Shiva, Hari, God – all one and the same

Thanks to Sri Ganapathysubramanian for the share. It is interesting that Dr S. Radhakrishnan’s article is referred in Harvard site and we are reading it through them 🙂 “Vellakkaaran sonna sariyathaan irukkum” logic?! Jokes aside, great quote to show our advaita bhAvA.

As we know PEriyava is Sarvagyan and He must have simply wanted the answer to come from Professor – that’s all! It is incredible to know that the professor could quickly give the answer the moment He asked!

My late father (1911-1993), Prof. S. S. Raghavachar of Mysore University, was a delegate and speaker at the World Conference of Religions conducted in 1963 by Prof. T.M.P. Mahadevan of Madras University. With hundreds of delegates from around the world, the conference was commemorating the birth centenary of Swami Vivekananda, who took the message to the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893 that all religions basically lead to the one truth or God.

The delegates were taken for an audience with Kanchi Paramacharya at the end of the conference. While giving his benediction, Paramcharya asked the audience, “is the there any textual mention or inscription in Hinduism predating Swami Vivekananda and Ramakrishna which stated that the worship of different conceptions of God all lead to the same Reality?”

My father Prof. Raghavachar rose and quoted an inscription from the Belur temple in Karnataka built by Vishnuvardhana, a disciple of Sri Ramanujacharya in the 11/12th C CE, which states:

yam shaivah samupasate shiva iti brahmeti vedantinah
bauddhah buddha iti pramanapatavah karteti naiyayikah
arhan ityatha jaina-shasana-ratah karmeti mimansakah
so yam vo vidhadhatu vanchita phalam trailokyanatho harih

It seems that Paramacharya was immensely pleased with this answer and felicitated my father.

Categories: Devotee Experiences

6 replies


  2. Dr.S.Radhakrishnan is a great authority on Indian philosophy and generally the Hindu view of life. In the concluding portion of his long introduction to his book “The Principal Upanishads”, he quotes two references on the subject:
    “Srute sarva darmams ca sarvan devan namasyati
    anasuyur jita -krodhas tasya tushyati keshavah. – Vishnu Dharmottara, I-58

    “The Supreme is pleased with him who listens to all discourses on dharmas, who worships all gods, who is free from jealousy and is free from anger.”

    antah sakto bahih saivo, sabah madhye ca vaishnavah
    At heart a Sakta, outwardly a Saiva,
    and in gatherings a Vaishnava,

    Dr.Radhakrishnan studied in the Madras Christian College. He was from a financially poor family and chose philosophy for his subject because the books were available from a relative!
    During those days, Christian missionaries used to disparage Hinduism and its philosophy.. They used
    to say that HInduism lacked an ethical basis. Dr. Radhakrishnan wanted to answer them , and so wrote as his thesis for MA, on “The Ethics of Vedanta and its Metaphysical Presuppositions.”. He was not sure how his Christian professor Alfred Hogg would receive it, but he commended the work.
    “திறமையான புலமையெனில் வெளி நாட்டார் அதை வணக்கம் செய்தல் வேண்டும்”
    [True academic excellence should be acknowledged by the foreigners”, so said our National Poet Subrahmanya Bharati.] This is exactly what happened in the case of Dr. S.R. His lectures and books have commanded universal acclaim since they were written.
    Two things should be noted in the case of Dr.S.R.
    1. His adherence to the Vedantic tradition of Sankara is total,, while his expression is modern.
    .2. He was steeply learned in Western philosophy also so that we get a comparative view of things, and that shows to our advantage.
    He wrote from original sources ( unlike present day “scholars” who depend on translations} and so there is a quality of deep reflection and faithful interpretation in his works. He is totally faithful to the tradition. For instance, in his introduction to Bhagavad Gita, he has devoted a section on the historicity of Krishna in very precise terms. He did not falter because the book was published by foreign publishers. And even Srila Prabuhupada, the founder of ISKCON and adherent of a different tradition, has commended the translation of DR.S.R. And of course there is a mellifluous quality and stunning fluidity in his prose. Not many Indians have handled English language with such felicity.

    Since Philosophy is hardly studied in our universities now, the writings of Dr. Radhakrishnan are neglected by Indians, especially the youngsters. Some of his essential books are:
    -The Hindu View of Life
    -An Idealist View of Life
    -Eastern Religion and Western Thought
    -East and West in Religion [difficult to get]
    -Recovery of Faith.
    -The Principal Upanishads.
    [ His book on Indian Philosophy, and his translations of Bhagavad Gita and Dhammapada are well known]
    Dr. Radhakrishnan was so erudite that even his casual/ public speeches would sparkle with classic quotations and references.. Two bulky volumes of his occasional speeches were published by the Publications Division in the 50s/60s. Now many small books are being published by others.
    Why I write all this is that though modern in temper, Dr. Radhakrishnan was true to our authentic Vedantic tradition and we are sure to learn much from his writings. There is a universal quality to his works., but his fidelity to India and its thoughts stands out. He was a staunch defender of India’s religion.

    • Shri Nanjappa sir namaskaram.
      I read all your comments sir.All are very interesting and informative.
      May we know about you sir?.

      • +InduMohan. What to say about oneself? I have been lucky in my mother and teachers who made me love books. I have been a serious student of good literature for over 50 years. When there is an occasion, I try to share some of the authentic information from reliable sources. I also mention the sources so that others may also benefit. But above all, the more we learn the more we realise how little we know! So, Vidya leads to vinayam, humility.
        யாமோதிய கல்வியும் எம் அறிவும்
        தாமேபெற வேலவர் தந்ததனால்
        பூமேல் மயல்போய் அறமெய்ப் புணர்வீர்
        நாமேல் நடவீர் நடவீர் இனியே.

    • Very informative and nice to read this, Sir. Thank you for the references given. Hara Hara Shankara Jaya Jaya Shankara.

      • Sir nice to hear about you.
        It is great that you share the informations with reference.

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