In the previous adhikarana it was established that the root of all proofs is in the Shastras alone, and that the shastras alone must be trusted. The objection that flows from that assertion is that there are many statements in the shastras that seemingly talk about other devatas being the greatest, most powerful, and so on.
For e.g. there is a Shruti vakya that says एको रुद्रः …
Does this mean that the shastras must be understood as conveying Pashupata agama?
The Brahmasutras answer this objection through the present adhikarana. It declares that the correct way to understand such seemingly conflicting statements in the Shastra is through ‘samanvaya’ or exegesis.
Shastras are to be interpreted using ‘markers of (right) meaning’ or ‘Tatparyalingas’. The tatparya lingas are (1) Upakrama (commencement of a text) (2) Upasamhara (conclusion) (3) abhyasa (repetition) (4) apurvata (novelty) (5) phalam (fruitfulness) (6) arthavada (deprecatory references) and (7) upapatti (logical justification).
Upon encountering a difficult phrase, sentence or passage, these Tatparyalingas are to be deployed and the said text examined. When this is done, it will emerge that all statements in the Shastras undergo samanvaya towards extolling the greatness of Vishnu alone. Those statements which appear to be praising other devatas also are actually praising Vishnu only.
No text is to be examined in isolation. It is always samanvaya that is to be done.
In order to bring out this particular mode of interpretation, the Vishnu Sahasra Nama contains several names that show how the names of other devatas are actually names of Vishnu himself. This is a way of pointing out that those statements in the Shastra which appear to be describing greatness of other devatas or attributing the strengths of Paramatma to lesser devatas are actually referring to Vishnu only.
Ishwarah: One who is greater than Lakshmi, Brahma, Rudra, Shesha and others who themselves are known as Isha (lords) IshEbhyaH brahmAdibhyaH varaH IshvaraH
Adityah: One who controls Surya and is thus present in the Surya mandala AdityaH asya nivAsa iti AdityaH
Rudrah: (1) One who removes the cause of sorrow rudaM duhkhaM tatsAdhanaM vA drAvayati iti rudraH (2) One who pleases even Rudra – rudraM shivaM ramayati iti vA rudraH
Skandadharah: One who is bearing himself and goes by the name of skanda – skandaM jagataH skandanAt skandanAmakaM svaM dharatIti skandadharaH
Parameshwarah: One who is worshipped by Brahma and others who themselves are Lords – paramAshcha tE IshAshcha paramEshAH | tairapi vriyatE iti paramEshwaraH
Thus the Vishnu Sahasranama, by giving the above names, which are popular names of other devatas, clearly indicates that the meaning of a particular word, phrase of passage in the Shastras should be analyzed using the Tatparyalingas and any conflicting conclusions should be resolved by resorting to that interpretation which goes in favor of Paramatma since all names of other devatas find their source in describing the greatness of Vishnu himself. In other words, it is Vishnu’s name that has been used for other devatas.