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Re: Question: zriimad ashtaaksharam & zriimad dvayam

From: Ram Gopalaswamy (gopalram_at_erols.com)
Date: Sat Jul 11 1998 - 23:21:55 PDT

Mani Varadarajan <mani@be.com> replies:

> Ram Gopalaswamy <gopalram@erols.com> asks:
> > 
> > - Are zriimad askTaaksharam, and zriimad dvayam eternal mantras (ie. zruti) ? 
> >   or are they revealed by an avataara of Bhagavan from time to time
> >   as necessary (ie. smrti) ?
> > 
> 
> Vedanta Desika covers these topics in Srimad Rahasya Traya Saaram.
> According to Desika, the ashTaakshara mantra is a Vedic mantra, 
> and is found in the nArAyaNa upanishad, among other places. It can
> become a tantric, i.e., Veda-inspired but not _from_ the Vedas, with
> slight modifications, as discussed in a separate thread earlier.
> 
> The dvaya mantra is a tAntrika mantra that is alluded to in the Vedas.
> Reference to it is made in a now-lost section of the Vedas known as
> "kaTha Sruti".
> 
> I do not know whether this makes it technically "smRti".
>  
> >   Are the rshi-s avataara of zriiman-naaraayaNa for the purpose of
> >   revealing mantras or are they svayam zriiman-naaraayaNa Himself ?
> 
> I don't understand the distinction between the two. Could you elaborate?
> 
> Mani
> 
> 

Dear Sri.Mani,

Thanks for the information. 

Please excuse my vague writing. I meant to ask:

   Who are the naaraayaNa rshis ?
     a. saakshaat vibhava avataara  or
     b. some kind of aaveza avataara.


Sri SM Srinivasa Chari talks about different types of vibhava avataara
in his book, "Vaishnavism" .

My understanding from the book:

 - saakshaat avataara or direct descent of zriiman-naaraayaNa with
  His Absolute Transcendental Form (divya-mangala-vigraha) looking outwardly
  like a living entity.
  [ The Supreme Lord descends with His pure internal potency (suddha satva) 
    and He is _unaffected_ (avyayam) by the three modes of material nature.]
   
  Example: zrii KrshNa, zrii nrsmha, zrii varaaha, zrii Raama etc
           [ My guess is that zriimad bhagavad-giita, is revered as
             smrti-prasthaana (ie foremost of authored works) because 
             it was spoken the saakshaat avataara, zrii KrshNa. ]

 - aaveza avataara or divine empowerment of devotees.
  Different types of aaveza include:
   a. Pervasion of spiritual divine body of the Lord into the body of
      an individual (eg. Parazu-raama avataara.)
   b. Infusion of divine power into an individual (zaktyaaveza)
      (eg Sage Sri Vyaasadeva)
   
39 vibhava avataaras mentioned in the ahirbudhnya samhita include 
(nara and ) naaraayaNa as avataaras.


.Ram.


PS: BTW, is the title "rshi" reserved exclusively for sages to
    whom vedas were revealed ?