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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Aug 15 02:29:54 CDT 2016

On Mon, Aug 15, 2016 at 12:46 PM, Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com>

> I don't think you have understood my point.
> Indra did not use the neuter gender to refer to Uma's husband, he used it
> to refer to Yaksha. Indra makes no reference to Uma's husband at all.
> Only Shankara makes reference to Uma's husband as Sarvajna Ishvara, and
> not when he is talking about Yaksha, when he is talking about Uma always
> being associated with Him. And there is no gender confusion there at all.

That is true. Only because it is well known that Umā, the daughter of
Himavān can logically be in eternal association with the Omniscient God,
Ishwara, Sw.Gambhirananda did not try to give the already well known,
never-in-doubt, word 'Shiva'.  For Umā, the daughter of Himavān can never
be in eternal association with anyone else.

In fact Advaitins have no ambiguity whatsoever in comprehending that line
of Shankara.  Only non-advaitins who are vaishnavas have a mental block in
accepting that Shankara refers to Shiva by that expression.

In fact Swami Gambhirananda does make the mention of the word 'Śiva' for
the Shankara's commentary to the Kena Pada bhashya 1.5 prelude:

तत्तस्मादन्य उपास्यो *विष्णुरी**श्वर *इन्द्रः प्राणो वा ब्रह्म भवितुमर्हति,
न त्वात्मा ; लोकप्रत्ययविरोधात् ।

//Therefore some adorable being other than that (Self), e.g Viṣṇu, Īśvara
(Śiva), Indra, or Prāṇa .....//

This is on p.52 of the Advaita Ashrama edition Eight Upanishads Vol.I.
Since Sw.G has given that clarification here, he did not translate the word
Ishwara as Shiva, which occurs only after this above bhashya.  No one will
ever wonder who the entity that Uma Haimavati will be eternally associated
is if not Shiva.

It is in the above cited bhashya that Shankara says that if the Upanishadic
Brahman is any attributed entity it is anātmā and abrahma.


> Venkatraghavan
> On 15 Aug 2016 7:58 a.m., "D Gayatri" <dgayatrinov10 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Shri Venkatraghavanji
>> > If you are saying that because the neuter gender is used in the pronoun
>> > (एतत्), Siva cannot be referred to because he is male,
>> I am saying, if Indra thought that the companion of Uma who was
>> sarvajna Ishwara, was a male (being her *husband*), then he would not
>> have used neuter gender to refer to the sarvajna Ishwara. I also
>> invite you to check the translation of Swami Gambhirananda. He uses
>> the neutral word "God" everywhere in this context for Ishwara and does
>> not interpret it as Shiva. So your assumption that Ishwara here refers
>> to Shiva is no more than speculation.
>> 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.
>> Let me point out that yaksha can be used both in neuter and masculine
>> gender.
>> Having said that, consider the following -
>> 1. ayam AtmA brahma - here Atman is masculine and brahman is neuter
>> but there is no problem with Atman referring to brahman.
>> 2. Mohini is Vishnu - here Mohini is feminine and Vishnu is masculine,
>> but there is no problem with Mohini referring to Vishnu.
>> 3. Brihannala is Arjuna - here Brihannala is (I think) feminine and
>> Arjuna is masculine, but there is no problem with Brihannala referring
>> to Vishnu
>> Hence there is no problem with the word yaksha referring to the word
>> Ishwara, even if the former is used in neuter gender.
>> Regards
>> Gayatri

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