[Advaita-l] 'Saraswati - in Sarvajnatman's vision - Post by Natraj Maneshinde

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Oct 3 12:45:27 EDT 2022

This post reveals that ancient Advaita Acharyas have held non-Vishnu
deities too as the Supreme Brahman. Sarvajnatman in this very work, in the
invocation has held Ganapathi to be the Creator. Saraswati is here held to
be the source of the Veda, which the Upanishad says is Brahman: the vedas
emerged from the 'breath' of Brahman.

On Mon, Oct 3, 2022 at 11:53 AM V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>

> Natraj Maneshinde
> <https://www.facebook.com/natraj.maneshinde?__cft__[0]=AZUY7NG1L-opAte5NFWNqJ-gXUV6u1XLvtQFycX3ozLG6ELoUGehvIar4KWv3NMeBq4nU-4Icnljk5lsutJpZLZPRL40OMdGTFv9o7oNsAvdfIBXSGuiEgQ1S8vSzGNKrxOpYyT2QBrln2X-YtqsLUxvEb0CR-qPS4COMUaYumVW6w&__tn__=-UC%2CP-y-R>
> FB post
> ========================
> “Bhagavati Saraswati is verily the Veda” - says Shri Sarvajnatma Muni ji
> ========================
> Shri Sarvajnatma Muni ji is the author of Sankshepa-sharirika, a work
> which elaborates on the Sutra bhashya of Bhagavatpada. In the
> mangalacharana verses of the work, Sarvajnatma ji invokes the Nirguna
> Brahman, Vishnu, Saraswati and Ganapati.
> The verse on Bhagavati Saraswati is quite dense in its tattvik import. It
> runs as follows :
> औत्पत्तिकी शक्तिरशेषवस्तुप्रकाशने कार्यवशेन यस्याः ।
> विज्ञायते विश्वविवर्तहेतोर्नमामि तां वाचमचिंत्यशक्तिम् ॥ ४॥
> [Obeisance to Bhagavati Vagdevi, who possesses Achintya-shakti, who is the
> cause of Vishva-vivarta, whose shakti of revealing everything thing is
> swabhavika and is known only through it’s effects]
> From the verse we understand the following:
> 1. Bhagavati Vagdevi is endowed with the inherent (औत्पत्तिकी/स्वाभाविकी)
> shakti that illumines everything (अशेषवस्तुप्रकाशनशक्ति)
> 2. She is the cause of Vishva-vivarta. ie. It is she who brings about the
> appearance of Jagat with the Brahman as its substratum
> This work has been commented upon by four Acharyas : Shri Nrusimhashrama,
> Shri Madhusudhan Saraswati, Shri Rama Tirtha and Shri Purushottama. In the
> context of the verse above, all the commentators clarify that Veda itself
> is being praised here as Bhagavati Saraswati. The significance of
> Veda-pramanya is being conveyed by describing Veda as Saraswati. Further,
> Madhusudhan Saraswati ji clarifies in his commentary that the verse brings
> out the purport of the sutra :
> शास्त्रयोनित्वात् ॥ ३ ॥ (Brahma sutra 1.1.3)
> The above sutra has been interpreted by Bhagavatpada in his bhashya in two
> ways :
> 1) Brahman is the source of Veda :
> महत ऋग्वेदादेः शास्त्रस्य
> अनेकविद्यास्थानोपबृंहितस्यप्रदीपवत्सर्वार्थावद्योतिनः सर्वज्ञकल्पस्य योनिः
> कारणं ब्रह्म । नहीदृशस्य शास्त्रस्य ऋग्वेदादिलक्षणस्य
> सर्वज्ञगुणान्वितस्यसर्वज्ञादन्यतः सम्भवोऽस्ति ।
> [Brahman is the yoni (i.e. the material and efficient cause) of great
> scriptures (shastras) like the Rigveda etc. which are supplemented by other
> scriptures that are themselves sources (of various kinds) of knowledge,
> which reveal all things like a lamp, and which are almost omniscient]
> 2) Veda is the only valid means of knowing Brahman
> अथवा यथोक्तमृग्वेदादिशास्त्रं योनिः कारणं प्रमाणमस्य
> ब्रह्मणोयथावत्स्वरूपाधिगमे । शास्त्रादेव प्रमाणात् जगतो
> जन्मादिकारणंब्रह्माधिगम्यत इत्यभिप्रायः ।
> [Or the aphorism means: Since the scriptures are Its valid means (of
> knowledge) .
> The scriptures, viz the Rigveda etc., just enumerated, are the valid means
> of knowing (yoni) the real nature of this Brahman. The idea implied is that
> Brahman is known as the source of birth etc. of this universe from the
> scriptures alone that are a valid means of knowledge]
> Madhusudhan Saraswati ji, while commenting on शक्तिरशेषवस्तुप्रकाशने,
> demonstrates how the two-fold interpretation of Bhagavatpada on the above
> Sutra is brought out in the verse of Sankshepa-sharirika. His explanation
> can be summarized as below :
> 1. Veda illumines everything in the world. The Veda is capable of doing so
> because it has Brahman as it’s source. As Brahman is
> सर्वप्रकाशनशक्तिमत्परमेश्वर , the Veda, sprung out of Brahman, is also
> capable of revealing all that is contained in the jagat. Hence, by praising
> Sarasvati’s ( Veda’s) shakti in aforementioned manner, the first
> interpretation of the sutra शास्त्रयोनित्वात् is brought out.
> 2. Alternatively, अशेष implies the शेषि ie. the Brahman. Veda reveals the
> Brahman. That is to say, Veda generates the Brahmakara-vritti in the
> mumukshus and finally blesses them with Brahma-sakshatkara. Thus,
> Saraswati, in the form of Veda, is the only valid means of knowing the
> Brahman.
> Also, the verse describes Bhagavati as विश्वविवर्तहेतुः. In the Vaidika
> tradition, it is a known principle that Parameshvara, at the beginning of
> every cycle, exhales the Veda and the makes the Jagat on the basis of the
> Vaidik word. Hence, the Jagat has the Vaidik word as it’s source. Says the
> Manu Smriti,
> नामरूपं च भूतानां कर्मणां च प्रवर्तनम् ।
> वेदशब्देभ्य एवादौ निर्ममे स महेश्वरः ॥(म. स्मृ. १ । २१)
> Hence, Bhagavati Saraswati, in her form as the Veda, is responsible for
> the Vivarta of the Jagat.
> From the above study, we understand that Bhagavati Saraswati is verily the
> Veda. She brings about the creation and reveals everything in the Jagat.
> Also, she blesses the aspirants (who study her) with the
> akhandakara-vritii, which in turn bestows Brahma-sakshatkara.
> Note that the prime intent of the shloka is to demonstrate the importance
> of Veda-pramanya. Shri Sarvajnatma Muni ji could have conveyed this in
> generic terms with out bringing any deity into the picture. But the fact
> that he conveys the intended tattva by describing Saraswati as verily the
> Veda, clearly indicates his love towards the form of Bhagavati. It is
> heartening to see the same emotion in the ‘Panchapadika-Vivarana’ of Shri
> Prakashatma Yati ji, who was probably a contemporary of Shri Sarvajnatma
> Muni.
> यस्याः प्रसादमवलम्ब्य जगद्गुरूणामप्यस्खलद्बहुगुणाः प्रसरंति वाचः।
> सा वेदशास्त्रपरिनिर्मितवन्द्यदेहा भूयात् समग्रवरदैव सरस्वती नः ॥२॥
> (पंचपादिका-विवरण)
> [जिसकी कृपा का आश्रय लेकर जगद्गुरुओं की भी वाणी बिना स्खलन के (निर्दोष रूप
> से) प्रसारित होती हैं। वह वेदशास्त्र से निर्मित वन्दनीय शरीर वाली माता
> सरस्वती हमें सभी वरों को देने वाली हों।]
> These references are strong testimonies to fact that the Bhagavati has
> always been dearly beheld by the Advaitian Acharyas.
> Note: The relevant snaps have been attached in the comments
> Courtesy : Thanks to Shri Subrahmanian Vaidyanathan ji for helping me
> understand the commentary of Madhusudhan Saraswati ji
> ।। पराचितिस्वरूपिणि जय जय जगज्जननि।।

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