[Advaita-l] yAvad adhikAram avasthithir AdhikArikANAm - 1
svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Wed Apr 28 20:56:11 CDT 2010
I am finally getting around to a detailed discussion of the sUtra that
talks of the continued embodiment(s) of those with an adhikAra to fulfil.
In the interest of clarity, I will first present the text of the bhAshya
thereon, followed by a loose translation (not verbatim), and additional
notes of my own, conveying the main points that Sankara bhagavatpAda
covers in his discussion.
The sUtra (3.3.32) reads,
yAvad adhikAram avasthitir AdhikArikANAM
The continuance of those with a purpose (adhikAra) is so long
as the purpose lasts.
The bhAshya on this sUtra starts,
vidusho vartamAna-deha-pAtAnantaraM dehAntaram upapadyate na
vA iti cintyate. nanu vidyAyAH sAdhana-bhUtAyAH saMpattau
kaivalya-nirvRttis syAn na vA iti.
Now we consider whether the knower attains another body after
the fall of the present body or not. In other words, having
obtained the means of knowledge, does disembodied liberation
(isolation, kaivalya) happen or not.
na iyaM cintA upapadyate. na hi pAka-sAdhana-saMpattau odano
bhaven na vA iti cintA saMbhavati, na api bhunjAnas tRpyen na
vA iti cintyate.
This thought is totally inappropriate. It is like asking whether
cooked food gets prepared or not, having embarked upon the means
for cooking, or like asking whether (the hunger of) one who eats
the food gets satisfied or not.
My notes: The above is the preliminary response. The next few
sentences in this passage show why this discussion is indeed
upapannA tu iyaM cintA brahmavidAm api keshAMcid itihAsa-
purANayoH dehAntara utpatti darSanAt. tathA hy apAntaratamA
nAma vedAcAryaH purANaRshir vishNu-niyogAt kali-dvAparayos
sandhau kRshNa-dvaipAyanas saMbabhUva iti smaranti. vasishThaS
ca brahmaNo mAnasaH putras sann nimi-SApAd apagata-pUrvadehaH
punar brahma-AdeSAn mitrA-varuNAbhyAM saMbabhUva iti. bhRgv-
AdIn api brahmaNa eva mAnasa-putrANAM vAruNe yajne punar
utpattiS SrUyate. sanatkumAro 'pi brahmaNa eva mAnasaH putras
svayaM rudrAya varapradAnAt skandatvena prAdurbabhUva. evam
eva daksha-nArada-prabhRtInAM bhUyasI dehAntara utpattiH
kathyate tena tena nimittena smRtau.
This discussion is based on the fact that in the history and
mythology (itihAsa-purANa), we see some cases of brahman-
knowers who attained other bodies. It is said that the ancient
Rshi named apAntaratamastook birth as kRshNa-dvaipAyana during
the transition to the kali age from the dvApara age, under
orders from vishNu. vasiShTha, the mind-born son of brahmA,
died due to being cursed by nimi, and being ordered by brahmA,
was reborn through mitra and varuNa. We hear that bhRgu and
others too, who were mind-born sons of brahmA, were reborn in
varuNa's sacrifice. sanatkumAra, another mind-born son of brahmA,
himself promised rudra that he would be reborn to him as skanda.
In this manner, through various smRti texts, we know of rebirths
undertaken by daksha, nArada and others.
SrutAv api mantra-arthavAdayoH prAyeNa upalabhyate. te ca
kecit patite pUrvadehe dehAntaram Adadate, kecit tu sthita
eva tasminn yogaiSvarya-vaSAd aneka deha-AdAna nyAyena. sarve
ca ete samadhigata-sakala-vedArthAs smaryante. tad eteshAM
dehAntara utpatti-darsanAt prAptaM brahmavidyAyAH pAkshikaM
moksha-hetutvam ahetutvaM vA iti.
These cases are seen in the veda (Sruti) too, in the mantra
and arthavAda sections. Some are said to attain new bodies after
the fall of the previous one, others are said to attain many new
bodies even while embodied in the present one, using their the
yogic powers. All these cases are of those who understood
and attained all the meaning and ends of the veda. Given these
examples of those who attained new bodies, it is to be doubted
whether brahman-knowledge is indeed the cause of liberation or
My notes: The above is the whole of what is called the pUrvapaksha.
The pUrvapakshin is one who raises various objections to the central
thesis of vedAnta - that brahman-knowledge is the only means to
liberation from embodiment, the cycle of death and rebirth of new
bodies. He also raises objections to particular interpretations and
sometimes even to the need for a given sUtra. The thrust of the
above argument is that even brahman-knowledge does not seem to
be sufficient to prevent different re-embodiments of vasiShTha,
apAntaratamas-vedavyAsa, sanatkumAra-skanda, the bhRgu-s,
daksha and nArada. Such examples are seen not just in the smRti-s,
but even in the Sruti, and are of Rshis and others who are certainly
brahman-knowers. The full response in the bhAshya to this objection
now starts after presenting the above pUrvapaksha. I will take it up
in the next post on this topic.
The New Busy think 9 to 5 is a cute idea. Combine multiple calendars with Hotmail.
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