A question many times arise, many hold this opinion regarding upanisads that upanisads talks about Impersonal Brahman, Shiva etc. But this view is not truth rather absurd beacuse the teachings of Upanisads should be inline with teachings of Bhagavad Gita, Vedanta Sutra, Purusha Suktam, mahabharata, Ramayana etc. we can't take just few context out of any upanisads or any scripture and establish any view according to that, a truth can only be established when it supported by other scriptures.

Like some upanisads talks about impersonal aspect of god for e.g.

Svetasvatara Upanisad (3.10): tato yad uttarataram tad arupam anamayam/ ya etad vidur amrtas te bhavanti athetare duhkham evapiyanti.

This impersonalist use this verse to show gos has no form (Arupam). But this if we see without seeing other verses of the same upanisads then we really conclude that god is impersonal. But no , beacuse the same upanisads says

Other verses in the Svetasvatara Upanisad (3.8-9) substantiate this as follows:

vedaham etam purusam mahantam aditya-varnam tamasah parastat
tam eva viditvati mrtyum eti nanyah pantha vidyate 'yanaya
yasmat param naparam asti kincid yasman naniyo no jyayo 'sti kincit
vrksa iva stabdho divi tisthaty ekastenedam purnam purusena sarvam

"I know that Supreme Personality of Godhead who is transcendental to all material conceptions of darkness. Only he who knows Him can transcend the bonds of birth and death. There is no way for liberation other than this knowledge of that Supreme Person.

"There is no truth superior to that Supreme Person, because He is the supermost. He is smaller than the smallest, and He is greater than the greatest. He is situated as a silent tree, and He illumines the transcendental sky, and as a tree spreads its roots, He spreads His extensive energies."

Now few things to understand here that the upanisads first mentioned him arupam ( no form) again in other verses declared he is Purusha (Person) . So what should we conclude, it seems apparant contradiction , but there is no contradiction beacuse Arupam used for that the Purusha has no form like us, he has no material form rather he has a transcendental form.

Another thing if we accept few verse of upanisads talks about impersonal accept, and we conclude that absolute truth is impersonal on that basis, then what will we answer to those verse which talks god is personal.

Like in BG Krishna saying

BG 14.27: And I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is immortal, imperishable and eternal and is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness.

BG 9.11: Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature and My supreme dominion over all that be.

BG 7.24: Unintelligent men, who do not know Me perfectly, think that I, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, was impersonal before and have now assumed this personality. Due to their small knowledge, they do not know My higher nature, which is imperishable and supreme.

How can we deny the verses of Isha upanisads:

Iso 15: O my Lord, sustainer of all that lives, Your real face is covered by Your dazzling effulgence. Kindly remove that covering and exhibit Yourself to Your pure devotee.

Iso 16: O my Lord, O primeval philosopher, maintainer of the universe, O regulating principle, destination of the pure devotees, well-wisher of the progenitors of mankind, please remove the effulgence of Your transcendental rays so that I can see Your form of bliss. You are the eternal Supreme Personality of Godhead, like unto the sun, as am I.

So shastra should be read as a whole, not as a part, else we will jump in worng conclusion, beacuse if we conclude god is impersonal then we have to refute Bhagavad Gita and Upanisads other statements. But is this possible, that means our understanding is wrong.

Also it happens sometime that other gods name like Shiva occuring in upanisads like in svetasvatara upanisads 5.4 , but this Shiva is nothing but other Name of Vishnu beacuse

27) shivah: He who is eternally pure

600) shivah: Auspiciousness

The both names appears in the 27th name of Vishnu in Vishnu sahsranama.

Again to confirm this Krishna saying

BG 10.23: Of all the Rudras I am Lord Śiva, of the Yakṣas and Rākṣasas I am the Lord of wealth [Kuvera], of the Vasus I am fire [Agni], and of mountains I am Meru.

So this confirms That Vishnu is Shiva and not the other way around, thus Upanisad can't say Siva is supreme in these verse , because its simply not supported by Vedanta-sutra, Bhagavd Gita, Purusha Suktam and other verse of Upanisads.

Hence Shastra should and can only be understandable when we follow proper source and bonafide paramapara rather than trying to intrepret on own whim. Any verse from any shastra shoulb be confirmed by Prashtana traya (Vedanta-sutra, Upanisads and BG) . Bhagavad Gita is the basis and other should be inline with this. Else that interpretation has no value.


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  • I would like to thank both Sudipta and Srijon for this wonderful discussion I really enjoyed it and if it wasn't for you both I would have never found the gem which I did today. I will go no further into this discussion as I feel enough has been dived into already. Thanks for all your valuable posts and information it shows determination and devotion.


                                                                                                                                        Hare Krishna

  • Volunteer

    But we request you, plz don't put the Mayavadi interpretations here. It will confuse the devotees who are beginners in Krishna Consciousness.

  • Volunteer

    Hare Krishna, Darian!! Are u a devotee of Shiva? If so, we really appreciate. Indeed you have taken shelter of a great devotee of Krishna. 

  • Volunteer

    Hare Krishna, Ashwani Prabhu!!! You' re absolutely right!! I think we should the stop this discussion here. We are casting pearls before swine. Even the best of evidences from Shastras are failing to create an impression. So what use of this debate?? Let us leave everyone to his own belief and conviction. 

  • Volunteer

    The Distinction Between Krishna, Siva, and Jiva


    maya-sanga-vikari rudra bhinnabhinna rupa

    jiva-tattva nahe, nahe krishnera 'svarupa'

    Rudra has various forms that are transformations brought about by association with maya. Although Rudra is not on the same level as jiva-tattva, he cannot be considered a personal expansion of Lord Krishna. (Cc. Madhya 20.308)


    Rudra is one with yet Different From the Lord


    dugdha yena amla-yoge dadhi-rupa dhare

    dugdhantara vastu nahe, dugdha haite nare

    Milk is transformed into yogurt when it associates with a yogurt culture. Thus yogurt is nothing but milk; still it is not the same as milk. [In the same way, Vishnu transforms Himself into Siva. Thus Siva-tattva is similar to Vishnu-tattva, but not identical.] (Cc. Madhya 20.309)


    kshiram yatha dadhi-vikara-visesha-yogat

    sanjayate na hi tatah prithag asti hetoh

    yah sambhutam api tatha samupaiti karyat

    govindam adi-purusham tam aham bhajami

    Milk changes into yogurt when it is mixed with a yogurt culture; but yogurt is constitutionally nothing but milk. Similarly, Govinda, the Supreme Lord, assumes the form of Lord Siva for the special purpose of material transactions. I offer my obeisances at the lotus feet of Govinda, the primeval Lord. (Brahma-Samhita 5.45)


    The Difference Between Siva and Krishna


    'siva maya-sakti-sangi, tamo-gunavesa

    mayatita gunatita 'vishnu' paramesa

    Lord Siva is an associate of the external energy (maya). He is absorbed in the material quality of darkness. Lord Vishnu is transcendental to maya and the qualities of maya. He is, therefore, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (Cc. Madhya 20.311)


    Rudra is Always Absorbed in a Synthesis of the Qualities of Maya


    sivah sakti-yutah sasvat tri-lingo guna-samvritah

    vaikarikas taijasas ca tamasas cety aham tridha

    The truth about Lord Siva is that he is always covered with the three material coverings: vaikarika, tejasa, and tamasah (the modes of goodness, passion, and ignorance and their perverted egoic misconceptions). Because of these three modes of nature he always associates with the external energy and with egotism itself. (Bhag. 10.88.3)


    Vishnu is Above the Modes of Nature


    harir hi nirgunah sakshat purushah prakriteh parah

    sa sarva-drig upadrashta tam bhajan nirguno bhavet

    Shri Hari is beyond the range of material nature. He is the Supreme Transcendental Person. He can see everything, inside and outside. Therefore, He is the Supreme overseer of all living entities. Whoever takes shelter at His lotus feet and worships Him attains the transcendental position. (Bhag. 10.88.5)

    The Constitutional Position of Vishnu, Brahma, and Siva


    brahma, siva ajna-kari bhakta-avatara

    palanarthe vishnu krishnera svarupa-akara

    The conclusion is that Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, are simply devotee incarnations who carry out orders. However, Lord Vishnu, the maintainer, is the personal feature of Lord Krishna. (Cc. Madhya 20.3l7)


    shrijami tan-niyukto 'ham haro harati tad-vasah

    visvam purusha-rupena paripati tri-sakti-dhrik

    [Lord Brahma said] I am engaged by the Supreme Lord to create: following His orders, Lord Siva dissolves everything. The Supreme Lord in His form of Ksirodakasayi Vishnu maintains all the affairs of material nature. Thus, the Supreme controller of the modes of material nature is Lord Vishnu. (Bhag. 2.6.32)


  • Volunteer

    The Demigods Recognize Krishna as Supreme


    athapi yat-pada-nakhavashrishtam

    jagad virincopahritarhanambhah

    sesam punaty anyatamo mukundat

    ko nama loke bhagavat-padarthah

    Who could be worthy of the name "Supreme Personality of Godhead" but Shri Krishna? Brahma, the creator of the universe, col-lected the water emanating from the nails of Krishna's lotus feet to give to Siva as a worshipful welcome. This very water, the Ganges, is purifying the whole universe including Lord Siva. (Bhag. 1.18.21)



    tirthena murdhny adhikritena sivah sivo 'bhut

    dhyatur manah-samala-saila-nishrishta-vajram

    dhyayec ciram bhagavatas caranaravindam

    The blessed Lord Siva is all the more blessed by bearing on his head the holy waters of the Ganges, which has its source in the water that washed the Lord's lotus feet. The Lord's lotus feet act like thunderbolts hurled to shatter the mountain of sin stored in the mind of the meditating devotee. One should therefore meditate on the lotus feet of the Lord for a long time. (Bhag. 3.28.22)

    7.39suta uvaca

    yam brahma varunendra-rudra-marutah stunvanti divyaih stavair

    vedaih sanga-pada-kramopanishadair gayanti yam sama-gah

    dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yogino

    yasyantam na viduh surasura-gana devaya tasmai namah

    I offer my obeisances unto Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Brahma, Rudra, Indra, Varuna and all the other demigods glorify Him by chanting transcendental hymns and reciting the Vedas and Upanishads. He is the Supreme Person of whom the chanters of the Sama Veda always sing. The perfected yogis see Him within their minds after fixing themselves in trance and absorbing themselves within him. His limit can never be found by any demigod or demon. (Bhag. 12.13.1)


    asankhya brahmara gana aila tata-kshane


    koty-arbuda mukha karo, na yaya ganana

    rudra-gana aila laksha koti-vadana

    indra-gana aila laksha koti-nayana

    dekhi' caturmukha brahma phanpara ha-ila

    hasti-gana-madhye yena sasaka rahila

    asi' saba brahma krishna-pada-pitha-age

    dandavat karite mukuta pada-pithe lage

    krishnera acintya-sakti lakhite keha nare

    yata brahma, tata murti eka-i sarire

    pada-pita-mukutagra-sanghatte uthe dhvani

    pada-pithe stuti kare mukuta hena jani'

    yoda-hate brahma-rudradi karaye stavana

    "bada kripa karila prabhu, dekhaila carana

    bhagya, more bolaila 'dasa' angikari'

    kon ajna haya, taha kari sire dhari' "

    The countless Brahmas had different numbers of heads. Some had ten, some twenty, some one hundred, some one thousand, some ten thousand, some one hundred thousand, some ten million, others one hundred million. No one could count the number of heads they had. Many Sivas with many heads also arrived there. Some of them had heads numbering one hundred thousand and ten million. Many Indras also arrived with millions of eyes all over their bodies. When the four-headed Brahma of this universe saw all these opulences of Krishna, he became very bewildered and considered himself a rabbit among many elephants. All the Brahmas who came to see Krishna offered their respects at His lotus feet, and when they did this, their helmets touched His lotus feet. No one can estimate the inconceivable potency of Krishna. All the Brahmas who were there were resting in the one body of Krishna. When all their helmets struck together at the lotus feet of Krishna, there was a tumultuous sound. It appeared that the helmets themselves were offeringprayers unto Krishna's lotus feet. With folded hands the Brahmas and Sivas began offering prayers unto Lord Krishna saying, "O Lord, You have shown me great favor. I have been able to see Your lotus feet "All of them said, "It is my great fortune, Lord, that You have called me, thinking of me as Your servant. Now let me know what is Your order, so that I may carry it on my heads." (Cc. Madhya 21.66-74)


  • Volunteer

    I think the ignorance of the meaning of 'Bhagavan' has engendered this debate.

    The Meaning of Bhagavan


    aisvaryasya samagrasya viryasya yasasah shriyah

    jnana-vairagyayos caiva san nam bhaga itiogana

    One who is complete in the six opulences of wealth, power, fame, beauty, knowledge, and renunciation is known as Bhagavan. (Vishnu-Purana 6.5.74)


    yanra bhagavatta haite anyera bhagavatta

    'svayam-bhagavan'-sabdera tahatei satta

    Only that Lord who is the source of all other divinities is eligible to be designated as svayam bhagavan. (Cc. Adi 2.88)


    Krishna is the Supreme Master, the Supreme Enjoyer and the Independent Lord


    anera ki katha, baladeva mahasaya

    yanra bhava suddha-sakhya-vatsalyadi-maya

    tenho apanake karena dasa-bhavana

    krishna-dasa-bhava vinu ache kona jana

    sahasra-vadane yenho sesha-sankarshana

    dasa deha dhari' kare krishnera sevana

    ananta brahmande rudra sadasivera amsa

    gunavatara tenho, sarva-deva-avatamsa

    tenho karena krishnera dasya-pratyasa

    nirantara kahe siva, 'muni krishna-dasa'

    krishna-preme unmatta, vihvala digambara

    krishna-guna-lila gaya, nace nirantara

    pita-mata-guru-sakha-bhava kene naya

    krishna-premera sva-bhave dasya-bhava se karaya

    eka krishna sarva-sevya, jagat-isvara

    ara yata saba, tanra sevakanucara

    sei krishna avatirna chaitanya-isvara

    ataeva ara saba, tanhara kinkara

    keha mane, keha na mane, saba tanra dasa

    ye na mane, tara haya sei pape nasa

    Not to speak of others, even Lord Baladeva is full of emotion like pure friendship and paternal love towards Shri Krishna. He also considers Himself a servant of Shri Krishna. Indeed, who is there who does not consider himself a servant of Krishna. The thousand-mouthed Sesha Himself serves Krishna by assuming ten forms. Rudra, who is an expansion of Sadasiva, and who appears in unlimited universes is also a guna-avatara and is the crown jewel of all the demigods in the endless universes, but he also desires only to serve Shri Krishna. He always says, "I am Krishna dasa, a servant of Krishna." He becomes overwhelmed and dances naked while continuously singing about Krishna's qualities and pastimes. All different transcendental emotions that are directed towards Krishna, be they those of father, mother, guru, or friend, are imbued with the sentiments of service towards the Lord. That is the nature of krishna-prema.

    Shri Krishna, the only lord and master of the universe, is worthy of being served by everyone. Everyone is merely a servant of His servants. That same Shri Krishna has now descended as Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Everyone therefore is also a servant of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Some accept Him, whereas others do not, but in any case, everyone is His servant. One who does not accept Him, however, will be ruined by his sinful activities. (Cc. Adi 6.76-85)


    Krishna is the Cause of all Causes


    tenaiva hetu-bhutale vayam jata mahesvari

    karanam sarva-bhutanam sa ekah paramesvarah

    [Siva said to Parvati] O Mahesvari, controller of the world, we have taken birth as instruments to serve the will of the Supreme Person. He alone is the Paramesvara, the Supreme Controller, the master of everyone, and the ultimate cause of all living beings. (Skanda Purana)


    Krishna is the Supreme Shelter of Everything


    dasame dasamam lakshyam- ashritasraya-vigraham

    shri krishnakhyam param dhama jagad-dhama namami-tat

    The tenth canto of Shrimad-bhagavatam describes the ten items which is the shelter of all the sheltered beings. His is called Lord Krishna and is the ultimate shelter of both the material and spiritual worlds. I offer my humble obeisances unto Him. (Bhag. 10.1.1. Bhavartha-Dipika)


    Krishna is the Original Person


    avatara saba purushera kala, amsa

    svayam-bhagavan krishna sarva-avatamsa

    krishna eka sarvasraya, krishna sarva-dhama

    krishnera sarire sarva-visvera visrama

    svayam bhagavan krishna, krishna sarvasraya

    parama isvara krishna sarva-sastre kaya

    All the incarnations of Godhead are plenary portions or parts of the plenary portions of the purushavataras, but the primeval Lord is Shri Krishna. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the fountainhead of all incarnations. He is the shelter and abode of everything all the universes rest in His body. Thus Shri Krishna is the primeval Lord, the source of all other expansions. This is proclaimed in all the revealed scriptures. (Cc. Adi. 2.70,94,106)


  • Volunteer

    Hare Krishna Darian Prabhuji. Dandavat Pranam. All glories to Srila Prabhupada

    /*Indeed I agree and Krishna indeed is that great that he glorifies his devotees, but calling someone the "Ancient Purusha" etc cannot be compared to washing sudamas feet.  Krishna has never spoken such a way about anyone in this way but Shiva. Lord Krishna speaks about Lord Shiva much more in detail of his greatness then what I have posted and I am not speaking just about his prayers, but Yudisthra and Bhishma both asked Krishna to describe Lord Shiva and his greatness and there are pages of his words.*/

    Your version of mahabharata need correct intrepretation, because the conslusion and subject matter of Mahabharata not confirming your way of Conclusion. Give us the intrepreter name. Hindu world is driven by the legends 1. Shankaracharya. 2. Ramanujacharya. 3. Madhvacharya. 4. Vallabhacharya . Vishnuswami. 5. Lord Chaitanya.

    We are always giving the interpretation of either of this 5 Acharyas. Outside this there is not question of acceptance. A shastric interpretation is valid or invalid can be confirmed by Sadhu and Guru. And Sadhu and Guru must be related to the above mentioned Legends. Else it has no value whatever you may quote.

    Because Mahabharata's essence and conclusion is Vishnu sahasranama and Bhagavad Gita. None of this both conclude the fact as you are trying to established, nor any of the Guru has accepted. Why Should we accept?

    regarding Rudra-Hridaya Upanishad:

    The upanisads you are mentioning is an Advaitic intrepretation and not commented by any of the 5 Acharyas mentioned above. Along with this you must know there are 3 mode of worship and in that relation there are personified deities. The shastras you are mentioning comes under category of mode of Ignorance, which are not inline with Sashu, Guru and Shastra (Vedas). Hence valueless.

    Quote from authetic one, and which are interpreted by the mentioned Acharya else, no need to debate. Foundation must be valid to debate on anything.

    Your aspiring servant

    Hari Bol

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