[Advaita-l] yAvad adhikAram avasthitir AdhikArikANAm - 2

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu May 13 04:14:00 CDT 2010

On Thu, May 13, 2010 at 12:03 PM, Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>wrote:

> On Wed, 12 May 2010, V Subrahmanian wrote:
>  Would it be proper to conclude:
>> 1. the AdhikArika PuruSha is not selected at random by Iswara but only
>> someone who has the extremely great puNya coupled with Atma jnana.  Any
>> Jnani is not fit to hold such positions.  He should be having the
>> requisite
>> high-end puNya too. Otherwise, I reason, a Jnani who does not have such a
>> puNya as would not take him to a high heaven, swarga, cannot be placed in
>> such a position of an AdhikArika purusha.  It is quite reasonable to hold
>> that every Jnani need not have earned such extremely high merit, punya,
>> through karma.  He could have 'totally' given himself to atma sadhana by
>> not
>> neglecting his nitya karma and attained chittashuddhi and owing to
>> subsequent shravana, etc. succeeded in attaining aparoksha  jnana.
> The problem with this idea is that it smacks of jnanakarmasamucchaya.
> Surely at the dawn of jnana, all jnanis are at the same step regardless of
> their previous (now destroyed) actions.


That problem would not be there in such a case.  First, the Jnana itself has
dawned not depending on the karma but out of shravaNa, etc. As quoted, Yama
himself says that his NAchikEtAgni ritual has got him this position. It is
my presumption that somewhere in the way he became enlightened.  And at the
dawn of Jnana, in this particular jiva's case, it is to be inferred that his
karma that is to take him to that AdhikArika position is already prArabdha,
has begun to give the fruit.  It is out of the sanchita category and is not
burnt by Jnana.  That specially meritorious prArabdha is so powerful,  that
in his case it extends to give him the fruit in another, super-human /
divinity form, beyond the human birth that he passes off. That is why I had
reasoned that this jiva will not be taking a birth requiring garbha vAsa,
but donning a form suitable for that office.  It could be called 'mAnasa
putra' of Brahma, like VasiShTha, Sanaka, Sanatkumara, etc. spoken of in
Puranas, who were not born of wombs.

This has to be inferred because of the rule: No bhoga is without the
appropriate karma.  Since this Jnani is seen to occupy a special office that
brings with it special bhoga, his prArabdha is alone that can be accounted
for it.  That is the reason jiva/Jnani X is chosen for this office and not
jiva/Jnani Y who has not such a prArabdha. Otherwise, we would not be able
to account for an order, a niyama, in the selection of a Jnani for the
purpose. And the question 'why X and why not Y?' will remain unanswered.
The Brahmasutra 2.1.34 also teaches that any phalam/bhoga a jiva gets is
only dependent on its karma and not due to the whims of Iswara.  Otherwise
Iswara will be exposed to the defect of partiality/favouritism.

>  2. The Taittiriya Upanishad says: भीषास्माद् वातः पवते, भीषोदेति सूर्यः,
>> भीषास्मादग्निः इन्द्रः च, मृत्युर्धावति पञ्चम इति ।  //Impelled by fear of
>> the Supreme Brahman/Iswara do Vayu, Surya, Agni, Indra and Yama engage
>> relentlessly in their allotted duties.//
>> Since Yama is mentioned here and since the 'Yaavadadhikaari' adhikaraNam
>> speaks of 'Aadhikaarika purushas' such as SUrya, linking the Yama of the
>> Kathopanishad to this category would not be faulty,  especially
>> considering
>> that such a status is conferred upon a Jnani.
> But then what does it mean that a jnani is "impelled by fear of Brahman?"

This 'fear' is only indicative of the Supremacy of Iswara, Brahman, the
Jagat KAraNam.  There is another expression: mahadbhayam vajra...which
means: the cosmic officials act with the fear of being punished with the
vajraayudha that the Ishwara is wielding. It is only a figurative
expression.  Shankara comments in anticipation of the mantra quoted by me
above from the Taittiriya Up:

(Cocluding a lengthy analysis of 'fear' and 'finitude' that is caused by
Self-ignorance, He says)  A destroyer, in the ultimate analysis can be so
only if it is itself indestructible.  (The Ultimate cause of fear itself be
indestructible, since a contrary supposition will lead to an infinite
regress.  And such an eternal agent is Brahman.) Now, if there be no cause
of destruction, there sould be no such fear in the destructible as issues
from a perception of a destroyer.  The whole wold, however, is seen to be
stricken with fear.  Therefore, from the perceived fact of fear in the
world, it follows that there does exist a terrifying thing which is by
nature an indestructible agent of destruction, because of which the world
shudders.  Expressive of this idea, too, there is this verse:
भीषास्माद् वातः पवते, भीषोदेति सूर्यः, भीषास्मादग्निः इन्द्रः च,
मृत्युर्धावति पञ्चम इति ।  //Impelled by fear of the Supreme Brahman/Iswara
do Vayu, Surya, Agni, Indra and Yama engage relentlessly in their allotted

So, Shankara sees this mantra as something that teaches the 'existence' of
Brahman, even as He has seen things like 'Ananda laabha', 'pravesha', etc.
as indicators of existence of Brahman in this Upanishad.

As we have observed already, not all Indra-s, Vayu-s, etc. are Jnani-s.  So,
'fear' in them can be admitted.  Even in the case of  a Jnani occupying such
a position, there may not be fear, but the complying with the requirement of
the post is to be admitted.  One cannot simply violate the order prevailing
nor can one simply walk away in the middle of the term.  It is prArabdha -
dependent.  It will end only when the time comes.

>  4. Would it be proper to say: Such positions are always given to Jnanis
>> with
>> great puNya?  Can we say all Indra-s were Jnani's?  There is one
>> adhikaraNam
>> in the sutrabhashyam 1.1.28 - 31 where Indra gives the teaching of Atma
>> jnanam to someone named 'Pratardana'.
> Yet in other places (e.g. Chhandogyopanishad story of Indra and Virochana)
> Indra is atleast initially, the student not the teacher.  And some of the
> puranic stories of Indras exploits do not make him look like a jnani at all.

Yes. I also recalled the Kenopanishat case where all the gods - Indra,
VaruNa, VAyu and Agni were ignorant. After the encounter with that
'Effulgent Being', first Indra got enlightened and through him the others.
That shows that these positions are not filled up by Jnani's alone by

The case of 'exploits' can be explained thus: Indra, etc. are posts that are
occupied by various jiva-s at various terms.  So, Indra-s are also different
jiva-s.  In one yuga/time slot, one jiva, Indra, could have been a Jnani and
in another, another Indra not so.

I also recall the Gita 4th chapter tteaching:  I taught this Yoga to
VivasvAn, VivasvAn taught it to Manu...etc.  That shows that some SUrya was
a Jnani.

> The position of Indra is achieved not by jnana but by performance of 100
> ashvamedhas.

This is quite true.

Best regards,

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