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Sri Rudra Gita (Varaha Purana)

Introduction

pAsho.ayaM pashubhAvastu sa yadA patito bhavet | tadA pAshupataM shAstraM jAyate vedasa~nj~nitam ||
This pAsha (trap), ie, delusion, is the state or nature of the paShu (anger or attachments) when it becomes wicked. Then the “pAShupata shAstra” ( the shAstra relating to paShupati, the possessor of anger or attachments) becomes suitable to be termed as the Veda.
~ Rudra Gita (70.43)
The doctrine of paShupati consists of 4 sects – the kApAlikAs, kAlamukhAs, Saiva siddhAnthins and pAShupatas. While there are internal differences between these sects, there are several common aspects – the acceptance of 36 tattvas, non-acceptance of iSvara as the upAdAna kAraNam, Identification of paShupati/rudra/siva as Brahman and the practices such as smearing oneself with ashes, wearing rudrAksha etc. The allied sects are the shAktas, kaumAras, gAnapatyas and tAntrikas, who more or less draw from the same philosophy. The bhAshyam known as “srikaNtha” is a bogus one written by appayya dikshita by plagiarizing the system of srI rAmAnuja (ineffectively and erroneously, we may add) and hence is not considered authentic or part of this system here, having no history of followers.
This pAShupata maTha has been rejected comprehensively in the brahma sUtras and by vedAntins. All vedAntins accept that this was a doctrine propagated by Siva for the purpose of deluding those with the quality of rajas or tamas. In addition, the adherents of these doctrines themselves do not claim to be vedAntins, but rather focus on their Saiva Agamas, to some extent on the tAmasa purAnAs and only pay lip-service to the Veda, potentially due to the fact that terms like “Siva” etc are applied to Parabrahman in shruti.
The  proof for rejection of this maTha also comes from the following pramAnAs quoted by srI yAmunAchArya in his Agama pramAnya:
Linga purAna:
ye tu sAmAnyabhAvena manyante puruShottamam | te vai pAShaNDino j~neyA vedamArgabahiShkR^itA ||
Meaning: Those who think of Purushottama in an ordinary manner (equal to or inferior to other deities such as Rudra etc.) they indeed are known as the “pAShaNDi-s” who have been excluded from the Vedic path.
Aditya purAna:
anye bhasmajaTopetA yathoktA gautamAt purA | shApAtsantyAjitA vedaM devaM nArAyaNaM tathA ||
Meaning: As stated by Gautama long ago, the others endowed with ashes and matted hair surely due to curse have given up the Veda and Narayana, the divine.
Note that while the Linga and Aditya are tAmasa purAnAs, these sections which are sAttvika are quoted by vedAntins. srI yAmuna muni adds that this refers only to the Saivas because the following is said in their own Saiva agama:
rudrAkShaM kaN^kaNaM haste jaTA caikA ca mastakI | kapAlaM bhasmanA snAnam
[“The Rudraksha and bracelet in the hand, with the matted hair, and a single skull, and bathing in the ashes”]
To this, some modern day “shAstri-s” (Saiva advaitins), claim the following – these verses in the purAnAs and the pAShupata adhikaraNam of the brahma sUtrAs, even if true, condemn only the extreme sects like the aghori-s, vAmAcArins, etc and not the sect of Saiva SiddhAntha such as those propagated by the nAyanmars, thirumUlar, etc. Because the Saiva siddhAntins stress on bhakti as a means and not the extreme practices like eating human flesh, sexual union, etc.
We reply – the Saiva SiddhAntins subscribe to the same philosophy condemned by the brahma sutra-s. In addition, the wearing of ashes, etc is also common to them. If this is not enough, Saiva SiddhAntins tacitly approved of the practices of the kApAlika-s and considered themselves as part or related to that clan.  The nAyanmArs had great reverence for these practices (such as kApAlikas, etc) and revered these practitioners as great jnAnis, even though they may not have engaged in them. We have evidence from them:
  1. Jnanasambandhar mentions Saivas and pAshupatas worshiping in Seerkazhi Shiva sthalam:http://tamilvu.org/slet/l4100/l4100uri.jsp?song_no=2921&book_id=120&head_id=7&sub_id=1484

  1. And in  Srikalahasti, it is mentioned that “those who have the kapAla skull in their hands”(kapAlak-kaiyar)  were seen in the temple: 

  1. In Thiruththondar Puranam, Sekkizhar says that Kapalikas etc. who form "six types of thoNDars (the clan of servants of Siva)" were guests at Jnanasambandhar's wedding ceremony: http://www.tamilvu.org/slet/l41C5/l41C5dis.jsp?n=3101

  1. Moreover, the nAyanmArs describe Shiva as follows: “one who wears ashes from cremation grounds” (காடுடைய சுடலைப்பொடி பூசி); “the supreme mahAvratI (name of a kApAlika sect) bearer of dead bodies on his shoulders, the one who accepted the blood of Vishnu to fill the skull obtained by chopping of Brahma’s head” (ஏன்ற அந்தணன் தலையினை அறுத்து நிறைக்க மால் உதிரத்தினை ஏற்றுத், தோன்றுதோள்மிசைக் களேபரந்தன்னைச் சுமந்த மாவிரதத்த கங்காளன்), “wearer of the yaj~nopavIta thread made of grey hair” (நரை விரவிய மயிர்தன்னொடு பஞ்சவ்வடி மார்பன்)

  1. We find explicit condemnation of the bhagavad gita in sivaj~nAna siddhiyar (a work of another disciple of Meykandar, called aruNandhi sivAchArya):

பார்த்தனார் இரதமேறிப் படைதனைப் பார்த்துச் சார்பைக்,
கூர்த்தஅம் பாலே எய்து கொன்றர சாளே னென்னத், தேர்த்தனி
லிருந்து மாயை செய்துமால் கொல்லச்செப்பும், வார்த்தைநூ லாக்கிக்
கொண்டாய் புரங்கொல் நூல் மதித்தி டாயே.               293   
Translation: When Partha (Arjuna) seated on the car saw the assembled hosts and all of them his kinsmen and he refused to slay them with his sharp arrows and reign as king after their death, the wily words uttered by Vishnu to induce him to fight, you accept as your high authority. Why don't you also accept the words of the Buddha Avatar of Vishnu, propagated for the conquest of the Tiripura Asuras (~ Sivaj~nAna Siddhiyar – 293 of Arulnandi SivAchArya).
Note that the Saiva scholar condemns the bhagavad gita, accepted as a pramAna and part of the prasthAna trayaM by all AchAryAs beginning with Adi Shankara, as “the wily words of vishNu” and compares it to Bouddha sAstra given by Buddha. That certainly shows that Saivas had no compulsions to accept vedAnta or profess themselves as vedAntins.
The second argument posed by Saivas is this - The brahma sUtras condemn the practices of the Saivas and doctrines such as non-acceptance of upAdaNa kAraNatva, but not the idea of Siva as Brahman. To this, the srutaprakAsika and sri bhAshya say the following - It is not possible to separate the identification of Siva as Brahman from the practices adopted by these people. For it is the devotional practice to Siva that gives rise to such WRONG knowledge condemned in the Brahma sUtras. The ideas such as the 36 tattvas which are condemned in the sUtras, are directly impregnated in the doctrine of Siva bhakti which is said to lead to such knowledge. Hence, a condemnation of the philosophy includes within itself the devotional practices and convictions as well.
The acceptance of Siva as Brahman and bhakti, the practices such as smearing of ashes, the tacit approval of the sects like kApalika, etc which are condemned in the brahma sUtras, the indifference toapauruSheyatva of the Vedas and condemnation of Vaidika sAstrA-s like bhagavad gItA make the nAyanmArs and Saiva siddhAntins also unvedic as the other extreme sects. The brahma sUtras indeed do include this sect among the ones condemned in the pAShupata adhikaraNa according to srI rAmAnuja.We shall explain this in more detail in an FAQ section we will provide later.
For now, we have shown the proof from the purAnAs, Brahma sUtras and from the words of the Saivas themselves. Now, we come to the most important proof, which is the Rudra Gita. This is a dialogue between Rudra and Agastya, occurring from chapters 70-73 in the varAha purAna of the following –
  1. Here, Rudra elaborates the tattva of nArAyaNa paratva

  1. Rudra also discloses the reason and events behind propagation of the pAShupata shAstra, the purpose of the pAShupata maTham, its adherents and what it contains.

  1. Rudra also provides a masterful exposition on the sharIrAtma bhAva, how and why vishNu worshipped him (rudra) in his krishNa avatAra and the appropriate times at which vishNu should be meditated upon as the indweller of brahma and rudra, as opposed to worshipping him directly.

  1. Rudra explains the incident of how he obtained a boon from vishNu that he would be worshipped by the latter during krishNa avatAra
Some consider the Rudra Gita to be from Chapter 70-89 of the varAha purAna. However, we feel that Rudra Gita proper ends with chapter 73. The dialogue after this involves description of geography, lOkas, etc by Rudra and hence is not important – the inquiry of philosophical tattvas ends with 73 and we have commented only until that part. This seems to be what AchAryas like srI yAmuna felt as well.
That the Rudra Gita is an authentic section of the sAttvika purAnAs is proven by the fact that it is quoted by srI yAmunAchArya, the guru of srI rAmAnuja in his work, “Agama prAmAnya”. He quotes the Rudra Gita as proof that the pAshupata maTha is inauthentic and justifies how the respected Rudra can propagate such a maTham. In addition, the Rudra Gita is quoted by srI sudarshana suri (srutaprakAsikAchArya) in his work “sruta prakAsika” which is a sub-commentary to srI rAmAnuja’s srI bhAshya. The Acharya quotes this section under the pAshupata adhikaraNam. SrI mAdhvAchArya also quotes a verse from this section.
Interestingly, srI sudarshana sUri hints that the pUrvapakShins (Saivas) also wrongly quote the Rudra Gita by misunderstanding the verses (as the one at the start of this introduction) as validation of their maTham. So, the universal antiquity of this section is unassailable.
So much for the introduction. Now, before we begin this article, a couple of instructions for the interested reader:
  1. We have split the Rudra Gita into 7 sections named by us. This is to help the reader understand what each section basically focuses on. Since this is a long write-up, if you are impatient, use “section” as the keyword to search and understand the topic for each section – and whether you want to read it or not.

  1. The Rudra Gita employs to the fullest extent the sharIrAtma bhAva (body-soul analogy) of vishishtadvaita vedAnta. We have explained it to some extent in the commentary. However, for those who are absolute laypersons in this concept, we suggest you first read a short article explaining what sharIrAtma bhAva in vishishtadvaita is, before reading this article. That would help you understand our commentary better. For non-sri vaishnavas, it does not mean we are forcing you to become vishishtadvaitins, but just that it would also help you to understand where we are coming from better.
A short three-part article on sharIrAtma bhAva and vishistadvaita is written by one scholar here. Since the Rudra Gita is very big and we cannot always explain basic and self-explanatory tattvas of vishishtadvaita in detail, we recommend readers to understand vishishtadvaita first by reading from these 3 links:
(Note: In those links given above, We do not agree to the author’s distinction between philosophy vs religion in his introduction because in vedAnta, vishNu paratva is not separate from philosophies like advaita, VA or Dvaita. The way each Acharya regards vishNu as supreme is based on his philosophy and hence the two are not different. Sruta prakAsika says as much – the philosophy of the pAShupatas likewise, is linked to their acceptance of Siva as Brahman. So, please do not construe that opinion as ours.
“abhEda” for srI rAmAnuja means one-ness and not identity. Just a point to note.Otherwise, it’s a useful article.)
Having done that (of if you are already knowledgeable of Vishishtadvaita), you are ready. Let us begin!
SECTION 1 – Tattva Vichara by Agastya to Rudra
bhadrAshva uvAcha |
bhagavan kiM kRRitaM lokaM tvayA tamanupashyatA |vrataM tapo vA dharmo vA prAptyarthaM tasya vai mune || 70.1||
Meaning: Bhadra asked Agastya - Revered One, what did you do as the means (vow, penance or dharma), while perceiving that world, for the purpose of attaining it?
“lokaM” here refers to paramam padam. It is to be understood that Agastya had a vision of srI vaikunta and did not actually attain it.
anArAdhya hariM bhaktyA ko lokAn kAmayed budhaH |ArAdhite harau lokAH sarve karatale.abhavan || 70.2||
Meaning: Agastya replies: Without worshipping Hari with devotion, one cannot attain those worlds. Only by worshipping Hari are those worlds attainable.
It is not erroneous to refer to sri vaikuntam as multiple worlds.As moksha sthAna is infinite, it is referred to in plural.
evaM sa~nchintya rAjendra mayA viShNuH sanAtanaH |ArAdhito varShashataM kratubhirbhUridakShiNaiH || 70.3||
Meaning: Reflecting on this (ie, meditation), O best of Kings, I worshipped the eternal vishNu for a 100 years with sacrifices in which gifts were liberally given.
tataH kadAchid bahunA kAlena nRRipanandana |yajato mama deveshaM yaj~namUrtiM janArdanam |AhUtA AgatA devAH samameva savAsavAH || 70.4||
Meaning: O One of Royal Birth! As I was worshipping Janardhana, the inner controller of devas, the embodiment of sacrifice, for a long time thus, the Devas who were summoned by the sacrifice, came together along with Vasava (Indra)
Note that Agastya says that he performed the sacrifice meditating on Janardhana, who is the inner controller of devas (devEshaM) and yajnasvarUpi. Also note that the devas were present for accepting the offerings of the sacrifice. This implies vishNu is the recipient of all offerings of sacrifices addressed to other devas. Since these devas are the body of vishNu, he is their inner controller and hence whatever is addressed to the devas, goes to vishNu in actuality.
sve sve sthAne sthitA Asan yAvad devAH savAsavAH |tAvat tatraiva bhagavAnAgato vRRiShabhadhvajaH || 70.5||
Meaning: As the devas together with Indra were situated in their position, the revered (Rudra) who has the bull as his banner, arrived and stayed situated in his position.
Rudra is called “vRishabhadvajaH” here. The bull is a metaphor for two things – it signifies both dharma as well as ignorance. Rudra in his sattva mood is situated in Dharma. Since the context is Rudra in a sattva mood, the intent of “vRRshibadhavaja” is to signify that Rudra knows dharma well.
mahAdevo virUpAkShastryambako nIlalohitaH |so.api raudre sthitaH sthAne babhUva parameshvaraH || 70.6||
Meaning: He who is known as the Lord of Great Intellect (Mahadeva), Three-Eyed (VirupAksha), the Knower of the Three Vedas (Tryambaka), of Bluish-Red Color (NIlalohitaH), that One who cried(Rudra), Who has the Supreme Knowledge of VishNu (ParamEshwara)becamesituated in his position.
These epithets of Rudra have a meaning. He has great intellect and hence is mahAdeva. Being of great intellect, he has the third eye which burnt kAmadeva, thus indicating he is detached. Since he is detached, he is the knower of the 3 Vedas. Despite all these qualities, he has the bluish-red color indicating that he was born in a circumstance of tamO and rajO guNa (by the anger of Brahma), which makes the fact that he is a jnAni even a greater cause for wonder. Upon recognizing this tendency, he cried during his birth. And since he cried, he was cleansed and provided with the supreme knowledge of vishNu by bhagavad anugraham through his father Brahma.
The idea is that Rudra is a jnAni, which sets the stage for the upadeSha which follows.  
tAn sarvAnAgatAn dRRiShTvA devAnRRSimahoragAn | sanatkumAro bhagavAnAjagAmAbjasambhavaH || trasareNupramANena vimAne sUryasannibhe |avasthito mahAyogI bhUtabhavyabhaviShyavit ||Agamya shirasA rudraM sa vavande mahAmuniH |mayA praNamitastasthau samIpe shUlapANinaH || 70.(7-9)||
Meaning: Seeing that all the devas, rSis  and serpents had arrived, Sanatkumara, the son of Brahma, who is a great yOgI, knower of the past, present and future, arrived in a vimAna of very minute dimensions, resembling the sun. Having arrived, the great muni offered obeisances to Rudra by bowing his head. Standing near the bearer of the trident or death to asurAs(shUlapANinaH), I offered obeisances.
Rudra is called “shUlapANi” as he bears the trident. “shUla” also means death or grief and it implies he has the duty of taking away lives. Rudra causes death to the asurAs. Thus, he is worthy of obeisances.
tAnahaM saMsthitAn devAn nAradAdInRRSiMstathA |sanatkumArarudrau cha dRRiShTvA me manasi sthitam || 70.10||ka eShAM bhavate yAjyo variShThashcha nRRipottama |kena tuShTena tuShTAH syuH sarva ete sarudrakAH || 70.(10-11)||
Meaning: O best of Kings! I became acquainted to those devas, the rSis  beginning with nArada, sanatkumAra and Rudra, perceiving them, with my mind fixed (onvishNu who is their inner self). I asked them “who is the greatest, to be worshipped by the sacrifice, by what way, is he satisifed, by which all these assembledalong with Rudra may be satisifed?”
Note the words. Agastya perceived the devas with a fixed mind in that he was meditating on their inner controller, thus implying that he knows that those assembled are not the true recipients of the sacrifice. Therefore, he asked the devas the following questions well knowing the answer –
  1. who is to be greatest deva to be worshipped by the sacrifice?
  2. How is he to be worshipped? Is he equal to other devas so that they can be worshipped independently as Brahman, or should we worship him as the inner controller who has the devas as his body?
“sa rudra”, ie, those assembled along with Rudra, indicates that he regards Rudra as most competent to answer his question. His question was directed towards Rudra only.
evaM kRRitvA sthite rAjan rudraH pRRiShTo mayA.anagha |evamarthaM ka ijyo.atra yuShmAkaM surasattamAH || evamukte tadovAcha rudro mAM surasannidhau || 70.(12-13)||
Meaning: In this manner, O King, Rudra, situated in the state of being free from blemish, was enquired by me – O best of the gods! In this sense, who is your sole object of worship in this respect (as he is the inner controller)?  Having spoken thus, Rudra told me (the following) in the presence of the knowers of Brahman (suras).
“anagha” – Rudra is declared as situated in the state of being free from ignorance or karmas that obstruct knowledge of Brahman. It does not mean he is completely devoid of karmas. Just as Veda vyAsa is called “akalmashaM” (vyAsam vasishta-naptAram Sakteh pautram akalmasham) in the sahasranAma, so is Rudra called “anagha” in the sense of being free from the blemish of ignorance. It means he knows the truth clearly.
SECTION 2 – Narayana as the Supreme Being, the Source of Devas and the Object of Worship
rudra uvAcha |
shrRRiNvantu bibudhAH sarve tathA devarShayo.amalAH |brahmarShayashcha vikhyAtA sarve shrRRiNvantu me vachaH |tvaM chAgastya mahAbuddhe shrRRiNu me gadato vachaH || 70.14||
Meaning: Rudra said-  Listen, all you wise people, the pure devarSis , celebrated  brahmarSis ! All of you listen to my words! You and Agastya of great intellect listen to my profound words!
Agastya is hailed as “mahAbuddhE” by Rudra because he knows that Agastya is well aware of the answer to the question. Rudra also understands that Agastya asked the question only to enlighten everyone else of the truth as well.
yo yaj~nairIDyate devo yasmAt sarvamidaM jagat |utpannaM sarvadA yasmiMllInaM bhavati sAmaram || 70.15||
Meaning: He who is to be worshipped by sacrifice, is that Deva or the One with auspicious attributes, from whom this entire Universe has arisen and in Whom the Universe with the gods is dissolved.
Note that Rudra does not begin immediately by saying “worship vishNu”. That would imply a bias. The method is to first provide the primary lakshaNam of Brahman, which is jagatkAraNatva as per the shAstras - “yato va imani bhutani jayante yena jatani jivanti yat prayanti abhisamvishantI” and “janmAdyasya yaTha”.
By usage of “deva”, Rudra declares that this being has infinite auspicious attributes.
nArAyaNaH paro devaH sattvarUpo janArdanaH |tridhAtmAnaM sa bhagavAn sasarja parameshvaraH || 70.16||
Meaning: Narayana is the Supreme God, who is Janardhana (as he protects the sadhus from asurAs) of the nature of Sattva, the One with 6 auspicious attributes (bhagavAn), the Supreme Lord of All (paramEsvara), created himself in three ways (tridhA AtmAnaM sasarja) – Meaning, He became the inner self of gross forms that are his body in 3 guNas of varying proportions.
After describing the lakshaNam of jagatkAraNatva, Rudra follows the chAga paShu nyAya – the general context is subsumed in a specific context. He identifies that Supreme Brahman who is the cause  of the Universe as Narayana, who is the Supreme Being, of the nature of sattva and hence the enemy of the wicked.
“He creates himself in 3 ways” – This means, he became the indweller of the gross forms which are created in varying proportions of the tri-guNas (sattva, rajas and tamas). By virtue of sharIrAtma bhAva and sAmAnAdhikaraNyam, it is said “he created himself”.
He also remains blemishless despite his pervasion with 6 auspicious attributes (jnAna, bala, vIrya, aishwarya, Shakti, tejas) and does not undergo reduction. He creates the gross forms which divide the jIvas into varNa-jAti-deva-manuShya, etc. He remains thus the supreme lord of all.
Note also that Rudra simply says “nArAyaNaH parO devaH” which means that the qualities like jagatkAraNatva are well known to be seen in the person connoted by this name. There is no doubt about this.
So, this answers Agastya’s question of who is to be worshipped. Now, Rudra proceeds to describe the tattvas related to how Narayana is the indweller of Brahma and Rudra. This would answer how Narayana is to be worshipped in sacrifice, ie, as the inner controller of the devas.
rajastamobhyAM yukto.abhUd rajaH sattvAdhikaM vibhuH |sasarja nAbhikamale brahmANaM kamalAsanam || 70.17||
Meaning: He, who is unlimited or all-pervading in nature, associated Himself (by such pervasion) with rajas and tamas. In the lotus springing from His navel, He created Brahma who abounds in rajas and sattva and is seated in the lotus.
Bhagavan does not directly associate himself with rajas or tamas. He remains as the indweller of Brahma and Rudra who respectively possess rajas and tamas, and thus, Bhagavan himself is said to possess these gunas by sAmAnAdhikaraNyam.
rajasA tamasA yuktaH so.api mAM tvasRRijat prabhuH |yatsattvaM sa harirdevo yo haristatparaM padam || 70.18||
Meaning: Brahma associated with rajas and tamas, in turn created me.  He who is of the nature of sattva is the God known as Hari (destroyer of pApa karmas). He who is known as Hari (destroyer of pApa karmas), is that Supreme Goal (to be attained).
This can also be taken as – “Hari who is associated with rajas as the indweller of Brahma, became associated with tamas, as the indweller of Brahma and created me”.
ye sattvarajasI so.api brahmA kamalasambhavaH |yo brahmA saiva devastu yo devaH saH chaturmukhaH |yadrajastamasopetaM so.ahaM nAstyatra saMshayaH || 70.19||
Meaning: Those two (guNas) that are sattva and rajas (in mixture), is indeed the (state or condition of the) lotus-born Brahma. He who has Brahma as His body, is alone the God with auspicious attributes, nArAyaNa (Deva).  He who is the effulgent god (nArAyaNa), is the (inner self of) the four faced Brahma. That (Hari who is in the condition of) rajas (as the inner self of Brahma) which becomes endowed with tamas, is (the inner self of) me. Let there be no doubts.
Hari is of the nature of sattva. As the indweller of Brahma, he is endowed with rajas, meaning, Brahma possesses rajO guNa admixed with sattva guNa, which is called "mishra-sattva". Hari, who has auspicious attributes signified by "Deva" which in turn indicates his nature of suddha sattva, is “Brahma” or One who has Brahma as his body.
Hari who is the effulgent god as he is the Lord of Sri (Deva) is thus the inner controller of the 4 faced Brahma just as a body is controlled by the self. All names signifying the body denote the self. Since Brahma is his body, the name "Brahma" denotes Hari who is his inner self on account of sAmAnAdhikaraNyam.

That Hari, who is in the state of rajas as the inner self of Brahma, becomes endowed with tamas as the inner self of Rudra when the latter is created by Brahma. Here, "Rudra" or "me" as spoken by Rudra denotes the inner self of Rudra as well by sAmAnAdhikaraNyam and sharirAtma bhAva.

Let there be no doubts - this tattva is well known by the shastra.
sattvaM rajastamashchaiva tritayaM chaitaduchyate |sattvena muchyate jantuH sattvaM nArAyaNAtmakam || 70.20||
Meaning: The three guNas are called sattva, rajas and tamas. By sattva, all beings are liberated and Narayana is filled with, ie, of the nature of sattva.
rajasA sattvayuktena bhavet sRRiShTI rajo.adhikA |tachcha paitAmahaM vRRittaM sarvashAstreShu paThyate || 70.21||
Meaning: By Rajas which is associated with Sattva (Narayana), creation predominated by Rajas occurs. That (creation born of rajas) proceeds from Brahma and is well known from the shastras
yadvedabAhyaM karma syAchChAstramuddishya sevyate |tadraudramiti vikhyAtaM kaniShThaM gaditaM nRRiNAm || 70.22||
Meaning: The Shastra stipulating actions which are opposed to the Vedas to be followed, that (Shastra) is called “Raudram” ie, originating from or related to Rudra, the lowly (doctrine) by people.
After declaring Narayana as the jagatkAraNa, Rudra explained the divisions of sattva, rajas and tamas, and thereby showed how Narayana alone is sattva and capable of liberation as opposed to Brahma and himself who are rajas and tamas. He now proceeds to elaborate that actions opposed to the veda, but which are followed as Shastra, originate from tAmas and rajas, giving as an example the pAshupata doctrine. “kaniSTHa” means lowly or base doctrine. This is a reference to the pAshupata Shastra.
The recension quoted by srI yAmunAchArya has a slightly different version of the same verse as follows:
tadvedabAhyaM karmoktaM mAmuddishyopasevyate | tadvai pAshupataM nAma kaniShThaM mohanaM nRRiNAm || mAM viShNuvyatirekeNa pUjayanti narAdhamAH |
[Rudra’s words: “The said act of worship concerning me which is being observed is really outside the Veda. This ritual called pAshupata is the lowliest and deceives men. Only the lowest people worship me with exclusion of Vishnu (ie, worshipping me independently without seeing vishNu as my inner self and our one-ness due to sharIrAtma bhAva).”]
yaddhInaM rajasA karma kevalaM tAmasaM tu yat |tad durgatiparaM nRRINAmiha loke paratra cha || 70.23||
Meaning: That base action which is of the nature of rajas and that (action) purely out of tamas, that (action) leads people to misery in this world as well as the next.
sattvena muchyate jantuH sattvaM nArAyaNAtmakam |nArAyaNashcha bhagavAn yaj~narUpI vibhAvyate || 70.24||
Meaning: By sattva, all beings are liberated and Narayana is the nature of sattva. Narayana, who is also the One with 6 auspicious attributes, is considered as the embodiment of sacrifice.
Therefore, nArAyaNa alone is to be worshipped in the sacrifice as the inner controller. Now, as an extension to the question asked, Rudra proceeds to elaborate on the various means by which nArAyaNa is worshipped.
kRRite nArAyaNaH shuddhaH sUkShmamUrtirupAsyate |tretAyAM yaj~narUpeNa pa~ncharAtraistu dvApare || 70.25||
Meaning: In the Krita Yuga, Narayana is worshipped in his form which is pure and subtle or difficult to comprehend (ie, realized by meditation).  In the Treta Yuga, he is worshipped in the form of Sacrifice. In the Dvapara, he is worshipped according to the pAncharAtra (archAavatAra in temples).
BhagavAn is meditated upon as the inner controller, who is difficult to comprehend via the senses in the Krita yuga. People in this yuga thus can meditate on the divyAtma svarUpa of the Lord. Whereas, sacrifice is the mode of worship in Treta Yuga. In the Dvapara, people worship him in his forms in temples.
kalau matkRRitamArgeNa bahurUpeNa tAmasaiH |ijyate dveShabuddhyA sa paramAtmA janArdanaH || 70.26||
Meaning: In the Kali Yuga, Janardhana, the Supreme Self, is worshipped in various forms that are of the nature of Tamas, through the path established by me, with the intention of aversion (towards the true nature of the Lord).
The conversion of worshipping the Lord in various ways now leads naturally to the discussion on the paths opposed to the Vedas.
This talks about the nature of the pAShupata maTha he propagates in kali yuga. Since this maTha is more prevalent in this yuga, it was called “kaNiSTha” or young. This path is for those who are averse to the true nature of the Lord. By aversion, it is meant that these people, owing to karma vAsaNas, are not attracted to the auspicious qualities of the Lord and could potentially also turn to paths which lead to further harm for themselves and others.
To ensure that these people are kept in check from further regression, Rudra has created the new doctrine whereby they worship various forms and other gods which are of the nature of tamas, ie, forms which are not suddha sattva and cause delusion. This is a reference to the pAShupaTha maTha and the rAjasa/tAmasa purAnAs.
At the same time, it is also clarified that even such wrong worship only goes ultimately to Narayana, who is the supreme self and the inner controller of the gods worshipped even in these paths and also is the slayer of the wicked (Janardhana). SrI rAmAnuja points out in the srI bhAshya that even the pAShupata maTha etc ultimately is directed towards nArAyaNa only, its just that the followers do not know that the inner self of paShupati is nArAyaNa.
na tasmAt parato devo bhavitA na bhaviShyati |yo viShNuH sa svayaM brahmA yo brahmA so.ahameva cha || 70.27||
There is no god superior to (Narayana) in the past, present or future. He who is well known as vishNu, is Himself (the inner self of) brahma. He who is (the inner self) of Brahma (in this way), is alone (the inner self of) me too.
Rudra here clarifies how even tAmasa modes of worship also are ultimately directed ay Narayana. It is because there is no god above him; therefore Narayana alone is worshipped by these means. How does he accept such worship? By abiding as the inner controller of the gods who are worshipped by such people.
Here, there is no direct identity intended by saying “sa svayaM brahma, yaH brahma sohaM eva ca” since it was established in the previous line that there is no god superior to nArAyaNa (and hence, equal to him too). Since Brahma and Rudra are the body of Narayana, by sAmAnAdhikaraNyam, the antaryAmi is implied. Names which denote the body, denote the self. “Brahma” and “Rudra” thus denote the self of these deities as well, namely vishNu.
Note that Rudra says “he who is vishNu, is the inner controller of Brahma, and that inner controller of Brahma is my inner controller” instead of simply saying, “vishNu is mine and Brahma’s inner controller”.
The reason for this long windedness is because if we simply say “vishNu is the antaryAmin of Brahma and Rudra”, a doubt can arise as to whether vishNu suffers any modifications during such pervasion, ie, whether vishNu, as the inner controller of Brahma, is different from the inner controller of Rudra. shAstras refute this by saying “neha nAnAsti kincana” – he does not undergo any diversity because of pervasion.
So, Rudra is saying – “vishNu is the antaryAmin of Brahma. That same antaryAmin is my antaryAmin” – which shows vishNu alone is supreme and also that he remains unchanged as the indweller in both Brahma and Rudra.
vedatraye.api yaj~ne.asmin yAjyaM vedeShu nishchayaH |yo bhedaM kurute.asmAkaM trayANAM dvijasattama |sa pApakArI duShTAtmA durgatiM gatimApnuyAt || 70.28||
Meaning: O best of Brahmanas! Those who are learned in the 3 vedas and also adept at sacrifices are of the conviction, through study of the Vedas, that he who makes distinctions between us three gods – brahma, vishNu, Siva – that person is sinful, is of wicked mind and will obtain misery.
As explained earlier, this is not direct identity but only sarIrAtma bhAva.  One must see the oneness of the three gods in that brahma and rudra are the body of vishNu, and this vishNu as the inner controller of brahma and rudra is not different from vishNu who is himself.
Anyone who sees distinctions in the sense of thinking that Brahman undergoes reduction in attributes or deformation by becoming the inner self of different beings, attains misery. Those who see Brahma and Rudra as different from vishNu as though they are independent and not dependent will attain misery. The wise see the three deities as one since vishNu alone is the inner controller of the other two.
In this context, one must not think vishNu, by being the inner controller of the other 2 gods, attains the rajas and tamas which are characteristics of those gods. He remains sattva even as their inner self. This is what yajnavAlkya intends by saying “neha nAnAsti kincana” as well.
Those who see distinctions, go from death to death, ie, they revolve in samsAra always.
SECTION 3 – The“Fit Doctrine”
idaM cha shrRRiNu me.agastya gadataH prAktanaM tathA |yathA kalau harerbhaktiM na kurvantIha mAnavAH || 70.29||
Meaning: O Agastya! Listen. I shall tell you about the ancient times during kaliyuga when all the people did not have devotion to Hari.
Rudra had briefly alluded to the kaNiShTa or lowly doctrine while describing nArAyaNa. He realized that this had caught the attention of the rSis and proceeds to elaborate it in detail now.
bhUrlokavAsinaH sarve purA yaShTvA janArdanam |bhuvarlokaM prapadyante tatrasthA api keshavam |ArAdhya svargatiM yAnti kramAnmuktiM vrajanti cha || 70.30||
Meaning: In olden times, the residents of the Bhu Loka all worshipped Janardhana. Arriving at Bhuvar Loka, they stayed there and engaged in devotion to Keshava, attaining Svarga loka, andsuccessively progressing to that abode which is (relatively) freed from sorrow.
vishNu loka is the abode of bhagavAn within the material universe. It is referred to as “mukti” or “kArya vaikunta” since it is relatively more free of misery as compared to other places in the Universe and the yOgIs progress from this abode directly to sri vaikunta proper (paramam padam) once they are liberated. But even this place is not liberation but only within samsAra as seen in the case of Jaya and Vijaya who were cursed here.
Bhagavata purAna describes this abode as “amalAtmaNa” as it is relatively pure due to the presence of bhagavAn and great devotees, hence it is referred to as “mukti” here.
evaM muktipade vyApte sarvalokaistathaiva cha |muktibhAjastato devAstaM dadhyuH prayatA harim || 70.31||
Meaning: In this manner, having obtained the abode known as “kArya vaikunta” and also all other worlds, abiding there, worshipped that Lord of Sri, engaging in meditation, offering (themselves, ie, self-surrender) to Hari.
“deva” – he attains his devatva due to srI (sraddhAya devO devatvam asnutE). Therefore, she precipitates his qualities of affection, etc which are required for self surrender.
so.api sarvagatatvAchcha prAdurbhUtaH sanAtanaH |uvAcha brUta kiM kAryaM sarvayogivarAH surAH || 70.32||
Meaning: He (Hari) who is all pervading, and also ever associated with a form, became manifest before them. He asked them, “what can I do for you, O best of all yogis, people of great intellect”?
He is everywhere by virtue of pervasion and hence is sarvagataH. But as denoted by the word “api”, he is also “sanAtanaH” – ever associated with a form since ancient times. Bhattar interprets “tana” in this nAma in bhagavad guNa darpaNam as “tanu” – “sadA tanatvaM” – One who is ever associated with a form.  So, despite being all pervasive, he also has his own unique and bewitching form.
te taM praNamya deveshamUchushcha parameshvaram |devadeva janaH sarvo muktimArge vyavasthitaH |kathaM sRRiShTiH prabhavitA narakeShu cha ko vaset || 70.33||
Meaning: They offered obeisance to him, the ruler of the devas, the Lord of all and said: O God of Gods! All people are situated on the path to liberation. How will creation occur and who will then reside in hell?
The number of jIvas are infinite and even if an infinite number is liberated, that means an infinite number of jIvas still exist in samsAra and shRshti never stops. That being the case, why do these jnAnIs ask this question to bhagavAn? The only reason is because they wish to hear the tattvas from bhagavAn himself. They are also aware of the fact that most of the population in the Universe is of sAttvika disposition and bent on moksha, so they wish to know how long such a situation lasts and how that will change.
evamuktastato devaistAnuvAcha janArdanaH |yugAni trINi bahavo mAmupeShyanti mAnavAH || 70.34||
Meaning: Asked thus by the devas, Janardhana spoke – “In the first 3 yugas, most of those who are competent to meditate will attain me”.
“mAnava” – manana shIla – This includes manuShya, deva and all those competent to meditate and perform sAdhana, excluding animals and so on.
Just because someone is competent to meditate on bhagavAn, it does not mean he attains him. The desire to attain him must be there, or the competency is wasted. This is mentioned in gita as “vAsudevam sarvam idam mahAtmAnam sa durlabha:” So, what bhagavAn is saying here is that in the first 3 yugas, all those competent to meditate will have the desire to attain him, and thus most will attain him.
antye yuge praviralA bhaviShyanti madAshrayAH |eSha mohaM sRRijAmyAshu yo janaM mohayiShyati || 70.35||
Meaning: In the last yuga (Kali), peoplewho resort to me are very rare. I shall produce delusion which will confuse  the people.
One must note that bhagavAn is not saying he will deliberately mislead the people away from Him. He first points out that very few will resort to him in Kali yuga. This means, these people, though provided with the means, will not have the desire or sAttvic disposition to attain him. They will try to indulge in acts which cause harm. To prevent them from totally going astray, bhagavAn will produce delusion in the form of shAstras which belittle his greatness, but which will be followed by these people. By following this path, they will be kept in check from pursuing more dangerous paths.
tvaM cha rudra mahAbAho mohashAstrANi kAraya |alpAyAsaM darshayitvA phalaM dIrghaM pradarshaya || 70.36||
Meaning: “You, Rudra, of mighty arms, shall produce the (seemingly) instructive texts which cause delusion.  By just a little effort, produce a large result!”
By this statement, it is clear that Rudra was among those who were present in kArya vaikunta at that time. BhagavAn thus orders Rudra to produce a new doctrine for those whose vAsana-s cause aversion to Brahman. These shAstras are seemingly instructive – they deceptively appear to be guidelines that preach for the good of the people, but actually cause illusion.
BhagavAn also says that a little effort is only needed on the part of Rudra. The point is that, while there may be few who are willing to accept the truth despite the best efforts of the wise to educate them, that which is false or misleading always gains a number of followers with the merest of efforts!
srI yAmunachArya quotes a slightly modified version of the same verse from another recension:
tvaM hi rudra! mahAbAho! mohashAstrANi kAraya |kuhakAdIndrajAlAni viruddhAcharaNAni cha ||darshayitvA.alpamAyAsaM phalaM shIghraM pradarshaya |darshayitvA janaM sarvaM mohayAshu maheshvara! ||
[Sriman Narayana’s words: “You indeed Rudra, having large powerful arms, (I command to) teach scriptures that are intended to delude. Thus shall you propagate illusions, trickery, jugglery, and the like, as well as contradictory doctrines. Having shown the way for practices that need little effort, present the fruits (of those actions) swiftly. Having shown, delude all these people quickly.”]
srI mAdhva too quotes this, and once again, a slight modification is seen:
eSha mohaM sRRijAmyAshu yo janAnmohayiShyati / tvaM cha rudra mahAbAho mohashAstrANi kAraya /atathyAni vitathyAni darshayasva mahAbhuja / prakAshaM kuru chAtmAnamaprakAshaM cha mAM kuru /
Translation: Now I shall create such things as would soon engender doubt and misconception among men; mighty Rudra, thou too hadst better have misleading works produced (by Dadichi, etc.) Let the people be made to see what is not true and what is against truth. Make thyself well-known to the world and spread darkness with regard to me.
The fact that it is in all recensions vouches for its authenticity. Minor modifications are due to oral transmission.
kuhakaM chendrajAlAni viruddhAcharaNAni cha |darshayitvA janaM sarvaM mohayAshu maheshvara || 70.37||
Meaning: By the web of mAya that is prakrti, concealinghimself from those averse to resorting to him, all the people were also then made to perceive the delusion caused by the Great Lord (nArAyaNa).
“indrajAlam” is nothing but mAya which is prakrti of the three guNas. BhagavAn is concealed from the ajnAnIs by this mAya. Remaining hidden, he, the Lord nArAyaNa who is mahEshwara, the wielder of mAya, deluded these people of Asuric svabhAva.
This new doctrine propagated by Rudra is the pAShupata maTha which was intended to confuse people. This has two-fold purpose. Firstly, it prevents them from seeking worse paths whereby they could fall. Secondly, by making them follow a misleading path, it means they are experiencing the fruits of their pApa karmas by suffering such delusion – thus, these pApa karmas are getting diminished which in turn would eventually lead to them being purified and resorting to vishNu. Therefore, such delusion is an act of compassion by bhagavAn and there is no malicious intent in it, as otherwise they could never expend their pApa karmas and would continue to have asura bhAva.
This doctrine of Rudra thus has a particular purpose and is not entirely worthless, but this does not mean it is an honorable path or the true knowledge. It is unvedic.
evamuktvA tadA tena devena parameShThinA |AtmA tu gopitaH sadyaH prakAshyo.ahaM kRRitastadA || 70.38||
Meaning: Such was spoken at the time by the effulgent Lord who resides in the Supreme Abode (parameShThinA), concealing himself instantly, made me manifest or celebrated (for those people).
The Lord who by nature is the Supreme Being, full of auspicious attributes, the resident of the Supreme abode, concealed himself and from then all, those people of Asuric svabhAva only saw Rudra very clearly and celebrated him – meaning, they saw Rudra who is the body of nArAyaNa without realizing that nArAyaNa is the inner self of Rudra. Being deluded thus, they would resort to Rudra in a manner that the Gita condemns as “avidhi pUrvakam”.
tasmAdArabhya kAlaM tu matpraNIteShu sattama |shAstreShvabhirato loko bAhulyena bhavedataH || 70.39||
Meaning: From that time, O virtuous one, the world thus became strictly engaged in the practice of the shAstras propagated by me
The usage of “loka” means that most of the world were following the moha-shAstra. It is a predominant majority, but not absolute since there are always some wise people here and there.
vedAnuvarttinaM mArgaM devaM nArAyaNaM tathA |ekIbhAvena pashyanto muktibhAjo bhavanti te || 70.40||
Meaning: Following the path of the Vedas, worshipping nArAyaNa, seeing all as One, ie, seeing all as having nArAyaNa as their inner self and everything as his body, people become liberated.
The true path which leads to moksha is upAsaNa which involves meditation on bhagavAn having everything as his body and being the inner self of all. This is distinguished from the path of the moha-shAstra which does not recognize this fact and considers deities other than nArAyaNa as supreme.
mAM viShNorvyatiriktaM ye brahmANaM cha dvijottama |bhajante pApakarmANaste yAnti narakaM narAH || 70.41||
Meaning: O best of the twice-born! Those people who are engaged in such worship which sees me as distinct from vishNu and brahma (in terms of vishNu being the antaryAmin of both), are driven to do acts which are sinful and attain hell.
The previous sloka emphasized that understanding nArAyaNa as the inner self of all was the vedic path which led to liberation. In this sloka, Rudra expounds the behavior of the asurAs.
Both Brahma and Rudra are the body of vishNu (yasya Atma sarIram) as he is their inner self. Just as names which denote the body denote the self, the terms “brahma” and “rudra” denote vishNu. In that sense, vishNu himself is all the gods and everything.  So, there is oneness, but not identity. The equation is only by sAmAnAdhikaraNyam.
Here it says that the ignorant think that the three gods – Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra – are distinct in the sense that brahma and rudra are independent and supreme. They fail to realize that vishNu alone is the inner self of the two gods, and hence everything is the body of bhagavAn – these people are doomed to commit sins and attain hell.
This is because such people see others distinct from themselves without realizing all have vishNu as their inner self and hence cultivate feelings of enmity, they think that Brahma and Rudra are independent, thus get temporary and harmful boons from these gods (such as rAvaNa and hiranyakasipu) and attain hell.
So how can they be redeemed from their state? Rudra explains:
ye vedamArganirmuktAsteShAM mohArthameva cha |nayasiddhAntasa~nj~nAbhirmayA shAstraM tu darshitam || 70.42||
Meaning: Indeed for the purpose of deluding these people who are bereftof the path of the Vedas, I also revealed the shAstra named “the doctrine that is fit” (naya siddhAntha).
The previous sloka explained that if left to their devices, these people who do not see the oneness of all gods and beings in the sense of the sarvAntaryAmitvam of nArAyaNa could do great harm to themselves and to others. To redeem them, the compassionate Lord nArAyaNa, who is always thinking of ways to save the jIvas, directed Rudra to propagate a doctrine of delusion. This doctrine is called “naya siddhAntha” because it is fit to be practiced by those who are outside the vaidika mArga.
This doctrine is meant for those people who due to their karmas, are unable to comprehend nArAyaNa is the self of all. It would direct these people to the worship of other deities. Despite the fact that these people would still lack knowledge that nArAyaNa is the inner self, they would nonetheless be restrained from harm because they would follow specific injunction and commands in this moha-shAstra – observing certain religious practices and conducts which would eventually improve them and make them turn towards the ultimate truth in the long run.
Thus, they would not become asurAs like rAvaNa and hiranyakasipu. These shAstras claim to lead to moksha by preaching wrong meanings; but it would inculcate the desire of moksha in these people so that they leave aside their temptations (despite the description of mokSha being erroneous in these works). In time, the respective deities would instruct them on the real truth.
Why is this doctrine known as “fit to be practiced by those outside of the path of the Vedas”? In other words, when does this doctrine become fit for them? Rudra answers below.
pAsho.ayaM pashubhAvastu sa yadA patito bhavet |
tadA pAshupataM shAstraM jAyate vedasa~nj~nitam || 70.43||
Meaning: This pAsha (trap), ie, delusion, is the state or nature of the paShu (anger or attachments)when it becomes wicked. Then the “pAshupata shAstra” (relating to paShupati, the possessor of anger or attachments)becomes suitable to be termed as the Veda.
“pASha” means a trap or rope that binds.This refers to delusion. “paShu” according to the mahAnArAyaNa Upanishad means anger or desire, ie, material attachments. When such desire or attachments reach a certain level of degradation, then that state is termed as “pASha” – the trap of delusion.
This is mentioned in the Gita where it says “kAmAt krodho abhijAyatE, krodhAt sammoham bhavati” – (Gita 2.62-63)
When this state is reached, these individuals become eligible to follow the new doctrine propagated by Rudra. And for these individuals, this new doctrine becomes suitable to be called as the Veda, ie, it is to be followed by them diligently and it would keep them from degrading further.Thus It is verily the Veda for them as they are ineligible for the true Veda – and it would help them restrain their tendencies. The term “jAyatE” implies that the pAshupata shAstra becomes suited to the appellation of the Veda and not that it is the very Veda itself. “tadA” means at the time when they reach that state of tamO guNa.
This new doctrine, on this basis, becomes known as “pAShupata” – related or belonging to paShupati. Here “paShupati” means the possessor (pati) of anger or desire (paShu) and denotes the individuals following this darShana.
Thus, the pAShupata shAstra has some elements that are useful. However, this usefulness does not validate the doctrine, which is still false. Sri Sudarshana Suri remarks in sruta prakAsika that whatever good is in the pAShupata maTha is actually pointing towards nArAyaNa, and that alone imparts some practical value to the maTha.
What is good in the pAShupata maTha is not unique to it as it is found in the Vaidika maTha; what is unique to the pAShupata maTha is simply wrong and not good.
vedamUrtirahaM vipra nAnyashAstrArthavAdibhiH |j~nAyate matsvarUpaM tu muktvA vedamanAdimat |vedavedyo.asmi viprarShe brAhmaNaishcha visheShataH || 70.44||
Meaning: O wise sage! I (as the body of nArAyaNa), have the Vedas as my form. However, my nature (of having nArAyaNa as the inner-self), is not known to those who have given up the apauruSheya veda, adhering to the meanings of other shAstra-s (which are opposed to the Vedas and pauruSheya).  I am (nArAyaNa, who has Rudra as his body) to be known by the Vedas, O wise rSi and especially by the instructors of the Vedas.
Having described the nature of the pAshupata maTha, Rudra now proceeds to explain the true vaidika darShana.
Here, wherever Rudra uses the word “I” and “Me”, it should be taken to refer to his inner self, nArAyaNa. This is because Rudra is the body of nArAyaNa and names that denote the body, denote the self. If we say “Jack”, it denotes both Jack’s body and Jack’s self, thus Jack is a name for both. Thus, “ahaM” here refers to nArAyaNa, who has Rudra as his body.
The gist of this slOka is that the followers of the naya siddhAntha or the pAShupata maTha regard Rudra as independent. However, Rudra says here that the followers of the Veda consider nArAyaNa, who has rudra as his body, as the form of the Veda and is to be known by the Veda and the teachers of the Veda.
This nature of Rudra, which is that of having nArAyaNa as his inner controller, is unknown to the followers of the inferior shAstra. They conceive Rudra as independently supreme.
By the logic of sAmAnAdhikaraNyam, Rudra uses “ahaM” to denote his inner self, nArAyaNa. This The same logic is used by Prahlada in Vishnu Purana as follows:
"I am all things: all things are in me, who am everlasting. I am undecayable, ever enduring, the receptacle of the spirit of the supreme. Brahma is my name; the supreme self, that is before all things, that is after the end of all."
Just as prahlAda is not Brahman, neither is Rudra. Both are jIvas simply using sharIrAtma bhAva to express the Oneness with nArAyaNa. This illustrates Rudra’s dependency and seshatva.
yugAni trINyahaM vipra brahmA viShNustathaiva cha |trayo.api sattvAdiguNAstrayo vedAstrayo.agnayaH || trayo lokAstrayaH sandhyAstrayo varNAstathaiva cha |savanAni tu tAvanti tridhA baddhamidaM jagat || 70.(45-46)||
Meaning: I am the three yugas, O seer, and also Brahma and Vishnu. I am also the three guNas – sattva, rajas and tamas, the three Vedas and the three fires.I am the three worlds, the three sandhyAs and the three varNas. I am the three savanas, the three kinds of bonds or suffering – Adhyatmika, Adhidaivaka and Adhibautika-in this world.
This is again an expression of shArIrAtma bhAva – “I, that is to say, my inner self, nArAyaNa is also the inner self of all these” is the indicated meaning. The inner self of Rudra is verily the inner self of Brahma, and is verily vishNu too. The mention of other things like triguNas, agni-traya, etc shows this is not absolute identity but oneness.
Similarly, the rishi vAmadeva declares, “I am Manu, the Sun” in the Upanishads. It is a realization of sharIrAtma bhAva and seshatvaM.
ya evaM vetti viprarShe paraM nArAyaNaM tathA |aparaM padmayoniM tu brahmANaM tvaparaM tu mAm |guNato mukhyatastveka evAhaM moha ityuta || 70.47||
Meaning: He who knows the truths in this manner, O wise sage, therefore (tathA) knows nArAyaNa who is the Supreme (paraM), the lotus born Brahma who is inferior to nArAyaNa (aparaM) and me who again is inferior to nArAyaNa (aparam tu mAm), as primarily One, differentiated by guNas. It is delusion which causes (perception of) difference.
The jnAni who reflects on the fact of sharIrAtma bhAva as expounded by Rudra above understands first that it is nArAyaNa who is the referent of all those terms as he is the inner self. Hence, he understands nArAyaNa to be the Supreme, and by virtue of sharIrAtma bhAva, he sees Brahma and Rudra, who are inferior, as the body of nArAyaNa – thus, there is oneness in the sense of sharIra-sharIrI bhAva. The three are One in that Brahma and Rudra have nArAyaNa as their inner self, but they are differentiated by the guNas of sattva, rajas and tamas – for each of the three deities – vishNu, brahma and rudra – respectively.
Those who do not understand this, see Brahma and Rudra as different in the sense of being independent from nArAyaNa, which is caused by delusion.
SECTION 4 – The Vision of Narayana as the indweller ofRudra
agastya uvAcha |
evamuktastato devA RRiShayashcha pinAkinA |ahaM cha nRRipate tasya devasya praNato.abhavam || 71.1||
Meaning: Agastya said: Oh King (Lord of men), after the bearer of the pinAka spoke thus to us, the devas, rSis ,I bowed to that Deva.
“pinAka” – the name does not just mean Siva has the pinAka bow, but it also signifies he bears the quality of drinking or experiences (pi-) the bliss of the supreme abode (nAkha) which is the lotus feet of nArAyaNa. Thus, it signifies he is a knower ofvishNu.
praNamya shirasA devaM yAvat pashyAmahe nRRipa |tAvat tasyaiva rudrasya dehasthaM kamalAsanam || 71.2||
Meaning: O King! Upon bowing our heads to that foremost of devas, I saw, at that time, truly, indeed the (form) of that (nArAyaNa), situated in the body of Rudra, seated in the lotus (of the heart).
The rSi had a darshaNa of the Supreme Being seated in the heart of Rudra. “kamalAsanam” means seated on the lotus. The heart is referred to as the lotus here. “tasyaiva” –  tatparamAtmanaH rUpaM eva. Since “rudrasya” occurs, the word “tasyaiva” should be taken as someone who was referred to as earlier. This is nArAyaNa, who has been the object of discussion so far. This is indicated by “eva” here. “tat” always denotes parabrahman.
If we remember, the nArAyaNa sUkta contains the words “viSva-sambhUvam” – he who is the inner controller of Shambhu – and goes on to describe bhagavAn in the heart lotus. That should be remembered here.
nArAyaNaM cha hRRidaye trasareNususUkShmakam |jvaladbhAskaravarNAbhaM pashyAma bhavadehataH || 71.3||
Meaning: In the body of Bhava, I saw nArAyaNa in his heart, as very subtle and minute, effulgent with the color of the Sun (due to association with srI mahAlakshmi).
“bhava” – He who brings forth knowledge of vishNu. This is the etymology behind Siva’s name.This sloka is a description of the form of bhagavAn in the lotus of the heart.
taM dRRiShTvA vismitAH sarve yAjakA RRiShayo mama |jayashabdaravAMshchakruH sAmaRRigyajuShAM svanam || 71.4||
Meaning: Seeing that, all the rSis  who were involved in my sacrifice were amazed. They hailed (nArAyaNa) with words of “Jaya” and by uttering the rk, yajus and sAma Vedas.
“jaya” – may you live long, may auspiciousness and victory be yours, etc. Such words are uttered to bhagavAn out of extreme love defined by periyazhwar as “pongum parivu”.
kRRitvochuste tadA devaM kimidaM parameshvara |ekasyAmeva mUrtau te lakShyante cha trimUrttayaH || 71.5||
Meaning: Then, they asked parameshvara (rudra), “what is the (nature) of this deva, whereby the three form s(brahma, vishNu, Siva) are attributes of his unique form alone?”
Prior to seeing the form of nArAyaNa in the lotus of the heart of Rudra, the rishis had been instructed that the trimUrti is essentially one in the sense of nArAyaNa being the inner self. Having seen visual confirmation, they became convinced that nArAyaNa is the inner controller of the devas. Hence this question.
“parameshvara” – Rudra, who is the master of the highest knowledge of Brahman.
His One form is the form that is unique form (ekasya) that is matchless and immense since it is the resort of everything in the Universe. The second “eva” signifies that this form is the cause and has everything as its body. Anything that is a body of bhagavAn is an inseparable attribute of bhagavAn.
Brahma and Rudra have nArAyaNa as their inner self and they are his body, hence they are inseparable attributes of bhagavAn. However, vishNu is verily nArAyaNa – thus it is not correct to say “vishNu is the inseparable attribute of vishNu”. So, what is meant here is that the *body of vishNu* - ie, his glorious form, weapon, ornaments, etc which is his own unique body are the attributes of nArAyaNa, the mUla rUpa.
So, brahma and rudra are themselves attributes of nArAyaNa, in the case of vishNu, being verily nArAyaNa, it is vishNu’s *form* that is the inseparable attribute of nArAyaNa. This must be understood
The rSis, by this query – “kim idam devam” – want to know thus – “what is the nature of this Being” – They already know the identity of this Being as nArAyaNa. What is his essential nature? That is the question.
rudra uvAcha |
yaj~ne.asmin yaddhutaM havyaM mAmuddishya maharShayaH |te trayo.api vayaM bhAgaM gRRihNImaH kavisattamAH || nAsmakaM vividhO bhAvo vartatE munisattamaH|samyagdRRishaH prapashyanti viparIteShvanekashaH || 71.(6-7)||
Meaning: Rudra said: O best of seers! Whatever is offered in this sacrifice for me by the maharSis, indeed is a share forthe three of us. The wise regard us, O best among munis, as not having different natures; there is no diversity.
Rudra answers this question put by the rSis in the context of the sacrifice that is being conducted. He has appeared for his share of the sacrifice but clarifies that whatever is offered to him, is shared by all 3 –vishNu, brahma and rudra.This implies that bhagavAn alone is the means.
Meaning, whatever is offered to him, goes to his inner self, nArAyaNa. And since the same nArAyaNa is the inner self of brahma and the same nArAyaNa is verily vishNu as well, it can be said that the offerings go to all 3.  “bhAva” refers to the essential nature of having nArAyaNa as the antaryAmin.
The context of the sacrifice is used as an example or analogy by Rudra to show that the paramAtman who has brahma and Siva due to “sarvAntaryAmitvaM” and his own (vishNu’s) body as his attributes due is the acceptor of all offerings. This means that all merits of the sacrifice are bestowed by nArAyaNa alone. This makes him the means. Therefore, the essential nature of nArAyaNa is “upAyatva” or being the means.
Thus is answered the question of Agastya in full.
SECTION 5 – The Curse of Gautama and the Creation of the “NiHshvAsa Samhita” by Rudra
evamukte tu rudreNa sarve te munayo nRRipa |paprachChuH sha~NkaraM devaM mohashAstraprayojanam || 71.8||
Meaning: O King! Thus said by Rudra, all the munis inquired that god known as Shankara about the occasion (behind) moha-sAstra.
Note the usage of “Shankara” to denote Rudra. “Sam karOti iti Samkara” – He causes bliss by providing knowledge of vishNu. The rSis were highly pleased with the knowledge imparted to them by Rudra. Considering how Rudra preached the truths, proving he was “Shankara”, the rSis now wondered, how could this same person be responsible for the moha-sAstra pravachana? This reminded them again of his role as the moha-shAstra karta.
Rudra had already described the purpose of the pAShupata shAstra. So, the interest of the rSis was piqued. Here, the intent of the rSis is to ask, how did that order by nArAyaNa, to propagate moha-shAstra, come to fruition? How did you achieve it? That avoids redundancy since the purpose of the moha shAstra was already described.
RRiShaya UchuH |
mohanArthaM tu lokAnAM tvayA shAstraM pRRithak kRRitam |tat tvayA hetunA kena kRRitaM deva vadasva naH || 71.9||
Meaning: The rSis  asked: You have produced a shAstra separate (from the veda) for the purpose of deluding the worlds (as said earlier). Please tell us, O deva, by what means did you do this?
The rSis  want to know the circumstances by which Rudra was able to fulfill the duty allotted to him by nArAyaNa. Thus, Rudra tells them the incident.
rudra uvAcha |
asti bhAratavarSheNa vanaM daNDakasaMj~nitam |tatra tIvraM tapo ghoraM gautamo nAma vai dvijaH || chakAra tasya brahmA tu paritoShaM gataH prabhuH |uvAcha taM muniM brahmA varaM brUhi tapodhana || 71.(10-11)||
Meaning: Rudra said -  In Bharatavarsha, there is a forest called Dandaka. A brahmaNa named Gautama was performing severe penances there. On account of his penances, Brahma was pleased and asked him to seek a boon.
evamuktastadA tena brahmaNA lokakartR^iNA |uvAcha sadyaH pa~NktiM me dhAnyAnAM dehi padmaja || 71\.12||
Asked by Brahma, the Creator of the Worlds thus, Gautama said, “O lotus born! Give me an abundance of grains!”
evamukto dadau tasya tamevArthaM pitAmahaH |labdhvA tu taM varaM vipraH shatashrR^i~Nge mahAshramam ||chakAra tasyoShasi cha pAkAnte shAlayo dvijAH |lUyante tena muninA madhyAhne pachyate tathA |sarvAtithyamasau vipro brAhmaNebhyo dadAtyalam || 71.(13-14||
Meaning: Having asked this boon, Pitamaha (Brahma) granted it, and the rSi built a great Ashram in SatashRnga. Every morning, the rSi could reap the grain, cook it at noon and offer it to all his guests including the rSis  and brahmaNas.
kasyachit tvatha kAlasya mahati dvAdashAbdikA |anAvR^iShTirdvijavarA abhavallomaharShiNI || tAM dR^iShTvA munayaH sarve anAvR^iShTiM vanecharAH |kShudhayA pIDyamAmAstu prayayurgautamaM tadA || 71.(15-16)||
Meaning: The rSi became accustomed to this routine. However, a great drought occurred which lasted for 12 years. Distressed by the lack of food and drought, the rSis  living in the forest went to Gautama.
atha tAnAgatAn dR^iShTvA gautamaH shirasA nataH |uvAcha sthIyatAM mahyaM gR^ihe munivarAtmajAH ||evamuktAstu te tena tasthurvividhabhojanam |bhu~njamAnA anAvR^iShTiryAvat sA nivR^itA.abhavat || bhu~njamAnA anAvR^iShTiryAvat sA nivR^itA.abhavat||nivR^ittAyAM tu vai tasyAmanAvR^iShTyAM tu te dvijAH |tIrthayAtrAnimittaM tu prayAtuM manaso.abhavan || 71.(17-19)||
Meaning: Seeing the approaching rSis , Gautama paid respects to them and asked those sons of munis to stay at his Ashram. Having told thus (by Gautama), the rSis  stayed there eating a variety of foods until the drought was over. Once the drought ended, those brahmaNas desired to undertake a tIrtha-yAtra.
tatra shANDilyanAmAnaM tApasaM munisattamam |pratyuvAcheti saMchintya mIrIchaH paramo muniH || 71.20||
Meaning: Then, the great muni mArIcha spoke regarding this matter to one going by the name of Shandilya, who was the best among munis doing penances.
mArIcha uvAcha |
shANDilya shobhanaM vakShye pitA te gautamo muniH |tamanuktvA na gachChAmastapashchartuM tapovanam ||evamukte.atha jahasuH sarve te munayastadA |kimasmAbhiH svako deho vikrIto.asyAnnabhakShaNAt || 71.(21-22)||
Meaning: Maricha said - O Shandilya! Gautama muni is like a virtuous father (to us). We should not leave this tapOvaNaM (place of penance) seeking other places without telling him.When spoken to in this manner, all the munis then laughed, saying, “Have we sold ourselves to him (Gautama) for partaking of his food?
(Note- As Gautama had provided food for them which helped them continue their upAsaNa, he has attained an Acharya sthAna for these rSis . Therefore, just as a pupil cannot leave a teacher without his permission, neither can these rSis  leave Gautama without his assent. They also knew that Gautama would not be happy to let them go since he considered them as devotees. This in turn makes it their duty to make him happy as he has the status of acharya over them).
evamuktvA punashchochuH sopAdhigamanaM prati |kR^itvA mAyAmayIM gAM tu tachChAlau te vyasarjayan || 71.23||
Meaning: Having spoken thus, they talked of leaving the place again and decided to go, creating a wondrous (illusory) cow, letting it loose in the Ashram.
tAM charantIM tato dR^iShTvA shAlau gAM gautamo muniH |gR^ihItvA salilaM pANau yAhi rudretyabhAShata |tato mAyAmayI sA gauH papAta jalabindubhiH || 71\.24||
Meaning: When Gautama Muni saw that cow wandering around in his Ashram, he took some water in his hands and splashed it on his body. Then that illusory cow fell down even as a drop of water.
(Note – One cannot control the rapid fall of a drop of waterwhich then hits the surface violently and loses its configuration. Similarly, the cow fell down and died)
nihatAM tAM tato dR^iShTvA munIn jigamiShUMstathA |uvAcha gautamo dhImAMstAn munIn praNataH sthitaH || kimarthaM gamyate viprAH sAdhu shaMsata mAchiram |mAM vihAya sadA bhaktaM praNataM cha visheShataH || 71.(25-26)||
Meaning: Seeing that cow slain thus, the munis proceeded to leave. Gautama, turning around, bowed to those munis and asked them, “For what purpose are you going so quickly, O rSis , leaving me, who is ever your devotee, who is always obedient to you.
(Note – Gautama for his part, regarded them as devotees and his feeding them was construed by him as service to devotees of bhagavAn).
R^iShaya UchuH |
govadhyeyamiha brahman yAvat tava sharIragA |tAvadannaM na bhu~njAmo bhavato.annaM mahAmune || 71.27||
Meaning: The rSis  said - “O mahA muni! So long as the sin of cow slaughter remains with you, we shall not eat your food”.
evamukto gautamo.atha tAn munIn prAha dharmavit |prAyashchittaM govadhyAyA dIyatAM me tapodhanAH || 71.28||
Meaning: Hearing them speak thus, Gautama, who was conversant with dharma, asked the munis – “You who possess the wealth of penance give me (instructions) as to the prAyaschitta for killing the cow”.
iyaM gauramR^itA brahman mUrchChiteva vyavasthitA |ga~NgAjalaplutA cheyamutthAsyati na saMshayaH ||prAyashchittaM mR^itAyAH syAdamR^itAyAH kR^itaM tvidam |vrataM vA mA kR^ithAH kopamityuktvA prayayustu te || 71.(29-30)||
Meaning: “This cow is not dead but only unconscious. If it is bathed in the waters of the Ganga, it will rise up, there is no doubt. prAyaschittaM is for actual killing. For this sin, the mere performance of this vrata will suffice. Please do not be angry (about our leaving on this account)”. So saying, they left.
(Note – This indicates that the rSis  still felt guilty. But they used the opportunity to excuse themselves and leave.)
gataistairgautamo dhImAn himavantaM mahAgirim |mAmArAdhayiShuH prAyAt taptuM chAshu mahat tapaH ||shatamekaM tu varShANAmahamArAdhito.abhavam |tuShTena cha mayA prokto varaM varaya suvrata || 71.(31-32)||
Meaning: When they left, the intelligent Gautama went to the mighty Himalayas, where he undertook a great penance to worship me (Rudra). I was worshipped by him for 100 years and pleased with such penance, I asked him to seek a boon.
so.abravInmAM jakaTAsaMsthAM dehi ga~NgAM tapasvinIm |mayA sArdhaM prayAtveShA puNyA bhAgIrathI nadI ||evamukte jaTAkhaNDamekaM sa pradadau shivaH |tAM gR^ihya gatavAn so.api yatrAste sA tu gaurmR^itA || 71.(33-34)||
Meaning: He asked me to give him Ganga of great ascetic merit held in my matted locksand to let go half of that sacred bhAgirathI river to follow him. Being asked thus, I granted him that auspicious river from one part of my matted locks. And he led the river to his place where the cow still remained.
(Note – Ganga is called “puNya” as it arises from the lotus feet of vishNu, which Rudra received on his head. The river is also already called bhAgIrathi here. However, this incident can be construed as happening before bhagIratha brought the Ganga to Earth, because otherwise Gautama did not need to do penance. Since the narrator is Rudra, he calls this river “bhAgIrathi” to show that it was the same Ganga requested by bhagIratha as well. This is actually the origin of the godAvari river.)
tajjalaplAvitA sA gaurgatA chotthAya bhAminI |nadI cha mahatI jAtA puNyatoyA shuchihradA|| taM dR^iShTvA mahadAshcharyaM tatra saptarShayo.amalAH | AjagmuH khe vimAnasthAH sAdhuH sAdhviti vAdinaH || 71.(35-36)||
Meaning: Washed by that water, the cow rose up as a beautiful woman. The river became great and passed through sacred places. Seeing that phenomenon with wonder, the sinless saptarSis  came there in their vimAna-s saying “very good”!
(Note – It should be understood that this Ganga is not the celestial Ganga, making bhagIratha’s penance a necessity to bring it back to Earth. This part of Ganga became known as the Godavari, as will be seen later. This then ties with the narrative in the rAmAyaNa where Siva is requested to contain the flow of Ganga from the celestial world to the Earth by bearing it in his hair.
SaptarSis are sinless in the sense of not having karmas obstructing knowledge of Brahman. We say this because some of our readers seem to be confused on this aspect).
sAdhu gautama sAdhUnAM konyo.asti sadR^ishastava |yadevaM jAhnavIM devIM daNDake chAvatArayat || evamuktastadA taistu gautamaH kimidaM tviti |govadhyAkAraNaM mahyaM tAvat pashyati gautamaH || 71.(37-38)||
Meaning: “You are indeed very virtuous, O Gautama. Who else can bring the Devi jAhnavI (Ganga) to the DandakArANya?”When they spoke thus, Gautama pondered over as to how he had become the cause of cow slaughter.
(Note – the words of the saptarSis are always true. It convinced Gautama that he could do no wrong and hence, he started wondering if he was accused falsely).
R^iShINAM mAyayA sarvamidaM jAtaM vichintya vai | shashApa tAn jaTAbhasmamithyAvratadharAstathA |bhaviShyatha trayIbAhyA vedakarmabahiShkR^itAH || 71.39||
Meaning: He realized it to be the illusion created by the rSis  and cursed them to bear the appearance of matted locks, ashes, etc and in the future to be outside of the fold of the three vedas, thus ineligible for vedic rites.
(Note – This becomes the vyAja (excuse) to propagate the naya siddhAntha)
tachChrutvA krUravachanaM gautamasya mahAmuneH |UchuH saptarShayo maivaM sarvakAlaM dvijottamAH |bhavantu kiM tu te vAkyaM moghaM nAstyatra saMshayaH || 71.40|| yadi nAma kalau sarve bhaviShyanti dvijottamAH | upakAriNi ye te hi apakartAra eva hi | itthaMbhUtA api kalau bhaktibhAjo bhavantu te || 71.(40-41)||
Meaning: Hearing the harsh words of the great muni Gautama, the saptarSis  said, “Your words will come true doubtless, but let it not be for all time, O best of the twice-born! In kali yuga, the future, O best among the twice-born, let even those who have harmful intent for their benefactors, in such manner as they can, become possessed of some conviction or predisposition.”
(“bhaktibhAjo” – here, “bhAjo” means possessing, “bhakti” means trust or predisposition – a desire towards something.”itthambhUta” – according to their capacity. The saptarSis do not want these brahmaNas to be total nAstikas, but to have some conviction to cling on to, so that they don’t totally go astray).
tvadvAkyavahninirdagdhAH sadA kaliyuge dvijAH |bhaviShyanti kriyAhInA vedakarmabahiShkR^itAH || 71.42||
Meaning: Burnt ever by the fire of your curse, those brahmaNas in kali yuga, in the future, let them be deprived of the eligibility of vedic karmas.
asyAshcha gauNaM nAmeha nadI godAvarIti cha |gaurdattA varadAnAchcha bhaved godAvarI nadI || 71.43||
Meaning: Let this river (the part of Ganga brought down by Gautama) also have the secondary name of godAvari. Let them give gift of cows and other materials to godAvarI.
(Note - The etymology of “godAvarI” – “go vara dAna datta” iti godAvari is explained. While the brahmaNas were cursed because of the mischief they created with the cow, the ganga became the godAvarI because of that very cow. The idea is that, some good has arisen out of the entire incident by bhagavad saMkalpam.)
etAM prApya kalau brahman gAM dadanti janAshcha ye |yathAshaktyA tu dAnAni modante tridashaiH saha || 71.44||
Meaning: Let the people come to this river and offer cows as gifts in kali yuga. Whatever they offer according to their capacity, shall be enjoyed by them in association with the Gods (in svarga).
siMhasthe cha gurau tatra yo gachChati samAhitaH |snAtvA cha vidhinA tatra pitRRIM starpayate tathA || svargaM gachChanti pitaro niraye patitA api |svargasthAH pitarastasya muktibhAjo na saMshayaH || 71.(45-46)||
Meaning: “At the time when the planet guru  is in simha, those devoted ones who go there to take a bath and propitiate the pitrs. Those fathers (of the devoted ones who propitiate the pitrs) shall go to svarga even if they had fallen to hell. Those (fathers of the devout) who are in svarga, shall attain liberation. There is no doubt.”
evamuktvA.atha munayo yayuH kailAsaparvatam |yatrAhamumayA sArdhaM sadA tiShThAmi sattamAH || 71.47||
Meaning: “You (Gautama) shall attain great eternal fame and liberation”. Speaking thus, O best of sattvikAs, the sapta-rSis came to Kailasa Mountain, where I was ever residing with Uma who is half of my body.
UchurmAM te cha munayo bhavitAro dvijottamAH |kalau tvadrUpiNaH sarve jaTAmukuTadhAriNaH |
svechChayA pretaveShAshcha mithyAli~NgadharAH prabho || 71.48||
Meaning: O Best among BrahmaNas! Those munis told me – “ In the age of kali, all (those cursed by Gautama) will wear your form (ie, the form dictated by you), of the crown of matted hair. O Prabhu!By their own will or desire, they will wear the forms of the pretas and the improper marks.
“tvadrUpa” does not mean they will wear the form of Siva, but that they will wear forms dictated by Siva in the tAmasa shAstra. “mithyAlingadharaH” means “improper marks” and refers specifically to the attire of matted locks, drinking from the bowl of a skull as the kApAlikAs do as well as the Saiva siddhAnthins who wear bhasmam or ashes. These marks are called “mudrAs” by these sects and claimed to lead to liberation by them It also refers to the devotion to Rudra and considering him as independent, which was condemned by Rudra himself earlier in his discourse on sharIrAtma bhAva. These mudras and practices have been discussed and condemned as a-vaidika in the pAShupata adhikaraNam of the brahma sUtras by srI rAmAnuja in his srI bhAshya.
srI yAmunAchArya quotes a slightly modified version of the same verse:
shashApa tA~njaTAbhasmakapAlavratadhAriNaH |bhaviShyatha trayIbAhyA vedakarmabahiShkRRitAH || kalau tadrUpiNassarve jaTAlaguDadhAriNaH |svachChandavrataveShAshcha mithyAli~NgadhArAstathA ||brahmashApAgninirdagdhA rudrabhaktA jaTAdharA ||
[Rudra’s words: “He (Gautama) cursed those who kept the observances of matted hair, ashes, and skull: ‘be you outside the Veda and disqualified from Vedic rites. In the Kali Age all those who assume that appearance, wearing matted hair, laguDa stick, exhibiting arbitrary observances and carrying false signs (mithyA-linga), all these matted-hair-wearing devotees of Rudra will be burnt by the fire of Brahmana’s curse.’”]
teShAmanugrahArthAya kiMchichChAstraM pradIyatAm |yenAsmadvaMshajAH sarve varteyuH kalipIDitAH || 71.49||
Meaning: For the purpose of showing them mercy, give them a shAstra so that those born of this clan can redeem themselves from the harmful influence of kali yuga.
These people are outside the vedic fold. Without guidance and being disposed towards tamO guNa, they could sway towards worse darShanas like charvAka, and bereft of morals, cause harm to themselves and others, thus falling deeper into samsAra. To prevent this, the rSis ask Siva to provide them with a shAstra which serves to regulate them and keep them in control. It is not the absolute truth, but something which if they follow, will be considered as the experience of the pApa karmas. This way, their pApa karmas will be diminished and they will eventually turn to sattva.
evamabhyarthitastaistu purA.ahaM dvijasattamAH |vedakriyAsamAyuktAM kR^itavAnasmi saMhitAm || 71.50||
Meaning: Thus asked by them, O best of brahmaNas, I produced a samhitA which was similar to, but not in harmony to actions stipulated by the Veda.
“samAyukta” – sama + ayukta – It is similar to, but not united or harmonious with the Vedakriyas.
This samhitA created by Siva contained certain injunctions which bore a resemblance outwardly to the Veda, but was in fact not in harmony with the Veda. That is to say, this shAstra too appeared to advocate liberation as the ultimate goal and enjoined certain means to attain such liberation. However, the means as well as the nature of liberation are not in harmony with the actions enjoined by the Vedas. So, this shAstra is deceptive in nature.
niHshvAsAkhyAM tatastasyAM lInA bAbhravyashANDilAH |alpAparAdhAchChrutvaiva gatA baiDAlikA bhavan || 71.51||
Meaning: This Samhita is called “nihshvAsa” or “that which draws in or absorbs” as the bAbhravya (kAma shAstra) and shAndila (bhakti shAstra) are absorbed in it. Just as it is heard indeed that little transgressions (make one) attain the state of being opposed to the path of Veda (eventually).
The last part is  a comparison that just as small transgressions eventually lead one to become completely opposed to the path of the Veda (the text should be “vaiDAlika” - vaiDAri  (enemy of the path of the veda). The idea is that smaller defective shAstrAs are lumped to create a great delusion that is the niHshvAsa shAstra.
This samhitA is called “niHshvAsa” because it absorbs the other isolated nAstika doctrines. This samhitA includes within itself certain doctrines propagated by bAbhravya and shAndilaH.
The bAbhravya is the kAma shAstra authored by a rSi of the same name.The author of the kAma sUtras, vAtsyAyaNa, acknowledges a “bAbhravya Agama” as a shAstra which was the basis of his work.
“shAndilya” here refers to the shAndilya bhakti sUtras. It cannot be taken as the shAndilya Samhita of the pAncharAtra because earlier, Rudra himself had declared the vedic authority of the pAncharAtra by stating that those in dvApara worship Hari through pAncharAtra. Neither is it the shAndilya vidyA of the chandOgya Upanishad as that is a vedic brahma-vidyA.  In which case, it makes perfect sense that the bAbhravya, a kAma shAstra is absorbed into the shAstra created by Rudra.
This niHshvAsa thus combines the injunction of bhakti in the shAndilya bhakti sUtras, with the practices enjoined in the kAmashAstra and the philosophy of the pAShupatAs. Different sects of the pAShupata draw on some or all of these teachings.
That aspects of the kAma shAstra are used by Saivas is very clear from the text known as “Thirumandiram” of thirUmUlar belonging to the Saiva siddhAntha tradition which enjoins “paryanka yoga” or sexual union as a means. Other tAntric paths like vAmachara emphasise on the kAma aspect even more.
In addition, Rudra incorporates the aspect of bhakti in this system from the shAndilya bhakti sUtras, which implies that devotional practices directed to Rudra are also present in this maTham. The idea is that different Saiva sects use some or all of these elements.
Note that each of these – the shAndilya, bAbhravya and pAShupata – do contain certain elements which may be vedic, but the bulk of it is unvedic and is lumped together in the niHshvAsa. The different sects of pAShupata practice certain aspects of the niHshvAsa samhita.
mayaiva mohitAste hi bhaviShyaM jAnatA dvijAH |laulyArthinastu shAstrANi kariShyanti kalau narAH || 71.52||
Meaning: Deluded by me, O brahmaNa, these people with the purpose of rajas or passion will propagate (such) shAstras in the age of Kali.
The idea is that these shAstras are for people with rAjasa/tAmasa tendencies.
niHshvAsasaMhitAyAM hi lakShamAtraM pramANataH |saiva pAshupatI dIkShA yogaH pAshupatastviha || 71.53||
Meaning: The niHshvAsa samhitA with one lakh verses alone indeed gives the science of pAshupati dIksha for these pAshupatas.
“pAshupatas” – people who possess (pati) desire or anger (paShu).
It should be understood that this Samhita also includes the doctrine of the rAjasa/tAmasa purAnAs. As these were spoken by Brahma in rAjasa/tAmasa kalpas, they too contain meanings derived from or inclusive of niHshvAsa.
etasmAd vedamArgAddhi yadanyadiha jAyate |tat kShudrakarma vij~neyaM raudraM shauchavivarjitam || 71.54||
Meaning: Therefore, these (shAstras) produced in this manner, which are other than (opposed to) the path of the Veda, that (shAstra) is to be known as (having the nature of) lowly act, related to desire or rajas which cause weeping or attachments (raudraM), devoid of purity.
“raudraM” – related to the cause of weeping or attachments in samsara which is desire.
ye rudramupajIvanti kalau vaiDAlikA narAH |laulyArthinaH svashAstrANi kariShyanti kalau narAH |
uchChuShmarudrAste j~neyA nAhaM teShu vyavasthitaH || 71\.55||
Meaning: Those people who sustain themselves on desire which causes weeping or attachment (Rudram) in kali are enemies of the path of the Veda. These people create their own shAstras (derived from the niHshvAsa) for the purpose of rajas or passion in Kali. They of manifest passion (rajas),abide in Rudra (myself), but it should be known that I am not situated with them (in that path).
The first “Rudram” signifies desire which causes weeping. In the last line, Rudra here clarifies that these people who possess rajO/tamO guNa do indeed resort to him, but he himself does not endorse that path. “uchChuShma” – manifest passion.
If he does not endorse this, why was he appointed by bhagavAn to spread these shAstras? This is explained below.
bhairaveNa svarUpeNa devakArye yadA purA |nartitaM tu mayA so.ayaM saMbandhaH krUrakarmaNAm || kShayaM ninIShatA daityAnaTTahAso mayA kR^itaH |yaH purA tatra ye mahyaM patitA ashrubindavaH |asaMkhyAtAstu te raudrA bhavitAro mahItale || 71.(56-57)||
Meaning: In ancient times, for the sake of the devas, I danced by (assuming) my terrible form and this (form of) mine became associated with or suited for difficult deeds. For the destruction of the Daityas who wished to rule, I laughed. Then, by my fallen tear-drops were raised innumerable fierce beings from the Earth.
Rudra earlier said that while the people of rAjasic/tAmasic paths resorted to him, he himself did not endorse that path. That being the case, he now explains how he became associated with these people.
uchChuShmaniratA raudrAH surAmAMsapriyAH sadA |strIlolAH pApakarmANaH saMbhUtA bhUtaleShu te || 71.58||
Meaning: They were born as beings diminutive (in intellect), highly fierce, fond of women, the flesh of devas, ever delighting in violence.
One needs to also understand the inner meaning of this incident. Rudra is the upAsaka. His dancing and laughing is the act of upAsaNa and experiences arising from it respectively. During this time however, the tear drops represent the attachments which are aroused even for the best of yOgIs. The various fierce creatures represent the indrIyas which enjoy sense objects. However, it is the historicity and literal meaning that is more relevant here.
teShAM gautamashApAddhi bhaviShyantyanvaye dvijAH |teShAM madhye sadAchArA ye te machChAsane ratAH || svargaM chaivApavargaM cha iti vai saMshayAt purA |vaiDAlikA.adho yAsyanti mama saMtatidUShakAH ||prAg gautamAgninA dagdhAH punarmadvachanAd dvijAH |narakaM tu gamiShyanti nAtra kAryA vichAraNA || 71.(59-61)||
Meaning: In the future, those brahmaNas cursed by Gautama will be born in that clan. Among them, those who conduct themselves well, devoted to my commands (in the pAShupata shAstra) will attain svargaM and also get pardon (from the curse) indeed,there is no doubt. Those of my clan, opposed to the path of the Veda, who transgress (this pAShupata doctrine) go down. Burnt by the curse of Gautama previously, and now by my words, they will go to hell. We need not doubt this.
Rudra thus shows here why nArAyaNa specifically made him the propagator of the pAShupata shAstra and why these people resort to him. The ones cursed by Gautama were to be born outside the vedic fold. The clan of their birth would be the race of those daityas who were born from Rudra’s tears. Thus, Rudra has a responsibility over them, which is why nArAyaNa chose Rudra for propagating this shAstra. Since the sapta-rSis  entreated with Gautama and obtained a concession on the curse, these people, being born of Rudra’s clan, would be inclined to this deva.
Rudra then pronounces a curse himself. He says that of these depraved people, those who are atleast willing to conduct themselves to the pAShupata shAstra would attain higher worlds like svarga, kailasa, etc (“svarga” here can denote all lofty abodes other than sri vaikunta). And eventually, they will be freed of the curse and attain Hari bhakti. However, those who are even unwilling to follow this, such as the chArvakas, etc will attain worse gatIs, burnt by the curse of both Gautama and Rudra.   
This shows that the pAShupata maTha has a relative value and is not absolute. And it also shows why Rudra, of all deities, is associated with the darShana consisting of kApAlika, kAlAmukha, Saiva and paShupata.
rudra uvAcha |
evaM mayA brahmasutAH proktA jagmuryathAgatam |gautamo.api svakaM gehaM jagAmAshu paraMtapaH || 71.62||
Meaning: Rudra then said - After hearing my wods, the sons of Brahma left and Gautama too returned to his abode.
etad vaH kathitaM viprA mayA dharmasya lakShaNam |etasmAd viparIto yaH sa pAShaNDarato bhavet || 71.63||
Meaning: What is told by me thus, O seer, is acquainted with dharma. He who is against this will be prone to indulge in impious activities.
SECTION 6 – The method of worshipping nArAyaNa as the trimUrti-tattva
shrIvarAha uvAcha |
sarvaj~naM sarvakarttAraM bhavaM rudraM purAtanam |praNamya prayato.agastyaH paprachCha parameshvaram || 72.1||
Meaning: ShrI varAha said -  Agastya offered obeisance to Rudra, who is omniscient, the performer of all good deeds, who brings forth intellect (knowledge of vishNu), who is the prior offspring, ie, the jyEstha putra (of Brahma) and questioned Parameshvara (Rudra).
“virUpAkShAya brahmaNaH putrAya jyEshtAya srEshtAya” – says the ChAndogya brAhmaNa. Rudra is the oldest and most excellent son of Brahma, thus he is “purAtanam”. The sanatkumaras entered celibacy and hence are not counted here.
agastya uvAcha |
bhavAn brahmA cha viShNushcha trayametat trayI smRRitA |dIpo.agnirdopasaMyogaiH sarvashAstreShu sarvataH || 72.2||
Meaning: This trio of you, Brahma and also vishNu are declared in all the shAstras that illumine everything like the flame of a lamp, to constitute the three-fold (guNas – tamas, rajas and sattva)
vishNu is sattva, brahma is rajas and rudra is tamas. That is very well known in the shAstra. Even the tAmasa purAnAs like the linga purAna declare this truth.
kasmin pradhAno bhagavAn kAle kasminnadhokShajaH |brahmA vA etadAchakShva mama deva trilochana || 72.3||
Meaning: Tell me O three-eyed god, predominantly at which time, are you (ie, nArAyaNa as your inner self of) your revered self, when are you (ie, nArAyaNa who is your indweller), srI mahA vishNu who is never diminished (adhokshajaH), when are you (ie, nArAyaNa who is your inner self) Brahma?
Agastyaunderstands that nArAyaNa alone is the indweller of all deities and is to be propitiated by sacrifice due to one-ness of the trinity. So, he now wants to know what the appropriate times are and circumstances when nArAyaNa should be worshipped as the indweller of brahma and rudra, and when should vishNu be worshipped in his own form.
Agastya is using the principle of sharIrAtma bhAva as follows. Remember that names which denote the body denote the self and vice-versa:
“When are you Rudra?” means, “When is your inner self, nArAyaNa, you (ie, having you as his body), possessing tamO guNa (as the indweller)?” Here, the term “you” denotes vishNu having Rudra as his body and being the indweller.
“When are you Adhokshaja?” means, “When are you, (the innerself of Rudra, ie, nArAyaNa), adhokshaja, possessing sattva guNa?” Here, the term “you” denotes vishNu who is the innerself of Rudra. The term Adhokshaja also denotes vishNu who is part of the trimUrti.
“When are you Brahma?” means, “When are you (nArAyaNa, the inner self of Rudra), (the inner self of) Brahma, possessing rajO guNa?
Note that vishNu is referred to as “adhOkshaja”. This means one who does not diminish according to srI parAsara bhattar. The mahAbhArata has the following pramAna:
adho na kshIyate jAtu yasmAt tasmAt adhokshajah - He is adhokshajah also because His vitality never diminishes, and He is not diminished by repeated births and deaths (mahAbhArata udyoga 4.69.10).
This is to show that vishNu among the trimUrtIs is verily Parabrahman who is undiminished. Whereas, Brahma and Rudra are jIvAs subject to diminishment and by virtue of sharIrAtma bhAva, it can be said that vishNu, as the inner self of Brahma and Rudra, is subject to diminishment (meaning, Brahma and Rudra who are his body are diminished) whereas vishNu as himself is unchanged.
Agastya calls Rudra trilOchana as he knows the 3 vedas. Thus, he acknowledges that Rudra knows the truth.
Rudra now proceeds to explain the nature of bhagavAn first.
rudra uvAcha |
viShNureva paraM brahma tribhedamiha paThyate |vedasiddhAntamArgeShu tanna jAnanti mohatAH || 72.4||
Meaning: Rudra said -vishNu alone is the Supreme Brahman and is mentioned to be differentiated threefold (as sattva, rajas and tamas – indweller of the other two and as himself). Those people who do not know the path advocated by the doctrine of the vedas are ignorant of this.
Firstly, to dispel any notions of trimUrti aikyatva, Rudra clarifies that vishNu alone is Parabrahman and he alone is worshipped everywhere at all times.
vishapraveshane dhAtustatra ShNu pratyayAdanu |viShNuryaH sarvadeveShu paramAtmA sanAtanaH || 72.5||
Meaning: The root “vis” means to enter and from nominative singular suffix “ShNu”, we get vishNu. He is the Supreme Self of (superior to) all devas (as there is no-one superior to him), the most ancient or the One ever associated with a beautiful/suddha sattva form.
The name “vishNu” means the act of pervasion. The jIvas enter the Universe during sRshti. Since he is the inner self of all sentients and insentients who has them as his body, when the jIvas enter the Universe, he (having the jIvas as his body) is said to enter.  
The idea is that he pervades everything that is his wealth according to the pramAna:
“vyApya sarvAn imAn lOkan sthithah kesava: tatasca vishNu nAmAsi viserdhAto: pravesanAt” ~ keSava exists everywhere and permeates everything that is His Wealth; He is unlimited by space, time, and substance; He pervades the whole universe internally and externally.
As he pervades all, everything is his wealth. Thus, he is the supreme self, superior to all devas as there is none superior with him. “sanAtanam” means ancient. Or, “sadA tanatvaM iti sanAtanam” – despite such pervasion, he is always associated with a beautiful body according to Bhattar.
Rudra clarifies that vishNu pervades all and has everything as his wealth. Why? Because in succeeding slokas, he is going to use sAmAnAdhikaraNyam and sharIrAtma bhAva to explain when vishNu is worshipped as indweller of Brahma, himself, etc. So, this preliminary understanding is needed to comprehend that Brahma and Rudra are the property (vibhUti) of vishNu.
yo.ayaM viShNustu dashadhA kIrtyate chaikadhA dvijAH |sa Adityo mahAbhAga yogaishvaryasamanvitaH || 72.6||
Meaning: He who is this vishNu (all-pervading lord) is celebrated as having a ten-fold form (of the 10 indrIyas) and a one-fold form (of the mind), is the (inner self of the) Aditya or the jIvatma luminous like the sun, pure, possessing the wealth of auspicious attributes like apahatapApmatva, etc
“Aditya” refers to the individual self divested of prakrti. The pure self is knowledge-bliss and also has attributive knowledge or dharma-bhUta-jnAna which expands like radiance from a lamp. Thus, it is luminous like a sun and is called Aditya. The 10-fold form includes the 5 karmEndrIyas and 5 jnAnEndrIyas. The one-fold form is the mind which is the leader of the indrIyas.
vishNu is Aditya, meaning, he is the inner self of Aditya or the individual self. Since the individual self has the indrIyas and mind as its form or body, vishNu, who is the inner self of the individual self, also has them as his forms.  This is an application of sAmAnAdhikaraNyam. “yasya AtmA sarIraM” should be used to understand that “ahaM brahmAsmi” means “I am the body of Brahman”. All names denoting the self denote Brahman.
So, Rudra hammers home the truth that vishNu alone is supreme and the indweller of the jIvatma, and hence is denoted by sharIrAtma bhAva. Now, he proceeds to explain when is bhagavAn worshipped as himself and when he is worshipped as the indweller of other devas (having understood this tattva).
sa devakAryANi sadA kurute parameshvaraH |manuShyabhAvamAshritya sa mAM stauti yuge yuge |
lokamArgapravRRittyarthaM devakAryArthasiddhaye || 72.7||
Meaning: Acting for the sake of the devas, that vishNu, the great ruler (paramEsvara), assuming the conduct or manner of manuShya, eulogises me (ie, my inner self) in every yuga for the purpose of showing the path of the Vedas and fulfilling the purpose of the acts carried out by the devas.
Describing vishNu as the inner self of all, Rudra has clarified to Agastya that bhagavAn alone is all 3 devas by virtue of being the indweller. Now, he clarifies the mode of worship that is to be done, ie, how to offer worship to the indweller, nArAyaNa. He (Rudra) takes himself and the krishNa avatAra as the example as he is reminded of such an incident.
The name “paramEsvara” is purposely used by Rudra to show that vishNu has no ruler and is not subject to anyone – he is the supreme ruler.
This refers to the instances in krishNa avatAra where bhagavAn worshipped rudra. Here, by saying “mAm stauti” – “he eulogises me” – it is meant, “he eulogises my inner self, namely nArAyaNa”. That is to say, bhagavAn always worships himself only. Only this interpretation fits the context of the previous slOkas.
vishNu performs such worship to show the way for the other devas. Rudra is entrusted with the task of protecting the devas and hence, by showing how to worship Rudra (ie, by worshipping himself as the inner self of Rudra), he shows the mode of worship to the devas. And only by worshipping the inner self of Rudra, are the aims of the acts carried out by devas like Rudra, Indra, Brahma, etc fulfilled.
This has been confirmed by krishNa himself in the shAnti parva as seen here (translation taken from the internet with slight modifications) -
asmin hi pUjyamAne vai devadeve maheshvare sampUjito bhavetpArtha devo nArAyaNaH prabhuH…ahamAtmA hi lokAnAM vishvAnAM pANDunandana tasmAdAtmAnamevAgre rudraM sampUjayAmyaham yadyahaM nArchayeyaM vai IshAnaM varadaM shivam AtmAnaM nArchayetkashchiditi me bhAvitaM manaH…mayA pramANaM hi kR^itaM lokaH samanuvartate pramAnAni hi pUjyAni tatastaM pUjayAmyaham…na hi viShNuH pranamati kasmai chidvibudhAya tu R^ita AtmAnameveti tato rudraM bhajAmyaham
It is nArAyaNa, who is well-known as Deva (Possessor of auspicious attributes worthy of worship), PrabhuH (Master of all and hence the only one fit to worship) IN Maheshwara, the Lord of the Devas (pArvati pati rudradeva, who is mahEshwara and devadeva only due to nArAyaNa’s grace), who is worshipped.O Son of Pandu, I am indeed the AtmA, the indweller of the Vedas (lokAnAm) and worlds (vishvAnAm).  Therefore, I worship myself first when I supposedly worship Rudra. If I did not worship the inner Self of Rudra also called Ishana, Shiva, the bestower of boons, some would not worship me. This is my opinion.Whatever I follow and give due worth as a pramANa, the world followsthat. Such pramANAs have to be duly followed; therefore I follow them.Indeed Vishnu does not bow to any one and [even when He bows to [Himself], for what sake, but for the sake of showing the path to the wise. Therefore, it is the truth that I worship myself even when I worship Rudra.
ahaM cha varadastasya dvApare dvApare dvija |ahaM cha taM sadA staumi shvetadvIpe kRRite yuge || 72.8||
Meaning: I (ie, my inner self) isalsohis boon giver every dvApara, O brahmaNa. And I worship him always in shvEtadvIpa in krita yuga.
This refers to KrishNa seeking a son from Rudra. Not only does bhagavAn worship the antaryAmin OF Rudra, but the actual boon giver is also the antaryAminThe term “ahaM” in the first line refers to the inner self of Rudra, namely vishNu, who is the actual boon giver. This is indicated by the usage of “cha”, meaning, not only is the antaryAmin the true object of worship, but is also the boon-giver.
By sharIrAtma bhAva, “ahaM” denotes the antaryAmin only.
To eliminate the idea that the act of vishNu seeking a boon makes him inferior, Rudra had used the name “paramEsvara” to denote vishNu earlier. Now, he further reinforces it by saying – “I worship him always (sadA) in shvEtadvIpa in krita yuga”. This is to show that the act of boon giving does not make him superior to vishNu, but is itself a favor bestowed on Rudra by bhagavAn. The second “ahaM” only denotes Rudra as it makes no sense to use sAmAnAdhikaraNyam here.  The second “cha” means “and”.
So, Rudra has clarified so far – 1) vishNu is worshipped as the indweller of Rudra during dvApara as in the case of krishNa worshipping the antaryAmin, 2) vishNu is worshipped directly in krita yuga in shvEtadvIpa, as Rudra himself does.
sRRiShTikAle chaturvaktraM staumi kAlo bhavAmi cha |brahmA devAsurA stauti mAM sadA tu kRRite yuge |li~NgamUrtiM cha mAM devA yajante bhogakA~NkShiNaH || sahastrashIrShakaM devaM manasA tu mumukShavaH |yajante yaM sa vishvAtmA devo nArAyaNaH svayam || 72.(9-10)||
Meaning: At the time of creation, I worship the (inner self, nArAyaNa of) four-faced Brahma and become time or reckoner of others’ lives, ie, the duty of destruction. Brahma, the Devas and Asuras always eulogise me, ie, my inner self (nArAyaNa)in Krita yuga.The devAs (those of sAttvika svabhAva) who seek material enjoyments surrender to my form as the inseparable attribute (of nArAyaNa). Those who seek liberation reflect mentally, ie, meditate on the God who has a thousand heads (nArAyaNa), surrendering to that Self of the Universe, the Lord of Sri (Deva), Narayana himself.
Now, Rudra clarifies the following –
  1. vishNu is worshipped as the indweller of Brahma during creation.He cites the example of himself worshipping this indweller for attaining his position as the destroyer. Once again, he employs the sharIrAtma bhAva – by saying “staumi chaturmukha vaktraM” he means the antaryAmin of brahma, ie, nArAyaNa. As Brahma gave him names to cleanse him of his karmas according to the satapatha, and Brahma’s powers are derived from nArAyaNa, his antaryAmin, it makes sense that rudra worshipped nArAyaNa. “kAlaH” means the reckoner of the time of death – the act of taking away lives was entrusted to Rudra.

  1. Rudra then says that the devas, brahma and asurAs who are desirous of material benefits such as swallowing poison to secure their safety, etc all surrender to Rudra as the inseparable attribute of nArAyaNa. This is a concept called pratIkOpAsaNa and employs the sharIrAtma bhAva, whereby the prayers go to indwelling nArAyaNa and the meditation involves rudra as his inseparable attribute by virtue of being his body. “lingamUrti” – Rudra’s form (mUrti) as a characteristic or attribute (linga) of nArAyaNa who is his indweller.

Note that 2) – worshipping Rudra as the inseparable attribute of nArAyaNa (lingamUrti) is different from worshipping nArAyaNa as the inner self of Rudra (As mentioned previously for dvApara yuga). Former is pratIkOpAsaNa, where nArAyaNa is worshipped, but the focus of meditation is on the jIvAtma or rudra who is his body. The latter is antaryAmin upAsaNa, where the indweller is directly visualized. We saw this in the bhAgavataM stuti for swallowing the poison during the churning of the ocean.
So, for material benefits, nArAyaNa is worshipped through rudra. But what of those who desire liberation? Rudra clarifies that they directly reflect on nArAyaNa as “sahasrasIrshaM devaM” – the deva who is the inner self of all and surrender to him directly (indicated by “svayaM” in the slOka) by recognizing him alone as the inner self of the Universe (viSvAtma). They do not need to worship the antaryAmin in any manner, though it is not restricted for them if they want to.
“yajantE” means self-surrender, ie, offering oneself as sacrifice. It implies sharanAgati.  Now, Rudra elaborates that the sharanAgatas are the best of those who worship nArAyaNa.
brahmayaj~nena ye nityaM yajante dvijasattamAH |te brahmANaM prINayanti vedo brahmA prakIrtitaH || 72.11||
Meaning: O best of dvijAs! Those who always surrender by the sacrifice known as dharma, ie, prapatti (brahmayajna), those knowers of Brahman please the Veda celebrated as brahma or endless.
The veda is endless. The object of the veda is to understand that nArAyaNa alone is to be worshipped as the indweller of agni, indra, vAyu, rudra and other deities. Those who therefore surrender to nArAyaNa alone, be it for material benefits or liberation, thus please the Vedas greatly.
“yajantE” means surrender. “nityaM” implies a steady fixation of mind on saranAgati. “brahmayajna” refers to sharanAgati. Because “brahma” means tapas as in the shruti statement “tapObrahma” and tapas includes within itself dharma. It is sharanAgati which is the highest dharma.
nArAyaNaH shivo viShNuH shaMkara puruShottamaH |etaistu nAmabhirbrahma paraM proktaM sanAtanam |taM cha chintAmayaM yogaM pravadanti manIShiNaH || 72.12||
Meaning: The eternal Supreme Brahman, is described by the names of “nArAyaNa” (the person who is the abode of all nArAs or attributes), “shiva” (free of all blemishes) “visNuH” (who pervades all sentient and insentient things), “shaMkara” (who performs good acts for his devotees) and the Lord of baddhas, muktas and nityas (puruSottamaH), and those competent to meditate (manIshiNaH)call that (Parabrahman) as the means to liberation of the nature of reflection.
The usage of “proktaM” shows that this sloka does not equate Rudra and Narayana, but rather than names like shiva, vishNu, shaMkara, puruShOttamaH and nArAyaNa signify certain attributes. In this, the “na-kAra” makes nArAyaNa a proper noun and hence indicates a person well known by the name, who is none other than the Lord of Sri. Furthermore, the anvaya krama of the names suggest a continuity of meanings as follows which shows that they are only used as names of srI mahA vishNu:
That parabrahman is described as “nArAyaNa” who is mahA-vishNu, the Lord of Sri (due to the nAkAra being a proper noun) as he is full of auspicious attributes (nArAs). Not only does he have auspicious attributes, but he is free of blemishes and hence “shivaM”. srI rAmAnuja calls these the ubhayalinga – attributes of “akhilaheyapratyanIkatvaM” and “samasthakalyAna guNAtmakaM” in the srI bhAshya.
Being full of auspicious attributes and devoid of blemishes, he pervades all as their inner self without being affected by the defects of prakrti and is “vishNu”. As he is their inner self, they are his body and they are subservient to him. So, he has a natural affection for the jIvAs and does good acts for them, hence he is “shaMkara”. Thus doing such acts, he shows that he is puruSottama or the natural Lord of the baddha jIvas, mukta jIvAs and nitya sUrIs (SrI Bhattar says “puruSha” signifies his lordship over baddhas, “ut” signifies lordship over muktas and “–tamap” signifies lordship over nityas).
Those manana-shIlAs who are skilled in meditation reflect on this bhagavAn as the means (yoga) to liberation. “yoga” in the sahasranAma is interpreted as such by Bhattar. “chintAmayaM” – prapatti is a Chaitanya kAryam or mental act, so they reflect on him as the means.
pashUnAM shamanaM yaj~ne homakarma cha yadbhavet |tadomiti cha vikhyAtaM tatrAhaM saMvyavasthitaH || 72.13||
Meaning: That (Brahman) which becomes the sacrifice (of anger), the act of offering (self-surrender) and the (means to) control the senses (paShUnAM shamanaM), that is called as the praNava (Om), and there I (Rudra) am situated in bliss.
Since bhagavAn is the means to liberation, he is verily the means for the chEtana to cast off his anger which is sacrificed, the actual act of surrendering oneself and the control of the senses and feelings like ahaMkara. Prapatti is described as such a metaphorical sacrifice by the mahAnArAyaNa Upanishad.
“paShus” refer to the senses which are the cause of attachments.
That Being who is the means is denoted by the praNava. Shiva says that he is always meditating on this Brahman signified by the praNava in bliss.
karmavedayujAM vipra brahmA viShNurmaheshvaraH |vayaM trayo.api mantrAdyA nAtra kAryA vichAraNA || 72.14||
Meaning: O Seer! We - Brahma, vishNu and mahEshvaraH – are three indeed, connected (by the sharIrAtma bhAva) with the karmas stipulated by the Veda, by the mantras. Do not consider it as otherwise.
The idea is that the three gods are different, but in the context of performing vedic karmas, brahma, rudra and vishNu are addressed as one in the sense of brahma and rudra being the body of vishNu, with the names addressing the inner self, namely, vishNu. “yujAM” implies a connection by the body-soul analogy; this is explained by srI rAmAnuja in the vedArtha sangraha.
This is a summary of the entire discourse on sharIrAtma bhAva so far.The next three slOkas summarize this entire section.
ahaM viShNustathA vedA brahma karmANi chApyuta |etat trayaM tvekameva na pRRithag bhAvayet sudhIH || 72.15||
Meaning: I am vishNu, the knowledge (sesha-seshi bhAva) and also the acts of dharma (sharanAgati with its 5 angAs). These three are actually one and the wise do not see it as different.
Using sharIrAtma bhAva, rudra says –
ahaM vishNu - he is (the body of) vishNu
ahaM vedA - he (ie, his inner self,  vishNu) is (has as his body) the knowledge of the servant-master relationship between the jivA and brahman.
ahaM brahma karmANi - he (ie, his inner self, vishNu) is (has as his body) the actual acts of dharma which is sharanAgati with the angas like AnukUlyasya sankalpa, etc. “brahma karmANi” – “brahma” means dharma as mentioned previously and refers to the means.
The idea is that vishNu is the deity to be propitiated, he is alone the bestower of knowledge (and not our self efforts) and he himself is the means to all ends. Thus, the wise do not see a difference in these three in that they do not think they earn anything by their self effort.
yo.anyathA bhAvayedetat pakShapAtena suvrata |sa yAti narakaM ghoraM rauravaM pApapUruShaH || 72.16||
Meaning: He who considers the tattvas as otherwise is a sinner and will attain the terrible hells like Raurava.
The idea is that the vedas should be followed with the correct knowledge of vishNu as the means and end.
ahaM brahmA cha viShNushcha RRigyajuH sAma eva cha |naitasmin bhedamasyAsti sarveShAM dvijasattama || 72.17||
Meaning: I am (ie, my inner self, vishNu) is (the self of) Brahma and I am (the body of) vishNu. I am (ie, my inner self) is (has as his body), the Rg, Yajus and Sama. In all these, there is no difference, O best of brahmaNas!
So, only vishNu is worshipped in various forms. That is the idea.
“neha nAnAsti kincana” – the paramAtma who is the indweller in all is the same without distinction. Similarly, everything is equally the body of paramAtma. See no difference in this respect.
This is the teaching of Rudra.
SECTION 7 – The Tapas of Rudra and the boon given by Vishnu
rudra uvAcha |
shrRRiNu chAnyad dvijashreShTha kautUhalasamanvitam |apUrvabhUtaM salile magnena munipuMgava || 73.1||
Meaning: Rudra said - O dvijashreShtha, who are full of curiosity for the truth! Listen to another extraordinary event of my being immersed in water (for my tapas), best of munis!
brahmANA.ahaM purA sRRiShTaH proktashcha sRRija vai prajAH |avij~nAnasamartho.ahaM nimagnaH salile dvija || 73.2||
Meaning: In ancient times, I was created by Brahma, who told me to beget offspring. Not possessing the knowledge (to do so), I immersed myself in water (for tapas), O Dvija!
This story is found in the bhAgavatam where Rudra is born and Brahma sends him off to do tapas for begetting offspring. The varAha purAna elaborates what type of tapas Rudra did now.
tatra yAvat kShaNaM chaikaM tiShThAmi parameshvaram |a~NguShThamAtraM puruShaM dhyAyan prayatamAnasaH || 73.3||
Meaning: There, as long as (in that state), with a pure mind abiding in paramEsvara (nArAyaNa) at every moment, I meditated on the puruSha, having the size of a thumb.  
This is the “anguShtamAtra vidyA” of the Upanishads.
tAvajjalAt samuttasthuH pralayAgnisamaprabhAH |puruShA dasha chaikashcha tApayantoMshubhirjalam || 73.4||
Meaning: Then, I saw 10 puruShas and one (the chief), rising out of the water, with a radiance resembling the pralaya agni, also making the waters glow with heat.
mayA pRRiShTAH ke bhavanto jalAduttIrya tejasA |tApayanto jalaM chedaM kva vA yAsyatha saMshata || 73.5||
Meaning: I asked them who they were, who rose out of the water so resplendently and how did they make the waters foam so brilliantly with heat.
evamuktA mayA te tu nochuH kiMchana sattamAH |evameva gatAstUShNIM te narA dvijapuMgava || tatasteShAmanu mahApuruSho.atIvashobhanaH |sa tasmin meghasaMkAshaH puNDarIkanibhekShaNaH || tamahaM pRRiShTavAn kastvaM ke cheme puruShA gAtAH |kiM vA prayojanamiha kathyatAM puruSharShabha || 73.(6-8)||
Meaning: Thus spoken by me, those beings, full of heat, did not say anything whatsoever and left, O best of sattvikas. Then, of those beings (stayed), a mahApuruSa was extremely beautiful, with the appearance of a cloud, with lotus-eyes. I asked him – “Who are you and who are these beings who left? What is the purpose (of your visit) here, please explain, O bull amongst purushas!  
puruSha uvAcha |
ya ete vai gatAH pUrvaM puruShA dIptatejasaH |AdityAste tvaraM yAnti dhyAtA vai brahmaNA bhava || 73.9||
Meaning: Meaning: Those resplendent puruShAs who left earlier, they are the "Adityas" who quickly attain the ones (plural) that are meditated by Brahma, Oh  Bhava!
The puruShas were the indrIyas, which shine on account of illumining external objects and are hot due to attachments. They are called “AdityAs” since they are sun-like, as they make objects shine.
Brahma, during shrShti, meditates on account of desire. The indrIyas attain the objects constituting the desire which are meditated upon by Brahma for the purpose of creation.
Shiva is referred to as Bhava because brings forth knowledge of vishNu.
sRRiShTiM sRRijati vai brahmA tadarthaM yAntyamI narAH |pratipAlanAya tasyAstu sRRiShTerdeva na saMshayaH || 73.10||
Meaning: Brahma indeed orchestrates the creation, and for that purpose these (amI) “narAs” (indrIyas) attain.  It is for the protection of that creation, without doubt.
“narAs” – that which is imperishable is “narA”. Aaccording to srI pillai lOkAchArya, anything that does not lose its nature or characteristic is called “imperishable” or “narA”. The indrIyas, when controlled from sense objects, nonetheless indulge in other things like experience of Brahman or the bliss of the individual self. So, they are always engaged in shining out external objects – be it sense objects, paramAtma, or our own bliss. Since they never lose this character, they are called “narAs”.
Now bhagavAn has explained who these puruShas were. The second question is who is that paramAtma who is the cause of creation? For it is known by Rudra that Brahma is not paramAtma, so the next line of questioning is about paramAtma, as seen below.
shambhuruvAcha |
bhagavan kathaM jAnIShe mahApuruShasattama |bhaveti nAmnA tatsarvaM kathayasva paro hyaham || 73.11||
Meaning: Shambhu (one who is immersed in the bliss of nArAyaNa) asked: O excellent mahApuruSha, how can that bhagavAn (who creates through Brahma) be known? Please tell me, who has the name of Bhava, that (state) of being superior to all (in knowledge).
“bhava” means that which brings forth. Rudra recognizes how the mahApuruSha called him “bhava” and stakes his claim that he is superior to all in knowledge, which makes him worthy to know about bhagavAn.
Of course, Rudra already knows who this paramAtma is – the question should be taken as – “what qualities and nature of paramAtma are to be meditated upon?”
(There is no incongruency that Rudra is referred to in the third person here as “shambhu uvAcha”. One must note that the original narrator of the Rudra Gita is varAha bhagavAn and the listener is bhU devi. So, varAha narrates the dialogue between bhadrAsva and other rishis, who in turn narrate the dialogue about Rudra and Agastya, and in this dialogue, Rudra narrates a dialog between himself and BhagavAn. Due to the multifaceted nature of this narration, it is to be presumed that it is varAha, the original narrator, who uses the third person for Rudra here, switching to it to highlight his qualities by names like “shambhu” etc. And in most cases, bhagavAn refers to himself in the third person, so no problems there).
evamuktastu rudreNa sa pumAn pratyabhAShata |ahaM nArAyaNo devo jalashAyI sanAtanaH || 73.12||
Meaning: When asked by Rudra thus, the person replied – “I am the effulgent god nArAyaNa, who is ancient, who reclines on the waters (of the milky ocean).
The previous description of paramAtma was a general one of him being the creator of all as in “janmAdyasya yatha”. As per chAga paShu nyAya, general terms are applied to a specific term and thus, bhagavAn describes himself immediately afterwards as nArAyaNa.
He is to be meditated as nArAyaNa (refuge of all), the ancient, the effulgent lord of sri and who has his abode on the waters.  
divyaM chakShurbhavatu vai tava mAM pashya yatnataH |evamuktastadA tena yAvad pashyAmyahaM tu tam || 73.13||
Meaning: “Let there be divya chakSus for you to perceive me with effort (of your upAsaNa)”. Speaking thus, I saw him indeed then as far (as is possible).
It is not possible to understand or cognize him fully. Arjuna too could not see the beginning or end of the viSvarUpa. His qualities are also infinite.   
tAvada~NguShThamAtraM tu jvaladbhAskaratejasam |tamevAhaM prapashyAmi tasya nAbhau tu pa~Nkajam || 73.14||
Meaning: I see your form, the size of a thumb, effulgent with the radiance of a flame and a lotus in your navel.
brahmANaM tatra pashyAmi AtmAnaM cha tada~NkataH |evaM dRRiShTvA mahAtmAnaM tato harShamupAgataH |taM stotuM dvijashArdUla matirme samajAyata || 73.15||
Meaning: I see Brahma there, myself and that which moves (the Universe). Seeing that, mahAtma (Rudra) became joyous/thrilled. Upon obtaining composure of his mind, he proceeded to praise that (paramAtma).
“tada~NkataH” – the Universe which moves in the sense that it is the place of transmigration. Or it can be said that all entities move towards him who is the supreme controller.
tasya mUrtau tu jAtAyAM saktotreNAnena suvrata |stuto mayA sa vishvAtmA tapasA smRRitakarmaNA || 73.16||
Meaning: That form of paramAtma,who is the Self of the Universe, brought forth by  being engaged in sinless actions directed towards liberation, by auspicious conduct, was eulogized by me, by (virtue of) my penance, the performance of meditation or repeated remembrance.  
(Thus begins the stOtra. We will not elaborate much on this, just a brief translation is enough. Our translation is fully derived from the etymology given by Bhattar in the sahasranAma bhAshya.)                                   
rudra uvAcha |
namo.astvanantAya vishuddhachetasesarUparUpAya sahastrabAhave |
sahastrarashmipravarAya vedhasevishAladehAya vishuddhakarmiNe || 73.17||
Rudra said: Salutations to the limitless as he pervades all (anantAya), to the One of pure intellect as he understands the sufferings of the jIvas (viSuddhachetasE), to the One having a beautiful form that alleviates their sufferings (sarUparUpA), to the One with thousands of hands to destroy their obstacles to enjoying him (sahasrabAhavE), to the One with thousands of excellent rays of light like the moon which delights his devotees scorched by samsara (sahasrarashmipravarA), to One who has the Vedas as his body (vedhasE), to the One with immense body as it is the resort of everything in the Universe (viShAladehAya), to the One of pure actions which serve as the means to attain him (viShuddhakarminE).
samastavishvArtiharAya shambhavesahastrasUryAnilatigmatejase |samastavidyAvidhRRitAya chakriNesamastagIrvANanute sadA.anagha || 73.18||
Meaning: One who destroys all the sufferings of the Universe (samastavishvArtiharAya), One who provides bliss by the beauty of his form and hence destroys suffering (shambhavE), who has the effulgence of a thousand suns which scorches the enemies of his devotees(sahasrasUryAnila), whose resplendence destroys the darkness of beginningless ignorance of even the tAmasic ones (tigmatejasE), who possesses all forms of knowledge needed to release the jIvas from samsara (samastavidyAvidhRRita), who the supreme master of all (chakriN), who is worshipped by all speechof his devotees or the vedas (samastagIrvANanute), who is always sinless or unaffected by karma and hence different from the jIvas under his control (sadA anagha).
anAdidevo.achyuta sheShashekharaprabho vibho bhUtapate maheshvara |marutpate sarvapate jagatpatebhuvaH pate bhuvanapate sadA namaH || 73\.19||
Meaning: Salutations to the God who is not realized by many due to their ignorance (anAdideva), who never lets his devotees fall by enabling them to realize him as he comes quickly for them (achyuta), who is the crown of the “seshas” or jIvas who are his natural servants (sheShashekhara), who has the supreme power to attract those towards himself (prabhu), who pervades alland protects them thus (vibhu), who is the master of all Beings as he alone can protect(bhUtapatE), who is the Great Lord of even other gods like brahma, rudra, indra, etc and hence is the supreme protector (maheshvara), who is the lord of the mUktas and nityas who do not cry or experience puNya and pApa (mArutpati), who is thus the lord of all – baddhas, muktas and nityas (sarvapati), and hence the master of the Universe consisting of sentients as well as insentients (jagatpati), who is the support for his devotees who recognize their nature as his servants (bhuvaH – svayam eva bhUH), who is the leader for such devotees (pati), who is the lord of the supreme abode (bhuvanaH)
(This is a description of para-vAsudeva)
jalesha nArAyaNa vishvashaMkarakShitIsha vishveshvara vishvalochana |shashA~NkasUryAchyuta vIra vishvagA -pratarkyamUrtte.amRRitamUrtiravyayaH || 73\.20||
Meaning: The Lord of the waters of the milky ocean (jalEsha), srI mahA-vishNu who is the refuge of all nArAs (nArAyaNa), the Lord who does good things for the Universe staying in the milky abode for that purpose (vishvashaMkara), the ruler of the Earth or samsara (kShitIsha), who quickly reaches who resort to him to dispel their uneasiness that they are unqualified to attain him (viSvesvaraH – viSva + aS + varaT – viSva + IsvaraH), who is the eye of all those who resort to him (viSvalochana), who is the ornament or mark of the evil-minded who resort to other paths as Buddha, etc (shashAnka – SaSa – pluta gatau + ANka), who moves (in preference) to his devotees (sUryaH), who is unchanging as he never falls from his position of lordship unlike the other devas (achyuta), who changes everyone else while remaining unchanged himself (vIra), who goes to the world through avatArAs, etc (vishvaga), whose true nature is not known during his avatArAs by logic (apratarkyamUrti), whose forms during his avatArAs is nectar for his devotees (amRtamUrti), whose qualities and form never get exhausted and each experience of bhagavAn feels new every time (avyayaH)
(This summarizes the vyUha, vibhava and archa forms).
jvaladhutAshArchiviruddhamaNDalaprapAhi nArAyaNa vishvatomukha |namo.astu devArttiharAmRRitAvyayaprapAhi mAM sharaNagataM sadAchyuta || 73\.21||
Meaning: Who is considered as the all consuming gastric fire (jvaladhUtAshA), whose abode in the heart lotus is surrounded by flames (archiviruddhamaNDala) the protector as the indweller (prapAhi), who abides in all the nArAs as the indweller (nArAyaNa), who has faces in all directions as he pervades (viSvatOmukha). Salutations to the One who destroys the sins of the devotees who meditate(devArtihara), who is full of nectarine qualities that can be meditated upon (amRRita), who is unchanging or undiminished despite being the indweller of the jIvas with flesh, skin and bone (avyaya). Protect me, who surrenders to you, you who never ever let your devotees fall (achyuta).
(This is a description of the antaryAmin).
Note – In the pAncharAtra, the number of forms is either 5 or 3. If taken as 5, it is para, vyUha, vibhava, antaryAmin and archa. If taken as 3, it is para, vyUha and vibhava (which includes antaryAmin and archa within itself). The latter count of 3 seems to have been followed here.
vaktrANyanekAni vibho tavAhaMpashyAmi madhyasthagataM purANam |brahmANamIshaM jagatAM prasUtiMnamo.astu tubhyaM tu pitAmahAya || 73\.22||
Meaning: I see your many faces, O Lord (vibho!) I also see the Ancient One (vishNu) who has become situated in the middle, Brahma, myself (Isha), and the creation of the universe (jagatAM prasUti). Salutations to you, Oh Grandsire!
It is not a contradiction to see bhagavAn himself in the viShvarUpa since it shows all forms in existence. Rudra, in addition to Brahma and himself, also saw bhagavad avatAra vishNu’s rUpa. Even in the Gita, Arjuna saw all forms of bhagavAn in the viShvarUpa. Since nArAyaNa himself takes avatAra as vishNu, the phrase “purANaM” and “madhyastha gataM” has been used to show vishNu is non-different from the person displaying the viShvarUpa.
saMsArachakrabhramaNairanekaiHkvachid bhavAn devavarAdideva |sanmArgibhirj~nAnavishuddhasattvai -rupAsyase kiM pralapAmyahaM tvAm || 73.23||
Meaning: Who are you, O primordial god, supreme god, who are the samsara chakra that bewilders in many ways? How can I, being on the right path, with pure knowledge of the nature of sattva, speak of this nature of yours (fully)?
ekaM bhavantaM prakRRiteH parastAdyo vettyasau sarvavidAdiboddhA |guNA na teShu prasabhaM vibhedyAvishAlamUrtirhi susUkShmarUpaH || 73.24||
Meaning: You are the One, unique and matchless, beyond prakrti. Those who know this (nature of yours), know all that is to be known.In those (Beings as the indweller), your qualities are not divided perforce (as a result of pervasion, ie, there is no diversity). You are the One with the immense form that is the resort of all, of a nature that is difficult to comprehend.     
“ekaM” – refers to his unique nature of having matchless auspicious attributes. As he is the inner self of all and everything is his body, it is said that by knowing him, everything (that is his body) is known.
nirvAkyo nirmano vigatendriyo.asikarmAbhavAnno vigataikakarmA |saMsAravAMstvaM hi na tAdRRisho.asipunaH kathaM devavarAsi vedyaH || 73.25||
Material: You are without (material) speech, without (material) mind, without (material) indrIyas, who is in the state of actions here (as the inner self of the jIvAtma), who is uniquely (by nature) devoid of karmas himself.You indeed are the cause of samsara and no other, but how are you, O best of gods, to be known (fully)?
mUrtAmUrtaM tvatulaM labhyate teparaM vapurdeva vishuddhabhAvaiH |saMsAravichChittikarairyajadbhi -rato.avasIyeta chaturbhujastvam || 73.26||
Meaning: They (the wise) comprehend you as having gross forms as your form (mUrta), having as your form those which are a-mUrtIs (air, earth, fire, etc), the incomparable, the Supreme unaffected by prakrti, the effulgent god who has a body (not made of karma), of a pure nature (of suddha sattva). You have four arms (which shows your urgency to save your devotees),are not under the control (of samsara, so you have the knowledge to save your devotees easily), cause the cessation of samsara upon self-surrender (you also have the power to save your devotees).
paraM na jAnanti yato vapustedevAdayo.apyadbhutakAraNaM tat |ato.avatAroktatanuM purANa -
mArAdhayeyuH kamalAsanAdyAH || 73.27||
Meaning: That body of yours, which is the cause of wonder and mercy for the devas, which is beyond prakrti, is not comprehended (fully). You descend in that form spoken of as ancient, but ever new. The mortals (SamsArIs) drink (experience) this (form) seated in the lotus of the heart.
na te vapurvishvasRRigabjayoni-rekAntato veda mahAnubhAvaH |paraM tvahaM vedmi kaviM purANaMbhavantamAdyaM tapasA vishuddhaH || 73.28||
Meaning: The mahAnubhAvas do not ultimately (fully) know without doubt,your form, which is the cause of the Universe that appears as a lotus. I know you as the Supreme, the omniscient and the ancient appearing as ever new. You are unparalleled, who are pure (ie, the means as you purify others) by virtue of your tapas (which is the knowledge to lead the jIvas out of samsara).
padmAsano me janakaH prasiddha -shchaitat prasUtAvasakRRitpurANaiH |saMbodhyate nAtha na madvidho.api
vidurbhavantaM tapasA vihInAH || 73.29||
Meaning: Seated in the lotus of my heart, causing renown (by virtue of bestowing knowledge) and that (knowledge) causes the ancient (karmas) to be cut off and not abide (with me). Teach me, O Lord, as unlike my kind, who are deprived of knowledge, you are intelligent (cognizant of my suffering) by virtue of your tapas (knowledge that leads jIvas out of samsara)
brahmAdibhistatpravarairabodhyaMtvAM deva mUrkhAH svamanantanatyA |prabodhamichChanti na teShu buddhi -rudArakIrttiShvapi vedahInAH || 73.30||

Meaning: Brahma and others are distinguished by knowledge of that (truth of you being the means to moksha)). The foolish (nAstikas) do not bow to you, O deva, regarding themselves as unlimited (independent). Those destitute of the (highest) knowledge imparted by the vedas, indeed have dimunitive luster or contracted dharma bhUta jnAna (attributive knowledge), with no desire of understanding (you) by the mind (through meditation).

janmAntarairvedavidAM viveka -buddhirbhavennAtha tava prasAdAt |tvallabdhalAbhasya na mAnuShatvaMna devagandharvagatiH shivaM syAt || 73.31||

Meaning: By your grace, in a future birth, for those learned in the vedas, that discriminatory knowledge arises in their mind by your grace, O Lord! When you are attained, the conditions of man, deva, gandharva, etc are not considered auspicious positions.

tvaM viShNurUpo.asi bhavAn susUkShmaHsthUlo.asi chedaM kRRitakRRityatAyAH |sthUlaH susUkShmaH sulabho.asi devatvadvAhyavRRittyA narake patanti || 73\32||

Meaning: You are of the nature of pervading all and giving them existence, you are also the (indweller) of all these subtle and gross forms, by which you have accomplished all that is to be done, ie, you yourself are the means(as you are close/inseparable to them and can shower them mercy). You, O god who possesses vAtsalya guNa or affection (deva) are easily accessible as (the indweller of) the gross and the subtle. (Those) not fixed (meditating) on you (thus), carried away (by desire), fall into hell.

kimuchyate vA bhavati sthite.asminkhAtmyenduvahnyarkamahImarudbhiH |tattvaiH satoyaiH samarUpadhAri -NyAtmasvarUpe vitatasvabhAve || 73.33||

Meaning: Who can speak (of your) becoming situated in this (as the indweller of), air, fire, moon, Earth shining (as the indweller of these) divested of blemishes (despite such pervasion)? You equally bear the form of the jIvAtma which is the sentient principle (tattva) and also the “waters” or the subtle indrIyas constituting the body which is insentient (satoyaiH), the essence of the individual self (Atma-svarUpa) with the attribute (svabhAva) of extended knowledge or dharma-bhUta-jnAna (vitatasvabhAvE)

iti stutiM me bhagavannanantajuShasva bhaktasya visheShatashcha |sRRiShTiM sRRijasveti tavoditasyasarvaj~natAM dehi namo.astu viShNo || 73.34||

Meaning: This stuti of mine, O bhagavAn who are of infinite kalyAna guNams, is for the sake of those engaging in devotion. Salutations tovishNu, who is inseparable to his devotees by virtue of pervasion! Give me all that knowledge which arises from you during creation for begetting offspring.

chaturmukho yo yadi koTivaktrobhavennaraH kvApi vishuddhachetAH |sa te guNAnAmayutairanekai -rvadet tadA devavara prasIda || 73\.35||

Meaning: If Brahma creates a being with crores of mouths (for praising the infinite auspicious attributes), with pure intellect, then he (may) be successful in describing your innumerable and manifold auspicious attributes, O best of gods (meaning, no-one is competent or has enough prowess to fully describe your attributes)!

samAdhiyuktasya vishuddhabuddhe -stvadbhAvabhAvaikamano.anugasya |sadA hRRidistho.asi bhavAnnamastena sarvagasyAsti pRRithagvyavasthA || 73\.36||

Meaning: The pure mind, which is associated with sama, dama and other characteristics, with the state of concentrated mind follows, ie, accepts your nature (of being the means). Salutations to you who are always situated in the heart, who are not situated as distinct from (in terms of having them as your inseparable attribitues) all those who move (in samsara)   

iti prakAshaM kRRitametadIshastavaM mayA sarvagataM vibuddhvA |saMsArachakrakramamANayuktyAbhItaM punIhyachyuta kevalatvam || 73\.37||

Meaning: Thus was made revealed this praise of the Lord by me, who has knowledge (dharma bhUta jnAna) that is everywhere or extended. That fear of the nature (of being born in) the samsara chakra repeatedly is disassociated, ie, broken by Achyuta alone, the Lord who does not let his devotees slip.

shrIvarAha uvAcha |
iti stutastadA devo rudreNAmitatejasA |uvAcha vAkyaM saMtuShTo meghagambhIraniHsvanaH || 73.38||

Meaning: SrI varAha bhagavAn said - Thus did Rudra, of great tejas, praise (bhagavAn), who being pleased, spoke the following words with a voice like a rumbling thunder-cloud.

viShNuruvAcha |
varaM varaya bhadraM te deva deva umApate |na bhedashchAvayordeva ekAvAvAmubhAvapi || 73.39||

Meaning: vishNu said - Do ask for a boon from me, O Lord of Devas, Consort of Uma, who are auspicious! There is no difference between us, O Deva, as we are both of the same condition (ie, My essential nature and yours are the same as you have paramAtma as your essence or antaryAmin, which is non-different from me)

Since Rudra had understood the tattva of oneness between himself and vishNu, which is the sharIrAtma bhAva and was the subject of the stuti, he was qualified to ask a boon from vishNu. It implies a natural affection bhagavAn has for the jIvas who constitute his body, so we have all the right to ask him anything, just as a child asks his parent, no matter how ineligible we actually may be.

rudra uvAcha |
brahmaNA.ahaM niyuktastu prajAH sRRija iti prabho |tatra j~nAnaM prayachChasva trividhaM bhUtabhAvanam || 73\.40||

Meaning: Rudra said - O Prabhu! I was instructed by Brahma to create offspring. Bestow me that knowledge for creation of the three categories of beings (the beings in different proportions of triguNas)

viShNuruvAcha |
sarvaj~nastvaM na saMdeho j~nAnarAshiH sanAtanaH |devAnAM cha paraM pUjyaH sarvadA tvaM bhaviShyasi || 73.41||

Meaning: vishNu said - You will be omniscient, with no doubt (ie, clarity of knowledge), always having a form that is a mass of knowledge (effulgent body due to knowledge). You will also be higher than the (other) devas, worshipped all in the future.  

evamuktaH punarvAkyamuvAchomApatirmudA |
anyaM dehi varaM deva prasiddhaM sarvajantuShu||mUrto bhUtvA bhavAneva mAmArAdhaya keshava |mAM vahasva cha devesha varaM matto gRRihANa cha |yenAhaM sarvadevAnAM pUjyAt pUjyataro bhave || 73.(42-43)||

Meaning: When he spoke thus, the consort of Uma spoke again, “Give me this boon, O deva, so I become eminent among all beings. By incarnating on Earth, Oh Keshava, worship me and get boons from me. From this, I will become worship-worthy to all the devas.

viShNuruvAcha |
devakAryAvatAreShu mAnuShatvamupAgataH |tvAmevArAdhayiShyAmi tvaM cha me varado bhava || 73.44||

Meaning: vishNu said - For the sake of the devas, I shall take avatArAs assuming the form of a manuShya (as srI krishNa). I will worship you alone, by which you shall become “varada” or the bestower of boons.

(Even by this, it is meant that vishNu only worships the indweller of Rudra. This was clarified earlier in varAha purAna and also the sAnti parva of mahAbhArata).

yat tvayoktaM vahasveti devadeva umApate |so.ahaM vahAmi tvAM devaM megho bhUtvA shataM samAH || evamuktvA harirmeghaH svayaM bhUtvA maheshvaram |ujjahAra jalAt tasmAd vAkyaM chedamuvAcha ha || 73.(45-46)||

Meaning: “That which was asked by you, O Lord of Devas, Consort of Uma, that I shall offer you, who are radiant. I shall do so by becoming a cloud equal to a hundred clouds.” Having said thus, Hari himself became a cloud and lifted maheshvara from that water. Then, He (Hari) indeed spoke as below.

Literally, it means Hari became a cloud, lifted Rudra from the water in which he was doing his tapas. Metaphorically, it means Hari is the cloud who sprinkles the boons on everyone through the medium of Rudra (Who is the water drawn by the cloud). It signifies Rudra is his vibhUti in the act of giving boons to others.

ya ete dasha chaikashcha puruShAH prAkRRitAH prabho |te vairAjA mahIM yAtA AdityA iti saMj~nitAH || 73.47||

Meaning: These which are the 10 puruShas (indrIyas) and the chief (mind) were created before, Oh Lord! They, divested of desire, (perceiving) knowledge, went towards knowledge, thus are known by the name of “Adityas”.

BhagavAn now describes the 10 puruShas and their chief who were initially enquired about by Rudra again. They are the indrIyas and the mind. They did not respond to Rudra when he called them because they were divested of rajas or desire and hence were turned inward; meaning, they did not perceive external objects. They went towards knowledge of the self or Brahman; thus, as the indrIyas are luminious on account of their ability to shine out knowledge and the mind channels the luminous intellect, these indrIyas and mind are called “AdityAs”.

madaMsho dvAdasho yastu viShNunAmA mahItale |avatIrNo bhavantaM tu ArAdhayati shaMkara || 73.48||

Meaning: My aMSa, which is the 12th, which is known by the name of “vishNu”, is upon the Earth or in the body. I shall take avatAra and worship you shaMkara (as you are the aMSa and I am the aMSi).

The 12th Aditya is the jIvAtma which is luminous as it is knowledge-bliss by nature. It is called bhagavAn’s “aMSa” as it is his inseparable attribute by virtue of being his body. It is in the Earth or the body.

The jIvatma is called “vishNu” since it has all-pervasive attributive knowledge (dharma-bhUta-jnAna).

Or, since jIvas are identical in nature and present everywhere, the individual jIva is called “vishNu”. Actually, the class of jIvas in the singular term can be called “vishNu”, just as when we say “the rice is in the shed”, it implies a bunch of rice grains having identical characteristics.

bhagavAn then says – “I shall worship you, Shankara”. The meaning is – “I shall worship you, Shankara, because you are the 12th, my aMSa, ie, my inseparable attribute as you are my body. So, it is not wrong for me to worship you, since by worshipping you, I shall worship the aMSi or the indweller of the aMSa which is myself”.That is the significance of mentioning aMSa-aMSI bhAva here.

evamuktvA svakAdaMshAt sRRiShTvAdityaM ghanaM tathA |nArAyaNaH shabdavachcha na vidmaH kva layaM gataH || 73.49||

Meaning: Thus was spoken by (bhagavAn) who created the jIvatma known as “AdityA” of (the nature of being) his own aMSha, that is dense or not easily comprehended. nArAyaNa, to whom (the jIvas) go during dissolution, is not known (fully) by the speech of the Vedas.

Here, creation of the jIva implies it attaining a gross form, being the inseparable attribute of bhagavAn.

rudra uvAcha |
evameSha harirdevaH sarvagaH sarvabhAvanaH |varado.abhUt purA mahyaM tenAhaM daivatairvaraH || 73.50||

Meaning: In this manner, this deva who is Hari, pervades all who are in all states or conditions (in samsAra) made me “varada” or the bestower of boons in ancient times, so that I became the most excellent of the devas.

nArAyaNAt paro devo na bhUto na bhaviShyati |etad rahasyaM vedAnAM purANAnAM cha sattama |mayA vaH kIrtitaM sarvaM yathA viShNurihejyate || 73.51||

Meaning: There is no god superior to nArAyaNa in the past, present or future. This is the secret of the Vedas and purAnAs, O best of sAttvikas! All the fame which I possess comes indeed from vishNu!

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This concludes our write-up. After this, there is not anything much of relevance here. srI varAha relates how Rudra describes the geography of the Universe to the rSis , which is not a matter of great importance for us. However, before Rudra begins that narration, bhagavAn uses several names like “purANapuruShaM” and “sanAtanam” for Rudra. So, to clarify the meaning of those names when attributed to Rudra, we have just commented on the first slOka of the next chapter where those names are described.

shrIvarAha uvAcha |

punaste RRiShayaH sarve taM paprachChuH sanAtanam |
rudraM purANapuruShaM shAshvataM dhruvamavyayam |
vishvarUpamajaM shaMbhuM trinetraM shUlapANinam || 74.1||

The rSis  then all asked that god who being ever associated with a body, cried on being born (sanAtanam rudraM), who provides in plenty that knowledge (of vishNu) which is ancient (purANapuruShaM – puru sanoti iti puruSa + purANam), who is ever-lastingly meditating on vishNu (shAshvataM), who is steady or fixed in knowledge of Brahman (dhruvaM), who does not change, ie, veer away from his meditation (avyayaM), whose is of the nature of being fully endowed with knowledge (viSvarUpaM), who moves in devotion towards vishNu (ajaM – root “aj” implies movement), who is blissful on account of such knowledge (shambhuM), who has 3 eyes, and knows the 3 vedas (trinetraM), who bears the trident or death for the asurAs (shUlapANinaM – “shUla” means death).

That explains these names. After this, the rSiS question him about various dvIpas, lOkas, etc. So we conclude with this.
The object of this write-up is to show how sriman nArAyaNa alone is resorted to by all the devas, how rudra is a vibhUti of bhagavAn and how the pAShupata maTham is unvedic.

8 comments :

  1. ''non-acceptance of iSvara as the upAdAna kAraNam''....can u please explain this in clear english....

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    Replies
    1. Saivas do not accept Ishvara as the material cause of the Universe.

      Material causality means different things in advaita and visishtadvaita. I shall explain as per Vishishtadvaita since the article was written from that view.

      As per Vishishtadvaita, it is explained thus - since everything is the body of Brahman, creation involves a change of state for Brahman - prior to creation, he was in the state of having subtle forms as his body, after creation, he now is in the state of having gross forms as his body. Since there is a change of the body of Brahman, it means he is the material cause. However, Brahman in his own nature is unchanged and unaffected by changes to his body as he is devoid of karma and his association with the universe as his body is by his will and not by karmic results. So, material causality does not violate sruti passages declaring him to be unchanged.

      Hope this explains.

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    2. Saivas say that Siva is the creator of the universe, and fashions it out of shakti like a potter fashions a pot out of mud. Here, the mud is the upAdAna kAraNa (material cause) and Siva is the nimitta kAraNa (efficient cause). This is unacceptable for Vedanta as per Srivaishnavism. Vedantins say that the upAdAna and nimitta kAraNa are both Brahman. The creator is Brahman (Lord Vishnu) and the creation is in Brahman. There is are two shlokas in Vishnu Purana which proclaim this:

      kaṭakamukuṭakarṇikādibhedaiḥ kanakam abhedam apīṣyate yathaikam /
      surapaśumanujādikalpanābhir harir akhilābhir udīryate tathaikaḥ // ViP_3,7.16 //
      kṣitijalaparamāṇavo 'nilānte punar api yānti yathaikatāṃ dharitryāḥ /
      surapaśumanujādayas tathānte guṇakaluṣeṇa sanātanena tena // ViP_3,7.17 //

      (rough translation): "As gold is one substance still, however diversified as bracelets, tiaras, or earrings, so Hari is one and the same, although modified in the forms of gods, animals, and man. As the drops of water, raised by wind from the earth, sink into the earth again when the wind subsides, so the varieties of gods, men, and animals, which have been detached by the agitation of the qualities, are reunited, when that disturbance ceases, with the eternal."

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    3. An addendum to HBB's post:

      Understand the analogy here. Gold is transformed into bracelet. Gold Bracelet, Gold Earrings etc are simply different states of gold. The gold has assumed different names and forms such as earring, bracelet, etc for certain practical applications. So, the lump of gold is the Cause, while the gold bracelets, earrings, etc are Effects. In addition, it cannot be said that the earring, bracelet, etc are unreal and mere names - for they have arisen by a real modification of Gold and Gold which is existent in these conditions of earring, bracelet.

      Similarly, Brahman prior to creation, who has as his body all the undifferentiated sentients and insentients (devoid of name and form) is the Cause, like the lump of Gold. After creation, Brahman itself, who has as his body the differentiated names and forms of deva, manushya, etc becomes the effects like gold bracelets, earrings etc. By the body-self relationship, when it is said "Brahman" is the Cause, it implies Brahman with his undifferentiated body which is the subtle form of Universe. Similarly, when it is said "deva", "manushya" are the effects, the names like "deva" etc denote only Brahman, the inner self. Names which denote the body, denote the self in its ultimate analysis, and when the self is denoted, it always includes the body which is an inseparable attribute. This is "sAmAnAdhikaraNyam".

      Just as bracelets etc are names assigned to Gold based on the real states or conditions assumed by Gold, so does Brahman who had subtle forms as his body, now gets designated names like "deva", "manushya" based on his real states or conditions as the inner self of these various gross forms.

      So, "tat tvam asi" - "tat" refers to the Causal Brahman who had the Universe in subtle, undifferentiated state as his body, much like a lump of gold. "tvam" refers to Brahman who has the gross state of svetaketu as his body. The cause is the same as the effect. Knowing a lump of gold, all made of gold is known. Knowing that Brahman which has the undifferentiated Universe as his body, all effects, ie, Brahman having gross forms, is known.

      Just as gold as a lump or as an earring is unchanged in its essential nature, similarly is Brahman unaffected by changes to his body.

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  2. thanks for straining urself to answer my ques....trying to understand it..

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  3. finally read whole post once...makes many things clear..

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  4. Nice post, though lengthy. Almost understood it.
    And, what makes RSIs different from brahmaNAs ? These days we see RSIs being depicted with long grown hairs tied at the top or at the side in a 'kudumi/shikha' like fashion, whereas brahmaNAs shave their heads, retaining only the shikha. Also since you mentioned growing hairs with matted locks is unvedic, like the pASupatAs, are these depictions true ?

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  5. Please note that this blog is not for discussing general topics like differences of varNa, jAti, rSis, etc. Only discussions related to the topic will be allowed.

    Your question is infused with a mix-up of modern day appellations and hence we recommend you refer the appropriate traditional sources to clarify your doubts. All I will say now is this - rSis can come from all castes and births like manuShya, deva, etc except those ineligible to learn the veda. Secondly, wearing of matted locks is itself not unvedic in certain conditions, but it becomes so in combination with the practices sanctioned by the Saiva agamas and as a distinctive feature of the pAshupatas.

    No more questions on general topics. I hope you take the time to read the FAQ where we have stated we do not entertain such queries.

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