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Advaithis and Sriman Narayana
Date: Fri Jul 25 1997 - 11:23:39 PDT

2. All advaitins hold that nArAyaNa is bhagavAn. There is no question 
about that. Siva is also held to be ISvara and as a guru. Similarly, 
kRshNa is also regarded as a guru. However, ultimately, from the 
standpoint of advaita, we are not interested in drawing devatA-tAratamyas 
or describing deities other than vishNu as cillarai devataas, and so on. 
This is because our standpoint is abheda at the end, and there is no point 
in emphasizing bheda all along the way, beyond the minimum necessary. Even 
if one has some sort of hierarchy in one's own mind, for example, if one 
can regard Siva only as a guru, then one should always respect the guru 
equally with God.  

This is really confusing me for many years. My close friend who is a advaithi
also have always  told me this. I am unable to understand why/how the Kanchi
Sankaracharyal Mutt and  all others could use Thiruneeru, Vibhudhi (ashes)
instead of Thirumankappu (Oordhavapundram) and still be a devotee of Sriman
Narayana. I think there is a strong link between  Lord Shiva and the use of
Vibhudhi. This practice becomes even more complicated(atleast for me)  when the
archakas in all the Kerala Temples dedicated to Srman Narayana some times adore
Vibhuthi and sometimes Gopi (Sandal and kumkum which is Lord Krishna's)  If you
clearly want to adore Vibhuthi how can you call yourself adiyar of Sriman
These questions arise solely due to my ignorance ( Adiyen SiriyaNyanathan ) and
inability to comprehend things. So if some one has an explanation I will be
grateful (Thalayallal Kaimarillene). 

Azhwar Emberumanar Jeeyar Thiruvadigale Charanam. 

Murali Vanamamalai