Vishnu and Shiva

Vidyasankar vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Mar 15 18:06:14 CST 2003

>Kindly please note that the Acharya always uses the words Ishwara
>and Parameshwara to Bhagavan Narayana only.   The words are used

That is merely an opinion. The extent of the "always" in your sentence is
limited to the commentary on the Gita.

>in the Gita Bhashya also throughout... but in places even when
>referring to Vasudeva.   To Him Vasudava, Krishna, Parameshvara ,
>Ishvara are all synonyms.

I agree that these are treated as synonyms in the Gitabhashya, but there is
no reason to say that Isvara = Narayana for Sankaracharya, to the exclusion
of all other terms.

If the idea is to "prove" somehow that Sankaracharya was more "Vaishnava"
than "Saiva", it is an exercise in futility. After all, Sankaracharya
composed many works, not only a commentary on the Gita. There would have
been more than ample opportunity for him to use the words Narayana or
Krishna or Vasudeva or Vishnu (instead of Isvara or Paramesvara) in the
Brahmasutra commentary and in the commentaries on the major Upanishads.
That he uses the more neutral term Isvara is an indication that he is not
as "Vaishnava" as some would like to think. And nowhere in Sankaracharya's
works do you see even an iota of an attitude that looks for Sruti
references that equate Brahman exclusively to one or the other name. If
anything, he is partial only to those references that equate Brahman to the
Atman, the self of all beings.

>He NEVER allures anywhere to Rudra / Chandramouleeshwara etc.
>ANYWHERE in this Bhashya.

Why should one expect otherwise in the Gita commentary? Except of course
under verse 10.23 which itself refers to Rudra ...


>On Sat, 15 Mar 2003 Vidyasankar wrote :
>> >Why may i humbly ask
>> >
>> >   -The Great Sri Shankaracharya - entirely in his Prastana
>> >Treya
>> >uses only the word vishnu / narayana for Brahman.
>> >
>>That is not quite correct. The words that Sankaracharya uses most
>>often are
>>ISvara and parameSvara, not vishNu, not nArAyaNa, not Siva, not

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list