Saturday, July 13, 2013

Objections to Sri Vijaya Daasa continued ....

I don't understand why they write songs that ask Shiva to give us bhakti on Vishnu. Why does the poet want Bhakti from Shiva and worship Vishnu? why doesn't he directly ask Vishnu?

To understand why they write songs that ask Shiva to give Bhakti on VishNu, we need to understand their notion of Shiva and VishNu. Please also note that their description may not match with our description. Expecting that would not be appropriate! Will it be? 

A simple answer is - it is their choice :) 

The first step to a more complex answer is to understand that we have differences in how we understand, that does not make us right and them wrong or them right and us wrong. It is a difference in perspective, interpretation and inference. Their perspective of the key elements of spirituality is different from that of ours, wrt jiva (aatma), bhagavanta (paramaatma), lOka, tattva, karma and mOksha. Similarly, their key scriptures and their interpretations are different. As you may know, there are three levels of authentication - saadhu, shaastra and guru and we differ at all these levels. We may have common shaastraas but how they are interpreted are different. Would it make sense to compare our understanding with theirs when we differ at the fundamental level? 

Second level: for a tatvavaadin jeevaatma and paramaatma are not the same, unlike they are for a advaitin. Jeevaatma is subject to karma, maaya, rebirth on which he does not have complete control over. But the paramaatma is above jeevaatma, and He is beyond karma, maaya, rebirth and has absolute control. He is above and beyond the material creation unlike a jeevaatma who is subdued by it. The references to this can be found in several shaastraas and specifically Bhagawad Gita. So, how they view jeeva, devatas, devas, brahma, vishNu and shiva are different from from an advaiti's perspective. 

Third Level: From their perspective Lord Shiva is shambhu tatvaaa, who is very close to Sri VishNu but not the same. Even this is not unfounded or baseless as I have shown in an earlier post. As I have written before, for them Lord Shiva is "parama vaishNava" - the Supreme VaishNava a devotee of Sri Vishnu. This is found in Bhagawata PurANa, for example Lord Shiva offers this in Srimad Bhagawatam 4.7.29:

rudra uvAca
tava varada varAnghrAv AshiShehAkhilArthe hyapi munibhir asaktair aadareNArhaNeeye |
yadi racita-dhiyaM mAvidya-loko 'paviddhaM japati na gaNaye tat tvat-parAnugraheNa || 

Lord Shiva said: My dear Lord, my mind and consciousness are always fixed on Your lotus feet, which, as the source of all benediction and the fulfillment of all desires, are worshiped by all liberated great sages because Your lotus feet are worthy of worship. With my mind fixed on Your lotus feet, I am no longer disturbed by persons who blaspheme me, claiming that my activities are not purified. I do not mind their accusations, and I excuse them out of compassion, just as You exhibit compassion toward all living entities.

So, since they are Bhagawata priyAs they follow Srimad Bhagawatam, but what are we following? They also find support from other scriptures such as the svetashvatara and other upanishads. 

Similar references can be found in other vaishNava shAstrAs that they refer to. 

Fourth Level: We seek the blessings of the purest souls in our spiritual pursuits, for example the greatest devotees and guru. For them Lord Shiva is a great soul - the greatest in the world, the top most among all gods. As said before, He is the greatest vaiShNava, the greatest devotee of VishNu (from their perspective and they have their right to view so). Just like we say "guruvina gulAmanaaguva tanaka doreyadaNNa mukuti", one cannot aspire for liberation, i.e. unalloyed bhakti for Lord VishNu, without the blessings of Lord Shiva and this is supported in the shaastraas they refer to. 

So much more can be said, but I will stop here.

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