Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Kunal Singh: On Vedic vs Puranic dieties

(The contents can be confirmed from many Puranas including the Skanda) Actually, the logic regarding the statement that Rama, Krishna, or
Kali are Dravidian deities IS flawed! Hinduism of Bharat is a
synthesis of ideas, including that of Indra and yogic ascetics and
various tribes including those of the north-east.  That Persia has
only the counterpart of Indra, means very little, as that would only
signify the lack of evolution of the deity. The notion of Indra has essentially evolved due to its interaction
with yogis whose numbers are considerable still in the Himalayan
regions.  Whether you consider yoga to be Dravidian or North Eastern
or Tribal is irrelevant.  The fact remains that the deities thus
produced cannot be deemed solely Dravidian nor Persian.  The earliest
mentions of Indra as the supreme God by the Vedas apparently predate
Indra being challenged by the various Asuras of the north-east.
Indra's life in the Gangetic plains continues as he is challenged
first by the Asura Vrtra and then subsequently by the Asura Bali.
Most Asuras were deemed to be Shaivites and as such relied on yogic
practices which gave them knowledge considerably more advanced than
the proponents of Indra.   Indra loses his main proponent, I think Brhaspati, and has to resort
to Trisiras who supposedly had three heads to carry on the rites and
rituals of the Devas.  Trisiras was caught by Indra blessing the Devas
with one head, the humans with the other, and the Asuras with the
third.  Thus Indra beheads Trisiras, a brahmin, and is caught in the
sin of killing a brahmin, which haunts him in the form of a black
shadow of sorts.  Indra hides under the water due to the shame
surrounding his act with the black shadow waiting for him outside.
Interestingly, after Indra thus becomes absent from heaven, two kings
from the Prithviloka (earthly realm) are taken to heaven to replace
him.  The first is Nahusa who ends up being cursed by a sage for
disrespecting brahmins.  The second is Yayati (yes Yadu's ancestor)
who gradually falls from heaven simply due to his bragging.  But in
both cases, the kings are taken to heaven in an aerial chariot,
perhaps alluding to the fact that in those times, it was possible for
kings to replace Indra in heaven after performing so many sacrifices
and yagnas etc.  The kings were said to have the same "features" as
Indra, seemingly retro-fitted into the philosophy, renamed after them.
But in any case, Saci, Indra's wife manages to rescue her husband who
returns to heaven, performs a yagna with the blessings of Brahaspati
for cleansing him of his sin, and many aspects of Prithvi, including
trees, women etc. have to accept a part of his sin. But then Indra's troubles have only started, as he has to deal with
the Shaivite Asuras.  Interestingly, the sage who is the father of
Trisiras, whom Indra had killed, becomes quite opposed to Indra for
having killed his son.  I can't remember exactly, but the chain of
events may have led to the creation of the Asura Vrtra.  In any case
Indra is challenged by Vrtra, and is forced to seek the assistance of
the Shaivite sage Dadhici who seems to have derived from the yogis the
first instance of developing adamantine bones (current martial arts
still have aspects of such training).  Dadhici, though seemingly new
to Shaivism, becomes an advanced practitioner and is given the boons
of adamatine bones and Mrtyunjaya (conquest of death) by Shiva.  Indra
wants the bones of Dadhici to be able to defend himself against Vrtra.
In order for this to happen, however, Dadhici has to die.  Fortunately
for Indra, Dadhici was planning on entering samadhi (Mrtyunjaya ?)
anyway and Dadhici after entering a deep state of concentration leaves
for Brahmaloka.  After Dadhici's death, Indra and company proceed to
examine his corpse -- the divine cow having licked all the flesh off
the dead body.  His bones are taken, Indra's vajra is fashioned and
another weapon as well (Brahmasirsha ?) from his skull.  In addition,
the various Devas also notice something unusual about Dadhici's veins
and nerves -- I guess they may have been unusually strong as well.  And
they fashion nooses out of them to catch the Asuras.  Unfortunately,
for the Devas, they offend Dadhici's wife in the process, who seeing
the state of her husband's body and being unaware of his intention to
donate his body to the Devas, curses the Devas.  After bearing a child
she proceeds to follow her husband to Brahmaloka by yogic practice.What we eventually see is that there is a split even in the followers
of Indra.  Just as Dadhici had crossed over to Shaivism, some sages or
their children cross over to the side of Shaivism and the Asuras, but
largely due to personal issues, such as the cursing of the Devas by
the wife of Dadhici etc.  They find Indra to be quite desperate and
immoral and willing to do anything to retain his throne.  At this
juncture, the Asuras are highly praised for being quite ascetic and
detached in comparison to Indra! Eventually, Indra attempts to defeat Vrtra by the weapons fashioned
from the hardened bones, fails to make a dent in the Asura who
probably was already aware of the yogic practice and is advised by
Brahma to resort to yogic penance.  Brahma tells Indra that the Asuras
achieve their strength from yogic penance, and that they can't be
defeated by him with ordinary weapons.  Thus Indra finally resorts to
yogic penance, seems quite new at it, and finally defeats Vrtra using
foam from the ocean. Indra is then challenged by Bali, who finally defeats him and
conquers heaven.  I don't know if it was one of his associates or just
someone along the way, but in the meantime even a gambler becomes the
ruler of heaven, and he gives away all the property of Indra the gems
from the Churning of the Ocean -- the divine horse, the divine cow (to
Vasishta) etc.  An issue about morality and dharma arises between the
Shaivites and the Vaishnavs and a Shaivite sage defends his act as
that of detachment.  But Indra wants all his property back somehow!
Vishnu attempts to defeat Bali with his Sudarshana and his other
weapons.  But all the weapons complain saying that they cannot defeat
Bali, as he is impervious to them.  Eventually, Vishnu is able to
retain his position only by asking for alms from Bali. Thus I think it is safe to say that Indra is eventually defeated by
the Asuras and loses his position as the superior deity and even his
proponents eventually came to accept that in the face of greater
knowledge possessed by yogis.  If Persians never defeated Indra, it
was because they didn't have yogis who could conquer their senses.
And Indra simply becomes associated with the senses which assume a
lower status to consciousness in Hinduism.

(A response to a Punjabi supremacist AIT believer called Gurupdesh Singh)

If a deity comes after another in time, does that mean the original
deity is Aryan while the latter is Dravidian from "indigineous
Dravidian traditions" ?  He should minimally have to prove that the
Dravidian deities existed at the same time as Indra!  Since he can't
find them in the Rg Veda, the earliest known documentation of this
kind, I guess he will have to resort to other archaelogical research
which must precede Rg Veda.  Otherwise, we shall conclude that he
simply wants to claim the Vedic heritage of Indra for his
sapta-sindhvi comrades! Secondly the saptha sindhvi shashtri claims that due to the
commonality between the Rg Veda and the Persian traditions, that must
be the original Vedic tradition while due to the fact that the
Gangetic plains traditions, while having Vedic influence, have
developed other deities, they must not be Aryan!  But how should we
know that it is not the Persian tradition which is the original and
the saptha sindhvi Rg Veda a copy of it ?  And even more importantly,
since the Persians are now Muslims who worship the deity of Allah, why
should we accept that they were or are still true to Aryan tradition ?
As apparently their deities have changed, I don't recall Allah
mentioned anywhere in the Rg Veda.  And how about saptha sindhva and
the worshipping of the deity of Guru Nanak ?  I don't recall him
mentioned in the Rg Veda either!  Perhaps none of these sapta sindhvis
are Aryan after all!  So what happened to these fictitious Aryans,
perhaps they never existed, we may never know! Last flaw in Gurupdesh's part is the assumption that any dark-skinned
deity is necessarily Dravidian and any light-skinned deity is
necessarily Aryan!  That would make Shiva quite Aryan as he is
described to be as pure as camphor (purity implies absoluteness or
constancy or lack of change as consciousness is described to be)!  Of
course that may originally make Parvati a Dravidian deity that somehow
became an Aryan deity (cosmetic bleaching perhaps?).  Later Parvati
must have become an Aryan because she became light skinned!  (There is
a story regarding Parvati or Prakrti originally being dark or impure
or subject to time, and then Shiva extracts Kali or the sense of time
or change in Prakrti (nature) from her shadow, and then Parvati
becomes pure.  It is quite a cute story as it is typically portrayed
as a dialog between a husband and his wife, Parvati asking her husband
if her dark skin made her less attractive to him, and Shiva as her
husband repeatedly denying it offering other reasons for the
transformation.) So you see sapta-sindhvi shastri Gurupdesh Singh is simply not
familiar with the Vedic principles despite his remarkable desire to
claim the Vedas for his saptha-sindhva region.  And the lack of this
understanding seems to continually hinder him in his attempts!  Though
I guess saptha-sindhvis can adopt the practice of making
horse-sacrifices, I don't think most Vedic people wish to go back to
days when Indra was the supreme deity.  For in the Gangetic plains,
the senses or Indriyan met the yogis and the yogis conquered the
senses!  The people witnessed it, they recorded it, and they have
learned from it.  Thus the Vedic people know that Indra cannot be
superior to Shiva even if Shiva is not mentioned in the Rg Veda!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. YSV a very interesting post.I have started reading it and not completed yet.

      "Indra, Brahma, Vishnu, etc., are just posts. " - Iniyavel this one sounds like a funny joke :)

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. .I read your whole comment even before I started reading the main post.I don't understand how you equate Vishnu with Indra or Brahma.And your explanation " Not permanent, and they change with respect to time." makes them sound like some human soul occupying these posts.This is the same kind of bigotic philosophy which I have read in Vaishnava scriptures where Shiva is said to be holding the post of "destruction of the universe" on the orders of Krishna LOL
      Anyway no problem in admiring your beloved God,just don't make it sound irrational.

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    5. First of all you had grouped Indra,Brahma and Vishnu as posts,whether smaller or bigger.Now for your info,Narayana is the only God who never vanishes from the scene.When Mahapralaya comes,Vishnu goes to yoganidra on his SheshNag in the KaranSagar.This is why Narayana is described as the Adi Purush.The mantra "Govindam Adi Purusham" denotes the same thing.Now does that make Narayana/Vishnnu superior to Shiva?In my opinion NO,it doesn't.The same Adi Purush becomes Shiva in Mahapralaya.Vaishnava scriptures make Shiva a servant of Narayana and Shaivites claim the other way .This is an endless cycle.The best description in my views is this one " Sivasya hridayam vishnur-vishnoscha hridayam sivah—Vishnu is the heart of Siva and likewise Siva is the heart of Vishnu".
      I feel you have a flawed concept of sacrifice.Shiva is white because he is the Nirguna Adi Purush.Ash on his body is the bibhuti or Chaitanya of Adi Purush,which exhibits the will of creation at the beginning of the cycle."who gave Vishnu and Lakshmi his riches," - Probably that is what Shiva Purana or other Shaivite scripts say.The Vaishnava scripts say the same thing for Narayan.Infact in some scriptures Shiva says that he chants the word "Ram" as this name is the original source of all riches.Now on the concept of sacrifice,Shiva doesn't require any wealth for his form of manifestation.On the other hand,Krishna manifests all the wealth but yet remains completely disconnected and unfazed by it,as has been described in the Gita.To me both these represent the same thing.You see Krishna as decorated with riches in pics or idols because Krishna had come with all the 16 aspects of God in complete manifestation.This is why he is called "Purna Purushottam".It is not about sacrifice or anything else.Sacrifice holds no more significance when you can mentally detach yourself from the material wealth,ie,you are unaffected by the presence or absence of it.My opinion is that the Shiva represents the original Nirguna state of ParaBrahman with his lack of wealth and simplicity,and Krishna represents the full Saguna form of Parabrahman,with all his beauty,power and splendour.Both are essentially one and the same.the word "Krishna" means the all-attractive,because the beauty of Saguna Parabrahman attracts all.Nirguna cannot be comprehended.

    6. @JAM

      The word Krishna means black.

    7. Yeah it literally means black but then black is an all-absorbing form.Actually black and white are not colours.Black is the absorption of all colours and white their reflection.Again Krishna comes from the original "Krish" dhatu in sanskrit,which means "to attract".So I think both literally and technically(colour science) Krishna refers to attraction.However I have no knowledge of Sanskrit.So I am open to your further counter-views also on this.

    8. I think Krishna and its cognates in other IE languages all mean black. The god Krishna is given that name because he is dark-skinned.

    9. Actually Krishna word has dual meaning according to my view.Literally it means black,but the word itself comes from Krish which means "to attract".I think here yogis had touched the reality that black is all-attractive colour,ie,it absorbs everything.So they might have formed the word for black on the Krish Dhatu.Anyway this is my personal opinion.

    10. Interesting I cant find Krish in my Dhatu list at all.

    11. strange that you can't find the krish dhatu.Google search is yielding many links with discussions on this dhatu.However I am a big ZERO in sanskrit.So even if I am making a mistake,I won't be able to know it.I had read about this in some websites,ie,Krishna means "all-attractive" apart from the normal "black colour" .

    12. JAM, Iniyavel & YSV: Did king Pandu suffer from vitiligo or leucoderma (vitiligo is also called as "Pandu Roga") or was he an albino?

    13. @ JAM

      Yeah I found it now in a dictionary and the meaning is given as "draw to oneself, attract". But it appears to me that krsh and krshn may be different roots because of the letter 'n' that is not found in the former. There are many such examples in Sanskrit.

      I googled it and the first link was from ISCKON where they claimed that the derivatives for krish are Krishi, karshan, sankarshan, Krishak Krishka Krishna. I think even they admit that 'Krishna' is not related to Krish. The only places where such a relationship is mentioned are in amateurish comments throughout the net.

    14. @ Iniyavel

      LEt us make a distinction between dieties which are representative of ideas such as Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Agni, Indra etc and those such as Rama,Krishna,Sita,Balarama, Arjuna who had divine attributes as flesh and blood mortals and were later deified

      Vishnu and Brahma were developed by human scholars and priests and kings in their courts(hence they are depicted in royal attire) while Shiva was conceptualized by yogis(hence he is dressed as one of them).

      It may be my Shaivite but Shiva has taken on the mantle of Brahmaan due to his rising above notions of good and evil and being beyond death(Mrityunjay/Markandeya episode) and beyond time(mahakala).

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    16. @ PremChand

      Is there any separate Krshn dhatu also?In that case what does it mean or stand for?I had always known that the word Krishna also stands for "all-attractive" or "attracting" apart from the apparent meaning of black colour.Infact in bengali the word "Krishna" is used to mean both .I think sanskrit should also be the same.YSV might know more on this.Others' views are also welcome :)

  2. @Anu Pandu was probably was just sickly and unhealthy not to mention impotent due to a sages curse. As his name suggests he was fair skinned and per the epics he hailed from the Punjab/Haryana region whose people are still paler than the rest of the populace to this day.

  3. @Ysv_rao
    the Maha Bali and Vishnu part seems to Kunal Singh's own addition.
    It is like saying Vishnu couldn't fight Kans so he took Krishna Avatar.

    @ the rest of the people here commenting and particularly Tamil SMME.
    Pandu was born yellow as if he had jaundice.

    Am i witnessing the bygone wars between Shaivites and Vaishnavites being enacted here in the comment sections.

    Just ask why would an Absolute Supreme Truth need any form of assistance.

    Shiva is how Shaivites conceptualized Absolute Supreme Truth (Ekam-Sat).
    Vishnu is how Vaishnavites conceptualized Absolute Supreme Truth(Ekam-Sat).

    Shiva is ascetic One with his eyes closed and Shankara is family-oriented One who opened his eyes on request of Sati and Parvati.

    Brahma is respected and not worshiped because with creation, he created ignorance.

    Also What are Tamil Independence comments doing here or is there any Logic behind it.

    Why are you people acting like mere pawns in the hands of Dravidian politicians hell bent on breaking India? Dravid means coastal area in Sanskrit which is a fusion language formed with the sole motive of perfect pronunciation and recitations of words during Yagnas.
    Tamil has the least Sanksrit words, is it not?
    It just means less Tamil words were adopted in Sanskrit.

    Are you Tamils still lapping up Periyar propagated Ram- Raavan nonsense and who also ordered the persecution of Brahmins and destruction of Shiva and Vishnu Temples.

    India was called Aryavarta BharatVarsha/ Jambudvipa / Akhanda Bharat Varsha until Invasion.RAM is called Aryaputra and even Raavan is called not Dravidian but Aryaputra.

    So both North and South Indian are therefore Aryaputras.

    If Vishnu hated South Indians then he must have hated Multan even more, where he took the Nar Simha avatar.

    You are just creating more divisions amongst yourselves.

    Both Vishnu and Shiva have Snake above their head which denotes the position of their Kundalini.

    Also IMO neither Buddha nor Ayyapa are Vishnu Avatars.

    I wont go into further discussion about Shiva/Vishnu or Avatars.

    1. @ makesdevildance

      If Buddha and Ayappa are not avatars of Vishnu,then has the 9th avatar not yet come?Or is he someone different according to your opinion?I understand that you are probably not interested in continuing the discussion,but I am asking this out of my curiosity on the subject.

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