[Advaita-l] ***UNCHECKED*** The Tattva of all gods

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Dec 1 13:51:41 EST 2017

The Tattva of all gods



In verses 388 & 389, Adi Shankara explains very clearly and in simple words
that Self is the ‘Tri-murtis’ and all Devatas that Self is everywhere (all

The verse 388 says that Self is the Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara, which
depicts the forces of creation, maintenance and dissolution of the
universe.  It also says other powers such as Indra, Varuna etc. that
symbolize nature is also the universal Self.  Everything in this cosmos is
Self and nothing exists except the Self.  It goes as below.

स्वयं ब्रह्मा स्वयं विष्णुः स्वयमिन्द्रः स्वयं शिवः ।
स्वयं विश्वमिदं सर्वं स्वस्मादन्यन्न किंचन ॥ ३८८ ॥

svayaṃ brahmā svayaṃ viṣṇuḥ svayamindraḥ svayaṃ śivaḥ |
svayaṃ viśvamidaṃ sarvaṃ svasmādanyanna kiṃcana || 388 ||

The next verse (389) is more powerful in its meaning.  Sri Shankara here
says that Self is inside and outside as well as in all the directions.

अन्तः स्वयं चापि बहिः स्वयं च
स्वयं पुरस्तात्स्वयमेव पश्चात् ।
स्वयं ह्यावाच्यां स्वयमप्युदीच्यां
तथोपरिष्टात्स्वयमप्यधस्तात् ॥ ३८९ ॥

antaḥ svayaṃ cāpi bahiḥ svayaṃ ca
svayaṃ purastātsvayameva paścāt |
svayaṃ hyāvācyāṃ svayamapyudīcyāṃ
tathopariṣṭātsvayamapyadhastāt || 389 ||

Typically we understand the directions as four – N, E, W, S, but our
scriptures indicate space ‘above’ and ‘below’ too as the other dimensions
of the directions.  So Self is in all the directions as well as inside us


For the first cited verse, HH Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati Swamin says: One
Chaitanyam alone, owing to upadhi-differences is variously considered as
Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Indra, etc. The experience of the realized soul, as
alluded to in the Upanishad is testimony for this: Vamadeva gave expression
to his direct realization of the Truth by proclaiming:
प्रतिपेदेऽहं मनुरभवं सूर्यश्चेति ।    Brihadaranyaka 1.4.10 'I was Manu,
Surya, ..'.  स यश्चायं पुरुषे । यश्चासावादित्ये । स एकः । Taittiriya 2.8.4
[The Consciousness in this human and in the Sun is the same]. Just as one
rope is variously imagined to be a snake, stick, waterspill, crack on the
ground, etc so too one Consciousness isimagined to be this entire universe
of variegated objects. In all parlance statements such as 'svayam aham
pashyami, svayam tvam pashya, svayam sa adraaksheet' etc. the first, second
and third person usages all contain the svayam that is common and
undifferentiated. The persons differ but the self, svayam, is in and
through all these. Thus, in this svayam that is the atman that is
saamaanya, all visheshas, differences, are imagined.

Swami Vidyaranya too in the Panchadashi has made a very interesting
observation on the concept of 'svayam'.

The statement in the Vivekachudamani that the trimurtis, Indra, are all One
only, is quite in accordance with what Shankara has said in the
Vishnusahasra nama bhashyam citing the Kaivalyopanishad: sa brahma, sa
shivah....sendra...  iti abhedopadeshaat. The Upanishad teaches abheda of
all gods including Vishnu. Thus says Shankara.

Om Tat Sat

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