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

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Tue Aug 16 09:49:25 CDT 2016

>Having read through this thread, a question arises:
>Why is this discussion taking place on a list dedicated to advaita?

Not to disagree with you, but there is a "practical" or "daily life" aspect
of advaita that is often ignored or treated as irrelevant in discussion
forums. Most of the traditional followers of Shankara's advaita, at least
in the South, are the smArtas, who also maintain a socio-religious
tradition that can be differentiated from Vaishnava and Shaiva traditions.
For example, the daily worship of five deities (gaNesha, shiva, viShNu,
devI, and sUrya) called the panchAyatana pUjA is an important part of this
tradition. Now, who among the five deities occupies the central
position depends on the sub-sect of smArtas that one belongs to or who
one's favorite deity (iShTa devatA) is. Is it gaNesha or shiva or vishnu or
devi or sUrya? Of course, it is well recognized that all these five deities
are just forms of the same God, but there is still the matter of emphasis.
Occasionally, as we have just seen, people do get carried away and argue
*as if* their favorite God is the better/best representative of Ishvara.
There is no harm done in such discussions, because ultimately everyone
agrees the Brahman of the upanishads is beyond these five deities.

Further, we have to bear in mind not to belittle the
worship of saguNabrahma, since the anubhUtiprakAsha says that this is one
of the qualifications of the person eligible to receive brahmavidyA-
"kriyAvantaH shrotriyA ye saguNabrahmacintakAH| teShAmeva brahmavidyAmetAM
vaded budhaH" (6.98).


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list