Forwarded message from Marko Manninen
Jaldhar H. Vyas
jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Jun 26 17:42:25 CDT 2000
On Fri, 23 Jun 2000, Marko Manninen wrote:
> i sent this message week ago, but i'm not sure if it came to the list, so i
> do it again from www site...
It didn't. Did you get any kind of error message when you sent the mail?
> These parts are interesting:
[some passages snipped.]
> If those passages belongs to veda and are correctly translated (i know very
> little of it) who do you think was the real avatar of kali-age? I have
> heard that former alvars are later fitted to prophecies. Is that possible
> in this case too?
In the Christian Bible there are certain books called Apocrypha which are
"Bible-style" but somehow didn't make it into the established canon.
This could have been for political or doctrinal reasons or maybe they were
simply overlooked. In other cases people deliberately wrote
pseudo-biblical works to further their own agendas. In the same way there
are many texts that claim to be Upanishads. Some of these may be real but
others are sectarian forgeries designed to give an authoritative stamp to
decidedly non-Vedic ideas. For instance there is one Allopanishad that
proclaims the worship Allah to be the highest. This is obviously not
genuine. What about this Purushabodhini Upanishad of the Atharva Veda?
Well for us the answer is quite simple. The list of 108 Upanishads
mentioned in the Muktikopanishad and commented upon by Swami
Ramachandrendra Saraswati also known as Upanishad Brahmayogi is considered
authoritative by many. As the Purushabodhini is not on this list (See
http://www.advaita-vedanta.org/avhp/upanishad.html#108) we would not
consider it genuine. However an objection may be made that perhaps we are
playing the same sectarian game. So here are in my opinion some objective
criteria that can be used to determine authenticity.
1. Has the text been noted by many scholars and commentators? A text
like Ishopanishad for instance has attracted the notice of all
Acharyas. They may not agree on the meaning but all agree it is an
important work to interpret. The Purushabodhini seems to have gone
completely unnoticed which seems suspicious for something of the sanctity
of an upanishad.
2. Does the style and subject matter match other known Vedic works? In
the case of the Purushabodhini it is a prophecy which is highly unusual to
find in the Vedas though not the Puranas.
3. Is the work closely allied to a particular Vedic shakha (branch.) The
Purushabodhini claims to belong to the Atharvaveda whose tradition is the
weakest thus making it a good place to insert a forgery. Genuine
Upanishads are more strongly tied to specific Vedic shakhas. For instance
Ishopanishad is the 40th chapter of the Vajasaneyi Samhita of the
On this basis and with the authority of tradition my opinion is it is
probably not genuine.
As far as the avata of the Kaliyuga I don't think Advaita Vedanta
specificly names one. As the Puranas state, at the end of the Kaliyuga
Kalki will be born to destroy it and bring in the new Satyayuga.
> There is one interesting question too. Why Krishnas dead is pointed to year
> 3102? Where in veda or commentaries it is mentioned. Or is it so, that
> kaliyuga is pointed to there first?
The latter. The Kaliyuga is reckoned to begin from 3102 BC. This is based
on some astrological conjunction but I don't know the exact details.
> > > In which time the oldest BG has found,
> > An actual written copy? I believe around the 12th century. There are
> > quotes from the Gita in much more ancient works however.
> Yes i mean actual copy, that is possible to see in museum etc. Both science
> and religion should use each others to keep on Truth. Mutual understanding
> is needed.
Yes they should. And both the critical and traditional interpreters of
Indian philosophy have used textual research as a tool. There are a
couple of problems though. One, even after the invention of writing,
memorization of sacred texts was (and is) held in higher esteem. The
brief nature of many of the texts is due to the fact that they were only
seen as aids to memory of people who already knew them by heart. (In fact
in Sanskrit we don't say "by heart" to mean memorization we say
kantastha--"in the throat") Second problem is environmental. The
materials books were written in were very fragile and prone to
disintegrate in the Indian climate. In South India, the typical material
was palm leaves which are very tasty to termites! As a result of this
texts had to be constantly recopied so the phyical age of a book may not
tell us as much as we hope about the actual age of the text.
> This question was meant to deepen my knowledge of manvantaras. Following is
> citing from T.Subba Row:
> >> "The seven great Rishis, the four preceding Manus, partaking of my
> nature, were born from my mind: from them sprang (was born) the human race
> and the world."
> He speaks of the sapta rishis and of the Manus as his manasaputras, or mind-
> born sons, which they would be if he was the so-called Prajapati, who
> appeared on this planet and commenced the work of evolution.
> In all Puranas the Maharishis are said to be the mind-born sons of
> Prajapati or Brahma, who was the first manifested being on this planet, and
> who was called Swayambhuva, as he had neither father nor mother; he
> commenced the creation of man by forming, or bringing into existence by his
> own intellectual power, these Maharishis and these Manus. After this was
> accomplished Prajapati disappeared from the scene; as stated in Manu-
> Smriti, Swayambhuva thus disappeared after commencing the work of
> evolution. He has not, however, yet disconnected himself altogether from
> the group of humanity that has commenced to evolute on this planet, but is
> still the overshadowing Logos or the manifested Eswara, who does interest
> himself in the affairs of this planet and is in a position to incarnate as
> an Avatar for the good of its population.
> There is a peculiarity in this passage to which I must call your attention.
> He speaks here of four Manus. Why does he speak of four? We are now in the
> seventh Manwantara -- that of Vaivaswata. If he is speaking of the past
> Manus, he ought to speak of six, but he only mentions four. In some
> commentaries an attempt has been made to interpret this in a peculiar
> The word "Chatwaraha" is separated from the word "Manavaha" and is made to
> refer to Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatkumara and Sanatsujata, who were also
> included among the mind-born sons of Prajapati.
> But this interpretation will lead to a most absurd conclusion, and make the
> sentence contradict itself. The persons alluded to in the text have a
> qualifying clause in the sentence. It is well known that Sanaka and the
> other three refused to create, though the other sons had consented to do
> so; therefore, in speaking of those persons from whom humanity has sprung
> into existence, it would be absurd to include these four also in the list.
> The passage must be interpreted without splitting the compound into two
> nouns. The number of Manus will be then four, and the statement would
> contradict the Puranic account, though it would be in harmony with the
> occult theory. You will recollect that Mr. Sinnett has stated that we are
> now in the fifth root race. Each root race is considered as the santhathi
> of a particular Manu. Now the fourth root race has passed, or in other
> words there have been four past Manus. There is another point to be
> considered in connection with this subject. It is stated in Manusmriti that
> the first Manu (Swayabhuva) created seven Manus. This seems to be the total
> number of Manus according to this Smriti. It is not alleged that there was,
> or would be another batch of Manus created, or to be created at some other
> But the Puranic account makes the number of Manus fourteen. This is a
> subject, which, I believe, requires a considerable amount of attention at
> your hands; it is no doubt a very interesting one, and I request such of
> you as have the required time at your disposal, to try and find out how
> this confusion has arisen. The commentators try to get the number fourteen
> out of Manu. Of course an ingenious pandit can get anything out of
> anything, but if you will go into the matter deeply, it is quite possible
> we may be able to find out how the whole mistake has arisen, and if there
> is any mistake or not. <<
> Is this making any sense?
I don't think this "root race" idea has any merit. The Victorians had
all kinds of speculations along these ends which were put to horrible use
by madmen in the 20th century. There is nothing in our traditions to
I examined several commentaries on the Gita from an Advaita viewpoint to
see what they had to say on this subject.
Shankaracharya says previous four Manus without comment.
Swami Shankarananda Saraswati does the same in his commentary.
Swami Madhusudan Saraswati as I mentioned previously says the compund
should be broken up and "four" refers to the Sanatakumars.
Shridharacharya also thinks the four refer to Sanatakumaras not Manus. He
is the only one who really tries to explain this and his comment is
prabhAvamevaha yeSham bhrgvAdInAm sanakAdInA~ncha manUnA~nchemA
brAhmaNAdyA loke vardhamAnA yathAyathama putrapautrAdirupA
shiShyaprashiShyAdirupAshcha prajA jAtAh pravartante |
"The meaning is that Brghu etc. [Sages] Sanaka etc. [Sanatakumaras] and
Manus, the sons of Brahma, for the prosperity of the world bring forth
progeny in the form of children and grandchildren, and disciples and
This is a good explanation I think which covers all the objections.
Note all the commentators agree that the meaning of this verse is that the
creation (and creators) are only apparent and exist due to the will and
power of the Lord.
> How does above understanding differ from understanding that we have now? I
> mean, how it affects on normal life and spiritual life? Where derives
> differences between jivanmuktas, in teaching and works?
When the normal person does something whether religious or secular it is
with the expectation that the action will bring about some result. This
result could be the creation of something or the destruction of
something. A jivanamukta on the other hand sees everything as changeless
unity so actions and their results have no meaning or attraction for
him. He does not necessarily have to actively reject the world it just
"falls away" from him. It is like a baby might take delight in just
babbling da-da-da non-stop. But when he grows up and learns some language
he stops not because he can't babble anymore but he has just grown past
> Hmmm. it's easy to accept that, but accepting is still not being. I think
> we need certain instructions to take the first steps. Then we have to do
> our own best to keep on path and still not deny the "help" if it's offered.
> That's why i'm asking you and others :-)
Oh I'm not denying one should not need help or be prepared to offer
it. The boddhisattva as I understand it in Buddhism is the person who has
stood at the door to enlightenment but turns back in order to help
others. That is because Nirvana is understood by Buddhists as the
extinction of consciousness. Once an enlightened person is on the "other
side" he can't talk to the people on this side." A Jivanmukta is an
already enlightened person. He can teach other people because in Vedanta
consciousness in its true state is pure omnipresent and unending so there
is not a negation of the world but its inclusion in a greater whole.
Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam
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