Vishnu and Shiva

Aniruddhan ani at EE.WASHINGTON.EDU
Tue Mar 11 18:06:53 CST 2003


>Let me tell you an analogy. The vedas praise Brahman as having innumerable
>attributes. This should mean that Brahman cannot be nirguNa at all. But the
>neti neti of the Brihadaranyaka upanishad is enough to show nirguNa brahman
>even though the other portions indulge in praising Brahman. Now, if I
>your arguments, then you must reject nirguNa brahman. Are you willing to do
>that by trying to give another interpretation for neti neti? Infact nirguNa
>brahman is the best interpretation for neti neti and so nirguNa brahman
>be acccepted even though other portions talk about the gunas of Brahman.

So is that a contradiction in the vedas? If saguna brahman is the same as
nirguna brahman, what do saguna and nirguna mean here? As I understand it,
the attributes of saguna brahman are just our conception of nirguna
brahman's infiniteness in every dimension. Even though we think up such
attributes for brahman, brahman still remains nirguna always.

>SaguNa brahman is not different from nirguNa Brahman.

How so? so is brahman both saguna and nirguna at the same time?

>If I accept this as valid, then all the innumerable verses from the
>upanishads which praise the attribute of Brahman could not have been
>referring to Brahman. All this confusion is arising because you are seeing
>saguNa brahman and nirguNa brahman as different.

The most common attributes of brahman from the upanishads are satyam,
gnyanam and anantam. These refer to the infiniteness of brahman, and in one
sense, can be thought of as definitions of brahman.

>>The Purushasuktam says H^rishchate LakshmIshcha patnyau. i.e. H^ri AND
>>Lakshmi are the consorts of the Purusha. Usually H^ri refers to Parvati.
>>Rudra has as much right as Vishnu to be the Purusha of the Purushasuktam.
>If rudra is Brahman, then rudra must not be derivative from vishnu. RV

And since H^ri is usually not used to refer to Bhudevi, Vishnu is probably
not the Purusha either...

>And anyway you are not disputing
>the fact that Vishnu is Brahman.

Of course not, since I am a Smarta. :-)

>Now Narayana being the Self can be
>1.Source of Shakthi.
>2.Identical to Shakthi.
>In the latter case, Shakthi is supreme and cannot have her source from
>something else(the being in the oceans). What remains is the former which
>the only valid thing.

So instead of just nirguna brahman/narayana, now there are two entities
Narayana and Shakthi?

>SaguNa brahman is not different from nirguNa brahman.

Ok, first I'd like to understand well what you mean by saying that vishnu is
brahman. Does brahman stay in vaikuntha, have shankha, chakra etc? Does
vishnu? If not, who is this new vishnu. If yes, and vishnu is brahman, does
brahman now have qualities etc?

>Narayana as purusha has Lakshmi as His consort. Thus Narayana is Vishnu.
>Your earlier objection as to relating to Hree as being the consort has
>already been dealt with as directly contradicting RV7.40.5. Anyway you also
>accept Vishnu as supreme. So, you and I dont have problems in this regard.

Purusha also has H^ri as his consort. Who is this H^ri?

>The word solar diety as I used means, the diety which presides the Sun and
>not the Sun itself. Let sun be in fear of Brahman, who is the Reality
> behind
>the Sun.

So you think when the vedas have a mantra to Surya, they are referring to
the inanimate, gaseous ball of fire in the sky? Surya IS the diety behind
the sun. So now, maybe you mean the diety behind Surya?


Sruti smRti purANAnAm Alayam karuNAlayam
namAmi bhagavatpAda Sam.karam lokaSam.karam

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list