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Question on the five manifestations

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Thu Nov 20 1997 - 14:35:34 PST

Dear Sri Srinivasan :

There are many PramANams for the five 
states of the Lord from Vedam to Ubha BrahmANams,
IthihAsams , PurANams .

One of the famous Vedic passage is :

" ambhasya pArE , bhuvanasya MadhyE , 
nAgasya prushtE , jyOtheemshasamanupravishta: ,
PrajApathisccharathi garbhE antha : " 

This refers to the five forms of the Lord .
"Ambhasya pArE " denotes "sErntha ThirumAl kadal " 
and it signifies the vyuha state of KshErAbdhi nAthan ;
" Bhuvanasya MadhyE " refers to VibhavaathAram , when 
he walked on this earth as RamA and KrishNA .
"Naagasya PrushtE " refers to the Lord seated on the 
back of AnanthAzhwAn in Sri Vaikuntam and this 
is the ParA state. " JyOthisheemshasamanupravishta "
refers to the ArchA state celebrated by the AzhwArs
in the divya desams ." prajApathisccharathi garbhE antha: " 
denotes the antharyAmi Brahman . 

PEy AzhwAr refers to this Veda Manthram in his
paasuram on Thirukkudanthai ArAvamudhan :

sErntha ThirumAl kadal Kudanthai VEnkatam
nErnthavenchinthai niRai visumbum--vAyndha
maRai Paatamananthan vaNdu kuzhAik kaNNI
iRai paadiyAyavivai ---Third ThiruvandhAthi: 30th paasuram

VaNN Thuzhai kaNNI ananthan"s raajadhAnis
are described here . The Lord with beautiful
TuLasi garlands is found in 5 places ((iRai 
paadi aaya )according to this paasuram and
is a direct echo of the Veda manthram cited above.

One is sErntha ThirumAl kadal( Thiru sErntha
maal kadal or KsheerAbdhi ,the milky
ocean ) , where He is joined by Sri Devi . 
This is the ambhasya pArE ( Vyuha Nilai ) . 
Generally , people refer to Sri Vaikuntam and a 
pillar there , where the Lord exists as the 4 VyUha
mUrthys . Traditionally , the vyUha state is 
associated with in KsheerAbdhi .The first 
four rks of Purusha Suktham and the comments
related to it in Ahirbudhnya SamhithA is said
to support the VyuhA doctrine. 

Second is the" niRai Visumbhu" referred to
in the above paasuram. That is the aprAkruthic
world of Sri Vaikuntam with all its auspiciousness.
This is the param . The Lord is Para VaasudEvan or
Sri Vaikunta Naathan seatd on AdisEshA . This is 
the " Naagasya PrushtE " seating to bless the Nithya 
Suris and MukthAs .Paramapadha Naathan is referred
to here ." paramE VyOman " of TaittirIya BrahamNam is 
the equivalent of" Nirai Visumbhu  of AzhwAr .
"VaikunthE tu parElokhE --asthE VishNu ; " of
Linga PurANam goes with it as a derivative statement. 

Third is the " Bhuvanasya MadhyE " portion echoed in
the " abhiraama GuNakara Daasarathe " portions of
salutations reminding one of VibhavAvahtArams .
Purusha sUktham and Bhagavdh Gita Support the 
vibhava aspect . When the Lord walks on this earth
as RaamA and KrishNA , Purusha SUkthA states
( tasya dheerA; parijAnanthi Yonim /wise men know
His origin as Vibhava avathAran ) . IthihAsams and 
PurANAs provide the larger set of references for 
Vibhavam .

Fourth is " Kudanthai Venkatam serntha yen 
Chinthai " that refers to ArchAvathArams . 
" JyOtheemshasamanupravishta" refers to Lord's 
Veeryam penetrating and residing in ArchA
murthys .The basic theory of Vibhava avathArAs
comes from purusha SukthA and other portions
of VedAs and is elaborated further by 
AgamAs and PurANAs . The equivalent of 
statements of Paancha raathra SamhithAs are 
found in AzhwAr's revelations :tamar uhnadadu
yevvuravam avvuravam thAnE " ( In whatever from
the bhakthAaS DESIRE , the Lord assumes a body
in that form for receiving their worship ) .
Dr. Chari quotes a Rg rk as a direct support for
Archa Worship ( Rg vedam : X.155.3) .   

Fifth is " Yen chinthai " , where AzhwAr 
equates the purity of his mind as equal to
that of the residence of ArchAmUrthys of 
Kudanthai and Venkatam . That is where the Lord 
resides as antharyAmi Brahmam ( PrajApathisccharathi
garbhE antha : ) .AntharyAmi BraahmaNa of BruhadAraNyaka 
Upanishad is the strongest source of support among many 
upanishads for the worship of the Lord as
the indweller of the caves of heart of jeevans .

Thus , the authority for the five forms of 
the Lord including VyuhA is rooted in the VedAs 
and developed further in greater detail 
in paancharAthra and VaikAnasa AagamAs 
and  PurAnAs later.


---------- Forwarded Message ----------

From:	"M Srinivasan",
DATE:	11/17/97 4:20 PM

RE:	Question on the five manifestations

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From: "M Srinivasan" <>
Subject: Question on the five manifestations
Date: 17 Nov 1997 14:27:07 -0600

In his continuing series on the Sahasranama, Sri. Krishnamachari had given for
'caturvyooha' a comment by Sri Sankara Bhagavatpaada on the fourfold
manifestations of the Lord as Vaasudeva, SamkarshaNa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha.
After discussing this with Sri Krishnamachari, I understand that Sri Sankara
quotes in this context a saying of Sri Vyaasa Bhagavaan (Vyaasa vacanam) as
the pramaaNa (authority). If any one knows where this Vyaasa vacanam occurs,
may I request you to kindly explain the context?

I was under the impression that the Paancaraatra Aagama was the primary
authority on the Lord's five modes (i.e the Para, the fourfold Vyooha,
Vibhava, Archa and Antharyami) and that Sri Sankara did not accept the
praamaaNyam (authoritativeness) of the Paancaraatra Aagama. A question arises
whether there are other pramaaNas among the sruti, smiriti, itihaasas and
puraaNas for the other four of the five modes. Could someone clarify this?

dasan Srinivasan