A Brief proof of Taaratamya as given in RgbhAShya

A log of postings on a section from RgBhashya. I hope to clean it up some day. Sorry for the trouble till then.

Original urls:
http://www.dvaita.info/pipermail/dvaita-list_dvaita.info/2004-October/000155.html
http://www.dvaita.info/pipermail/dvaita-list_dvaita.info/2004-October/000161.html
http://www.dvaita.info/pipermail/dvaita-list_dvaita.info/2004-November/000177.html
http://www.dvaita.info/pipermail/dvaita-list_dvaita.info/2004-November/000196.html
http://www.dvaita.info/pipermail/dvaita-list_dvaita.info/2005-February/000360.html
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http://www.dvaita.info/pipermail/dvaita-list_dvaita.info/2005-July/000912.html


Thu Oct 21 12:20:18 PDT 2004

shrI gurubhyonamaH hariH OM
shrImadAnandatIrthabhagavatpAdAchAryagurubhyonamaH hariH OM
shrI hanumabhImamadhvAntargatarAmakR^iShNavedavyAsAtmaka
shrIlaxmIhayagrIvAyanamaH |

Greetings to all on the occasion of durgAShTami.

Taratamya (a hierarchy of gradation) is a key tenet of mAdhva
philosophy. Srimad Acharya expounds the concept and its details in
many of his works such as the R^igbhAShya, the commentaries on the
Aiteraya, Taittariya, Brihadaranyaka, Shatprashna, kena, kaTha
Upanishads.

I shall present a series to briefly outline the pramANAs for the
tAratamya. Needless to say, the material comes from Srimad Acharya's
works, aided by the TIkA of Sri Jayatirtha, which is in turn explained
further by the TippaNis referred in the footnotes.

---

Srimad Acharya starts the Rgbhashya with the following invocatory verse:

  nArAyaNaM nikhilapUrNaguNArNamuchcha-
  sUryAmitadyutiM asheShanirastadoSham.h |
  sarveshvaraM gurumajeshanutaM praNamya
  vaxyAmyR^igarthamatituShTikaraM tadasya ||

I bow to the Lord Narayana, who is an ocean of all auspicious
attributes, each infinite in itself, whose effulgence exceeds that of
countless exalted suns, who is free from all blemishes, the Lord of
all, my own teacher, who is saluted by Brahma, Rudra and others. And
then I proceed to interpret the Rks, (for) it is exceedingly pleasing
to Him.

Soon after the explanation on the first Rk, Srimad Acharya gives high
level information on the Rishis of different vedas, the abhimAna
devatAs for different Chandas and the devatAs related to the mantras.
He says that this information is obtained from the nirukta given by
Sri Vedavyaasa. The section after this is devoted to establishing the
tAratamya from the Vedic sources.

Srimad Acharya mentions the importance of knowledge of tAratamya by
quoting the Paingishruti:

  "devatAtAratamyaM cha sarvotkR^iShTaM cha keshavam.h |
  j~nAtvaiva muchyate hyasmAnnAnyathAtu kathaJNchana" ||

  iti paiN^gIshrutishchAha dR^ishyate.atra cha sarvashaH |
  
Only after knowing the devatAtAratamya and its culmination in the
exalted supremacy of Keshava does one get liberated from this samsAra
and not otherwise.

Sri Jayatirtha explains the word 'atra' in the above verse thus:

  "atra cha" asyAmapi shAkhAyAM |  sarvashaH viShNoH sarvottamatvAdikaM
  dR^ishyate |  "atra" iti prAchuryAbhiprAyam.h |  yadvA "atra cha"
  'prasiddhAsvapi shrutiShu' ityarthaH |

The word 'atra' means 'in this shAkhA' (i.e., the Rgveda, which is
being commented upon). In this very veda, the Supremacy of Vishnu
above everyone else is seen. Or the word 'atra' refers to these
shrutis, whose meanings are very clear [1].

Having said that Srimad AchArya says that all vedas and Riks extol
Vishnu only. He quotes the 'indraM mitraM varuNaM' (RV 1.164.46) as a
proof that all names of devatAs finally denote Vishnu's qualities
only. This verse is generally taken to mean identity of all gods. That
is treated in his Aiteraya Upanishad Bhashya; and is anyway rebuffed
by the fact of differences amongst the Gods, as we shall see below.

Vishnu's unparalleled Supremacy
-------------------------------

Srimad AchArya first establishes that high qualities that should be
possessed by the Supreme Lord are predicated of Vishnu:

  'na te mahitvaM' ityAdinaishvarAneva kevalAn.h |
  guNAnviShNoH shrutirhyAya naiva doShAnkathaJNchana ||

The Rk in consideration is 'paro mAtrayA tanvAvR^idhAna na te mahitvaM
anvashnuvanti'(RV 7.99.1). that this verse predicates the quality of
Supremacy, only of Vishnu. The TIkA is explained further in the
vivR^itti thus:

  he tanvA svadehenaiva, vR^idhAna vardhiShNo tAchChIlyArthechAnash.h
|  he viShNo, tvaM, mAtrayA mAtrAyA miteH paro.asi aparichChinno.asi |
 ataH te tava mahitvaM sarvottamatvAdimAhAtmyaM ke.api nAnvashnuvanti
naprApnuvanti |

"O Vishnu, you have pervaded everything by your own form. O Vishnu,
you are not limited and infinite. Therefore your greatness is not
reachable by anybody else".

This mahimA is neither upset by anybody in future nor was obtained by
any devatA in the past: na te viShNo jAyamAno na jAto deva mahimnaH
paramantamApa.

Sri Jayatirtha continues:
  
   doShAnstu kApi shrutirtasya na vakti |  
   ato.ananyasAdhAraNAtyuttamAnantaguNavattvAt.h
   nirdoShatvAchcha tasya sarvottamatvaM j~nAyate |

No Shruti ascribes any flaws to Vishnu. Therefore, on the account of
possessing this uncommon attribute of infinite qualities and
flawlessness, Vishnu's Supremacy is established.

Vishnu's Supremacy over Brahma
------------------------------

Anticipating the objection that this could be true of brahma, rudra
and others, Srimad AchArya continues:

  'jAtAparibabhUva' iti maryAdAM brahmaNo.api hi |
  'naivareme' 'abibhed 'brahmA nAsId.h' ityAdikAnapi |

Sri Jayatirtha explains:

  "prajApate na tvadetAnyanyo vishvA jAtAni paritAbabhUva" (RV 10.121.10) | 
  'he prajApate bhavAn.h jAtAni utpattimanti |  vishvAni sarvavastUni | 
  paribhUtavAn.h, tatsvAmitvena vartate [2] | tvadanyastu na pari tA babhUva'
  iti shrutiH brahmaNo.apyaishvaryasya maryAdAmAha |
 
By this verse, "O Prajapati, all these objects (worlds) have been
created by you. You are the overlord of them all. There is no other
lord but you", the shruti sets a limit to the majesty of Brahma.

Sri Jayatirtha points out that, by adding the qualification 'jAta'
(created), the shruti restricts Brahma's Lordship only to the created
world and not to uncreated things [3]. Also, by 'sa vai naiva reme'
(Brihadaranyaka 1.4.3: He indeed did not enjoy), 'so.abibhet.h'
(Brihadaranyaka 1.4.2: He was frightened) and 'eko nArayaNa AsInna
brahmA' (mahA Upanishad 1.1: Only Narayana existed before creation.
Neither did Brahma nor did Ishana), the Shruti declares Brahma as
subject to flaws such as pain, fear and being subject to birth).

Therefore, Brahma is not equal to Vishnu.

Vishnu's Supremacy over Rudra
-----------------------------
Srimad AchArya continues:

  doShAnrudre cha tAneva 'na minanti' iti pUrvakAn.h |
  'yaM kAmaye taM tamugraM' 'rudrAya dhanuH' ityapi |
  'asya devasya' 'mA shishnadevA api gur.h' ityapi |
  'ghnaJNChishnadevAn.h' ityAdyA doShA bahava IritAH |
 
Sri Jayatirtha explains the first quoted shruti :

  'na yasyendrovaruNo na mitro vratamaryamA na minanti rudraH | 
  nArAtayastamidaM svastihuvedaM savitAraM namobhiH' (RV 2.38.9)
 
This shruti says that none of Indra, Varuna, Mitra (one of the
AdityAs), Sun, Rudra and the daityAs understand all actions [4] of
Vishnu [5]. Thereby, the shruti indicates a flaw (of ignorance) in
Rudra.
 
The second shruti (RV 10.125.5):
  
   yaM kAmaye taM tamugraM kR^iNomi tambrahmANaM
   taM R^iShiM taM sumedhAm.h |
  
describes Lakshmi's prowess to make whomsoever she wishes, as Rudra,
or Brahma or a sage or a wise man[6]. In the process, it shows Rudra
being under the control of Lakshmi. Being under somebody's control is
a flaw. The subsequent 'ahaM rudrAya dhanurAtanomi' also indicates his
being graced by Lakshmi.

More flaws in Rudra are indicated by the following shrutis:
The shruti (RV 7.40.5):
  
  asya devasya mILhuSho vayA viShNoreShasya prabhR^ithe havirbhiH |
  vide hi rudro rudriyaM mahitvaM yAsiShThaM vartirashvinAvirAvat.h ||
 
refers to Rudra obtaining his greatness after worshipping Vishnu[7].
 
The shruti (RV 7.21.5): "shishnadevA api gur.h R^itaM naH" says that
the Rudra does not know Vishnu well [8].

The shruti (RV 10.99.3): "ghnaJNChishnadevAn abhivarpasA bhUt.h"
refers to the Rudra being slain by the strength of Vishnu.

On the account of above flaws and Rudra being subservient to Vishnu,
he is not equal to Vishnu.

--
To be continued.

shrI madhveshakR^iShNArpaNam,
KK

[1] This interpretation of 'prasiddha' as 'that with an unambiguous
meaning'comes from Sri Chalari Narasimhacharya's TIkAvivR^itti:
"prasiddhAsu" spaShTArthAsu ityarthaH | This interpretation makes
sense from the fact that the quoted shrutis do serve the intended
purpose unambiguously.

[2] shrI shrInivAsatIrtha's padArthaprakAshikA explains: 'vishvA
jAtAni pari tA babhUva' ityatra 'pari babhUva tA asya' iti
padachChedaH |  atra 'tA' ityasya 'tAni' iti spaShTatvAnna
vyAkhyAtam.h |  'sarvavastUni paribabhUva' ityasyArthaH
'paribhUtavAn.h', 'vashIkR^itavAn.h' ityarthaH |

[3] padArthaprakAshikA says 'ajAtavishva' refers to muktAs and
entities like avyAkR^itAkAsha.

[4] The word 'vrataM' has been translated as 'karma' on the following
authority: vaShTivrataMkarvarankaruNaM. Also see yaskanirukta
(2.4.14): "vrataM iti karmanAma vR^iNotIti sataH".

[5] Though the devatA of the quoted Rk is savitA, by the fact of the
verse denying knowledge of sun regarding the actions of savitA, the
referrent of 'savitA' in this verse must be different from sun.

[6] This verse is treated in more detail in tattva-prakAshikA of Sri
Jayatirtha. He rebuffs contentions such as 'ugra' referring to some
other rudra and not prasiddha-rudra.

[7] Sri Vadiraja gives a detailed explanation of this verse in his
bhAva-prakAshikA, a commentary on the MBTN of Srimad AchArya.

[8] From Chalari Acharya's vivR^itti: shishnadevAH shishnAbhimAnino
rudrAH api. The presiding deities over the generative organ, i.e.,
Rudras. The plural is to indicate their number. R^itaM j~nAnAtmakaM
viShNuM 'mA guH' na j~nAtavantaH. They do not know our Lord, who is
the nature of knowledge: Vishnu. He gives grammatical justification
for interpreting the verb 'guH' as 'do not know'. The plural in
'shishnadevAH' is explained as 'gurutvAd bahuvachanaM'.

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---
KK 
Fri Oct 22 12:18:39 PDT 2004

shrI gurubhyonamaH hariH OM
shrImadAnandatIrthabhagavatpAdAchAryagurubhyonamaH hariH OM
shrI hanumabhImamadhvAntargatarAmakR^iShNavedavyAsAtmaka
shrIlaxmIhayagrIvAyanamaH |

Greetings to all on the occasion of vijaya dashami.

Previous post: http://dvaita.info/pipermail/dvaita-list_dvaita.info/2004-October/000155.html

Now, Srimad Acharya proceeds to show the position of other deities in
the tAratamya.

Lakshmi's position
------------------

  'tato vitiShThe' yoniH sa etAvatyahamapi |
  anyAshrayatvaM devyAshcha kathitaM bahusho.api hi |
  tadAshrayatvaM anyeShAmapi tatraiva nishchayAt.h |

Referring to mantras subsequent to that (RV 10.125.5) quoted earlier:    

  "ahaM suve pitaramasya mUrdhanmama yonirapsvantaHsamudre
  tato vi tiShThe bhuvanAnu vishvotAmUMdyAM varShmaNopaspR^ishAmi" ||

  "paro divA para enA pRthivyaitAvatI mahinA saMbabhUva"

Sri Jayatirtha explains: In the above verses, Lakshmi's[1] dependence
on Vishnu is much emphasized. Therefore, she is also not equal to the
Lord. The verse is interpreted to mean "Since my powers such as the
capability to create Brahma and Rudra, are also manifested by His[2]
grace, He is my origin. And by the powers he bestows on me, I shall
control and pervade everything in this world.

The above sUkta is important because it brings Vishnu, Lakshmi,
Brahma, Rudra and other devatas in one frame and gives the order of
their superiority: Vishnu is superior to Lakshmi on the account of
being the source of her prowess. Lakshmi is superior to Brahma and
Rudra due to her being in a position to choose the souls that become
Brahma and Rudra. Other statements such as 'I am the supporter of
Mitra, Varuna, Indra, Agni, Ashvini Devatas' demonstrate her
superiority to all devataas.

Brahma's Superiority over others
-------------------------------
Srimad Acharya continues:

  'brahmaivAgra' iti hyuktvA rudrAdInAM tato janiH |
  uktA 'jAtAni vishvAni saparyabhavad.h' ityapi |
  'yasya chChAyAmR^itaM mR^ityuH' iti chAdarato.abravIt.h |

The TIkA explains: The hiraNyagarbha sUkta (RV 10.121.1):

  "hiraNyagarbhaH samavartatAgre"

mentions the fact of Brahma[3] being born first, and from 'prashiShaM
yasyadevAH' (RV 10.121.2), the birth of rest of Gods like Rudra is
mentioned.

The last line in that sUkta i.e., 'vishvA jAtAni pari tAbabhUva' (RV
10.121.10) declares Brahma to be the Lord of all created entities,
which includes Rudra and others.

The line 'yasya ChAyAmR^itaM yasya mR^ityuH' (10.121.2) declares the
rulers and destroyers of this world i.e., Indra (and other Gods) and
Rudra to be Brahma's 'ChAyA' i.e. pratibimba. [4]

By this, Brahma's superiority over all except Lakshmi and Vishnu is established.

---
To be continued. Next, pramANas for Sri Vayu's superiority over Rudra,
Indra and others will be given.

shrI madhveshakR^iShNArpaNam,
KK

[1] The seer of sUkta is vAgambhraNi. ambhraNi is identified with
Lakshmi with support from Paingi shruti. This is quoted by Srimad
Acharya in his commentary on the 1st adhyAya of Brihadaranyaka
Upanishad:

  shrIbhUrdurgA.ambhraNI hrIshcha mahAlaxmIshcha daxiNA |
  sItA jayantI satyA cha rukmiNItyAdibheditA ||

Sayana considers 'ambhraNi' to be the daughter of a sage. But
considering the speaker's declaration of being capable of making
whomsoever she wishes as Brahma, Rudra etc, it is unlikely that she is
a simple mortal.

[2] Lakshmi declares the source of her powers to be resting on the
Ocean. And Vishnu is well known in the scriptures as resting on the
ocean. The etymological meaning of the word 'nArAyaNa' is one who
rests on the ocean. The relevant portions of this sUkta are treated in
greater detail in the tattva-prakAshikA of Sri Jayatirtha.

[3] The 'kasmai' is not used as a pronoun here. It refers to Brahma.
Refer to the etymology of word 'Keshava' from Harivamsha in the
kailAsayAtra episode:

  ka brahmeti samAkhyAta Isho.ahaM sarvadehiShu |
  AvaM tavAN^gasambhUtau tataH keshavanAmavAn.h ||

[4] TIkAvivR^itti: Indra (and other gods) is/are referred here as
'amR^itaM' because he does not suffer death in this brahmakalpa, for
having consumed amR^ita.

---
shrI gurubhyonamaH hariH OM
shrImadAnandatIrthabhagavatpAdAchAryagurubhyonamaH hariH OM
shrI hanumabhImamadhvAntargatarAmakR^iShNavedavyAsAtmaka
shrIlaxmIhayagrIvAyanamaH |

Previous post: http://dvaita.info/pipermail/dvaita-list_dvaita.info/2004-October/000161.html

Sri Kashi Timmannacharya has written a book called
'vAyu-paratva-samarthanaM', in which he has justified the recognition
of Mukhyaprana, among other things, as a separate deity, whom other
schools do not treat as a deity with separate identity. He takes up 11
points in all and finally proves the supremacy of Vayu over other
deities. His anticipation of the objections is excellent. In nearly
every other place, he explains why the entity under consideration
cannot be the jaDa vAyu, or the abhimAni devatA for the same. He also
considers other interpretations such as prANa being another name of
hiraNyagarbha, or prANa referring only to the paramAtmA and refutes
them. He also justifies the recognition of bhAratI devi (the wife of
Prana, generally referred as vAk or rayi). Here's some information
from the book:

1. The Brihadaranyaka (1.3.3) refers to prANa, the controller of nose,
being subdued by asurAs, while in the same episode (1.3.7), the
'Asanya prANa' is invincible to the asurAs. The Chandogya Upanishad,
in the Udgithopasana section (1.2), differentiates mukhyaprANa, who
cannot be subdued by the asuras from the nAsikaprANa, who is subdued
by the asuras.

2. The creation of abhimAnidevatAs of prANa-tattva is treated
separately from that of the vAyu-tattva. The ShaTprashna Upanishad
(6.3) -- sa prANamasR^ijata |  prANAchChraddhAM khaM vAyurjyotirApaH
pR^ithivIndriyaM manaH -- differentiates prANa from vAyu. This verse
refers not to the insentient panchabhUtas, instead their
abhimAnidevatAs. The same Upanishad (2.10) -- vrAtyastvaM
prANaikaR^iShirattA vishvasya satpatiH |  vayamadyasya dAtAraH pitA
tvaM mAtarishvanaH -- holds prANa to be the creator of mAtarishvan[1].

3. Similarly, while the Brihadaranyaka (1.5.22) holds that Vayu never
suffers dimunition of knowledge, the Kena Upanishad narrates Vayu
being subject to ignorance (of the Yaksha's original rUpa).

Thus, Vayu, who is not subject to ignorance, the affliction from
asuras, who is also called Mukhyaprana, who is different from the
pravAhavAyu must be admitted. Both seem to have some role in the
function of breathing, but the main deity is mukhyaprANa.

--
Now, Srimad Acharya proceeds to show the position of Vayu with respect
to other deities.

Position of Vayu over Rudra and others.

  anantAdavareshAnA tasyAH prANastatashcha vAk.h |
  tasyA rudra umA tasmAdindrastasyAstato.apare |
  sauparNashrutirityAha 'saptAxitaya' ityapi |
  'vAyurasmA upAmanthad' 'vishvadeyAya vAyave' |
  'vishvairdevaiH sa' ityAdyAH pramA atrAparA api |

Lakshmi [2] is quite inferior to the infinite Vishnu; Prana is
inferior to Lakshmi and inferior to him are Saraswati and Bharati.
Then come Rudra and Parvati. Indra and others are inferior to Uma.
Thus is said in sauparNashruti. This proves Vayu's inferiority to
Vishnu. The superiority of Vayu/Prana over Rudra can be seen from the
following shrutis also:

1. Brihadaranayaka 2.2.3 (shishu brAhmaNaM).

  tametAH saptAxitaya upatiShThante tadyA imA akshamllohinyo
  rAjayastAbhirenaM rudro.anvAyattaH |

The 'taM' refers to vAyu, who is mentioned as 'madhyama prANa' in the
preceeding section.

TIkA:

  tamaxaNi sthitaM vAyuM etA vaxyamANA axitayo.axINaguNAH
  saptadevatA upatiShThante sevante |  tattatra yA imA axannaxiNi
  lohinyo lohitA rAjayo rekhAstAbhistadadhiShThAnenainaM vAyuM
  rudro.anvAyattaH tadadhIno vartate |

That Vayu, who is situated in the (right) eye is worshipped by these
seven gods of imperishable qualities: Rudra, Parjanya, Aditya, Agni,
Indra, the presiding deity of earth and that of the heavens. [3]

2. RV 10.136.7:

  vAyurasmA upAmanthatpinaShTi smA kunannamA |
  keshIviShasya pAtreNa yadrudreNApibatsaha ||

Vayu, who pushes down the evil-minded, who has an exalted presence of
the blissful nArAyaNa in him [4] drank the poison along with Rudra,
for whom (whose consumption), he squeezed and reduced the potency of
the poison.

3. RV 1.142.12 pUShaNvate marutvate vishvadevAya vAyave (svAhA)

>From Chalari Narasimhacharya's TIkAvivR^itti: To that Vayu, Who has
Pushan as his attendant, who has ahamkArika prANa and other maruts as
his attendants, who is the Lord of all gods (rudra and others), this
oblation is offered.

4. The TIkA-vivR^itti explains that 'vishvairdevaiH sa' refers to the
shruti: vishvairdevaiH pitR^ibhirguptamannaM. Here 'anna' refers to
mukhyaprANa, for he is the abhimAni-devatA for anna. This 'anna' is
hidden from asuras (i.e, they do not know him) by Rudra and others.

Srimad Acharya says that there are more shrutis in addition to those
mentioned above, that extol Vayu's superiority over Rudra.

---

Next on Vayu's superiority over Indra.

shrI madhveshakR^iShNArpaNam,
KK

1. Here, Sri Kashi Timmannacharya quips: 'chaitro maitrasya pitA'
itivad.h 'ghaTasya pitA' iti vyavahArAbhAvAt.h |

2. From Shri Shrinivasatirtha's padArthaprakAshikA: 'IshAnA' in the
shruti refers to Lakshmi and not to Parvati; as she is anyway named
later as Uma.

3. Paraphrased from S.C.Vasu's translation: These seven imperishables
worship him (who is the Vayu in the eye). Rudra worships him through
the red arteries (of the retina); Parjanya by the waters (aqueous and
vitreous humours) of the eye; Aditya through the pupil of the eye;
Agni through the black iris; Indra through the white (part of the eye
or cornea); the earth by the lower eye-lashes; the heaven by the upper
eye-lashes. His food is never exhausted who knows this.

Srimad Acharya also shows how these deities are later referred by the
names of Gautama, Bharadvaja etc. Rudra is called 'gautama' because he
is all knowing (gauH = knowledge).

4. Sri Vadiraja gives the meaning of keshi in his bhAvaprakAshika on
MBTN 10.15: keshI prashastakeshavAn.h sukhanArAyaNAkhyeshavAmshcha.
The English translation is given in
http://www.dvaita.org/list/list_50/msg00033.html .
---

Taratamya

KK 
Mon Nov 22 10:26:09 PST 2004
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shrI gurubhyonamaH hariH OM
shrImadAnandatIrthabhagavatpAdAchAryagurubhyonamaH hariH OM
shrI hanumabhImamadhvAntargatarAmakR^iShNavedavyAsAtmaka
shrIlaxmIhayagrIvAyanamaH |

Previous post: http://www.dvaita.info/pipermail/dvaita-list_dvaita.info/2004-November/000177.html

Vayu's superiority over Indra
------------------------------

The TIkA says that the following section is meant to dispel the
general notion that Vayu is inferior to Indra on the account of his
being a part of 'indra parivAra'[1].

  'nArAyaNo.aditirvAyurvANI rudra umA vibhuH |
  itarecha kramAddhInAH shatAmshAd vAyuto.avarAH' |
  iti barkashrutishchAha shakrAt.h 'saptaxiti' shrutiH |
  'ayaM ta emi tanvA' iti pUrvA anyA api sphuTam.h |
  vAyorAdhikyamapyAhuH 'indraM somaM hutAshanam.h |
  sUryaM rudramimAnpaJNchadevAneko mahAtmanaH |
  sR^ijatyatimahAnprANa' iti chAha turashrutiH |

1. The Barkashruti says: Lord Narayana, Lakshmi [2], Vayu, Saraswati,
Rudra, Uma, Indra and others have qualities in decreasing order.
Saraswati is inferior to Vayu by a hundred times. Rudra is inferior to
Saraswati by another 100 times. [3]

The TIkA explains the significance of the phrase:
'shatAmshAdvAyuto.avarA' ityanena vAyvAderlaxmyAdito adhikAvaratvaM
sUchayati |

The phrase 'shatAmshAdvAyuto.avarA' signifies Lakshmi being many times
(not just by 100 degrees) superior to Vayu.

The sub-commentators explain: Since the line could have been completed
with just 'itare cha kramAddhInAH' and since the phrase
'shatAmshAdvAyuto.avarA' is in apposition to the above line, it
indicates a special feature in the tAratamya; that of the difference
between Lakshmi and Vayu being of much higher order [4].

Srimad Acharya says that the superiority of Vayu over Indra can be
seen in the following shrutis also:

2. Brihadaranayaka 2.2.3 (shishu brAhmaNaM).

  tametAH saptAxitaya upatiShThante tadyA imA akshamllohinyo
  rAjayastAbhirenaM rudro.anvAyattaH | ....yachChuklaM tenendraH |
 
This verse, covered in the previous posting in the series, refers to
Indra worshipping Vayu through the white part of the eye.

3. R.V. 8.100.1

  ayaM ta emi tanvA purastAdvishve devA abhi mA yanti pashchAt.h |
  yadA mahyaM dIdharo bhAgamindrAdinmayA kR^iNavo vIryANi ||

TIkA: kasyAmchidyuddhavelAyAmindraM prativAyorvachanam.h |  he indrAya
ahaM tanvA AyudhAdinirapexeNa sharIreNa 'te purastAd emi' yuddhabhUmiM
pravexyAmi |  tvadAdayaH sarvedevAH mAM pashchAnmadantaramabhiyantu |
tvaM tu yadAyasmAnmayA matpreraNaiva mahyaM bhAgaM dIdharo
maduddeshena yaj~nabhAgamadhArayaH |  mAM pUjaya iti yAvat.h |

These are the words of vAyu addressed to Indra at a battle: "O Indra,
I shall enter the war-field unshielded (i.e. with bare body: tanvA). You and other devatas follow me.
On the other hand, instigated by me, you shall worship me in the
Yajnas. Let us demonstrate our prowess".

All sub-commentators point out that the anukramaNikA wrongly holds
that the Indra praises himself in the above mantra [5]. The verb
'kR^iNava' is in dual number, and this is not logical in case of
speaker being same as Indra, who is being addressed.

4. The Turashruti too states: The five great gods -- Indra, Chandra,
Agni, Surya and Rudra -- are all created by the even greater Prana.

--
Next: Vishnu's Supremacy over Indra.

shrI madhveshakR^iShNArpaNam,
KK

1. shrI shrInivAsatIrtha writes: indraparivArtvaM koNAdhipatvena iti
j~nAtavyaM. "Being a part of indra parivara" refers to Vayu's
rulership over the north-western direction. He also clarifies later:
indraparivArabhUto vAyustu pravaha eva na mukhya iti bhAvaH | This
rulership is not of Mukhyaprana, but of pravAha vAyu.

2. Aditi is translated as Lakshmi. Vibhu is translated as Indra (as
both words signify the possession of aishvarya: TIkAvivR^itti of
Chalari Acharya).

3. shrI shrInivAsa tIrtha's padArthaprakAshikA: Lakshmi is a ten
million times superior to Vayu and Vishnu is infinitely superior to
Lakshmi.

He also says the following: tatra vANI vAyutaH shatAmshonA |  shivasya
shatAmshonatA |  itare cha dashArdhAdyamshataH uktarItyA kramAddhInA
iti dhyeyam.h | What does the last line mean? I understand that while
the difference between Saraswati and Rudra is in the order of 100s,
that of others below Rudra are less inferior to him. But what does
'dashArdhAdyamshataH' (by an order of 5) mean?

4. In other words, the phrase names vAyu and states that those
inferior to him are so by an order of 100. This phrase being in
apposition to an otherwise complete sentence, it also indirectly
indicates that the differences between those above Vayu and him are of
much higher order.

5. kAtyAyana's sarvAnukramaNikA on RV 8.100.1 : 'ayaM' iti dvR^ichena
indra AtmAnaM astaut.h |
------------

Taratamya

KK 
Mon Nov 22 10:26:09 PST 2004
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shrI gurubhyonamaH hariH OM
shrImadAnandatIrthabhagavatpAdAchAryagurubhyonamaH hariH OM
shrI hanumabhImamadhvAntargatarAmakR^iShNavedavyAsAtmaka
shrIlaxmIhayagrIvAyanamaH |

Previous post: http://www.dvaita.info/pipermail/dvaita-list_dvaita.info/2004-November/000177.html

Vayu's superiority over Indra
------------------------------

The TIkA says that the following section is meant to dispel the
general notion that Vayu is inferior to Indra on the account of his
being a part of 'indra parivAra'[1].

  'nArAyaNo.aditirvAyurvANI rudra umA vibhuH |
  itarecha kramAddhInAH shatAmshAd vAyuto.avarAH' |
  iti barkashrutishchAha shakrAt.h 'saptaxiti' shrutiH |
  'ayaM ta emi tanvA' iti pUrvA anyA api sphuTam.h |
  vAyorAdhikyamapyAhuH 'indraM somaM hutAshanam.h |
  sUryaM rudramimAnpaJNchadevAneko mahAtmanaH |
  sR^ijatyatimahAnprANa' iti chAha turashrutiH |

1. The Barkashruti says: Lord Narayana, Lakshmi [2], Vayu, Saraswati,
Rudra, Uma, Indra and others have qualities in decreasing order.
Saraswati is inferior to Vayu by a hundred times. Rudra is inferior to
Saraswati by another 100 times. [3]

The TIkA explains the significance of the phrase:
'shatAmshAdvAyuto.avarA' ityanena vAyvAderlaxmyAdito adhikAvaratvaM
sUchayati |

The phrase 'shatAmshAdvAyuto.avarA' signifies Lakshmi being many times
(not just by 100 degrees) superior to Vayu.

The sub-commentators explain: Since the line could have been completed
with just 'itare cha kramAddhInAH' and since the phrase
'shatAmshAdvAyuto.avarA' is in apposition to the above line, it
indicates a special feature in the tAratamya; that of the difference
between Lakshmi and Vayu being of much higher order [4].

Srimad Acharya says that the superiority of Vayu over Indra can be
seen in the following shrutis also:

2. Brihadaranayaka 2.2.3 (shishu brAhmaNaM).

  tametAH saptAxitaya upatiShThante tadyA imA akshamllohinyo
  rAjayastAbhirenaM rudro.anvAyattaH | ....yachChuklaM tenendraH |
 
This verse, covered in the previous posting in the series, refers to
Indra worshipping Vayu through the white part of the eye.

3. R.V. 8.100.1

  ayaM ta emi tanvA purastAdvishve devA abhi mA yanti pashchAt.h |
  yadA mahyaM dIdharo bhAgamindrAdinmayA kR^iNavo vIryANi ||

TIkA: kasyAmchidyuddhavelAyAmindraM prativAyorvachanam.h |  he indrAya
ahaM tanvA AyudhAdinirapexeNa sharIreNa 'te purastAd emi' yuddhabhUmiM
pravexyAmi |  tvadAdayaH sarvedevAH mAM pashchAnmadantaramabhiyantu |
tvaM tu yadAyasmAnmayA matpreraNaiva mahyaM bhAgaM dIdharo
maduddeshena yaj~nabhAgamadhArayaH |  mAM pUjaya iti yAvat.h |

These are the words of vAyu addressed to Indra at a battle: "O Indra,
I shall enter the war-field unarmed. You and other devatas follow me.
On the other hand, instigated by me, you shall worship me in the
Yajnas. Let us demonstrate our prowess".

All sub-commentators point out that the anukramaNikA wrongly holds
that the Indra praises himself in the above mantra [5]. The verb
'kR^iNava' is in dual number, and this is not logical in case of
speaker being same as Indra, who is being addressed.

4. The Turashruti too states: The five great gods -- Indra, Chandra,
Agni, Surya and Rudra -- are all created by the even greater Prana.

--
Next: Vishnu's Supremacy over Indra.

shrI madhveshakR^iShNArpaNam,
KK

1. shrI shrInivAsatIrtha writes: indraparivArtvaM koNAdhipatvena iti
j~nAtavyaM. "Being a part of indra parivara" refers to Vayu's
rulership over the north-western direction. He also clarifies later:
indraparivArabhUto vAyustu pravaha eva na mukhya iti bhAvaH | This
rulership is not of Mukhyaprana, but of pravAha vAyu.

2. Aditi is translated as Lakshmi. Vibhu is translated as Indra (as
both words signify the possession of aishvarya: TIkAvivR^itti of
Chalari Acharya).

3. shrI shrInivAsa tIrtha's padArthaprakAshikA: Lakshmi is a ten
million times superior to Vayu and Vishnu is infinitely superior to
Lakshmi.

He also says the following: tatra vANI vAyutaH shatAmshonA |  shivasya
shatAmshonatA |  itare cha dashArdhAdyamshataH uktarItyA kramAddhInA
iti dhyeyam.h | What does the last line mean? I understand that while
the difference between Saraswati and Rudra is in the order of 100s,
that of others below Rudra are less inferior to him. But what does
'dashArdhAdyamshataH' (by an order of 5) mean?

4. In other words, the phrase names vAyu and states that those
inferior to him are so by an order of 100. This phrase being in
apposition to an otherwise complete sentence, it also indirectly
indicates that the differences between those above Vayu and him are of
much higher order.

5. kAtyAyana's sarvAnukramaNikA on RV 8.100.1 : 'ayaM' iti dvR^ichena
indra AtmAnaM astaut.h |

--Taratamya

KK 
Sun Feb 6 10:07:01 PST 2005
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shrI gurubhyonamaH hariH OM
shrImadAnandatIrthabhagavatpAdAchAryagurubhyonamaH hariH OM
shrI hanumabhImamadhvAntargatarAmakR^iShNavedavyAsAtmaka
shrIlaxmIhayagrIvAyanamaH |

Apologies for the long delay in posting.
Previous post: http://dvaita.info/pipermail/dvaita-list_dvaita.info/2004-November/000196.html

After establishing mukhyavAyu's superiority over Indra, Srimad Acharya
proceeds to show pramANas for superiority of Vishnu over Indra. The
TIkAchArya says that this is to dispel the notion that Indra is
superior to Vishnu as the latter, in his upendra form, is an attendant
of Indra.

Vishnu's superiority over Indra
------------------------------

"vihisotorasR^ixata nendraM devamamsata" |
"nayasyendra" iti hyAya viShNorindrasya hInatAm.h |
"vedhA ajinvad.h" ityAdi vachanaM viShNunAmataH |
Anandashrutirapyasya jIvatAmeva darshayet.h |

1. R.V.10.86.1:

  vi hi sotorasR^ixata nendraM devamamaMsata |
  yatrAmadadvR^iShAkapiraryaH puShTeShu matsakhA vishvasmAdindrauttaraH ||

The deity of this verse is vR^iShAkapi Indra.

The Explanation from the TIkA:

yaj~neShu somasavanAyartvijo vyasR^ixata visR^iShTAH preritA abhUvan.h
| te chendraM dyotanAdiguNaiH paripUrNaM nAmamsata hi |
kIdR^igvidheShu yaj~neShu |  yatra puShTeShu puShTAnAM pUrNAnAmapi
aryaH svAmI matsakhA |  vR^iShAkapirviShnuH amadatsukhI samavartata
iti |

In such sacrifices where my friend [1] and the Lord [2], vR^iShAkapi
[3] (Lord Vishnu), who is full of virtues, who transcends the universe
and who is the Lord of Vayu [4], rejoices (amadad) fully, the Ritviks
offer the somA juice in the yajna in order to please Him. But they do
not comprehend, fully, His qualities of a deva such as effulgence etc.

In this verse, the word 'Indra' should be interpreted in yougikArtha
(a meaning that derives the etymological significance of the root) and
thus represents Vishnu, who is the primary referrent of the word, as
He possesses unlimited aishvarya.

Here, the Lordship of vR^iShAkapi over others including Indra is mentioned.

2. This shruti (RV.2.38.9) is quoted earlier (to show that even Rudra
does not fully understand the actions of Sri Vishnu):

  na yasyendrovaruNo na mitro vratamaryamA na minanti rudraH | 
  nArAtayastamidaM svastihuvedaM savitAraM namobhiH ||

This shruti says that Indra and others do not understand all actions of Vishnu.

The TIkAchArya says that both these shrutis do not unambiguously and
directly refer to Lord Vishnu. To cover this, the AchArya proceeds to
give other quotes:

3. RV 1.156.5:

  A yo vivAya sachathAya daivya indrAya viShNuH sukR^ite sukR^ittaraH |
  vedhA ajinvat triShadhastha AryaM R^itasya bhAge yajamAnamAbhajat.h ||
 
Indra, who does auspicious deeds, has Vishnu, who does exceedingly
auspicious acts, as his highest Lord (indrAya daivya). He (Vishnu) is
the sustainer and nourishes (these 3 worlds). He, who lives in the 3
places such as shvetadvIpa, in his vAmAna form protected the
ashvamedha yaj~na performed by his elder brother Indra and created
objects of pleasure for Indra, and secured a part of the yaj~naphala
for Indra.

4. The Acharya quotes the 'Ananda shruti' and says that it indicates
the fact of Indra being a jIva. The TIka quotes Taittariya Shruti
(brahmavalli, 21st verse): te ye shatamindrasyA.a.anandAH |  sa eko
bR^ihaspaterAnandaH |  Here, the jIvatva is because of the finiteness
of bliss (and by upalaxaNa, qualities such as strength, knowledge).

Acharya's commentary on the Taittariya shruti interprets 'indra' here
as referring to Daksha prajapati, the word 'bR^ihaspati' referring to
Purandara (indra) and the word, 'prajApati' as referring to Rudra.
Thus,(the TIkA says) this verse refers to Indra being inferior to
Rudra as well.

This shruti refers to the Ananda-tAratamya. Other commentaries on this
Upanishad (and Brihadaranyaka) do not consider this section to refer
to the hierarchy of bliss in mokSha, but a temporary state. Srimad
Acharya offers his excellent justification of his interpretation. I
will post it after this series from R^igbhAShya gets over.

The position of viShNu, vAyu (prANa) and indra are discussed in the
commentary on the Aiteraya Upanishad also, in the context of
Brihati-sahasra.

--
Next: Position of sUrya in the hierarchy.

[1] Sri Srinivasa tirtha says: matsakheti vedapuruShavachanam.h |
These are the words of vedapuruSha.

[2] aryaH is taken to mean svAmi.

[3] From Sri Chalari Narasimhacharya's vivR^iti: vR^itaShaDguNatvAd
vR^iShaH |  AkaM niravadhikaM sukhaM pibati iti AkapiH pibaterauNAdiko
DipratyayaH vR^iShashchAsAvAkapishcheti vigrahaM manasi nidhAyAha:
vR^iShAkapirviShNuriti |  The word 'vR^iSha' indicates being endowed
with the ShaDguNAs. The word 'Akapi' indicates one who enjoys
unsurpassable bliss. Thus, one who is both vR^iSha and Akapi is
vR^iShAkapi.

Obviously, I have missed the grammatical details from the TippaNi. In
fact, the TippaNis give so much information on the grammatical
formations at every line, that unless one is very conversant with
grammar, most of the TippaNi will be missed.

I wonder why so much grammatical information was given. Was it a part
of refutation of some unknown opponent or just a matter of educating
one's students (and mostly illiterate people like oneself)?

[4] Help needed: what here translates to 'Lordship over vAyu'? This is
given by both Narayana tantri and Tamraparni K.Narasimhan in their
Kannada and English translations respectively.

shrI madhveshakR^iShNArpaNam,
KK

--
shrI gurubhyonamaH hariH OM
shrImadAnandatIrthabhagavatpAdAchAryagurubhyonamaH hariH OM
shrI hanumabhImamadhvAntargatarAmakR^iShNavedavyAsAtmaka
shrIlaxmIhayagrIvAyanamaH |

Previous post: http://dvaita.info/pipermail/dvaita-list_dvaita.info/2005-February/000360.html

Position of sUrya in the hierarchy.
----------------------------------------

The TIkA says that this section refutes the position held by some,
that sUrya is the sarvottama, by demonstrating the Lordship of viShNu,
vAyu and indra over sUrya:

Aha sUryAdapIndrasya vAyorviShNorapIshatAm.h |
'yaH sUrya sa uShasaM' 'mriyante paJNchadevatAH' |
chaxuShA dyaushchAdityashcha 'chaxoH sUryo ajAyata' |
'yamAdityo na veda' iti pUrvA shrutirathAparA |

1. R.V. 2.12.7:   yaH sUryaM ya uShasaM jajAna yo apAM netA sa janAsa indraH |
 
This speaks of Indra being the progenitor of sUrya, uShasa and Varuna.

2. eSha ha vai brahma yo.ayaM pavate tametAH paJNchadevatAH
parimriyante vidyudvR^iShTishchandramA AdityoragniH |

That deity which flows i.e. Vayu who is the future Brahma, purifies
these deities by giving them knowledge and later destroys them --
Bharati (the abhimAni for vidyut), Indra (the abhimAni for rains),
Chandra, Suurya and agni.

3. The Purusha sUkta (RV 10.90.13): chaxoH sUryo.ajAyata

speaks of sUrya being born out of the Purusha i.e. Vishnu. That Vishnu
is the referrent of Purusha sukta is covered earlier (in part).

4. Brihadaranyaka 3.7.9 : ya Aditye tiShThannAdityAdantaro yamAdityo na veda

This speaks of Vishnu being situated in Surya, and controlling him.
The fact that shruti speaks of this Aditya not knowing his own
controller, rules out the possibility of this Aditya being the
insentient sUrya, but the sentient abhimAni devatA.

Thus, the above set of shrutis show the relative inferiority of Surya
with respect to Vishnu, Vayu and Indra.
----------

Thus, so far, Srimad Acharya has given shrutis to show how Vishnu is
the most superior, followed by Lakshmi, Brahma, Vayu, Saraswati /
Bharati, Rudra, Indra and Surya.

--

Next in the RgbhAshya:

... iti pUrvA shrutirathAparA |
'viShNorvAto ajaniShTavAtAdindrastato raviH |
somashcha iti layo.apyevaM pUrve pUrve guNAdhikaH' |
'viShNoH prANo ajaniShTa prANAdindro ravirvidhuH |
layo.apyetAdR^ishasteShAM pUrvaH pUrvo guNAdhikaH' |
turashrutishcha sauparNI piN^gashrutirapIdR^ishI ||

There are other shrutis also conveying the same meaning [1]:

The Turashruti talks of the following sequence of origination: Vayu
from Vishnu, Indra from Vayu, Surya and Chandra from Indra [2]. The
'laya' of these devatAs happens in the reverse manner, when they
'merge' (i.e. the destination of) with their respective superior
deity. [3]

The quoted Sauparna (or Suparna?) shruti also indicates the same
thing. So does the Paingi Shruti.

--

Next: Shrutis where some flaw is predicated of Vishnu.

shrI madhveshakR^iShNArpaNam,
KK

[1] Sri TIkAcharya identifies the respective shrutis. The mUla is not
clear on which line belongs to which of the tura, sauparNa and paiN^gI
shrutis. It is unlikely that Sri Jayatirtha did not have access to the
so-called 'aprasiddha shrutis'. I must hasten to add the lines of
TIkA: viShNorvAta iti turashrutiH |  viShNoH prANa iti sauparNashrutiH
|  piN^gashrutirapIdR^iShI evaM pAThA |

Sri Chalari Acharya's TippaNi says that the entire 2nd line, rather
atleast till the mention of origination of Chandra, is shruti. Similar
is the case with the 4th line (layo.apyetAdR^ishasteShAM). It is
considered as a shruti in the TippaNi of Sri Srinivasa tirtha.

[2] This comes from Sri Chalari Narasimhacharya's TippaNi, though the
mUla or TikA do not say it. He reasons that it has already been
established that Indra is the progenitor of Surya.

[3] This is also indicated by the sUtra 2.3.14: OM viparyayeNa tu
kramo.ataH upapadyate cha OM -- Sri Srinivasa tirtha.

--

shrI gurubhyonamaH hariH OM
shrImadAnandatIrthabhagavatpAdAchAryagurubhyonamaH hariH OM
shrI hanumabhImamadhvAntargatarAmakR^iShNavedavyAsAtmaka
shrIlaxmIhayagrIvAyanamaH |

Previous post:
http://dvaita.info/pipermail/dvaita-list_dvaita.info/2005-May/000793.html

This post considers such shrutis where some flaw seems to be
predicated of viShNu.

Rgbhashya:
 ataH sarvAdhiko viShNurnirNItaH shrutisaJNchayAt.h |

Therefore, it is decided from the shrutis that Vishnu is much superior
to everybody else.

Here, an objection is raised: Earlier it was stated that the shrutis
always speak of the exalted qualities of Vishnu and never ascribe any
flaws to Him. Isn't that observation violated in shrutis such as
'somaH pavate... janitota viShNoH'?

The verse referred here is R.V.9.96.5:

 somaH pavate janitA matInAM janitA divo janitA pR^ithivyAH |
 janitAgnerjanitA sUryasya janitendrasya janitota viShNoH ||

Here, soma is said to be janitA of Vishnu. And that is a flaw i.e. a
limitation of Vishnu.

Srimad Acharya writes:

 ato doShavacho yatra tadvAkyamavaraM vadet.h |

TIkA: "yatra" vAkye "doSha vacho" doShAbhidhAnaM pratIyate,
"tadvAkyamavaraM" sambhAvitadoShaM vastvantaraM vadet.h iti yojyam.h |

For this reason (i.e., Vishnu being proclaimed as the Supreme), those
sentences which indicate a flaw in Vishnu, must be predicated of some
other entity.

The TippaNis help us on understanding the above verse:

Sri Srinivasa tirtha's TippaNi:
tathA cha somalatAvisheSho viShNoH somasavanaM kartuM yajamAnasya
janitA |  yAjamAnyasya somAdhInAtvAd.h iti sambhAvitadoShavAn.h
yajamAna eva viShNushabdena uchyate na viShNuH -- ityAhuH |  vastutastu
"makho viShNurinduH" iti yaj~nanAmasu viShNushabdasya paThitatvAt.h |
viShNoryaj~nasya somalatArUpo janitA, yaj~nasya somAdhInotpattikatvAd.h
ityartho draShTavyaH |

Thus, "soma" i.e. the special creeper (used in sacrifices) is called
as the 'janitA' (producer) of the yajamAna (sacrificer) who is also
called Vishnu, because one becomes a yajamAna only after one has the
soma drink (thus, the quality of being a yajamAna is dependent on the
soma juice) therefore the yajamAna is referred here as viShNu, not the
Lord viShNu. As such, the word viShNu is counted among one of the
synonyms of yajna [1]. Using this idea, the following meaning can also
be obtained: The soma creeper is (called) the 'janitA' (i.e, the
producer) of viShNu i.e. the sacrifice for, a sacrifice is dependent
on the soma creeper [2].

[The obvious question that comes up here is why one should do this
indirect reading and not simply consider that Vishnu has the flaw of
being subordinate to Soma or being subject to birth. This point will
be treated later.]

Srimad Acharya continues:
 nirdoShataiva viShNostu kramAnmadhyagateShvapi |

This principle should be applied to others according to the tAratamya.

Sri Srinivasa tiirtha clarifies: In case of Lakshmi, some purANas say
that the bhU (who is a form of Lakshmi) was subject to misery:
gaurbhUtvA ashrumukhI khinnA. But the Gita Bhashya on 14.4 quotes
saukarAyaNa shruti to say that this bhU is different from the bhU,
which is a form of Lakshmi. [3] [4]

Thus, the principle is that nirdoShatva (and guNapUrNatva) should be
understood of others also, but according to the tAratamya as posited
earlier. Shrutis, which might seem to contradict this, have to be
interpreted differently and such flaws must be predicated of inferior
or different entities.

[The obvious question that was mentioned above, rises here too and
will be met later].

Can Vishnu be the subject matter of all shrutis?
-------------------------------------------------

Sri Jayatiirtha gives the sangati for the next section:

 yadi doShAbhidhAyivAkyaM anyaparaM tarhi viShNvAdInAM
sarvavedAdivedyatA na syAd -- ityata Aha "traya" iti |

If it is that shrutis which in direct reading indicate a flaw in
Vishnu, must be interpreted differently to predicate the flaws of some
other entity, Vishnu (and others accordingly) cannot be the subject of
all vedas etc. To answer this objection, Srimad Acharya quotes
skandapurANa:

 trayo.arthAH sarvavedeShu dashArthAH sarvabhArate |
 viShNoH sahasranAmApi nirantarashatArthakam.h |
 iti skAndavacho yasmAdarthabhedavyapexayA |
 nirdoShatvaM harervakti doShamanyeShvapi kramAt.h ||

All Vedas have 3 meanings, the mAhAbhArata has 10, and the
Vishnu-sahasranAma has 100 meanings -- thus is said in the
skandapurANa. [5]

The TIkA clarifies that "arthabhedavyapexayA" means
"yojanAvisheShavivaxayA". Thus, the same sentence, when read in a
particular scheme explicates nirdoShatva of viShNu, while read in
another scheme, indicates flaws in other beings.

The "scheme" here (meant to translate 'yojanA') means a scheme of
words and meanings. rUDhi refers to the prevalent scheme. For example,
the word 'indra' refers to the Lord of sachI. There are two types of
rUDhi: aj~narUDhi, vidvadrUDhi: the convention among the illiterate
and that among the learned. This is seen in laukika matters also. For
example, the word 'stress' refers to different things, for a layman
and a physicist. In the domain of physics, the meaning given by the
physicist is preferred to that of the layman. Similarly, here in
shAstra, which is the domain of the learned, the convention used by
the learned is preferred. This point is mentioned by Srimad Acharya
while interpreting 'yamantaH samudre kavayo vayanti .. tadu
satyamAhustadeva brahma paramaM kavInAm.h' which conveys that the
Being on the Ocean is
referred by the learned as Brahman. Thus, though the illiterate may
refer to other beings also as Brahman, the wise refer to the Being on
Ocean i.e. nArAyaNa as Brahman and this reference should be preferred.

yaugikaartha is when the etymological meaning of the word is
considered. For example, 'indra' refers to Being who has aishvarya,
'brahma' refers to the Being who is large, 'nArAyaNa' refers to the
Being who is the refuge of all and sleeps on the Ocean. In case of a
compound word, the etymological meaning of the composite words are
considered. There are 'higher' conventions like 'mahAyoga' where a
word is split into individual letters and their meanings / roots are
considered.

All this is shruti-based. For example, the Aitareya Aranyaka tells us
how the names of different sages like shatarchina, gRtsamada,
vishvAmitra, vAmadeva, bharadvAja etc actually refer to the Supreme
Being. One can see both vidvadrUDhi and yoga in action. In the
Brihadaranyaka, the word 'satya' is split into 'sat' and 'tyat' and
the meaning is given based on the individual meanings, thereby setting
mahAyoga in action. That this principle can be applied to the entire
veda to derive 3 meanings is testified by the skandapurANa.

Thus, in one scheme of things, a shruti speaks of nirdoShatva of
viShNu while in another the same sentence indicates flaws in other
beings. Thus, niether is Vishnu's nirdoShatva comprised nor is His
being the subject of all vedas etc.

Here, an objection is raised: Why shouldn't the same method be used to
interpret such sentences, which predicate flaws in other devataas?
After all, such statements of flaws serve no purpose. To that, Srimad
Acharya says that these flaws are mentioned to determine tAratamya;
knowledge of tAratamya is essential for release, as the earlier quoted
Paingi shruti says:

 devatA tAratamyaM cha sarvotkR^iShTaM cha keshavam.h |
 j~nAtvaiva muchyate hi asmAnnAnyathA tu kathaJNchana ||

It is also that even in yaugikArtha, the rUDhyartha of the individual
letters are considered to avoid infinite regress. This point is made
in Brahmatarka, quoted by Srimad Acharya in Karma-nirnaya.

No Circularity
--------------

After observing the purpose of the flaw-indicating statements, Srimad
Acharya quotes mAnya shruti as a pramANa:

 nirdoShaguNapUrNashcha viShNureko na chAparaH |
 apUrNAdoSharahitA mAyaikA tadvashaiva cha ||
 adoShaH prAyasho brahmA doShavantaH kramAtpare |
 iti mAnyashrutishchAha bhedo.arthAnAM tato mataH ||
 rUDhimeva samAshritya vibhajyArthAnyathAkramam.h |
 vidoShaguNapUrtyarthaM viShNau yogArthamAnayet.h |
 pashchAdeva yathAyogamitareShvapi saMnayet.h ||
 R^igvedasaMhitAyAM cha prabhuNAivaM samIritam.h |

Thus, the mAnyashruti holds: Vishnu alone is nirdoSha and guNapUrNa.
Shri is deficient compared to Vishnu but is nirdoSha and is in His
control. Brahma, for most part, does not have any flaws. Others have
flaws according to their svarUpa.

To the objection that Sri Hari cannot be the referrent in yaugikArtha
in some words (like 'sarva' of 'sarvajna'), Srimad Acharya quotes
Rksamhita (a smriti grantha authored by the Lord Himself) which says
that rUDhi must be applied first. Then, one must resort to yaugikArtha
to ascertain the nirdoShatva and pUrNatva in Vishnu. That must be
followed by yaugikArtha for other devatAs. Sri Jayatiirtha says that
with rUDhi alone, it is difficult to establish well, the doctrine of
guNapUrNatva and nirdoShatva:  bhagavato doShAbhAva
guNapUrtij~nApanArthaM hi vedAnAM pravR^ittiH, na cha rUDhimAtreNa
**samyak.h** tadbhavati |

----

Thus, it can be seen that since there are shrutis that explicitly
declare viShNu as flawless, he is considered flawless. In addition to
the mAnyashruti is quoted above, Srimad Acharya quotes different
shrutis in his other works. For example, in VTVN, he quotes
paramopaniShat: varjitaH sarvadoshhairyo guNasarvasvamUrtimAn.h  |
svatantro yadvashAH sarve sa vishhNuH paramo mataH ||

The presence of such explicit shrutis, (a couple of) shrutis which
seem to indicate any flaws in Him are interpreted differently. It is
not because of a presumption of Vishnu's nirdoShatva that such shrutis
are reinterpreted. Such a presumption would imply circularity, which
is not the case.

For the same reason, any purANas depicting flaws in Lakshmi is to be
interpreted differently, as there is explicit shruti decrying flaws in
Lakshmi. Similar is the case with Brahma and others.

It is also that such shrutis are sAvakAsha (capable of being
interpreted differently; just as was seen in 'janitota viShNoH' where
it was pointed out that the word viShNu refers to a yajna also), while
some others (like 'eko nArAyaNa Asit.h na brahmA na IshAnaH' from
mahopaniShat, which speaks of soma taking birth from nArAyaNa) are
niravakAsha.

Thus, using the principle of rUdhi/yoga and sAvakAsha / niravakAsha,
Srimad Acharya establishes the nirdoShatva and guNapUrNatva of Vishnu.
Alongside, the tAratamya of other Gods is also established.

All this is from R^igbhAShya. In the next post in this series, is a
section justifying the precept of tAratamya.

shrI madhveshakR^iShNArpaNam,
KK

[1] All TippaNIkArAs quote this "makho viShNurinduH" iti yajnanAmAsu
paThitatvAt.h, basically that the word 'viShNu' refers to yajna also.
The quote 'makho viShNurinduH' is from nighaNTu 3.17, which gives the
15 names of yajna: yaj~naH, venaH, adhvaraH, medhaH, vidathaH, nAryaH,
savanaM, hotrA, iShTiH, devatAtA, makhaH, viShNuH, induH, prajApatiH, gharma.

[2] Sri Vadiraja tiirtha considers this verse while commenting on MBTN
1.36. He gives a different meaning considering the yaugika-artha of
the word 'somaH' as given in this context. He says: Going by (i) the
preceeding line of the verse 'tadahaM vachmi pavamAna soma' and (ii)
the mention of the quality of 'pavate' (flows / blows), the word
'soma' here refers to that being, who has the characteristic of
'flowing' which is vAyu. He gives two interpretations based on this
idea.

I was wondering if his interpretation is better than that of
TippaNIkAras' where soma is read as somalata and viShNu as yajna /
yajamAna. The reason is that the rest of RV 9.96 treats soma as a
sentient devatA and not as a creeper. For example: tvayA hi naH
pitaraH soma pUrve karmANi chakruH pavamAna dhIrAH. But then, this
objection can be answered by using the idea of abhimAni devatA. So,
perhaps each interpretation is suited within its own context.
Corrections on this opinion are welcome.

[3] The bhU, who is subject to unhappiness, is at a much lower kakSha
(as same as shanaishchara) and is the abhimAni of prithvi.

[4] Prior to this quote, the Gitabhashya quotes shArkAraxya shruti
which runs as follows:

 viShNoryonirgarbhasandhAraNArthA mahAmAyA sarvaduHkhairvihInA |
 tathA.apyAtmAnaM duHkhivanmohanArthaM prakAshayanti saha viShNunA sA ||

which very clearly says that Lakshmi, who is addressed here as
mahAmAyA, is devoid of all kinds of unhappiness. Yet she displays
unhappiness etc for asura-mohana.

[5]. The incident of Srimad Acharya narrating the 100 meanings of the
word 'vishva' is mentioned in Sumadhva vijaya (6.7-8).

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