speaking of Siva

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rbalasub at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Sat Jul 19 12:22:08 CDT 1997

Vidyasankar wrote:

>Suresvara and Padmapada, drawing an equation or comparison between Siva
>and Sankara. I would appreciate any help from those who have easy
>access to editions of Padmapada's Pancapadika or the Varttikas or
>Naishkarmyasiddhi of Suresvara.

>From the naishhkarmya siddhi of shrI sureshvarAchArya (translated by
A.J. Alston)

vishhNoH pAdAnugaM yAM nikhila-bhava-nudaM sa.nkaro.avApa yogAt.h
sarvGYAM brahma-sa.nsthaM munigaNasahitaM smayagapyArchya bhaktyA
vidyAM gaN^gAM ivAhaM pravaraguNa nideH prApya vedAnta dIptaM
kAruNyAt.h tAM avochaM janimR^itinivaha dhvastaye dukhitebhyaH (IV. 76)

Before addressing myself to the present work, I duly reverenced
sha.nkara, ever established in the Absolute (brahman), surrounded by a
host of sages. Having obtained, through the good deeds of previous
births, this knowledge proclaimed by the upanishhad-s which destroys the
whole world of becoming, which is (purifying) like the Ganges and which
leads to the abode of vishhNu just as she proceeds from it, and which
like her also, was obtained by sha.nkara through yoga - I have set forth
from the motives of compassion alone, for the benefit of the denizens of
this world, that they may put a stop to the stream of births and deaths

Note by A.J. Alston: In this verse, which is full of double meanings
which are impossible to translate, Sureshvara likens himself to
bhgIratha, who brtought the Ganges down from the head of sha.nkara (=god
shiva) in the Himalayas to the plains. The Ganges too is cool and
purifying, and comes from the pAda of vishhNu, just as the knowledge
leads to his abode (pAda in a different sense). Both the God sha.nkara
and the teacher sha.nkara are omniscient, ever established in the
absolute, and surrounded by a host of sages.

My note: another double meaning is the muni-gaNa sahitaM which can also
mean with sages _and_ the gaNa-s rather than with a host of sages. (If
I'm wrong here please point it out). shiva is reputed have a host of
servants who are called gaNa-s. Another point to note is that shiva is
called yogIshvara or the Lord of the yogi-s. In the anushAsana parva of
the mahAbhArata there is a detailed description of how Lord Krishna saw
Lord shiva surrounded by hosts of muni-s. shiva is also the wandering
god, like the sage sha.nkara, and is described in purANa-s as lost in
the bliss of brahman (just like the muni sha.nkara)

from the taittirYopanishhad bhAshhyavArttikam (translated by J.M. Van

I, named sureshvara, knowing many things, the pupil of the ascetic, who
bears the name of shiva (and who is) the leader of the caravan of those
who desire release, made this excellent critical sub-commentary - which
is like ambrosia - on the commentary written by the best of the
religious mendicants, on the core of the tatittirIya upanishhad, out of
devotion to him. (III.90)

Unfortunately, the sanskrit sholka is not available. The note to this
says he calls sha.nkara as bhava nAmabhR^id yati.


It is quite clear that shrI sureshvarAchArya _likens_ shrI sha.nkara to
Lord shiva at least in the naishhkarmya siddhi. Of course he never calls
him directly as shiva himself like the mAdhavIya sha.nkara vijayam does.
But it seems to me the shloka very clearly hints at such an idea.

I don't have the pa.chapAdika, but the verse there also apparently
points out that both the Lod shiva and shrI sha.nkara are surrounded by


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