Dravidian to Dharma – 2

September 15, 2019 Leave a comment

First, read this for context.

Few weeks back, there was much noise about some community building a temple where the main “deity” would be the much reviled (among proper Hindus) leader of the so called dravidias, Muthuvel Karunanidhi.

They want to call it as the temple of rationalism.

They say that it is being built “In recognition of the contributions made by the late DMK leader towards uplifting the Arunthathiyar community”. So, for someone who claimed all through his life that he was against casteism (he termed jathis as a paarpana soozhchi… brahmin conspiracy), he surely was very liberal with tax payer money to target the “upliftment” of particular communities, castes and religions. What was the actual upliftment, no one knows or even cares.

What we can be very sure of is that he, for someone who rode a train few decades back without a ticket, had very successfully uplifted his family and “extended” families by ensuring they had enough wealth to last a few centuries. If at all anyone should build a temple to this anti-Hindu hatemonger, it should be them. But for these scions of rationalism, thought leaders of division based on language and pseudo-atheistic ideas and shameless major-domos of the church and the jihadi ummah, building a temple in their father’s memory would be a big no-no since it would cost them votes. Votes is more important to them than honor.

In anycase, I had predicted this phenomenon in my previous article from almost 2 years back.

Now, think on this carefully. These ‘dravidian supremacists’ aren’t against the ‘aryan’ concept of worship and religiosity. Rather, they just want themselves or their ‘great leaders’ to be the object of that worship.

Looks like I was 100% on target. So, in their minds, Karunanidhi has done so much that he deserves a temple. They would extend it further… Jesus was a great person, so he deserves 100 churches in a 10 sq.km area, Mohammed was such a social reformer that 10 mosques within a 1 sq.km area are allowed to cry hoarse on their conical loudspeakers 5 times a day. But when it comes to sanatana dharma, it is casteist, regressive, oppressive and non-rational. They claim that the grand temples of old are dark recessess of discrimination and houses of depravity. In doing this, they basically are simply following the abrahamic view of their pay-masters… “my” god has done so many things, your false gods have done nothing.

Millions of Hindus over millenia have stood testimony to the benevolence of the devas. Millions feel the power of karma in their lives every single day. More millions are driven to understand the extremely profound and relevant teachings of the Veda-vedanta and other scriptures. Billions experience the deep grace and inspired goodness that comes from their bhakti towards their chosen deity. All this is supported by the countless texts and teachings of the ancient Acharyas which repeatedly, over and over, substanstiate that our lives are controlled by factors and beings beyond our physical senses. The cumulative benefits of Dharma in running this world cannot even be begun to be measured.

Yet, these materially rich and mentally destitute pseudo-rationalists would have us believe that they have the best interest of the society in mind. Their agenda can be simply stated as I did before:

The dravidian philosophy stalwarts just want the people to be ‘slaves’ to their ‘gods’. They have no interest in protecting Tamil, but claim to speak for all tamil folk. They want people to be subordinate to their money, power, perverted versions of history and rascals passing off as intellectuals.

Look at every single dravidia “leaders” of today and answer these questions honestly.

  • Are they getting rich?
  • Are they licking the boots of church and jihadi agents for votes?
  • Are they putting down Hindus and their practices at every chance?
  • Are alliances being formed across mismatched idealogies, only because they don’t want a Hindu country?
  • Are there glaring inconsistencies in what they say and what they do?
  • Are they constantly using perverted teachings of western influencers to put down Hinduism?
  • Are they using language as a tool for division and to sow disorder?
  • Are they constantly refering to glorified thieves, paedophiles and hypocrites of past as their inspiration?

Most likely, the answer would be a resounding YES for each of the above questions. That is the facade that needs to be torn apart and these agents of discord must be revealed to the dharmic world.

I have seen some people stay complacent saying Dharma is eternal and cannot be destroyed. It is true that Dharma is eternal but why allow it to be supressed at any point in time? Do your bit. Reach out to people you know. Rekindle the practices of tradition in your household. Educate yourself more on our ancient knowledge. Tear apart the agenda of these adharmic agents, provide solace and guidance to those who need it, educate those who are willing and mercilessly put down idealogical perverts.

I have no doubt that the worst is yet to come. Sanatana Dharma will face even more challenges as kaliyuga progresses and these pitiful worms of rationalists are not even the biggest threat compared to what is to come. With the recent election results, there seems to be a resurgence of these parasites. But as dharmics and astikaas, it falls to us to get out there and ensure that the roots of these weeds of dravidia idealogy are completely destroyed with the sword of knowledge and even the last remaining seeds of this corrupting darkness is burnt in the fire of wisdom.

Dharma eva hato hanti/ Dharmo rakshati rakshitah

Smartha (specifically, Iyer) Confusions

August 17, 2019 Leave a comment

I came across this post online today. Didn’t know if I should laugh or cry.

Raga.iyer or whoever it is has done a lot of thinking and come to realization and smartha means shaivaite. Let’s take this apart, shall we? The title says smartha sampradaya… let’s deal with the sampradaya part later.

(1)Shankaracharya is believed to be an avatar of Shiva

ok, but that doesn’t make his darshana a shaivaite one

(2)Shiva is a strict God with no mercy, as opposed to the over-flowing mercy of Lord Vishnu. Shankaracharya’s teachings are ridiculously rigid and non-adaptive.

This is a very weird assertion. I agree that Adi Shankara’s philosophy of advaita is not for everyone and is impractical for day to day life. Yes, Vishnu is causelessly merciful too. But Shiva being a strict God with no mercy sounds like some abrahamic nonsense. I am pretty sure the Shaivacharyas and the Nayanmars of old will disagree on this point. But how does this make smarthas as Shaivaites? That’s just ridiculous.

(3)Shankara exhorts us to attain Brahman through the Jnana marga. Shiva-Dakshinamurthy is a symbol of Jnana. Bhakti is to be discarded at the earliest….Hari is symbolic of Bhakti (He’s the source of all yogas but that’s beyond the scope of this post). So one has to discard Lord Vishnu at the earliest.Nama japa is only the means unlike in Bhagavatha dharma where nama is both the means and the end (c.f Srimad Bhagavatham, Rama Rahasya upanishad and the compositions of Sri Thyagaraja/Purandaradasa)….So one attains Brahman through Shiva.

That’s stupid again. Jnana and Bhakti are the same according to scholars of the advaitic tradition (many are pseudo-advaitins even then). “Discard Lord Vishnu at the earliest” is such a notoriously loaded anti-vaishnavaite statement with malicious intent. That is just peak ignorance. Nama japa is indeed both means and end but for an advaitin even the names are unreal. But how does that make smarthas as shaivaites? Again, that’s plain stupid.

(4)Renunciation is supreme in this samradaya. Shiva/Rudra is the god of renunciation. Thus follow Lord Shiva’s example.

That is again such nonsense. There are so many sanyaasis who are parama-bhagavatas, staunch devotees of Lord Vishnu. It is true… for advaita to be followed, first step is sanyaasa. But again, how does this make smarthas as vaishnavas?

(5)There is NO Vishnu Panchayatana puja. Shiva Panchayatana puja alone is performed.(I have yet to come across a Vishnu Panchayatana puja in both books and online resources)

I had to look up on this and get feedback from other knowledgable folks. The quoted statement is 100% wrong. But the thing is there is no proof of Adi Shankara establishing such a procedure, as far as my search has revealed. And earlier, it used to be a mix of some other devatas as well. But, how does this make smarthas a shaivaites?

(6)We don’t seem to have agamas but it ‘s Shaiva agamas that is taught to us Smarthas when needed. My grand uncle who’s a Sri Vidya upasaka told me so.

Good. At least someone is listening to grand uncles. But “so and so told me so” isn’t proof of anything. Agamas are mainly used to guide temple rituals and rules. Shaiva agamas are rejected by Shankaracharya in his Brahma sutra bhasya. Sri Vidya upsana comes under Shakta tanra… many pseudoadvaitins get attracted to that. But where does this make smarthas as shaivaite?

Smarthas don’t have agamas on their own. Probably true. But here’s a kicker… they don’t seem to have a sampradaya of their own. If they had one before the time of Adi Shankara, it has either started identifying within the advaitic fold and or now very difficult to find these days. If they do exist, answers are needed for who is the sthapaka? What bhasyas do they have and who wrote those? and so on. I had even asked a question on this topic on Hinduism Stack Exchange. Even those who are part of the bhagavata sampradaya… the one’s that are staunch Krishna and Vishnu worshippers but still call themselves advaitin… they have a loosely tied guru-shishya relationship but nothing as rigorous in Shaiva or Vaishnava sampradayas.

Advaita sampradaya is only for sanyaasis. People can consider the matathipadhis as their gurus but there is no diksha relationship. Many of the modern day smarthas follow advaita because that is the next best thing for them (the all is one, one is all, anti-monotheistic, all paths are correct, do whatever you wish categories belong here too), and many are mostly like that because they are averse to Vaishnavas. There is the Kanchi mafia which is now propagating the idea that the paramacharya is actually Shiva himself and everyday so many stories get added to a puraanam in his name! But even they don’t call themselves as Shaivaites (even though most very well act and talk like it and if I may add, they are contorting and inventing rituals with that direction in mind).

Smarthas are followers of Smriti sections of the Vedas. By that definition even most of Vaishnavas will fall in that category. But wherefrom does this need to identify with Shaivism come up here?

It has been proven without doubt that Adi Shankara has clearly identified Narayana as the parabrahman in his bhasyas. There are people who don’t agree that Narayana is not Sri Pathi Vishnu as it is very commonly accepted, but I would say that’s because they want to have their own identity outside of Vaishnavism.

Being an iyer myself, I am left to wonder why most of my ilk is going offtrack with such things.

What pseudos lack – everything!

March 10, 2019 Leave a comment

Veershaiva (AKA) V Subrahmanian is again on Narayanastra blogger’s radar for all the right reasons. The self proclaimed scholar who sincerely believes himself to be an advaitin has gone after Srivaishnava scholars who laid waste to the idiotic claims of modern day pseudo-advaitins on Shanmatha, Panchayatana puja etc. This abysmal work can be found at (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ggBLQQ0gHm_3wAnpKJ4MyCAkcsPQljtv/view), for those who can read tamil.

This is going to a simple point by point post for the sake of posterity.

  1. Subbu, as he is called, doesn’t have a clue about the how the entire issue is rooted. That Subbu is starting off his rebuttal by trying to discredit the Srivaishnava scholars as being ignorant of Shankara’s works is laughable.
  2. Subbu tries to establish that there are no Saiva-advaitins or Vaishnava-advaitins. He is wrong. There are Vaishnava advaitins ONLY. The Shaiva, Shakta trends are much more recent than we are made to believe. I come from a family which has held on to the ancient practice of wearing the urdhvapundram using gopichandanam and we NEVER had anything remotely close to panchayatana puja. To be honest, our puja room was adorned with many deities and were worshipped with fervor. But when it comes to the point of the question of ultimate absolute, there was NO doubt on it. It was always Narayana (for us, in the form of little Krishna in Guruvayur).
  3. The extent Subbu has to go to try and prove ‘Vishnu’ is a created entity, citing non-existent proofs from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, shows the depths of intellectual dishonesty he has fallen in to. It is merely his wish that Vishnu is included in BU 1.4.11 but it is not so. Indra, Varuna, Rudra etc. seems to include Vishnu for Subbu, merely because he so desperately wants it so.
  4. Subbu displays comprehension problems. Nowhere does Puttur Swami state that Shankara told it himself that he is part of Pancharatra matham. Puttur Swami simply states this: Shankara, in no uncertain terms, holds Narayana as the supreme absolute and hence he is pretty much in line with Panchara matham.
  5. The age-old stupidity of Narayana being claimed as not being Vishnu or Lakshmi pati comes up here again. Shankaracharya has clarified that too in his Vishnu Sahasranama bhasya as well. My question to those clamoring on that point is Shankara didn’t point out Narayana to be Parvati pati Shiva as well. Then wherefrom do these pseudos try to attribute Lord Shiva with Supreme absoluteness?
  6. Trying to show Narayaneeyam as supporting harihara aikya vada is laughable.
  7.  For all the non-dualistic crap these people spew, they are woefully dualistic when it comes to putting those in practice. Pseudos to the core.
  8. If one wants to be a Shaivaite or a Shakta, they can freely be so. But claiming to be an “vaidika” advaitin while practicing Shaivism or shaktism is the height of hypocrisy.

There are even more comical stuff in that sorry excuse of a rebuttal. Like, one can add whomsoever they want to be considered as Parabrahman, Saguna Brahman is created and hence lower, there is no contradiction considering father and son to be same Supreme Brahman, and so on.

Madhusudhananda Sarasvati, whom Subbu is using to prove his puerile convictions, has this to say:

sa-hetukasya saṁsārasyātyantoparamātmakam |
paraṁ niśreyasaṁ gītā-śāstrasyoktaṁ prayojanam ||
sac-cid-ānanda-rūpaṁ tat pūrṇaṁ viṣṇoḥ paraṁ padam |

[Shankara said that] the purpose of the Gita is to attain the supreme good, which is defined as the complete cessation of saṁsāra and its causes. That goal is known as the supreme abode of Vishnu, the form of eternal life, consciousness and bliss. (2-3)

evaṁ-bhūto brāhmaṇaḥ syād variṣṭho brahma-vādinām |
guṇātītaḥ sthita-prajño viṣṇu-bhaktaś ca kathyate ||28||

No doubt people like Subbu will brush these statements off in their trademark hypocritical way. But in trying to convince themselves and others with a siddhanta that has become so corrupted in practice, they are basically rendering a great disservice to Sanatana Dharma.

Add to this nonsense the greater nonsense being spread by the so called scholars of the neo-vedantic movement. Statements like Brahman cannot have a personality, Ramanuja’s explanations are unintelligible and overstreched, don’t try to limit God by assigning a personality and so on are basically feeble attempts at convincing themselves of their half baked knowledge. It is even more laughable that these midgets would sit and try to judge the Acharyas in their exchanges over siddhantas. The pinnacle of such wholesome stupidity and arrogance is one such calling the era of Acharyas and their bhasyas as dark middle ages! Surely, the dark age is listening to these half wits who think they can start judging Acharyas, ignore the greater and true Paramahamsas and put people who advocate “all paths are valid” nonsense on a higher pedestal. The depths of foolishness in doing so is unfathomable, to even begin comparing such personalities to the stringent and exhaustive siddhantic realizations that have been given to us by the Acharyas.

Pseudo-advaitins should take the example of Kanchi Paramacharya and devote their remaining days to chanting Vishnu Sahasranama or like the late Sringeri Acharya, take to chanting the names of Narayana repeatedly. They may not have the realization, nor the honest bhakti or the grace of the Supreme Lord to even begin comprehending the idiocy of this life lived. But like Ajamila, they might still stand a chance of getting moksham just by the strength of the Lord Hari’s names. It is a medicine that they may not like or don’t believe in but considering the alternative of being born in a unwholesome birth again, ignoring that medicine is grossly foolish.

What ails HSE?

February 18, 2019 Leave a comment

More on the fun I have been having on Hinduism.stackexchange.com.

People sometimes are so confused about what they themselves believe in that they don’t even realize the heaps of contradictory statements they keep belching out on that site.

  • In this question, one of the comment reads as below:

So, Nirguna brahman appears in the world as saguna brahman in the form of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. But Vishnu is created by Shiva. And proof is given that space is Brahma, Time is Vishnu, Blackhole is Shiva (mahakaal). Well, I see many actual black holes here! One that would confidently show that Adi Shankaracharya was initiated in Kriya yoga by some babaji. This is a very common trend. Everyone who is a Vaishnava is a bigot and sectarian. Everyone who is an anti-vaishnavaite bigot is a gentle learned soul. Typical.

  • From an answer to this question, one can easily see how confused people can believe in anything and everything. Lalitha manifests herself (a concept not supported by Vedas), she will create Kameshwara as Parabrahman and consorts with her own creation (another concept that is as funny as it is stupid), then she creates tri-murthis whom she directs to continue process of creation (again, something which is not supported by shruti). The icing on this moldy cake is while she creates all material stuff from her body parts, it is from her nails she created 10 avatars of Vishnu. Absolutely horrible fact checking done here, since every bonafide acharya has held Vishnu has countless avatars and none of them gave this ridiculous explanation of beings from nails. Here’s the funnier part. This answer shows something which is completely opposite and it is from the same purana, quoted by the same person. Now, it seems Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva were all there, and there was someone called adi shakti and her husband Shambu, and then Lalitha manifests herself and… so on it goes. So, it seems the truth can be anything that suits them as long as it is not a Vaishnava POV.
  • The next one tickles me to no end. Every learned member there is convinced that Krishna was making a telepathy call with Brahman when he was speaking the Gita. Or he was “possessed by Brahman” even. But in other “Gitas”, it is verily the individual deities speaking and NOT Brahman. So, when challenged that Bhagavad Gita spoken by Krishna is held highest, all the noise begins saying other gitas are all very exalted as well. Why? Because hypocritical pseudointellectuals don’t want to accept that Krishna is verily the Parabrahman himself.
  • Here is one more set of very learned comments indeed: Pasupata is from Lord Shiva himself, so no one is capable of refuting it. Vyasa’s criticism of various doctrines looks meaningless. Basically, implying followers of anything like Brahmasutras are idiots. But wait… who was it that refuted Pashupata? It was Adi Shankara himself… who is held to be Lord Shiva’s avatara. And who allegedly wrote the most beloved Devi Bhagavatam? Vyasa! So, they basically accept and condemn the very people who they claim to be Lord and Rishi for everything else. We can only laugh at this type of meaningless wordplay.
  • One of the users on that site, whose reputation rocketed in a short time due to his support for eccentric neo-siddhantas, claims to have confidential knowledge about what exactly Krishna was or said, about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu being part of dasanami sampradaya and Shankara follower himself, so on and so forth. In one place, he keeps talking about how advaita is unparalled, how Shankara (and, of course, the crowd favorite Ramakrishna) showed beautiful advaita. In one instance, there is not God or jivas, it’s only maya that makes us think so. In another place he talks about God as “swatantra” and jeevas are “paratantras”. The shambles of the scholarly mind that has fallen for ill guidance!

Then there are some who cannot be really comprehended through anything except a comparison with a fetid gutter of bigotry, hatred and uncultured behavior. One should not be hasty to consider this specimen as Shaiva or a Shakta either. He claims (claimed?) to be an agnostic or an atheist who doesn’t care for the Vedas but will keep vomiting nonsensical stuff thinking himself to a great devotee of Shiva. I am going to hazard a guess that this specimen is a highly evolved, pernicious troll… or, given that he comments on Tamil videos, likely one of the misguided fanatic mutt mafia which is ruining the smartha community wholesale. He of course could not even understand I am not an Iyengar and wonders what to make of me… in HSE chat. Oh, note that A..I is his brilliant short form for Ambi!

There were other comments on the above chat by this same guy which caught the attention of a community manager who banned this ass from chat for a day, and deleted this room too, I think. This “highly contributing member”s hatred runs so deep that he has absolutely no problems posting comments like below on a highly respected Srivaishnava scholar’s youtube video page.

Comment shown above was on a video on Salagrama by Shri Velukkudi Krishnan

This is not a one-off comment. This particular user, who has ruined the HSE board by spreading his ill-informed anti-vaishnava crusade, no less to the applause of “learned” people there, seems to have no better things to do than going on to youtube videos by or on Vaishnavas and posting utterly disrespectful and unwarranted nonsense.

Comment shown above was on a video on Nityanusandanam by Shri Velukkudi Krishnan

This guy seems to be maintaining this account only for this purpose. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9-lYWSLDe_tQMH6N8GY0OQ/featured. It is to be noted that this specimen was banned from HSE for 6 months last year and had just returned a month or so back with his vitriol and hate speech and, as expected, the community took notice again and this guy has been banned again… now for a year! If this guy has any shame left, he should delete his handle on HSE and go away, never to return. But most likely he won’t. And unfortunately, the many “learned” people on HSE seem to so attracted to this specimen only because of his bigotry towards Vaishnavas.

The inherent hypocrisy of the site comes in statements like in this: ” It also gives the impression that if you belong to the same sect as one of the mods, you are given a longer rope.” Oh, never mind the fact that one of the other mods has been accused of doing exactly that… giving a long rope to those anti-vaishnavaites as well and despite the evidence is still going strong!

Finally, it is also not surprising that many of these are RKVK fanboys and they are just having a gala time there only because the site rules forbid any direct debate or stating plain truths. These people should focus on their ego massage orgy only after they write their own Bhasyas on prasthana trayi since they seem too eager to disagree with Adi Shankara on many things.

Any traditional vedantist knows the truth much better, thanks to the strong merciful acharyas of old. No random-ananda or baba can even come close to their stature, no matter what. If someone is really in search of the Absolute truth, they should stick to proper sampradayas and Acharyas & shun these pseudos utterly. That’s all.

I really don’t plan on going back to that site. And the reason I posted some things on my blog here is not because of personal animosity but anguish at how degraded and cheap being knowledgeable has become. I can only feel sorry for those who parade themselves as learned with false humility while silently watching with glee as the very foundations of Vedantic Sanatana Dharma are misrepresented in the name of talking about Hinduism.

The saviors that Shankara never asked for

February 14, 2019 Leave a comment

In his answer to this question, a gentleman who, supposedly has a degree in sanskrit, written 10 books or so (hearsay) and despite claiming to be follow a particular sect, cannot digest the beliefs of his sect in the words of Manu, rushes to the defense of Adi Shankara.

This gentleman pictures himself to be a protector of advaita, a wise scholar who believes he is the champion of the non-sectarian hordes on that site because ‘learned’ people encouraged him to stay on in it, where they are the exact reason why it became sectarian and bigoted. He believes parroting the same statement like “Judgment devoid of logic destroys dharma” while he comfortably does the exact thing that he accuses others of.

  1. “Adi Shankaracharya was born around 1000 years before Sri Chaitanya. When did Sri Krishna order and when did Shiva say it and when was it recorded? ”
    • How innocent. He says it is stated in Padma Purana… no, let me correct that. Thinking to be smart, he says that Chaitanya Caritamrta quotes Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to have said a verse from Padma Purana. And he asks when did Krishna order it and so on. So basically, he denies the authenticity of Padma Purana. But that is to be expected from someone who believes in the contradicatory, avaidika and fanciful tales/ Siddhanta propagated by the Ramakrishna Mutt as well as the newer Bhagavatam followers. If he doesn’t believe in the authenticity of the verse, it is up to him to prove it was not said so. Instead, he acts as if he is fair and innocent.
  2. “Mahaprabhu was a monk of the dasanami sect and so His Adi-Guru is Adi Shankaracharya. Is it believable that He would utter such words that indirectly means that His Adi-Guru was basically a preacher of false doctrine? And that He did it knowingly means He was untruthful! ”
    • Mahaprabhu just quoted the purana. But the scholar’s raving statement is quite misleading. Though Mahaprabhu took sanyaasa from a mayavadi sanyaasin, he never considered himself to be a dasanami or did he waver in his in propagation of Krishna Bhakti. The fact that he never took a dasanami name proves this is sentimental outburst devoid of value or facts. On top of it, he claims Mahaprabhu was untruthful. Of course, to someone who is deep inside Maya will believe that too.
  3. “Sri Chaitanya instructs ” Anya Deva, anya sastra ninda naa koribe” meaning never criticise other god and other scripture”. That goes with the character of a scholar and devotee and an Avatar like Him. Is it possible for Him to quote such a sloka from such a Purana? ”
    • Another sentimental word jugglery. These kind of people take their weak mental imagery and impose it on someone of Mahaprabhu’s stature. There is no ninda of another deity nor of another sastra in the quoted puranic verse. But it is not surprising that someone who claims Krishna was not Krishna when he spoke the Gita, who plays second fiddle to nonsense like Vishnu avatara’s came from nails and so on will obviously act in this way.
  4. “Without Sankaracharya, the Sanatana dharma would have not survived. Is it possible for Sri Chaitanyadev not to know these? Even the Puri-dhama or Sri Sri Jagannathakshetra where Sri Chaitanya was staying at and ‘saying’ the above was re-established by Sri Adi Sankaracharya.He also wrote the beautiful Jagannathastakam as per popular belief. The one who preaches ‘Trinaadapi sunichena taroriva sahishnuna’,.. is it possible for Him to utter such words against Adi Sahnkara? ”
    • The pinnacle of logical falacies and sophistry. If Adi Shankara hadn’t come, dharma would never have survived it seems. So little faith and belief this gentleman has in the words of Sri Krishna (of course, he doesn’t consider Krishna to be God). Adi Shankara did play a major role in protecting dharma, no doubt. If it were not him, there were so many other Vaishnavacaryas who came after him who would have done the same thing and their role is sustaining Dharma was immense. But then this logical fallacy is full of malicious intent. He wants to discredit Mahaprabhu as well as the other Acharyas while seeming to claim cheap moral superiority.

The learned gentleman doesn’t stop with his twisting. He throws in a googly that Chaitanya Caritamrita was written when none of his direct disciples were alive and hence are of doubtful authenticity. Can we then say all the Shankara Vijayas are also of doubtful authenticity? After all, they were too written several centuries after Adi Shankara departed from this world. But, no! When it comes to Shankara, everything they say is correct. Others, well… to hell with them. All are wrong. How very scholarly!

The parting shot is this: ” All these are coming from the dark days of the middle ages “

I can only laugh at this statement. Mahaprabhu’s advent made that age in to a golden one. His impact continues to this day, the dharma being shouldered by millions who take his word and names in every breath. I don’t even exclude the advaitins. But these cheap, sentimental outpourings in the name of defending Adi Shankara only give credence to the pseudoadvaita and not to real advaita.

The arrogance is abundant, the sophistry is glaring and the willful ignorance is deep in such answers. That is all.

 

 

Categories: People, Philosophy, Rant, Scourge

Shanmatha and Panchayatana: Why attribute them to Adi-Shankara?

February 2, 2019 Leave a comment

(Adapted from my answer here)

There seems to be tacit acceptance among smarthas these days that if anything is attributed to Adi-Shankara, they just nod and keep mum. One such attribution is on Shankaracharya being the sthapaka of Shanmathas and Panchayatana. This blog post documents my search for answers on this topic.

Being redirected from this page on the Narayanastra blog, I checked up on the reference given for Sri Shankaracharya’s Brahmasutra Bhasya 1.2.17 (Thibaut’s translation):

‘He rests with his rays in him’–still Selfhood cannot be ascribed to the sun, on account of his externality (parâgrûpatva). Immortality, &c. also cannot be predicated of him, as Scripture speaks of his origin and his dissolution. For the (so-called) deathlessness of the gods only means their (comparatively) long existence. And their lordly power also is based on the highest Lord and does not naturally belong to them; as the mantra declares, ‘From terror of it (Brahman) the wind blows, from terror the sun rises; from terror of it Agni and Indra, yea, Death runs as the fifth.’

I went and looked where this verse was explained and ended up here, the Kathopanisad Bhasya v2.3.3 of Sri Shankaracharya.

bhayādasyāgnistapati bhayāttapati sūryaḥ | bhayādindraśca vāyuśca mṛtyurdhāvati pañcamaḥ || 3 ||

  1. From fear of him, fire burns; from fear, the sun shines; from fear, Indra and Wind; and Death, the fifth, speeds.

So, it seems counter to logic to claim that Sri Shankaracharya founded, or integrated in to advaita, a matha which had Surya as a supreme deity when he clearly differentiates Surya to be one of the “servants trembling from fear of the master” and not an Ishvara or aspect of Brahman.

Here’s a good summary link on the worship of Surya in vedic literature.

Addition 2:

I had come across a compilation of exchanges between scholars, published under the name “Sankararum, Vainavamum” (Sri Shankara and Vaishnavism), around 1960s-1970s, which pretty much revolved around this exact question. The entire text is in Tamil, so I will basically post a few snippets with my translation (staying true to the original to the best of my capacity).

Pg 21 of the file, pg 34 of the text: Sri Umapati Jagadisha Sharma writes in a letter: “Sri Vidyaranya wrote that “There are none to respect the statements of Ganapatyas, Kapalikas have run and hidden somewhere, Saivam has turned “ashivam” (I can’t put the exact meaning of the word in this context), Arhamatham got denounced, Shaktamatham became illfated, there is no one to nourish Vaishnavism. All this is only because of the merciless attack by Sankaracharya’s suktis”. The response to this from Brahmasri Varahur Kalayasundara sastri (the scholar who responded on behalf of advaitins) on pg 87 of the text is very much unconvincing.

Now, I couldn’t trace out the source for Sri Vidyaranya’s statement. But assuming this exists, it certainly comes across as odd that Shankaracharya, as an avatara of Lord Shiva, would actually establish the same 6 schools that which he purportedly decimated.

Pg 48 of the file, pg 51 in the text: Varahur Sri Kalayanasundara sastri makes a statement that they (advaitins, and by extension, Sri Shankara) do not/did not consider the six deities as parabrahman but only amshas of the nirvisesha parabrahman.

Pg 65 of the file, pg 85 of the text: Varahur Sastri also makes a claim that there were originally mathams which had Indra, Brahma and even Vayu as their supreme deity.

That does bring up the question as to why the shanmathas selected only the aforementioned 6 deities, and not any of the other devatas/deities as stated by Varahur sastri.

Sri Varahur Sastri mentions in places that he had published a book by the name of “Sankararum, Shanmathamum” (Sri Shankara and the Shanmathas) in 3 parts, where he claims to have proven that it was indeed Sri Adi Shankara who established the 6 mathams. Unfortunately, I am unable to trace that book as well. (If anyone can direct me to the books, I would be grateful).

Addition 3 (Jan 12, 2019)

Stumbled across another interesting page. This page gives a completely different angle on Panchayatana puja.

The tendency of rapprochement in orthodox religious sphere in pañcadevopāsanā i.e., the worship of five deities as advocated by the Smārtas.

So, basically the author starts out saying that the system would have been initiated to bring about “harmony” among different systems. That is believable.

After stating that the smartha system was initiated by both Shaivas and Vaishnavas, the author gives a jist of the evolution of the system.

The worship of Shiva with Sun, Shakti, Gaṇeśa and Viṣṇu was performed in the Miśra Pāśupata school. This is the same as Smārta Pañcadevopāsanā:

रविं शम्भुं तथा शक्तिं विघ्नेशं च जनार्दनम् | यजन्ति समभावेन मिश्रपाशुपतं हि तत् ||

The later Smārta treatises such as as Smṛtimuktāphala prescribe the daily worship of these five deities for a householder:

आदित्यमम्बिकां विष्णुं गणनाथं महेश्वरम् | पञ्चयज्ञपरो नित्यं गृहस्थः पञ्च पूजयेत् ||

It is sometimes stated that the system in this form was popularized by the Advaita teacher Shaṅkara but it is extremely doubtful.

The author believes that the first step in moving to a pentad (Panchopasana) system was the introduction of the Trinity or the Trimurthis as we know them.

The first stage in the development of the pentad cult was the evolution of trinity composed of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Shiva.

Then follows the description of temples with different deities as part of the evolving triumvarate or quadrumvarate then to finally panchadevopasana.

There were different versions of Panchayatana, evidently.

The Kilait Cp. of Somavarman in the middle of eleventh century A.D. invokes five deities, Brahmā, Gaṇapati, Viṣṇu, Shakti and Shiva. But this pentad is not of the Smārta variety as Sūrya has been substituted here by Brahmā.

And then he ends with the conclusion thus:

It may, therefore, be concluded that the system of five deities as envisaged by the Smārtas came into vogue by eleventh century A.D. and that it indicates the rapprochment of the Vedic and āgamic tendencies. The views that Pañcadevopāsanā was introduced by Shaṅkarācārya is evidently incorrect.

The conclusion that many, including me, have arrived at is that Sri Shankara could not have instituted such systems when his siddhanta as found in his key works runs counter to the paths. But as it would be with all things in spirituality and philosophy, each one is attracted to what is agreeable to them at that point in time, determined and guided by their karmas and gunas.

I will close my post here, for now, since most of the other material I have on hand are not in English and translating all those is not going to be practical. Hopefully, if anything, this post might have kindled the need for a search by others so that Sri Adi Shankara Bhagavatpada’s true legacies are brought out.

The Scourge called Pseudo-advaitins

February 2, 2019 Leave a comment

(Adapted from my answer here)

Advaita, during the course of time, has been morphed in to a confused, hodge podge of philosophical diversions.

In the this book, on page 604, the Sringeri Shankaracharya says:

They will do well to bear in mind the declaration of the Kaṭha-upaniṣad, “One who has not desisted from bad conduct, whose senses are not under control, whose mind is not concentrated and whose mind is not free from hankering for the result of concentration cannot attain the Ātman through knowledge.”

This statement basically buries all the new age movements who claim to show oneness through myriad of meditations or the ones which claim to give diksha through sexual experiences or the ones that say “oh you don’t have to follow any rules”, “you are God, you just don’t know it”. None of them are grounded in siddhanta but only in money and toxic fame.

In this page, Swami Sivananda is quoted:

“The superstructure of Vedanta can only be built when the foundation has been laid strongly by the practice of Yama-Niyama, when the heart has been purified thoroughly through untiring selfless service and Upasana or worship of Saguna Brahman.”

So, one who does not practice yama-niyamas and shirks worship of Saguna Brahman, as identified by Shankaracharya, is certainly a pseudo-advaitin.

I came across a rather curious site here. Though I am not entirely comfortable with the whole site, it does a pretty good job of explaining what is pseudo-advaita. I will summarize it.

  1. Engaging in sophistry, in trying to glean meanings from scriptures on their own or from questionable sources.
  2. Trying to always show oneself as rooted in non-dualism out of plain ego. This is highlighted by the constipated compulsion to always talk about paramarthika level for everything when entirely in this reality
  3. Mechanically acting out detachment, while hooked to firmly in this material world
  4. Applying dual-nondual definitions indiscriminately to everything except what it is truly meant to denote
  5. Preaching to others about duality and nonduality when it is very clear that they themselves haven’t renounced anything in this world.
  6. Condemning devotional service as maya or selectively showing devotion while claiming nonduality

There are a few things to be elaborated from the above. Generally, advaitins nowadays have strong personal preferences on ishta devata. Technically, it should be fine, seeing how they should see everything as (theoretically) just the same. But without actually realizing oneness, denigrating another’s preference of ishta devata, even when that choice is soundly grounded in vedantic conclusions, as sectarian and intolerant is a sure sign of a pseudo-advaitin.

Then comes the confused, unconscious hypocrisy of vociferously stating all devas are equal, and in the same breath claiming superiority for a particular devata. That all devatas are equal itself is not a position held by Adi-Shankara as seen in his Gita Bhasya (Ref 1, 2) and other works of his.

Another common symptom of pseudo-advaitin is when someone says “Seeing Shiva and Vishnu as different itself is dualism since they both are parabrahman”. It only betrays the immaturity of such a speaker because advaita and other siddhantas do not even deal with that type of comparison. The siddhantas are only concerned about nature of brahman. (Of course there is another huge debate raging on who Adi-Shankara considered as saguna brahman, though several of his own sampradayic disciples as well as acharyas from other traditions have clarified on that point ad infinitum, but on internet forums it is just an inconvenient truth.)

In this paper on “Misconceptions about Advaita”, David Frawley (A) Pandit Vamadeva Shastri makes a very important statement:

“However, if we read traditional Advaitic texts, we get quite a different impression. The question of the aptitude or adhikara of the student is an important topic dealt with at the beginning of the teaching. The requirements can be quite stringent and daunting, if not downright discouraging. One should first renounce the world, practice brahmacharya, and gain proficiency in other yogas like karma yoga, bhakti yoga, raja yoga, and so on (the sadhana-chatushtya). One can examine texts like the Vedanta Sara I.6-26 for a detailed description. While probably no one ever met all of these requirements before starting the practice of self-inquiry, they do at least encourage humility, not only on the part of the student, but also on the part of the teacher who may also not have met all these requirements!”

So, this basically reiterates what several scholars, that I have heard, hold as a deviation in practice, albeit one that is unavoidable in this age: if one wants to practice advaita truly, the process begins with, not ends with, renouncing this world. A pseudo-advaitin neither renounces the world nor embodies the humility needed to accept their inability to do so. There are some examples for people taking sanyaasa though they were not direct disciples of a Shankaracharya. Here is an example where a staunch follower took up sanyaasa, though not directly from another yati. There are other examples where people take up sanyaasa shortly before passing away, but evidence is mostly anecdotal.

A few final observations:

It has become a new fad these days to believe that with mere mastery of a few languages esp. Sanskrit, and a few sciences, they can hold themselves to the level of the great acharyas. One shameful example of this phenomenon was the declaration on twitter by one such ‘Arya Acharya’ that Lord Rama was not biological son of King Dasaratha. Other instances are happening today with so called followers of advaita going overboard due to influence from other traditions and come up with completely unacceptable and shameful works like the one shown here.

pseudoadvaitin crazy

On top of this, when faced with facts from Adi-shankara’s own words and works, they resort of word play and grammar to twist the acharya’s words to their convenience. In instances, they even insult Shankaracharya’s teaching, and by extension the acharya himself, while claiming to follow his siddhanta. Unfortunately, a pseudo-advaitin won’t hesitate to brand others as abrahamic, sectarian, hatemonger and what not (that other can even be a fellow advaitin) simply because others disagree with their own concocted views.