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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Offerings Made to Krishna Actually Goes to Lord Shiva

There is a famous Subhashita sloka which is as follows:

"Akashat patitam toyam sagaram prati gacchati |
sarva deva namaskaram Keshavam prati gacchati |"
"All the water fallen from the sky goes to the sea, similarly salutations to all the gods reaches to the one Lord Keshava".

This verse is many a times used as an evidence to show the superiority of Krishna over Shiva and people state that even the worship of Shiva goes to Krishna. However, this verse is just a Subhashitam (roughly translated as 'golden words') and there is no evidence to prove this verse. But on the contrary scriptures have clear cut evidence which proves it other way round.

Vyasa Mahabharata has a clear evidence of Arjuna witnessing a strange event. Let's read Arjuna's strange revealation and experience directly as the scripture says.

"tato 'rjunaḥ prītamanā vavande vṛṣabhadhvajam |
dadarśotphulla nayanaḥ samastaṃ tejasāṃ vidhim ||" (Mahabharata Drona Parva 7:57:60)
"taṃ copahāraṃ svakṛtaṃ naiśaṃ naityakam ātmanaḥ |
dadarśa tryambakābhyāśe vāsudeva niveditam ||" (Mahabharata Drona Parva 7:57:61)
"Sanjaya said, 'Then Partha, with a cheerful soul and joined hands and eyes expanded (in wonder), gazed at the god having the bull for his mark and who was the receptacle of every energy. And he beheld the offerings he made every night to Vasudeva lying by the side of the Three-eyed deity". (Book 7, Section LXXXI in translation by K.M. Ganguly)

From the above verses from Mahabharata the great epic of India, we learn that Arjuna used to worship Vasudeva (Krishna) every night with offerings, and when he and Krishna went to Kailasha - the abode of Lord Mahadeva; Arjuna found that whatever offerings he had been giving to Sri Krishna, everything was found offered at the lotus feet of lord Shiva.

This is actually a fact and a universal truth since Shruti also support this. And when Shruiti supports it, then that becomes a universal truth. Let's see what Shruti says in support of Shiva.

A Suktam from Vedic literature states the following:

"Vrikshasya mUlasekena SAkhA pushyanti vai yathA |
Sive rudrajapAt preete pritA evAsya devatAh |
ato rudra-japAdeva bhukti-mukti pradidhyatah |"
"As pouring of water at the root of a tree nourishes all the branches, by pleasing sri Rudra, through Rudra japa (chanting of Sri Rudram hymn), all devatas are pleased. One attains Bhukti (enjoyments of life) and Mukti (freedom from the bondage of births-deaths cycle) by chanting Sri Rudram with devotion".

The source of the above suktam is not known to me, but where from this is derived that is known to me. The aforementioned fact is an adaptation from the Krishna Yajurveda and exists in the Rudra-Hridayopanishad as follows.

"asya trailokyavR^ikshasya bhuumau viTapashaakhinaH |
agraM madhya.n tathaa muula.n vishhNubrahmamaheshvaraaH || (Rudra Hridayopanishad 1:14)
"This whole creation of Svarga, Martya and Patala Lokas is a big tree. Vishnu is the top portion (branches) of this tree. Brahma is the stem. The root is Lord Siva".

For those people who aren't aware of what is known as 'Sri Rudram'. Let me describe it in brief to help such people understand the supreme status of that hymn.
Sri Rudram is a Vedic hymn in praise of Lord Shiva and exists in Yajurveda. It comprises of eleven Anuvakas (sections), and in the eighth Anuvaka, exists the supremely auspicious and salvation giving mantra called as 'Shiva Panchakshari' (namaH SivAya). Singing the glory of this five lettered mantra, scriptures further state the following thing:

"VidyAsu SrutirutkrishTA rudraikAdaSini Srutau |
tatra panchAksharI tasyAm Siva ityakshara dvayam ||"
"Among all sources of knowledge (vidyas), the Vedas are supreme. In the Vedas, Sri Rudram is supreme. In the Rudram, the Panchakshari mantra (namah SivAya) is supreme and in Panchakshari mantra itself, the two syllables 'Siva' is supreme!"

Now coming back to the context of the topic, we have seen that Shruti(Upanishad), Itihasa (Mahabharata) and the Subhashita Vedic literature unanimously state the two way fact that, worshiping Lord Shiva (watering the roots) is identical to worshiping all gods combined together (like watering the branches, leaves, stem etc.). And the other way round it stated that when one worships Sri Krishna (who is Lord Vishnu in reality), the worship goes to Lord Shiva only. In fact Rig Veda clearly states this fact that there is only one God whom we call by various names (Ekam Sat Viprah bahudha vadanti), and a careful study of Vedas would explain us the fact that the one single, non-dual god who appears as many forms is none other than Bhagwan Shiva only.

Now let me come back to the very first verse in this article which is copied below for ready reference.

"Akashat patitam toyam sagaram prati gacchati |
sarva deva namaskaram Keshavam prati gacchati |"
"All the water fallen from the sky goes to the sea, similarly salutations to all the gods reaches to the one Lord Keshava".

The above verse is also a Subhashita verse, which is actually refuted by the above analysis. But does that mean this subhashita verse is totally wrong? Certainly not! The main problem with the so called learned people is that, they always follow surface thinking. The above verse for the surface thinkers applies on Krishna (Kesava). And if that is taken as true, then this verse becomes totally absurd since there is no support for it from Vedas, Epics. But a deeper study of this verse reveals a truth that this verse is indeed inline with the Shruti. let's analyze my point further.

Lord Krishna got the name 'Keshava' because he killed a demon called 'Kesi' who was the commander in chief of demons. So, Kesava when applied on Krishna means the killer of Kesi. However the word Keshava has a deeper meaning as well.

Keshava when split, it comprises of the three parts viz. 'Ka', 'Isha', and 'Va'.
'Ka' is the Prajapati-tatwam (the potency of creation), 'Isha' denotes the lordship and Samhaara-tatwam (potency of destruction), and 'Va' denotes the Sthiti-Tatwam (potency of protection & sustenance).

With this internal meaning if we see, then the subhashita verse states that "As like as all the water fallen from the sky goes to the sea through various channels, similarly salutations offered to any deity goes to the one god who is the creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe". Now let's see who is that god whom Vedas claimed to be the creator, preserver, destroyer and the supreme lord.

"Namo bhavaya cha rudraya cha |
namah sharvaya cha pashupataye cha ||" (Yajurveda Sri Rudram- Anuvaka 5)
"Salutations to Him who is the source of all things (Bhava) and to Him who is the destroyer of all ills (Rudra). Salutations to the destroyer of everything (Sharva) and to the protector of all beings in bondage (Pashupati)".

Further on the total lordship aspect Shruti states the following: - Sve. Upa 6:09 says, "na tasya kashchit.h patirasti loke (There is no master of his in the world, no ruler of his)". Sve. Upa 6:08 says, "na tasya kaarya.n karaNa.n cha vidyate (There is no effect and no cause known of him)". Svet. Upa. 6:17 says, "ya iishe.asya jagato nityameva naanyo heturvidyata iishanaaya (He rules this world for ever, for no one else is able to rule it).

So, from above analysis we can conclude that the one supreme God who is alone the creator, preserver, destroyer, and lord of all is none other than lord Shiva only. Therefore the true meaning of 'Keshava' actually reflects the glory of Lord Shiva and actually applies on him only (of course it applies on krishna as the slayer of Kesi). Therefore, now with a deeper understanding of the meaning what that Subhashita verse conveys, it becomes clear that it is inline with what Vedas, Upanishads and Mahabharata state.

Therefore, it reflects the beauty of Sanatana Dharma that despite there being only one god (Shiva), our religion allows us to see the same God (Shiva) in various other forms of our choice like Krishna, Rama, Vishnu, Ganesha, Skanda etc. and at the same time our Sanatana Dharma ensures that whichever mode of worship one follows, s/he (& his/her devotion) reaches the one common destination (lord Shiva) finally.

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