This is according to Padma Purana 6.236.7 which reads:

Mayavada or Advaita philosophy is an impious, wicked belief and against all the conclusions of the Vedas. It is only covered Buddhism. My dear Parvati, in Kali-Yoga I assume the form of a brahmana (Adi Shankara) and teach this imagined philosophy.

So according to Padma Purana Advaita philosophy is wrong, so how do Advaitans refute this claim along with the stance of Adi Shankaracharya?

  • Whoever wrote or translated Padma Purana were not spiritually advanced enough to percieve the absolute reality or higher truth and therefore in ignorance they made such claims. Try to ignore such texts. Jun 20, 2023 at 8:38
  • @TheCrimsonUniverse but this is a Purana which is a scripture of the Hindus and should be followed. So we can't just throw the Puranas away.
    – Rajam
    Jun 20, 2023 at 12:33
  • 1
    There is no such thing as "philosophy" . The real truth is Brahma Gyan which is covered in Mahabharat and Puranas . Vedas too have Brahma gyan but I believe the currently available vedas is not complete. Bhagvad Gita and Mahabharat contains knowledge of Brahma Gyan.
    – river
    Jun 21, 2023 at 15:01
  • 1
    @Rajam The Gauda Vaishnavas quote the padma purana saying that brahma jyoti (which is the same thing as Advaita's Nirguna Brahman as per the iskconites) emanates from Vishnu's feet ... On the other hand the Chhandogya upanishad which is a Sruti text (and superior than the smritis/puranas) says the following --- “Existence (Being) alone was this in the beginning, one alone without a second.” —Chh. Up., VI. 2. 1. ..... This implies that Nirguna Brahman is unborn (meaning IT never took birth from Vishnu's feet in the first place). IT alone existed in the beginning, in the absence of the trimurti. Jun 21, 2023 at 20:14
  • 1
    Well Vishnu is supreme and Padma, Garuda, Narada, Vishnu and likely Bhagavata are authentic, so..
    – Haridasa
    Feb 29 at 0:31

4 Answers 4


From a historical POV. Puranas are smriti-based texts that were composed mostly from 350 C.E. to 750 C.E. They weren't carried through words to words like Vedanta (or Shrutis or Upanishads), but rather from whatever the scholars had remembered through memory. Therefore they contain a huge number of interpolations, glorification of sectarian deities, and contradictions within themselves to other Puranas.

The verse cited by the OP above is believed to be a later addition by scholars such as Dr. Rajendra Chandra Hazara who is a very renowned Puranas scholar.

Renowned Puranas researcher Dr. Rajendra Chandra Hazara states about this chapter, "Though the absence of such verses subjects the above information to doubts, there is a chapter (263) which seems to have been interpolated by someone belonging to the Śrī or Madhva sect."

Source: StackExchange

Traditional scholars too like Pandit Jwala Prasad Mishra too have discussed the historical details of later revisions of Padma Purana.

It should not be very surprising for the corruption of smriti-like texts like Puranas to undergo many other sectarian-based opinions. Other philosophers like - Madhvachara too have been described in other puranas in great detail.

In a manner similar to the above verses, in the Saura Purana, A Shaivite text, some chapters, most probably inserted by Shaivas, assert that,

प्रच्छन्नोऽसौ महादुष्टश्चार्वाको मधुसंज्ञकः भविष्यति कलौ विप्राः शिवनिन्दाप्रवर्तकः (४१.६१) मधुदर्शितमार्गेण पापिष्ठा वैष्णवाः कलौ भविष्यन्ति ततो म्लेच्छाः शूद्रा यूथबहिष्कृताः (३९.७७)

Madhva, known as Madhu in the text, is depicted as a Carvaka, an extremely malevolent, covert disseminator of the slander of Siva. His Vaisnava adherents are malevolent beings; they are mlecchas, sudras, and should be ostracized from the community.

Original Source

A lot of scholars, including Madhva scholars have accepted numerous later interpolations in Puranas such as Bhavisya Purana. Christian missionaries have their own interpolations in the same too.

Thus the authority of Upanishads (as shrutis) remains unchallenged over smirits.

Original Question: Influence of Abrahamism in hinduism through Puranas


The Purported verses Go as follows-

Padma Purana, Uttara, 236 (Lord Shiva Speaks to Mata Paravati)

māyāvādamasacchāstraṁ pracchannaṁ baddha ucyate mayaiva kathitaṁ devi kalau brāhmaṇarūpiṇā 7

apārthaṁ śrutivākyānāṁ darśayanlokagarhitam svakarmmarūpaṁ tyājyatvamatraiva pratipādyate 8

sarvakarmmaparibhraṣṭairvaidharmmatvaṁ taducyate pareśajīvapāraikyaṁ mayā tu pratipādyate 9

brahmaṇosya svayaṁ rūpaṁ nirguṇaṁ vakṣyate mayā sarvasya jagato ‘pyatra mohanārthaṁ kalau yuge 10

vedārthavanmahāśāstraṁ māyayā yadavaidikam mayaiva kalpitaṁ devi jagatāṁ nāśakāraṇāt 11

The doctrine of Māya (illusion) is a wicked doctrine and said to be pseudo-Buddhist. I myself, of the form of a brāhmaṇa, proclaimed it in Kali (age). It shows the meaninglessness of the words of the holy texts and is condemned in the world. In this (doctrine) only the giving up of one’s own duties is expounded. And that is said to be religiousness by those who have fallen from all duties. I have propounded the identity of the Highest Lord and the (individual) soul. I stated this Brahman’s nature to be qualityless. O goddess, I myself have conceived, for the destruction of the worlds, and for deluding the world in this Kali age, the great doctrine resembling the purport of the Vedas, (but) non-Vedic due to the principle of Māya (illusion) (present in it).

Actually, The Above verses, if held as true would be A denigration of Veda Vyasa's own teachings in the puranic corpus.

To begin with, the above is contradicted by these statements from the other puranas-

श्रौतस्मार्त्तप्रतिष्ठार्थं भक्तानां हितकाम्यया । उपदेक्ष्यति तज्ज्ञानं शिष्याणां ब्रह्मसंज्ञितम् । सर्ववेदान्तसारं हि धर्मान् वेदनिदर्शितान् ।। सर्ववर्णान् समुद्धिश्य स्वधर्मा ये निदर्शिताः।

Nilalohita Siva , For the establishment of Srauta(Vedic) and Smarta dharmas and for the welfare of devotees shall incarnate on earth.He will enlighten his his devotees on the gist of Vedanta,and the dharma related in vedas.

(कूर्म पुराण 30/34-35)

Which says the purported incarnation of Shiva would incarnate to elighten people on vaidika dharma and not delude them.

At the same time, There are several verses across the puranas which declare the world to be mAyA, and endorse Brama - atama -aikyam. Of course, One might have one's own interpretation of these concepts and that is how we have so many schools of thought, each vehemently condemning the other and holding one's own as the çorrect . Here is one such, from the srImadbhAgavatapurANam:-

यदिदं मनसा वाचा चक्षुर्भ्यां श्रवणादिभिः । नश्वरं गृह्यमाणं च विद्धि मायामनोमयम् ।। ११-७-७ ।।

Whatever is perceived by mind, speech, eyes, ears (and other cognitive and congitive senses), know that it is a product of Māyā and manomaya (product of the mind).

~ Bhagavatam 11.7.7

श्रीधर-स्वामि-टीका -

ननु गुणदोषाभ्यां विषमे लोके कुतः समदृष्टिः स्यामत आह – यदिदमिति । मन आदिभिर्गृह्यमाणं मनोमयत्वान्मायेति विद्धि । तदपि न स्थिरं, किंतु नश्वरं विद्धि ।। ७ ।।

Here is the declaration of Brahmatmaikyam in the same puranam.

सर्ववेदान्तसारं यद् ब्रह्मात्मैकत्वलक्षणम् । वस्तु अद्वितीयं तन्निष्ठं कैवल्यैकप्रयोजनम् ॥ १२ ॥

The Bhagavata's main theme is the quintessence of all the Upaniṣads (which form the last division of the Vedic texts) which is characterised by (the declaration of) complete one-ness, identity between the absolute Brahman and the ātman. It is one without a second. And its only object is to secure Mokṣa.

~ Bhagavatam 12.13.12

आत्मनश्च परस्यापि यः करोत्यन्तरोदरम् । तस्य भिन्नदृशो मृत्युः विदधे भयमुल्बणम् ॥ २६ ॥

If a person makes even a slight difference between himself and the Supreme Self (Paramātman), I, who am Death, create a big fear for him who entertains the idea of difference.

~ Bhagavatam 3.29.26

Repeated From the very padmapurana itself.

मन्यंते ये स्वमात्मानं विभिन्नं परमेश्वरात् । न ते पश्यंति तं देवं वृथा तेषां परिश्रमः ३८।

Those who consider themselves as different from Parameshwara do not realize the Truth; their effort is a waste.

~ Padmapurana , Svargakhanda, Ch 60

So, here is another 'self-contradiction' across VyAsa's own works, vyAsa declaring his own work as mAyAvadam and that it is ásacchAstram'' And one can point out verses from puranas of vyAsa himself which teach 'jivaparyoraikyam', etc. stated above. And one can argue that such verses are not of that meaning etc. And eternally go on such debates..

Here is a sample of citations of Puranas themselves Giving out the unambiguous teaching of Advaita at several places where it is taught as a valid path to liberation.

आत्मज्ञानं प्रवक्ष्यामि शृणु नारद तत्त्वतः । अद्वैतं साङ्ख्यमित्याहुर्योगस्तत्रैकचित्तता ॥ १,२३६.१ ॥ अद्वैतयोगसम्पन्नास्ते मुच्यन्तेऽतिबन्धनात् । अतीतारब्धमागामि कर्म नश्यति बोधतः ॥ १,२३६.२ ॥

Hear from me the discourse on Atma Gyana. There are two kinds of yogas i.e. Advaita Yoga and the Samkhya Yoga.Practisers of Advaita-Yoga become free from the Shackles of existence. Past, present and future karma is destroyed through knowledge

~ Garuda Purana I.236.1-2

From the Vishnudharma purana

अद्वैतं परमार्थो हि (०९६-०१९)

द्वैतं तद्भेद उच्यते (०९६-०१९)

Advaita is Paramartha Tattva (Absolute Reality), Dvaita (Duality) is not Paramartha.

यश्च द्वैते प्रपञ्चः स्यान् (०९६-०२४)

निवर्त्योभयचेतसः (०९६-०२४)

The cognition of the dualistic world ends with the Abhaya Buddhi, realization of the Fearless Brahman. (In this is hidden the Upanishadic saying ‘Dvitiiyaad vai Bhayam Bhavati’)

मनोवृत्तिमयं द्वैतम् (०९६-०२४)

अद्वैतं परमार्थतः (०९६-०२४)

Dvaita, difference, is a mental construct. Advaita is the transcendental truth.

यावत्स्याद्गुणवैषम्यं तावन्नानात्वमात्मनः नानात्वमात्मनो यावत्पारतन्त्र्यं तदैव हि ३२

So long as the unbalanced condition of guṇas prevails, manifoldness (and difference) will be projected on Ātman (which, as a matter of fact, is one). As long as the (apparent) multiplicity in the Soul remains, the state of dependence (of the Jīva) shall persist.

~ Bhagavatam 11.10.32


ब्रह्मात्मनोर्यदैकत्वं स योगश्चोत्तमोत्तमः । बाह्यरूपैर्न मुक्तिस्तु चान्तस्थैः स्याद्यमादिभिः ॥ १,२३५.५३ ॥

ब्रह्मात्मनोर्यदैकत्वं स योगश्चोत्तमोत्तमः । बाह्यरूपैर्न मुक्तिस्तु चान्तस्थैः स्याद्यमादिभिः ॥ १,२३५.५३ ॥

The Yoga that establishes non-difference of Brahman and Atman is the greatest yoga.

~ Garudapurana I.235.53

The non-difference of Brahman and Atman is the greatest yoga.

Furthermore, the purprted padmapura verses allege-

कर्मस्वरूपत्याज्यत्वमत्रैव प्रतिपाद्यते॥ ६-२३६-८ ॥

सर्वकर्मपरिभ्रष्टैर्वैधर्मत्वं तदुच्यते।

In Mayavada (Advaita) alone the giving up of karma by their very nature is taught.

One can easily see how this is a denigration of what Krishna has said in the Bhagavatam.

तस्मात्त्वमुद्धवोत्सृज्य चोदनां प्रतिचोदनाम्। प्रवृत्तिं च निवृत्तिं च श्रोतव्यं श्रुतमेव च १४। मामेकमेव शरणमात्मानं सर्वदेहिनाम्। याहि सर्वात्मभावेन मया स्या ह्यकुतोभयः १५।

14-15. Hence, O Uddhava, (transcending everything) ignore Vedic injunctions and prohibitions, renounce both Pravṛtti and Nivṛtti types of karmas, and give up what is learnt and what is to be learnt. With exclusive devotion to me seek shelter in me only who am the Soul of all embodied beings. Protected by me, you will have no fear from any quarter i.e.. you will attain Mokṣa)

~ Bhagavatam 11.12.14-15

So, the Lord himself is asking Uddhava to give up enjoined work. This is nothing short of Sarva karma sannyasa. The purport of the Bh.Gita famous verse: sarva dharmaan parityajya.. is echoed here. The commentary of Sridhara Swamin is below:

यस्मादेवंभूतो मद्भजनप्रभावः तस्मात् त्वं चोदनाम् = श्रुतिं, प्रतिचोदनाम् = स्मृतिं च | यद्वा विधिं च निषेधं च उत्सृज्य मां शरणं याहि |

[Since such is the power of being devoted to Me, Uddhava, give up the veda and smriti. Or, having given up the injunctions and prohibitions take total refuge in Me.]

Thus while Veda Vyasa himself has taught the giving up of karma the Padmapurana allegation on Advaita is quite preposterous.

As far as Advaita being pseudo buddhism is concerned, An interesting counterpoint can be found in the work मध्यमकहृदयम् by भव्यः, a माध्यमक-बौद्धः (a pre शङ्करः), Prof V.V. Gokhale in a paper titled "The Vedanta Philosophy described by bhavyaḥ in his मध्यमकहृदयम्" (Indo-Iranian Journal, Vol. 2, No. 3, 1958) presents a description of vedānta (pre-Śaṅkaraḥ) that was available during bhavya's time. He also refers to a situation where the mahāyānam school is criticised as being similar to vēdāntaḥ. In reply, bhavyaḥ generously says that whatever is good in the vedanta has also been taught by the buddha.

In one of the chapters of the मध्यमकहृदयम् dealing with the hīnayāna’s objections to mahāyānam, the hīnayāna-buddhist criticises the mahāyāna Buddhist saying:

न बुद्धोक्तिर्महायानं सूत्रान्तादावसङ्ग्रहात्। मार्गान्तरोपदेषात् वा यथा वेदान्तदर्शनम्॥

The māhāyāna teaching was not spoken of by the buddha, either because it is not included in the sūtrāntas, or because like the vedānta-darshanam, it teaches heretic paths to salvation.

To this attack, the mahāyānist replies:

वेदान्ते च हि यत् सूक्तं तत् सर्वं बुद्धभाषितम्। दृष्टान्तन्यूनता तस्मात् सन्दिग्धं वा परीक्ष्यताम्॥

Whatever is well said in the vedānta has been taught by the buddha. The various examples cited by the hīnayānam are faulty and what is doubtful must be examined.

Here is an example of pre-Śaṅkaran Buddhist work where the opponent criticises the mahāyāna buddhist school itself as being similar to vedānta! The reply of the mahāyāna buddhist is even more remarkable - there is a concession that the best elements of the upaniṣads have been taught by the Buddha himself.

In the Following work, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, A renowned purvacharya of the Chaitanya vaishnavite school, despite being an Avid critic of the Advaita philosophy states - Adi Shankara followed the siddhanta of the likes of Dattatreya, Ashtavakra, Durvasas and other maharsis.

enter image description here

Source :- Sriman Mahaprabhura Siksa, By Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Chapter 9

Here, We have someone even from one of the Rival schools of Advaita who accepts that Shankara did not 'concoct' a new system of philosophy like what is being alleged in the above verses.

Based on the above two conclusions can easily be drawn.

  1. Advaita as a philosophy far pre-exists Shankaracharya, so the claim of it being created solely for deluding the people of kaliyuga becomes invalid.

  2. If Advaita is held as wrong and pseudo buddhist, one would have to hold the gyana-margi maharsis such as dattatreya,durvasa etc. were pseudo-buddhist as well

  • An answer from a historical POV has been written by me. Do check it. I removed scriptural defense as your answer already included them a lot here.
    – user29449
    Feb 25 at 14:01

Let us first See the Words of The Dharma Shastra Which Holds a much higher authority than any purana.

enter image description here

Amongst Dvaita, Advaita and Dvaitadvaita, there is no duality and this is the ultimate knowledge. I am not, and neither am I, nor do I have any relation with anyone, but I am situated in the form of the immutable Brahman; The Brahmapada is attained in this state. Those who are in duality have been called Dvaita Paksha and the Stance Advaita Paksha is well-determined, I say that. The one who sees nothing other than the Aatma itself, is the one who has read the scriptures and Understood the Essence of The scriptures.

~ Daksha smriti 7.49-52 (quoted by Adi shankracharya in vishnu sahasranama bhasya)

The smriti shastra mentions the fact that the ultimate truth is that no duality exists at the ultimate level and this is what the essence of all scriptures is and so, advaita vedanta is the Sat (truth) that is the base reality of the entire creation and the Message of all scriptures. Moreover, it very much proves that Both Dvaita and Advaita paths have always existed since times immemorial.

Analysis of the Purported Chapters of the Padma purana

A few things are worth analysing about the two purported chapters (235 and 236) of the uttarakhanda of the padmapurana which contain verses derogatory to Advaita so as to point out why they are worth being rejected.

Denigration of Vaidika Shad-Darshanas.

According to the purported verses not just Advaita, But Nyaya,Vaishisheka, Samkhya and Purva Mimamsa,Shaiva-Pasupata paths are all heretic.

शृणु देवि प्रवक्ष्यामि तामसानि यथाक्रमम् २तेषां स्मरणमात्रेण मोहः स्याज्ज्ञानिनामपि । प्रथमं हि मयैवोक्तं शैवं पाशुपतादिकम् ३। मच्छक्त्यावेशितैर्व्विप्रैः प्रोक्तानि च ततः शृणु । कणादेन तु संप्रोक्तं शास्त्रं वैशेषिकं महत् ४। गौतमेन तथा न्यायं सांख्यं तु कपिलेन वै । धिषणेन तथा प्रोक्तं चार्व्वाकमतिगर्हितम् ५। दैत्यानां नाशनार्थाय विष्णुना बुद्धरूपिणा । बौद्धशास्त्रमसत्प्रोक्तं नग्ननीलपटादिकम् ६। मायावादमसच्छास्त्रं प्रच्छन्नं बौद्ध उच्यते । मयैव कथितं देवि कलौ ब्राह्मणरूपिणा ७। अपार्थं श्रुतिवाक्यानां दर्शयन्लोकगर्हितम् । स्वकर्म्मरूपं त्याज्यत्वमत्रैव प्रतिपाद्यते ८। सर्वकर्म्मपरिभ्रष्टैर्वैधर्म्मत्वं तदुच्यते । परेशजीवपारैक्यं मया तु प्रतिपाद्यते ९। ब्रह्मणोस्य स्वयं रूपं निर्गुणं वक्ष्यते मया । सर्वस्य जगतोऽप्यत्र मोहनार्थं कलौ युगे १०। वेदार्थवन्महाशास्त्रं मायया यदवैदिकम् । मयैव कल्पितं देवि जगतां नाशकारणात् ११। मदाज्ञया जैमिनिना पूर्वं वेदमपार्थकम् । निरीश्वरेण वादेन कृतं शास्त्रं महत्तरम् १२।

O goddess, listen. I shall tell you about the vicious texts in a sequence. By merely remembering them even the wise ones would be deluded, First I myself proclaimed the Śaiva, Pāśupata (texts) etc. Hear about the ones which were proclaimed by the brāhmaṇas into whom my power had entered, after that: Kaṇāda proclaimed the great Vaiśeṣika text. Similarly Gautama (proclaimed the doctrine of) Nyāya, and Kapila (proclaimed) Sāṃhkhya. Dhiṣaṇa (Bṛhaspati) in the same way (proclaimed) the much censured Cārvāka (doctrine); Viṣṇu of the form of Buddha proclaimed the false Buddhist doctrine and those of the naked and wearing dark blue garmentsfor the destruction of the demons. The doctrine of Māya (illusion) is a wicked doctrine and said to be pseudo-Buddhist. I myself, of the form of a brāhmaṇa, proclaimed it in Kali (age). It shows the meaninglessness of the words of the holy texts and is condemned in the world. In this (doctrine) only the giving up of one’s own duties is expounded. And that is said to be religiousness by those who have fallen from all duties. I have propounded the identity of the Highest Lord and the (individual) soul. I stated this Brahman’s nature to be qualityless. O goddess, I myself have conceived, for the destruction of the worlds, and for deluding the world in this Kali age, the great doctrine resembling the purport of the Vedas, (but) non-Vedic due to the principle of Māya (illusion) (present in it). By my order formerly Jaimini propounded the great doctrine of Pūrva Mīmāṃsā, stating godlessness and making the Veda meaningless.

So It's not Just Advaita one has to reject as per these verses. Nyaya,Samkhya,Mimamsa (All of which play a vital role even in the Vedantic schools) are heretic doctrices which delude ones who even think about them once.

Denigration Of Rishis.

Let us see some of the verses of the chapter (235).

काणादं गौतमं शक्तिमुपमन्युं च जैमिनिम् कपिलं चैव दुर्वासं मृकंडुं च बृहस्पतिम् । भार्गवं जामदग्न्यं च दशैतांस्तामसानृषीन् भावशक्त्या समाविश्य कुर्वता जगतो शिवम् । त्वच्छक्त्या च निविष्टास्ते तमसोद्रिक्तया भृशम् २८। तामसास्ते भविष्यंति क्षणादेव न संशयः । कथयिष्यंति ते विप्रास्तामसानि जगत्त्रये २९।

Kaṇāda, Gautama, Śakti, Upamanyu, Jaimini, Kapila, Durvāsas, Mṛkaṇḍu, Bṛhaspati, Bhārgava and Jāmadagnya are the ten (?) tamasika sages. Desiring to do the good of the world, approach them with your power of suggestion (bhāvaśakti?). By your power increased in viciousness infused into them they will be tamasika in a moment. There is no doubt about it. Those brāhmaṇas with greater viciousness caused by you, will narrate the vicious Purāṇas and doctrines in the three worlds.

So According to this section, Not just Advaitins, But the sages who founded the samkhya, nyaya vaishikeska doctrines such as Kanada, Gautama, Kapila etc. are all Tamasika whose minds were all 'corrupted' by the power of Shiva. Not only that, but this purported 'list' even includes the likes of Durvasa and Bhargava Jamdagnya (Parashurama) in this list of 'Tamasika rishis'!

As per the Mimamsa Aphorism, 'हेतुदर्शनाच्च' (मीमांसादर्शन १.३.४ ) smritis can be treated as apramana whenever factors like lobha, dvesha etc. are seen. The verses 'मायावादमसच्छास्त्रं प्रच्छन्नं बौद्धमुच्यते' etc. can therefore be rejected as apramanika due to it's hetu being in nothing more than dvesha. Not to mention, depiction of the purpose of that avatara of shiva is fully contadictory in other puranas as other answers have already shown.

Contradictions in the Padma purana itself

Another point to note is that in the other chapters of the padmapurana we find ample verses stating the oneness between Vishnu and Shiva. Take for instance-

शिवे विष्णौ न वा भेदो न च ब्रह्ममहेशयोः । तेषां पादरजः पूतं वहाम्यघविनाशनम् ६९।

There is no difference between Śiva and Viṣṇu; so also between Śiva (or Viṣṇu) and Brahmā. I carry (on my body) the dust particles of their feet, which are pure and which destroy sins. Those men, for whom Pārvatī, Gaṅgā, Mahālakṣmī, do not exist separately

(Patalakhanda Ch 10)

यथा विष्णुस्तथा शर्वो नांतरं वर्त्तते क्वचित् । एवं ज्ञात्वा तु भो देवि ह्युभयोर्मूर्तिकल्पनम् २८।

As is Viṣṇu, so is Śiva. There is absolutely no difference between the two. O goddess, knowing like this, the fashioning of the images of both should be done.

(Uttarakhanda Chapter 82)

शिवाय विष्णुरूपाय विष्णवे शिवरूपिणे १४। नांतरं देवि पश्यामि श्रीविष्णोश्च प्रसादतः १५।

He who would bathe here and offer worship, is freed from all sins, and goes to the highest position of Viṣṇu, (and reaches) Śiva of the form of Viṣṇu, and Viṣṇu of the form of Śiva. Due to Viṣṇu’s grace, O goddess, I do not see any difference (between the two).

(Uttarakhanda Ch 138)

समानं ये च पश्यन्ति त्वां च मां च महेश्वरम् । कुर्वन्ति पूजामतिथेर्ज्ञेयास्ते वैष्णवा जनाः ८६।

Enumrating the qualities of Vaisnavas, Vishnu says to Brahma:- Those who look upon you, me and Śaṅkara as equal, and who honour a guest, should be known as Vaisnavas.

(Kriyayogasara Khanda Ch 2)

But this purported section, completely Contradicting these very own verses of the padmapurana, states-

यस्तु नारायणं देवं ब्रह्मरुद्रादिदैवतैः सममन्यैर्निरीक्षेत स पाषंडी भवेत्सदा

He who looks upon god Viṣṇu as equal to other deities like Brahma, Rudra, would always be (called) a Pasandi (heretic).

(Uttarakhanda, Chapter 235)

Here is another instance of how those verses of the padmapurana are refuted by the padmapurana itself.

भीष्म उवाच निर्गुणस्याप्रमेयस्य शुद्धस्याथ महात्मनः कथं सर्गादिकर्त्तृत्वं ब्रह्मणो ह्युपपद्यते १

How is it possible for Brahman, the quality-less(nirguna), unlimited, pure and great, to be the author of the creation etc.?

(Srushti Khanda Chapter 3)

It is to be noted here that ‘nirguna’ is an adjective to Brahman. As to what this term means and what it does not mean is determined in this verse itself. In Advaita the functions of creation, etc. is not admitted for Nirguna Brahman. They accrue to It only through the agency of Maya. Hence, in this Padma Purana verse the mismatch between Nirguna-hood and creator-hood is highlighted. Non-Advaitins give the meaning ‘devoid of inauspicious attributes’ to the term Nirguna. However, the term ‘shuddha’, pure, in the verse rules out this meaning for the term Nirguna. Thus, it is noteworthy that this Padma Purana verse admits of the same meaning as Advaitins hold for the term Nirguna.

Bhishma’s question is answered by Sage Pulastya:-

पुलस्त्य उवाच शक्तयः सर्वभावानामचिंत्या ज्ञानगोचराः यत्ततो ब्रह्मणस्तास्तु सर्गाद्या भावशक्तयः २

As the potentialities of all objects are inconceivable and inapprehensible, so are those powers of creation etc. of Brahman.

The ‘inconceivable’, ‘achintya’, of the verse finds validation in the Advaitic texts: Says Shankara in the Chandogya Bhashya: -

अचिन्त्यानन्तशक्तिमत्या देवतायाः बुद्ध्यादिसम्बन्धः चैतन्याभासः देवतास्वरूपविवेकाग्रहणनिमित्तः ..6.3.2 The erroneous connection between the inconceivable power of Brahman and the buddhi, intellect, expressing itself as sentience (in intellect) is due to the non-apprehension of the true nature of Brahman.

Anandagiri in his gloss says:

ननु चिदात्मा कूटस्थोऽसङ्गोऽद्वितीयश्चेष्यते स कथं बुद्ध्यादिभिर्भूतमात्रादिभिश्च चिदात्मनः संसृज्यते तत्राऽऽह – अचिन्त्येति । सत्त्वादिप्रकारैरशक्यचिन्तनीयाऽनादिरनिर्वाच्या सम्यग्ज्ञानमन्तरेण नाशशून्या दण्डायमाना या मायाशक्तिस्तस्या विषयत्वेनाऽऽनाश्रयत्वेन च …

achintya shakti = anadi anirvachya…

One can make a comparison of the meaning of the term nirguna in the above cited verse of the Padma Purana with the following popular verses of the same Purana of the uttara khanda:-

मायावादमसच्छास्त्रं प्रच्छन्नं बौद्ध उच्यते मयैव कथितं देवि कलौ ब्राह्मणरूपिणा ७ अपार्थं श्रुतिवाक्यानां दर्शयन्लोकगर्हितम् स्वकर्म्मरूपं त्याज्यत्वमत्रैव प्रतिपाद्यते ८ सर्वकर्म्मपरिभ्रष्टैर्वैधर्म्मत्वं तदुच्यते परेशजीवयोरैक्यं मया तु प्रतिपाद्यते ९ ब्रह्मणोस्य स्वयं रूपं निर्गुणं वक्ष्यते मया सर्वस्य जगतोऽप्यत्र मोहनार्थं कलौ युगे १०

Shiva addresses Parvati about the ‘maayaavaada’ which is only Buddhism in disguise, is propagated by Him through the instrumentality of a Brahmana. The censurable interpretation of the Shruti, renouncing the actions enjoined, non-difference of the jiva and Supreme, ”the nirguna nature of Brahman’ – are all tenets aimed at the destruction of the world.

One can now see how the very Padma Purana has refuted the above tenet that caricatures Advaita by adducing that very meaning to the term nirguna unmistakably, which is censured in the just cited verses.

  • Yes, but did Sankaracharya believe all puranas were valid means of knowledge or not?
    – Haridasa
    Apr 23 at 2:14

Disclaimer.: Here, I am just rewriting my answer I have given in quora to a similar question.

To Understand this we have to go a bit behind in Tripura Samhara Episode.

The Tripuras were 3 demonic children of Tarakasura. As they were following vaidic path and worshipping Bhagawan Shiva, no one could kill them. Then Lord Vishnu to delude them created a Maya Purusha (Arihan/Buddha) who was same as Lord Vishnu and told them to create false delusional maya doctrine that contradicts vedas and leads to destruction .

Sri Shiva Maha Purana 2.5:5:4:1–23.:

Sanatkumāra said:—

  1. For causing obstacles in their virtuous activities, Viṣṇu of great brilliance, created a Puruṣa born of himself.

  2. He had a shaven head, wore dirty clothes, held a woven wicker vessel in his hand and a roll of cotton in his hand which he shook at every step.

  3. His hands tucking at the cloth were weak. His face was pale and weak. In a faltering voice he was muttering “Dharma, Dharma.”

  4. He bowed to Viṣṇu and stood in front of him. He spoke to Viṣṇu with hands joined in reverence.

  5. “O laudable, revered one, please tell me what my names are and what my place shall be.”

  6. On hearing these auspicious words, Lord Viṣṇu became delighted and spoke these words.

Viṣṇu said:—

  1. O intelligent one, born of me, you are certainly identical with me in form. Know why you have been created. I shall tell you.

  2. You are born of me. You can perform my task. You are my own. Certainly you will be worthy of worship always.

  3. Let your name be Arihan. You will have other auspicious names too. I shall assign to you a place afterwards. Now hear with reverence what is relevant to the context.

10-11. O you who wield Māyā, create a deceptive sacred text of sixteen hundred thousand verses, contrary to Śrutis and Smṛtis wherein Varṇas and Āśramas shall be eschewed. Let that holy text be in Apabhraṃśa lauguage. Let there be emphasis on actions. You shall strain yourself to extend it further.

  1. I shall bestow on you the ability to create it. Different kinds of magic arts shall be subservient to you.”

  2. On hearing the words of Viṣṇu, the great soul, the Māyā Puruṣa bowed to and replied to Viṣṇu.

The shaven-head said:—

  1. O lord, command me quickly what I shall do. At your bidding, all activities shall be fruitful.

Sanatkumāra said:—

  1. Saying this he recited the main tenet in the deceptive philosophy. “Heaven and hell are functioning here itself.”

  2. Remembering the lotus-like feet of Śiva, Viṣṇu told him again. “These Asuras, the residents of the three cities, shall be deluded.

  3. O intellegent one, they shall be initiated by you. They shall be taught strenuously. At my bidding you will incur no sin on that account.

  4. O ascetic, no doubt, Vedic and Smārta rites flourish and shine there. But these shall certainly be exploded through this Vidyā.

  5. O you with shaven head, you shall go there for destroying the residents of the three cities. Revealing the Tamasika rites, destroy the three cities.

  6. After that, O great one, you shall go to the desert region and stay there carrying on your own duties and activities till the advent of the Kali age.

  7. When the Kali age begins let your Dharma be revealed. You shall then continue to do so by means of disciples and disciples’ disciples.

  8. At my bidding your cult shall certainly expand. Depending upon my permission and direction you will attain me as your goal.”

  9. At the bidding of the lord Śiva transmitted through the thought process, Viṣṇu, the powerful, commanded him thus and vanished.

But, again another question may arise that the sage was called Arihan and not Buddha. Well let's see some other verses. But remember this Arihan should also be worshipped as a Lord.

Sri Shiva Maha Purana 2.5:5:6:26–29.:

The gods said:— . . .

  1. O Śiva, dear to the gods, save us, the gods who have no other go, by killing all the Asuras instantaneously. We are practically destroyed by the Tripuras.

  2. O lord Śiva, they are now deluded by your magic. O lord, they have gone astray from the virtuous path through the expedient taught by Viṣṇu.

  3. O lord, favourably disposed towards your devotees, those Asuras have resorted to Buddha’s religion and philosophy, thanks to our good fortune and hence they have eschewed all Vedic sacred rites.

  4. You have always been the only one carrying out the task of the gods and the bestower of refuge. We have sought refuge in you. Please do as you desire.

So, its clear that Arihan = Buddha. He was the one created delusional doctrine for the sinners. But here see, its said at Bhagawan Shiva’s bidding and through his maya only.

Sri Swetasvatara Upanishad 4:10.:

“Know then Prakriti (nature) is Mâyâ (art/illusion), and the Maheshwara the Mâyin (maker); the whole world is filled with what are his members (forms)”.

Again, he was told to born in KaliYuga to spread this very Maya Vadic doctrine to take sinners away from vaidic religion. Which is again stated below. When after destruction of Tripuras they Asked all the gods what shall they do now as they have become sinner by creating the false doctrines.

Sri Shiva Maha Purana 2.5:5:12:26–33.:

Sanatkumāra said:—

  1. On hearing their words Viṣṇu, Brahmā and other gods spoke to the tonsured-heads who stood in front with joined palms.

Viṣṇu and others said:—

  1. “O tonsured ones, you need not be afraid at all. These excellent activities have taken place at the bidding of Śiva.

  2. Since you are the servants of Śiva and have carried out the activities conducive to the welfare of the gods and the sages, no mishap shall ever befall you bringing you to distress.

  3. Śiva performs deeds conducive to the welfare of the gods and the sages. He is pleased with those who work for the welfare of the gods and sages. No mishap befalls those who work for the welfare of the gods and sages.

  4. From now onwards in the Kali age those who follow this cult will be faced with disastrous results. We tell you the truth. There is no doubt about it.

  5. O brave tonsured heads, till the advent of the Kali age, you shall stay incognito in the desert region. That is my behest.

  6. When the Kali age begins, you can propagate your cult. In the Kali age deluded fools will follow your cult.

  7. Thus bidden by the great gods, O great sage, the tonsured heads bowed to them and went to their allotted abode.

So, from the above verses its crystal clear that Lord Vishnu took the Maya Avatar Buddha in KaliYuga to delude people.

Now, Why Bhagawan Shiva said “I" will take incarnation in Kali Yuga. To understand that let us see some verses from Padma Puran itself its a conversation about Lord Vishnu and Maa Lakshmi. Where, The both Nirguna and Saguna forms of Bhagawan Shiva is beautiful explained by Lord Vishnu to Maa Lakshmi in Padma Purana.

Sri Padma Maha Purana UK:175:16-18, 20-26a, 26b-29.:

16–18: “[Lord Vishnu said]: O goddess (Lakshmi), this my body is illusory and not real, and is augmented with the mass of the acts of creation, maintenance and withdrawal. O dear one, the nature of the self is different form this. It is without duality and unity. It is free from existence and non-existence; and without beginning or end. It is pure consciousness, has acquired luster, is beautiful due to great joy, is the form of the Ishvara (Shiva), can be known only through the unity with the self, and this is what is told in the Gita”.

20–26a.: “[Lord Shiva (Ishwara) said]: Having heard the proper words of Lakshmi, the lord told her the Gita, the vision leading one towards the self, along with an historical account. “O great lordess, I am the ‘self’ differentiated in two ways, – as higher and lower. The higher is a witness, attributeless, partless, Shiva. As the lower one, I am ‘panchavaktra (of five faces)’ it also remains in two forms. I, Maheshvara, am the self, am to be explained through the distinction in words and meanings, as, through the words of the Gita, my strong noose of the nature of objects in the worldly existence, is completely cut off; since (realization of my two forms) ‘Panchavaktra’ and ‘Maheshvara’, are dependent on its study“. Hearing these words of him (which were) the great ocean of essence of the Gita, those afraid of the worldly existence know it through the difference between this and that. Lakshmi asked thus to him. He told her about the Mahatmayam (greatness) along with the corresponding historical accounts (stories) in its major and minor details.”.

26b-29.: “[Lord Vishnu said]: O you, beautiful lady, I’ll tell you about my firm existence in the Gita. The five chapters are the five faces in order. The (next) ten chapters are the (ten) hands; one is the belly, and the (remaining) two are the lotus like feets. Thus the eighteen chapters are the divine forms of words. It, destroying great sins, should be known through knowledge only. Therefore, he, the very intelligent one, who studies a chapter, or half of it, or a verse of a half-verse is liberated like ‘Susharma’”.

So, from the above verses its crystal clear that Lord Vishnu is the illusional form of Bhagawan Shiva.

Now, let's come to the real topic.:

What Bhagawan Shiva told to Mata Parvati is also absolutely true but it should be seen as follows.:

Sri Padma Maha Purana 6:236:7.:

“O goddess, in the age of Kali, I (viz my illusionary (maya) form Vishnu) will appear in the form of a brahmana (vipra/wise/sage) to preach the false doctrine of Mayavada which is simply covered Buddhism (which he already had preached earlier to the TriPuraSuras).”

Note.: Brahmana doesn't always means the caste brahman. Brahman is not a caste. Brahmana means the wise sadhus as Arihan/Buddha was also a Sadhu. And Buddha literally means a Monk or Sadhu.

Sri Vajra Suchika Upanishad.:

  1. Then is a class the brAhmaNa ? No . Since many rishis have sprung from other castes and orders of creation - RishyashRi.nga was born of deer; kaushika, of kusha grass; jAmbuka of a jackal; vAlmiki of valmIka (an ant-hill); vyAsa of a fisherman's daughter; gautama, of the posteriors of a hare; vasishtha of Urvasi (a celestial nymph in the court of Indra); and agastya of a water-pot; thus have we heard . Of these, many rishis outside the caste have stood first among the teachers of divine wisdom; therefore a class is not the brAhmaNa.

  2. Who indeed then is brAhmaNa ? Whoever he may be, he who has directly realised his AtmA and who is directly cognizant, like the myrobalan in his palm, of his AtmA, that is without a second, that is devoid of class and actions, that is free from the faults of faults of the six stains (hunger, thirst, grief, confusion, old age, and death) and the six changes (birth, existence etc), that is of the nature of truth, knowledge, bliss and eternity, that is without any change in itself, that is the substratum of all the kalpas, that exists penetrating all things that pervades everything within and without as AkAsh, that is of nature of undivided bliss, that cannot be reasoned about and that is known only by direct cognition . He who by the reason of having obtained his wishes is devoid of the faults of thirst after worldly objects and passions, who is the possessor of the qualifications beginning with sAma (dama, uparati, titikShA, samadhana, sraddha), who is free from emotion, malice, thirst after worldly objects, desire, delusion, etc., whose mind is untouched by pride, egoism, etc., who possesses all these qualities and means- he only is the brAhmaNa. Such is the opinion of the veda, the smritis, the itihAsa, and the purANa-s . Otherwise one cannot obtain the status of a brahmaNa . One should meditate on his Atma as sachchidAnanda, and the non-dual brahman . Yea, one should meditate on his Atma as the sachchidAnanda brahman . Such is the upaniShad.

Now, For;

Conclusion.: So, Lord Shiva said in KaliYuga Lord Vishnu (Arihant) will again spread his Maya Vadi viz Buddhist doctrines by taking birth as Siddhartha. Why the doctrine is called Maya Vadi.? Its because Arihant was a Maya Purusha born of Lord Vishnu himself to delude people.

I hope this clarifies all your queries. Prd..

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