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Lord nArAyaNA is the Supreme Person
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In the karma kAnda of Vedas, there are references to worshipping different deities for different kinds of results. Yet, the material desires and desires for liberation are differentiated clearly. Many demigods like indra, agni, sun, nava-grahAs, … and many other deities are worshipped for different kinds of results. Because these demigods can yield only temperory material benefits, they are respected but not worshipped as God. There are not many people who claim these demigods to be Supreme.

 

But there is a wide spread misconception in the society that Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva to be of the same level discharging different duties namely creation, maintanance and annihilation respectively. Another major misconceptions are either Lord shiva or goddess shakti being the Supreme.

 

Upanishads and other vedic literature speak about one Supreme Person. Supreme Person is that person who can give highest benediction of liberation, that is to remove the pangs of repeated birth and death. A liberated person never dies, that is immortality is the most important aspect of liberation. As we can learn from the vedic scriptures that different personalities in the past have meditated on Lord Shiva, goddess Durga devi and Lord Brahma desiring to become immortal. When they are satisfied with the penance of their devotees, offered them to ask for their desires. When these devotees expressed their desire to become immortal, none of these deities could grant liberation to them, and they explicitly explained their inability to award immortality. Where as the devotees who pleased Sriman Narayana are always granted with liberation. This the litmus test for us to know the supremacy of the Lord.

 

People with ordinary material desires can worship any demigod like Lord Shiva or Lord Brahma or goddess Durga,.. but for those desirous of supreme benediction of Moksha or liberation, Sriman nArAyaNa alone is the refuge. Acknowledging the Supreme position of SrImAn nArAyaNa is not any assault to any other deity as they too are supremely devoted to the Supreme Lord. Lord Shiva accepts ganga devi on his head after ganga devi washes the feet of Lord nArAyaNa. When BhasmAsura wanted to try the benediction of reducing his opponents to ashes on Lord shiva, he prayed to his protector Lord nArAyaNa for his rescue. The most merciful Lord took the form of Mohini to distroy the pride of BhasmAsura who tried to offend His most beloved devotee Lord shiva.

 

Personalities like Lord shiva are not at all envious of the supreme position of SrImAn nArAyaNa. The whole problem is with the envious followers. Sriman Narayana and His divine incarnations alone are supreme benedictors of highest bliss, what to speak of ordinary wordly luxuries. There is no one equal or superior to the Supreme Lord SrImAn nArAyaNa, for He is supreme brAhman undoubtedly as described in the following paragraphs.

The five suktas namely purusha, nArAyaNa, srI, bhU, neela sUktas establish the supreme position of srImAn nArAyana and His divine consorts. Sri nArAyan sUkta appears as 90th sUkta in Rig veda. For people who want vEda pramANa for SrimAn nArAyaNa to be supreme, please check sri nArAyaNa sUkta in this website. 

Establshing Supremacy of Shreeman Naaraayana using Chaaga Pasu Nyaaya

"Nyaaya" is a Sanskrit terms almost meaning "Maxim". Numerous such nyaayas are used in philosophical discussions and debates to ascertain the purport of interpretations and arguments. These maxim help us to understand certain elements that are beyond the comprehension of our senses because they are in the form of citing examples which are already known to us. Nyaaya is a component of philosophy system as far as those schools of philosophical thoughts, which are based on Vedas. In this article, I am going to explain a Poorva Meemaamsaa nyaaya called Chaaga Pasu Nyaaya to ascertain the Supremacy of Shreeman Naaraayana as declared by the Vedas.

Chaaga Pasu Nyaaya - explained

The Poorva Meemaamsa Sutras are aphorisms composed by Jaimini (to explain the Karma Kaanda of Vedas) who is supposed to be the contemporary / disciple of Veda Vyasa (who composed the aphorisms Brahma Sutras (to explain the Brahma Kaanda of Vedas)). The poorva meemaamsa deals elaborately with 'Karma" - performance of various rituals and sacrifices called Yajnaays, Yaagas, Kratu, Homa etc. In this it is ascertained that such karma is the means for the three fold nature of the materialistic life namely dharma, artha and kaama. On the other hand, Brahma Sutra talks about the fourth goal, which is transcendental, namely the moksha.

The maxim that is the subject of this article is a poorva meemaamsa based nyaaya as told already, is used here in this poorva meemaamsa to ascertain a particular sacrifice. The Veda says "Pasunaa Yajeta" meaning, "Do the sacrifice (a specific yagnya) by sacrificing animal". Here it is to be noted that the Sanskrit term "Pasu" is a common noun, which means "Animal". The question now arises - "What animal is to be sacrificed?" The common noun "Pasu" is derived in Sanskrit because the animal is tied to the Yoopa, which is a post erected near the Yagnya altar ("pachatey iti pasuhu"). It can denote any animal.

When the Vedic verses in the same context are further read carefully, we find another verse "Caagasya Vapaayaaha" meaning, "Using the organ called "Vapa" of the goat, do the sacrifice". The term "Caaga" meaning "Goat" is a particular noun. The question therefore gets the answer - "The animal is none other than the goat". Therefore it is ascertained that the specific sacrifice is to be done by sacrificing goat. This is "Chaaga Pasu Nyaaya". Therefore, comprehending the meaning of common nouns using the meaning conveyed by the particular noun and identifying the common nouns with the entity that is denoted by the particular noun in the given relevant context is "Chaaga Pasu Nyaaya". "Vishesha sabdaartha prathipaadita arthe saamaanya sada ganaartha paryavasaanam"

This nyaaya is now applied in the upanishad texts as follows.

 

Analysis of Upanishad Texts - Important Kaarana & Chodaka Vaakyaas

In the following paragraphs, important upanishad texts are going to be analyzed in the context of finding out who is identified as the Supreme self in the Vedas. We will then subject this analysis with respect to the chaaga pasu nyaayam, which is discussed above.

The upanishads otherwise known as Vedanta explains the Brahman's Swaroopa (reality), Roopa (form), Guna (Charecteristics/attributes/qualities), Vibhuthi-Iswaryam (Lordship). The upanishad texts are broadly classifiable into "Kaarana Vaakya" and "Chodaka Vaakya". Kaarana Vaakyas are those verses of the upanishads which declares the Brahman as the only cause (material and instrumental cause) of the universe. Chodaka Vaakyas are those verses of the upanishads which declares the various infinite divine qualities of the Brahman who is the only cause of the universe.

Let us now consider certain Kaarana Vaakyaas. In the "Sat Vidya" of Chandokya Upanishad, we come across the verse "Sat Eva Sowmya Edamagre Aasit". Here the upanishad declares that the cause of the universe by using the term "Sat". "Sat" means the eternal existing supreme soul, which is the cause, unchanging in nature. Is this "Sat" a sentient being or an insentient being? When we analyze the Vedanta further, we read another verse "Aatma va Edamekam Agre Aasit". Here the upanishad says that "Sat" is "Aatma".

"Aatma" is derived from "Aapnothi iti Aatma" vytputhi. That it, "Aatma is the one which spreads on its body by its knowledge in terms of supporting, controlling and owning its body". This shows that the supreme self is sentient. Is the supreme self different from the Chit(Jeeva) or one amount the Jeevas? Further down in the Vedanta, we find that this supreme self is called by the name "Brahman" -

"Yato va imani bhutaani jaayente yena jaathani jeevanti
yam prayanthi abhisamvisantithi tat vijgyaasasva tat brahmethi".

"Brahman" is the term, which is derived from the root "Brah" meaning, greatness - greatness in terms of reality, form, attributes, and lordship. This is not applicable to the Chit (Jeeva) though it is sentient but only finite (Anu swaroopa) as declared in Vedas. Therefore the supreme sprit is different from the Jeeva and is unparalleled and unsurpassed.

Up to this, we comprehend that the supreme self is different from the Jeevas and non-living matter but still we need to know who this supreme self is?

In the Vedanta, we find the verse "Eko ha vai Naaraayana Aasit? Na brahma nesaanaha" and "Apahatapaapma Divyo devaha Eko Naaraayana:" These verses clearly says that the supreme self called as "Sat", "Aatma" and "Brahman" is none other than "Naaraayana". Now we apply the chaaga pasu nyaaya. It is to be noted here very clearly that "Sat", "Aatma" and "Brahman" are common nouns but the term "Naaraayana" is a particular noun identifying the Lord of Goddess Lakshmi and Bhoomi "Hereeshca Te Lakshmischa Patniyow" is the Purusha Sukta in Veda confirming this.

"Naaraayana" is the term derived from the vyutputhis "Naaraanaam Ayanam" and "Yesya Naaraaha Ayanam". "Nara" means Vishnu (Naaraayana) because He is imperishable. "Naara" means the entire universe composed of Chit & Achit entities which originated from "Nara" as "Naara" is the cause of the entire universe having the subtle chit & achit as his body before creation and creates them by giving expanded form and having the expanded chit and achit as his body.

"Naaraanaam Ayanam" means "Naaraayana is the base/support for all chit and achit tatvas". This shows the "Bhahir Vyaapthi" - the manner in which Naaraayana pervades the universe.

"Yesya Naaraaha Ayanam" means "Naaraayana is present inside all chit and achit entities as the ultimate controller (anthar-yaamin, soul) and owner (Seshi-Lord) of everthing. This shows the "Anthar Vyaapthi" - the manner in which Naaraayana is present inside everything.

The "NAakaara" in the end of the term "NaaraayaNA" without doubt says that the term "Naaraayana" is a particular noun denoting the Lord of Goddess Lakshmi who is Vishnu. This is confirmed by the grammatical rule of the Vedas (Vyaakaranam - one among the six accessories of the Veda) and by Paanini's grammatical treatise.

Thus the Veda identifies the supreme self (Brahman) as Shreeman Naaraayana. Thus is the application of the Chaaga Pasu Nyaaya. Further the the Brahma Sutra recognizes only the Paancharaatra Aagama as authoritative as the Veda and rejects all other authored works like Saankya, Yoga, Vaisheshika, Charuvaaka, Bowdha, Jaina and Pasupata Saiva. It further identifies the Supreme self by Ubhya Lingam - Two identifications namely

"Ananta Kalyaana Gunaakaratvam" (Supreme self has infinite divine qualities) and

"Akila Heya Pratyaneekatvam" (Supreme self though is present in all chit and achit entities, is untouched by all impurities).

These two identifications apply only to Shreeman Naaraayana and it does not apply to any other deity. Therefore it is ascertained without doubt from the authority of Veda that Shreeman Naaraayanan is the unparalleled and unsurpassed Supreme Self.

Few more texts from Upanishads - arguments and counter-arguments

There is someone who quotes from the veda a verse "Siva Eva Kevala:" meaning "Siva is alone (the cause - therefore Siva is Supreme without a second person). The person who has raised this objection has not studied the Veda and the context where this verse occurs. The context is regarding the cause of the universe, which is Brahman. "Siva" is a common noun meaning "Auspicious". It assumes any gender as per its usage as adjective with a noun in Sanskrit as it is a common noun. Further here in this context, "Siva" is associated with all-pervasive nature and by the term "Bhagavan" which are unique only to Shreeman Naaraayana. Therefore the term "Siva" cannot mean "Paarvathy Pati - Rudra" here, but only means "Lakshmi Pati - Vishnu". Vishu is ever aspicious (Pure by his nature itself on the other hand Paarvathy pati got his sins removed by Vishnu and became pure [siva] and he is not pure by his nature.)

Another objection raises by quoting the vedic verse "Sambhuhu Aakaasa Madye iDhyeyaha". The context in which this verse occurs is also regarding the cause of the universe. Here in this context, a question is raised

"Who should be meditated upon (by those who aspire for moksha)?"

The answer is given as

"That person who is the Cause of the universe is to be meditated upon" (Kaaranam tu iDhyeyaha" and it says that the person is called "Sambhu".

Again readers, "Sambhu" is a common noun derived from "Asmaat Sam Bhavathi iti Sambhu" meaning, "From him/it, originates bliss". Therefore it is not necessary that it should denote only one particular person. As we see the context of this word "Sambhu", we have to only conclude that Shreeman Naaraayana alone is denoted by the word "Sambhu" as he is the cause of the universe and from him originates the moksha-bliss.

Readers! please see the Sahasranaama also where the terms like "Siva", "Sambhu" etc., are used as names of Vishnu only. Even the Advaita scholar Adi Sankara has not deviated from this point while commenting Sahasranama. Further these names in the context of being the cause of the universe etc., cannot be taken to mean Paarvathy pati Rudra or any one other than Shreeman Naaraayana because the Veda itself has clearly stated that "Na Brahma Neshaanaha Divyo Devaha Eko Naaraayanaha" meaning, "in the beginning (ie., before creation) only the Divine Supreme Self Naaraayana alone existed. Brahmaa and Rudra where not existing". Similarly the common nouns like "Hiranyagarbha, Indra, Iswara, Parameswara, Maheswara, Purusha, Mahapurusha, Swarat" etc., used in the Veda in the context of denoting Brahman (the cause of the universe) are to be understood only to mean "Shreeman Naaraayana" and none other than him. All these names are found in Sahasranaama also. Thus is the application of the Chaaga pasu nyaayam in the upanishads to ascertain that Shreeman Naaraayana is the supreme self.

These points are not written by prejudice but only written in strict accordance with the Veda. There is no deviation from the purport of the Veda. This understanding that Shreeman Naaraayana is the Supreme self and no one is equal to him or greater than him is very important. The Vedas are in full support for this point. The key concept of Visistaadvaita is Shreeman Naaraayanan who is the Supreme self has all the sentient (Chit/Jeeva) and insentient (Achit/Matter) entities as his body and He is soul of everything. Shreeman Naaraayana is called the soul of everything because he supports controls and owns everything eternally and inseparably. Everything is controlled, supported, and owned by Shreeman Naaraayana. Thus is the Sareera-Aatma Bhaavam or Sareera-Sareeree Bhaavam.

General Human Nature

Psychology holds that it is almost impossible to find two individuals having exactly the same frequency in terms of thinking and acting. Further the human nature is to compare and contrast what he already knows with that of new things which he learns. Also, when a person puts effort and makes out something (it may be right or wrong) he starts to love it and he is generally not open when his idea is refuted or rejected by others - even when it is proved to be wrong in a rational way. Above all the ego many times restricts a person to be open and rational! He develops pride and prejudice. These aspects are not appropriate for a student of philosophy. The reason behind telling this is first of all philosophy deals with metaphysical aspects that cannot be established by application of sense organs or by inference based on observations. The open mindedness allows for growth of knowledge and proper rationalization. A person without pride and prejudice is sure to unravel secrets of science and philosophy. With these general ideas, we proceed with the discussion regarding the unparalleled and unsurpassed supremacy of Shreeman Narayanan.

1) From the Rik-sam´hita (1.22.20):

tad vishnoh paramam´ padam´ sada pasyanti surayah diviva caksur atatam

"The Personality of Godhead Visnu is the Absolute Truth, whose lotus feet all the demigods are always eager to see. Like the sun-god, He pervades everything by the rays of His energy. He appears impersonal to imperfect eyes."

(2) From the Narayanatharva-sira Upanishad (1-2):

narayanad eva samutpadyante narayanat

pravartante narayane praliyante. . . .

atha nityo narayanah. . . .

narayana evedam´ sarvam´

yad bhutam´ yac ca bhavyam. . . .

suddho deva eko narayan?o na dvitiyo 'sti kascit.

"It is from Narayana only that everything is generated, by Him only that everything is maintained, and in Him only that everything is annihilated. Therefore Narayana is eternally existing. Everything that exists now or will be created in the future is nothing but Narayana,

who is the unadulterated Deity. There is only Narayana and nothing else."

(3) From the Narayana Upanisad (1.4):

yatah prasuta jagatah prasuti. "Narayana is the source from whom all the universes emanate."

(4) From the Hayasirsa Pañcaratra: paramatma harir devah. "Hari is the Supreme Lord."

(5) Bhagavad gita also asserts the Supremacy of Sriman Narayana (Sri Krishna)

bhoktaram´ yajña -tapasam´ tapasam sarva loka mahesvaram suhriam´ sarva bhutanam´ jñatva mam´ santim richati (Bhagavad gita 5.29)

A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.

Conclusion: SrimAn nArAyaNa, who is the Lord of Sri Lakshmidevi is the unparallelled Supreme Person.

 

 

athAto "brahma" zignAsA - Then thereafter be inquisitive to enquire about "the Absolute"