[Advaita-l] Shankara authenticates Shiva as the son of Brahma

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Aug 14 19:15:07 CDT 2016

On Mon, Aug 15, 2016 at 4:11 AM, Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com>

> First of all, I apologise about the hair splitting that is to follow.
> If you are saying that because the neuter gender is used in the pronoun
> (एतत्), Siva cannot be referred to because he is male, and no masculine
> entity can be referred to, then by that logic, the Upanishad cannot be
> referring to ईश्वर as that Yaksha either - because the word ईश्वर is
> masculine in gender too.
> However, that interpretation would be wrong, because Shankara repeatedly
> says that the Yaksha is indeed ईश्वर only.
> Why did Agni, Vayu and Indra use the neuter then? Because they did not see
> chaturbhuja Vishnu or PinAkapANi Shiva or any "person", they saw a pillar
> of light. It is therefore natural for them to ask "What is this pillar of
> light", rather than "Who is this pillar of light". Just because they did
> not know it was Ishvara, causing them to use the neuter gender, does not
> mean that it wasn't Ishvara.
> Indra had a pratyaksha darshana on the other hand of the lady in front of
> him and realised it was Uma devi. He also knew that She was Rudrapatni
> (Kena vAkya bhAshya) and as a consequence, that She was always associated
> with the Sarvajna Ishvara (Kena pada bhAshya). Being associated with
> sarvajna Ishvara, she is also knowledgeable, and She was likely to know
> what this pillar of light was.  Hence, Indra sought her help in discovering
> what this Yaksha was.
> The relevant thing for our discussion is not who that Yaksha is, but that
> Shankara in commenting on the same mantra, referred to Umadevi as
> Rudrapatni and forever associated with Sarvajna Ishvara, in two different
> places. Therefore, Shankaracharya is equating sarvajna Ishvara with that
> Rudra only. This conclusion would contradict your claim that nowhere in
> Shankara bhAshya, does Shankaracharya say that Lord Shiva is Ishvara.

Yes. This is missed by the member posting under the name 'Gayathri'.

> If this reasoning is incorrect, then what is the alternative explanation?
> Why else in your opinion, does Shankaracharya say in the Kena pada bhAshya
> (whose authorship I assume you do not dispute) that Umadevi, daughter of
> HimavAn, is forever associated with sarvajna Ishvara?

The only logical conclusion, going by Shankara's sentence in the pada
bhashya is: umā, daughter of himavān, is forever associated with Shiva
only. We cannot speculate that she was  with someone else forever and
therefore knew who/what that yaksha is. That is what shankara is saying
there:'* because *she is eternally associated with omniscient Ishwara, she
knows' - this is the thinking of Indra.  There is no story, as far as I
know, that Uma learnt the Tattva from any other source.  On the other hand,
there are stories about Shiva conversing with Parvati on many topics.

> Now coming to your question on the authorship of the Kena vAkya bhAshya -
> there is an Anandagiri Tika to it, it is included in the Sri Vani Vilas
> Press 1910 edition of the works of Shankaracharya as commissioned by HH
> Sacchidananda Shivabhinava Narasimha Bharati Swaminah, and occurs in the
> Sringeri Sharada peetham's Advaita Sharada database.
> These are pretty good reasons to attribute the Kena vAkya bhAshya to
> AchArya in my book, but if you wish to  disagree, that is indeed your
> prerogative.
> Regards,
> Venkatraghavan

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