[Advaita-l] Asuras and Dharma
itswhateva at gmail.com
Fri Nov 20 19:51:26 CST 2015
Let me correct something I said in my initial post, I meant to say
brihaspati is preceptor of the devas, not bhrigu.
Very enlightening indeed. Question, are we to take all the stories
regarding asuras and devas as allegorical in this way, or just in certain
Also, what rites are being referred to here? For example, when it is said
the asuras had taken up dharma and made the devas nervous enough to
approach lord Vishnu for assistance, what type of dharma was that? It seems
odd to imagine the asuras involving themselves in vedic rites that are by
nature in service to their natural "enemies."
On Nov 20, 2015 3:03 PM, "Durga Janaswamy via Advaita-l" <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> Hari Om,
> One way of looking at Asuras is: Asuras are not a distinct category of
> persons separate from us. Both Deva and Asura are with in an individual
> Bhagawan Shankaracharya's bhashya gives clarity on the topic.
> Chandogya Upanishad - Chapter 1 (Udgitha Vidya)
> mantra 1.2.1 देवासुरा ह वै यत्र संयेतिरे उभये प्राजापत्यास्तद्ध देवा
> उद्गीथमाजह्रुरनेनैनानभिभविष्याम इति
> devAsurA ha vai yatra saMyetire ubhaye prAjApatyAstaddha devA
> udgIthamAjahruranenainAnabhibhaviShyAma iti
> When the gods and demons, who were both progeny of Prajapati, fought
> against each other ........................
> The word deva is derived from the root div in the sense of shining. So it
> means functions of the organs, which are illumined by the scriptures.
> The asuras are verily the normal, unillumined (ignorant) activities of the
> organs; opposed to them (devas) because they remain engrossed in the
> enjoyment of their own respective lives, i.e. in (their respective) diverse
> objects and vital functions.
> The demons, the natural, unillumined functions of the organs, became
> engaged in war for undermining those functions of the organs which are
> illumined (regulated) by scriptures.
> So also the gods, who are opposed to them and are possessed of
> characteristics of light emerging from the understanding of subjects
> presented by the scriptures, became engaged in defeating the demons
> possessed of the natural characteristics of darkness.
> Thus the whole idea is this: From time immemorial a war, as it were, is
> continuing in the bodies of all individual beings, between the gods and
> demons, for the sake of defeating or winning over one another.
> That is being related here by the Upanishad in the form of a story, by way
> of enjoining knowledge of the purification of the vital force for
> (arousing) discriminative knowledge about the rise of virtue and vice.
> Thus, ubhaye, both the gods and demons; are prajapatyah, progeny of
> Prajapati, of a person competent for rites and meditation.
> The opposing functions of the organs of that very person, those which
> follow the scriptures and those which follow their natural tendencies, are
> his progeny as it were because they arise from him.
> (By Swami Gambhirananda, I did not type full, please look into the book for
> full details)
> On Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 9:09 AM, Santosh Rao via Advaita-l <
> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> > Namaskara,
> > In the shastras we read about how some asuras were given knowledge by
> > certain preceptors, for example, shukra is known to have been the guru of
> > the asuras, while brighu was the preceptor of the devas.
> > My question is, what exactly were these asuras learning? Was it the
> > or some other type of knowledge? If it was the Vedas, doesn't that mean
> > there was adhikara for that to take place to begin with? How was that
> > defined? If there was adhikara, then why would the lord have to incarnate
> > to mislead them with a false doctrine (buddha), instead of correcting
> > in their errors?
> > I also read somewhere that the carvaka atheistic philosophy has it's
> > origins with rishi brhispathi....is this true? If so, was it's purpose to
> > mislead a certain group of people similar to what we are taught about
> > buddhism? Sorry if this is offtopic, I've been curious about it for a
> > while.
> > Thanks,
> > Santosh Rao
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