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philosoraptor
24 February 2013, 01:06 PM
These comments are from the 9th chapter of shrI Adi shankarAchArya's bhagavad-gItA commentary (http://www.sankaracharya.org/gita_bhashya_9.php). In them, Adi shankarAchArya states his view that those who worship other devas do so out of ignorance, because they do not know that Vishnu is the only master of all yagnas. He clearly distinguishes between the result of worshiping Vishnu vs the result of worship of the devas, the latter involving the Southern Path and eventual return to the world of material activity. No doubt the AchArya is speaking from the viewpoint of vyavahArika-sat, since Advaita holds that Brahman only is real. But it remains interesting that, contrary to the views of popular neo-advaita, the founder of Advaita philosophy would acknowledge any sort of distinction between the worship of Sri Krishna and other devas.

Is it possible that Adi shankarAchArya was influenced by Abrahamic religions which hold the worship of one god to be better than other gods? The mind reels with the shocking possibilities....




23. Even those who, being devoted to other deities and endowed with faith, worship (them), they also, O son of Kunti, worship Me alone (though) following the wrong method.

Api, even; ye, those who; anya-devata-bhaktah, being devoted to tother deities; and anvitah sraddhaya, endowed with faith; yajante, worship (them), te api, they also; O son of Kunti, yajanti, worship; mam, Me; eva, alone; (though) avidhi-purvakam, following the wrong method. Avidhi implies ignorance. So the idea is that they worship (Me) ignorantly.

'How it is that they worship (Me) ignorantly?' [i.e. the worshippers of other deities worship them knowingly, and hence, how can the question of their ignorance arise?] This is being answered: Because-

24. I indeed am the enjoyer as also the Lord of all sacrifices; but they do not know Me in reality. Therefore they fall.

As the Self of the deities (of the sacrifices), aham, I; hi, indeed; am the bhokta, enjoyer; ca eva, as also; the prabhuh, Lord; [The Lord: 'I being the indwelling Ruler of all.'] sarva-yajnanam, of all sacrifices enjoined by the Vedas and the Smrtis. A sacrifice is verily presided over by Me, for it has been said earlier, 'I Myself am the entity (called Visnu) that exists in the sacrifice in this body' (8.4). Tu, but; na abhi-jananti, they do not know; mam, Me as such; tattvena, in reality. And atah, therefore, by worshipping ignorantly; te, they; cyavanti, fall from the result of the sacrifice. ['Although they perform sacrifices with great diligence, still just because they do not know Me real nature and do not offer the fruits of their sacrifices to Me, they proceed to the worlds of the respective deities through the Southern Path (beginning with smoke; see 8.25). Then, after the exhaustion of the results of those sacrifices and the falling of the respective bodies (assumed in those worlds) they return to the human world for rembodiment.'-M.S. (See also 9.20-1.)]

The result of a sacrifice is inevitable even for those who worship ignorantly out of their devotion to other deities. How?

25. Votaries of the gods reach the gods; the votarites of the manes go to the manes; the worshippers of the Beings reach the Beings; and those who worship Me reach Me.

Deva-vratah, votaries of the gods, those whose religious observances [Making offerings and presents, circumambulation, bowing down, etc.] and devotion are directed to the gods; yanti, reach, go to; devan, the gods. Pitr-vratah, the votaries of the manes, those who are occupied with such rites as obsequies etc., who are devoted to the manes; go pitrn, to the manes such as Agnisvatta and others. Bhutejyah, the Beings such as Vinayaka, the group of Sixteen (divine) Mothers, the Four Sisters, and others. And madyajinah, those who worship Me, those who are given to worshipping Me, the devotees of Visnu; reach mam, Me alone. Although the effort (involved) is the same, still owing to ingorance they do not worship Me exclusively. Thereby they attain lesser results. This is the meaning.

'Not only do My devotees get the everlasting result in the form of non-return (to this world), but My worship also is easy.'

Amrut
25 February 2013, 04:49 AM
These comments are from the 9th chapter of shrI Adi shankarAchArya's bhagavad-gItA commentary (http://www.sankaracharya.org/gita_bhashya_9.php). In them, Adi shankarAchArya states his view that those who worship other devas do so out of ignorance, because they do not know that Vishnu is the only master of all yagnas. He clearly distinguishes between the result of worshiping Vishnu vs the result of worship of the devas, the latter involving the Southern Path and eventual return to the world of material activity. No doubt the AchArya is speaking from the viewpoint of vyavahArika-sat, since Advaita holds that Brahman only is real. But it remains interesting that, contrary to the views of popular neo-advaita, the founder of Advaita philosophy would acknowledge any sort of distinction between the worship of Sri Krishna and other devas.

Is it possible that Adi shankarAchArya was influenced by Abrahamic religions which hold the worship of one god to be better than other gods? The mind reels with the shocking possibilities....


those who worship Me, those who are given to worshipping Me, the devotees of Visnu; reach mam, Me alone. Although the effort (involved) is the same, still owing to ingorance they do not worship Me exclusively. Thereby they attain lesser results. This is the meaning.

Namaste,

The words marked in blue are skeptical. though you are quoting that is quoted by Swami Gambhirananda, the english translation is a bit tempered.

Since Shankaracharya would not have commented in English :), we should also check for translation errors. Another reason why I do not like to read shastras in English.

I have downloaded a copy in sanskrit to check the word whether Vishnu is written in sanskrit in either verses 9:23 and 9:24

source:

http://archive.org/details/SrimadBhagavadGitaWith8SanskritCommentaries-WlsPansikar

EDIT: Go to page 441 - 442. (The actual page no printed is 432 and 433, but that page in pdf file is 441-442)
EDIT2: For those interested, the file is 84.1 MB, PDF with Text. (My downloaded size is 88 MB. But it's working)

I also checked hindi commentaries (of shankar bhasya) by some saints like Swami Ramsukhdasji (who was worshipper of bhagavan Ram), Sri Harikrishandas Goenka, Swami Chinmayananda, Swami Tejomayananda

source: http://202.3.77.102/acquia/?q=node/27


I did not find the name 'Vishnu'. but then, I do not know sanskrit, so it would be for the one who know them. I feel that in doubt, one should go to basics.

Another catch is the word, 'other devatas'. As I understand, it means demi-gods and not Ishwara like Shiva, Brahma or Narayana. If you move to next verse 9:25, it may make things clear.

The word Krushna is taken as implied, as Upadesha has been given by Krushna, but everytime, it says, Shri Bhagavan-uvacha and not Krushna-upvacha. In other Gita's like guru Gita, it says, Mahadevovacha (mahadev-uvacha) and parvatyovacha (parvati-upvacha).

Again, 'Me', may be taken as Brahman, formless attribute of God and not Krushna, since it is advaita. Just like there is nothing wrong is saying that everything is going to Krushna, so there is nothing wrong (of Advaita POV) that everything is going to Brahman.

Unless and until we accept both sides of coin, we will not be in peace.

Both formless (nirguna) and god with form (saguna) brahman has to be accepted. Accepting one and rejecting other will be like wanting fire but not it's warmth and vice versa.

The only difference in approach is that only one is stressed, other has to be experienced.

e.g.
Brahma Satya Jagat Mithya
sarvam khalu-idam-brahman

idam = this i.e. what ever you see.

So everything you see is also brahman.

the only thing is that one may not see Krushna (as person) everywhere, but maya or energy, and may realize that all forms of Ishwara are manifestations of same divinity. So, to me, dis-respecting any form of Ishwara is out of question.

I am not a sanskrit scholar. So these views are from my limited understanding.

As i am living in society, I feel it is better to respect all faith and all approaches, as they lead to God, but practice only one, as decided by your guru.

Best is to start walking then just keep talking.

fighting over an issue like bhakti is supreme and jnana is supreme will not result into the victory of either bhakti or Jnana, it will be the victory of Ego (mine or yours). In that case, for me, it is the death of (my) spirituality.

Incase of doubt, I contact my Guru and strongly pray to God to show correct path.

Aum
Indiaspirituality

devotee
25 February 2013, 09:23 AM
Namaste Phil,

Let me share a few things here on this issue :

a) Saying that Vishnu is Brahman is not being Abrahimic but saying that all other forms/names e,g, Shiva who are worshipped as God are demi-god and inferior God or a false God is. He doesn't say that "Shiva, Durga, Ganesha" etc. are those "anya devatAs which is referred to in these verses.

b) I have Sanskrit version of Bhagwad Gita Bhasya written by Shankara published by Gita Press. It doesn’t mention Vishnu at all. In fact, the translation that you have quoted is somewhat different from the exact version of Shankara. I suggest that as you are yourself a great Sanskrit scholar (as you indirectly claim), there is no point in reading second hand translations available on the Internet.

c) I have no objection, if you feel that Shankaracharya was actually a Vaishnava. By doing so, you will not be attacking him any more. A great respite for this great saint. However, we cannot ignore what Shankara means by the words Vishnu and NArAyaNa and also in what context this has been stated :

i) For Shankara all adjuncts are unreal and imposed on Self. For him, NArAyaNa is Self (please see Sanskrit version of previous verse i.e. BG 9.22). So, worshipping Narayana is akin to worshipping Self/Brahman. In fact, Shankara describes in another place, the meaning of the word, "Vishnu" as "The Power of the Supreme Being that has entered the universe. The root viś means 'enter into" ... so, that who has entered into everything is Vishnu”.

ii) While accepting NArAyANa as the Self, he nowhere says that other devatAs like Shiva etc. who are worshipped as Supreme God are actually demi-Gods.

iii) The correct translation of Sanskrit version of BG 9.23-24 Shankara is given below :

“ Whosoever bhaktAs of other devAs, having bhakti towards other devAs, with proper devotion, with Astikya Buddhi worship them, O’ Kaunteya, they worship me alone avidhipurvakam. Avidhi means “AjnAnam” i.e. ignorance and therefore they worship me with AjnAna. That is the meaning.”9.23

“How is their worship “avidhipurvakam” ? For that He (God) says – I alone am bhoktA and Lord of all Yajnas performed by the SmArtAs and the ShrautAs as the Self of all devatAs of Yajnas. I alone am the Lord of all Yajnas has been stated in the verse “AdhiyajnoahamevAtra” too. However, those ignorant ones don’t know me exactly as I am. Therefore, by doing worship avidhipurvakam, they fall from the real result of the Yajnas i.e. they fall.” BG 9.24

===> Let’s mark here that Avidhi has been explained by Shankara as “AjnAna” i.e. lack of knowledge of the reality. The reality as taught by Shankara is that Brahman alone is real and all names and forms are mithya. So, if Brahman/Self is worshipped without that JnAna it is avidhipurvakam. Moreover, NArAyANa has been already described by Shankara as the Self and also Self of the celestial beings i.e. devatAs. Not seeing God in this way is AjnAna.

It has to be understood that we cannot interpret Shankara by reading one verse-bhasya in isolation. We must consider what he says elsewhere. Moreover, the context in which something is being said has to be kept in mind. Bhagwad Gita is Lord Krishna’s scripture where He alone is the supreme and therefore, it has to be interpreted keeping that context in mind. However, in spite of that Shankara has already said what NArAyaNa (Krishna) means to him.

The devatAs has been described by Advaitins as celestial beings who have super natural powers for running the world. However, when one sees a particular form of devatA as Supreme God, he doesn’t see Him in that way i.e. he sees that form/name as supreme ... because name and form are superimposed adjuncts on the reality. For doing a vidhipurvak worship, he must have JnAna i.e. the knowledge of the reality. This is what Shankara means.

OM

Amrut
25 February 2013, 10:17 AM
===> Let’s mark here that Avidhi has been explained by Shankara as “AjnAna” i.e. lack of knowledge of the reality. The reality as taught by Shankara is that Brahman alone is real and all names and forms are mithya. So, if Brahman/Self is worshipped without that JnAna it is avidhipurvakam. Moreover, NArAyANa has been already described by Shankara as the Self and also Self of the celestial beings i.e. devatAs. Not seeing God in this way is AjnAna.


The devatAs has been described by Advaitins as celestial beings who have super natural powers for running the world. However, when one sees a particular form of devatA as Supreme God, he doesn’t see Him in that way i.e. he sees that form/name as supreme ... because name and form are superimposed adjuncts on the reality. For doing a vidhipurvak worship, he must have JnAna i.e. the knowledge of the reality. This is what Shankara means.

As I understand, devas (demi-Gods) are higher race than human race. i.e. there is dev-yoni. It is like saying that to see the formless into a form, just like we are told to see God inside Idol, and do not treat it just as an idol. We try to superimpose jada over chaiyanta (chetan tatva), whereas opposite should be done. Just like we can see God in everything, so why not in human and even Devas. One only sees Brahman in Jnana-DruShTi (DriShTi), as everything is made of Brahman. by the power of Brahman



It has to be understood that we cannot interpret Shankara by reading one verse-bhasya in isolation. We must consider what he says elsewhere. Moreover, the context in which something is being said has to be kept in mind. Bhagwad Gita is Lord Krishna’s scripture where He alone is the supreme and therefore, it has to be interpreted keeping that context in mind. However, in spite of that Shankara has already said what NArAyaNa (Krishna) means to him.

This is an important point. I feel this point should be considered while understanding scriptures.

Aum
Indiaspirituality

philosoraptor
25 February 2013, 12:02 PM
Namaste,

The words marked in blue are skeptical. though you are quoting that is quoted by Swami Gambhirananda, the english translation is a bit tempered.


Pranams. Swami Gambhirananda belongs to the Advaita Ashram, and so I do not think one can accuse him of sectarian bias, if one believes Advaita to be non-sectarian.



Since Shankaracharya would not have commented in English :), we should also check for translation errors. Another reason why I do not like to read shastras in English.

I have downloaded a copy in sanskrit to check the word whether Vishnu is written in sanskrit in either verses 9:23 and 9:24

source:

http://archive.org/details/SrimadBhagavadGitaWith8SanskritCommentaries-WlsPansikar

EDIT: Go to page 441 - 442. (The actual page no printed is 432 and 433, but that page in pdf file is 441-442)

The pdf is not loading, probably because of its size. However, I can tell you that A.G. Warrier translates his commentary in the same way. By the way, I have a translation of the commentary of madhusUdhana sarasvatI, also an advaitin, and Swami Gambhirananda translates it the same way.

Whether "devotees of Vishnu" is there or some pronoun indicating the same, it does not change the fact that he/they are clearly distinguishing between devotees of the gItA's speaker, and devotees of other devas, as the gItA itself is doing. Krishna is clearly stated to be the enjoyer of all sacrifices, while such a claim is explicitly denied for other devas. Hence - "Abrahamic" fanaticism, as per the guidelines spelled out by certain learned members of this forum.



I also checked hindi commentaries (of shankar bhasya) by some saints like Swami Ramsukhdasji (who was worshipper of bhagavan Ram), Sri Harikrishandas Goenka, Swami Chinmayananda, Swami Tejomayananda

All of whom are of course, biased in favor of Neo-Advaitic paradigms of thinking, and thus not exactly reliable in this context. In particular, I have noticed a tendency of some like Chinmayananda to comment on the gItA in manner quite different from Adi shankarAchArya.



Another catch is the word, 'other devatas'. As I understand, it means demi-gods and not Ishwara like Shiva, Brahma or Narayana. If you move to next verse 9:25, it may make things clear.

That may be your opinion, and it possibly might be Adi shankara's as well, but he does not say that here, and so without any explicit confirmation we have no proof. In any case, even if we grant that shankara equates nArAyaNa to shiva and brahmA, he still clearly does not equate any of them to other devas like indra, agni, and so on. Hence, Abrahamic exclusivism. After all, devotees of indra, agni, et. al. will feel offended, and rightly so. Don't you agree?



The word Krushna is taken as implied, as Upadesha has been given by Krushna, but everytime, it says, Shri Bhagavan-uvacha and not Krushna-upvacha. In other Gita's like guru Gita, it says, Mahadevovacha (mahadev-uvacha) and parvatyovacha (parvati-upvacha).

"mahAdeva" is not an epithet exclusive to shiva. But even if it were, your argument is irrelevant. There is no evidence in the bhagavad-gItA to suggest that the speaker is anyone other than shrI kRiShNa, so to argue that kRiShNa = shiva because you believe it to be so is ipse dixit logic.



Again, 'Me', may be taken as Brahman, formless attribute of God and not Krushna, since it is advaita. Just like there is nothing wrong is saying that everything is going to Krushna, so there is nothing wrong (of Advaita POV) that everything is going to Brahman.

But that still does not explain why Krishna differentiates His worship from worship of the devas. If your point of view is correct, then worship of any deva should get the same result. This would have been the place for Adi shankarAchArya to comment in that way, but he does not do so. In conclusion, you may believe that, but Adi shankarAchArya does not. Hence, he is one of those troublesome exclusivists who, in the learned words of another forum member, might be "more fit for Abrahamic religions."

The rest of your comments deleted, as the subject here is what Adi shankarAchArya has written, and not what you believe him to have written.

regards,

philosoraptor
25 February 2013, 12:48 PM
pranams,

I would now like to post shrI Adi shankarAchArya's comments on kenopaniShad, specifically the third section in which the devas are shown to be dependent on brahman.

In mantra 3.1: "The Brahman won a victory of the Devas in that victory of the Brahman the Devas attained glory. They thought 'the victory is ours and this glory is ours alone.'"

Commentary of Adi shankarAchArya, translated by S. Sitarama Sastry:

"the subsequent passages clearly show the folly of thinking that that Brahman, who is controller of all in every way, even superior to all Devas, Lord over lords, not easily known, the cause of the victory of the Devas and of the defeat of the Asuras does not exist. Or (it is related) for eulogising the knowledge of Brahman. How? By showing that it was, indeed, by the knowledge of the Brahman that Agni, etc. attained pre-eminence among the Devas; and Indra specially more than the rest. Or, it shows how difficult it is to know Brahman, because even Agni, etc with all their great powers, and even Indra, lord of the Devas knew the Brahman only with considerable difficulty. It may be that the whole Upanishad to follow is intended to lay down an injunction (to know the Brahman) or the story may have been intended to show the fallacious nature of the notion of doer, etc., found in all living beings, by contrasting it with the knowledge of the Brahman - fallacious like the notion of the Devas that the victory was theirs. The Brahman already defined won a victory for the benefit of the Devas; i.e. the Brahman in a battle between the Devas and the Asuras defeated the Asuras, the enemies of the world and the violaters of the limitations imposed by the Lord and gave the benefit of the victory to the Devas for the preservation of the world. In this victory of Brahman, the Devas, Agni, etc, attained glory, and not knowing that the victory and glory belonged to the Paramatman, seated in their own Atman, the witness of all perceptions, Lord of the universe, omniscient, the dispenser of the fruits of all Karma, omnipotent, and desirous of securing the safety of the world, looked upon the victgory and the glory, as achieved by themselves - the Atman enclosed with the limitations of their own forms, Agni, etc; that the glory - their being Agni, Vayu, Indra and the like, resulting from the victory - was theirs and that neither the victory nor the glory belonged to the Lord, over all the Atman within them. So they cherished this false notion."

Analysis: Here, Adi shankarAchArya makes comments that will likely be offensive to devotees of Indra, Agni, or Vayu. He differentiates these devas from Brahman by saying that the Brahman is the Paramatma within the Atma-s who are the devas. He also indicates that these devas could not have achieved their victory without Brahman, and criticizes the notion that they could have done so as fallacious. Adi shankara may not be aware that in "Hinduism," we accept all devas and Brahman as EQUAL. There is no difference between worship of one deva or another deva, and trying to argue that any deva is not Brahman is going to be offensive to followers of that deva. It appears, once again, that Adi shankarAchArya is, in the words of some learned members, more fit for an "Abrahamic religion."

ShriBala
25 February 2013, 01:00 PM
Philosoraptor

why don't you compose a verse on the likes of Bhaja Govindam and then bestow us with the gyaan you have obtained by yourself? And not by reading some Abrahamic's commentaries.

We wait with bated breath. All the best!

shiv.somashekhar
25 February 2013, 01:13 PM
Philosoraptor


why don't you compose a verse on the likes of Bhaja Govindam and then bestow us with the gyaan you have obtained?

Until then, you are less worthy than the dust stepped on by Shri Ramanuja, Shri Shankara and other great acharyas.

A statement uncalled for. He is simply pointing out inconsistencies in some people's understanding of Advaita and there is nothing wrong with that.

ShriBala
25 February 2013, 01:20 PM
The way he is pointing it out is plain rabble rousing. There's everything wrong with that.

Viraja
25 February 2013, 07:18 PM
why don't you compose a verse on the likes of Bhaja Govindam and then bestow us with the gyaan you have obtained by yourself? And not by reading some Abrahamic's commentaries.

Until then, you are less worthy than the dust stepped on by Shri Ramanuja, Shri Shankara and other great acharyas.

There have been devotees who wanted to be the Lord's stepping stone in his altar (for devotees to step on) so there is nothing wrong with that. :)

Scholarship might evolve into great and dedicated bhakti too.. :)

philosoraptor
25 February 2013, 09:13 PM
There have been devotees who wanted to be the Lord's stepping stone in his altar (for devotees to step on) so there is nothing wrong with that. :)

Well said!

ShriBala
25 February 2013, 09:35 PM
There have been devotees who wanted to be the Lord's stepping stone in his altar (for devotees to step on) so there is nothing wrong with that. :)

Scholarship might evolve into great and dedicated bhakti too.. :)

Those devotees were filled with bhakti bhava and not aham bhava .

Scholarship does not mean putting down others and for the sheer purpose of ridiculing them. The great acharyas including Shri Ramanujacharya never insulted others whom they might have trumped in an argument. They respected the others' right to their own beliefs even if they didn't subscribe to them.

Not only are their philosophical teachings important for us but also their bhakti bhava, humility and love for others.

Amrut
26 February 2013, 12:35 AM
Namaste,

If I remember, Advaita Ashram is of swami Vivekananda, whos guru was Sri Ramakrishna. You do not believe in both. So why would you read a commentary of them?

that pdf is around 84 mb and more than 900 pages. It takes time to load and contains commentary of 8 acharyas.

but then, keeping the vishnu part aside, when you know sanskrit, why would you read english translation?

Brother, please can you let me know which path are you following.

Aum

devotee
26 February 2013, 04:28 AM
My dear Ramkrishna,

This is going to be enlightening moment for you to understand what a Kutarka is : See below :

I and Indiaspirituality have confirmed in our posts what Shankara actually wrote in Sanskrit originally. I have even provided English translation done from the Original Sanskrit text. We have also offered that as Phil himself knows Sanskrit (as per his own claim), he can very well verify the truth by referring to the exact version what Shankra actually wrote. However, by Phil's logic, a translation done by a third person is more reliable than the original text of the author himself !


Pranams. Swami Gambhirananda belongs to the Advaita Ashram, and so I do not think one can accuse him of sectarian bias, if one believes Advaita to be non-sectarian.


By the way, I have a translation of the commentary of madhusUdhana sarasvatI, also an advaitin, and Swami Gambhirananda translates it the same way.

This is a rare opportunity when you can have a broad smile on your face during a serious discussion. I am tempted to tell you a story :

A retired Government Official suddenly found that his pension is not being deposited in his account. So, he goes and sees the officer concerned to check what the matter is. The officer checks the record and says, "As per our records, you are died on xx/xx/xx date. So, the pension has stopped". The retired official was bewildered. He retorted, "But you can very well see that I am alive". Without being affected even a little bit by this, the officer said, "Are you mad ? How can the Government records be wrong "?

I will reply to the rest of Phil's post later. :)

OM

Sahasranama
26 February 2013, 04:38 AM
I have downloaded a copy in sanskrit to check the word whether Vishnu is written in sanskrit in either verses 9:23 and 9:24

source:

http://archive.org/details/SrimadBha...es-WlsPansikar (http://archive.org/details/SrimadBhagavadGitaWith8SanskritCommentaries-WlsPansikar)

EDIT: Go to page 441 - 442. (The actual page no printed is 432 and 433, but that page in pdf file is 441-442)

I also checked hindi commentaries (of shankar bhasya) by some saints like Swami Ramsukhdasji (who was worshipper of bhagavan Ram), Sri Harikrishandas Goenka, Swami Chinmayananda, Swami Tejomayananda


The dino is right, the word vaishnavA is there which is derived from Vishnu.

The objections raised here by the neo advaitins are tiresome.

devotee
26 February 2013, 04:53 AM
Namaste Sahas,

I don't think you are so much against the "Neo-Adavitins" that you started supporting even the proven wrong quotes. Yes, the word Vaishnava is mentioned in the commentary but not in the verses quoted by Phil. Phil has given a translation which shows Vishnu being written in the commentary of the verses quoted by him which is not there. In fact, the whole translation is significantly different than the actual text.

Use of the word "Vaishnava" is aptly done by Shankara where it is used. I can prove you that but we are not discussing that at this moment.

OM

Amrut
26 February 2013, 05:08 AM
The dino is right, the word vaishnavA is there which is derived from Vishnu.

The objections raised here by the neo advaitins are tiresome.

Namaste,

What made you think I am Neo Vedantin?

If I understand correctly, Swami Gambhirananda (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swami_Gambhirananda) is from Advaita Ashram (http://advaitaashrama.org/), which is an Ashram build by Monks of Ramakrishna Order. Sri Ramakrishna did not himself build any ashram. first ashram dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna was built by Swami Vivekananda. So who is neo-vedantin. I remember that you have said in one thread that Vivekananda has to be avoided like a plague.

As I understand both OP and you do not like neo-vedanta. Op in one thread has even said that he does not trust Sri Ramakrishna. So why look for info from their ashram, be it advaita (according to you and OP, it should be a neo-advaita and not pure advaita, as vivekananda has brought Neo-vedanta - right)

Unless my assumption is wrong about the ashram, OP is contradicting his own statements.

If this is the case, then why are you trusting it?

Can you please go to the sanskrit commentary. I do not say anymore. If the word vishnu or narayana or krushna is there, it is there. If it is not it is not.

What i mean is that we have to go to the basics and if sanskrit translation is available, why not go for it, specially when OP and you know sanskrit.

I also said that I am not a sanskrit scholar, so knowledgeable people can throw some light on it.

What I am talking about is the consistency of OP. At one time philospraptor ji says I do not trust Sri Ramakrishna. In the same thread, he took time to explain neo-vedanta of Swami Vivekananda (I thank him as i was unaware of neo-vedanta philosophy at that time, and had requested him), then you quote from a saint of Ramakrishna order.

I humbly requested to go to basics, as I am aware that Philosoraptor is learned in sanskrit.

I never said, THERE IS NO SUCH WORD AS VISHNU' I simply said, 'I did not find it'

Since OP has replied in a way that he thinks commentary by Swami Gambhirananda is authentic, so what is the path is he practicing and does he follow Sri Ramakrishna or vivekananda's neo-advaita? I think it is fair to ask for clarification, to clear doubts, not to fight.

I hope I have made my stand clear.

Still if you need anymore clarifications, please do let me know and i will try my best to clear them.

Aum
Indiaspirituality

Amrut
26 February 2013, 06:05 AM
Regarding Madhusudhana Saraswati, If wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madhus%C5%ABdana_Sarasvat%C4%AB) is correct, here is a quote


Follower of Bhakti Yoga
Madhusūdana sarasvatI was a great devotee of Lord krishna. Just like Appayya Dikshita, who integrated Sivadvaita into advaita vedanta, madhusūdana bridged the sAtvata school of Pancaratra Vaishnavism and Advaita Vedanta philosophy. It is also interesting to note that madhusUdana boldly differs from Adi Sankara in some of his interpretations of the Brahma Sutras and the gItA, although he salutes Adi Sankara and Suresvara in the most reverential terms. Tradition also recounts that viTThaleSa, the son of vallabhacharya of the Suddhadvaita school, studied under madhusūdana sarasvatI, who thus forms a crucial link between Advaita Vedanta and many vaishNava sects in the north.

Again *if* the article on wikipedia is correct, he was a bridge to vaishnav and advaita. While Op, does believe that both are mutually contradictory belief systems / paths

Journey from Dvaita to Advaita is interesting one.

Is A.G. Warrier realized? Can anyone give more info about him. A quick search did not fetch me some details about his life. Thank you.

EDIT: Even Swami Rama was once a Shankaracharya. My Friend Sahasranama likes him too much ;) - dont mind.

Aum

Amrut
26 February 2013, 07:24 AM
namaste,

Is there a difference between devas and Ishwara? I think both are sanskrit words. so if shankaracharya wanted, he could have written Ishwara in sanskrit instead of devas or written 'both except Krushna all other Ishwara and devatas ...'

But I see that OP is just trying to continue the discussion on the comment of Devotee from thread Does shruti ... , which I feel was mis-understood.

I see OP is trying to prove something, as I understand the base is wrong (i.e. misinterpreting words of devotee). I do not want to be a 'haddi' in your love affair with Devotee.I do not want to be a part of love triangle ;) I will not gain anything from it to excel in spirituality.

==> Sahasranama, this time you are on time at party ;)

Aum
Indiaspirituality

P.S. I am unsubscribing from this thread. So I will not get any more notifications.

philosoraptor
26 February 2013, 11:10 AM
Namaste,

If I remember, Advaita Ashram is of swami Vivekananda, whos guru was Sri Ramakrishna. You do not believe in both. So why would you read a commentary of them?

Because it is shankarAchArya's commentary, not Vivekananda's commentary. I don't follow shankarAchArya either, but even I can readily spot the differences between the real advaita philosophy propagated by Adi shankara and the "new-and-improved" version which has caught hold of the imagination of so many modern Hindus.

I'm perfectly happy to concede that there is a mistranslation if someone can actually point it out and show me. This is why I always provide (and will continue to provide) verse numbers and/or the Sanskrit. I think it should be a standard when having these sorts of discussions. More to the point, many neo-advaitins clearly love Ramakrishna and Vivekananda, so they should not object to a translation of one of their followers on sectarian grounds. The fact that you have to hint that Swami Gambhirananda has mistranslated the commentary according to sectarian Vaishnava grounds even after acknowledging him to be an Advaita ashram member just shows your desperation.

As of this writing, this thread has apparently been moved to the "Jalpa If you must pointless argue with others...." forum. It is unfortunate that it is regarded that way by some. After senior members opined that those great AchAryas who accepted deva-hierarchy are "fit for Abrahamic religions," I felt some education was in order. So far, I have shown that Adi shankarAchArya has commented on several key verses in ways that are identical to those "Abrahamic" scholars, but there has been very little outcry against Adi shankarAchArya. Why this double-standard? It is because of an attitude among uninformed Hindus, based on bad experiences with Christianity and Islam, that theism is somehow by the very fact militant and fundamentalist, while Hinduism is somehow non-theistic and all-accepting. Adi shankara is often hailed as the great leader who taught this great doctrine of all gods being the same and all religions being true. This of course, is nothing more than propaganda. Hindu culture is beautiful as it is, and it does not need to be changed to accommodate those who lack the patience to study the source materials.

As for what path I am on, I've said it before in my intro - I'm a seeker. You don't have to be committed to a path in order to point out the facts and how well certain conclusions fit or don't fit the facts.

regards,

devotee
26 February 2013, 07:48 PM
Namaste, Phil,

I am simply highlighting what you said so that people can understand you in a better way :


Because it is shankarAchArya's commentary, not Vivekananda's commentary. I don't follow shankarAchArya either, but even I can readily spot the differences between the real advaita philosophy propagated by Adi shankara and the "new-and-improved" version which has caught hold of the imagination of so many modern Hindus.

Please mark the highlighted portion which shows what you think of yourself and so-called modern Hindus like me. Thanks.


I'm perfectly happy to concede that there is a mistranslation if someone can actually point it out and show me.

Oh, it is still not done ? In what way should it be done ? Please elaborate.


More to the point, many neo-advaitins clearly love Ramakrishna and Vivekananda, so they should not object to a translation of one of their followers on sectarian grounds.

Please mark the use of words like, "neo-advaitin" (which is not used with a very noble intent which is clear) for me, IndiaSpiritualit etc. Shall we coin a word, "neo-dualists" or something like that, so that we are at the same wavelength to understand each others' language ?


The fact that you have to hint that Swami Gambhirananda has mistranslated the commentary according to sectarian Vaishnava grounds even after acknowledging him to be an Advaita ashram member just shows your desperation.

This is a Kutarka. A wrong translation is a wrong translation. It doesn't show anyone's desperation but shows that you didn't read the source.


As of this writing, this thread has apparently been moved to the "Jalpa If you must pointless argue with others...." forum.

Rightly done as it doesn't add to anyone's knowledge which is the motto of this site. Your intention was to show so-called "neo-advaitins" as uninformed, and misguided and you wanted to show that "NArAyaNa alone is the Brahman".


After senior members opined that those great AchAryas who accepted deva-hierarchy are "fit for Abrahamic religions," I felt some education was in order.

Indeed ! We are so fortunate to have a teacher like you ! Thanks, again !!


So far, I have shown that Adi shankarAchArya has commented on several key verses in ways that are identical to those "Abrahamic" scholars, but there has been very little outcry against Adi shankarAchArya.

That is already refuted. You have every right to feel that you alone are right. Who stops you from thinking so ?


Why this double-standard? It is because of an attitude among uninformed Hindus, based on bad experiences with Christianity and Islam, that theism is somehow by the very fact militant and fundamentalist, while Hinduism is somehow non-theistic and all-accepting.

Really ? I and also who are so-called neo-Advaitins are uninformed and we all had bad experiences of Christianity and Islam, right ? This statement speaks volumes of your mentality.


Adi shankara is often hailed as the great leader who taught this great doctrine of all gods being the same and all religions being true. This of course, is nothing more than propaganda.

I am surprised that you know so much about Shankaracharya. I would have been obliged if you have proved what you said.


Hindu culture is beautiful as it is, and it does not need to be changed to accommodate those who lack the patience to study the source materials.

Exactly the same way, you read the source material while creating this thread ???


As for what path I am on, I've said it before in my intro - I'm a seeker. You don't have to be committed to a path in order to point out the facts and how well certain conclusions fit or don't fit the facts.

Thanks for this assurance but your hard-selling "NArAyANa alone" theory, by hook or by crook ... makes us believe something else. I hope you are sincere in what you are saying.

OM

devotee
26 February 2013, 09:05 PM
Namaste,

To understand the message of the Vedas, nothing can be worse than to make a hard-line opinion based on one verse/one passage in one of the books etc. One has to see what coherent message the Vedas give. If there is no harmony in what they teach at one plave and they teach at the other places, the whole Vedas would lose its validity as an unchallengeable authority which it enjoys. Kena Upanishad is to highlight the supremacy of Unconditioned Brahman over other devas associated with their limiting adjuncts and their “ignorance” about the reality. However, the same devas when free from their limiting adjuncts and ignorance of the reality are nothing but Brahman Itself and they have been praised at so many places in Veda-samhitAs and the Upanishads as quoted by me in thread http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=9647 . I would not like to create boredom here by quoting the same thing again and again. Anyone interested in knowing what the Vedas say at different places can visit that thread and read the quotes given by me and make their own opinion. Again, I must remind here that Brahman of Kena is not named NArAyana or Vishnu.

I would like to draw the attention of forum members who may be reading this post that Vishnu who has been praised at many places in the Veda-samhitas/Upanishads as Supreme i.e. Brahman and also been described as the son of Aditi, as one of the twelve AdityAs. Now, if Vishnu is born to Aditi, he cannot be “Unborn” that Brahman is. So, shall we conclude that Vishnu is not Brahman ? That would be a childish way to understand the message. The message of the Vedas is not so simple as the Truth is beyond the understanding of the mental realms. I will like to quote here from the Tattriya Upanishad which praises VAyu as the direct and immediate Brahman :

ShAnti paath :


May Mitra be blissful to us. May Varuna be blissful to us. May Aryama be blissful to us. May Indra and Brahaspati be blissful to us. May Vishnu, of long strides, be blissful to us. Salutation to Brahman. Salutation to you, O Vayu. You, indeed, are the immediate and directly perceptible Brahman. You alone I shall call the direct perceptible Brahman. I shall call you righteousness. I shall call you the Truth. May he protect me. May he protect the teacher. May he protect me. May he protect the teacher. Om, peace, peace, peace.

We can very well see in the shanty-paath above, how VAyu has been extolled as the Only direct and perceptible Brahman. However, the same Vayu is depicted as a deva with liming adjuncts and ignorance in Kena. If we take literal meaning of the two passages, there will be contradictions in the sayings of the Vedas at different places which cannot be accepted. Therefore, we must find out what message the Vedas really give. We cannot read at one place and jump ... Yahoo ! This is the right meaning. It is not done that way. The Vedas must be understood in its entirety.

I have already stated the correct meaning of the allegorical story stated in the Kena Upanishad above which leaves no scope of contradictions between sayings of the scriptures at different places.

I will talk about the real meaning of the verse, “Ekam sad vipra bahudhA vadanti” in my next post.

OM

devotee
26 February 2013, 09:40 PM
Namaste,

The complete verse “Ekam Sad Vipra BahudhA vadanti” is this :

Rig Veda 1.164.46

He alone is called Indra, Mitra or Varuna. He is the Sun in the sky. He alone is Agni, Yama and MAtarishvA. The vipras describe the same Truth in various ways.


This verse in its original complete form doesn’t leave any scope to interpret it in a different manner. It is talking about Brahman. It is talking about the equal status of Indra, Mitra, Varuna, the Sun, the Agni, Yama and MAtarishva.

Instead of telling you my understanding of this verse to bore you further, I would provide an explanatory passage by Swamy Prabhavananda, a monk from Ramkrishna Order. He beautifully explains these complicated issues :

a. Why is it that now one god, now another, is lifted to the loftiest position and celebrated as the supreme divinity?
b. Why is it that in the Vedic hymns we find elementary ideas of God as well as the most advanced?

Let’s see what he offers :


The preceding brief survey of the varying conceptions of God in the Samhitas quite naturally raise two questions. The first is this: Why is it that now one god, now another, is lifted to the loftiest position and celebrated as the supreme divinity? Professor Max Muller has observed this phenomenon, and named it henotheism, but has done little to fathom its mystery. Its true explanation is to be found in the hymns themselves; `and it is a grand explanation,' declares Swami Vivekananda, `one that has given the theme to all subsequent thought in India and one that will be the theme of the whole world of religions: Ekam sat vipra bahudha vadanti===>"that which exists is One: sages call it by various names".'

The subject is worth pausing with, for in the quoted words lies the secret not only of an aspect of the Vedic hymns but also—as Swami Vivekananda suggest—of an aspect of the religious life of India throughout her long history. Casual visitors to this ancient land carry away with them the impressions of an elaborate polytheism. True it is that India has always many gods—but in appearance only. In reality she has had but one god, though with prodigal inventiveness she has called him `by various names'. Indra, Varuna, Hiranyagarbha—Rama, Krsna, Siva: What does it matter? Whichever of these or of many others the Hindu chooses for his adoration, that one becomes for him God himself, in whom exists all things, including, for the time being, all other gods. It is because India has been so permeated with the spirit of Ekam sat vipra bahuda vedanti that she has known relatively little of religious fanaticism, of religious persecution, of religious wars. Characteristically she has sought the truth in every faith—even in faiths not her own.

But there was a second question: Why is it that in the Vedic hymns we find elementary ideas of God as well as the most advanced? To the Western scholar there is no mystery, for he is accustomed to think of all things in terms of evolution, as he conceives evolution, and in the simpler anthropomorphic notions he sees the first stages of growth which slowly ripens to abstraction. But not so the orthodox Hindu. What he sees in the graduated scale of Vedic conceptions is a beneficent correspondence to varied stages of religious attainment. Some men are but barbarians in spiritual things; others are seers and sages. The Vedas (and this, say the orthodox, was a clear purpose of the exalted rsis) minister to all according to their needs. Some they teach to fly; some they must first teach to walk. To those at a low stage they offer polytheism, even at times materialism; to those at a higher stage monotheism; and to those at the top of the scale a notion of God so utterly impersonal, so devoid of anything describable in human terms, as to be suited only to the greatest saints, and to these only in their most strenuous moments.

For it would appear, in general, that even the greatest of Hindu saints have found the conception of God an abstract reality too rarefied for constant use. Occasionally they rise to it, but not for long. Like more ordinary mortals they too have yearned for a notion of divinity close to their minds and hearts, something they could readily love, and meditate upon, and worship."

I hope a careful study of the above passage and also the correct meaning of the whole verse clarifies all doubts.

OM

smaranam
26 February 2013, 11:38 PM
Vishnu who has been praised at many places in the Veda-samhitas/Upanishads as Supreme i.e. Brahman and also been described as the son of Aditi, as one of the twelve AdityAs. Now, if Vishnu is born to Aditi, he cannot be “Unborn” that Brahman is. So, shall we conclude that Vishnu is not Brahman ? That would be a childish way to understand the message.
OM
Indeed.
VishNu succumbs to motherly wishes of His devotees. Therefore,
as the dwarf-brahmin VAman He is son of Aditi (this is how He is son of Aditi)
as Shri KRshNa He is son of Devaki , devakinandana
as PRshNi-garbha He is son of PRshNi
as Shri RAm He is son of KausalyA
as GopAl dAmodar He is son of YashodA
as Kapila He is son of Devahuti
as DattAtreya He is son of AnusUyA

_/\_ In that devakinandan yashodAnandan kausalyAnandan i live

devotee
27 February 2013, 02:17 AM
Namaste Smaranam,


Indeed.
VishNu succumbs to motherly wishes of His devotees. Therefore,
as the dwarf-brahmin VAman He is son of Aditi (this is how He is son of Aditi)
as Shri KRshNa He is son of Devaki , devakinandana
as PRshNi-garbha He is son of PRshNi
as Shri RAm He is son of KausalyA
as GopAl dAmodar He is son of YashodA
as Kapila He is son of Devahuti
as DattAtreya He is son of AnusUyA


You are right. For the sake of bhaktAs, God takes birth even though He is always unborn. Though I am not well versed in PaurANic stories, the information available to me is this : Being born to Aditi is slightly different from any other avtAra of Vishnu. Vishnu comes into being as Vishnu as son of Aditi. Aditi is considered as the mother of gods and to her were born 12 Adityas (in some places only 8 Adityas are mentioned). Rig Veda mentions Aditi quite a number of times and Vishnu is also mentioned being born to her.

Anyway, birth of God is really not a birth in literal sense. This has to be understood.

OM

smaranam
27 February 2013, 05:10 AM
Being born to Aditi is slightly different from any other avtAra of Vishnu.
It is just like any other avatAr of VishNu.
SB 8.17,18 : VAman avatAr.
Purpose: to overthrow the demons who had captured svarga.(SB8.16)
Svarga belongs to the devas whereas VishNu's abode is Vaikuntha. The devas always approach VishNu when in trouble and out of compassion He takes avatar.


Vishnu comes into being as Vishnu as son of Aditi.
VishNu does not come into being. He always IS.
Aditi, on her husband Kashyap Muni's advice, performed payo-vrat to obtain the Supreme Lord VishNu as her son. Before that she had only a few sons - who were the devas (Indra Agni Vayu etc.) Nothing inconceivable about this.

SB 8.15 (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/8/15/en): Bali Mahārāja Conquers the Heavenly Planets
SB 8.16 (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/8/16/en): Executing the Payo-vrata Process of Worship
SB 8.17 (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/8/17/en): The Supreme Lord Agrees to Become Aditi's Son
SB 8.18 (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/8/18/en): Lord Vāmanadeva, the Dwarf Incarnation
SB 8.19 (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/8/19/en): Lord Vāmanadeva Begs Charity from Bali Mahārāja

SB 8.15.24 (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/8/15/24/en): Seeing Bali (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/b/bali) Mahārāja (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/m/maharaja)'s endeavor and understanding his motive, King Indra (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/i/indra), along with the other demigods, approached his spiritual master, Bṛhaspati (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/b/brhaspati), and spoke as follows.
SB 8.15.29 (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/8/15/29/en): Neither you nor your men can conquer the most powerful Bali (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/b/bali). Indeed, no one but the Supreme Personality of Godhead can conquer him, for he is now equipped with the supreme spiritual power . As no one can stand before Yamarāja, no one can now stand before Bali (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/b/bali) Mahārāja (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/m/maharaja).

SB 8.16.1 (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/8/16/1/en): Śukadeva (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/s/sukadeva) Gosvāmī said: O King, when Aditi's sons, the demigods, had thus disappeared from heaven and the demons had occupied their places, Aditi began lamenting, as if she had no protector.
SB 8.16.15 (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/8/16/15/en): Therefore, most gentle lord, kindly favor your maidservant. We have now been deprived of our opulence and residence by our competitors, the demons. Kindly give us protection.
SB 8.16.16 (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/8/16/16/en): The demons, our formidably powerful enemies, have taken away our opulence, our beauty, our fame and even our residence. Indeed, we have now been exiled, and we are drowning in an ocean of trouble.
SB 8.16.17 (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/8/16/17/en): O best of sages, best of all those who grant auspicious benedictions, please consider our situation and bestow upon my sons the benedictions by which they can regain what they have lost.
SB 8.17.1 (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/8/17/1/en): Śukadeva (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/s/sukadeva) Gosvāmī said: O King, after Aditi was thus advised by her husband, Kaśyapa (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/k/kasyapa) Muni (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/m/muni), she strictly followed his instructions without laziness and in this way performed the payo-vrata (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/v/vrata) ritualistic ceremony.

SB 8.17.4 (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/8/17/4/en): My dear King, the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, dressed in yellow garments and bearing a conchshell, disc, club and lotus in His four hands, then appeared before Aditi.
SB 8.17.8 (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/8/17/8/en): The goddess Aditi said: O master and enjoyer of all sacrificial ceremonies, O infallible and most famous person, whose name, when chanted, spreads all good fortune! O original Supreme Personality of Godhead, supreme controller, shelter of all holy places, You are the shelter of all poor, suffering living entities, and You have appeared to diminish their suffering. Please be kind to us and spread our good fortune.

SB 8.17.18 (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/8/17/18/en): You have prayed to Me and properly worshiped Me by performing the great payo-vrata (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/v/vrata) ceremony for the sake of protecting your sons. Because of Kaśyapa (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/k/kasyapa) Muni (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/m/muni)'s austerities, I shall agree to become your son and thus protect [B]your other sons.

SB 8.17.24 (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/8/17/24/en): When Lord Brahmā (http://srimadbhagavatam.com/b/brahma) understood that the Supreme Personality of Godhead was now within the womb of Aditi, he began to offer prayers to the Lord by reciting transcendental names.


Aditi is considered as the mother of gods
ONly for the duration of one manavantar since Kashyap Rshi is one of the SaptaRshis who are prajapatis - they populate the world.
Aditi-Kashyap --- deva (12)
Diti-Kashyap --- asura (hiranyaksha hiranyakashyapu)
Kadru-Kashyap --- nAga (1000)
VinitA-Kashyap --- Garuda (Vainiteya) , 2 sons


and to her were born 12 Adityas (in some places only 8 Adityas are mentioned). Rig Veda mentions Aditi quite a number of times and Vishnu is also mentioned being born to her.

WERE born. In sequence. one after the other.
Rg Ved has history. BhAgavat has history.

om namo bhagavate vAsudevAya

devotee
27 February 2013, 06:35 AM
Namaste Smaranam,

You have much more information of PurANas than I have. I have been banking on my knowledge of Veda-samhitA alone for this. Thanks for your inputs.

OM

wundermonk
27 February 2013, 10:03 AM
What a sheer waste of bandwidth and empty superfluous posturing this thread is!

satay
27 February 2013, 10:46 AM
Admin Note

Seems like OP has abandoned this thread.

My advice to all esteemed knowledgeable members is that they take a break from HDF to avoid making fools of themselves further.

Thank you