Bhagwad Gita is a great Vedantic text and it is ‘Moksha Shastram (scripture which enlightens us with the knowledge leading towards salvation)’. However it has become the most incorrectly interpreted scripture. Unfortunately, nowadays it’s usage has become limited to ‘Supremacy Debates’ only.
It has been observed that there is a strong belief that Sri Krishna showed all gods and goddesses including Lord Shiva in his Vishwaroopa. In fact lord Shiva was NOT shown in Krishna’s Vishwaroopa. Shocked? Yes, truth is always bitter and gives shocking surprises!
In ‘Vibhooti Yoga’ chapter 10 of Bhagwad Gita Sri Krishna says,
“rudrAnAm sankaraschAsmi |” (BG. 10:23)
“Among the Rudras I’m Shankara”.
However the above verse is purposely mistranslated by Vaishnava websites as “among the Rudras I’m lord Shiva“. No doubt ‘Shankara’ is the name of lord Shiva only and they are one and the same, however the phrase “among the Rudras” needs to be taken into account while translating this verse. Let me explain the real meaning here.
Primarily, there are eleven Rudras called as Ekadasha-Rudras. They all are MANIFESTATIONS of Lord Shiva as the children of Goddess Surabhi (the celestial cow). Surabhi is called as ‘Prishni’ in Vedas, and her sons viz. the eleven Rudras are called as Maruts also in Vedas.
Rudras (Maruts) are like sons (or manifestation or incarnation) of lord Shiva. Their names have been given differently in various Puranas and Mahabharata because the Puranas many a times depict the stories of previous Kalpas also. And in every Kalpa these eleven Rudras are created by lord Shiva and the names of these eleven Rudras change in every Kalpa.
In the present Kalpa the names of the eleven Rudras are:
1. Mahadeva, 2. Shiva , 3. Maha Rudra, 4. Shankara, 5. Neelalohita, 6. Eshana Rudra, 7. Vijaya Rudra, 8. Bheema Rudra, 9. Devadeva, 10. Bhavodbhava and 11. Adityatmaka Srirudra.
Their 11 consorts of these 11 Rudras in this present Kalpa are respectively the following names:-
1. Dhee devi, 2. Dhritti devi, 3. Ushna (Rasala) devi, 4. Uma devi, 5. Neeyut devi, 5. Sarpi devi, 7. Eela devi, 8. Ambika devi, 9. Ieravati devi, 10. Sudha devi and 11. Deeksha devi
So, it’s just a matter of shear coincidence that the 4th son of Surabhi has been named ‘Shankara’ and again it’s a divine coincidence that his wife’s name happens to be ‘Uma devi’. In next Kalpa these names would change. And since Bhagawad Gita available with us belongs to narration based on this currently running Kalpa, Sri Krishna said he is Shankara among the Rudras.
Therefore Sri Krishna did not say that he is Lord Shiva, he said he is that Rudra among the 11 Rudras whose name is ‘Shankara’.
This is all about the statement given in ‘Vibhooti Yoga’ chapter. Now let’s move on to the chapter named ‘Vishwaroopa Sandarshana Yoga’ and analyze whether the cosmic form exhibited contained lord Shiva or not.
Many people mistakenly (or purposely) say that when Arjuna saw the cosmic form, he narrated the various figures that he beheld. During that narration Arjuna said:
“pasyami devam stava deva dehe |
sarvams tatha bhuta-visesa-sanghan |
brahmanam isam kamalasana-stham |
rsims ca sarvan uragams ca divyan |” (BG. 11:15)
This is Incorrectly (and purposely) translated by the Vaishnava websites as :
“Arjuna said: My dear Lord Krishna, I see assembled in Your body all the demigods and various other living entities. I see Brahma sitting on the lotus flower, as well as Lord Shiva and all the sages and divine serpents.“
However this translation is NOT authentic.
The phrase in 11.15 is “brahmanam isham kamalasana-stham“. Because the word “isham” appears between “brahmanam” and “kamala-asana-stham” it is a designation of Brahma who sits on the lotus, and hence the CORRECT translation should be – “Brahma who is the lord, is found seated on his lotus seat“. It very strongly proves that the sandwiched “Isham” is the quality of lordship and not a proper name. Therefore it refers to Brahma and states, “Lord Brahma is seated on a lotus“.
Ramanuja and Madhva both suggest that “isha” means Shiva who is seated on Brahma who is on the lotus seat. In his Bhashya Ramanuja writes, “tatha isham kamalasana-stham kamalasane brahmani sthitam” and Madhva follows Ramanuja here. However Adi Shankaracharya CORRECTLY interprets it that “isham” refers to Brahma in this verse and not to Shiva. In his bhashya Shankaracharya writes, “brahmanam chatur-mukham isham ishataram prajanam kamalasana-stham” and all the western translators (including Robert Zaehner who followed Ramanuja throughout differs with him and adopts Shankara’s interpretation as correct for this verse) follow Shankara. Brahma is “isham” because of his lordship over all creatures. Adi Shankaracharya is more reliable saint than the Ramanuja and Madhwa. Hence here Shankara’s words needs to be taken as true.
Ramanujacharya and Madhwacharya were not open to non-dualism principle, they propounded philosophies favoring Vishnu, hence it becomes obvious why the attempt was made by them and subsequent Vaishnavas to explain the verse in that way but it is rather unlikely.
Even the great Sanskrit scholar Mr. Kesari Mohan ganguly (KMG) who translated the Vyasa Mahabharata from Sanskrit to English in the period 1883-1896; even he did not err the way Ramanuja and Madhava erred in translating verse BG 11:15. He didn’t give importance of word “isha” at all. He simply translated it as follows:
“Arjuna said, ‘I behold all the gods, O God, as also all the varied hosts of creatures, (and) Brahma seated on (his) lotus seat, and all the Rishis and the celestial snakes. I behold Thee with innumerable arms, stomachs, mouths, (and) eyes, on every side….“
Therefore it should have become clear by now that Lord Shiva was not captured in the Vishwaroopa of Bhagwad Gita. In fact Lord Shiva is called as possessing Vishwaroopa in Vedas – “vishwaroopebhyo namah” (Sri Rudram of Yajurveda). And the reason why Lord SHiva was not captured in the Vishwaroopa is that – that cosmic form is “virAt rUpa”, that is simply called “virAt” and it is nothing but the sum total of all the gross bodies of the universe. SO, whosoever is born, would be seen in virAt, and lord Shiva is the only unborn Bhagawan, hence he cannot be seen in virAt. In fact that cosmic form was not shown by Krishna. It was lord Shiva’s cosmic form. Surprised? Yes, I can understand that. To know hiddens ecrets of Bhagawad Gita please read my analysis on Bhagawad Gita here.
Just for selfish benefit of making Krishna superior than everyone else, how far is it justified to state the infinite, unborn, eternal supreme lord Shiva as a subordinate of Krishna? – Answer is left to the readers!
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