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c.smith
14 December 2009, 06:57 AM
Hare Krishna!
A burning question if you will. Why did Krishna choose Vishnu out of the Hindu trinity for his incarnations as opposed to Shiva or Brahma?

devotee
14 December 2009, 09:02 AM
Namaste Smith,


Why did Krishna choose Vishnu out of the Hindu trinity for his incarnations as opposed to Shiva or Brahma?

Your question is wrong because it is turned upside down ! Krishna didn't choose to be incarnation of Vishnu. Vishnu chose to incarnate as Krishna.

OM

kd gupta
14 December 2009, 09:37 AM
Hare Krishna!
A burning question if you will. Why did Krishna choose Vishnu out of the Hindu trinity for his incarnations as opposed to Shiva or Brahma?
Only vishnu gets time to incarnate , while shiva and bramha always are busy in their killing and producing jobs, poor chaps .:D

c.smith
14 December 2009, 12:54 PM
Thank-you for the replies. I look forward to more to help clarify (in my small mind) what seems to be my latest confusion. I got my definition from two ISKCON preachers who I would like to assume are correct (for ISKCON at least).

So to continue, would Krishna not be Brahman, the actual Godhead?

To put it in the form of an organizational chart:

Krishna--> Brahma/Vishnu/Shiva--> Other Gods and the incarnations/avatars.

Just trying to make sense of it all.

Hare Krishna!

Ganeshprasad
14 December 2009, 04:48 PM
Pranam Gupta ji


Only vishnu gets time to incarnate

From his busy schedule of maintaining and preserving, yes

Jai Shree Krishna

Ganeshprasad
14 December 2009, 04:58 PM
Pranam c.smith


Thank-you for the replies. I look forward to more to help clarify (in my small mind) what seems to be my latest confusion. I got my definition from two ISKCON preachers who I would like to assume are correct (for ISKCON at least).

So to continue, would Krishna not be Brahman, the actual Godhead?

To put it in the form of an organizational chart:

Krishna--> Brahma/Vishnu/Shiva--> Other Gods and the incarnations/avatars.

Just trying to make sense of it all.

Hare Krishna!

Most Hindus unlike Iskcon see no difference between Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, what to speak of Krishna viz Vishnu.

It is true though Bhakta of Krishna see him as supreme Brahman just as Devotee of Ram or devotee Shiva or Devotee of Maa would.

Jai Shree Krishna

yajvan
14 December 2009, 08:42 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

Namasté devotee (et.al)




Your question is wrong because it is turned upside down ! Krishna didn't choose to be incarnation of Vishnu. Vishnu chose to incarnate as Krishna.
OM
Let me ask, since we have an inquiry about viṣṇu.

We know maha-viṣṇu remains lying, resting on ananta , and from His navel comes brahma. It is brahma that is tasked with creation…. why so? Why does maha-viṣṇu not just do this work ? Why task it to another?

Do we have some ideas regarding this matter?


praṇām

devotee
14 December 2009, 09:51 PM
Namaste Yajvan ji,



We know maha-viṣṇu remains lying, resting on ananta , and from His navel comes brahma. It is brahma that is tasked with creation…. why so? Why does maha-viṣṇu not just do this work ? Why task it to another?

Do we have some ideas resgarding this matter?


IMHO,

Maha-Vishnu is all-pervading and in fact everything who Himself manifests as the trinity. So, this All-pervading, source of all, Maha-Vishnu is peaceful, the True Nature of the Self. It is not that He is assigning this task to "another" ... He is doing it in a different form with a different nature.

We can see this from this perspective too :

The creator is basically to decide the whole organisation of creation, its time period, rules of nature & keeps a record of how the other beings are doing etc. etc. which itself is a gigantic task. He is creating this world & the Maya. So that justifies the post of the first among the trinity, i.e. Brahmaa.

So, from management point of view, it is better that someone else should take care of its sustenance ... who will support people in living their life in this world in a better way & also show them the way out of this Maya .... which is again a huge task. And that calls for a separate authority within Trinity i.e. Vishnu.

Creator and sustainer, having the heart of a mother & father, would never like to destroy what they have created and nourished with their "efforts" ... so there is a need of a separate Godhead to destroy everything when the time comes. So, that justifies the post of Lord Shiva !

I think the justification is strong enough for finance to concur with the proposal !

OM

atanu
15 December 2009, 01:50 AM
hariḥ oṁ
Namasté devotee (et.al)
Let me ask, since we have an inquiry about viṣṇu.
We know maha-viṣṇu remains lying, resting on ananta , and from His navel comes brahma. It is brahma that is tasked with creation…. why so? Why does maha-viṣṇu not just do this work ? Why task it to another?
Do we have some ideas regarding this matter?
praṇām

Namaste yajvanji,

A nice question. The following is the understanding here, though it is a bit off from the subject of the thread.

Mostly we understand scripture from the angle of Purusha --a man and/or Stree a woman, as if occupying a finite space. This is the anAdi mistake.

The un-nameable, undiscernible, Truth, which may be called Sada Shiva or para Shiva or Maha Vishnu or Maha Narayana etc. etc., is one single infinite being. When no internal difference exists within it, it is as if not a being nor a non-being.

By perturbation of this being, which is of the nature of Sat-Chit-Ananda, through its inherent shakti, variegation happens as per its will. Its thought is the Moon, the Mind (Soma-Bhutatma), wherefrom all Gods and all other so-called beings emerge. Even the Sun is from this Mind -- thus the Sun is called the grandson. The Truth's nature is Sat-Chid-Ananda --not a creator. But it is the substratum of all that seems to happen. Creation is the movement of joy of pure Mind.

Reading Maitrayana Brahmaya U. makes me visualise in the following fashion. (Visualisation is always wrong).

There is ParamAtma (un-nameble but is called by many names but actually is the secret Hridaya) and there is Bhutatma (Soma). Bhutatma, when under Tamas, is an infinite black beast (made of nothing as if), not knowing anything. This is the Tamasic stage of the deep sleep. The shakti within stirs and it goes into subtle variegation. Then this infinite beast wakes up shaking its mane and all that. At this stage, the sages are extremely fearful of this thousand headed beast made of fire. They offer Rudriyam. It being pacified thus, it becomes Agni-Vishnu - the Divine Universe. Still, those who do not know it as divine (ignorant like me) are fearful of its manifold cruel ways. By killings, by cruelty, by injustice -- everything is as if cruel of this beast of fire, which we see as the Universe. They should offer Rudriyam, which is known to be the food of this fierce infinite headed animal called Visva-Rudra. On pacifying it with food, it becomes Visva-Visnu. We know it as agni-vaisvanaro. It is God.



Rig Veda Book 10 TRITA APTYA


SUKTA 1

1. High and vast the Fire stood in front of the dawns; issuing out of the darkness he came with the Light: Fire, a perfect body of brilliant lustre, filled out at his very birth all the worlds.

2. Thou art the child born from earth and heaven, the child beautiful carried in the growths of earth; an infant many-hued, thou goest forth crying aloud from the mothers around the nights and the darknesses.

3. Vishnu knowing rightly the supreme plane of this Fire, born in his vastness, guards the third (plane); when in his mouth they have poured the milk (of the cow), conscious they shine here towards his own home.

4. Hence the mothers who bear that draught come with their food to thee, and thou growest by the food: to them the same, but other in their forms, thou comest (returnest) again, then art thou Priest of the call in human beings.

5. The Priest of the call of the pilgrim-rite with his many- hued chariot, in the brilliant ray of intuition of sacrifice on sacrifice, Fire the guest of man who takes to himself the half of each god in might and glory.

6. Putting on robes, putting on forms, Fire in the navel-centre of the earth is born a ruddy flame, in the seat of Revelation. O King, as the Priest set in front sacrifice to the gods.
7. Ever, O Fire, thou hast stretched out earth and heaven, as their son thou hast built up thy father and mother: O ever young, journey towards the gods who desire thee; then bring them to us, O forceful Flame!

------------

RV Book 5 VASUSHRUTA


SUKTA 3

1. Thou art Varuna, O Fire, when thou art born, thou becomest Mitra when thou blazest high; in thee are all the gods, O son of Force (shakti putra), thou art Indra for the mortal giver.

2. O holder of the self law, thou becomest Aryaman when thou bearest the secret name of the Virgins; they reveal thee with the Rays as Mitra firmly founded when thou makest of one mind the Lord of the house and the Spouse.
3. For the glory of thee, O Rudra, the life powers make bright thy birth into a richly manifold beauty. When that highest step [[The supreme plane of the three.]] of Vishnu is founded within (Hridaya), thou guardest by it the secret name of the Ray cows.

Manifoldness does not allow revelation of the single entity, which resides in the Hridaya. It is one Truth which is THE BEING, which is the Universe and all beings (these in truth cannot be called beings, since their beingness is from the THE BEING). The shantam heart of this infinite beast is called Maha Vishnu or Sada Shiva, the unchanging immortal Atma, called Prabhu.

Prabhu is advaita, but it appears to become two: a Self of Intelligence and a Self of Life Force.

Om Namah Shivaya

Bimal Banerjee
15 December 2009, 03:29 AM
Dear Mr. Smith,Thanks for your question but do you think we should entangle ourselves in such type of issues when Hinduism and Hindus are receeding with every passing day. Yes, we were 100% a thousand years back not only in this sub-continent but also in Afghanistan and Indonesia and we have almost been wiped out of these areas. Mr. Smith, kindly think of ways and means how this oldest religion on earth can survive and expand. Otherwise, the day will not be very far off when there will be no Hindu left to answer any question of yours.With best regards,Yours sincerely,Bimal Banerjeebimalbanerjee@gmail.com

smaranam
15 December 2009, 09:24 AM
PraNAm

No doubt, SrimAn NArAyana , Hari is the same being as SadaShiva. Its all about the same Existential Principal that encompasses Knowledge-Bliss , and all Tattvas for all purposes and non-purposes.

But your quote from Rig Veda, and explanation from Maitreyana Brahmaya Upanishad add so much sense to it all, it touches the fundamentals of original Vedic Thought.
At the plane of macrocosm as well as microcosm. Thank You , Atanuji.

I think people new to this may benefit from an overview understanding of how the same Truth works at the microcosmic (inner) as well as macrocosmic (Universal) level - Because it really helped me.


The Absolute is Bliss, Anand and Love alone, and as ParaBrahman Parameshwar, He is Vishnu to some and SadaShiv to others, and both to some.

Then, as a 'next' step (not necessarily time-sequential , perhaps cyclical) , this Sat-Chit-Ananda takes forms according to the goal -
He takes charge of Sattva to be and nurture,
then takes charge of Rajas to create ,
Takes charge of Tamas to destroy ignorance, results of which are auspicious - Since the object of destruction is Avidya.

Never should one think that these forms are actually under the spell of these gunas , but infact , they preside over and utilize these gunas of Prakrti (modes of nature) for a purpose.

They also go to the extent of performing Leelas to pretend being under the spell of a mode of nature.

These are simply pastimes for our benefit. They worship, adore , glorify and love each other. Such are the selfless ways of the Divine Self. The same holds for Their consorts, aspects of the Divine Mother Shakti.

Krshna's sweetest pastimes bring out the inherent sacchidanand nature of the Absolute Truth. This is only why Vaishnavas dwell on them, and distinguish between the nature of the Leelas - as untouched by any gunas. He is Maryada Purshottam RAm, Leela Purshottam Krshna and BholenAth Shambhu.

The ways of Shiva and Shakti as ParaBrahman, in removal of Avidya, bestowal of Grace, Jnana, and liberation, may be slightly different , but they are ParaBrahman all right.


Hari Om

yajvan
15 December 2009, 11:23 AM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

Namasté devotee & atanu (et.al)

Thank you for your insights & replies. They are most excellent.

The way I look at it is similar. maha-viṣṇu is nirviśeṣa¹ ( non-different) ; some prefer to call this nirupādhika¹ (without attributes).

Maha-viṣṇu keeps sama (equable , neutral , indifferent) at all times. Hence for creation to take place, there must be a stir, action, permutations. This would then be outside of sama for this to occur, and brahma then takes on this work.

Maha-viṣṇu continues in his repose - yet with the slightest intent for creation to occur it all takes place without a fuss. Brahma comes, creation begins.

I also am not a fan of this Being having desire. I have learned it is intent, just the slightest indication to create; In my understanding intent = will = icchā. Yes, I know many scriptures offer 'desire' as the reason for manifesting, yet this word does not resonate with me, as it suggests a 'lacking' that needs to be filled.

I see this same 'model' if we were talking of Śiva¹ i.e. Maheśvara. Maheśvara and Śakti . Maheśvara remains in perfect repose, and śakti is His icchā-śakti that does ( and manages) creation.
Same for Puruṣa and prakṛti found in saṃkhya philosophy - same model as I see it. Puruṣa is the Supreme Self ( in repose) and sends forth prakṛti, which means pra = 'forth' + kṛ = ' to do, to make' .
One could say the Ultimate Reality, perfect sattā¹ (Being) becomes (bhāva¹) bhū ( existence) - all that is. This word bhū also means 'to mingle , mix , saturate , soak ' ; Hence we are at liberty to say this existence bhū that becomes (bhāva) is soaked & saturated (bhū) with Reality.praṇām

words

nirviśeṣa निर्विशेष - not different from , same, absolute, without a stir.
nirupādhika निरुपाधिक- without attributes or qualities , absolute
icchā च्छा- wish, inclination; it is also defined as desire.
Śiva , considered as Śivabhaṭṭāraka ; bhaṭṭāra - the great lord , venerable or worshipful; bhaṭ भट्- nourish , maintain; He, the great Lord that nourshes and maintains ( hence the alignment to viṣṇu)
sattā सत्ता - existence, being
bhāva भाव - becoming, occuring

smaranam
19 December 2009, 06:20 PM
I also am not a fan of this Being having desire. I have learned it is intent, just the slightest indication to create; In my understanding intent = will = icchā. Yes, I know many scriptures offer 'desire' as the reason for manifesting, yet this word does not resonate with me, as it suggests a 'lacking' that needs to be filled.


Pranam YajvanJi,

I see what you are saying. Yes, it can't possibly be a desire.

Can we safely say that this intent of the Supreme to create is really a part of His inherent nature (SvabhAv) ?
Hence the biggest Natural Phenomenon , the aggregate , which includes all sub-phenomena. Vyavahaar of God.

Just as breathing is something living beings do naturally - except that we have to breathe , but Brahman doesn't have to create. But this is just how He is.

It does not mean He has a desire , just as breathing is not exactly our desire.
Of Course, that should not give rise to qns like
"Are you saying the Supreme Lord cannot help but create ? (just as we have no choice but to breathe ?) "

Ans: No, He could just stay put, but He has a system, which He applies to Himself, sets it up , and does not worry about it anymore. He does not want to want.

After this, whatever follows in the VyavahAr (transactions) of the Supreme , is for a purpose, and not His wish , want, desire or whim.

Its about the System. The Macrocosmic Respiratory System.

This could also explain the cyclical nature of Creation and Annhilation.


***Not that it matters. For some reason this common qn "Why did God create ?" never occured to me.

And those who ask "Why does He make us suffer ?" , have it all upside down, because by their logic, He is the one choosing to suffer ! (Since He is all there is , who enters everything insentient to make it sentient).
Which obviously is not the case , He is sacchidanand. So, the sufferers and suffering are what are the big illusion.


Is there something terribly wrong in this logic ?

Thank You

Hari Om

yajvan
19 December 2009, 11:55 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

Namasté smaranam,


Pranam YajvanJi,

I see what you are saying. Yes, it can't possibly be a desire.

Is there something terribly wrong in this logic ?

Thank You Hari Om

I think what you offer has merit...

'curving back onto my Self I create again and again'

praṇām

keshava
22 December 2009, 10:53 AM
Hare Krishna!
A burning question if you will. Why did Krishna choose Vishnu out of the Hindu trinity for his incarnations as opposed to Shiva or Brahma?

Hare Krishna c.smith

According to vaishnava philosophy and my understanding Krishna and his expansions are eternal.

There is in no difference between vishnu and krishna nor the other incarnations or expansions they are collectivly known as visnu-tattva. We are small living entities who are also an expansion of the lord but limited and independent and are meant for service to the lord are known as jiva-tatva.

The example can be given of a person at home is known by his wife as 'hubby' and by his child as 'papa' however when he is in the office he is known as 'sir'.

In our case we can only be in one role at one time. Where as in the case of god he is known as krishna when he is at home eg. goloka vrndavana, while he is carryiong out functions of overseeing the material world he is known as vishnu (there are 3 different vishnus according to satvata tantra ). While worshiped as a king in vaikuntha he is known as naryana we all have unique relationships with the lord. He can be in many forms in different features simultanously where we can only be in singular place.

As for when did krishna 'choose' to come as vishnu. The choose is a misnomer in one sense. All expansions are eternal - time exists in the material realm. Even in the material realm time is relative. (Vedic scripture describes a momment of Lord Brahmas time as millions of years here, and a breath of mahavishnu as one life time of bramha).

Krishna is eternally vishnu, narayana rama etc. We in our conditioned stage see them subject to time because that is our current conditioned perspective but the supreme soul (even our own souls are actually beyond material time)
Sometimes we see them manifest in this world and sometimes not but actually he is eternal.

Hope that makes sense.