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Date: Tue Dec 26 1995 - 07:02:28 PST
entharo mahAnu bhAvulu, anthariki maa vanthanamulu.... Sri Vijay writes: I am unable to clearly place the reason why Sriman Narayana's form alone is considered in our system to represent the Supreme Being. Is there any basis other than the Puranas. For example: from the principal upanishads..... As far as I know about this subject, Rig Veda has hymns on various gods (in fact, on the Shanmatha gods), Vishnu being one of the principal ones. Indra and Siva are examples of other. But Lord Vishnu is not elevated to the supreme position in Rig Veda. Here, he is acknowledged and worshipped as Yajamaanaha, the Lord of Yajnas. But in Krishna Yajur Veda (My ignorance of Shukla Yajur Veda prevents me from confidently quoting it!), Lord Vishnu gains prominence as Lord Naaraayanaa and Lord Vaasudevaa (Gaayathri - Naaraayanaaya Vidhmahe Vaasudevaaya dheemahi, thanno Vishnuh Prachodhayath). According to what I understand, the vedic basis of our Sampradhaayam are the Sri, Purusha, Naaraayana, Vishnu, Bhoo and NeeLa Sookthams. The Vaishnavaite version of Sri, Purusha and Naaraayana Sookthams differ from the smaartha version, in that certain verses are not recited or have undergone modification to be in sync with the tradition of worshipping Sriman Naaraayana as the supreme Lord. Other tributes like 'thath thvam asi', 'Ekam sadhvipraah bahudhaa vadhanthi (Rig VEda)', 'Sa EkO na ramyathE' (roughly translates to He did not enjoy it all alone) have been open to interpretation, but are also quoted by our Sampradaaya pravarthakaas as referring to Sriman Naaraayanaa only. There are other tributes that I don't remember off-hand. Another thing: Brihadhaaranyaka Upanishad is as much revered in our sampradaayam like Thaittriyam. Supposedly has some more pramaanams regarding Sriman Naaraayanaa's supremacy. There are also hymns in praise of Him in the Saama vEda. Again, I am incompetent in this subject to add any more useful information. As you have rightly said, Sri Sadagopan's well-researched article on this will shed greater (and definitely better!) light on this subject. I am looking forward to his article as much as you and everybody else. asathya Evam dur vaacham Kshandavyam ithi. Dilipan.