It is also possible to attain immortality by a knowledge of the air as the following Sruti says:

'Air is everything itself and the air is all things together. He who knows this conquers death.' (Bri. Up. 5. 3. 2).

"(Siddhanta): As against the foregoing, we say that Para-mesvara himself is the cause of the trembling. It is possible that as the Ruler, Paramesvara is the cause of trembling of the whole Universe and by the fear of His command, all of us abstain from prohibited actions and engage in the prescribed duties and it is by the fear of the command that Vayu and others perform their respective duties as may be learned from such passages as the following:

By fear of Him, Vayu (the wind) blows' (Tait. 14. 2. 8).

"Though gracious in appearance, Paramesvara becomes awful as the Ruler of all. Hence the Sruti.

'Hence the King's face has to be awful' (Tait. Bra, 3. 8. 23).

"Wherefore as the master, Isvara himself is the cause of the trembling of the whole Universe."

The Gita

The Bhagavat Gita epitomises the philosophy of the Svetasvatara Upanishat. Oriental scholars link both together as expounding an eclectic school of Hindu Philosophy. In it, the words Isvara, Isa, Mahesvara, Paramesvara, are used and in the Uttara Gita*, the word Siva is used not to denote the lower Brahman but the Supreme Brahman.

The Ramayana

In the Ramayana, Rudra's position as the Lord of sacrifices is affirmed in spite of some dissentients, showing the rise of new faiths. The worship of Siva and Siva-Linga was

*In the Anu Gita, Sri Krishna was asked by Arjuna to tell himthe Knowledge of Brahm as was given before - during the war. Sri Krishna replied;The Ramayana 455

The Ramayana 456

I did exhaust all ways of knowing the Brahman and I am not able to recount to you all these again. I was then in deep-yoga and I then told you the knowledge." And the real position of Krishna in reference to Arjuna is that of Guru to disciple. The Ramayana 457 In the

Uttara Gita, the Lord is certainly styled as the fourth;The Ramayana 458

The Ramayana 459

Universal as shown by the establishment of the temple at Ramesvaram.

The Sutras

All the Sutrakaras recognise ISvara as the Supreme God and Purusha. Sri Nllakantha's Bhashyam * on the Brahma Sutras is the earliest commentary now extant; as such it is entitled to the greatest weight and will be found to be the most accurate and reliable interpreter of the Vedanta Sutras, and Sri Nilakantha is the accepted authority by the Southern Saiva School.

It is now proved by Thibaut and admitted by Max Muller that the interpretation of Sankara is not correct. Says Doctor

Thibaut.

"If now, 1 am to sum up the results of the preceding enquiry, as to the teaching of the Sutras, I must give it as my opinion that they do not set forth the distinction of a higher and lower knowledge of Brahman; that they do not acknowledge the distinction of Brahman and lsvara in Sankara's sense; that they do not hold the doctrine of the unreality of the world; and that they do not, with Sankara, proclaim the absolute identity of the Individual and the Highest Self."

"The Upanishats no doubt teach emphatically that the material world does not owe its existence to any principle independent from the Lord, like the Pradhana of the Sankhyas; the world is nothing but a manifestation of the Lord's wonderful power and hence is unsubstantial (Asat) if we take the term substance (Sat) in its strict sense. And again everything material (Achit) is immeasurably inferior in nature to the highest spiritual principle from which it has emanated and which it now hides from the individual Soul. But neither unsubstantially nor inferiority of the kind mentioned consti-tutes unreality in the sense in which the Maya of Sankara is unreal. According to the latter the whole world is nothing but an erroneous appearance as unreal as the snake for which a piece of rope is mistaken by the belated traveller, and disappearing just as the imagined snake does as soon as the light of true knowledge has risen. But this is certainly not the impression left on the mind by a comprehensive review of the Upanishats which dwells on their general scope, and does not confine itself to the undue urging of what may be implied in some detached passages etc."

* English Translation published in vols. I to VII Siddhanta Dipika.

Says Professor Max Muller in his Life of Ramakrishna Parama Hamsa: 'It is difficult to say which of the two schools was the more ancient and I am bound to acknowledge after Professor Thibaut's luminous exposition that Visistadvaita interpretation is more in keeping with the Sutras of Badara-yana." .

Sri Nilakantha Sivacharya in his Bhashya quotes, with approval, this beautiful text from the Upanishats. "Apivayas chandalah Siva iti vacham vadet tena saha samvadet, tena saha samvaset, tena saha bhunjit" * which means: - "A chandala though a person is, if he utters the name Siva, converse with him, live with him, dine with him ".

"Wherefore the whole universe is ensouled by Siva. If any embodied being whatsoever be subjected to constraint, it will be quite repugnant to the eight bodied Lord; as to this there is no doubt. Doing good to all, kindness to all, affording shelter to all, this they hold as the worshipping of Siva,"

During the Buddhist and Jaina period, it was Saivaism that was able to rise above the onslaught of these two creeds and vanquish them. The rise of the great Acharyas, St. Jnana-Sambandar, St. Appar, St. Sundarar and St. Manikkavacagar was in this period. By the close of the ninth century, both Buddhism and Jainism had become inert and dead.