Bhagavad-Gita: 18 Chapters in Sanskrit
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Bhagavadgita Pages in English, Chapters 1 to 18
Veeraswamy Krishnaraj: Tolerance with love is to speak in tongues of all faiths, hold in the heart the Truth of all faiths and see
all faiths in the face of humanity.
Vishnu is All-Pervader: Viś = to enter, to pervade; as such He enters where no man or god has gone; He is in the atom, in the sun.... He is One of the Holy Triad or Trinity: Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. Vaishnavites believe that Brahma and Siva are forms of Vishnu's energy or His surrogates. The West is of the opinion that Vishnu was a minor Vedic Solar deity, who strode the seven regions of the universe in three steps. This is the basis of the Dwarf Avatar, Vamana. The West asserts that the decline of Vedic Indra and the elemental gods (gods of wind, fire....) came with the rise of Vishnu and Siva, who became the Lords of the elements and more.
The West surmises that His descents or Avataras contributed to the rise of Vishnu to a higher status. The Avatara concept brought together Krishna, Rama, Buddha... appearing at various times. Some westerners hazard a guess that Vishnu is non-Aryan and a maritime demiurge.
The view from the West
The West regards Indra as an Aryan God, whose life, times, prestige, power, glory, valor and sovereignty over the universe came to an abrupt end when Vishnu and Siva came into their own. The abrupt end is akin to when the politicians are voted out of office. It further states the importance of the other elemental gods of Indo-Aryans who waned as Siva and Vishnu came to the forefront and yet the elemental gods remained as demigods and demiurges. What they saw in nature which they could not control, the Indo-Aryans called god: Sun, moon, earth, water, fire, air, ether, sky...At first, for the Indo-Aryans seeing was believing, unlike the Dravidians who in addition made an internal journey to understand and interpret god. That is how the whole repertoire of deep-thought philosophy of Dravidians came into existence. Saiva Siddhanta is one of the best examples of such philosophical speculation of the nature of god.
The philosophical system of Saiva Sidhdhantha, a system, which may be ranked among the most perfect and cleverest systems of human thought--Prof. Dr. Kamil Vaclav Zvelebil, September 17, 1927 - January 17, 2009
Primer in Saiva Siddhanta
The Indo-Aryans wandered around with makeshift shelters and hastily built fire pits for Yagna (fire sacrifice). Joseph Campbell states they were the genetic and soul brothers of the ancient Greeks, from whom they broke away and wandered into India (from Central Asia). Modern Indologists dispute outside-of-India origin of Indo-Aryans. They were constantly exposed to wind, air, fire, water, space, sky, sun, moon, stars, which became their gods. Indra wields Vajra (the thunderbolt) and sends drenching rain which defeats the drought demon, Vrtra. If you see parched fields with deep fissures, it is the work of Vrtra, who is waiting to be appeased by the farmers. Indra thrives on Soma; the Indo-Aryans are the purveyors and suppliers of Soma; it is a perfect fit in the domain of supply and demand; it is like commerce. When he imbibes Soma, he exhibits more strength, vigor and power, which he uses to reward the suppliers of Soma and thus provides for the welfare of mankind by sending rain and cattle. Krishna keeps the Indo-Aryan god Indra in line all the time so that he does not puff up with pride. In one instance, to defy Krishna's supremacy as the Paramatman, Indra sends days and days of endless rain. The cowherds, their spouses, children, and animals (cows) face an imminent threat of being washed away in floods. (It was worse than Katrina 2005.) Krishna comes to the rescue and holds up a mountain, so that all the living creatures can take shelter under its cover. They live by grace of Krishna. Indra coming to know of it begs for forgiveness. Krishna authorized celebration of this day every year in mid January in honor of Indra which coincides with the northern passage of the sun. It is a four-day harvest festival in honor of Indra, sun god, farm animals and farm workers and is known as Pongal (பொங்கல்) in Tamil Nadu, Makara Sankranti in North India, Onam, Kanumu, Lohri, Bihu, Bhogi, and Hadaga in various parts of India. (Jan 2009)
The West says that this is an instance where Vishnu (Krishna) eclipses Indra totally and irrevocably. Krishna is an Indo-Aryan, though dark-blue in complexion. Look, He is the real Blue Blood. His father was an Indo-Aryan king and his mother was an Indo-Aryan princess. It looks like Aryans are polychromatic. Krishna uproots (steals) the celestial tree (Parijata tree--Erythrina Indica) from the celestial garden of Indra and mounts it on Garuda for transportation to Dwaraka at the request of his consort, Satyabhama. The gardeners of Indra protest and tell Indra and his wife Saci (Indrani, Aindri). Parijata is no ordinary tree. Won't you get angry, if someone steals a luscious mango tree from your garden or grove? It came from Milk ocean. Saci loved its fragrant flowers and luscious fruits. She wore the flowers on her tresses. She moved like a goddess (She really is) among the trees and bushes smelling the roses. When the gardeners see her coming, they all fall prostrate on the grounds and stay there until she leaves the garden. She is a good goddess and exchanges pleasantries with the gardeners. Saci was heart-broken; Indra could not bear to see an unhappy distraught wife. He fought with Krishna and lost his weapons, elephant.... When he was standing alone on the battlefield without weapons, Krishna let him live. Such Grace and Magnanimity can come only from Krishna Bhagavan. To make things short, Indra and Saci agreed to let Krishna take the tree (steal the tree under their nose) and return it after Krishna's demise. (This is one of the most important tenets of SriVaishnavism: Yes, everything is His; No, you don't own it; you have a temporary custody of it; don't become attached to it; what He giveth, He taketh away.) Partly it sounds like a Christian thought. As you enter the temple of Krishna in Guruvayoor, you may say "Om Namo Narayana" besides Govinda and other Mantras. NAMO = NA + MAHAH = No + Yes (power, perfection). The votary says to Narayana, "No, Nothing is mine; Yes, they (all power, perfection, the universe, the souls) belong to You. The door frame of the temple denotes this principle.
Vishnu Purana and Vishistadvita philosophy are the backbone of Sri Vaishnavism and inculcates devotion and worship in Mumuksus (ones who desire liberation) so that they would attain Moksa or liberation in Vaikunta or Paramapadam, the Vaishnava heaven. Narayaneeyam celebrates Narayana; Krishna Temple in Guruvayur houses Krishna for worship. The Guruvayur Temple in Kerala depicts Krishna [Krishnavathara] as he appeared to Vasudeva and Devaki at the time of His birth on this earth with four arms carrying the conch, the discus, the mace, and the lotus, Tulsi garland and pearl necklace. This is the effulgent and majestic form of MahaVishnu. Guruvayur is so sacred that it is considered the Vaikunta on earth (Bhuloka Vaikunta) with MahaVishnu appearing with four hands.
When Krishna departed to Vaikunta after his sojourn on earth, Dwaraka was swallowed by the sea. (Now that we know that tsunami waves --Dec 2004 dealt a heavy blow to mostly the coast of Tamil Nadu and Andhra, it is possible that Dwaraka was swallowed up by some cataclysmic event. To this list of victims we have to add Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu. Or it could be that the oceans rose from global warming.) Uddhava, an old man, devotee, friend and counselor of Krishna during Krishna's Dwaraka days was left behind when Krishna ascended to Vaikunta. Uddhava saved the image of Narayana (Krishna with four hands), according to Brhaspati, the preceptor of gods. Mahavishnu Himself worshipped the idol in Vaikuntham. Varuna, the sea-god swallowed the image and tossed it everywhere by its waves; the sea receded; the image, worshipped for 100 years in Dwaraka, was recovered and the wind-god took it on his head and Brhaspati and Vayu began their journey to find a home for the image. During their wandering all over India, they met Parasurama who chose a place for the idol near a Lotus Lake, where Siva and Parvati welcomed the Guru and Vayu. The idol was named Guru-Vayu-r-Appan (Guru-Vayu-the Father or Lord--the Lord of Guruvayur). According to the legend, Siva named the place Guruvayur to honor Guru Brhaspati and his disciple Vayu. Siva and Parvati having ceded their site for the installation of the idol, moved to the opposite bank of the lake and had a temple of their own, Mamiyur temple. Before Dwaraka had the idol of Mahavishnu-Krishna, many hands were in possession of the idol from the time Mahavishnu gave it to Brahma in the first Brahma Kalpa: Sutapas, Kasyapa, Vasudeva, Krishna, Uddhava, Brhaspati and Vayu and lastly Guruvayur. Sutapas and Prsni , Kasyapa and Aditi, and Vasudeva and Devaki over generations served as parents of Vishnu in many forms: Sutapas and Prsni gave birth to Vishnu in the form of Prsnigarbha, Kasyappa and Aditi to Vamana, and Vasudeva and Devaki to Krishna, who installed the idol in Dwaraka, consecrated and worshipped it after the demise of Vasudeva and Devaki.
(Kalpa = a thousand cycles of Mahayugas; go to BG08 for more details on Yugas and Kalpas.)
The idol in Guruvayur according to the legend is neither Svayambhuva nor an artifact made by human hand. It is a Vigraha (life-like image) of Narayana carved out of stone, PAthAla Anjanam (subterranean dark-colored stone). Anjanam = Sulphuret of anitmony, black bismuth. His form in the temple is called Divyakaisoravesham (Divine boy form---10-15 years of age). Devotees feel the Chaitanya (Divine Cosmic Consciousness or Intellect) in the temple. This Chaitanya is pure innocence of child Krishna. The High Priests (Melsanthi) of the temple in sacred deference to worship of Child Krishna remain in temple premises in voluntary celibacy for a period up to 6 months.
The Lord of Guruvayoor is easy to please; His appearance is one of puerile levity of divine kind, quick forgiveness, and liberal munificence. Sankaracharya composed Govindashtakam and Bhajagovindam when he was on a visit to Guruvayur.
Adityas are the sons of Aditi, the mother of gods. Aditi is limitless and unbound. All Adityas are Light and as such Vishnu is the light in the sun, the moon, the stars, the eye and the spiritual heart. That Light is Paramatman (Supreme Atman).
Bhagavadgita 10.21: Of the Adityas, I am Vishnu. Of the lights, I am the radiant sun. Of the Maruts, I am the Marici. Of the stars, I am the moon.
BG 5.16: For those, in whom ignorance is destroyed by knowledge of the Self, that knowledge lights up or illumines the Supreme like the sun.
BG 5.24: He, who finds happiness, pleasure, and the inner light within his self, is a yogin and attains Brahman and the bliss of Brahman or beatitude of Brahman.
BG 10.11: Out of compassion (anukampā-artham), I destroy their (Ajnāna and Tamasah) ignorance and darkness by abiding in their self (Ātmabhāvasthah) with the light of wisdom (shining lamp of wisdom).
13.17: He (that) is the light of all lights. It is said that He is beyond Tamas (darkness). He is knowledge; He is the object of knowledge; He is knowledge to be attained; and He is situated in the hearts of all.
(Purusam Mahāntam Āditya-varnam Tamasah parastāt = The Supreme Person of Sun color is beyond darkness (Svetāsvatara Upanishad 3.8)
There is one God, who in His many portfolios appears in many capacities, many forms, many names.... Krishna is top of the heap. In SriVaishnava tradition there is no impersonal Brahman as is the belief in Saiva tradition (Advaita).
Govinda/Krishna--->Vishnu, the controller of Maya. Krishna is endowed with Aisvarya (opulence) and Madhurya (sweetness). Krishna is the fountainhead of Rasa (Sap, Essence); He is Rasa Himself.
Sri Narayana, Brahma and Siva operate at material modes of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas (Virtue, passion, Darkness).
Sri Krishna/Govinda--->Sri Narayana--> Mahavishnu (First Purusha---> Second Purusha---> Third Purusha). These are the linear elements, the latter expanding from the former. Govinda is like the Original Great Flame from which the secondary flame of Sri Narayana, and the other linear elements are derived in a linear manner.
Mahavishnu is Govinda's / Narayana's Avatara; but there is no difference between them.
Karanarnavasayi Vishnu (Karana-arnava = Causal ocean) is a fragment of the fragment of Govinda.
He is MAHAVISHNU, the First Purusa. Karanodakasayi MahaVisnu, in the Causal Ocean, is the creator of the 24 tattvas or elements, and is an expansion or emanation of Sankarsana. Go to TATTVAS-36
Karanodakasayi Vishnu uses Maya to create and is the Supersoul of all universes. Causal ocean is where he abides.
Zillion unlimited universes are present in the hair pores of His body, assuming each hair pore is a universe. When He exhales, universes emerge; with inhalation, myriad universes enter Him. In modern parlance that is recycling. Sesa being the servant of Sri Krishna, becomes His bed; Mahavishnu enjoys Yogamaya. MAya Devi Durga is Karanodakasayi Vishnu's potency.
Garbhodakasayi Vishnu (Second Purusa) Supersoul of Total living beings is the expansion of Maha-Vishnu, the creator of Brahma living in the Garbho ocean (generative Ocean). Four-handed form with a lotus stem sprouting from his navel. Brahma is born in the lotus flower. Garbhodakasayi Visnu, is an expansion of Pradyumna. He is all-pervasive, living in the hearts and atoms of the universe. Garbhodakasayi is commonly known as Brahmā, the womb of the universe.
Supreme Mahavishnu is in charge of countless universes like ours. One Brahma and one Siva are assigned to one universe. They all enter into Mahavishnu upon his inhalation. They are alive for the duration of one breath of Mahavishnu, who is a portion of a portion of Sri Govinda's plenary portion. --Sri Brahma Samhita Verse 48.
Verse 14: explanation: In simple terms, Maha-Vishnu makes many copies (facsimilies) of Himself and one copy here known as Vishnu enters one of the zillion universes; Upon his entry He assumes the name of Garbhodakasayi (Womb) Vishnu.
Ksirodakasayi Visnu, the expansion of Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, is the Supersoul of all individual living entities including demigods. Associated with Maya, He is the maintainer of the universe. He abides in Ksira (milk) ocean. The third purusa, Ksirodakasayi Visnu, is an expansion from Aniruddha. He is of goodness –Savatanu.
All incarnations are rooted in Ksirodakasayi Vishnu (Vishnu who lives in Milk ocean)
Creation, maintenance, and destruction
Once Destruction is complete, Vishnu takes Yoganidra (Yogic Sleep with awareness) on Serpent bed. He is then called Sesasaayi Vishnu. Padma Purana says (part 10, C8, V43b-45) When the Lord is in Yoga Nidra (sleep), the entire earth was immersed in gazillion amount of water. In Yogis, Yoganidra is light sleep characterized by withdrawal from the external stimuli of the outer world, meditation in peace, tranquility and bliss and yet preservation of the full spectrum of mental faculties. H.H.Wilson in his translation of Vishnu Purana says the following. "Yoganidra is the sleep of devotion and abstraction, the active principle of illusion, personified, and also termed Maya and the Mahamaya, also Avidya or ignorance. She is Durga, Sakti or bride of Siva." She is also the sister of Vishnu/Krishna. Sacred literature says that Parvati (and her many manifestations) is the sister of Vishnu.
Incarnation of Krishna is endowed with aggregate powers of Vishnu and Krishna expansions. Vishnu expansions as listed above. Krishna expansions: Narayana, (the foursome) Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. Partial expansion such as Matsya, plus yuga avatars and Manvantara avatar.
Brahman, Paramatman, Bhagavan.
Advaita or Monistic view: Brahman comes in two flavors: Parabrahman (Supreme Brahman) and Sabdabrahman (Isvara = Master-Controller). Parabrahman is attributeless Brahman; Sabdabrahman also known as Isvara has qualities. Parabrahman with no attributes is Pure Consciousness; only Yogis can relate to Him by Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Parabrahman acquires Maya and becomes Isvara (Maya Brahman). Maya is the immediate cause of the universe and beings. Isvara, commonly referred to as God is the One we worship.
I am introducing new terminology to explain Brahman and its linear elements. Supreme Brahman is Para Brahman and so MacroBrahman; Isvara is Maya Brahman possessing Maya; Avidya Brahman is the embodied individual soul (human beings) with Avidya or spiritual ignorance. (Remember that this text represents the Monistic view of Brahman.)
I coined the word Exomaya to define Maya's qualities. Exomaya exudes from Isvara and is like the exotoxin of the bacterium, which affects the host and not the bacterium; in similar manner, Isvara producing Exomaya is immune from and not subject to it, but Jiva soaked in Exomaya is subject to and afflicted by it. Elsewhere Maya is compared to poison sac in snake; the poison does not affect the snake but the recipient of venom.
Exomaya's product is the universe and its target is Jiva (we the people).
Ramprasad, an ardent devotee of Kali from Bengal calls Kali a kiter. She flies the kites; the kite enthusiasts fly the kite on the winds of hope, held by the cutting string, treated with Manjah paste (glue and glass). The bamboo frame of the kite is the human skeleton; the sails are made of Gunas; Kali applies the Manjah paste to the string. Out of many swooping, whooping, dancing, fluttering, trembling, circling kites, a few break loose; Kali laughs and claps Her hands. The loose kites are carried away to worlds beyond the sea and earth. Here Kali is Isvari, the female counterpart of Isvara; the kite is Jiva that swoops and flutters in the phenomenal world held by the string of Maya. Kite's frame, sails, tails, and colors correspond to the body and Gunas of Jiva. Maya gives the Jiva-kite enough room to make circles, swoop, play, and flutter, but Kali's grace (cutting the line with Manjah paste) releases the Jiva-kite from the phenomenal world to attain Moksa or liberation.
Isvara minus Exomaya = Transcendent Brahman = Brahman without attributes or three Gunas; Brahman beyond the three Gunas (Triguna+atitia).
Exomaya is his Iccha Sakti, His Will: His Will to create this world. Exomaya is not all bad or not all good. It is like the botox (botulinum exotoxins); untreated infant Botulism is fatal to infants in natural infection of gut, but in its therapeutic local application by local injection, it is used for cervical dystonia, strabismus and blepharospasm, and glabellar lines (wrinkles). You heard about Botox, the cosmetic used by plastic surgeons and Dermatologists as an injection to smooth over the furrows and frown lines on the forehead. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exotoxin
Exomaya's main malady is to prevent the souls from making the centripetal journey towards liberation, Moksa, Reality or God, until the soul is free from all impurities. As long as there is one unrealized soul, Exomaya is alive and well; its destruction or neutralization is the salvation of all souls. Why Isvara produces this world by his Will (or Exomaya) is beyond our understanding. Exomaya is a world of names, forms and functions (actions).
How do you go past this Exomaya? One can go past this by realizing that this world of names, forms and functions has hypostasis in God, that if there is no God, there is no universe, that we are all fragments of the Spirit cloaked by Kosas, sheaths or Kancukas made of matter and or limiting adjuncts, and that Sattva dominates all your actions.
Srivaishnavism does not accept Impersonal Parabrahman concept; to them Brahman is One with auspicious qualities. Brahman derived from brh means growth and development.
Brahman: "The word Brahman denotes the highest person (Puruṣottama), who is essentially free from all imperfections and possesses innumerable auspicious qualities of unsurpassable excellence." The term "Brahman" is derived from Brith = big or great, and so means that which possesses greatness of essential nature as well as of qualities, is of unlimited fullness and as such is the Lord of all." (S. Bh. I. 1. 1) Ramanujacharya Page 72, Ramanuja's Teachings in His Own Words.
Oblation or offerings made in the fire is more than a ritual. It has a whole lot of meaning. Butter is offered in oblation. Offering is an expression of sacrifice of self and acknowledgement that all acts and material are His. Further, the materials offered in the fire (Agni = fire = Vishnu; Vishnu is the inner controller of Fire; therefore fire is Vishnu.) seek protection from Bhagavan and are an euphemism for the soul of the individual. Brahma, Fire, gods, beings, individual souls have Vishnu as their Supreme Soul and inner Controller and Master. All souls belong to Him, need his protection and eventually find their way back to Him. The reason why the individual soul needs protection is because the soul gets contaminated by sins of thought, speech and deed. If the soul is contaminated by sins, it cannot attain salvation. The fire symbolically burns all the sins, makes the soul pure and prepares it to merge with Bhagavan.
For Ramanuja, Brahman is Narayana. He is free from imperfections, comprises within Himself all auspicious qualities and enjoys originating, preserving, reabsorbing, providing and ruling the universe. The Highest Reality is determinate and the world which is the manifestation of his power is real. (For Ramanuja and the Vaishnavas, Brahman-Narayana is a personal God.) Dr. Radhakrishnan, The Brahma Sutra. page 233-234.
Paramatman is Supreme Atman or Supreme Soul. Atman is the one who can breathe, move and blow (air in and out). The West claims that Atman later acquired cosmic dimension and became the appellation for Brahman or Paramatman. The Universal Principle has the particularized entity in the individual as Jiva or the earth-bound embodied soul; thus we have the Universal Soul and the individual soul. It is apparent that the individual soul is a spark from the Universal Soul; it is a fragment (Amsa) from the Universal Soul. Each individual has the Universal Soul and the individual soul in the spiritual heart. They are compared to two birds: the Universal Soul is the Witness of the second bird (the individual soul) always eating sweet and sour fruits. Some say that there is only One Bird and the second one is something like a shadow. The shadow disappears and merges with the Universal Soul at the High Noon of Realization.
Paramatman is by and large a transcendental entity residing in the spiritual heart of an individual, witnessing, directing... the individual embodied soul.
Bhagavan: Bhagavan: Bhagavan is a clinical entity in the sense He has qualities, some of which we share with Him. One who is endowed with Bhaga (Grace) is Bhaga-van. Bhaga consists of six attributes: (Transliteration from Tamil) Aisvaryam, Viryam, Pukaz, Tiru, Jnanam, and Viaragyam (Supremacy, Power, Glory, Sacredness, Wisdom, and desirelessness. others list the following attributes: knowledge of creation, maintenance, destruction, origin and sublation of all life forms, Supreme Truth, and Avidya or ignorance. Some say that the attributes correspond to nine angles of Yantra, which is a mystical diagram made of geometric forms, images, avaranas, deities, alphabets and syllables etched on metals and stones, whose purpose is to invoke god for progeny, health, and wealth and attain Samadhi
Others list the following: Sri (Auspiciousness), Virya (Power), Jnana (Wisdom), Vairagya (Dispassion), Kirti (Glory), and Mahatmya (Greatness).
Bhaga is Grace and any desirable quality such as dignity, majesty, distinction, excellence, beauty, loveliness, love, affection.
In Bhagavadgita Verse 15.18 Krishna says: Because I go beyond the perishable and higher than the Imperishable and supreme, I am renowned in the world and in the Vedas as Purushottama (Supreme Person).
The Lord is above the perishable bodies and higher than Atma itself. He is the Supreme Person in the Vedas and the universe. It also means that ontologically and hierarchically, He is the highest; the next entity is Aksram followed by Avyaktam (Imperishable and Unmainfest).
What sets the Supreme Person (Krishna) above everybody else?
Man, male and female Devatas, Brahma, Siva, Narayana share many qualities. Krishna has qualities that are exclusive to Him. There are a total of 64 qualities of which the first fifty are in unlimited quantity in Bhagavan, and graded quantity in other gods and deities; man has them in limited quantity. Qualities from 51 to 55 are in unlimited quantity in Bhagavan Krishna and are deemed special to Brahma, Siva and other gods and goddesses. Listed between 56 to 60, Narayana has still higher qualities which are not shared by the preceding entities. Qualities listed between 61 to 64 are the exclusive domain of Bhagavan Krishna, the Supreme Person. This is a modified list as depicted in Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 13.
Qualities of individual souls, deities, Brahma, Siva and Bhagavan
Qualities of Bhagavan include all 64 of them.
1) Beautiful limbs; 2) All- auspicious qualities; 3) Beauty; 4) Radiance; 5) Strength; 6) Eternal youth; 7) Linguist; 8) Truth Sayer; 9) pleasing speaker; 10) eloquence; 11) Intelligent; 12) Learned; 13) good conversationalist; 14) connoisseur; 15) clever and dexterous; 16) Expert; 17) Gratitude; 18) Keeper of vows; 19) Knowledge of place, time and circumstance; 20) Seer through Sastric eyes; 21) Purity; 22) Self-control; 23) steadfast; 24) forbearance; 25) forgiveness; 26) Inscrutability; 27) Forgiveness; 28) equipoise; 29) Munificence 30) Dharma; 31) Chivalry; 32) Compassion; 33) respectful; 34) Amicability; 35) Modesty; 36) Shyness; 37) Saranagata Raksaka- Surrender-protector; 38) Happiness; 39) protector of devotees; 40) Controlled by Prema (love) of devotees; 41) Benefactor of all; 42) Tormentor of enemies; 43) Fame; 44) Beloved by all; 45) Partiality to Sadhus; 46) Enchanter of women's mind; 47) Worthy of worship by all; 48) All opulence; 49) Superior to all; 50) The Controller.
All these above qualities are in unlimited quantity in Bhagavan and in a limited quantity in Jivas, Individual souls (We the people).
Five qualities are in Brahma, Siva and other Deities. (Bhagavan has them in unlimited quantity. We the people lack them.)
51) One's own divine form (Svarupa);
53) Eternal Youth;
54) Being, Knowledge and Bliss (SatCitAnanda);
55) Possessor of all Siddhis (special powers like levitation, omnipresence etc;
The above 55 qualities are present in lesser amounts in Deities.
Lakshmipati Narayana has the following additional exclusive qualities. (Bhagavan Krishna has them in unlimited quantity. We the people lack them.)
56) Inconceivable great qualities and powers;
57) Myriad universes abide within His Body;
58) He is Bija or seed of all Avatars;
59) Giver of higher destination to those He killed;
60) Enchanter of the ones who attained the Delight of their souls.
The following qualities (61-64) are in the exclusive domain of Sri Krishna not present in anyone other than HIM.
61) He is like the vast ocean with incessant waves of wonderful Lilas (play-acts).
62) His adoration is Madhurya Prema (Sweet love and affection) showered by His devotees;
63) He enchants the three worlds with inimitable sounds of His flute;
64) The resplendent beauty of His transcendental form is enchanting to all mobiles and immobile forms.
Srivaishnavism and the followers adhere to vegetarian diet including dairy products, and excluding eggs, meat, fish....
Some Alvars in euologizing Narayana say that they would rather taste sugar (God's Grace, Beatitude) than become sugar themselves, meaning they would rather enjoy the auspicious qualities (Grace) of Sri Bhagavan than become one with Him by dissolution or absorption. Only Yogis become one with the Parabrahman in Nirvikalpa Samadhi; it is not life-ending proposition; it is becoming one with the supreme in a Turiya state.
Hinduism offers the choice of worshipping God by any name or form: Ishtadevata--the god of your desire or liking. The God could be in the form of Krishna, Rama.... It is not polytheism; it is calling One God by many names. Example: One person is called father, son, grandson, father-in-law, husband, friend....
The ideas of formless Brahman, superimposition, illusion, the soul being the reflection of Brahman, the Jivas and the material world as the dream world of Brahman are false statements, according to Acintya Bhedabheda.
Here are the salient features of Bhagavan.
1) The Absolute Transcendent Lord, possessing all Aisvarya (opulences). 2) Madhurya Rupa = Sweetness of Form. 3) Chanting of His name is superior and liberating. 4) Lord's Special quality (Visesa): VAstava Vastu = Truly abiding Entity. 5) The difference between Isvara, Cit and Acit (Lord, Jiva and matter) is that He can create, maintain and destroy, while individual soul cannot do them; Cit and Acit are ever dependent on Him. 6) His powers and qualities are inconceivable. 7) He is all-pervasive and yet atomic and lives in the spiritual heart of beings. 8) He is just and impartial and showers special Grace on His devotees. 9) He is the creator of the universe and beings and yet He is immutable; He is not made of parts, and is whole (Purna); yet He is with parts and potencies. 10) The Lord, His qualities and His name are one. Analogy: The coils of snake (parts and attributes) are not different from the whole snake (Sesa). The light and the substratum of light, the sun are One. Likewise, the knowledge and the substratum of knowledge are One. 11) Bhagavan has no internal differences. 12) He is not a coalescent whole of disparate and different qualities as a tree is a coalescent whole of leaves, flowers, fruits, branches, trunk and root. 13) He is a homogeneous essence; each of his qualities are not parts but identical with Him, perfect, full and immutable. 14) All his Saktis as listed below. His Cit Sakti (Pure Consciousness) has three parts: Jnana Sakti (Supreme knowledge), Ichcha Sakti (Desire to create...), Kriya Sakti (Action). Our consciousness and knowledge is an infinitesimal tad of His Jnana Sakti. (We also have Jnana, Ichcha and Kriya Saktis in minute quantities.) Cit Sakti, Svarupa Sakti, Antaranga Sakti, ParA sakti are synonyms. Svarupa = own form. Cit Sakti is Consciousness; it is Spirit and and anti-matter; it is His Internal potency (Antaranga Sakti); it is superior to His external and marginal potencies, it is called ParA sakti (Supreme power). His marginal potency (Jiva Sakti) is the origin of souls; His external Maya Sakti is the origin of the building blocks of the universe, manifestation of Time. Jiva Sakti is not part of Cit Sakti or Maya Sakti, though they all abut as in the diagram. Jiva Sakti is Tatastha Sakti. Tata = shore or bank. Stha = situated. It is situated on a bank (neither in the river or the ocean nor on the land) meaning it is neither in the Cit Sakti nor in the Maya Sakti. When it leans away from Cit Sakti, it is ready to generate souls which take (derive) the body from Maya Sakti. Thus Marginal Jiva Sakti and External Maya Sakti are the origin of souls and the universe in all their manifestations and phenomena.
15) Parasakti is the efficient cause of the universe and not subject to change. AparA Sakti (AKA Jiva Sakti) is the origin of souls. Avidya Sakti or Maya Sakti is the origin of matter (and body). Jiva Sakti and Maya Sakti undergo Parinama or transformation only as far as the powers go; He remains unchanged. 16) Maya Sakti's three gunas undergo agitation and evolution from the glance of the Lord. 17) The world He creates is real. 18) During dissolution, there is retrograde involution of matter and souls into Him. Jiva (soul) Sakti and Maya (body) Sakti: For didactic purposes let us compare these two powers to Electricity. Electricity transforms into motion in a fan. Electricity transforms into light in a bulb.
Let us now consider Brahman (Isvara, Bhagavan, Lord), the soul (Cit) and the matter (Acit). Matter is non-different from the Lord; but the Lord's energies are many and each one manifests in many different ways. Another example. Electricity is the energy; in toaster oven, it heats up the wire; in blender, the energy whirls the blades; in the light bulb it emits light. One energy and many manifestations or modifications: that is Bheda-abheda (difference-non-difference). The soul and the world are identical with and yet different from Isvara (God). Isvara is the Supersoul. What the Supersoul sees, is what you see. His seeing is primary and your seeing is secondary. Isvara is the Cameraman and you are the camera. What the camera sees is what you see. You (the individual soul) can interpret the image as the camera but not as Cameraman. The Cameraman (God) interprets the image better than you (camera) do. That is difference-non-difference. The non-difference between Isvara and the soul is that both are made of the same constitution; the former is an eternal blazing fire and the latter is a short-lived spark. The difference is that He owns, surveys, purveys and parlays His external Illusory Energy (Bahiranga Maya) to exercise control over the individual soul. What is External Illusory energy?
Bahiranga = Bahir + Anga = external, unessential + part, limb.
mAya = (source of) visible universe. illusion.
Bahiranga MAyA is an external illusory energy of Bhagavan and NOT His Internal immutable Cit Energy (Superconsciousness and Supreme Knowledge). Since Maya creates illusion and the world of mutable matter (visible universe), Bhagavan of Pure Superconsciousness cannot have that energy as part of His Internal constitution. The matter and the worlds emanate from the sweat pores of his body and become the visible universe (Causal Vishnu BG10) . The embodied soul derives essentially two items from Bhagavan: one is the soul in minute amount from His Jiva Sakti and the second is the body emanating from His Maya. Body is visible to human eye and soul is not, so man thinks he is made of body and not of soul. This ignorance (avidya) is illusion, a false notion derived from Maya. This is the false principle of WYSIWYG. When one overcomes ignorance and sees beyond material illusory Maya, he comes to know that he is the soul and the body is only a sheath covering the soul. What is more important, the wrappings or the content of a package? (The soul changes the body after each physical death and subsequent birth until the soul reunites with Bhagavan; the analogy given is the soul is like a man changing his shirt (body) as often as necessary.) When he realizes this, he is free to merge with His Source, the SuperSoul of the universe. The shirtless soul is fit for merger. The bodiless soul is fit for merger. That is why the Vaishnavas go into the Vaishnava temple without a shirt. Shirtless state is a mark of humility, sign of respect to Bhagavan, dependency on Bhagavan and a sign of purity before you come before Bhagavan. Also it means that he wants to shed the body and merge the pure soul with Bhagavan. (Woman keeps her upper garment in the temple for obvious reasons.) See the shirtless image (absent upper garment) of Ramanuja. Not all temples follow this code. Shirt = body, Ego, Mineness, Independence, arrogance, wealth, self-importance, possessiveness. One goes before Bhagavan saying that he is a destitute, Bhagavan is the only Savior and he needs refuge at His feet.
lose one's shirt, Informal. to lose all that one possesses; suffer a severe financial reverse: He lost his shirt in the stock market.
your shirt US INFORMAL
to lose a lot of money, especially as a result of a bet.
someone who behaves in a very formal and old-fashioned way and thinks that they are very important.
you the shirt off their back informal
if someone would give you the shirt off their back, they are extremely generous. John's not well off, but he'd give you the shirt off his back.
Maya has two meanings: Illusion and the progenitor of matter (earth, water, fire, air, sky, mind, buddhi, ego, gunas, 14 planetary systems, gross body, subtle body... Maya is NOT His supreme power (His Apara Sakti) and characterized as His external power (bahiranga Sakti). It is like a shadow at sunset, long and far away from Him and yet follows Him doggedly.
Narayana (Isvara) created matter, the gross body of the Lord; the universe is his body. One cannot put the chemicals and water together and create the body. Another example. The catalytic converter in the car has the catalyst (Platinum and palladium) which converts unburned hydrocarbons into harmless carbon dioxide and water, carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxide into nitrogen and oxygen. Narayana is That Catalyst. Vedic Hymns call the catalyst Isvara's Glance. Without his glance, Tattvas, chemicals and water cannot come together to make a living being. This also supports the theory of inconceivable difference-non-difference. Man has not put the chemicals together and created a living being as of now.
Vishnu in the Puranas.
Viṣṇu,the all-pervader spanned the earth and heaven because His form was humongous and His body was huge. he is the Creator of the sun, the dawn and the fire. His consort is full of bliss. He does not hesitate to come to the devotees upon invocation. He is non-destroyer (na-randhiṣa = न-रन्धिषः).
1) ā-prita-pā = Saviour devotees. 2) ni-bhūya-pā = He does by assuming many forms. 3) ina = The Lord or Master. 4) narya = Benefactor of humanity. 5) trātā = Protector. 6) miḍhvān = Bountifiul. 7) vṛṣan = Fulfiller of desires. 8) taviyān = Mighty. 9) ṛta-garbha = truthful. 10) a-dābhya = Invincible. 11) a-vṛka = Non-injurious. 12) a-ghnat = Non-killer. 13) niṣikta-pā = Savior of embryos. 14) maḥ = adorable. 15) na-randhiṣa = non-destroyer. Source: Viṣnu in the Puranas by Bhāradvāja.
The realized Seers of Vedic hymns called Viṣṇu Omnipresent, Great, Life or Prana, Ākāsa or Space, Ananda or Bliss, and self-effulgent Jyoti or Light.
The sun is His eye, the moon His mind, the breath His ears, the fire His mouth, the space between heaven and earth His navel, the sky His head, and the earth his feet. He pervades all and sustains them from within. He is the thread running through beings and matter.
He is spiritual and physical effulgence. He is the Light in the sun, the moon and the fire; the light in the eye; and the light in the heart. His Self-effulgent Divine Light is Brahma-jyoti, the ātman the light of the individual soul, and the radiant light the sun. The light of day is for mundane activities, the light of knowledge of the soul to acquire spiritual knowledge and the Light of Brahman is the Ultimate Knowledge.
Viṣṇu's place is Paramapada, full of Grace, wherein live His devotees in happiness.
Indra and Upendra-Vāmana (Viṣṇu) were brothers born of Kaṣyapa and Aditi. Though Vāmana was the younger brother of Indra, Vāmana supersedes Indra. Other examples are that Rama supersedes His father King Daśaratha, and Krishna His natural and adoptive fathers Vasudeva and Nanda.
The three famous steps that Vāmana took to measure the heaven and earth for the good of the world was the earliest mention of Viṣnu in ṛg Veda.