayana Veda Vyasa, who deserve our utmost respect, so i ask again the original purpose of this thread, does he teach some non sense in smriti text?
Did Vyasdev not know sruti? To think he could write non sense, is an insult of a monumental proportion don't you think?
How would majority of Hindus who had no excess to Sruti, reconcile them? Mind boggles.


Your mind perhaps, not mine. As far as I am concerned, anything in the itihAsa/purANa which contradicts shruti is not vyAsa's doing and is most likely sectarian interpolation.

pranams,

Ganeshprasad
20 February 2013, 06:31 PM
Pranam


Your mind perhaps, not mine. As far as I am concerned, anything in the itihAsa/purANa which contradicts shruti is not vyAsa's doing and is most likely sectarian interpolation.

pranams,

That's very nice and I am happy for you, unfortunately most Hindus who had no excess to Shruti, will not know the contradictions,the ones you perceive are in your mind.

More later.

Jai Shree Krishna

philosoraptor
20 February 2013, 09:01 PM
That's very nice and I am happy for you, unfortunately most Hindus who had no excess to Shruti, will not know the contradictions,the ones you perceive are in your mind.

What you mean is "access" to shruti. And yes, non-dvijas don't have access to shruti. That is why we have these things called "gurus."

regards,

devotee
20 February 2013, 11:24 PM
Namaste Phil,

Let's take issues one by one to keep the reply-posts within readable length.

First of all, let's take this issues. You have alleged that : " I have been intolerant against those who disagree with "… …. ...." I have attacked the beliefs of the Acharyas. ..... My remark was ill-conceived and uninformed attack against the Acharyas".

Please see my original statement below :


"I worship the real God and your God is actually a demi-God" .... then certainly he is fit for AbrAhimic religions and not for Hindu-Dharma.

... and your attacks against me ....

1.
The only intolerance I saw in this thread was the esteemed member who declared all those who disagree with his "all gods are the same God" theory as "Abrahamic."

Please see above what I have said. I nowhere said that anyone who disagrees with "All gods are the same God" theory, are fit for Abrahamic. Please mark my words, "… and your God is actually a demi-God". Please stick to my words and don't put your words into my mouth.

You have distorted my statement and I am certainly not responsible for that. You appear highly biased and out to malign me for no reason. Can you say how I fit into "Intolerant" category ?

2.
It also seems to me that while you have no qualms attacking the beliefs of other acharyas (e.g. calling them "fit for Abrahamic religions" and so forth)

I have never named any of the Acharya in any of my posts, so will you accept that you have extended the logic as per your convenience to malign me ? How did I attack the beliefs of other Acharyas ?

3.
Nobody has maligned you. It was you who claimed that those who believed in deva-hierarchy were "fit for Abrahamic religions." Since the vast majority of Vedaantic and post-vedaantic thinkers accept deva-hierarchy, your remarks constitute an ill-conceived and uninformed attack against all of them: Sridhar Swami, Madhva, Raamaanuja, Chaitanya, Vallabha, Jayatirtha, Vyasatirtha, Vedanta Desika, Sri Ranga Ramanuja Muni, Baladeva Vidyabhushana, Jiva Gosvami, Nimbarka, Vishnuswami, Adi Shankara, Madhusudana Saraswati, and so on. These high-souled, erudite individuals all left their mark on Hinduism with their learned commentaries and other writings, and they deserve your respect even if you are going to disagree with them. And if you are going to disagree with them, let me suggest that you do so politely. No matter how much we read, we are certainly not on the level of any of these great scholars in terms of their dedication or erudition.

I have quoted my original statement and your protest and explanation above. Please see how you have distorted the whole thing. You have called my remarks 'ill-conceived" and "uniformed attack" against the Acharyas. Please prove that I really said as you have presented my statement in your series of posts otherwise please take back you words.

As Surya, Indra, Agni have not known followers these days and among the dualists there are two prominent sects : Vaishnavas and the Shaivas. So, let's limit ourselves to Vishnu and Shiva. I am not aware if anyone of the Acharya said that Lord Shiva is a demi-God. Please quote if anyone of them said that. In fact, you have listed 15 Acharyas. I would like you to quote their exact words of all the 15 Acarysas where they have said that, "Only NArAyANa (or the deity the Acahrays worshiped) is God and all other deities like Lord Shiva etc. being worshipped as God by other people are demi-Gods."

BTW, even if anyone said this at any point of time, I cannot be held guilty of speaking ill of them as my statement is general in nature and if unknowingly any of the Acharyas fit into that category … it is not my fault. I have not taken name of any of the Acharyas and I am not aware if they said as you have stated in your posts.

It is clear that you deliberately distorted the facts to malign me.

I will take up other issues one by one once we settle this issue.

OM

Ganeshprasad
21 February 2013, 05:30 AM
Pranam


What you mean is "access" to shruti.
regards,

Damn this predictive text, still it managed to convey the desired meaning so no harm. thank you.


Talking about meaning, lets face it, there is a huge difference admitting categorically, no Vyasji did not contradict Ithihas/Puranas, against the answer you gave. ''As far as I am concerned, anything in the itihAsa/purANa which contradicts shruti is not vyAsa's doing and is most likely sectarian interpolation."

Your idea of interpolation is not a simple adulteration of Puranas by vested interest like Sheiva inserting derogative stories about Vishu or Vaishnava doing the same about Shiva.

lets face it and be honest here, with or without the interpolation, according to your preconceived ideas, i.e. vishu sarvotam, the yard stick you use to reconcile apparent sruti contradictions, you want to apply it here. you want your cake and eat it.

As far as i am concerned, there are no contradictions in sruti or puranas save for some minor interpolation, which does not change the major theme of the lilas of Devas as written.
Obviously that would contradict your Narayan only theory, a theory that is based on some grammar rule! since when do we decide who the Brahman is based on it?

You might look at it this way, i doubt it though, If we find within the Vedas and Puranas explicitly that Vishnu is supreme and then another that says Rudra is supreme, we might conclude that Vishnu and Rudra must be the same being or different aspects of the same being. In that way there is no inconsistency in the Veda or Puranas and we can accept its statements as they are, without recourse to unusual interpretations and rejection.

Sruti vakya confirms this, Eakam sad vipra bahuda vadanti.

Jai Shree Krishna

Ganeshprasad
21 February 2013, 05:58 AM
Pranam


-- And yes, non-dvijas don't have access to shruti. That is why we have these things called "gurus."

regards,

Yes highly venerated Gurus and they do come with messages eulogizing different Ista deva reading from vast cannon of Hindu shastras.

One such Goswami Tulsidas, great Ram bhakta, a radical highly venerated, who made Ramayan story available in local language called Ram charitra manas. Also wrote Rudrastakam.

Jai Shree Ram
jai shree krishna

philosoraptor
21 February 2013, 11:00 AM
And towering above all these, great, mostly Vaishnava personalities( no surprise there)

If Omkar were here, he could give you a list of mostly Shaivite personalities who accepted deva-hierarchy. Actually, he did do that, but the posting was inexplicably deleted.

As far as quoting the exact statements of each of these AchAryas to you and Devotee proving that they did indeed say what their followers have long held them to say, I'm not going to bother today. I've already quoted numerous shrutis and gItA-shlokas showing the difference between Brahman and the devas, and both of you ignored them. I see little evidence that either of you would change your views when confronted with new evidence, and I don't see how my pouring through multiple books and providing you with the quotes in question is going to make either of you back down. The bottom line is Devotee will continue to see nothing wrong with declaring all those who accept deva-hierarchy as "fit for Abrahamic religions," and you will see nothing wrong with ridiculing Vishnu-centric passages in the Puraanas while simultaneously claiming that there are no incorrect verses in the same.

What all of this illustrates is the deeply entrenched animosity that modern, Neo-Hindu thinkers have against traditional Hindu systems of thinking. I see little evidence of logic or reasoning here, and will end my involvement in this thread with this post. You both can argue with each other from now.

regards,

truth_seeker
21 February 2013, 01:09 PM
If Omkar were here, he could give you a list of mostly Shaivite personalities who accepted deva-hierarchy.

Well, I'm not affiliated with any given sampradaya (even though I do appreciate much from across a wide repertoire of Hindu notions), and have openly admitted my more-agnostic-than-anything-else standpoint in my profile details, but you have a point for sure here. Certainly, the acceptance of a hierarchy of celestial, godly beings is central to the Saiva Siddhanta worldview, there's no shying away from that. In addition, adherents of Vira Saivism, i.e. Lingayats, are as Siva-centric as your average Sri Vaisnava or Tattvavadi is Visnu-centric, perhaps even more so.

Ganeshprasad
21 February 2013, 01:29 PM
----
What all of this illustrates is the deeply entrenched animosity that modern, Neo-Hindu thinkers have against traditional Hindu systems of thinking. I see little evidence of logic or reasoning here, and will end my involvement in this thread with this post.
regards,



Pranam

You do what is right for you, weather you continue or not, makes no difference but since you have accused me of ridiculing Vihnu centric passages, perhaps you be kind enough to saw me, if you wish that is.

And you continue to misquote me although I have qualified my position several times.

Reasoning and logic can be very subjective depending on what angle one is looking at, blind man looking at an elephant, I am sure you know that analogy.

You continue to misquote me, while I am happy to say unequivocally that Vyas ji do not contradict you will continue to maintain Puranas and ithihas has to agree with sruti using your yard stick.

You have failed to convince me, if that was an answer,how non dvijas would reconcile them because as I said Gurus comes with different darsans and Goswami Tulsidas is a prime example, although a Ram bhakta, had no qualms about the position of Lord Shiva.

As to what is traditional and what you say neo is also not very clear, would you say Tulsidas is neo? Would you say Atri Rishi a neo, he desiring a son equal to Brahman ended up having all three as sons, what say you about him?
I am sure these are some off the questions, you may ponder over it but I don't expect a straight answers if there is any forthcoming.

Jai Shree Krishna

devotee
21 February 2013, 10:47 PM
Namaste Phil,


The bottom line is Devotee will continue to see nothing wrong with declaring all those who accept deva-hierarchy as "fit for Abrahamic religions," and you will see nothing wrong with ridiculing Vishnu-centric passages in the Puraanas while simultaneously claiming that there are no incorrect verses in the same.

HDF may please note Phil's Kutarka :

This is how Phil behaves. In spite of my showing that I never said anything like that and posted exact version, Phil has no hesitation in blaming me again and again for something I didn't do.

This is well expected from a person who is adept at Kutarka.


What all of this illustrates is the deeply entrenched animosity that modern, Neo-Hindu thinkers have against traditional Hindu systems of thinking. I see little evidence of logic or reasoning here, and will end my involvement in this thread with this post. You both can argue with each other from now.


No, No. How can you leave this thread dear ? Everyone knows that I respect everyone's faith and have always advocated that all paths are True and valid. For buying peace, I have requested you dozen times to stop reacting against my posts but you have kept going after each and every post of mine even though I refrained from responding against your posts. So, let's continue to the end ... even if takes months together.

BTW, there is no animosity. However, "some people" always try to create animosity.

.... So, Phil has no argument left against the first issue and that proves that he willingly distorted my statement just to malign me. The worst part is that he is not even ashamed for it.

Now, I will take up other issues.

OM

devotee
21 February 2013, 11:42 PM
Namaste Phil and all,

Let's take the issue of "Coomon Noun" Vs "Proper Noun" and how it makes or doesn't make NArAyAna the ONLY God enjoying Supreme status.


I said that it was a proper noun, as per pANinI's rules, and as such refers to only one deity, namely the Lord of Sri. This is in contrast to names like Indra, Agni, Vaayu, etc each of which can refer to 2 or more different entities based on context.

====> Before analysing the above in entirety, I must make people aware, how Phil might have got this "brilliant" idea of "Common Noun" and "Proper Noun" which is laughable argument to show supremacy of one deity over the other. This has probably been taken from this site : http://sriranganatha.tripod.com/id95.html

Now, Let's analyse the statement. "NArAyaNa" is a proper noun by a certain PANiNi rule. OK. However, this was no news to us as we always considered "NArAyANa" word a proper noun. Now, to extrapolate that logic and say that all other nouns which are not as per this particular rule of PANiNi, are common noun … is nothing but Kutarka. The rules says what it says … it should not be distorted to take out meaning which is not there. NArAyaNa is a proper Noun … OK. but it doesn't prove that all nouns (like Agni, VAyu, Indra, Shiva etc.) which don't follow that rule are common nouns. Moreover, why should one go to see a rule when the actual usage of the word is in front of him ? It doesn't make any sense. PANiNi is much newer as compared to the Rig Vedas and also other SamhitAs.

Now, in this context let me tell all Forum Members that :

a) The whole argument has been built to show that ONLY NArAyaNa is Brahman and that is supported by Shruti. However, NArAyANa is not mentioned (or hardly mentioned) in Veda-SamhitA as far as I know and Phil has not quoted any verse from the Veda-samhitAs to show otherwise so far.

As the Veda-SamhitAs are vast and I might have missed a particular verse, I would be happy, if someone can show me any text where Brahman has been praised in Veda-SamhitAs as NArAyaNa. Though Uttar NarayaNa Purusha Sukta (Yajur Veda) hints at the Purusha which can be accepted as NArAyaNa but here we are talking of the word NArAyAna's significance as proper noun. In fact, Vishnu / NArAyaNa has been accepted as Brahman but if NArAyaNa word was so important, why at all, it was so scantily used in SamhitAs ?

b) NArAyaNa word is not mentioned in any of the Major Upanishads.

c) Agni, Indra, Vayu etc. have been used as individual deities in the Veda-SamhitAs i.e these nouns have been used as Proper Noun and not as Common Noun and there is no scope to see their usage in the SamhitAs as the common nouns. These individual devas have been praised as the Supreme in various places of the SamhitA and have been praised as individual devas with particular characteristics too.

So, this Common Noun and Proper Noun issue has been brought in just to misguide people and brew meaning what is not really there. This is a Kutarka by all standards.

OM

Kalicharan Tuvij
22 February 2013, 09:12 AM
Namaste Phil and all,

Let's take the issue of "Coomon Noun" Vs "Proper Noun" and how it makes or doesn't make NArAyAna the ONLY God enjoying Supreme status.
........
http://sriranganatha.tripod.com/id95.html
..........

OM

Dear Devotee ji,

Thank you for the post.
I checked out the link, the material sure does seem to me "extremist political view".
Yes, I am sorry to say that there is nothing holy, dharmic or spiritual in the unholy nexus between Brahman "head" and Vishnu "body" (and ShUdra "feet" if one may add).

There is, though, more to the politics than it seems.
Puranas are considered history. Well, Shiva rendered Daksha "head" of Vishnu and Brahma "body" of Brahman ineffective, after becoming himself deeply hurt. Earthly parallel of this story is the war between Varnas of Vedic society when the civilisation was on decline. Shudras (Judiciary) resisted, while Brahmanas (Legislature) and Kshatras (Executive) joined flanks to counteract. Much in the same way as in today's India where Politicians and Government are together, and Judiciary is trying to take on.

For Hinduism to survive, this issue must be corrected. Each one of us must take a stand. From a careful study of RgVeda, it is Mighty Lord Daksha who emerges as the "source", or "resting place", or "head" of Vishnu.

The Absolute, anyway, is named as the three-head of "Sat-Chit-Ananda". So there is not one "supreme", there are three. I will reiterate myself here:
Sat: Brahman
Chit: Daksha
Ananda: Rudra

P.S.: let ideas, not people, compete with each other. the issue has to be resolved, now.:)

devotee
22 February 2013, 11:01 PM
Namaste Kalicharan,

I share your concern. People who propagate this theory, forget what Manusmriti talks about Varna and what VajrashUchikA Upanishad i.e. Shruti says about Varna. Chapter 18 of Bhagwad Gita makes it ample clear what gunas Brahman must have and what the Kshatriyas have etc. Unfortunately, it was made out to be birth-based.

Anyway, this is not the issue at hand. I have enough ammunition to keep firing on this highly flammable topic but that would certainly derail the thread. In fact, if you are interested, you can look into quite a few threads on this forum where this topic has been discussed.


********

It is quite disappointing to see that no reply is coming from Phil against my posts. That who never kept silent in spite of several requests made in the past, has gone suddenly silent and that is sad. If no reply is coming by today, I would move to another issue at hand :

"Which scriptures are actually Shruti ?" ... This was never an issue with the Hindus. No Acharya in the past raised any doubts over authenticity of Upanishads mentioned in the MuktikA Upanishad and the Upanishads listed therein. However, much has changed since the arrival of our brilliant friend on this forum who himself decides what Shruti is and what is not. I will show his different posts in different threads, his varying stands and also references from Commentaries from Shankaracharya to show how this is all nothing but Kutarka. I will also show how opportunism (like, I will consider only those texts as Shruti which support my views !) has taken tall on presentation of Truth as it is.

OM

Ramakrishna
22 February 2013, 11:31 PM
Namaste Devotee-ji,

Please define "Kutarka".

Jai Sri Ram

shiv.somashekhar
22 February 2013, 11:34 PM
Namaste Kalicharan,

I share your concern. People who propagate this theory, forget what Manusmriti talks about Varna and what VajrashUchikA Upanishad i.e. Shruti says about Varna. Chapter 18 of Bhagwad Gita makes it ample clear what gunas Brahman must have and what the Kshatriyas have etc. Unfortunately, it was made out to be birth-based.

Are you claiming Varna is not birth based? I thought this topic was discussed to death on this forum sometime ago.


"Which scriptures are actually Shruti ?" ... This was never an issue with the Hindus. No Acharya in the past raised any doubts over authenticity of Upanishads mentioned in the MuktikA Upanishad and the Upanishads listed therein.

Not raising doubts does not necessarily mean they approved the list. The first known list of Upanishads comes from Shankara. He quoted some and wrote commentaries on a few which came to be known as the major Upanishads because all his future rivals had to also comment on these Upanishads to provide their own interpretations (always remarkably coinciding with their doctrines).

Since his time, other authors have had their own lists of Upanishads and the standard pattern is, the later the author, the bigger the list. Ramanuja's list was bigger than Shankara's and Madhva's list was even longer. By the time of the Muktika (14th Century?), the list had grown quite long. Obviously, this means everyone of them introduced Upanishads, which cannot be traced to an earlier time. From this, it follows all of them can and will be accused of fabricating Upanishads in support of their positions.

satay
23 February 2013, 12:18 AM
Namaste,


Are you claiming Varna is not birth based?

No, don't open that can here again.

Thanks,

devotee
23 February 2013, 12:43 AM
Namaste Shiv,


Are you claiming Varna is not birth based? I thought this topic was discussed to death on this forum sometime ago.

Yes. However, let's not start discussing this issue here as it is not intended in this thread.


Not raising doubts does not necessarily mean they approved the list. The first known list of Upanishads comes from Shankara. He quoted some and wrote commentaries on a few which came to be known as the major Upanishads because all his future rivals had to also comment on these Upanishads to provide their own interpretations (always remarkably coinciding with their doctrines).
Since his time, other authors have had their own lists of Upanishads and the standard pattern is, the later the author, the bigger the list. Ramanuja's list was bigger than Shankara's and Madhva's list was even longer. By the time of the Muktika (14th Century?), the list had grown quite long. Obviously, this means everyone of them introduced Upanishads, which cannot be traced to an earlier time. From this, it follows all of them can and will be accused of fabricating Upanishads in support of their positions.

I cannot accept your statement as it is without any support. You will have to show which Acharya pushed what list (if any) and what were the new Upanishads introduced by him as you allege. Can you quote Shankara's list, Ramanuja's list and Madhava's list of Upanishads ? Are you aware that list of authentic Upanishads is already there in Muktika Upanishad and I don't think every Acharya created his own "Muktika Upanishad" ? How can you say that Muktika is of 14th Century and not much earlier ... is there any proof or is it just your guess ? Your allegation that different Acharyas "created" their own Upanishads to buttress their points is not in good taste.

BTW, as you don't subscribe to theist views and have views of an atheist, imho, it is better if we discuss this issue in a different thread so that focus of this thread is not lost.

OM

Kalicharan Tuvij
23 February 2013, 12:28 PM
This thread, turned into a wasteland, brings about in my mind the image of a pensive Krishna, who sitting alone somewhere there after the Great War, is contemplating on the future and the destiny of the country called Aryavarta.

To summarise it to the audience still here, that is me,

1) Varna, in the known history, as far back as "once upon a time", does mean a birth based hierarchy. The oft argued "merit" based hierarchy is just a red herring, is so bogus. Varna, the way of works as found out by the Rsis, can only mean no hierarchy at all.

2) There is no interpolation in Manusmriti. In fact, Manusmriti is the original most literature after RigVeda. Even more pristine than RgVeda which has, in its last chapter, some very late material.

3) Upanishads started with speculating about the meaning of RigVeda, ended up in results (as they say "necessity is the mother of invention") which necessarily lead to logical conclusions as already discussed here.

4) Ram and Krishna are, what we call "miracles", but they are more like the "Neo" of "The Matrix", who can bring some hope, but is not going to win the war. They operated within an already vitiated environ.

Now, to summarise 1)-4),
1) Hopeless?

Or, as the Rsi would say, when he used to get stuck somewhere, he would sacrifice away all his previous knowledge, wipe the slate clean, shed the baggage, and start afresh.
Looks like a zero sum game, but hold on, the Rsi is smiling...

shiv.somashekhar
23 February 2013, 01:38 PM
I cannot accept your statement as it is without any support. You will have to show which Acharya pushed what list (if any) and what were the new Upanishads introduced by him as you allege. Can you quote Shankara's list, Ramanuja's list and Madhava's list of Upanishads ?

Sure.

Shankara (8th Century CE) - All the old Upanishads* except Mandukya and Maitryayani. Also the section of Brahmanas known as Rahasya, Jaabaala Upanishad, Paingi Upanishad and some others whose names are not traceable are all quoted as Sruti.

Ramanuja (11th Century CE) - All the old Upanishads except Mandukya plus the Jaabaala, Garbha, Cuulikaa, Mahaa, Subaala, etc.

Madhva (13th Century CE) - A much bigger list of mostly untraceable names have been quoted as Sruti, drawing criticism from many modern scholars (Madhva's lost works, etc.). I do not have this list with me at this time. Also, the reason why his work is not taken as seriously as Shankara and Ramanuja by scholars.

Sayana (14th Century CE) - First known mention of the Muktika Upanishad, which is commonly seen as the work of an Advaitin.

As Deussen, Nakamura, et al., have noted, Vedanta students, in addition to following early age Upanishads as sacred canon were also engaged in creating new Upanishads to better convey their positions and many of these Upanishads were also eventually attached to one of the Vedas. There are over 200 known "non-early age" Upanishads. As I pointed out earlier, the list of authoritative Upanishads grows longer with time.

*Old Upanishads are again split into three groups - Pre Buddha, Post Buddha and the period in between

Pre-Buddha -> Brhadaranyaka, Chandogya
Post-Buddha -> Kathaka, Mundaka, Prasna, Shvetaswatara, Maitrayani (Maitri) and Mandukya
In between the above two -> Aitareya, Kausitaki, Taittiriya, Kena, Isa

Coming to the topic of this thread, as the Muktika was first mentioned by Sayana, an advaitin (brother of Vidyaranya), it cannot be used in discussion with other schools of Vedanta (unless they are OK with it) - just like Hare Krishnas cannot quote Tapani Upanishads or the modern Chaitanya Upanishad (modern, but part of the Rig-veda!) outside their own group.

devotee
24 February 2013, 12:47 AM
Namaste Ramkrishna,


Namaste Devotee-ji,
Please define "Kutarka".


Kutarka = "Ku" + "Tarka" == "Ku" means "Bad" as used in many words e.g. KumArgI (Who goes on a wrong path), Kumati (bad buddhi), Kukarma (Bad Karma) + "Tarka" i.e. Argument ===> Bad argument/illogical argument.


Namaste Shiv,

I think it is not the proper thread to discuss all this. May be, you can find your answers in my coming post and if not, I promise that I would certainly entertain your question too in another thread. Until then, please bear with me. :)

OM

devotee
24 February 2013, 06:44 AM
Namaste Forum Members and Phil,

Till now, I have been first addressing Phil and then other forum members but please mark that in this thread, I draw attention of all other members first who consider themselves as Hindu. I will make it clear, why it is necessary.

Phil has been very aggressive in declaring the scriptures of dubious/doubtful nature citing one reason or the other once it didn’t serve his purpose. I remember when he was new on this forum, he stated something like this in one of his posts, “Not all Upanishads are genuine Shruti but only 108 Upanishads which appear in Muktika Upanishad”. I tried to locate this statement but I couldn't find it though I very well remember that he wrote this long back on this forum. Anyway, as I have no proof today, I won’t insist on this.

While discussing with me in different threads he has pushed the following arguments to discredit all Upanishads except the Major Upanishads :


The pUrva-pakshins have so far shown no interest in establishing the antiquity of these other "Upanishads" which have neither been commented on nor quoted prior to the last few centureis. Hence, we will focus our analysis on the principal upanishads, saMhitAs, brAhmaNas, and AraNyakas as well as bhagavad-gItA.

===> a) Please note how ONLY the Prinicipal Upanishads have been considered by Phil for being accepted as Shruti. However, the principal Upanishads don’t support "NArAyaNa alone as the supreme God" theory and this forced him to change his stand at later stage and he included “MahANArAyaNa Upanishad” in the list of acceptable scriptures.

b) Please also note that authenticity of an scripture has been based on this assumption, “If not commented or quoted earlier than last a few centuries, the scripture loses its value as authentic scripture”. The authenticity of a scripture has been based on its antiquity and also the dating has been based on whether or not the scripture was either commented upon or referred to in the ancient past.

We will see why this Kutarka has potential to negate authenticity of almost all our canonical texts.


I never said that "except 10 major Upanishads all are spurious and unreliable." What I have said is that there are texts of human origin that have been passed off as "Upanishads," and such texts cannot be genuine Upanishads when they are not unauthored. We know the principal Upanishads are canon because they have been commented on by AchAryas from multiple different traditions going back to 8th century, are still taught in living oral traditions today, and so no doubts exists regarding their authenticity.

In the above comments too, the authenticity of the scriptures is relied upon its dating and also being commented upon. It has been assumed that if the antiquity is not proved, the scripture is of human origin and not Apauresheya.


The same is true for a handful of other upaniShads such as the shvetAshvatara, the mahAnArAyaNa, and few others which have been quoted by pUrvAchAryas in their writings. By contrast, a large number of the so-called 108 Upanishads have never been quoted by any of the AchAryas, and it is not believable that they would have neglected to quote them when they contain such philosophically relevant material. Hence, I stated that their authority is dubious.

In the above comments, Phil has cleverly introduced MahAnArAyaNa Upanishad when he could gather that he could not bank upon Only Major Upanishads to certify the supremacy of NArAyaNa. As a goodwill gesture perhaps, he has given credit to SvetAsvatar Upanishad too. This has to be noted with concern that the authority of the Upanishads has been questioned based on the above assumptions of antiquity and commentaries by the Acharyas.


I'm waiting to hear proof of their antiquity, but until I do so, I can only assume that those who retreat into these other Upanishads do so because they cannot defend their views based on the principal ones quoted by the AchAryas. Just as an aside, several of these Upanishads contain material that does seem consistent with my position, but I am hesitant to quote them until I know for sure that they are genuine.

This is remarkable that though he has no qualms in taking the help of minor Upanishad, MahANArayana to prove his point as he has no support from the major Upanishads, he ridicules others who justify their point of views by taking the help of minor Upanishads.


If it is possible to create spurious texts and pass them off as Upanishads, then it certainly brings to question the origin of other texts like the Muktika which, strangely, does not appear to have been quoted by any major sampradaya acharya prior to the 17th century. ..... The Muktika Upanishad could be an authored text from well before the time of the Allah Upanishad, and thus might be more mature in its philosophical content - but if it is authored, then it is not shruti and hence lacks independent authority. Now, I do not know for sure that the Muktika U. is an authored text - I merely point out, as others have, that the lack of any mention to it in the ancient commentaries, and the lack of existing oral traditions in which it is being passed down, both leave legitimate doubts about its authenticity.
http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=92919&highlight=Muktika#post92919

There is no proof that Muktika Upanishad didn’t exist before 17th century. This 17th century has come into picture by the fact that this Upanishad found to be listed by DArA Shikoh in year 1656. However, it only proves that it must have existed much before 17th century.


I'm aware of the Muktikaa Upanishad listing 108 Upanishads. But again, who knows for certain that Muktikaa Upanishad is genuine? I would like to believe that it is, but I only know of an Advaitin yogi who commented on it in the 1800's. Prior to that I know of no references to it. Perhaps there are older references that can attest to its antiquity, but I'm sure many members would appreciate knowing what those are before assuming that all these Upanishads (which none of the ancient commentators appear to have commented on) are real.
http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=86374&highlight=Muktika#post86374



The problem is, I didn't do that. I simply asked for some reasonable standard of evidence by which I can infer that the Upanishads you quoted are genuine. Of the Upanishads you quoted, can you show where for example, they were at least quoted by Shankaracharya in his commentaries? Can you show where any of them were quoted in the writings of any acharya before, say 16th or 17th centuries? If not, then how do you know they are really shruti, as opposed to spurious texts authored in later times?

http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=86374&highlight=Muktika#post86374

**********************************************

Now, this is a very dangerous mentality for Hindu-Dharma as One religion. We may all note that such questioning the authority of sacred scriptures and then pushing one’s own beliefs on others, can only be done against two groups in Hindus :

a) The Non-sectarian Hindus who form the majority of today’s Hindu society. These people mostly go by what is written in the ItIhAsas, PurANAs and to some extent Bhagwad Gita and then what the Gurus say. Their philosophy matches with the SmArthas. For the SmArthas Surya, Vishnu, Shiva, Mother Goddess in Durga form or Kali form, Ganesha (Some South Indian SmArtha add Skanda too in the list as the sixth deity) are all different forms/names of same Brahman. It is believed that the SmArtha tradition was propagated by Adi Shankaracharya.

These Hindus are the most liberal and tolerant and therefore you can say something against some God/scripture and still get away without any harm.

b) The other highly tolerant Hindus are the Advaitins who accept all deities as same Brahman in different forms and names. The Advaitins don’t say that any path is wrong or any form/name of God is a demi-God as long as that form/name is worshipped as the Supreme God.

The above can be noted here on this forum itself. The defence of equal status to deities has come from Sri GaneshPrasad ji (a non-sectarian Hindu whose chosen deity for worship is Lord Krishna) and myself who is an Advaitin and who pleads for equal supremacy of all deities.

If you try to push this statement ,“NArAyANa is the ONLY Supreme God and Shiva/Mother Goddess/Ganesha/Surya are demi- gods” to ShAktas of West Bengal, Ganesha worshippers of MahArAshtra (they can be highly militant on this issue), Shaivas of the south India or Advaitic Shaivas (i.e. Kashmir Shaivism) of Kashmir (propagated by Sri Abhinava Gupata) and Sun-worshippers of PurvAnchala area in East-Central India ... you are certainly asking for troubles for yourself.

Let’s remember that Hindus will not remain only Hindus but Shaiva-Hindus, Vaishnava Hindus, ShAktA Hindus, non-sectarian Hindus and Advaitin Hindus if there is meeting point in their beliefs somewhere. You start doubting the scriptures and start accepting your own chosen scripture to denigrate other Hindus’ beliefs, the Hindu Dharma falls apart as pack of cards. How ?

a) There is no scriptural authority which is not challenged by one or the other scholar at some point of time based on one or the other reason. I will show you what doubts have been raised against even the Veda-smahitAs, Upanishads and Bhagwad Gita.

b) There is no scripture in human history which is not dated and therefore, nothing remains “Apauresheya” by Phil’s logic. In fact, please see below that Veda-samhitAs are dated from as early as 6000 BCE to 200 BCE even by respected Indian Hindu scholar, like Tilak. Now, what part of the Vedas (samhitAs) should be considered as Apauresheya and what not ?

====> No. It is believed by different scholars that Rig Veda in current form has come to us by compiling texts from a few thousand years ago to as early as 4th century AD (some claim even 6th to 8th century AD). It should be noted that in all probability, Rig Veda in written form came only in 4th to 6th century AD. It has been claimed that in contrast to the earlier version of Rig Veda, Purusha Sukta has been added only in the 4th century AD. In fact, it is alleged that Mandala I and Mandala X of Rig Veda are manipulated by the Vaishnavas to show the supremacy of Vishnu over other deities. (ref : Discovering the Rig Veda by GNS Raghavan and writings of Prof MM Ninan). Ambedakar strongly believed that Rig Veda was forged by the Brahmins to give credence to “Chatur Varna” theory (Ref : http://www.am
bedkar.org/books/dob4.htm).

The above text also claims that all the Upanishads are dated later than Buddha and giving rise to doubts that the philosophy contained in the Upanishads borrowed from Buddhism and it was not “Apaurusheya” as claimed.

====> The Purusha Sukta mentioned in Yajur Veda (Chapter 31), also known as “Uttar NArAyaNa Purusha Sukta” is not the same as Purusha Sukta mentioned in Rig Veda and has been doubted to be manipulated by the Vaishnavas. The doubts have been raised due to change in sequence of the verses, mention of Atharva Veda (referred to as Chhandas) etc. as Atharva Veda is believed to have come much later than Rig Veda and Yajur Veda. It is believed that the core text of the Atharvaveda falls within the classical Mantra period of Vedic Sanskrit at the end of the 2nd millennium BCE - roughly contemporary with the Yajurveda mantras, the Rigvedic Khilani, and the Sāmaveda.The Atharvaveda is also the first Indic text to mention iron (as krsna ayas, literally "black metal"), so that scholarly consensus dates the bulk of the Atharvaveda hymns to the early Indian Iron Age, corresponding to the 12th to 10th centuries BC, or the early Kuru kingdom.

==> Even the great Indian Hindu scholar, Sri LokmAnya Tilak has estimated the dating of Vedas from 6000 BCE to 200 BCE.

**** Note : HDF members may please note that this dating makes whole of the Vedas as “Not Apauresheya” as per illogical argument pushed by Phil in his posts.

Upanishads :

Apart from the above let’s see the dating done by various scholars of the Upanishads :


The earliest of the extant Upanishads, the BrihadāraNyaka and the Chāndogya Upanishads are considered as being composed about the sixth century BCE. Three other prose Upanishads are also considered pre-Buddhist. These are the Taittiriya, Aitreya and Kausitaki Upanishads. The other “principal” Upanishads were the Kena, the Katha, the Iśā, the Mundaka, the Praśna, the Māndukya, and the Śvetāśvatara.

Bhagwad Gita and MahAbhArata :

Is Bhagwad Gita really the word of God ? Is it really a part of original MahAbhArata written by VyAsa ? How old is MahAbhArata and how old is Bhagwad Gita ? What do different scholars say ?

The Bhagavad Gita (‘The God’s Song’), widely regarded as the philosophical core of the Mahabharata, was composed much later under the realities of a new age. It was merged into the epic’s later drafts, perhaps as late as first century CE.
http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgupta/mythandreality.pdf

However, Some of the historians believe that Bhagwad Gita could have been written around 5th century to 2nd century BCE.

Historian A L Bashan feels that Mahabharata war might not have been fought earlier than 9th Century BCE. It is also alleged by some scholars (V S Suktharaman, 1933) that MahbhArata was forged by the Vaishnavas much later to make it a Vaishnava scripture.

******

Now, whether do we stand ? What should be the criteria to judge an scripture as Shruti and what not ? If an scripture is revealed after 6th century AD, should we discard it as dubious and if it is written before 6th century AD, then we should accept it as authentic ? What was the date when the Shruti was revealed ? Let someone tell me a fixed date which would be accepted by all Hindus to judge the authenticity of our scriptures. Tilak dates the Ved-SamhitAs to 6000 BCE to 200 BCE. This is a very long time duration. A Phil born in 200 BCE would have questioned the authenticity of part of Veda-samhitA which was revealed during his time and may be even time within a few centuries in his life time. Another Phil born in 1000 BCE, would have questioned all SamhitAs as spurious and dubious revealed after his birth. If a Phil born in 5000 BCE would have survived till today, then he would have declared 90 % of the Veda-smahitAs and all of Upanishads as having human origin and discredited all of them. For him, even Bhawgad Gita would have no significance due to dating ! If Bhagwad Gita is dated 5th to 2nd century BCE, we will have to seriously see if vyAsa was there in that period to write this and we will also have to match the date of Kurukshetra war with this period.

The important thing to note is that there is no conclusive proof when these were really revealed and there is no conclusive proof when the so-called suspected "non-apaurusheya" scriptures actually written by a human being. Just because a certain book came into light at a later date, doesn't prove that it didn't exist in any form earlier. Moreover, the writing of scriptures came much later than the oral tradition and therefore, even if some contemporary things got mixed at the writing of the scripture, it cannot be said that the core idea came into existence at the time of writing the scripture and not earlier.

The above shows the absurdity of assuming validity of the scriptures based on dating. The commentaries or no commentary don’t prove anything. No commentaries made by the Acharaya on any scripture is no proof of its non-validity as Shruti. No Acharya would include a scripture which would not support his views. Why should a Vaishnava Acharya try to show supremacy of Shiva or Advatin's NirguNa Brahman ? If he negated one scripture as Non-shruti, there was an equal chance that his own “shruti” might have been challenged by someone else and that could have created unnecessary disharmony within Hindu Society. So, this might have been a great motive behind them not quoting the scripture even if it would have been there in his time. BTW, when assuming “dating” of an scripture as a certificate of being called a Shruti is absurd, this logic becomes even more absurd.

We must understand what “Apaurusheya” means. Apaurusheya doesn't mean that its revelation was not dated. If that was the case, there would have been no Rishi named to whom the suktAs were revealed. The fact that it was revealed to different Rishis at different point of times, dating becomes an absurd criteria to judge the authenticity of any scripture. This will be touched upon by me in my next post in further detail. Moreover, the revelation of an scripture and scripture coming into public domain may not be simultaneous ... and commenting on that by anyone can certainly not be accepted as its being genuine or not.

By such claims the whole Hindu Dharma becomes a butt of joke as neither of our scriptures remains authoritative. Also, many Hindu-sects would discard even the Vedas as the authority if such a theory is pushed too much forward. Let’s not forget that VAmmArgis, the Aghoris, the ShaktAs, the Shaivas, the Kashmir Shaivism, the Kabir Panthis etc. don’t bank too much upon VedAs for validation of their paths and their belief systems. They have their own scriptures which are revealed to various Gurus of their traditions. So, this has the potential of dividing all the Hindus into many irreconcilable sects, each one criticising the other and fighting fiercely in defense of his own beliefs. This also makes all Hindus a laughing stock in front of non-Hindu religious fanatics as we are left with no scripture which was revealed by God.

.... This issue is continued in next post ....

OM

devotee
25 February 2013, 05:52 AM
Namaste Forum Members and Phil,

In my last post, I have quoted some of the objections against our revered scriptures from historians and other scholars and also shown the datings of various authoritative Hindu scriptures etc. However, the question is .... is our belief that our scriptures (Shruti) are Apaurusheya is just a child’s belief, a fairy tale ? That is the tragedy of our Hindu Dharma. Let’s compare the authorities available in Christianity and Islam versus our own Dharma :

1. Christianity :

The Christians have one book i.e. Bible and one prophet who got the revelation from God i.e. Jesus Christ. The New Testament was written in today’s form from 60-85 CE to 200 CE. It is not possible to test the veracity of what was revealed to Jesus Christ which came in the form of New Testament. It is the final word of God and if you have doubts ... the answers must be found Only in the available revelations to Jesus Christ.

2. IslAm :

The revelation of Q’uran verses to Mohammad started only in 610 AD and Q’uran in current form was canonised by Uthman Ibn Affan from 653 to 656 AD. It is not possible to test the veracity of what is written in Q’uran which was revealed to Mohammad. It is the final word of God and if you have doubts ... the answers must be found Only in the available revelations to Mohammad.

3. Hindu Dharma :

The revelations made in the scriptures have been validated by many Rishis/saints even in recent times in addition to what was revealed to our Rishis thousands of years ago. Let’s see :

Advaita Tradition :

a) RamanaA Maharishi, became self-realised by the age of sixteen without having a chance to study the scriptures in deep. In fact, in 1895 (at the age of sixteen years) he was attracted towards Shiva Bhakti by reading Periya Puranam and became an ardent Shiva Bhakta as he wanted to emulate the great Shaivas described in the book. Later that year itself he tried to act as a corpse with Self-enquiry and he had Self-realisation. This Self-realisation is in conformity with the scriptures.

b) Ramkrishna Paramahansa :

Ramkrishna Parmahansa of the scriptures, as per information available to me, was limited to PurANas (basically RAmAyaNa, MahAbhArata, Bhagwat PurANa which he learnt from wandering monks and kathaks. Ramkrishna was a Bhakta and not an Advaitin to start with. He worshipped Lord Shiva, Rama, Krishna and Goddess Kali. Later, he started seeing Goddess Kali image as his mother. One day, he had a vision of Universal form of Goddess Kali which he described in these words :

“"... houses, doors, temples and everything else vanished altogether; as if there was nothing anywhere! And what I saw was an infinite shoreless sea of light; a sea that was consciousness. However far and in whatever direction I looked, I saw shining waves, one after another, coming towards me."

This realisation validates our Scripture’s quote : Consciousness is Brahman and Mother Goddess Kali is none but Brahman alone.

Ramkrishna got his spiritual training under teachers from Tantra path, Vaishnava (Bhairavi BrAhmani who was a Gaudiya Vaishnava and practised Tantra) and VedAnta (TotApuri), Ramkrishna attained the highest state with different bhAvas (moods) i.e. dAsya as HanumAna worshipping Lord Rama ... at the end of his SAdhanA, he had a vision of SItA merging into his body. In 1864, he tried vātsalya bhāva under a Vaishnava guru Jatadhari. During this period, he worshipped a metal image of Ramlālā (Rama as a child) in the attitude of a mother. According to Ramakrishna, he could feel the presence of child Rama as a living God in the metal image. Later he also tried MAdhurya bhAva i.e. as a Gopi/RAdhA towards Lord Krishna and succeeded in having Savikapla SamAdhi with Lord Krishna. In 1865, he was trained under an Advaitic monk, Totapuri in Advaita VedAnta and by practising it he entered Nirvikalpa SamAdhi.

Therefore, Ramkrishna’s experiences validated Bhakti paths in different modes and towards different forms and names which matched the statement made in Mudgala Upanishad, “He became as he was worshipped” i.e. it is Brahman who existed in different forms depending upon the bhAva of the devotee. Ramkrishna also validated teachings of VedAnta by his attaining Nirvikalpa samAdhi with his Advaitic SAdhanA.

c) Nisargadatta Maharaj :

Born in 1897 and died in 1981. He was initiated into Navnath sampradAya (started with Yogis Matsyendra Nath and Gorakhnath). He attained Self-realisation which is mentioned in VedAnta even though he never read VedAnta. His guru told him, "You are not what you take yourself to be...".He then gave Nisargadatta simple instructions which he followed verbatim, as he himself recounted later, “My Guru ordered me to attend to the sense 'I am' and to give attention to nothing else. I just obeyed. I did not follow any particular course of breathing, or meditation, or study of scriptures. Whatever happened, I would turn away my attention from it and remain with the sense 'I am'. It may look too simple, even crude. My only reason for doing it was that my Guru told me so. Yet it worked!"

d) There have been many Advaitic Gurus who have realised Advaitic Self-realisation in the and have been known even in 2oth century. Sri Yogananda’s book “An autobiography of a Yogi” testifies this. We cannot say that this has stopped in the 21st century and will certainly continue in the coming centuries also. Anyone can get first hand experience of the enlightened spiritual Gurus by visiting various AkhArAs.

e) Matsyendra Nath, Gorakh Nath, Raja Bhartrihari have been well known Nath Samprdaya Yogis who were all God-realised/Self-realised. I had a chance to visit, Raja Bhartrihari’s SamAdhi place in the fort of ChunAr (He was king of ChunAr), near Varanasi recently. At SamAdhi place, there is a Official Order written in Urdu language issued by Aurangjeb. When Aurangajeb successfully won the war in ChunAr, he tried to desecrate teh samAdhi place of Bhartrihari which is there in the fort itself. He was warned by the priests that it was highly sacred place of SamAdhi of RAjA Bhartrihari and it would be sheer foolishness to desecrate this place. However, Aurangjeb was a hardliner Muslim and he believed in other religious faiths only if there was some visible miracles. He tried to desecrate the place by destroying that place when millions of honey bees of extra ordinary size attacked his people. He tried to kill them by burning fire, pouring hot oil into the hole from where they were coming in thousands. However, nothing worked and he accepted defeat. Thereafter, in the honour of the great yogi, he issued an order that this place may not be disturbed by people from any faith whatsoever. This order was issued in Urdu/Persian and still hangs above his samAdhi.

Bhakti

Bhakti Marga was validated by many saints in Hindu Dharma. Apart from the well known Acharyas there were many who experienced one-ness with God as described in scriptures by following their paths and worshipping their chosen deities. The Shaiva Nayanars of South India (3rd to 10th century AD) like Kannappa Nayanar (Shiva Bhakta), Sundarar Nayanar etc. who followed Shaiva Sidhhanta which is considered by them essence of VedAnta as Bhagwad Gita is considered the essence of VedAnta. In Vaishnavas, SAdhana KasAi (SAdhana, the butcher), Biharindeva ji (Haridas ji sampradaya), Tulsidas, Chaitanya MahAprabhu, Sant Ravidas etc. have been considered God-realised saints.

Kashmir Shaivism

Kashmir Shaivism can neither be considered Advaita of Shankara nor Bhakti of Vaishnavas. It is essentially an Advaitic Shaivaites’ tradition started by Sri Abhinava Gupta. His writings more or less match the Advaita philosophy with some differences.

*******
I am not that knowledgeable on stories of great God-realised Bhaktas/Self-realised Advaitins but the above examples shows how the Truth which is there in the scriptures is realised by our many saints of different traditions. The core philosophy of the eternal Truth which is experienced by great saints of different paths is not much different from what is taught in the VedAs (including VedAnta). First of all, God realisation has been in Shaiva, Vaishnava, ShAkta traditions even though the paths appear to be different. Also, Non-duality has been experienced not only by the Advaitin Gurus but also by the saints who were bhaktas to start with. Thus the message of Veda-samhitAs, Upanishads and Bhagwad Gita must accommodate all the different paths and yet communicate the One Unchanging Truth at the end. This also proves that taking any meaning out of the scriptures which could not accommodate all the validated paths has to be erroneous interpretation of the scriptures.

******

What is the message for all of us ? The Truth which is expressed in the Vedas showing equal supremacy of Vishnu and Shiva and also the Advaitic Truth has been realised and experienced by our saints from the ancient times to even today. That is the great test of eternal Truth and that is the hallmark of Apurusheya and eternal Truth and that is why the Vedas are considered Apaurusheya and eternal.

What I am saying that the Truth which is accepted in Hindu Dharma is not dependent on mere writings in scriptures or something which is told by someone in ancient times, as conveyed to him by God Himself and after that no one can verify that with his own experience, as is there in AbrAhimic religions. The Hindu Dharma doctrines are realised and validated again and again in different ages by incarnating sages. I can say with confidence that such sages exist even today in front him ... all scriptures become secondary as they themselves are God-realised/ Self-realised.

That is the greatness of our Hindu Dharma. Please don’t accept anything as Truth just like that ... tread a path which is shown by your Self-realised/God-realised Guru of your tradition and see for yourself. It is unwise to fight with arguments and counter arguments just to win an argument. The Truth in Hindu DharmA is open to be experienced. Just find a True Guru who can show you the right way.

In the light of above, it appears to test the validity of our scriptures based on their antiquity or whether anyone commented upon them or not. The real test is the test of the Truth by personal experience. Pratyaksham kim PramAnam ? A direct experience needs no proof. You cannot cajole a Bhartrihari or a Sundarar Nayanar or an Abhinava Gupta or a Ramana Maharishi or a Matsyendra Nath to accept “Vishnu is the only God” by your twisting arguments in whatever clever manner. Why ? You can’t define God to anyone who knows what God is as you can't teach Newtonian Mechanics to Newton.

OM

yajvan
25 February 2013, 12:57 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté devotee and other HDF readers,



Kashmir Shaivism

Kashmir Shaivism can neither be considered Advaita of Shankara nor Bhakti of Vaishnavas. It is essentially an Advaitic Shaivaites’ tradition started by Sri Abhinava Gupta. His writings more or less match the Advaita philosophy with some differences.
OM

I wish to offer the lineage of kaśmir śaivism for one's kind consideration.

We note that svāmī Lakṣman-jū's guru was svāmī mahatābakak and his was svāmī ram… the lineage is traced back to durvāsā ṛiṣi. Let me explain.

It is said durvāsā ṛiṣi received knowledge of bhairava tantra from śrikaṇṭhanathā (śiva) Himself. Accordingly durvāsā ṛiṣi was instructed by śrikaṇṭhanathā to expand the thought of bhairava tantra in all the universe with no restriction to varna or jāti, male or female.
The first to receive his dīkṣā was Tryambakanātha, his son. What is of special note this sisya (śiṣya) was a mind-born son. He also created two more mind born sons and a mind born daughter for the upliftment of the family of man. Her name was ardhatryambakā.
Why did durvāsā ṛiṣi pursue this venue? He was a brahhmacārī and therefore ūrdhvaretah or one preserving ones sexual energy and no displacement of sukra.
From father to mind born son and daughter, some of the children also created mind born śiṣya-s. It's said that 15 siddhas were created in this manner. It was this 15th siddha that was unsuccessful in creating mind born śiṣyas.
For this he searched for a female with all sattvic qualities to produce his children and śiṣyas. Up to this point it was always father-to-son initiation.
Yet starting with somānandanātha muni the dīkṣā began from Master to disciple. It is from this lineage that Abhinavagupta came to be initiated into this great knowledge of kaśmir śaivism.

It's interesting to note there are a few views on how durvāsā ṛiṣi divided up the teaching of Śaivāgama (Śiva-āgama-s). One view is the triad of advaita ( non-dual), dvaita (dual) and dbaitādvaita ( non-dual +dual). From this view ( offered by svāmī Lakṣman-jū).


Tryambakanātha received advaita ( non-dual) from durvāsā ṛiṣi
Amardaka received dvaita (dual) from durvāsā ṛiṣi
Srinatha received dbaitādvaita ( non-dual +dual) ) from durvāsā ṛiṣi The other view is the same recipients shown above , yet Tryambakanātha's daughter founded a 4th school , some call this the third-and-one-half way and is identified with the Kaula tradition, called kula-pratkriyā.

I mention this because Abhinavagupta suggests there are 2 teachers qualified to teach Śaivism, that of Lajuliśa and Śrīkaṇṭha ( another name for Śiva). It is my understanding that Lajuliśa was the founder of the Paśupata-s; Śrīkaṇṭha, as mentioned in the quote above, gave the knowledge to durvāsā ṛiṣi , who then passed it on to the mind born śiṣyas mentioned.
Now there is other information that leads us into kali yuga, but these details only gets us deeper into the weeds of things. I will continue to study this lineage to better understand it and will leave more of the details for another time.

The above is the lineage of kaśmir śaivism, considered a pure trika system. Perhaps others can add to this and review the sub-systems in general i.e. Pratyabhijñā ( SELF recognition), Kula ( grouping and used for 'totality' , Universal Consciousness), Krama ( progress made step-by-step), and Spanda ( the throb, movement, SELF-referral of the Divine). These are the 4 areas I have been studying and sharing with you as I find items of interest. This is the wonderful knowledge that is found in the agama-s¹.


iti śivaṁ

Reference books for the audit trail of the informaiton above:

Parā-trīśikā Vivaraṇa -or- That (Śrī Devī) who transcends and is Identical with trika. It also means That which speaks out (kāyati) the three (tri) śakti-s (śa) of the Supreme (parā). Vivaraṇa means the act of uncovering, opening, or explanation - by Abhinavagupta
The Triadic Heart Of Śiva - by Paul Eduardi Muller-Ortega. This is a study of Abhinavagupta's many works in Tantra and Non-dual Śaivism
āgama आगम- a traditional doctrine or precept , collection of such doctrines , sacred work ; ā = towards or towards us + gam =to go to or towards , approach; So the question is to go towards or approach what? To approach us , to us the aspirant, or to Śaivism or Śiva? It is that knowledge that brings us toward , and to approach Him.

shiv.somashekhar
25 February 2013, 01:07 PM
Devotee, you are missing fundamentals of discussion.


In the light of above, it appears to test the validity of our scriptures based on their antiquity or whether anyone commented upon them or not. The real test is the test of the Truth by personal experience. Pratyaksham kim PramAnam ? A direct experience needs no proof. You cannot cajole a Bhartrihari or a Sundarar Nayanar or an Abhinava Gupta or a Ramana Maharishi or a Matsyendra Nath to accept “Vishnu is the only God” by your twisting arguments in whatever clever manner. Why ? You can’t define God to anyone who knows what God is as you can't teach Newtonian Mechanics to Newton.

OM

Then, neither can you argue against anyone on anything because their arguments are based on statements made by "realized" people too.

Taaratamya is the bedrock of tattvavaada and by disagreeing with this concept, you are disagreeing with Madhva himself - who, by your definition, is a realized person. Note that, you cannot challenge any of this without challenging your own assertions.

This quickly pushes you into a corner and this is precisely why a canonized Shruti exists. It is free of human error and hence becomes a reliable authority which takes precedence over Ramana and Nisargadatta's realized nature - which may well be false (You have *no* way of knowing this).

devotee
26 February 2013, 12:50 AM
Namaste Shiv,


Devotee, you are missing fundamentals of discussion.
Then, neither can you argue against anyone on anything because their arguments are based on statements made by "realized" people too.
Taaratamya is the bedrock of tattvavaada and by disagreeing with this concept, you are disagreeing with Madhva himself - who, by your definition, is a realized person. Note that, you cannot challenge any of this without challenging your own assertions.

I have not listed Madhava as a God-realised saint but I cannot deny him being God-realised. I don't know about him much and to be frank, I have no idea how he justifies his points of duality. Therefore, I cannot comment upon what Madhava says until it defies logical arguments.


This quickly pushes you into a corner and this is precisely why a canonized Shruti exists. It is free of human error and hence becomes a reliable authority which takes precedence over Ramana and Nisargadatta's realized nature - which may well be false (You have *no* way of knowing this).

Shruti is OK but it can't be interpreted which defies Direct Experience. If you start questioning, realisation of Ramana and Nisargadatta Maharaj and Self-realised saints, better we need not discuss at all. Then we have no common ground to meet. Let's agree to disagree. Please see that I have quoted other saints too who attained Self-realsation and some of them were bhaktas to start with and their direct experience of Truth matched what is written in Vedas/VedAnta. You have to give serious thought to the fact that even though Nisargadatta Maharaj and Maharishi Ramana initially had very little knowledge of Advaita VedAnta, they experienced what Advaita VedAnta says and therefore, their experience has to be considered unbiased. If we doubt Self-realisation of these Gurus, why not doubt the Shruti itself ? Who/what stops you in doing that ? If we do that then there is no Shruti, no Direct experience and there is no dependable pramANa for deciding the Truth. My dear friend, that is why Lord Krishna said, "A person full of doubts is destroyed". There is a saying, "He who went deep into the see found the pearls. The skeptic kept watching at the shore doubting existence of priceless pearls in a sea full of salt water !" Either you believe or go and meet these people and see what the reality is ... try to do as they say for Self-realisation. See, Advaita VedAnta Guru tell you to believe your own experience. Go on the path and see for yourself. As Buddha said, "Appo Deepo Bhava" ===> Be the lighted lamp yourself. No, it is not just dry philosophy here. You too can realise that ===> That is the promise of Advaita VedAnta.

Vedas/VedAnta is not questioned ... yes, it cannot be interpreted in a manner which defies direct experience.

BTW, how did you start believing in Vedas and VedAnta ? This is a good news. The forum has done something positive to you. Good luck !

OM

devotee
26 February 2013, 04:46 AM
Namaste Yajvan ji,

Thank you for the valuable inputs on Kashmir Shaivism, as you are the best person on this forum to speak on this subject. :)

OM

Theist
26 February 2013, 10:07 PM
Now, Let's analyse the statement. "NArAyaNa" is a proper noun by a certain PANiNi rule. OK. However, this was no news to us as we always considered "NArAyANa" word a proper noun. Now, to extrapolate that logic and say that all other nouns which are not as per this particular rule of PANiNi, are common noun … is nothing but Kutarka. The rules says what it says … it should not be distorted to take out meaning which is not there. NArAyaNa is a proper Noun … OK. but it doesn't prove that all nouns (like Agni, VAyu, Indra, Shiva etc.) which don't follow that rule are common nouns. Moreover, why should one go to see a rule when the actual usage of the word is in front of him ? It doesn't make any sense. PANiNi is much newer as compared to the Rig Vedas and also other SamhitAs.
As the Veda-SamhitAs are vast and I might have missed a particular verse, I would be happy, if someone can show me any text where Brahman has been praised in Veda-SamhitAs as NArAyaNa. Though Uttar NarayaNa Purusha Sukta (Yajur Veda) hints at the Purusha which can be accepted as NArAyaNa but here we are talking of the word NArAyAna's significance as proper noun.

Ramanuja, Madhva, Nimbarka,Vallabha etc. have accepted that Narayana is a common noun and the other names are common nouns. This has been accepted by Shaivite scholars like Appaya Dikshita as well. There is no basis for you to reject this fact when you do not even know Sanskrit.


In fact, Vishnu / NArAyaNa has been accepted as Brahman but if NArAyaNa word was so important, why at all, it was so scantily used in SamhitAs ?


Where it is used is irrelevant. The shruti is a single homogenous entity.



b) NArAyaNa word is not mentioned in any of the Major Upanishads.


Narayana has been mentioned as the supreme being in Mahanarayana and Subala upanishad, both of which are universally accepted upanishads.

Theist
26 February 2013, 10:08 PM
As Surya, Indra, Agni have not known followers these days and among the dualists there are two prominent sects : Vaishnavas and the Shaivas. So, let's limit ourselves to Vishnu and Shiva. I am not aware if anyone of the Acharya said that Lord Shiva is a demi-God. Please quote if anyone of them said that. In fact, you have listed 15 Acharyas. I would like you to quote their exact words of all the 15 Acarysas where they have said that, "Only NArAyANa (or the deity the Acahrays worshiped) is God and all other deities like Lord Shiva etc. being worshipped as God by other people are demi-Gods."

BTW, even if anyone said this at any point of time, I cannot be held guilty of speaking ill of them as my statement is general in nature and if unknowingly any of the Acharyas fit into that category … it is not my fault. I have not taken name of any of the Acharyas and I am not aware if they said as you have stated in your posts.



No one is going to do your homework for you. That these acharyas beleived in deva taratamya and Vishnu Sarvottamatva is a well known fact and does not require proof.

Theist
26 February 2013, 11:11 PM
Now, this is a very dangerous mentality for Hindu-Dharma as One religion. We may all note that such questioning the authority of sacred scriptures and then pushing one’s own beliefs on others, can only be done against two
groups in Hindus :

YOU are the one raising doubts about the unauthoredness of the vedas and claimimg
that the Bhagavad Gita is a Vaishnava fabrication.



a) The Non-sectarian Hindus who form the majority of today’s Hindu society. These people mostly go by what is written in the ItIhAsas, PurANAs and to some extent Bhagwad Gita and then what the Gurus say.

Correction- Most modern Hindus do not have any fixed belief system and do not give any significant amount of thought to theology but rather simply worship the gods of their ancestors due to cultural inertia. In any case this argument is about what the scriptures say, not what the rabble thinks. And historically and even today, Smartism is the smallest sect of Hinduism.



These Hindus are the most liberal and tolerant and therefore you can say something against some God/scripture and still get away without any harm.

There is nothing 'liberal' ar tolersnt about yhe belief that all devas are the same. Nor does it constitute any reconcialiation of the beliefs of others. It is simply another sectarian belief, which by the very nature of sectarian beliefs contradicts all other sectarian beliefs.


b) The other highly tolerant Hindus are the Advaitins who accept all deities as same Brahman in different forms and names. The Advaitins don’t say that any path is wrong or any form/name of God is a demi-God as long as that form/name is worshipped as the Supreme God.

This is not what actual advaitins beleive. Advaitins are Smartas who consider five or six devas as forms of Braman and the others as inferior entities. Besides this historically the majority of Advaitins have been Vaishnava or Shaiva advaitins like Madhusudhana Sarasvati and Appaya Dikshitar respectively who beleived in the supremacy of one particular deitu.



If you try to push this statement ,“NArAyANa is the ONLY Supreme God and Shiva/Mother Goddess/Ganesha/Surya are demi- gods” to ShAktas of West Bengal, Ganesha worshippers of MahArAshtra (they can be highly militant on this issue), Shaivas of the south India or Advaitic Shaivas (i.e. Kashmir Shaivism) of Kashmir (propagated by Sri Abhinava Gupata) and Sun-worshippers of PurvAnchala area in East-Central India ... you are certainly asking for troubles for yourself.

What scripturally uninformed people beleive or think is irrelevant to what the scriptures say.



In fact, it is alleged that Mandala I and Mandala X of Rig Veda are manipulated by the Vaishnavas to show the supremacy of Vishnu over other deities.

And you have proof of this? The vedas cannot be interpolated. This is an accepted fact. If you try to change a verse, the metre will fall.



writings of Prof MM Ninan).

How dare you cite this anti- hindu mleccha nutjob who claims that hinduism evolved from christianity and that the Purusha Sukta is an account of Christ's crucifiction? Do you agree with his theories?



====> The Purusha Sukta mentioned in Yajur Veda (Chapter 31), also known as “Uttar NArAyaNa Purusha Sukta” is not the same as Purusha Sukta mentioned in Rig Veda and has been doubted to be manipulated by the Vaishnavas. The doubts have been raised due to change in sequence of the verses, mention of Atharva Veda (referred to as Chhandas) etc.

The Uttara Narayana is part of shruti, whether you like it or not. Claiming it is fabricated will not make it so. I repeat, the vedas CANNOT be interpolated and this is an accepted FACT. Please read more about the safeguards against interpolation in the Veda.



Is Bhagwad Gita really the word of God ? Is it really a part of original MahAbhArata written by VyAsa ? How old is MahAbhArata and how old is Bhagwad Gita ? What do different scholars say ?

Let me get this clear: Are you saying that you beleive that the Bhagavad Gita was not said by Krishna?



We must understand what “Apaurusheya” means. Apaurusheya doesn't mean that its revelation was not dated. If that was the case, there would have been no Rishi named to whom the suktAs were revealed. The fact that it was revealed to different Rishis at different point of times, dating becomes an absurd criteria to judge the authenticity of any scripture. This will be touched upon by me in my next post in further detail. Moreover, the revelation of an scripture and scripture coming into public domain may not be simultaneous ... and commenting on that by anyone can certainly not be accepted as its being genuine or not.

You very evidently do not understand the concept of apaurusheyatva. Please refer to this thread for the actual meaning-
http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=9655
You seem to enjoy disagreeing with our acharyas and bad mouthing them. It is evident that you have not read a single classical commentary, only the works of neo-hindu revisionists.
You are basically disagreeing with every acharya of every sect who has ever lived. You have not even done any basic reading on the concept of Apaurusheyatva and you consider yourself qualified to preach ypur moronic beliefs to others? The sheer arrogance of it all boggles the mind.



Let’s not forget that VAmmArgis, the Aghoris, the ShaktAs, the Shaivas, the Kashmir Shaivism, the Kabir Panthis etc. don’t bank too much upon VedAs for validation of their paths and their belief systems. They have their own scriptures which are revealed to various Gurus of their traditions.

All of them claim that their philosophy is derived from the vedas, and would be incredibly offended at such a statement.Besides, their philosophy IS derived from their interpretation of the vedas. Also, most of the scriptues of these sects, which you seem to consider revealed, also endorse deva-taratamya.


So, this has the potential of dividing all the Hindus into many irreconcilable sects, each one criticising the other and fighting fiercely in defense of his own beliefs.


Are'nt we aldready like that? And would you mind pointing out what is wrong with it?

Theist
26 February 2013, 11:31 PM
Shruti is OK but it can't be interpreted which defies Direct Experience.

That is precisely opposite to the stand advaita took in the classical debates, which again shows why you are a neo, though you do not like the term. Direct experience shows us only DUALITY everwhere. Advaitins have written book after book of polemic as to how direct experience is sublated by scripture. Besides which, any person's personal experience is unverifiable by other people and cannot be used as proof. Please undestand the baskcs of Hindu epistemology before you talk nonsense.




If you start questioning, realisation of Ramana and Nisargadatta Maharaj and Self-realised saints, better we need not discuss at all. Then we have no common ground to meet. Let's agree to disagree. Please see that I have quoted other saints too who attained Self-realsation and some of them were bhaktas to start with and their direct experience of Truth matched what is written in Vedas/VedAnta. You have to give serious thought to the fact that even though Nisargadatta Maharaj and Maharishi Ramana initially had very little knowledge of Advaita VedAnta, they experienced what Advaita VedAnta says and therefore, their experience has to be considered unbiased.

Attainment of Kaivalya by a person is not proof of Advaita Vedanta. Kaivalya is a well documented phenomenon among many types of people and the experience has been explained within the framework of buddhism,jainism, dvaita, vishishtadvaita etc. In fact patanjali in his yoga sutras uses the same state as proof for dualism. So kaivalya is no proof for advaita. Advaitins may interpret it as an experience of nonduality, but that is just their interpretation.



If we doubt Self-realisation of these Gurus, why not doubt the Shruti itself ? Who/what stops you in doing that ?

Shruti, unlike the personal experiences of any person, is reliable because it is apaurusheya. As I said, please try to understand Hindu epistemology before talking nonsense.

Theist
26 February 2013, 11:38 PM
In the light of above, it appears to test the validity of our scriptures based on their antiquity or whether anyone commented upon them or not. The real test is the test of the Truth by personal experience. Pratyaksham kim PramAnam ? A direct experience needs no proof. You cannot cajole a Bhartrihari or a Sundarar Nayanar or an Abhinava Gupta or a Ramana Maharishi or a Matsyendra Nath to accept “Vishnu is the only God” by your twisting arguments in whatever clever manner. Why ? You can’t define God to anyone who knows what God is as you can't teach Newtonian Mechanics to Newton.



And ypu cannot cajole a Ramanuja, Madhva,Nimbarka,Vallabha etc. to sccept the supremacy of Shiva. Besides, many of tye people considered 'realized' by you abpve also accepted deva taratamya.

Theist
26 February 2013, 11:55 PM
b) Why don't you accept the 108 Upanishads as the authority ? Your logic that except 10 major Upanishads all are spurious and unreliable has no support. You have said that as "Allopanishad" is fake Upanishad ... all these Upanishads must be fake is an irrational argument. Everyone knows that "Allopanishad" was written in the time of Akbar for a motive which is clear. With only that example, all other Upanishads cannot be considered fake and unreilable. Moreover, our discussion is for judging the supremacy of deities where these Major Upanishads don't say much.


Nobody has quoted or mentioned the muktika upanishad before Dara Shikoh and centuries after him, U.Br. Yogin.The muktika upanishad is a medeival forgery. Why did'nt advaitins ever cite it and all the advaitic upanishads in it when advaitins were losing debates all over the place throughout the last millenium?
Why does this 'upanishad' not contain valid upanishads like the mahanarayana and the shivasankalpa upanishad? Why does it contain only 108 upanishads when there are 1131 upanishads, one for each shakha of the veda? Why ate the veda to which many of the valid upanishads belong given wrongly?Why do many of the upanishads in it contain passages lifted straight from Shankara's commentaries? Why does the Bhikshuka upanishad for example tell people to abandon Ramanuja's vishishtadvaita philosophy?Does it not prove that Bhikshuka upanishad was written after Ramanuja's time and Muktika upanishad after Bhikshuka upanishad and they are thus unauthored? If the principal acharyas accepted the muktika canon, why did shankara quote paingi upanishad and madhva quote paingi, shatprashna,parama, bashkalamantra upanishad which are not in muktika upanishad?

Theist
27 February 2013, 12:09 AM
I hear the above, all the time, these so call informed people never explain as to why we should fall back on sruti?

Who and at what point this rule was made?


It is a fundamental rule of hindu epistemology accepted by all acharyas that all paurusheya shastras must be verified with shruti. I don't understand why you have a problem with this basic rule.

satay
27 February 2013, 10:43 AM
Admin Note
Since OP has abandoned the thread and there is enough nonsense created already. I am closing this thread.