Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma: Real or symbolic?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    January 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    741
    Rep Power
    0

    Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma: Real or symbolic?

    After reading a bit about the 3 VP's of Hinduism, I always wondered whether the seers in the days of yore actually 'saw' these entities or whether they were representations of certain 'forces' or principles. What really excites me is the repetition of the name of Vaikuntha, Kailasa, and Svarga loka yet although they seem to be real places, my rationalistic mind tells me otherwise.

    What are your thoughts on this? Are Vaikuntha, Kailasha, and Svarga Loka real places where one can 'ascend' to or are they subtler realms that one can 'tap' into during dhyana (meditation) or tapasya (austerity)? Also, does 'Vishnu' actually exist as a 'physical' being laying down on Adi-Sesha? Does Brahma really exist? And Shiva as well? Or are these deities representative 'forces' from the subtler realms that we read/dream about?

    Please discuss.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    January 2008
    Age
    46
    Posts
    79
    Rep Power
    35

    Re: Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma: Real or symbolic?

    Certainly all these lokas and these personalities of Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma are as real as the world you live. They may not be places or location travelled in a space ship, but traversed through the mind and intellect.

    There is possibly lot of symbolism associated with descriptions such as Vishnu reclining on shesha nAga - certainly the all pervading Vishnu cannot be reduced to that! Or perhaps there exists such a form of Vishnu too - how can we say anything? There are people who have experienced it that way and recorded their experience. Lord has no limitations - he possibly exists in every form human mind can concieve and cannot concieve.

    They are not persons in the human sense, but the Atman conditioned by mAyA - so their nature is pure consciousness and dont have any ignorance.

    ~RL

  3. #3
    Join Date
    October 2007
    Location
    UAE
    Posts
    142
    Rep Power
    0

    Re: Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma: Real or symbolic?

    They are real. And they exist. They are indeed places that could be likened as planets reachable through space voyage. An advaitin would probably think of them as mythological or symbolic. But they exist.

    The argument goes like this - Advaita's assumption that Avidya's obscuration of the nature of Brahman, ie, the true nature of Brahman being somehow covered-over or obscured by avidya is ridiculous. Given that Advaita claims that Brahman is pure self-luminous consciousness, obscuration must mean either preventing the origination of this (impossible since Brahman is eternal) or the destruction of it - equally absurd.

    The Advaita calls the Brahman as "Nirvisesham" meaning devoid of all characteristics/attributes. On the contrary, the Veda identifies the reality of Brahman as "Satyam Jgnyaanam Anantam" meaning the Brahman is having its identifying "Swaroopa Niroopaka Dharmas" characteristics, namely unchanging, sentient and infinite natures.

    As the Advaita argues that "Only the Brahman is reality and all other things other than that Brahman which appears to be "reality" are actually illusions; all of them just appears to be the same Brahman which alone has existence" is the meaning of "Eka Vignyaanena...". If this counter-argument of Advaita is to be admitted, then as per Advaita, both Brahman and Universe are of same nature, the Advaita itself has to accept either "Brahman is reality and also universe is reality" OR "universe is unreal and Brahman is also unreal". Therefore, such a counter-argument of Advaita proves troublesome for Advaita itself.

    Vishnu reclines on Adi Sesha in the causal ocean, and is surrounded by innumerable universes, each with its own Brahma and Shiva.
    Last edited by Sri Vaishnava; 22 January 2008 at 08:57 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    March 2006
    Location
    Sahasrarkadyutirmatha
    Posts
    1,802
    Rep Power
    186

    Post Re: Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma: Real or symbolic?

    Namaste SV,

    The trimUrti has a relative existence in the dvaita consciousness of vaishvAnara and taijasa.

    brahma is the creator of nothing, but existence is not possible without brahma.

    brahmA, however, is the creator of everything that partakes of existence.

    mAyA is inherent in brahmA, while brahma remains untouched by mAyA.

    brahma is aja, while brahmA is jA.

    brahma is nirvisheSam, while brahmA is visheSa.

    The uttama satyam is advaitam, praj˝Anam is advaitam, advaitam is anantam, and advaitam is shivam. And the brahman is saccidAnandAnantam.

    brahmA and brAhmI are of the same nature, while brahma does not share that conditioned existence, which is dvaitam.

    ajAtivAda has no quarrel with jAtivAda, but there is a childish tendency in jAtivAda that is entirely ignorant of ajAtivAda and yet persists in declaring the superiority of dvaitam over advaitam (the inferiority of which must at every opportunity also be expressed).

    Opposition is the only weapon of dvaitam, while advaitam relies only on unity and eternal truth.

    nArAyaNa reclines on nara, as naranArAyaNau, in the causal ocean, but this is the mAyA of causation, which is the essential nature of viSNu. And when the ocean is stilled of ALL duality and ALL motion, then the kuNDalam of visheSa anantam is uncoiled and even nArAyaNa viSNu sinks beneath the still surface of existence in dissolution, which is the mahAsamAdhi of nirvisheSa anantam in perfect advaitam.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    March 2006
    Location
    India
    Posts
    4,193
    Rep Power
    364

    Re: Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma: Real or symbolic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sri Vaishnava View Post
    They are real. And they exist. They are indeed places that could be likened as planets reachable through space voyage. An advaitin would probably think of them as mythological or symbolic. But they exist.
    Namaste,

    I am sure that you have authentic experience of such a space travel in your customized spacecraft and a (or more) visit/s to such a planet/s, else you would not be so emphatic. Thanks for sharing.

    Vishnu reclines on Adi Sesha in the causal ocean, and is surrounded by innumerable universes, each with its own Brahma and Shiva.

    Perhaps, just as you sleep and visit known or unknown cities. Or sometimes you pass into darkness. Again thanks.

    Om
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    October 2007
    Location
    UAE
    Posts
    142
    Rep Power
    0

    Re: Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma: Real or symbolic?

    Quote Originally Posted by atanu View Post
    Namaste,

    I am sure that you have authentic experience of such a space travel in your customized spacecraft and a (or more) visit/s to such a planet/s, else you would not be so emphatic. Thanks for sharing.
    Do you have any proof that they DON'T exist? Aha.

    You are talking like those people who have been blaspheming Lord Rama lately.

    I understand Advaita declares everything an illusion. But that is wrong. The Vedas say everything is real. Proven by Vishishtadvaita. Adi Sesha is real, Vishnu is real, Brahma and Shiva are real.

    Perhaps, just as you sleep and visit known or unknown cities. Or sometimes you pass into darkness. Again thanks.


    Om
    Or maybe, just like you so misinterpret everything. No wonder advaitins are called disguised Buddhists (atheists). At the end of it all, you don't even accept that the Mahadeva Shiva is real, whom you so love.

  7. #7

    Re: Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma: Real or symbolic?

    Taking into account that the physical body is the least real or most perishable of our bodies compared to the soul body or light body...then yes, beings with mature soul bodies do exist and have relative or certain degrees of dominion in the various realms that are possible for them; thus in that sense the Devas and Mahadevas are very real Beings that can be seen and known by us if we can tune into the frequency of their souls and the realms that they dwell in. (also they have more freedoms to move and act in various realms in comparison to us if we are mostly identified with and or stuck in the physical world)

    Om

  8. #8
    Join Date
    October 2007
    Location
    UAE
    Posts
    142
    Rep Power
    0

    Re: Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma: Real or symbolic?

    As far as Vishishtadvaita is concerned, everything is real. And we take all Puranas and Ithihasas literally.

    The verses of Veda like "yathO vA ImAni bhUtAni jAyantE…" are kAraNa vAkyas stating Brahman as the only cause of the universe. The verses of Veda like "satyam jgnyAnam anantam" are sodaka vAkyAs explaining the infinite divine/auspicious qualities of Brahman - the nature of Brahman is well explained by these verses. That is, "satyam jgnyAnam anantam" states that the Brahman is having satyatva-jgnyAnatva-& anantatvams - meaning the Brahma-swarOpam is having qualities namely eternal-unchanging-existence, sentient & being infinite. The nature of quality (attribute) is that it differentiates the entity (substance) which is attributed/qualified by them from other entities. For example, when we say "red flower", the "red (redness)" is the quality/attribute and "flower" is that which is qualified/attributed. This "red" differentiates that flower possessing red colour from other flowers like "blue flower", "yellow flower" etc.,. In the same manner, the verse "satyamjgnyAnam anantam" explains the Brahman as having certain qualities and thus differentiates Brahman from all chit and achit entities.
    Last edited by satay; 23 January 2008 at 10:12 AM. Reason: no need to 'bold' to make a point.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    March 2006
    Location
    India
    Posts
    4,193
    Rep Power
    364

    Re: Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma: Real or symbolic?

    Namaste Sri

    Quote Originally Posted by Sri Vaishnava View Post
    Do you have any proof that they DON'T exist? Aha.
    You are talking like those people who have been blaspheming Lord Rama lately.
    Aha. That is not a correct way to accept a congratulation. I congratulated you on your authentic experience based on your emphatic declaration. Why not accept it, my dear friend?.

    Lokas, where you can go with your rocket, are surely as real as you are. And I do not have any doubt that you exist. So, I offered a genuine congratulation.

    I understand Advaita declares everything an illusion.
    I say, be a bit more educated and do not hate others in a mis-informed way. Advaita certainly does not declare that everything is illusion. Advaita says that Brahman is Real and Universe is Divine Purusha.

    (Will you not be blushingly bashful of your posts in a few years? I doubt.)

    Om
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    October 2007
    Location
    UAE
    Posts
    142
    Rep Power
    0

    Re: Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma: Real or symbolic?

    Quote Originally Posted by atanu View Post
    Namaste Sri
    Aha. That is not a correct way to accept a congratulation. I congratulated you on your authentic experience based on your emphatic declaration. Why not accept it, my dear friend?.

    Lokas, where you can go with your rocket, are surely as real as you are. And I do not have any doubt that you exist. So, I offered a genuine congratulation.
    No doubt, Sarcasm ill-befits you. The Bhagavata Purana certainly mentions that one can travel to Brahma Loka. So does the Mahabharata.

    My experience? I believe it all exists, because every religion in the world, from mithraism to christianity is influenced by the vedic culture. Plus, Ramanujacharya pretty much established it.

    I say, be a bit more educated and do not hate others in a mis-informed way. Advaita certainly does not declare that everything is illusion. Advaita says that Brahman is Real and Universe is Divine Purusha.
    OK, I accept that overslight about the illusion thing. Then please try to argue all that I have quoted above in bold, and in my first post. Try to defeat Vishishtadvaita.

    Miseducated? Excuse me, can you even attempt to interpret a portion of the Vedas properly?

    (Will you not be blushingly bashful of your posts in a few years? I doubt.)

    Om
    Coming from the person who still can't explain why Vishnu's abode is mentioned as supreme and why a creation account for Rudra, but not Vishnu, exists in Vedas, I take it with a pinch of salt. Also, if you are Brahman realised, and according to Advaita itself, why can't you rule everyone else and start creating a new universe, eh?

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •