[Advaita-l] Devas Adhikara, Rama and Sambuka

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Mon May 15 04:38:34 CDT 2006

Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy at gmail.com> wrote:
  -- 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? 
  Without any pretence to my eligibility, I attempt a brief draft of my understanding, so that I might go further in the path. 
  The reason given in the brahmasutras is i) a generalisation from the case of Madhuvidya, and ii) the explanation of deva meaning light. To this we can, maybe, add iii) the lack of upanayana (initiation). Madhuvidya is supposed to give the sAdhaka five kinds of honey in which reside in five kinds of deities  - Vasus, Rudras, Adityas, Martus and Sadhyas, and that the knower of each kind of madhu becomes one with the devas who reside in it. Now, if a Vasu were to know Madhuvidya, the result would be that he would become one with Vasu, and attains the greatness of Vasus. This is rather pointless. Hence no adhikaara for devas for knowing vedas. This is refuted by Sri Sankara on the ground the lack of eligibility for a particular does not mean lack of eligibility in general, just like a brahmin though not eligible to perform rAjasUya (reserved for kshatriyas) is eligible for others. The second assertion of devas meaning light is refuted at some length - dealing with arthavAda -
 and also mentions the kind of counter-examples you mention, in particular that Indra and Virochana went in search of the ultimate knowledge. And hence that Devas mean more than light and are eligible.
  The third possible reason - lack of initiation - is not mentioned as a purvaksha view and not refuted. It is interesting to note that though no upanayan samskaara is prescribed for the devas, in puja, yaj~nopavItadhAraNam (offering of the sacred thread to gods - which only the initiated wear) is a necessary upachAra, ritual. I don't know of purvamImasakas who refuted Sri BAdarAyaNas views that Devas have the eligibility for brahmavidya.
  Dvaitas, Smriti, and Advaitin:
  For the dvaitas, I believe the BhAgavata purANa holds a very high place, and I have seen discussions where a smriti vAkya is held infalliable irrespective of what Sruti says. So the position of the dvaitin is fairly simple. As seen in the various responses to Sri Aditya Varun Chaddha and his conceptual Chunky, an advaitin does take recourse to Sruti. However, to the extent that smriti is based on, and only expounds whatever is contained in, Sruti it should be possible for Advaita to be realised based on smriti. The only difficulty I see is in fixing the order of priority of seemingly contradictory smriti statements - the traditional method is to quote Sruti and understand the correct order. And, here we would face a problem, I guess.
  Valmiki Ramayana, Rama and Sambuka
  While I have not read the Ramayana in the original completely even once, I did search the text for Sambhuka with various combinations and found nothing. I did this out of interest to know the story. Alas! I could not. Maybe you would enlighten us?

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