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Shiva and Vishnu

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Visalakshi Ramani

Well-known member
A famous teacher /guru wanted to ascertain whether God had a physical form or was without a form.

He swung his his stick across the idol.

It just passed through it as if it were made of air.

He smiled and said to himself, "So God does not have a form!"

He wanted to make sure of his discovery and swung his staff again.

This time it hit the idol hard and made a loud noise.

The guru was duly baffled but I am not

since God appears the way we want to see him!
 

Visalakshi Ramani

Well-known member
“உன் அண்ணன்.”



உருவமும், அருவமும் ஆக விளங்கும்
கருநிறக் கண்ணன், கார்மேக வண்ணன்;
வருவான் அவனை விரும்பி அழைத்தால்,
சிறுவன் ஜடிலனின் கதை இதை உணர்த்துமே!

பண்டைய நாட்களில் பள்ளிகள் குறைவு;
எண்ணிவிடலாம் ஒரு கை விரல்களால்!
படிப்பதென்றால் பல காத தூரம் தனியே
நடந்து சென்றிட வேண்டும் மாணவர்கள்.

காட்டு வழியே தன்னந் தனியே தினம்,
காட்டு விலங்குகளின் பீதியில் செல்லும்,
சிறுவன் ஜடிலன் தன் ஏழைத் தாயிடம்,
மறுகியவாறே ஒருநாள் உரைத்தான்,

“கள்ளிக் காட்டைக் கண்டாலே அச்சம்.
பள்ளி செல்லவோ மிகவும் விருப்பம்.
எனக்குத் துணையாக யார் வருவார்கள்?
எனக்கு ஒரு பதில் கூறுங்கள் அம்மா!”

“கண்ணன் இருக்கும் போது நமக்கு
என்ன பயம் சொல், என் கண்ணே” என்ற
தாயிடம் கேட்டான் “யார் அந்தக் கண்ணன்?”
தாய் சொன்னாள், “அவன் உன் அண்ணன்.”

பாதி வழியில் சிம்ம கர்ச்சனை கேட்டு,
பீதியில் உறைந்த சிறுவன் ஜடிலன்,
“கண்ணா! கண்ணா! உடனே வா! என்
அண்ணா! அண்ணா!” என்று ஓலமிட,

மனத்தை மயக்கும் மோகனச் சிரிப்புடன்,
முன்னே வந்து நின்ற அழகிய சிறுவன்,
“வா தம்பி! நாம் பள்ளிக்கு போவோம்” என
வழி காட்டி நடந்தான் ஜடிலன் முன்னே.

பள்ளியை அடைந்ததும் ஜடிலனிடம்,
“பள்ளி விட்டதும் கூப்பிடு, வருவேன்” எனப்
பகர்ந்து மறைந்தவன் யார் என்பதை அந்தப்
பாலகன் அறியான், நாம் அறிவோமே!

வாழ்க வளமுடன்,
விசாலாக்ஷி ரமணி
 

Visalakshi Ramani

Well-known member
"KRISHNA IS YOUR ELDER BROTHER."

krsna_yasoda_high.png


Krishna can assume a shape (uruvam) and he can also be without a form (aruvam) as He wishes to do. He will appear in person – if we call out with complete faith and trust.

Jadilan was a young boy who had to go his school through a forest –
since there were very few schools in ancient time. He would get frightened by the various growls and sounds of animals on
his way.

He wanted some one to take him to school safely. His mother told him to call out for Krishna. The boy demanded to know who that Krishna was. The mother said that he is Jadilan’s elder brother.

The next day the boy got frightened by the growl of a lion and called out for Krishna, his elder bother. A beautiful boy with a divine smile appeared before Jadilan and escorted him to the school. He promised to come back in the evening to take Jadilan back home.

Jadilan did not know who the new boy was, but we all know who He was!
 

sangom

Well-known member
Dear Shri Sangom,

I accept that my knowledge about Shiva and Vishnu is not extensive. But with what little knowledge I have I try to make sense of it because I believe it can make sense to anyone who is not prejudiced. I myself play the role of a critic of the scriptures first before a being follower.

Dear Shri Sravna,

You say you are trying "to make sense of" the notions of Shiva and Vishnu. You also say that you yourself "play the role of a critic of the scriptures first before a being follower"; hence it may be presumed that you have critically reviewed whatever information/knowledge you have about these two godheads. If so how do you justify the epithets of preserver and destroyer to these two? On what basis has this been done? Has not Vishnu killed enough and more asuras, raakshasas and other perceived enemies of the devas and humans? Has not Shiva appeared (though not as an avataar) in order to help, save etc., raakshasa, humans, etc.?

Whatever your answer to the foregoing questions be, is vishnu really preserving anything in this world/universe? If, as you say in your OP —
"While Shiva plays his part by destroying the physical and not letting it exist forever, Vishnu plays his role by working on the mental to make it fit. In the former the propagation of adharma is stemmed and in the latter case the sustenance of dharma is facilitated."

Now, as you well know, and assuming for arguments' sake (but not agreeing) that your premises are correct, vishnu has been well preserving all religions in this world including those which believe in terrorism to spread its religion; vishnu is also protecting very well the Jews of Israel who just will not allow the Palestinians a peaceful life. What kind of Dharma, then, is preserved or what kind of dharma is being sustained by vishnu?

The only logical outcome which I can visualize out of your effort is the revival of the age-old enmity between vaishnavites and saivites within this forum. This perhaps is what Prasad referred to as "wedge".








 
OP
OP
sravna

sravna

Well-known member
Dear Shri Sangom,

I confess I have just begun to ponder the questions that you have raised and am in a sense, thinking aloud in this forum. That is the reason I welcome any rational thoughts that would aid understanding in this regard. Let me share my own views though I have yet to form any firm conclusions.

It is said in the scriptures that Shiva is the destroyer and Vishnu is the protector. That is the primary role. Since the role of Shiva is destruction we can assume it has to do with physical destruction as we don't try to destroy the mind, we only try to elevate it. Similarly since the role of Vishnu is protecting, we assume it is protecting the mind as the physical body being temporary, its protection makes less sense.

The crucial point now is that since Shiva is the destroyer of the physical any deterioration or destruction happening anytime and anywhere of the physical may be considered due to Shiva's influence. Similarly shedding of ego and other such undesirable mental aspects happening anywhere and anytime may be said to be due to Vishnu's influence.

Thus by making physical existence temporary, the scope is adharma is checked because all the adharma is based on excessive material and physical attachment. Similarly by cleansing the mind the scope for dharma is enhanced . Thus these two together act all the time everywhere to let dharma prevail over adharma eventually. The results may not be immediately evident as the mechanism used, which is the mechanism of karma doesn't give such immediate and obvious reactions , for good reasons I believe. So we can see undesirable events temporarily and more so in the dwapara and kali yugas.

Finally, Vishnu might have killed asuras and Shiva might have played the role of protector but these are not their defining roles. Other gods such as Ganesha, Muruga , Shakthi have also played both the roles. So I think we need to stick to what their primary role is.
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
Dear Sravna,

Sometimes I fail to understand why we even need to do dissection of every form of Divinity.
As far as I know of you subscribe to HOLISTIC thinking where you rather look through broad spectrum lenses...so my honest question to you is.."what do we really achieve from re defining or even actually creating some new divisions in our outlook"

Tell me frankly..how does Advaita fit into this if we are going to go back to square one where we try to imagine God sitting in some deified form up above heaven and directing everything with a magic wand..in this case either with a Cakra or a Trishul.

As I wrote earlier I would like to view things as the Vishnu Principle and the Shiva Principle.

Discussing things based on principles is more Advaitic and gives us less guilt of trying to describe and define God.
 

sankara_sharmah

Active member
Shiva the Destroyer, Vishnu the preserver, Brahma the creator. These are purely academic classification. Most of these classification are Vaishnavite in origin.

When we pray to a God/Goddess we address them as paraBhraman the supreme reality. When we pray to Vinayaka he is the ultimate God. When we pray to Shiva he is the Ultimate God.

Before you post contradicting this please go through the common slokas we recite. They will confirm this.

If the Hindus considered Shiva as only a Destroyer , would they pray to him?

These academic classification which was done by scholars who were affiliated to different sects does not have any relevance in the Hinduism we practice.
 

sangom

Well-known member
Dear Shri Sangom,

I confess I have just begun to ponder the questions that you have raised and am in a sense, thinking aloud in this forum. That is the reason I welcome any rational thoughts that would aid understanding in this regard. Let me share my own views though I have yet to form any firm conclusions.

It is said in the scriptures that Shiva is the destroyer and Vishnu is the protector. That is the primary role. Since the role of Shiva is destruction we can assume it has to do with physical destruction as we don't try to destroy the mind, we only try to elevate it. Similarly since the role of Vishnu is protecting, we assume it is protecting the mind as the physical body being temporary, its protection makes less sense.

The crucial point now is that since Shiva is the destroyer of the physical any deterioration or destruction happening anytime and anywhere of the physical may be considered due to Shiva's influence. Similarly shedding of ego and other such undesirable mental aspects happening anywhere and anytime may be said to be due to Vishnu's influence.

Thus by making physical existence temporary, the scope is adharma is checked because all the adharma is based on excessive material and physical attachment. Similarly by cleansing the mind the scope for dharma is enhanced . Thus these two together act all the time everywhere to let dharma prevail over adharma eventually. The results may not be immediately evident as the mechanism used, which is the mechanism of karma doesn't give such immediate and obvious reactions , for good reasons I believe. So we can see undesirable events temporarily and more so in the dwapara and kali yugas.

Finally, Vishnu might have killed asuras and Shiva might have played the role of protector but these are not their defining roles. Other gods such as Ganesha, Muruga , Shakthi have also played both the roles. So I think we need to stick to what their primary role is.

Dear Shri Sravna,

The problem in such half-cooked speculations is that one tends to consider just one statement and that too all out of context; you have just taken what the priestly class concocted in order to justify their new idea of "avataara" for their own vested interests; vishnu is the preserver, shiva is the destroyer and you are trying to make some highfaluting philosophy from this one statement.

But you forget that the whole scripture baggage itself is a bundle of fabrications from time to time. The same scriptures talk about samudra manthana, do they not? After the first 1000 years of churning, the serpent vaasuki could no longer bear the torture and vomited haalaahala, the all-destructive poison. Vaalmeeki describes it as follows :

उत्पपाताम् अग्नि संकाशम् हालाहल महाविषम् |
तेन दग्धम् जगत् सर्वम् स देव असुर मानुषम् || १-४५-२०

(utpapātām agni saṃkāśam hālāhala mahāviṣam |
tena dagdham jagat sarvam sa deva asura mānuṣam || 1-45-20)

This poison burnt down (dagdham), the entire universe (jagat sarvam sa deva asura mānuṣam) including the devas and asuras.

At that point of time there was no trace of Vishnu anywhere nearby and it was Shiva whom the as yet unkilled devas approached crying for protection. Again, see Vaalmeeki :—

अथ देवा महादेवम् शंकरम् शरणार्थ्तिनः |
जग्मुः पशुपतिम् रुद्रम् त्राहि त्राहि इति तुष्टुवुः || १-४५-२१

atha devā mahādevam śaṃkaram śaraṇārthtinaḥ |
jagmuḥ paśupatim rudram trāhi trāhi iti tuṣṭuvuḥ || 1-45-21


The gods seeking shelter then approached Rudra, the Cardinal God, Endower of Solace, and who husbands all the created animals inclusive of human-animals, namely Shiva, and they prayed to him saying 'save, save us.

एवम् उक्तः ततो देवैः देवेश्वरः प्रभुः |
प्रादुर् आसीत् ततो अत्र एव शंख चक्र धरो हरिः || १-४५-२२

evam uktaḥ tato devaiḥ deveśvaraḥ prabhuḥ |
prādur āsīt tato atra eva śaṃkha cakra dharo hariḥ || 1-45-22


This way while the gods are praying the Lord and God of Gods, namely Shiva, then handling his disc and conch-shell Vishnu has also revealed himself at that place. [1-45-22]

उवाच एनम् स्मितम् कृत्वा रुद्रम् शूलधरम् हरिः |
दैवतैः मध्यमानो तु तत् पूर्वम् समुपस्थितम् || १-४५-२३
तत् त्वदीयम् सुरश्रेष्ठः सुराणाम् अग्रतो हि यत् |
अग्र पूजामि इह स्थित्वा गृहाण इदम् विषम् प्रभो || १-४५-२४

uvāca enam smitam kṛtvā rudram śūladharam hariḥ |
daivataiḥ madhyamāno tu tat pūrvam samupasthitam || 1-45-23
tat tvadīyam suraśreṣṭhaḥ surāṇām agrato hi yat |
agra pūjāmi iha sthitvā gṛhāṇa idam viṣam prabho || 1-45-24


And Vishnu smilingly spoke to wielder of trident Rudra, 'oh, god the best, whatever element that has emerged from the churning of Milk Ocean by gods, that shall belong to you, isn't it. By virtue of your position as the foremost god among gods, oh, omnicompetent god Shiva, you please accept this poison applying yourself to that position of foremost god, and deeming this poison, haalahala, as a foremost oblation to your godhood. [1-45-23, 24]

(Valmiki Ramayana - Baala Kanda - Sarga 45 )

See also how vishnu cunningly interferes between the devas and shiva and sort of "needles" shiva to drink the poison. Who then will you, with all your notions of dharma and adharma, vote for as the one who saved the entire jagat from being destroyed, shiva who readily had the courage and broadmindedness to save the universe by drinking the poison, or the sly, cunning vishnu who himself is afraid of drinking the poison but plays a sort of trick in order that the impossible job does not come to him but goes to shiva? If I were still an ardent believer in the gods and all, I will not touch vishnu, the schemer, and undependable, even by a barge pole but will opt to be a devotee of shiva, the trustworthy.
 

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
Mr. Sangom sir,
The more detail you throw on the subject, these characters become less likable. I would rather revert back to Advaita philosophy. LOL

I agree with Ms. Renuka's statement.
Discussing things based on principles is more Advaitic and gives us less guilt of trying to describe and define God.
 
OP
OP
sravna

sravna

Well-known member
Dear Shri Sangom and Dear Renuka,

In order to understand brahman I think most of us need to understand the lesser realities. That I think is the whole idea of the physical world. Just like you cannot start your education with a Ph.D. Or we need to be like such blessed souls as Adi Sankara or Ramanuja that we grasp the reality all at once. I would endeavor to make sense of the basics first than mixing up all levels of knowledge and getting confused or misled.

Advaita is my guiding philosophy no doubt but it doesn't make it taboo for me to do any sort of analysis at all. I think I am not wrong in saying that even Sankara did a great deal of analysis in his lifetime.
 
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prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
Dear Shri Sangom and Dear Renuka,

In order to understand brahman I think most of us need to understand the lesser realities. That I think is the whole idea of the physical world. Just like you cannot start your education with a Ph.D. Or we need to be like such blessed souls as Adi Sankara or Ramanuja that we grasp the reality all at once. I would endeavor to make sense of the basics first than mixing up all levels of knowledge and getting confused or misled.

Advaita is my guiding philosophy no doubt but it doesn't make it taboo for me to do any sort of analysis. I suspect even Sankara did a great deal of analysis during his lifetime.

I understand your POV.
When I was a child, it was fascinating that the Sun and moon all seemed to revolve around the earth, and not knowing any better we accepted that to be the truth. Parents too let you believe that as an easy way out of explaining the reality. But now knowing the facts, it is very difficult for me to go back to my childhood concept of "earth as center of universe". Similarly having accepted and being comfortable with Advaita philosophy, it is very difficult for me to go back to these "avatar" history and their pettiness.
Some can accept it I suppose. That is why when some zealots make those comments I ignore them, but when a person of your stature says it I would like to understand the reason. LOL
 
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sangom

Well-known member
Mr. Sangom sir,
The more detail you throw on the subject, these characters become less likable. I would rather revert back to Advaita philosophy. LOL

I agree with Ms. Renuka's statement.

Dear Shri Prasad,

I think people should realize how ill-informed they are about their religion, scriptures, etc., and that they are being like zombies before a set of vested interests who would like to keep their grip on people's minds tight so that these gullible zombies will pour in money to temples, mutts and pravachanakartas, Radha-kalyanam and so on.

If you ask me, even advaita is no different. Sankara failed to explain his concept clearly even to his direct disciples so that soon after his time the Bhaamati and Vivarana Schools came into being; still the question of maayaa is defeating these advaitin scholars. During the last century, Swami Sacchidanandendra Saraswathi of Holenarsipur has propounded what may be termed a new school of thought. While the advaitins seem to be groping for a suitable solution to the problem, the victor is visishtadvaita.
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
While the advaitins seem to be groping for a suitable solution to the problem, the victor is visishtadvaita.

Dear Sangom ji,


One may emerge a victor in a religious debate of the Advaita Vs Vishistadvaita kind but the person who ultimately wears the crown is a person who has faith.. who might not have even participated in the debate.
 

Visalakshi Ramani

Well-known member
Surrender and BECOME free!

Children are living examples for this.

They trust their parents (creators)
and are taken care of by their creators.

But grow ups and those have developed
their heads without developing their hearts,
would rather struggle and suffer in silence
than surrender unconditionally and smile.
 

sankara_sharmah

Active member
नायमात्मा प्रवचनेन लभ्यो
न मेधया न बहुना श्रुतेन।
यमेवैष वृणुते तेन लभ्य-
स्तस्यैष आत्मा विवृणुते तनूं स्वाम्‌॥ ३॥

nāyamātmā pravacanena labhyo
na medhayā na bahunā śrutena |
yamevaiṣa vṛṇute tena labhya-
stasyaiṣa ātmā vivṛṇute tanūṁ svām || 3||

You cannot have the knowledge of the Supreme Soul by
means of reasoning, erudition, or studying of the Vedas;
Only through causeless mercy does He reveal His own
person unto him whom He does accept as His own

--
Mundaka Upanishad 3.2.3
 

suraju06

Well-known member
Sangom in Shiva and Vishnu post #29:

Dear Sir,

I read your post and I am sad. It is as if I was reading what is presented in a third rate DK tabloid or as if I was listening to a street corner lecture of a DK paid speaker. What an arrogance. And what a scheming. Sir, you are guilty of the same scheming that you have accused one of the Godheads Vishnu of. I am not angry. So I am coolly dealing with the kind of views that you are putting up here. I do not believe that there exists many Gods. And so I am not writing this in support of one God (Vishnu) against another God (Shiva)-the wedge that my friend Prasad had already warned of. I am writing this to just show how hollow your arguments are. You are very knowledgeable and yet you have chosen to selectively misquote, misinterpret and trivialise passages from Valmiki Ramayana, all this because you are sold on your pet prejudices. Now my criticism:

But you forget that the whole scripture baggage itself is a bundle of fabrications from time to time. The same scriptures talk about samudra manthana, do they not? After the first 1000 years of churning, the serpent vaasuki could no longer bear the torture and vomited haalaahala, the all-destructive poison. Vaalmeeki describes it as follows :

उत्पपाताम् अग्नि संकाशम् हालाहल महाविषम् |
तेन दग्धम् जगत् सर्वम् स देव असुर मानुषम् || १-४५-२०

(utpapātām agni saṃkāśam hālāhala mahāviṣam |
tena dagdham jagat sarvam sa deva asura mānuṣam || 1-45-20)

This poison burnt down (dagdham), the entire universe (jagat sarvam sa deva asura mānuṣam) including the devas and asuras.

At that point of time there was no trace of Vishnu anywhere nearby and it was Shiva whom the as yet unkilled devas approached crying for protection.

Dear Sangom Sir,Where is the info given by you that “there was no trace of Vishnu anywhere nearby” in these lines given by you:

Again, see Vaalmeeki :—
अथ देवा महादेवम् शंकरम् शरणार्थ्तिनः |
जग्मुः पशुपतिम् रुद्रम् त्राहि त्राहि इति तुष्टुवुः || १-४५-२१

atha devā mahādevam śaṃkaram śaraṇārthtinaḥ |
jagmuḥ paśupatim rudram trāhi trāhi iti tuṣṭuvuḥ || 1-45-21

The gods seeking shelter then approached Rudra, the Cardinal God, Endower of Solace, and who husbands all the created animals inclusive of human-animals, namely Shiva, and they prayed to him saying 'save, save us.


Again you are off the mark sir. Pasupathi here means protector of embodied spirits and not animals. The word pasu signifies an imagery in which the spirits are indicated as they are held in bondage inside the body. I am sure you know translation of Sanskrit slokas is not done just like ஆனைக்கு அர்ரம் என்றால் குதிரைக்கு குர்ரம். I checked up many translations of Valmiki Ramayan and did not find a single instance where pasupathi in this context interpreted as one who husbands ‘animals inclusive of human-animals’. Okay. Will you please let me know what is a human- animal? We all know humans and animals but about human-animals we have absolutely no idea. May be the western scholars on whom you depend for sourcing knowledge know about such animals.



एवम् उक्तः ततो देवैः देवेश्वरः प्रभुः |
प्रादुर् आसीत् ततो अत्र एव शंख चक्र धरो हरिः || १-४५-२२
evam uktaḥ tato devaiḥ deveśvaraḥ prabhuḥ |
prādur āsīt tato atra eva śaṃkha cakra dharo hariḥ || 1-45-22

This way while the gods are praying the Lord and God of Gods, namely Shiva, then handling his disc and conch-shell Vishnu has also revealed himself at that place. [1-45-22]

If he revealed himself at that place where was he? Far away from there? If so where is the sloka saying that he was far away? In your overanxiety to cover vishnu in a villain’s attire you have gone overboard sir.

And you proceed further to commit more and more of this in your soliloquy. Please read this:

See also how vishnu cunningly interferes between the devas and shiva and sort of "needles" shiva to drink the poison. Who then will you, with all your notions of dharma and adharma, vote for as the one who saved the entire jagat from being destroyed, shiva who readily had the courage and broadmindedness to save the universe by drinking the poison, or the sly, cunning vishnu who himself is afraid of drinking the poison but plays a sort of trick in order that the impossible job does not come to him but goes to shiva? If I were still an ardent believer in the gods and all, I will not touch vishnu, the schemer, and undependable, even by a barge pole but will opt to be a devotee of shiva, the trustworthy.

You conveniently left out the very next few lines in Valmiki Ramayana (1-45-27 to 30) which speaks about how they proceeded further with the churning of the ocean when the Mandara sank into the ocean and when they prayed to Vishnu how he took an avatar and jacked up the mandara. Does this not satisfy your requirements of broadmindedness, not shirking an impossible job, not being sly and cunning etc.? Or would you still not touch Vishnu with a barge pole? And can you tell where was Shiva when mandara sank? As long as you speak about there being no multiple Gods I am with you but when you move into the territory of atheism and start driving a wedge as one of the methods to argue your case I become critical of your views. I respect your knowledge, the keen eye for details and the effort you make at your age.

Cheers.
 
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