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Thread: A relatively new thought on Shiva/Vishnu tattwa

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    A relatively new thought on Shiva/Vishnu tattwa

    Namaste,

    Shaivism and Vaishnavism both claim its own god as the 'supreme' (paramatma). While there are offshoots of Vaishnavism that view Lord Shiva as an expansion of Vishnu. And there may be variants of Shaivism that might view Vishnu to be an offspiring of or an expansion of Shiva.

    If I am given the wonderful opportunity to express myself on this apparently controversial principles, I think that the supreme is in essence 'dual' (or even 'triple') in nature (when also including 'Brahma').

    The 2 different natures of supreme might be i) that which is ever manifest, the omnipotent, the omniscient ii) that which 'arose' out of self-effort, out of a combined result of penance, sacrifice, and love. (The 3rd aspect may be iii) that which became worthy of praise due to deserving 'luck' even though being neither the un-manifest nor the one with the best effort - and I think Brahma, sitting on a Lotus might be this 3rd principle, as Lotus symbolizes eternity, purity, divinity, etc - the 'deserving qualities' ).

    The reason thus, of why we may have the duality in Hinduism may be thus to teach us all that humans are a part and parcel of god and thus humans have the potential to raise up to the same level of god out of his efforts and can exist in nature, as 'another form of divine' with the same potential as the un-manifest in all ways. The idea that humans can be the same as god or act as god at various levels of spiritual ascension are confirmed in Hinduism from stories such as the 'Trishanku swarga', 'the eternal devas' and various other forms of divine. At the highest level, humans must be able to identify himself one with god, the un-manifest, in all ways, and becomes 'equal' to him and thus becomes, 'eternal'.

    Thus, there may be 2 principles in divine to indicate the above idea. Who is who, might be flexible depending on one's wish, based on his affiliations. But the point to ponder, or the 'take home' message is that, both are equals and both are supreme principles.

    PS: The above might be the reason why god supposedly takes 'avataras' as per Vaishnavism. That is, although equal in status and power, their capabilities might be different. Can be thought of as a doctor vs. the President of a company. Both are equals in status and power, but they both function 'uniquely', in their own ways. Therefore, for the un-manifest to earn the same potential of the manifest, he takes human births and realizes himself. On the other hand, Lord Shiva might be the un-manifest, but he is eternally a 'yogi' or in 'tapas' because he wants to realize himself as a manifest would do, that is, out of penance and self-sacrifice.

    PS2: Kindly do not take to sides as a response to this message. This is to present a neutral view for stimulating the thought only. Also kindly be gentle in criticisms, as I really only shared this thought for presenting a novel view, not for any ulterior, bad motive.

    Thank you,

    Viraja
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: A relatively new thought on Shiva/Vishnu tattwa

    Namaste...

    Actually it's not such a new thought. If I get the gist of your post, you are referring to what I have in my signature... that Vishnu and Shiva are one and the same, flip sides of the same coin. Worship of them that way is not uncommon. Their conjoined, or combined form is Harihara or Shankarnarayana. In one of the niches around the sanctum of Sri Guruvayurappan at my temple is a murti of Harihara.

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Harihara-Hindu-deity
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harihara

    Here are a couple of images.

    http://i1.trekearth.com/photos/49048/dsc01296_trek.jpg
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...sivakesava.JPG
    https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...1/Harihara.jpg
    śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ

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    Re: A relatively new thought on Shiva/Vishnu tattwa

    I am devotee of RAM ji and Hanumanji. since childhood I used to think if I pray to RAM ji and hanuman ji, it's mean my prayers are going to both shiv ji and vishnu ji also. Automatically, I used to see them equal. Whenever I listen Om namah shivaye or narayan narayan(vishnu), my mind becomes calm with peace same as when I speak ram. it is said vishnu's avatar is rama and shiva's strongest rudra is hanuman. I also believe in un-manifest form. Some one of my relative around us asked my mother which god do you believe. My mom said I do ram ram daily and I feel happy. then my relative said to my mother there is further more supreme and upper level of god than ram. because my relatives are going to some guru. my mother informed me about this yesterday because me and my mother always do satsang(holy talks). I got little conflict how do any supreme god and upper level god , I never compared any god in my life and I respect every guru as my mother taught me, but I kept my faith and seeking for positve answers inside me, I knew answer will come in any form. I have been reading sunderkand for last one month. Then I thought, I do ram ram and sometimes I do "aum namah shivaye" according to my mood, I feel same, I feel no difference. Ram Ram is easy to come and narayana is little long but thing is same ram ram prayers are going to vishnu automatically. Now see, I read your post, two essence(or triple) are vishnu and shiva are same, very positive thought. un-manifested form which saves innocents that vishnu essence un-manifested form which destroy evil that shiva essence my main motive not to compare any god , just to thing positive(shud vichar). I am very happy to join this forum. jai hanuman gyan gun sagar.

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    Re: A relatively new thought on Shiva/Vishnu tattwa

    Hi Jai,

    No, I am not saying Shiva/Vishnu are the same. I think my OP was unclear.

    I'm saying the following:

    i) Out of Shiva and Vishnu, one is eternal, the un-manifest. The other one is of human origin, who became a most supreme deity out of penance, love and human effort. This is to show that humans are capable of being elevated to the same status of the divine and have the same power and potent eventually.

    ii) That, although equals eventually, Shiva/Vishnu are still 'different' from each other fundamentally. To fill the gap, they both strive to acquire the capabilities of the other. Vishnu does this through taking human avataras, Shiva strives to do it through his eternal tapas.

    iii) Who is the unmanifest and who is the human turned supreme deity, is dependent on one's inclination or affinity. What matters is that, eventually there is no difference between the two, with regards to their potential.

    Sorry, I repeat here, I do not mean to post my uneducated views in the powerful and well-read HDF medium. I know that posting from scriptures is the standard here.

    But when I thought of various factors involving Shiva/Vishnu tattwa, the above thoughts came to me and wanted very strongly to share these with someone who could perhaps point me to further study along these lines.
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: A relatively new thought on Shiva/Vishnu tattwa

    Hi Viraja...

    Ok, I see. That's why I hedged and said "If I get the gist...", which apparently I didn't.
    śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ

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    Re: A relatively new thought on Shiva/Vishnu tattwa

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    To reduce the supreme to ~entities~ (e.g. 'different from each other' suggests two and this seems unreasonable to me) is missing the point that is apparent in their names:
    • viṣṇu = all pervading
    • śiva = in whom all things lie


    If the principle of all pervading does not include ‘in whom all things lie’ and , if in whom all things lie is not ‘all pervading’ then these terms are of little use to us.

    When we think of these things surely we wish not to be narrow minded , so we wish to be broad in our thoughts; yet our reasoning must be under the guidance of śruti. Why so? because we still see the rope as a snake. That is, independent reasoning ( on these matters) that is unguided quickly becomes speculation. Why then walk down a dark hall when one can carry a light?




    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: A relatively new thought on Shiva/Vishnu tattwa

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    To reduce the supreme to ~entities~ (e.g. 'different from each other' suggests two and this seems unreasonable to me) is missing the point that is apparent in their names:
    • viṣṇu = all pervading
    • śiva = in whom all things lie


    If the principle of all pervading does not include ‘in whom all things lie’ and , if in whom all things lie is not ‘all pervading’ then these terms are of little use to us.

    When we think of these things surely we wish not to be narrow minded , so we wish to be broad in our thoughts; yet our reasoning must be under the guidance of śruti. Why so? because we still see the rope as a snake. That is, independent reasoning ( on these matters) that is unguided quickly becomes speculation. Why then walk down a dark hall when one can carry a light?




    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    Namaste Yajvan

    Wonderful explanation. I wish to say the same thing but from a different point of view. My view is how can be two supreme. The moment we say two supreme, does it not defeat Aatma-Paramaatma concept. Even if we consider Aatma as the reflections of Paramaatma just like we see the reflections of moon at various places, there can not be two power houses, is in it?

    I have my objections ONLY on the snake rope example. A rope assumed or mistaken as a snake is valid as long as the circumstances that created that assumption are valid. Validity of the circumstances are time based. Can I stop eating because this body is bound to perish?

    I don't wish to argue further because of two reasons. 1. I agree with your point of view, so it is meaningless to argue on the example being used to convey the point. 2. Rope-Snake mystery is not solved by anyone in a way acceptable to both perspective.
    Last edited by Anirudh; 10 March 2017 at 09:55 AM.
    Anirudh...

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    Re: A relatively new thought on Shiva/Vishnu tattwa

    Namaste Yajvan ji, Anirudh ji,

    Yes, you are correct and I understand your concern. What is out there has been amply defined in our shrutis and smritis and there is nothing 'new' to be discovered. Also, it is correct that HDF adheres to the strict view that any new claim here should be amply backed up by scriptures, which definitely my OP here is sorely lacking.

    Nevertheless, there is some argument I would like to propose in response.

    They say that Hinduism offers a sum total of all thoughts possible -- if Christianity or Islam or Judaism has benefited at least some people, as some have realized god and saints do exist also in these religions, then that unique approach must have its place somewhere in Hinduism, is it not? May be it is advaitha, may be it is Samkhya school of thought, may be it is the 'Chakras', may be it is all about planets (Jyotish) that there are some apparent deviations from mainstream Hinduism.

    But so far has anyone come forward to 'mine' into the profound wealth of Hindu concepts and explain with clarity, how other religions might be related to some Hindu thought?

    I wrote in my facebook page recently, the similarity between Hindus sporting a 'shikha' on their head and how it could be the same concept as Jews wearing a 'Kippah' on their head.

    Surely, there must exist similarities and common grounds, but the truth is no one has vested their time to find out, in spite of it all being available in scriptures!

    Similarly, if Ramanujacharya thought 'all that is there is pure advaitha', he would not have propounded Visishtadvaitha... Not saying this is correct or that is correct, just saying we benefit from differing school of thoughts, only because someone took the initiative.

    Yes, there is light to carry in the darkness, but that light sheds something faint and bluish in places, that sleeping persons look like corpses and scary to me.....! I would rather walk without a light!

    In that perspective, I think there should be a place in HDF for members to post their random musings without upsetting HDF's emphasis on scriptures.

    Thank you for allowing me to exclaim!
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: A relatively new thought on Shiva/Vishnu tattwa

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    If I may I’d like to address a few of the notions offered above ... Note this is not done with the mind set of jalpa (argumentative debate, disputation), but to extend the conversation and perhaps offer a principle or two for one's consideration.
    Anirudh writes,
    I have my objections ONLY on the snake rope example. A rope assumed or mistaken as a snake is valid as long as the circumstances that created that assumption are valid. Validity of the circumstances are time based. Can I stop eating because this body is bound to perish?
    My views on the rope and snake are offered here: http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthr...078#post130078 I do not disagree with your point of view. I offered it to suggest that viewing an idea within the confines of ignorance ( not knowing Self) and that of basking in the full daylight of knowledge. That these two cogitative positions yield different conclusions.

    viraja writes,
    But so far has anyone come forward to 'mine' into the profound wealth of Hindu concepts and explain with clarity, how other religions might be related to some Hindu thought?
    First ( as I see it) the profundity of sanātana dharma is beyond thought; that pure Being is the fundamental tenet of all points of view (code for religions). This is what our upaniṣad-s offer. Yet as humans we are given reason and insight, but all predicated on awareness/consciousness which is Self. That is why Self is so important, it is the source of thought. Hence it seems reasonable to know this source in full.

    Now of the schools you mention e.g. sāṁkhya, vedānta, mīmāṃsā, nyāya vaiśeṣika & yoga, they are so complete in themselves that many have taken them to be independent , yet this is not the case. The darśana-s (seeing, looking, knowledge, traditional doctrine or precept , collection of such doctrines) are 6 views of the same Reality, Being, Self from 6 different angles. It is the wise that see the 6 as complementary to each other. In fact, each verse of the śrīmad bhāgavad gītā can be viewed from one or all six of these schools. Adding to this, the profundity that kṛṣṇaḥ-jī speaks to 3 levels of understanding with each of his words. So, 6 schools x 3 levels = 18. The 18 chapters of the śrīmad bhāgavad gītā and the 18 chapters of the mahābhārata, yet I digress.

    you mention,
    I wrote in my facebook page recently, the similarity between Hindus sporting a 'shikha' on their head and how it could be the same concept as Jews wearing a 'Kippah' on their head. Surely, there must exist similarities and common grounds, but the truth is no one has vested their time to find out, in spite of it all being available in scriptures!
    I hear what you say, (and this may sound blunt), yet mere doing and wearing of apparel is parochial, an outward appearance. It could signify one’s practice, one’s belief, but to whom? To others. These things ( beads, robes, turbans, etc.) are there for our continued support and reminder of what is important, yet humans have found a way to make this a fashion statement.
    For me only , I do not buy into it. Why so ? All these things come and go, they are temporary and captures one’s thought that they are the body-mind-ego. This is the blunder of the human , the blemish that via sanātana dharma, we ( some to many) wish to graduate from.

    you mention,
    Yes, there is light to carry in the darkness, but that light sheds something faint and bluish in places, that sleeping persons look like corpses and scary to me.....! I would rather walk without a light!
    Within the darkness of night the stars come out to light the sky the best they can... but upon the dawn the sun rises and all darkness is gone. The sun did not stuff the darkness in a pouch anywhere, all it ( the sun) needed to do is just be itself. The sun does not know ‘night’. The Self does not know ignorance.

    If you wish to walk without light, that again is your choice and do as you see fit.

    A few closing ideas
    I think there should be a place in HDF for members to post their random musings without upsetting HDF's emphasis on scriptures.
    Yes, the ‘Canteen’ folder is such a place. Yet, if done in other folders as you have done is also fine, as you have prefaced your offer that it was your thoughts, your ideas. Yet because HDF is a forum, others will respond in kind.

    my orientation is this...
    We are told by the wise ( in this example from the bṛadāraṇyaka upaniṣad) , the Self my dear1 is to be made immediately evident, it must be heard about (śrotavya) reflected on (mantava) and contemplated on (nididhy āsitavya). But for how long? As long as necessary.
    Other ideas and views are fine but (for me) and the time we are on this good earth, it seems reasonable to consider what truly is at hand if one wishes to be an exponent of truth. When talking of viṣṇu & śiva these are the highest principles known to mankind. They are beyond name and form. But what am I saying? I leave the words to svāmī lakṣman-jū... It is not what you don’t know that causes harm, but what you do know that is just not right that brings mischief.

    ... do as you see fit.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    1. yājñavalkya is speaking to his wife maitreyī (maitreya = friendly, benevolent) in Chapter 2.4 of the bṛadāraṇyakopaniṣat).
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: A relatively new thought on Shiva/Vishnu tattwa

    Quote Originally Posted by Viraja View Post
    Namaste Yajvan ji, Anirudh ji,

    Yes, you are correct and I understand your concern. What is out there has been amply defined in our shrutis and smritis and there is nothing 'new' to be discovered. Also, it is correct that HDF adheres to the strict view that any new claim here should be amply backed up by scriptures, which definitely my OP here is sorely lacking.

    Nevertheless, there is some argument I would like to propose in response.

    They say that Hinduism offers a sum total of all thoughts possible -- if Christianity or Islam or Judaism has benefited at least some people, as some have realized god and saints do exist also in these religions, then that unique approach must have its place somewhere in Hinduism, is it not? May be it is advaitha, may be it is Samkhya school of thought, may be it is the 'Chakras', may be it is all about planets (Jyotish) that there are some apparent deviations from mainstream Hinduism.

    But so far has anyone come forward to 'mine' into the profound wealth of Hindu concepts and explain with clarity, how other religions might be related to some Hindu thought?

    I wrote in my facebook page recently, the similarity between Hindus sporting a 'shikha' on their head and how it could be the same concept as Jews wearing a 'Kippah' on their head.

    Surely, there must exist similarities and common grounds, but the truth is no one has vested their time to find out, in spite of it all being available in scriptures!

    Similarly, if Ramanujacharya thought 'all that is there is pure advaitha', he would not have propounded Visishtadvaitha... Not saying this is correct or that is correct, just saying we benefit from differing school of thoughts, only because someone took the initiative.

    Yes, there is light to carry in the darkness, but that light sheds something faint and bluish in places, that sleeping persons look like corpses and scary to me.....! I would rather walk without a light!

    In that perspective, I think there should be a place in HDF for members to post their random musings without upsetting HDF's emphasis on scriptures.

    Thank you for allowing me to exclaim!
    Namaste Viraja

    First of all I can't stomach the thought of comparing Hinduism with any Abrahamic religions.

    They say that Hinduism offers a sum total of all thoughts possible
    Please educate me how did you arrive at this view because this is a blanket statement?

    Similarly, if Ramanujacharya thought 'all that is there is pure advaitha', he would not have propounded Visishtadvaitha... Not saying this is correct or that is correct, just saying we benefit from differing school of thoughts, only because someone took the initiative.
    All Achaaryas did not deviate from Veda and Vedanta. All belong to Aastika school of thoughts. If Hinduism is considered as the way of life, sects belonging to Naastika do not consider themselves as Hindus.Sri Shankaracharya won every possible Naastika scholar of his time and so did Sri Raamanujacharya. I look forward for the opinion from senior members like Yajvan, Devotee etc to shed their understanding on Naastika schools and how they fall under Hinduism.

    In that perspective, I think there should be a place in HDF for members to post their random musings without upsetting HDF's emphasis on scriptures.
    What kind of discussion would it be without any goal post or rule book? Without offending anyone wish to share a piece of information. IT IS BELIEVED in a particular religion it is legal that a man can marry the girl born to his own concubine. I assume when that religious literature was written that particular society would have gained the wisdom and equipment to identify the DNA otherwise that religion is patronizing incest. Going by your statement, I should include this kind noble thoughts in to our discussion or even with in the folds of Hinduism. Please don't take offense. I am just seeing the road ahead which is not driven by a rule book.
    Last edited by Anirudh; 10 March 2017 at 11:11 AM.
    Anirudh...

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