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Question: "Could you please tell about the view of Shree Ramanuja-Sampradaya on Shiva (Rudra)? Why Shiva's worship is strictly forbidden in Shree Ramanuja-Sampradaya?".
Answer by Vishnudut1926: "Shiva is just a jiva, the so-called "gauna-pradurbhava", controlled by Shriman Narayana. Shree Pillai LokAcharya (The Founder of Shree Ramanuja-Sampradaya's Southern Branch) brilliantly explains this Siddhanta in just one Sutra from "Shree Tattva-Traya":
विधिशिविपावकव्यासजामदग्न्याजु नवित्तेशादिरूपा गौणप्रादुर्भावाः सर्वेऽहंकारयुक्तजीवाधिष्ठातृत्वान्मुमुक्षूणमनुपास्याः ॥१०६॥ vidhiśivipāvakavyāsajāmadagnyāju navitteśādirūpā gauṇaprādurbhāvāḥ sarve'haṃkārayuktajīvādhiṣṭhātṛtvānmumukṣūṇamanupāsyāḥ ॥106॥
"Shree Tattva-Traya" by Shree Pillai LokAcharya, Sutra 106:"Brahma, Shiva, Agni, Vyasa, Parashurama, Arjuna and etc. are never to be worshipped by mumukshus, because all of them belong to the so-called "gauna-pradurbhavas"*** (non-essential manifestations of Bhagavan Shree Narayana). These "gauna-pradurbhavas" are simple jivas with sansarik ahankara. Bhagavan Shree Narayana uses these jivas for specific operations (for example, the destruction of the world as in Shiva's case and etc.).
***Note by Vishnudut1926: गौण - gauNa - "subordinate, non-essential, secondary"; प्रादुर्भाव - prAdurbhAva - "manifestation".
Shree Parashara Bhatta Acharya and "pradurbhava-antara" concept.
Shree Parashara Bhatta Acharya, one of the key Acharyas of Shree Ramanuja-Sampradaya, extends this explanation is His commentaries to "Shree Vishnu-SahasraNama".
Shree Parashara Bhatta Acharya uses such notions as "Pradurbhava"("Manifestation") and "Pradurbhava-antara" ("Inferior Manifestation").
These concepts hail from Orthodox Vaishnava PanchaRatra (112 complex Vaishnava Agamas and Samhitas): they are very complex due to the reason, that the majority of Shree PanchaRatra Granthas hail from Dwapara-Yuga, not Kali-Yuga. I will give a simplified explanation below.
"Pradurbhavas" generally denote various Avataras of Bhagavan Shree Narayana - for example, Shree Rama-Avatara, Shree Krishna-Avatara, Shree NaraSimha-Avatara and etc.
"Pradurbhava-antaras" mean Shiva, Brahma, Agni and so on.
Shree Parashara Bhatta Acharya quotes "Shree Paushkara-Samhita" in His commentaries:
शंकराख्यो महारुद्रः प्रादुर्भावान्तरं हि तत् śaṃkarākhyo mahārudraḥ prādurbhāvāntaraṃ hi tat
"Shankara (also known as MahaRudra) belongs to pradurbhava-antaras".
"Pradurbhavas" of Bhagavan Shree Narayana can grant Mukti, while "pradurbhava-antaras" are not able to grant Mukti at all - Shree Parashara Bhatta Acharya stresses out this point, quoting "Shree Sattvata-Samhita":
यदैव कृतदीक्षाणाम् अधिकारः समर्पितः। अच्युताराधनानां तु निःश्रेयस पदाप्तये ।। तदैव प्रतिषिद्धं च देवतान्तर पूजनम् । व्यूहाद्वा विभवाख्याद्वा ऋते नान्यत् पुरोदितात् ।। yadaiva kṛtadīkṣāṇām adhikāraḥ samarpitaḥ। acyutārādhanānāṃ tu niḥśreyasa padāptaye ।। tadaiva pratiṣiddhaṃ ca devatāntara pūjanam । vyūhādvā vibhavākhyādvā ṛte nānyat puroditāt ।।
"Shree Sattvata-Samhita": "Any Sri Vaishnava initiated into the worship of Bhagavan Shree Narayana (Bhagavan Shree Achyuta) must avoid other devatas' worship, because all these devatas (Shiva, Brahma, Agni and etc.) belong to antaras. The worship of Bhagavan Shree Narayana's Vyuhas and Vibhavas is allowed".
Let me remind again, that I am explaining Shree Ramanuja-Siddhanta in a simplified way, so I omit the explanation of Vyuhas/Vibhavas notions - they are rather complex in "Shree Sattvata-Samhita".
Shree Parashara Bhatta Acharya also quotes "Shree Vedanta-Sutra", 2.3.42 - अंशो नानाव्यपदेशादन्यथा - aṃśo nānāvyapadeśādanyathā, stressing out the fact, that all existing devatas are just "amshas of the amshas of Bhagavan Shree Narayana".
See the same idea in "Shree Bhagavata-Purana", 6.16.35 - भगवन् जगदुदयस्थितिलयादीनि विश्वसृजस्ते ऽंशांशास् - bhagavan jagadudayasthitilayādīni viśvasṛjaste aṃśāṃśās
Question: "I do remember that "Shiva" name is mentioned 2 times in "Shree Vishnu-SahasraNama". What is the right understanding of such reference?".
Answer by Vishnudut1926: "Shree Parashara Bhatta Acharya explains both Names in the very direct Sanskrit sense, that is as "Bhagavan Shree Vishnu, Who is Auspicious and Favourable to His prapannas".
Sanskrit adjective "shiva" also has such synonym as मङ्गल [maṅgala].
So, Shree Parashara Bhatta explains "Shiva"-name from "Shree Vishnu-SahasraNama" via "śiva"/"maṅgala" Sanskrit adjectives with "auspicious, favourable" meanings and quotes a set of Pramanas from "Shree Vishnu-Dharmottara-Purana" and "Shree MahaBharata":
मंगलं भगवान् विष्णुः - maṃgalaṃ bhagavān viṣṇuḥ - "Auspicious Bhagavan Shree Vishnu". शाश्वतम् शिवम् अच्युतम् - śāśvatam śivam acyutam - "Auspicious Lord Shree Achyuta". मंगलायतनं हरिः - maṃgalāyatanaṃ hariḥ - "Auspicious Bhagavan Shree Hari".
Besides, as you remember, "Shree Vishnu-SahasraNama" had been told by Shiva to Shree Parvati-Devi - for this reason, name "Shiva" in this SahasraNama can't denote Shiva in devata sense - if so, we land at the very ridiculous idea about Shiva singing his own glory in "Shree Vishnu-SahasraNama" via just 2 names!".
Question: "I also have a question, regarding "Shree Padma-Purana" and "Shree Varaha-Purana". These Puranas contain a hefty number of wacky Pramanas, stating that "Bhagavan Shree Vishnu = Shiva and there is no difference between them at all". Are these bizzare Pramanas belong to interpolations, typical for Kali-Yuga?".
Answer by Vishnudut1926: "Yes, they are typical Kali-Yuga interpolations. Shree Vedanta Desika Acharya (The Founder of Shree Ramanuja-Sampradaya's Northern Branch) discusses these interpolations in His masterpiece "Shree Rahasya-Traya-Sara", 6th Khanda ("ParaDevata Paramarthyadhikara").
You can refer to the simple synopsis of "Shree Rahasya-Traya-Sara" by Dr. Ananta Rangacharya, pdf-scan in my E-Library, starting from page 67 -http://vishnudut1926.blogspot.com/2018/01/essence-of-srimad-rahasyatraya-saram-of.html
By the way, Shree Madhwa-Acharya (Shree Madhva-Vaishnava Sampradaya, Dvaita-Vedanta) dwells on the same Siddhanta in His stellar "Shree MahaBharata-Tatparya-Nirnaya".
See the entire 1st Chapter, especially starting from Shloka 1.56 - उक्तं पाद्मपुराणे च शैव एव शिवेन तु - uktaṃ pādmapurāṇe ca śaiva eva śivena tu - http://mahabharata-resources.org/mbtntrans/chapter_1_gururajahrao.pdf
Question: "Nowadays I also sometimes hear the statements about Shiva as a bhakta of Bhagavan Shree Narayana. Are these statements true?".
Answer by Vishnudut1926: "It is mentioned in the Moksha-Khanda of "Shree Garuda-Purana", that one should make a distinction between totally tamasika Shiva and Shiva, who is "bhagavata-bhakta".
For example, "Shree Garuda-Purana", Moksha-Khanda, 18.15 - कपालमालामशिवां सदा धारयते यतः अतः सदाशैवो ज्ञेयो न च भागवतः शिवः - kapālamālāmaśivāṃ sadā dhārayate yataḥ ataḥ sadāśaivo jñeyo na ca bhāgavataḥ śivaḥ
Question: "This "bhagavata Shiva" idea is rather deluding - hearing it many people start to ask if they can worship Shiva not as a devata, but as an elevated "bhagavata bhakta of Bhagavan Shree Narayana". What will be the answer from Shree Ramanuja-Sampradaya point of view?".
Answer by Vishnudut1926: "These questions are very easy to answer. In Shree Ramanuja-Sampradaya we have our own Guru Parampara, its core line-up looks like this:
1. Bhagavan Shree Narayana 2. Shreemati MahaLakshmi-Devi 3. Shree Vishwaksena 4. Shree NammAlwar 5. Shree NathaMuni 6. Shree Uyyakondar 7. Shree RamaMishra 8.Shree YamunAcharya 9. Shree Periya Nambi 10. Shree Ramanuja-Acharya.
We consider Shreemati MahaLakshmi-Devi to be the "Prathama Kinkari", that is the "First Dasi" of Bhagavan Shree Narayana, so we always worship Shreemati MahaLakshmi-Devi as the Most Elevated Bhagavata Bhakta.
As you can see Shiva is totally absent in our Guru-Parampara - it means, that a Sri Vaishnava can't worship him as bhagavata, acharya and etc."
Question: "Speaking about Acharyas. I have also stumbled upon the statements, that Shiva should be considered to be a Vaishnava-Acharya, because he can lead jivas to Bhagavan Shree Narayana. Is it true?"
Answer by Vishnudut1926: "In Sanskrit this concept is referred to as उपकारक[upakAraka]. "Upakaraka" means "assistant, helper".
Sometimes devatas can help jivas in getting Moksha. Shree Vedanta Desika Acharya dwells on this concept in "Shree Rahasya-Traya-Sara", discussing such term as"moksha-upakaraka".
Again, it does not mean, that one should worship Shiva or Indra or Agni, waiting for the help with Moksha from them or accept them as acharyas, because actually only Bhagavan Shree Narayana and Shreemati MahaLakshmi-Devi can grant a jiva Mukti.
"Shree Garuda-Purana", Moksha-Khanda, 28.148:
मोक्षं प्राप्नुमो नार्जवैर्यत्तार्या विष्णोः संप्रसादाच्च लक्ष्म्याः mokṣaṃ prāpnumo nārjavairyattāryā viṣṇoḥ saṃprasādācca lakṣmyāḥ
"Moksha is caused only by the Grace of Bhagavan Shree Vishnu and Shreemati Lakshmi-Devi".
"Shree Vishnu-Purana", 1.4.18:
वासुदेवम् अनाराध्य को मोक्षं समवाप्स्यति vāsudevam anārādhya ko mokṣaṃ samavāpsyati
"It is impossible to get Mukti without Bhagavan Shree Vasudeva (Bhagavan Shree Vishnu) adoration".
Question: "In "Shree Bhagavad-Gita", 10.23 Shree Krishna-Avatara says "I am Shankara among Rudras". How to understand this Shloka?".
Answer by Vishnudut1926: "This statement belongs to the very complex Vedic notion, which requires the knowledge of Sanskrit and Vedas.
Shree Ramanuja-Acharya explains all the similar statements from 10th Chapter of "Shree Bhagavad-Gita" via such grammar Sanskrit rule as सामानाधिकरण्य[sAmAnAdhikaraNya].
In order to understand this concept one must know the Vedic etimology of the Name "Vishnu" as well - it origins from the Sanskrit root "VISH" - "to pervade, to enter, to dwell in everything/everyone".
Yaska says in Vaidika Nirukta - अथ यद् विषितो भवति तद् विष्णुर्भवति - atha yad viṣito bhavati tad viṣṇurbhavati
"Shree AtharvaShikha-Upanishad" says सर्वाणीति विष्णुः - sarvāṇīti viṣṇuḥ
I am sorry, but a simplified explanation is entirely impossible in this case, because one should know not only Vedas and Sanskrit for the understanding, but the entire "Shree Vishnu-Purana" and at least a couple of orthodox Vaishnava-Agamas!!!".
Question: "I have another Vedic question. Sometimes Shaivas quote the 6th Mantra of "Rudra-Hridaya-Upanishad" from YajurVeda, which sounds like this "ye namasyanti govindaṃ te namasyanti śaṅkaram" and means, that "Govinda=Shankara". How to understand this Vedic Mantra?".
Answer by Vishnudut1926: "As you know in Kali-Yuga Krishna Cults and Shiva Cults are always interconnected. For example, you can find the Chapters about Shree Radha-Krishna in Rudra-Samhita of "Shiva-Purana". Shaiva-Tantras also frequently mention various Gopala-sadhanas (for example, "Maheshvara-Tantra", "Sammohana-Tantra", "Sharada-Tilaka", "Rudra-Yamala" and so on).
You should understand the idea of "Govinda-Bhakti for the fallen ones" in order to grasp the statement "Govinda = Shankara".
"Shree Bhagavata-Purana", 7.7.54-55 says - स्त्रियः शूद्रा व्रजौकसः खगा मृगाः पापजीवाः...एकान्तभक्तिर्गोविन्दे यत् सर्वत्र तदीक्षणम् - striyaḥ śūdrā vrajaukasaḥ khagā mṛgāḥ pāpajīvāḥ...ekāntabhaktirgovinde yat sarvatra tadīkṣaṇam - "This Govinda-Bhakti is the only chance for the fallen ones: shudras, women, sinners and even overly tamasika animals".
Shudras, women and etc. are always interested in tamasika Shiva/Krishna/Kali sadhanas from Puranas and Tantras, but you can never captivate them with pure Sattvika Vishnu/Narayana concept - it is too Vedic and too Agamic and too complex for them.
Besides, shudras, women and etc. have no adhikara for the following to complex Vedic sadhanas and archanas.
Generally, the Pramanas of "Govinda=Shiva" range help tamasika/rajasika persons to "find Krishna". When a person encounters the Pramanas of this kind in Puranas, Tantras or even Vedas he/she starts to think: "Why not to worship Govinda?" and etc. Thus, tamasika Govinda-Bhakti is an initial step to serious Vaishnavism in future lives.
Or even way to Moksha in this very life - see "Shree Bhagavad-Gita", 9.32 - pāpayonayaḥ striyo vaiśyāstathā śūdrāste'pi - "This Krishna-Sharanagati is the only chance for papayonis, women, shudras and vaishyas to get Mukti".
In "Shree Vachana-Bhushanam" Shree Pillai LokAcharya and Shree Manavala Mamunigal Acharya brilliantly explain this concept of spriritual evolution via "Mother who loves even handicapped children"-example (see the excerpt below or on #plurk, #box, #dropbox, #gett):
So, for example, for a Sattvika Vaishnava-brahmin, who loves "Shree MahaNarayana-Upanishad" and "Shree Sattvata-Samhita" all these "Govinda=Shankara" pramanas will have a zero value, while for tamasika persons, who study Puranas and Tantras of Kali-Yuga, searching for a right path to follow, these "Govinda=Shankara" pramanas, uttered by any Shaiva-acharya "out of blue", can have the very drastic impact for turning into Govinda-bhakta.
For this reason, even Shaiva Puranas/Tantras/Upanishads always contain Govinda/Radha-Krishna Pramanas, helping tamasika person to find at least an initial form of Vaishnavism in the form of primitive Govinda-Bhakti.
Generally, the final stage for every jiva is Sattvika Narayana-Prapatti, based on complex Vedas and Agamas: all other paths (Shiva-Bhakti, Govinda-Bhakti, Kali-Bhakti and etc.) are interim ones and deluding.
As "Shree Bhagavata-Purana", 10.46.33-43 says -नारायणे कारण-मर्त्य-मूर्तौ भावं - nārāyaṇe kāraṇa-martya-mūrtau bhāvaṃ - "This sentimental Govinda-Bhakti is totally wrong, you fell into the net of Vishnu-Maya and can't see the genuine Lord Shree Narayana behind your mundane concept of Krishna".
Any questions left?".
Question: "No and thank you very much for the replies".
Answer by Vishnudut1926: "You are welcome. To sum up - according to Shree Ramanuja-Siddhanta Shiva a simple jiva with "pradhurbhava-antara" ["gauna pradurbhava"] status. This status is totally fruitless for us, because Shiva can't grant Mukti.
This is the opinion of such principal Acharyas of Shree Ramanuja-Sampradaya as Shree Pillai LokAcharya, Shree Parashara Bhatta and Shree Vedanta Desika, confirmed by Vedas, Puranas and Agamas, of course!".
The article, Sanskrit OCR, translations from Sanskrit to English
by Vishnudut1926, Moscow, May 2019