[Advaita-l] RE: Notes on sha.nkaras usage of vishhNu, iishvara, etc.

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Fri Apr 16 14:10:58 CDT 2004

>In Bhagavad-Gita 9.23, Sri Krishna says that those who worship the other 
>devatass do so in a wrong way (avidhi-purvakam), out of ignorance. How is 
>this verse understood by the advaitin? Or, since it appears contradictory 
>to what you have said below, is it rejected in favor of sruti pramana as 
>commented by Sankara? Please let me know.

You make the mistake of assuming that there is a contradiction in the first 
place. The second mistake is assuming that the worshipper is one entity and 
the worshipped is another. According to Advaita, we have to read verse 9.23 
along with 9.22 - ananyAS cintayanto mAM ...

Most people think that the word "ananya" indicates one should meditate on 
Krishna exclusive of other deities. That is a superficial meaning only. 
There is a much deeper meaning involved. What is meant is that we meditate 
on Krishna, Narayana, as our own Atman. Why? Because in the Gita itself, we 
are told that the jnAnI is the Self of Krishna himself. Those who worship 
other deities, thinking they are different from the deity being worshipped, 
worship out of ignorance. There is no contradiction with Sruti whatsoever. 
The Sruti I have in mind is bRhadAraNyaka 1.4.7-10. The core message is the 
same - the Atman is Brahman.


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