avatAra of Adishesha ?

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Tue Apr 25 18:32:54 CDT 2000

On Thu, 20 Apr 2000, Raghavendra Hebbalalu wrote:

> > > Balarama, as well as Lakshamana, are considered
> > avataars of Shesh Naag, are
> > > they not?
> > Not by us I don't think.
> Interesting. Just for this, I glanced through the
> bAlakANDa of the rAmAyaNa. In sarga 17, the birth of
> shrii rAma and His brothers is described.
> The 9th shloka
> atha lakShmaNashatrughnau sumitrAjanayatsutau |
> vIrau sarvAstrakushalau viShNorardhasamanvitau ||
> Then, sumitrA gave birth to two sons, lakshmaNa and
> shatrughna, brave and proficient in all the astras,
> who were with one half of Lord vishNu.

This is what I remembered.  Dasaratha Raja had no children for a long time
so he did putreshti yajna and received two magic cakes that would the one
who ate them to have children.  These were given to Kaushalya and Kaikeyi
who gave half each to Sumitra who consequently had twins.

> I do not know of other shlokas ( I have not researched
> it yet) where it has been mentioned that lakshmaNa is
> an avatAra of Adishesha. But actually in South India,
> there is a widespread belief ( I believed it till now)
> that lakshmaNa and balarAma are avatAras of Adishesha.

It seems you and Ashish are right.  My wife told me the same
thing.  Unfortunately she could remember the source for it either.

> I have not read the bhAgavata in its original. Has it
> been indicated that balarAma is an avatAra of
> Adishesha ?

According to 2.7.24 Balarama and Krishna are both avatars of Vishnu

> I know this view is prevalent among vishishTAdvaitins
> as they believe that shrii raamaanuja is also an
> avatAra of Adishesha.
> As an aside, according to tradition, shrii Patanjali,
> the reputed author of the yOga sUtras and the
> mahabhAShya, and legendary devotee of Lord Shiva is
> supposed to be an avatAra of Adishesha. Also, gOvinda
> bhagavatpaada, the guru of shrii sha~nkara is supposed
> to be an avatAra of Adishesha.

Swami Chandrashekharendra Saraswati tells this story in his book on the
life of Shankaracharya.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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