[Advaita-l] Bh.Gita verse 18.73 - Was Arjuna an 'aparoksha Jnani'? - Part 4

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 27 06:00:19 CDT 2010

Dear Jaldharji,
Shri Venkatesh Murthyji had conveniently ignored my mail, where I showed that Vidura's biological father was none other thann Vedavyasa, who also had low-born mother. How can one call Vidura a non-dvija?
Sunil k. Bhattacharjya

--- On Mon, 7/26/10, Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com> wrote:

From: Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Bh.Gita verse 18.73 - Was Arjuna an 'aparoksha Jnani'? - Part 4
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Monday, July 26, 2010, 10:36 PM

On Wed, 21 Jul 2010, Venkatesh Murthy wrote:

> On Sat, Jul 17, 2010 at 11:37 AM, Jaldhar H. Vyas
> This is not correct.  Adi Sankara said Vidura and Dharmavyadha had
> good samskaras from previous janma.
> the result of this was jnana in
> the non dvija janma.

The point is whatever they did or did not do in previous janmas, they got jnana in their shudra janmas.  And Shankaracharya has no problem with stating that.  So why be unnecessarily strict about it?

>  They were exceptions only probably 0.0000001% or
> less of all people. All non dvijas cannot be like them. they are
> disqualified from learning Brahmavidya

Percentages are not relevant.  All that needs to be proved is that it is possible (and I think you concede that it is) Then we leave it to individual effort and Bhagavans krpa.

> In the smrutis it is written hot lead should be filled in ears of any
> sudra or lower caste who hears the vedas. How can they hear vedanta?

Leaving aside the hot lead in the ears thing which is hyperbole, it is true that they have no adhikara to learn Vedas.  But the point you are missing is that itihasa-purana _also_ contain Vedanta.  And this is not Taiwanese imitation Vedanta, it is the genuine article!

> It is totally wrong and false propaganda by enemies of Vaidika
> religion.

I must admit this is an unusual role to find myself in :-)

> Adi Sankara said non dvijas cannot get Brahmavidya in Brahma sutra
> 1.3.38 This is correct position.

No he said they cannot study Vedas to get Brahmavidya.  This is not in doubt.

> A brahmin who does not do sandhyavandana is treated like a sudra only. He cannot get Brahmavidya.

He can't get brahmavidya with sandhyavandana either.  Jnana is orthogonal to karma.

> Adi Sankara did not write nondvija will get moksha from non vedanta.
> You can check BSB. Where did he write  it? He wrote only they are
> eligibile to hear itihasa puranas. The correct point is they will be
> born as  brahmins in their next janma by hearing the itihasa puranas.

Here are his exact words:

yeShAM punaH pUrvakR^itasaMskaravashAdviduradharmavyAdhaprabhR^itInAM GYAnotpattisteShAM na shakyate phalaprAptiH pratiShedhuM GYAnasyaikAntikaphalatvAt shrAvayechchaturo varNAn iti chetihAsapurANAdhigame chAturvarNyasyAdhikArasmaraNAt |

"To those in whom as a result of previous good samskaras, such as Vidura and Dharmavyadha, jnana arises, the acquisition of its fruit cannot be denied since jnana always brings about its own fruit.  [The rule] "He should teach the four varnas" indicates that all four varnas are qualified for the knowledge of itihasa-puranas according to smrti."

>> Advaita Vedanta allows for jivanmukti i.e. mukti in this lifetime.  That
>> mukti is caused by jnAna and jnAna can arise in any ashrama or even no
>> ashrama.  (See brahmasutra 3.4.36 antarA chApi tu taddR^iShTe)
> No. Adi Sankara wrote this for widowers. They cannot do yagas without
> a wife. But they can do japa and worship the gods. It means they can
> take sanyasa and become eligible for Brahmavidya. this is written in
> 3.4.36. he did not write Gruhasthas and others can directly get
> Brahmavidya without sanyasa. Where did he write it? Please check.

Widowers are given as an example but to provide for them only is not the purpose of this sutra.  ("But also those who stand between for it is seen")

The key passage from the bhashya is:

antarA chApi tu anAshramitvena vartamAno.api vidyAyAmadhikriyate | kuta.h |
taddR^iShTe.h vAchaknavIprabhR^itInAmevaMbhutAnAmapi brahmavitvashrutyupalabdhe.h ||

"even a person who by not now belonging to an Ashrama 'stands between', as it were, is qualified for getting brahmavidyA.  Why?  'For it is seen' in the cases of those of that type such as raikva and vAchaknavi who became brahmavids as shown in shruti."

Now Raikva was a widower but Vachaknavi was an unmarried girl in the court of Videha.  Doesn't that contradict your argument?

> A Gruhastha cannot directly get Brahmavidya.

This will come as a shock to Maharshi Yajnavalkya who was not only a grhastha but had two wives!  Yet he is also called a jnani in Shruti and Advaita Vedanta accepts this without reservation.  Now it is true that upon enlightennment he immediately abandoned worldly life.  Jnana and sannyasa are inextricably linked but sometimes the sequence is sannyasa -> jnana, other times it is jnana -> sannyasa.  Neither invalidates the idea that jnana can arise in any ashrama or none.

-- Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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