Ran across this today on Stephen Knapp.com..
The Shiva Purana quotes the Supreme Lord as ordering Shiva: "In Kali-yuga mislead the people in general by propounding imaginary meanings from the Vedas to bewilder them." To do so, Shankara gave up the direct method of Vedic knowledge and presented an indirect meaning which actually covered the real goal of Vedanta. This is confirmed in the Padma Purana where Lord Shiva addresses his wife, Parvati:
My dear wife, hear my explanations of how I have spread ignorance through Mayavada philosophy. Simply by hearing it even an advanced scholar will fall down. In this philosophy which is certainly very inauspicious for people in general, I have misrepresented the real meaning of the Vedas and recommended that one give up all activities in order to achieve freedom from karma. In this Mayavada philosophy I have described the jivatma and Paramatma to be one and the same. The Mayavada philosophy is impious. It is covered Buddhism. My dear Parvati, in the form of a brahmana in Kali-yuga I teach this imagined Mayavada philosophy in order to mislead the entire population toward atheism by denying the personal form of God...http://www.stephen-knapp.com/god_is_both_%...l_(Brahman).htm
Once again we hear of the Supreme Lord ordering someone to spread something that is "inauspicious for the people in general" "impious" and "to mislead the entire population towards atheism".
Whoops, what happened? The Christians would love this! And all this from the same God who said, "Out of compassion for them, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance" -Bhagavad-gita 10:11. Did Krishna wake up one day and decide His spiritual kingdom had a room occupancy rate? Maybe it is set to 144,000. That would make Vaisnavism the "Jehovah's Witness" of the Hindus!
Seriously folks, there is at least a more respectful outlook on "Lord Siva's Mission" to be found here..
You should preach from sastra like agama, (one of the scriptures) and fabricate a philosophy that will distract the general mass of people... and My pastimes will become all the more valuable."- Narad pancaratra
Ah-hah! "Make My pastimes all the more valuble". It wasn't that long ago that many such pastimes were largely to be found all across America - in our airport trash cans!
There is yet more relief to be had from the idea that Sankara spread "demoniac philosophy", and that it is all pure poison. IMO, I could accept the idea that it can be poison, but only for those who have truly made significant strides on the Vaisnava path..
“The spiritual guidelines Sri Sankaracarya laid down act as beacons to the Vaisnavas on their path of spiritual progress. For instance, sambandha-jnana—knowledge of the eternal relationships between the jiva, prakrti, and Bhagavan—is absolutely essential for the conditioned jivas. The Vaisnavas and Sri Sankaracarya share the understanding that the cit-vastu, spiritual existence, is supramundane and transcendental to the subtle and gross material bodies of the external material nature. They are also of the same opinion regarding the spiritual nature of the jiva. They agree, too, that liberation means giving up one’s attachment to the material world. Up to the stage of mukti, the Vaisnavas concur with Sri Sankaracarya on many philosophical points. Sri Sankaracarya also taught that a soul purifies his consciousness by worshiping the Supreme Lord, Sri Hari, after which he attains mukti.
“What Sri Sankaracarya remains silent about, however, are the wonderful realizations the jiva experiences after attaining mukti. Sri Sankaracarya was confident that once the jivas were set on the path of liberation attainable by worshiping the Supreme Lord, Sri Hari, they would gradually develop a taste and an attachment for devotional service and ultimately become pure devotees of the Lord. Hence, Sri Sankaracarya—after plainly indicating the proper way—did not delve further into the esoteric aspects of Vaisnava philosophy. Those who scrutinizingly study Sri Sankaracarya’s commentaries can comprehend his underlying intention, but those who ponder only the external and superficial aspects of his teachings are diverted from the Vaisnava path....http://in.answers.yahoo.com/question/index...14161141AAEaPLt