[Advaita-l] Devas Adhikara, Rama and Sambuka

Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy annapureddy at gmail.com
Fri May 12 16:57:07 CDT 2006

Namaste all,
    Could you clarify some of my questions below. They are not all on one
topic, but are
questions left unanswered from discussions with my friends. Please feel free
to reply to only some of the questions.  Thanks.

-- Jaldharji in one of his earlier posts (
mentioned that Jaimini held the view that Devas did not have Veda-Adhikara.
What were the reasons given in support of that statement? Because there seem
to be many objections to that assertion. Most of the hymns of the Vedas seem
to be addressed
to the Devas. Also, Devas were seen as revealing the Vedas to humans (Surya
Deva and Yajnavalkya). One explanation could be that the words of Vedas are
what they are, that the characters mentioned should not be taken literally.
Thus, the Indra mentioned in the Vedas does not necessarily refer to the
Deva Indra. But is this also Jaimini's position? Or does he rule out
Veda-Adhikara for the Devas on other grounds?

-- The episode of Rama killing the sudra Sambhuka. Is this traditionally
considered to be a part of the Ramayana, or one of the many stories that has
sprung around in later times? Also, I have heard two versions of the
explanation given by Sambuka to Rama -- a) that  Sambuka was trying to gain
admission into heaven in his earthly body, b) that Sambuka was trying to
gain the position of Indra. The first explanation has this problem that
Trisanku, one of the ancestors of Rama himself tried to enter heaven in his
earthly body, so what's wrong now with Sambuka doing it.

-- Jaldharji mentioned a while ago (with reference to a friend of his who
was a women) that she does not require the Vedas for spirituality, and that
the itihasas should do for that purpose. This question is regarding sudras
and women (and this question has risen while debating with a Dvaita friend
of mine). I do not necessarily see spirituality as the only reason for
studying the Vedas. Let's say a sudra belives in the infallibility of the
Vedas, and wants to establish his own philosophy a la Sankara. He obviously
needs to study the Vedas to debate with others. (You might say what's the
need this sudra perceives for going on a rampage trying to debate with
others. It's only his ahamkara which makes him do it. But probably, just
like Sankara, this sudra believes in the Truth of his philosophy, and wants
to establish it by refuting other theories.) So, the Dvaitin friend of mine
said that a Dvaitin would be willing to engage in debate based solely on
Smrutis (like the Bhagavad Geeta) without recourse to the Srutis at all, and
become a disciple of the sudra if he is defeated (assuming this sudra is
willing to accept that the knowledge of the Srutis does not give an unfair
advantage to the Dvaitin). But what would an Advaitin do, given that the
Sruti forms the authentic source for all debate on Atma-Vidya? Does he also
agree to such a debate?



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