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

Raghavendra N Kalyan kalyan7429 at yahoo.co.uk
Sat Apr 17 11:25:25 CDT 2004

You wrote - 

>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. 

The other devatA-s here, dont include Siva, for sure. Let us see what Krishna himself has to say in the BG. - "Among rudras, I am Sankara (Siva)".  
If someone maintains that this cannot be taken literally, because Krishna also says that he is sAmaveda among veda-s etc., one may reply that if that policy is followed entirely, then even when Krishna says that "Among Aditya-s I am viSNu" or "Among warriers I am rAmA (could be rAma dAsarathi or rAma jAmadagnya)", it cannot be said that viSNu or rAma or paraSurAma are the same as Krishna.
The solution would be - If the primary meaning leads to no problems, then take the primary meaning itself. You can interpret things differently if the primary meaning leads to problems. This said, it is obvious that the primary meaning of "Among rudra-s I am Sankara (Siva)" leads to no problems at all. Thus, Krishna is non-different from Siva. And Siva cannot be considered as "other deity". So, he who worships Siva is on the same standing as he who worships Krishna.
Please note that without using Sruti, and using smRti alone, we have drawn the same conclusion as can be drawn from Sruti. Thus, there is no contradiction between Sruti and smRti. 


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