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Thread: Re: LORd SIVA : A Gaudiya Vaisnava Perspective

  1. #281

    Re: LORd SIVA : A Gaudiya Vaisnava Perspective

    Pranams

    Quote Originally Posted by brahma jijnasa View Post
    [FONT="Times New Roman"][SIZE="2"]Namaste philosoraptor
    Gaudiyas do not have that feeling. You'll have the feeling if you suppose that Brahma-saḿhitā 5.45 says something contrary to many other statements of immutability of the Lord. It simply does not make sense. Why would Brahma-saḿhitā teach some nonsense?
    Why indeed. Lots of smRiti texts teach "some nonsense." There is the padma purANa in which Lord Krishna decorates His body with ash and takes shaivite initiation (alluded to by omkar previously), linga purANa which teaches that brahmA and viShNu were fighting over who is supreme and were both humbled by the immense size of the shivalinga, manu dharma-shAstra which teaches that a women can be abandoned if she gives birth only to daughters, etc. The "why" of it can be attributed to human agency if you wish, but the bottom line is that it does happen. So why should we accept without question the authority of the gauDIya vaiShNava brahma-saMhitA when it teaches a non-vedAntic doctrine of brahman transforming Himself and becoming someone else?

    However there are energy or nature of the Lord. Examples of transformation of energy or nature can be seen daily. There is no need to be a Vedic philosopher to be able to see this.
    Examples of energy transforming, yes. Examples of brahman transforming, no.

    Are we now a little disingenuous? or what?
    No, I'm just correcting your misunderstanding of my words. I clearly said that "it is irrefutably obvious that (1) the brahma-saMhitA 5.45 is singling out shambhu in some way by describing him as a transformation of the Lord, a classification which is not given any other deva, and which is not found to describe jiivas in general." It was you who said, "Are we really so, as you say "irrefutably", sure that śambhu of Brahma-saḿhitā 5.45 must be only Shiva?"

    How can it be "it is not the case ... by virtue of being a jIva, since other jIvas are not described as such"?
    Because, as mentioned several times previously, the jIva is not described as a transformation of brahman in vedAntic texts. Thus, it is not believable that shambu is only described as a transformation on the grounds that he is a jIva, for whether or not he is a jIva, the description of him being a "transformation" of brahman still contradicts the vedAntic principle of brahman's unchanging nature.

    If word śambhu of Brahma-saḿhitā 5.45 can be at least Brahmā, who is a jiva for sure, then why Brahmā would not be singled out too? So we no longer have only trimurti Shiva, also called guṇa-avatāra Shiva, who is singled out.
    I think you are a bit confused. I am not contesting the idea that brahmA can be referred to as shambhu. But everyone agrees that shambhu in BrS 5.45 refers to Shiva (whether guNa-avatAra or sadAshiva), and hence, my point that the BrS 5.45 only describes this Shiva as a "transformation" of the Lord.

    I can give you another reason of why Trimurti Shiva is not to be singled out:
    Gaudiyas say that like some jiva can become a demigod Agni Indra or Brahma, so it can become Trimurti Shiva. This view that some jiva can become Trimurti Shiva shows the universality of principle of "milk is transformed into curd" to be applied universally to all the jivas because many jivas will eventually, sooner or later, become Trimurti Shiva!
    This is nothing more than unwarranted speculation. The point remains that BrS only describes Shiva as a transformation. The text does not describe any other deva as a transformation. Hence, my point that BrS singles out shambhu....

    Yes, Trimurti (guṇa-avatāra) Shiva indeed is somehow "more 'one' with nArAyaNa than the other devas" if you look at it from the point of view of acintya-bhedābheda-tattva "inconceivable simultaneously one and different" philosophy.
    In that case, you should have no objection whatsoever to a Shaivite identifying this guNa-avatAra Shiva with the Supreme Lord and worshiping him for liberation.

    regards,
    Philosoraptor

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools speak because they have to say something." - Plato

  2. #282

    Re: LORd SIVA : A Gaudiya Vaisnava Perspective

    I read a bit about ISKCON. Aren't they that Krishna worshiping sect that goes around claiming all other Hindu deities (especially Shiva and Brahma) are just demigods?
    I never got why they would want to denigrate Shiva, didn't Vishnu say "Me and Shiva are the same being." why would you want to insult the "other self" of your Lord?

  3. #283

    Re: LORd SIVA : A Gaudiya Vaisnava Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalicharan Tuvij View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor
    Well, the 10th chapter of the taittirIya AraNyaka explicitly identifies nArAyaNa with brahman. Are you suggesting then, that the taittirIya AraNyaka is "post-Vedic?"
    Kindly read it carefully.
    Pranams. I have. Have you? I am still waiting for an answer to my question. Do you consider tattirIya AraNyaka (which includes the mahAnArAyaNa upaniShad) of the kR^iShNa-yajur-veda as "post-vedic" or not?

    1) basics:
    A is B. B is A.
    => A = B.
    Now, Vishnu is Brahman is the first statement. But, unfortunately, the second statement, "Brahman is Vishnu", is not possible, and amounts to blasphemy in Hinduism
    Incorrect.

    If A is the same as B, then B is the same as A. This is elementary logic.

    Note that this is not the same thing as saying that if B is the attribute of A (sometimes figuratively mentioned as "B is A"), then A is the same as B.

    Now as far as your remark that, "This, in addition to calling, again erroneously, Narayana or Vishnu same as Brahman, in essence," the shruti clearly says:

    nArAyaNa paraM brahma tattvaM nArAyaNaH paraH |
    nArAyaNa paro jotirAtmA nArAyaNaH paraH || MNU 93 ||

    nArAyaNa is the supreme brahman. nArAyaNa is the Supreme Reality. nArAyaNa is the Supreme Light. nArAyaNa is the Supreme Self. (mahAnArayaNa upaniShad 93)


    This is clear and needs no interpretation: nArAyaNa is brahman. brahman is nArAyaNa.

    I have posted numerous references from shruti explicitly equating nArAyaNa with brahman, supreme deity, parama purusha, etc on the Vaishnava subforum. Please do not allow your sectarian beliefs to interfere with an objective appraisal of what the Vedas are teaching.

    2) what A is B means:
    RgVeda, somewhere, says: Agni seems to me Varuna. Now, Varuna's essence is Beauty, so the statement means, Agni is beautiful.
    Taittiriya Up. 1.1 (I hate quoting): "O Vayu thou indeed art the Visible (pratyaksha) Brahman. Of thee (Vayu), indeed the Visible Brahman, will I speak."
    The Advaita Ashram has translated the text of taittirIya upaniShad 1.1.1 as:

    I-i-1: May Mitra be blissful to us. May Varuna be blissful to us. May Aryaman be blissful to us. May Indra and Brihaspati 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 Brahman. You alone I shall call the direct Brahman. I shall call you righteousness. I shall call you truth. May He protect me. May He protect the teacher. May He protect me. May He protect the teacher. Om, peace, peace, peace!

    I checked the translation I have and it is similar. Translating 'pratyakSha' as "immediate" or "direct" brahman seems more in keeping with the flavor of the mantra, especially considering the untenable conclusions resulting from your translating it as "visible," thus postulating that brahman is "invisible" (more on this below).

    Brahman is the "Silent Observer". Silent, invisible. So the above quote highlights, very delicately, the poetic contrast of Vayu, the Prithvi God, who though visible in his murty (image) of "wind", is yet an Aditya, a silent builder, observer, invisible, in reality. I chose this particular quote to highlight "the A is B meaning" of Brahman, using the contrast, of "Visible Brahman".
    So according to you, the brahman is invisible, while the devas constitute His visible manifestation. Now let me explain why this is incorrect. First, the upaniShads repeatedly distinguish between brahman and the devas - please this posting containing a number of very clear references from mainstream shruti establishing the difference between brahman and the devas. Second, brahman is only "invisible" to those lacking the qualification to see Him. But the shrutis clearly mention that some can indeed behold Him:


    III-i-3: When the seer sees the Purusha - the golden-hued, creator, lord, and the source of the inferior Brahman - then the illumined one completely shakes off both merit and demerit, becomes taintless, and attains absolute equality. (mundaka upaniShad 3.1.3)

    Similarly, we have in the puruSha-sukta:

    vedAhametam puruSham mahAntam AdityavarNam tamasastu pAre |
    sarvANi rUpANi vichitya dhIraH nAmAni kR^itvAbhivada~n yadAste || 16 ||

    "I have realized the supreme puruSha, brilliant as the solar hue and beyond the veil of darkness. All the forms are fromulated, categorized and sustained by that wise and glorious being."


    Note here that the puruSha is described by the same attributes used to describe brahman, and is accepted as synonymous with brahman by all vedAntists. Note also that the vision of the seer who has realized this puruSha is not that of an invisible entity, but rather an entity that is luminous like the sun and yet beyond the realm of tamas. The clear, non-sectarian position is that of a brahman who can be seen and realized, not with the gross and unpurified senses, but rather by those purified by constant meditation on Him. Hence, the mahAnArAyaNa upaniShad:

    I-11: His form is not to be beheld; none whosoever beholds Him with the eye. Those who meditate on Him with their minds undistracted and fixed in the heart know Him; they become immortal.

    So much so, RgVeda leaves out Brahman in the enumeration of all Gods: Aditi's children are 12, but only 11 are counted. Moreover Brahman is not mentioned even once in the whole body of RgVeda, yet he is everywhere, if you can feel it; his absence is his presence. Though there are some very oblique references, in one or two places, when using the term "Brahmán" who, in the usual sense of word, is one of the priests (the silent instructor) in the ChaturVarna of priests: Udgatr, Adhavaryu, Brahmán, and Hotr.
    This is a very delicate issue, I hope that the members will not make **** of it. Please don't be casual.
    The word "brahman" does not need to be present in the mantras for the concept to be present in the veda. It is very clear to those who study vedAnta what brahman is, and it is equally clear that brahman is referred to in the Rg veda, especially in mantras which describe an entity who is all-pervading, who sustains everything, etc. Let us use common sense here. If Rg Veda describes an entity A who is all-pervading, sustains everything, and is superior to other devas, and the upaniShads describe an entity B who is all-pervading, sustains everything, and is superior to other devas, then equating A with B is perfectly logical.

    The puruSha-sukta, which is unquestionably vedic, describes this puruSha as all-pervading, as the sustainer of all forms, as that by whom the knowledge of which leads to immortality (aka liberation), and explicitly states "nAnya panthA vidyateyanAya" that there is no other way but the knowledge of this puruSha (for liberation). It is only logical to accept that this puruSha is the same as the brahman of the upaniShads. It is not logical to suggest that this puruSha is the only way to liberation, and not knowledge of the brahman described in the upaniShads (who, by the way, is also described as puruSha in many places).

    3) for public consumption (simile):
    Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the Silent Leader ( *brahman*), and easily the best batsman (*Sat*) of the team, yet he, the hard worker (*Brahma*) has to do wicket keeping (*creating matter, desitinies*), the "thankless job".
    Time to let Brahman remain with Brahma, and to give Brahma his due?
    Maybe it's time to stop watching cricket, and start trying to understand vedAnta by studying the vedas.
    Philosoraptor

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools speak because they have to say something." - Plato

  4. #284
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    Re: LORd SIVA : A Gaudiya Vaisnava Perspective

    Namaste philosoraptor

    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor
    I think you are a bit confused. I am not contesting the idea that brahmA can be referred to as shambhu. But everyone agrees that shambhu in BrS 5.45 refers to Shiva (whether guNa-avatAra or sadAshiva), and hence, my point that the BrS 5.45 only describes this Shiva as a "transformation" of the Lord.
    ...
    The point remains that BrS only describes Shiva as a transformation. The text does not describe any other deva as a transformation. Hence, my point that BrS singles out shambhu....
    All the time you are claiming that "The point remains that BrS only describes Shiva as a transformation. The text does not describe any other deva as a transformation. Hence, my point that BrS singles out shambhu....", but I have mentioned the dictionary according to which word "śambhu" can mean brahmā, agni, and indra as well. Now, although everyone agrees that śambhu in Brahma-saḿhitā 5.45 refers to Shiva, it seems that we can not exclude the possibility that the word "śambhu" in Brahma-saḿhitā 5.45 at least can mean brahmā too, perhaps even agni or indra. Hence the principle of "milk is transformed into curd" at least can be applied to Brahmā too.
    So this principle of "milk is transformed into curd" does not apply only to Shiva, but on other devas all of which are jivas. Thus principle of "milk is transformed into curd" is to be applied universally to all the jivas.
    No I am not confused. I think the verse of Brahma-saḿhitā 5.45 can be understood as referring to Brahmā too, perhaps even Agni or Indra.

    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor
    Quote Originally Posted by brahma jijnasa
    I can give you another reason of why Trimurti Shiva is not to be singled out:
    Gaudiyas say that like some jiva can become a demigod Agni Indra or Brahma, so it can become Trimurti Shiva. This view that some jiva can become Trimurti Shiva shows the universality of principle of "milk is transformed into curd" to be applied universally to all the jivas because many jivas will eventually, sooner or later, become Trimurti Shiva!
    This is nothing more than unwarranted speculation.
    Why "unwarranted speculation"?
    Mahā Upaniṣad says:

    eko vai nārāyaṇa āsīn na brahmā na īśāno nāpo nāgni-samau neme dyāv-āpṛthivī na nakṣatrāṇi na sūryaḥ

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

    Nārāyaṇa Upaniṣad says:

    nārāyaṇād brahmā jāyate, nārāyaṇād prajāpatiḥ prajāyate, nārāyaṇād indro jāyate, nārāyaṇād aṣṭau vasavo jāyante, nārāyaṇād ekādaśa rudrā jāyante, nārāyaṇād dvādaśādityāḥ

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

    It is reasonable to think that beings such as Brahmā, trimurti Śiva (guṇa-avatāra) and Indra have been created and thus the jivas at the position of Brahmā, trimurti Śiva, Indra etc are only temporarily on these positions. They will not be forever on these positions. This simply means that sooner or later some other jivas will take the position of Brahmā, Indra etc as well as Trimurti Shiva. Thus many jivas will eventually, sooner or later, become Trimurti Shiva.
    So even if we assume that the word "śambhu" in Brahma-saḿhitā 5.45 refers only to trimurti Śiva, the principle of "milk is transformed into curd" can be applied universally to all the jivas, and what to speak if the word "śambhu" refers to Brahmā too.

    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor
    In that case, you should have no objection whatsoever to a Shaivite identifying this guNa-avatAra Shiva with the Supreme Lord and worshiping him for liberation.
    A jiva in the form of guṇa-avatāra Shiva can not be regarded as the Supreme Lord. A jiva is just a jiva be it in the form of Brahma Shiva Indra etc and is not the Supreme Lord.


    Now, it seems to me that you either
    a) do not understand acintya-bhedābheda-tattva philosophy
    or
    b) you're not willing to accept that philosophy.
    So I will leave it here.

    regards

  5. #285

    Re: LORd SIVA : A Gaudiya Vaisnava Perspective

    Namaste brahma jijnasa,

    Quote Originally Posted by brahma jijnasa View Post
    All the time you are claiming that "The point remains that BrS only describes Shiva as a transformation. The text does not describe any other deva as a transformation. Hence, my point that BrS singles out shambhu....", but I have mentioned the dictionary according to which word "śambhu" can mean brahmā, agni, and indra as well. Now, although everyone agrees that śambhu in Brahma-saḿhitā 5.45 refers to Shiva, it seems that we can not exclude the possibility that the word "śambhu" in Brahma-saḿhitā 5.45 at least can mean brahmā too, perhaps even agni or indra. Hence the principle of "milk is transformed into curd" at least can be applied to Brahmā too.
    So this principle of "milk is transformed into curd" does not apply only to Shiva, but on other devas all of which are jivas. Thus principle of "milk is transformed into curd" is to be applied universally to all the jivas.
    No I am not confused. I think the verse of Brahma-saḿhitā 5.45 can be understood as referring to Brahmā too, perhaps even Agni or Indra.
    Then with all due respect, you are alone in that regard. Every gauDIya vaiShNava I have spoken to takes this verse as a reference to shiva aka shambhu, and so do the available commentaries on the same. Your opinion is clearly different from gauDIya vaiShNava doctrine on this issue.

    Why "unwarranted speculation"?
    Mahā Upaniṣad says:

    eko vai nārāyaṇa āsīn na brahmā na īśāno nāpo nāgni-samau neme dyāv-āpṛthivī na nakṣatrāṇi na sūryaḥ

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

    Nārāyaṇa Upaniṣad says:

    nārāyaṇād brahmā jāyate, nārāyaṇād prajāpatiḥ prajāyate, nārāyaṇād indro jāyate, nārāyaṇād aṣṭau vasavo jāyante, nārāyaṇād ekādaśa rudrā jāyante, nārāyaṇād dvādaśādityāḥ

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

    It is reasonable to think that beings such as Brahmā, trimurti Śiva (guṇa-avatāra) and Indra have been created and thus the jivas at the position of Brahmā, trimurti Śiva, Indra etc are only temporarily on these positions. They will not be forever on these positions. This simply means that sooner or later some other jivas will take the position of Brahmā, Indra etc as well as Trimurti Shiva. Thus many jivas will eventually, sooner or later, become Trimurti Shiva.
    So even if we assume that the word "śambhu" in Brahma-saḿhitā 5.45 refers only to trimurti Śiva, the principle of "milk is transformed into curd" can be applied universally to all the jivas, and what to speak if the word "śambhu" refers to Brahmā too.
    It is unwarranted speculation because you have not shown any shruti-pramANa describing the jIva as a "transformation" of brahman. And you are masking that helplessness by engaging in unwarranted digressions. For example, no one contests the idea that positions like brahmA and shiva are posts which can be occupied by different jIvas. But this has nothing to do with the fact that jIvas are not "transformations" of brahman.

    At this time, I would like to remind you that jIva-s are not "created." When the shruti states that nothing else existed before creation, it refers to the fact that the jIvas did not exist separately from the Lord, because they are absorbed in His body after mahA-pralaya. "Creation" in the vedic sense is an act of projection - the jIva becomes associated with the pancha-bhUtas and takes a body based on its previous karma. Even your own vedAnta commentator baladeva-vidyAbhUShaNa accepts this. But the jIva is not "transformed" and is certainly not "transformed" from brahman. In fact, I am hard-pressed to think of any place in the govinda-bhAShya where baladeva described them as such.

    A jiva in the form of guṇa-avatāra Shiva can not be regarded as the Supreme Lord. A jiva is just a jiva be it in the form of Brahma Shiva Indra etc and is not the Supreme Lord.


    Now, it seems to me that you either
    a) do not understand acintya-bhedābheda-tattva philosophy
    or
    b) you're not willing to accept that philosophy.
    So I will leave it here.
    Well, that is certainly possible. Maybe I'm just argumentative and will not accept a properly-formulated, evidence-based argument no matter how good it is. Of course, it might also be possible that the argument is not well formulated, is internally contradictory, or has other problems. The sectarian-minded accept the fantasy to explain the reality around them. If you have full faith in gauDIya vaiShNavism, then to you, someone expressing a doubt about one or more of its ideas can only represent a character flaw on his part. And who knows, maybe it really is a character flaw on my part that I cannot see past the inconsistencies. That's the beauty of discussion. In some part of my brain I will save these conclusions in the hopes that someone might later be able to provide further insight that might change my opinion on this issue.

    I agree with leaving the argument here, since I think we have explored this topic to its logical conclusion.

    Jai Sri Krishna!
    Philosoraptor

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools speak because they have to say something." - Plato

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    Re: LORd SIVA : A Gaudiya Vaisnava Perspective

    Namaste philosoraptor

    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor
    But this has nothing to do with the fact that jIvas are not "transformations" of brahman.
    I think that we have already resolved this issue.
    It seems to me that you have already agreed with the fact that we are not talking directly about Brahman himself, but we are talking about material nature that is transformed:

    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor
    Examples of energy transforming, yes. Examples of brahman transforming, no.
    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor
    (1b) but, we could accept the doctrine of shakti-parinAmavAda (as gauDIyas do) and argue that BrS 5.45 is saying that shambhu is created as a transformation of the Lord's energies.
    Then I tried to explain my position what you call "helplessness by engaging in unwarranted digressions"!?

    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor
    It is unwarranted speculation because you have not shown any shruti-pramANa describing the jIva as a "transformation" of brahman.
    So it seems that the idea of ​​transformation for you can be acceptable only if it is mentioned in the sruti.
    However with that there is a huge problem. There are so many statements in the smriti scriptures that can not be confirmed by present existing srutis. Many srutis get lost. Formerly there were much more srutis than now. That's a fact!
    Being so Gaudiyas believe that scriptures such as Brahma-saḿhitā are composed so that they are in compliance with sruti. Finally, the idea of transformation has nothing to do with "Lord Krishna decorates His body with ash and takes shaivite initiation".

    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor
    At this time, I would like to remind you that jIva-s are not "created."
    I am aware of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor
    I agree with leaving the argument here, since I think we have explored this topic to its logical conclusion.
    Good idea.

    regards

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    Re: LORd SIVA : A Gaudiya Vaisnava Perspective

    Namaste,
    Quote Originally Posted by Crane-Foot King View Post
    I read a bit about ISKCON. Aren't they that Krishna worshiping sect that goes around claiming all other Hindu deities (especially Shiva and Brahma) are just demigods?
    I never got why they would want to denigrate Shiva, didn't Vishnu say "Me and Shiva are the same being." why would you want to insult the "other self" of your Lord?
    I recently read a book by mulla HawaaBaaz and he seems to hold that view. I respect him a lot and that is why I tend to think the way he does. Perhaps you should read some of his books. He is really smart at obfuscation.

    Pranam.

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    Re: LORd SIVA : A Gaudiya Vaisnava Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post

    Another way to think of it is by countries. I am Canadian, and loyal to the core Canadian. Yet I also love Americans, Latvians, the Irish, Slovenians, Indians, New Zealanders, Indians, Swedish, Germans, English, (thinking about HDF members here) and all other countries. But my personal passport will always be Canadian. To think too much or identify too much with being a memeber of another country would be like some poor person holding 30 different passports. It would cause a lot of confusion for the customs guys, and the person himself.
    But You said Indian twice!
    OM

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