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exchanges on Soundarya lahari

From: Rajan Srinivasan (
Date: Mon Mar 22 1999 - 06:36:36 PST

Dear Sri Bhagavatas,

I have a basic doubt in relation to the above topic under intense emotional
discussion. I would like to see this discussion to turn the focus on to a
related aspect.

I have had occasions to study religious writings of repute and have always
observed this. The God in praise of whom the work is done is always elevated
and all others depicted as subservient to Him / Her. Srimad Bhagavatam, Devi
Puranam, Skanda Puranam are a few examples in point.
Similarly the relative positions or grade given to the Trimurthis.

I blindly believe in Sriman Narayanan. But I also feel very strongly that if
I have belief in Sriman Narayana I will not take refuge in other Gods. To me
such an action will question my very belief in Him. For the same reason I
would not like to lobby on His behalf as that is unnecessary and will go
against my very belief in him.

Once I read an episode in a commentary on Srimad Bhagavatam where Siva was
supposed to have taken refuge with Sri Mahavishnu. I couldn't the relish the
way the commentary expanded on the slokam. It was all in praise of
SriKrishna and Lord Siva was shown as asakthan.

 The very same day I happened to read a commentary on SoundaryaLahari. As
you all know the slokas starts with varanaNa of the padathuli of Devi. I
read one sloka which said: Whereas all other Gods give their blessings
through their abaya and varada mudras Devi does not need such mudras and her
padaravindas do that job. Certain other slokas make direct comparisons with
Sri Vishnu and Lord Siva. To be honest, I couldn't digest the comparison.
The work also depicts Lord Siva as an asakthan without Sakthi which will not
be relished by Veera Saivas. But I could not rush to the conclusions against
Sri Adi Sankara - whose works on Sri Narayana and whose poetry I enjoy. So I
consoled myself that everyone tries to depict their ishta deivam as the

But we also see the same author praising various deities with similar
importance in his various works. May be this is a poetic convention. May be
I am too simplistic in coming to such a conclusion.

 Why our religion has many Gods and why Bhagawatas should compare notes? I
am not very sure if I have framed my query properly. But I am sure everyone
will appreciate the confusion in the minds of an ordinary person like me.

Adiyen Ramanuja Dasan