[Advaita-l] Guru purnima

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Fri Jul 14 09:55:30 CDT 2006

On Tue, 11 Jul 2006, Ramesh Krishnamurthy wrote:

> Can you tell us a bit more about the Dharmasindhu?

Dharmasindhu is a nibandha (compendium) of Dharmashastra which was written
by Kashinath Upadhyaya, a Marathi Brahmana who died in 1805 AD.  It is
actually an abridgement of another Dharmashastra nibandha called
Nirnayasindhu by Kamalakara Bhatta (approx. 17th century.)

> On the vyUha theory you mentioned in the mail, I understand it comes
> from the pancarAtra Agama-s. Has any list member read any of the
> pancarAtra texts? What is their importance in the various vaiShNava
> traditions? From what I have read/observed, the pancarAtra and
> vaikanAsa texts seem to be used only for temple rites by some
> SrIvaiShNava temples in southern India. They dont seem to be known in
> the rest of the country. Do the other vaiShNava sampradAya-s have any
> use for them?

As far as I know, only Shrivaishnavas (and their offshoots such as 
Ramanandis) consider them to be authoritative.

Shankaracharya seems to think they are of non-vedic origin (see 
brahmasutrabhashya on 2.2.45)  However Yamuna the predecessor of Ramanuja 
makes great efforts to show the Agamas and Vedas are connected.  The 
Vaikhanasa tradition is definitely connected as they actually consider 
themselves a shakha of the Krshnayajurveda.

But the vyuha theory is also present in the Bhagavata purana and 
Mahabharata too.  It seems to be the product of the movement or philosophy 
of the "Bhagavatas" who could be the forerunners of todays Vaishnava 
sampradayas but atleast one strain were apparently Advaitins too. 
Unfortunately very little is known about the prehistory of Vaishnavism. 
They were likely to have been more widespread than just South India 
though.  In Vidisha, MP, there is a garudastambha (pillar with murti of 
Garuda on top) dating back to the 2nd century BC, dedicated to Vasudeva by 
"Heliodorus the Bhagavata" who was an ambassador from the Greco-Indian 
kingdom of Takshashila.  Vasudeva is one of the vyuhas it should be noted.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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