[Advaita-l] Prapanchasara: Shankara alludes to the 'Sharabha-Shiva' episode from the Kalikapurana

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Mar 20 22:04:00 EDT 2019

Thanks Raghav ji, for the reference from Sri Ramakrishna's words. We are
also reminded of the episode related to Shankaracharya, in the body of the
King (after para kaaya pravesha), who did not return to his original state
even after the deadline he had himself pre-set had expired. His disciples
were anxious and it is said that they went to the King's court and sang a
few Vedantic verses to 'awaken' the Master.

I think such stories have a subtle message embedded. Not being able to see
that and appreciate it, people in their stupidity assign 'God X is superior
to God Y because the former was able to 'kill'/overpower the latter.'  That
is the bane of the society. Swami Paramarthananda once observed: More than
the need for Bhashyas to study the Upanishads, we need bhashyas for the
Purana-s. The greatest mistake happens when people read puranas without
understanding the right purport, ending up with misunderstanding.'  How


On Thu, Mar 21, 2019 at 3:58 AM Raghav Kumar Dwivedula via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste Subbu ji
> Thank you for that interesting reference from Kalika Purana. I remember
> reading  a similar account in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna a long time
> back at a couple of places  and used to wonder where such an incident is
> mentioned.
> Excerpts collated from Sri Ramakrishna's words....
> "MASTER: "The gopis worshipped Katyayani in order to be united with Sri
> Krishna.
> Everyone is under the authority of the Divine Mother, Mahamaya, the Primal
> Energy. Even the Incarnations of God accept the help of maya to fulfil
> their mission on earth. Therefore they worship the Primal Energy. Don't you
> see how bitterly Rama wept for Sita? As the saying goes - 'Brahman weeps,
> ensnared in the meshes of maya.'
> "It is said in the Purana that Lord Vishnu incarnated Himself as a sow in
> order to kill the demon Hiranyaksha. After killing  the demon,  He had as a
> sow, given birth to several young ones and was rather happy with them,
> forgetting his real nature. The gods in heaven could not persuade Vishnu to
> relinquish His sow's body and return to the celestial regions. He was
> absorbed in the happiness of His beast form. The gods said among
> themselves: 'What does this mean? The Lord doesn't care to return to
> heaven!' They all went to Shiva and laid the matter before him. Shiva came
> down and urged the Lord to leave the sow body and return to heaven.
> After consulting among themselves, the gods sent Śiva to the sow. Śiva
> asked the sow, 'Why have you forgotten yourself?' Vishnu replied through
> the sow's body, 'Why, I am quite happy here.' Then Shiva destroyed the sow
> body
> with his trident, and Lord Vishnu came out laughing aloud and went back to
> His own abode."
> The best part of the above version of the Purana story is that the Lord
> left the sow body and came out *laughing aloud*. Evidently just Leela for
> Him.
> Om
> Raghav

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