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Re: agniravamo...
Date: Thu Jul 05 2001 - 08:19:52 PDT


That any particular Deva/Devata is supreme appears in many 
places in the Samhita mantras for many Devas/Devataas. 
Typically, a Rik devoted to a Deva/Devataa declares THAT 
Deva/Devataa as supreme. Ancient Nyaaya shaastrakaaras have 
justified this by invoking "nahinindaa nyaaya" - that One is 
Supreme does not mean a degradation of any other. When a 
devotee or aspirant sees Truth through his/her chosen 
naama-roopa, he/she is free to praise and surrender to That 
chosen One. This is buttressed by the well-quoted Rik of 
meaning something like: Sat (the fundamental unmanifest 
substratum) is One, the knowers of the Vedas speak (of It) 
as agni, yamam, maatarishwaan...

This in no way is like the Semitic tradition of condemning 
anything other than the chosen one.

-Shambhu wrote:
> Srimathe Ramanujaya namaha
> Dear Sri Venkatakrishnan,
> What I wrote is what I read from some of the poorvAchArya vyAkhyAnams
> as quoted by Sri Puttur Krishnaswamy Iyengar in his books like 1)
> Vishnuchitta vijayam, 2) Sankararum VaiNavamum etc.,
> Please note that while it says that Agni is the lowest, it does not
> impart any disregards to the role of Agni in our SampradhAyam.
> But what made our poorvAchAryAs to comment like this? Adiyen does not
> know really. However, you opened that question for me and I will try
> and find out the reason. However, there are many scholars in this
> list who can throw light as to why such a vyAkhyAnam is made.
> However I beg to differ from your views that vEdAs does not talk
> about the supremacy of any devata. The same verse says that " paramO
> vishNu". What is the meaning of the word "paramO"? Does it mean
> farthest. No. It clearly conveys the meaning that vishNu is the para
> brahman (Supreme Being). Naturally the opposite word to paramO is
> avamO. So the interpretation is right. But what made our
> poorvAchAryAs to interpret in such way is the question. I have quoted
> some verses in my postings from vEdAs which clearly talks about the
> supremacy of VishNu. Sri Vijayaraghavan Bhashyam had also quoted may
> verses from the vEdAs which uphold the supremacy of VishNu. Then how
> can it be considered that the vEdAs do not talk about superiority of
> any dEvata.
> Also your interpretation tries to mislead. What is the scale in which
> the nearest or the farthest is measured. Adiyen does not agree to the
> fact that Vishnu is the farthest. Just go thro our beloved Azhwars
> divya prabhandams for more references. 1) patthudai adiyavarkku
> eLiyavan...., 2) engum uLan kaNNan.... and many more. These are only
> a very little examples. That Sriman Narayanan is every pervading and
> omnipresent was very clearly proved by Sri Prahaladha and that is the
> no. 2 example written above. So how can he be the farthest.
> Finally, whose interpretation is what you wrote ( Agni is the nearest
> and Vishnu is the farthest).
> adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan,
> Thirumalai Vinjamoor Venkatesh

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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