Some Clarification

Rajesh Venkataraman rajesh_venk at YAHOO.COM
Wed May 10 20:14:51 CDT 2000

--- "Bhaskar Y.R." <bhaskar.yr at IN.ABB.COM> wrote:
> In Sandhya Vandane we everyday recite following
> verse:
> SHIVAHA and so on
> Kindly let me know the origin of this verse.

This verse is new to me(I am from Tamil Nadu) and is
not part of my SandhyA vandana(which has its origins
in the Sukla Yajur Veda). But to me the verse sounds
perfectly advaitic.

Can you let us know how our ISKCON friends interpret
this verse and reconcile it with
"SarvadharmAn parityajya mAmEkam SaraNam vraja
aham tvA sarva pApebhyO mokshayishyAmi mA shuchah"

If 'mAmEkam' is to be taken to mean the physical
entity Krishna(who is an avatAra of Vishnu), how can
he become Shiva? As far as I know physical
characteristics are always unique and no one can
become any other. And if you take Shiva and Vishnu to
be one and the same as indicated by the verse what is
it that 'links' the two?

Advaita's explanation is that the Atman(in the
subjective plane), which is the essence of every being
is identical in all beings, and physical
characteristics are just incidental and they obtain
their present form(whatever it is) due to their

> that time. So, he had to preach
> this lower but deviant philosophy, in order to
> gradually bring the atheists into
> the  spiritual  realm.

Here you say that the Lord incarnated as Acharya
Sankara to wean the people away from the hold of
Buddhism by introducing them to the "lower" philosophy
of advaita so that they can gradually graduate to
"merging with the supreme lord"(whatever it means). If
that is so, (that the lord came to teach a lower
philosophy to help people grow) why should it be then
condemned later?

> Srila Prabhupada further explains, "How the mayavada
> philosophy was condemned by
> Sri    Caitanya    Mahaprabhu    and    His
> followers

Do you ever condemn Kindergarten and all lower classes
just because you have become a graduate now? All those
classes were absolutely essential at that point of

> "The mayavada philosophy is impious. It is covered
> Buddhism. My dear Parvati, in
> the  form  of  a  brahmana  in  the  Kali  yuga  I
> teach  the imagined mayavada
> philosophy.  In  order to cheat the atheists, I
> describe the Supreme Personality
> of  Godhead  to  be without form and without
> qualities. Similarly, in explaining
> the  Vedanta  I  describe  the  same mayavada
> philosophy in order to mislead the
> entire population toward atheism by denying the
> personal form of the Lord."

Here you quote that the Lord incarnated to misguide
people and increase population in the planet. Why
would the God take so much pains to incarnate to
MISLEAD people. What does he gain by doing that? If he
is a really compassionate lord why doesn't he guide
the errant ones on to the right path? Is he not
sadistic otherwise? Doesn't he have anything better to
do? How better is he than the Asuras? Even in our
Puranas the Lord incarnates only to help the Devas(who
are supposed to be good beings) and never to
'misguide' the Asuras. It is always only to teach the
Asuras a lesson so that they may improve.

Finally is it for guiding or misguiding that the Lord


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>From  Wed May 10 18:49:08 2000
Message-Id: <WED.10.MAY.2000.184908.0700.>
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 18:49:08 -0700
Reply-To: anandn at
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
From: Anand Natarajan <anandn at MYWORLDMAIL.COM>
Organization: MyWorldMail  (
Subject: Re: Antiquity of Advaita Vedanta (was Re: An Open Letter to All)
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Swami Vivekananda in his Chicago address said
"If anybody dreams of the exclusive survival of his own religion and the destruction of others, I pity him from the bottom of my heart, and point out to him that upon the banner of every religion will soon be written, in spite of resistance: "Help and not fight", "Assimilation and not Destruction", "Harmony and peace and not Dissension".

This is a message that Iskcon should read well. There is truth in other philosophies besides its own Hare Krishna philiosphy. So many great advaitic teachers have lived even in this century such as Swami Vivekananda, Sri Ramana Maharshi, Sai Baba etc. Were these teachers all mis leading people ?  What one needs is true spiritual awakening . Then one will be in a better position to understand the masters.
Till then follow a path in which one has faith and refrain from commenting on others.
Acharya Adi Shankara not only preached advaita but also wrote innumerable Bhakthi Shlokas. He had the large heart to compose shlokas in favor of any deity one wishes to think of,  so that one may practise as per one's faith.

Regarding Buddhism ,Adi Shankara only destroyed the degraded Buddhist cults and not the teachings of Bhagavan Buddha. Here is another quotation from Swami Vivekananda on this topic.

"Hinduism cannot live without Buddhism, nor Buddhism without Hinduism. Then realize what the separation has shown to us, that the Buddhists cannot stand without the brain and philosophy of the Brahmins, nor the Brahmin without the heart of the Buddhist. This separation between the Buddhists and the Brahmins is the cause of the downfall of India. That is why India is populated by three hundred
millions of beggars, and that is why India has been the slave of conquerors for the last thousand years. Let us then join the wonderful intellect of the Brahmin with the heart, the noble soul, the wonderful humanizing power of the Great Master. "


>On Wed, 10 May 2000, Bhaskar Y.R. wrote:
>> Sripada Shankaracharya, or popularly known as Adi Shankara, one of the
>> greatest acharyas who appeared in the Kali yuga, after the incarnation
>> of Lord Buddha, came with the mission of advancing the consciousness
>> of the people a little more, from the point where Lord Buddha left,
>> and thus leave the people fertile for the following Vaishnava
>> acharyas. He is an incarnation of Lord Shiva, the demigod incharge of
>> dissolution of the material cosmic manifestation, and the Lord
>> incharge of the tamo guna or the mode of ignorance. Acharya Shankara
>> also, just like Lord Buddha had specific missions to be accomplished,
>> like bringing the atheist Buddhists to follow theism, and to drive
>> away the non-believing Buddhists from the Holy land of Bharatavarsha
>> or India.  He did this by promulgating the advaita philosophy or
>> universal oneness. This philosophy that he propunded is also known as
>> the monist or mayavada philosophy. Adi Shankara's monist theory came
>> into being almost 3000 years after the advent of Kali, at a time when
>> the presence of atheist Buddhists was rampant. The main crux of his
>> advaita philosophy was that, the Paramatma or the Super Soul and the
>> jivatma or the atomic spirit soul were the same, but presently the
>> jiva has come under the influence of maya or illusion. He said that
>> once this maya's influence is removed, the jiva has the capacity to
>> become God and loses it's individual identity by merging with the
>> Supreme Brahman. He also said that the impersonal Brahman or the
>> effulgent light that emanates out of the transcendental body of the
>> Supreme Lord, is the highest object of realisation, much against the
>> conclusion of the Shastras. If Acharya Shankara had spoken to the
>> atheists about the Spiritual World and the possibility of the living
>> entity personally associating with a Supreme Lord there, nobody would
>> have taken him seriously at that time. So, he had to preach this lower
>> but deviant philosophy, in order to gradually bring the atheists into
>> the spiritual realm. So, he said that though God is there, He is
>> present as an all-pervading, impersonal energy, and is the cause of
>> all causes. He said that this material cosmos was false, much opposed
>> to the knowledge that the Shastras propose that the material world is
>> real and true, but is temporary (dukhalayam asasvatam - a place full
>> of miseries and temporariness). Something which is temporary cannot be
>> called untrue or non-existent. Srila Prabhupada explains, "Adi
>> Shankara, as an incarnation of Lord Shiva knows all the spiritual
>> existences, but he did not disclose them to his then Buddhist
>> followers because it was impossible for them to know about the
>> Spiritual World."

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