“Shiva Derives Power From Vishnu”.
The basis of the above allegation is the following verse from Rig Veda.
“asya devasya mīḷhuṣo vayā viṣṇoreṣasya prabhṛthe havirbhiḥ |
vide hi rudro rudriyaṃ mahitvaṃ yāsiṣṭaṃ vartiraśvināvirāvat |” (Rig Veda 7.40.5)
“With offerings I propitiate the branches of this swift-moving God, the bounteous Viṣṇu. Hence Rudra gained his Rudra-strength“.
“imā rudrāya sthiradhanvane ghiraḥ kṣipreṣave devāya svadhāvne |
aṣāḷhāya sahamānāya vedhase tighmāyudhāya bharatā śṛṇotu naḥ |” (RV 7:46:1)
“To Rudra bring these songs, whose bow is firm and strong, the self-dependent God with swiftly-flying shafts,The Wise, the Conqueror whom none may overcome, armed with sharp-pointed weapons: may he hear our call”.
“śreṣṭho jātasya rudra śriyāsi tavastamastavasāṃ vajrabāho |
parṣi ṇaḥ pāramaṃhasaḥ svasti viśvā abhītī rapaso yuyodhi ||” (Rig Veda 2:33:3)
“Chief of all born art thou in glory, Rudra, armed with the thunder, mightiest of the mighty. Transport us over trouble to well-being repel thou from us all assaults of mischief”.
“sthirebhiraṅghaiḥ pururūpa ughro babhruḥ śukrebhiḥ pipiśehiraṇyaiḥ |
īśānādasya bhuvanasya bhūrerna vā u yoṣad rudrādasuryam ||” (RV 2:33:9)
“With firm limbs, multiform, the strong, the tawny adorns himself with bright gold decorations. The strength of Godhead ne’er departs from Rudra, him who is Sovran of this world, the mighty”.
“sa hi kṣayeṇa kṣamyasya janmanaḥ sāmrājyena divyasya cetati |
avannavantīrupa no duraścarānamīvo rudra jāsu no bhava ||” (Rig Veda 7:46:2)
“He through his lordship pervades in all things and beings on the earth, on heavenly beings through his high imperial sway (controlling influence or power). Come willingly to our doors that gladly welcome thee, and heal all sickness, Rudra., in our families”.
In RV 7:46:2 Rudra is called as the the one who “rules” on all celestial beings through his imperial power. In RV 2:33:9 Rudra is referred as the Godhead whose strength doesn’t leave (depart from) him. In RV 2:33:3 he is called as “mightiest of the mighty” not just mighty or mightier. In RV 7:46:1 Rudra is called as the God who is “self dependent” and “none can overcome Rudra”.
As he is “self dependent”, he doesn’t need to derive strength from anyone for his work; as he is the “Godhead whose strength never departs from him”, he doesn’t require to borrow strength from anyone; as he “pervades/rules over the gods by his imperial power” which god can be an exception to this? as he is the “mightiest of the mighty”, who else can donate him strength?
Then RV 7:40:5 says “Rudra derives his Rudra strength from Vishnu”. But why this confusion within Rig veda itself? There should be some hidden meaning behind RV 7:40:5 which is not so direct and literal for comprehension. We’ll analyze and learn that all these verses are True. Before that let’s see few more verses which contradict the ALLEGATION above.
The Taittirya Aranyaka(10:24:1) of Yajur Veda clearly says Lord Rudra is ‘Veda Purusha’ (purusho vai rudrah). And none is superior to Purusha.
“vishvatashchaxuruta vishvatomukho vishvatobaahuruta vishvataspaat.h |
saM baahubhyaa.n dhamati saMpatatrairdyaavaabhuumii janayan.h deva ekaH |” (Sve. Upa. 3.03)
“His eyes are everywhere, His faces everywhere, His arms everywhere, everywhere His feet. He it is who endows men with arms, birds with feet and wings and men likewise with feet. Having produced heaven and earth, He remains as their non—dual (deva ekaH) manifester”.
“sarvaanana shirogriivaH sarvabhuutaguhaashayaH |
sarvavyaapii sa bhagavaa.nstasmaat.h sarvagataH shivaH |” (Sve. Upa. 3:11)
“All faces are His faces; all heads, His heads; all necks, His necks. He dwells in the hearts of all beings. He is the all—pervading Bhagavan. Therefore He is the omnipresent and benign Lord”.
“yasmaat.h para.n naaparamasti ki.nchidya smaannaNiiyo na jyaayo.asti kashchit.h |
vR^ixa iva stabdho divi tishhThatyeka stenedaM puurNaM purushheNa sarvam.h |” (Sve. Upa. 3:09)
“This whole universe is filled by this person (purusha-Rudra), to whom there is nothing superior, from whom there is nothing different, than whom there is nothing smaller or larger, who stands alone, fixed like a tree in the sky”.
Lord Shiva himself says:-
“paramo.asmi paraatparaH” (Maitreya Upa. 3:10)
“I am the supreme, greater than the great”.
ANALYSIS (with logical reasoning) :
We must know that Vedas DO NOT convey everything in sequence. Vedas are not that simple to understand since the verses are not “Literal” in every case. Vedic verses are interwoven and depend upon some other verses also. So, with half baked knowledge or with surface thinking real Tatwam behind Vedic verses can not be perceived. The allegation under discussion is one such outcome of lack of analytical ability.
I would say, yes both RV 7.40.5 and all other verses cited above are correct. I mean yes Rudra derives strength from Vishnu and also is self-dependent.
Sounds confusing?? Don’t worry, just keep reading, just be with me throughout this analysis, you’ll understand what I want to convey!
Sri Rudram from yajurveda says:
“Namo bhavaya cha rudraya cha
namah sharvaya cha pashupataye cha
namo girishaya cha shipivishhtaya cha |” (Anuvaka 5)
“Salutations to Him who is the source of all things. And to Him who is the destroyer of all ills. Salutations to the destroyer and to the protector of all beings in bondage. Salutations to Him who dwells on the mount and who is in the form of Shipivista (Vishnu)“.
From the above verses we learn that Rudra(Shiva) is the Source of all, protector and destroyer. Means he alone does the “Srushti”, “Sthiti” and “Laya”. Note the highlight which says Shiva exists as Lord Vishnu. “Sipivista” is the epithet used extensively in Vedas for Vishnu.
“sá yád dhruvā́ṃ díśam ánu vyácalad víṣṇur bhūtvā́nuvyàcalad virā́jam annādī́ṃ kr̥tvā́ |” (Atharva Veda 15:14:5)
“He (Vrata/Shiva), when he went away to the stedfast region, went away having become Vishnu…”.
“somaḥ pavate janitā matīnāṃ janitā divo janitā pṛthivyāḥ |
janitāghnerjanitā sūryasya janitendrasya janitota viṣṇoḥ |” (RV 9:96:5)
“Father of holy hymns, Soma flows onward the Father of the earth, Father of heaven:
Father of Agni, Sūrya’s generator, the Father who begat Indra and Viṣṇu“.
It also says that Shiva himself manifested as Vishnu. So, from both Rudram and Atharva Veda we understand that Shiva does Sthiti (Protection) by assuming (manifesting as) the form of Vishnu. Also, from above mentioned verse of Sveta Upa. 3.03 we understood that Shiva is non-dual. Means he alone exists none else. Whatever else is seen, is seen as his own form/manifestation. In Sve. Upa 3.11 Shiva Bhagawan is called as all pervading. Now comparing all these verses we get to a conclusion that – Shiva who manifested as Vishnu for protection, pervaded entire universe hence his that preserver aspect/form gained a name “Vishnu”.
Now let’s extend our analysis further.
“vishhNorjanaka.n devamiiDyaM” (Sharabha Upansiahd 1-2)
“[Shiva]who is the father of Vishnu and other devas”.
“rudraatpravartate biijaM biijayonirjanaardanaH |” (Rudra Hridayopanishad 8)
“Rudra is the generator of the seed. Vishnu is the embryo of the seed”.
“umaa sha~Nkarayogo yaH sa yogo vishhNuruchyate |” (Rudra Hridayopanishad 11)
“The combination of Uma and Sankara is Vishnu”.
“kaarya.n vishhNuH kriyaa brahmaa kaaraNa.n tu maheshvaraH |
prayojanaartha.n rudreNa muurtirekaa tridhaa kR^itaa |” (Rudra Hridayopanishad 15)
“The effect is Vishnu. The action is Brahma. The cause is Maheshwara. For the benefit of the worlds. Rudra has taken these three forms”.
From the above verses it is clear that Shiva is the “cause (seed) who procreates Vishnu”. It also clarifies us that “Vishnu is generated by a combination of Uma-Shiva” and hence he is their son (also their form). But now in below verses we’ll understand that Vishnu who is the son of Uma has Uma’s attributes hence they are equated and called as one “in terms of Tatwam”. Shiva only the one non dual lord manifests as Vishnu and Brahma for the sake of the worlds. So it is clear that Vishnu is Shiva’s son and form.
Sri Rudram says:
“Namo agriyaya cha prathamaya cha
nama ashave chajiraya cha” (Anuvaka 5)
“Salutations to Him who was before all things and who is foremost
Salutations to Him who pervades all and moves swiftly”
Now the question arises, Rigveda’s one sloka says Shiva derives strength from Vishnu, another sloka says Shiva is self-dependent. Sri Rudram from Yajurveda says, Shiva exists in the form of Vishnu. Shiva is the foremost. And Sharabha Upanishad, Rudra Hridayopanishad, Atharva veda’s hymn to Vratya(Shiva) and RV 9:96:5 unanimously say Shiva is the father of Vishnu. Again it looks confusing right? No. We are almost there. Just read on…
“yaa umaa saa svaya.n vishhNur” (Rudra Hridayopanishad 5)
“Uma Herself is in the form of Vishnu”
Same thing is represented in another way by Adi Shankara said in Shivananda Lahari as,
“Ardha vapusha baryatwam, Gonithwam sakkhitha…” (Shivananda Lahari Para-82)
“Lord Vishnu occupied half your body, Became transformed to be your wife (PARVATI), Became a boar to search for you, Became your lady friend to serve the nectar (MOHINI)”
Rudra Hridaya Upanishad and Shivananda Lahari says Vishnu and UMA are of same form (they are same). Sharabha Upanishad and Rudra Hridayopanishad, Rig Veda.IX.96.5 says Vishnu is Shiva’s and Uma’s son. Sri Rudram says Shiva exists as Vishnu. Hence comparing these points we can conclude here that Vishnu is Shiva’s form (son) having UMA’s features hence UMA and Vishnu are shown as identical but since Uma manifested as Yashoda’s daughter Yogamaya as a ssiter of Krishna she is popularly called as Vishnu’s sister.
Also, since Parvati (Uma’s manifestation) is dark complexioned as like as Vishnu she is seen as having same Tatwam as Vishnu hence she is again called as Narayana-Sahodari / Narayani in scriptures. Vishnu and Uma are not different they are one being of the nature of siblings based on tatwam/Nature. But this is just a bond, but in reality Shiva-Shakti are non-dual. They created Vishnu, so Vishnu is Uma’s son as Annapoorna Astottara Shatanamavali also calls her as, “Vishnu Jananyai Namah”.
We had covered the prerequisites of our analysis. now the points have to be rearranged to understand the Tatwam. But we’re left with one more verse to be noted which plays a key role in this analysis.
Adi Shankaracharya said in the opening verse of Soundarya Lahari:
”Shivah shakthya yukto yadi bhavati shaktah prabhavitum
Na chedevam devo na khalu kusalah spanditumapi |” (Soundarya Lahari Para-1)
“Lord Shiva, only becomes able, To do creation in this world.
along with Shakthi, Without her, Even an inch he cannot move”
This is well accepted fact even in Puranas that Shiva becomes functionless without his Shakti (UMA). Shiva is pure conciousness, the agent which agitates him and brings some action in him is Uma. Due to the agitation caused by Uma Shiva desires to create, he becomes Kameshwara (the primordial Kama), and from his seed Hiranyagarbha gets generated and thereafter entire creation starts. So, it’s true that Uma is the one who brings desire in Shiva for becoming many from being one. Hence Shankara says Shiva becomes unable to create without his Shakti (Uma).
Let’s rearrange the scattered bits for conclusion now.
ARRANGEMENT (of Points in Logical Sequence):
From the above points we arrive at the following arrangement:
1. Rigeveda 7.40.5 says Shiva derives strength from Vishnu
2. Rudra Hridaya Upanishad and Shivananda Lahari says Vishnu and UMA are of same form (they are same)
3. Sharabha Upanishad and Rudra Hridayopanishad, Shaiva Agamas, Vratya hymn of Atharva Veda, Rig Veda.IX.96.5 say Vishnu is Shiva’s & Uma’s son. Sri Rudram says Shiva exists as Vishnu. Hence comparing points 2 and 3 we can conclude here that Vishnu is Shiva’s form (son) having UMA’s features hence UMA and Vishnu are shown as identical in many scriptures
4. Adi Shankara’s Soundarya lahari says Shiva derives his strength from his wife UMA (Shakti)
5. And SHAKTI and SHIVA being “Ardhanareeshwara”, they are One and the same. They are half of each other hence NOT different from each other. Therefor they are Non-Dual.
6. RV 7:46:1 says Shiva is “Self-Dependent”, Rudram says he was the “Foremost”, Svetawatara Upanishad says “he is the ONLY one who exists” (non dual).
So, finally from lot of confusing verses we have zeroed down to the conclusion that:
“Shiva derives his strength from his Shakti without which he can’t function. But since Shiva are Shakti are “Ardhanareeshwara” who are two aspects but share one body hence non-different from each other, hence it implies Shiva derives strength from “self”, hence Shiva is “Self-Dependent”.
And since Shakti (UMA) and Vishnu share same nature and attributes they are called as siblings and are not different from each other. Shakti and Vishnu are of same Tatwam, hence even though Vishnu is Uma’s son, Vishnu is given an exaggerated status of being UMA. Hence “HariHara” form of Shiva came into scriptures where Vishnu is Shiva’s left half and Shiva is called as “Vishnu Vallabha” (husband of Vishnu). Therefore in RV 7:40:5 Shiva is said to be deriving his strength from Vishnu (replacing Uma with Vishnu based on Tatwam). But since Shiva only exists as “Sipivishtha” (Vishnu), and they are “HariHara” who are two aspects but share one body hence non-different from each other, hence it implies Shiva derives strength from “self”. It again drills down to non-duality and only “Shiva alone exists” and hence Shiva is “Self-Dependent”.
This is the reason why Rudra is “mightiest of the mighty (Rig Veda 2:33:3)”, this is the reason why he is “self-dependent (RV 7:46:1)”, this is the reason why he is “the godhead whose strength doesn’t depart from him (RV 2:33:9)”, this is the reason why he is able to “rule on all celestial gods with his high imerial power (Rig Veda 7:46:2)”.
Rudra is self-dependent non-dual lord who is “Parat-Para (supreme of the supreme)”, hence he doesn’t derive strength from Vishnu in reality. That’s all a play of Tatwams which is sung in the Vedas.
Hope this resolves all contradictions, controversies and conflicts which are prevalant between Vaishnavas and Shaivas.
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