Vishnu and Shiva

Vaidya Sundaram vaidya_sundaram at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 11 11:52:13 CST 2003

 I have some questions for you, "purely from an academic standpoint" ...

----- Original Message -----
From: "kalyan chakravarthy" <kalyan_kc at HOTMAIL.COM>

> Smriti statements are secondary to the sruti statements. The eg of vishnu
> purana was given to show that I have avoided quoting from it as it is
> only. Let there be a 1000 statements in the smriti sub-ordinating Vishnu
> Shiva. What I need is a simple and a direct statement from the sruti that
> says Vishnu has derived his power from Shiva.(not that which says Vishnu
> equal to Shiva).

Yes, Smriti is considered as secondary to sruti **only in the case where
there is a conflict between the two** - if there is no conflict smriti is as
valid a means of knowledge as sruti itself. Why then would want to not
consider the smriti statements?

> 2.The Rig Veda praises Vishnu as helping Indra in defeating his enemies.
> Again it is the Kena Upanishad, which says that the victory of Gods is
> actually the victory of Brahman.(Brahman = Narayana).

You wrote the above quoted section in the first part of your mail, and then
go on to state in the lower part of your post

> The word Gods is not necessarily used to mean Brahman. Brahman is that
> is not understood even by the Gods. Please refer to the Kena Upanishad. In
> case your reading is right, then Fire, being Brahman should also be afraid
> of Itself, which looks ridiculous.

Are you not kind of contradicting yourself? I mean only, is this "Brahman =
Narayana", not an assumption as much as any other, . Remember, we denote by
the word Brahman that which words cannot describe and even mind cannot
conjure up. How then can you make an implicit assumption that one adjective
(narayana) is actually equal to Brahman? This is a valid question to me, as
this discussion is purely academic.

> 5.The Katha Upanishad which talks of Vishnu.(here however,Sri Adi Shankara
> interprets it as all-pervading)

Yes, literally Vishnu is an adjective too - omnipresense - implying all
prevading ... so, if you decide to stick to adjectives, stick to adjectives.
If you decide to go anecdotal, be it sruti or smriti, they are both
anecdotal and hence equally valid. See for example Jaldhar's note from a few
days ago - yagyavalkya is seen in both upanishadas and also smritis - which
one of his statements is more valid than another?

> 6.Vishnu is the solar diety. And the Upanishads call the "being" in the
> as Brahman and more importantly as the Purusha, which as shown earlier is
> applicable to Vishnu.

How do you equate Vishnu as the solar deity. Again, strictly speaking, the
adjective used for the solar deity is savita, not vishnu. How do you say
**vishnu is THE solar deity**?
Now to give you sruti examples that rudra is in fact seen as the solar
eity  - refer shri rudram verses 1.8 etc -
utainaM gopA adR^ishannadR^ishannudahAryaH |
utainaM vishvA bhUtAni sa dR^ishhTo mR^iDayAti naH ||
The translation reads some thing like - He whose neck is darkened by the
poison drunk to save His devotees, He is indeed seen as the deity of
reddened eyes, as the deity of the solar region. Indeed even the whole
universe (vishvaa bhUtani uta) as well as the gopah (sheperds?) as well as
the mainden who get water etc ...
well, here is a strict sruti statement for you that identifies Shri Rudram
as the deity of the Sun / solar region.

> 11. All major schools interpret Vishnu as Narayana.
> As I said earlier, let there be a 1000 statements in the smriti which
> sub-ordinate Vishnu to Shiva. I need one statement from sruti which says
> that Vishnu derived his power from Rudra.

Look at your point 11. Here you take for your argument the "opinions" of
other schools. How is this any more valid than using smriti? It's all or
nothing if you decide to strictly stick to the sruti as source of support
for your argumentsd right?

Now for some other sruti statements. Take the first line of Shri Rudram - ||
oM namo bhagavate rudrAya || - what does the word bhagavate stand for? It is
clearly an adjective. The meaning of the word bhagavate can be variously
interpreted but all point in general to the all supreme God does it not? In
fact, I have read that Shri Shankara interprets this word as the indweller
of all and thereby revealing Himself as That which is to be really sought.

Next, look at Shri Rudram 1.6 - adhyavochadadhi vaktA prathamo daivyo
bhishhak.h  - by denoting Shri Rudran as prathamaH, it is clearly indicated
that He is indeed the first. First in what sense? First in respect all
aspects. The first cause even.
Now does it not immediately follow that Shri Rudra was not in any way
(academically ofcourse) derive His power from Vishnu. For the first cannot
depend something else, for if it did, then it is not the first!

More can be devoted to counter your argument. Hopefully the above suffice.

bhava shankara desikame sharaNam

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