[Advaita-l] Taittiriya Upanishad question

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Apr 12 19:55:54 CDT 2011

On Tue, Apr 12, 2011 at 4:47 PM, Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:

> Namaste.
> praNAms
> Hare Krishna
> Your reaction is full of inaccuracies and an example of your complete
> misunderstanding of the Purana episode.
> >  I would rather try to understand these episodes with more esoteric
> meaning than to literally interpreting these episodes to prove jnAni's
> 'maithuna' at the wrong time !!

The purANa itself is not looking for any esoteric meaning that is clearly
non-existent in these episodes.  That is why Shuka did not search for any
such esoteric meaning when ParIkshit questioned about the actions of the
rAsa krIDa.  Shuka replied in a matter-of-fact way: 'Dharmavyatikrama is
indeed seen in certain cases.'  Shankara has not looked for esoteric
meanings when dealing with the case of Vidura, DharmavyAdha, Indra,
Virochana, etc.  For example, DharmavyAdha episode comes as a conversation
in the Mahabharata between the brahmachAri and the meat-seller.  Yet
Shankara sees in it a proof for the possibility of Jnana to be present in
someone who is not known to have done formal shravaNAdi sAdhana.  He
extrapolates the sAdhana in/to a previous birth.  So, has not Shankara taken
the DharmavyAdha story 'out of context' to prove a point He wants in the
Sutrabhashya? Again, even though He has said that deva-asura are forces in
the body, based on a Br.Up. teaching, yet, He has viewed all these
characters as actual persons.  And none excepting you is 'interpreting' the
story of PrajApati to prove a jnani's maithuna at the 'wrong time'.  This is
clearly your interpolation not finding a single support in the scripture or
my posts. You cannot show even a single interpretation to suit what you are

>   - Where is it said that Kashyapa prajapati used his 'power' *
>   indiscriminately*?
> >  succmbing to the untimely demand of his wife and 'fulfilling' that
> demand (intentionally or unintentionally does not matter here) with 'his'
> involvement shows the lack discrimination.

But the purANa does not view it that way.  It is purely your perverted

>   - What is that 'power'?
> >  A 'power' that every gruhastha have to do his 'vaMshOddhAra' :-)) It
> may not be materializing things from thin air.
>   - The power that is being discussed in this thread pertains to a Jnani
> 's
>   ability to provide another person objects of enjoyment.  The specific
> case
>   is that of Yama - Nachiketa.
> >  And in kashyapa-diti case you are talking about the jnAni's power of
> 'maithuna' is it not??  dont you think there strikes a similarity in these
> two examples to prove the theory of jnAni's kAma & krOdha.

No. it does not. In the Kashyapa case it is not succumbing to the Jnani's
kAma.  There is absolutely no similarity between the two cases. In Yama's
offerings there is neither kAma nor krodha on his part.

> If you equate this to the Kashyapa episode you are gravely erring.
> >  I am not equating these episodes, but your purpose of narrating these
> two episodes is one and the same i.e. jnAni's kAma, krOdha & his
> maithunecche.

Just in the previous paragraph you 'struck a similarity' and now are denying
that you have 'equated'!!  The two episodes have not been narrated by me for
the purpose of proving any of these.  You are reading your own meanings into
what have been said.  *I never brought the  Yama-Nachiketa and the Kashyapa
case  in one thread.*  It is you who have introduced/interpolated
unjustifiably the Kashyapa case in the Kathopanishad discussion.  It is very
clear that it is your handiwork. And you are trying to pull me into the
mess.  Show me the post where I have linked the two cases of Yama and the
PrajApati to prove what you are imagining.  You are no more than
sensationalizing the discussion and making it look like a 'tamaasha'.  Let
us have more seriousness with Vedantic discussions. I would not like to
continue with the thread in such an atmosphere.

> While Yama offered to provide legitimate objects and opportunities of
> enjoyment, Kashyapa never did anything like this.
> >  according to your understanding of these episodes, one jnAni tried to
> tempt a genuine sAdhaka & another jnAni '(in)discriminately' exposed
> himself to the illegitimate demand of his wife...right??

Again you are wrong.  'Tempting' Nachiketa is not my word: 'pralobhanam' is
the word used by Shankara in that bhashyam. And Yama's intention was
blemishless: he wanted to only test the mumukshu. Nor have I anywhere said
that Kashyapa 'exposed' himself....You will have to show my exact words if
you want to pin me down on that issue.

> While Yama persuaded Nachikta by all means, Kashyapa strongly dissuaded
> Diti by a
>   great sermon.
> >  yama, one jnAni did the right think ultimately (after testing his
> pupil) by revealing the 'mruthyu rahasya' whereas another jnAni, kashyapa
> brahma after all that great lecture to dissuade his wife, finally 'agreed'
> and 'involved' himself to fulfill the illegitimate demand of his wife
> through (in)discrimination..

Again, I can see how frustrated you are in your failure to somehow justify
your juxtaposing the Kashyapa episode with the Yama-Nachiketa case.
'Indiscrimination' is your usage here and you are attempting in vain to make
it appear as if it is mine.  Even if you use that word dozens of times, it
will never prove that I have even slightly hinted at it.  Nor does the
Bhagavatam say anywhere that Kashyapa indiscriminately yielded.

>  - Where is it said that Diti, his other wife, is a Jnani?  Pl. provide
>   the pramana reference.
> >  when you first narrated this episode to prove your point, I think you
> had said this...I remember that you mentioned in that post : diti (another
> jnAni), wife of kashyapa brahma..pls. check it out as I donot have that
> mail with me.

You are wrong on facts.  If you want to prove that it is I who mentioned it,
pl. do some homework and fish out that post and show it. I can assure you
that I have never said that.  It is purely your imagination.

>   - If you have read the entire episode that was presented verse by verse
>    (translation) on this list some months ago, you would not be making
> this
>   completely incorrect remark that the Prajapati 'indiscriminately'
> indulged
>   in maithuna.  The entire episode highlights Prajapati's discrimination
> and
>   not as you have misunderstood.  In fact this discourse is a fine
> example on
>   discrimination.  It contains the Prajapati's own praise of Lord Shiva's
>   vairagyam.
> >  If you interpret this episode literally, it shows that prajapati has
> done only 'lip' service to the vairAgya & finally yielded to his wife to
> meet the demand.

An interpretation of the story will not lead to the above conclusion of
yours.  Only  you are concluding so. None will agree with your conclusion.
  Even though Shankara says it is an 'AkhyAyikaa' in the Kathopanishad, He
never desists from going into the minute details of the whole episode. He
sees Yama, Nachiketas, his father - all as actual persons.  Even if
interpreted 'literally' none would come to blame Kashyapa as you are trying
to do. The teaching of vairagya was meant for Diti and not for Kashyapa who
never proposed.  You are making your erroneous and perverted conclusions to
appear as though I have made them.

>   - For your information, this example was solely given to show that a
>   jnani *can* have maithuna.
> >  I never said jnAni become impotent after realization to prompt you to
> give this example...

Pl. read this post:


where the first ever mention of Kashyapa was made by me.  You can also see
that I never made the mistake of saying 'Diti is a Jnani' which you are
implicating me with.   In that post I replied citing various cases in reply
to this question of yours:

// I'll ask you one simple question since you are
> holding jnAni's individual mind, body etc. close to your chest...tell me
> how can a body of a jnAni without having the strong feeling of an opposite
> sex can indulge in sexual activity?? You take your own example of talking,
> seeing, sitting, listening etc. of a jnAni & extend that to this scenario
> also, what would be  your answer??//

It is obvious that your assumption in the above question is:

A jnani will not have anyone to see as another, other than himself. This
very fundamental possibility is denied by you, as per your understanding of
the Shankara teaching of 'Atyantika samsAra nivRttiH' literally to mean
there will be no jnani/his body/others after enlightenment.  Based on this
understanding, for you a Jnani is incapable of maithuna since there will be
no object for maithuna for a jnani for whom 'ekatvam' is the realization and
nAnAtva has vanished.  This (mis)understanding of yours is confirmed from
the rest of your question:  I had repeatedly pointed out the Bh.Gita verses
on 'pashyan shRNvan, spRshan....etc' that covers the entire gamut of sensory
activity of a Jnani.  And in response to this you posed the above question
by taking up an activity, maithuna, that was not explicitly cited by the
Bh.Gita verse quoted by me.

> BTW, not only this example,  you have taken so many
> instances out of context from rAma, ramaNa maharshi, rAmakrishna parama
> haMsa, shankara bhagavadpAda lives to prove jnAni's ahaMkAra, mamakAra,
> kAma, krOdha etc.

The instances were not taken 'out of context' by me.  They are already there
in a book called 'The Crest Jewel of Yogis' a biography of the Sringeri
Jagadguru Sri Abhinava VidyAteertha Swamiji by a Jnani-Yogi Sri R.M.Umesh.
I only quoted from that book.  Only the Kashyapa and the Veda VyAsa cases
are my additions.  Of course the other householder's case (the late Sri
Venkata Subba Rao, a Jnani who lived in Sringeri and known to be one by none
other than the Jivanmukta Acharya the  earlier Jagadguru of Sringeri) is
also my addition to prove that a Jnani can give birth to offspring.   All
these episodes prove that a Jnani sees others and reacts in various ways.
This was the very impossibility that you assumed which is clear in your
question which prompted me to list these number of cases.  Of course when
the Bh.Gita itself could not prove this to you, what to talk of other
Jnani-s' writings.  If you are interested I can provide the copy of the book
so that you can examine each case and prove that they have been quoted 'out
of context' by showing the correct context in each case.

> This was specifically given in reply to your specific question
> doubting/questioning this possibility: How can a Jnani who has no bhAva of
> 'another' have such feelings with regard to the opposite sex.
> >  My doubt has firm base in shruti & shankara siddhAnta..because shruti
> says: kena kim pashyet etc. ??  and shankara repeatedly insists avidyA
> nivrutti is ahaMkAra nivrutti & result is atyantika abhAva of
> saMsAra..

This is the result of your trying to literally interpret the
shruti/bhashya.  Your very basis is therefore infirm.  No one would come to
the conclusion as you have, including Shankara Himself.  If Atyantika abhAva
of samsara is taught by Shankara the way you have understood, Shankara would
not be talking about jivanmukti.  It is only the satyatvabuddhi nivRtti with
regard to samsara that is meant by shruti/shankara and not the vanishing of
samsara/world. Also, after the fall of  this body there will be no more
birth/samsara for him.  This is what is meant by 'Atyantika samsAra
nivRtti'.  The force the nivRtta samsara has already started will end only
when the death of the body occurs. This also Shankara has explicitly
stated.  All the utterances of the Gita/Sutra/upanishads and the bhashya and
anubhava and yukti will be at stake if your understanding is admitted.

> Whereas you are comfortably telling us jnAni too has
> maithunecche, capable enough to do maithuna that too at the wrong time, he
> shows krOdha sometime, he weeps sometime due to mamakAra etc.  I think you
> have extended your examples by giving one person's example who after
> 'realization' got two children in saMsAra.

You are again refusing to come out of your misunderstanding of all those
cases shown by a Jnani which I have only quoted, after being firmly
convinced of their correctness.  All the above cases have a firm base in the
bhashya itself: 1.4.10 of Br.Up. that I have quoted before several times and
about which you have chosen to be silent each time.

> From this you are floating a
> 'upa siddhAnta' that 'saMnyAsa' is not the must (contrary to your own
> argument in favour of saMnyAsa)to attain brahma jnAna.

Shankaracharya Himself has commented on Gita verses of the 4/5th chapters on
Jnana dawning in householders without taking to sannyasa. I have not argued
in favour of making sannyasa a 'must', even as Shankara has not.  If you are
referring to any particular post of mine, pl. show it to me.  I shall
examine it.  He has in several places said: for such a knower/virakta
sannyasa is the only logical course.  That does not make Him understood as
making formal sannyasa a sine-qua-non for Jnana.  Everyone has to renounce
internally (sanga tyAga) but the external formal renunciation cannot be
stipulated as a must by anyone, including the shAstra.  Of course there is a
view in traditional Advaita Acharyas that even in those cases where it is
seen Jnanam is present without sannyasa, it is to be presumed that sannyasa
has been resorted to in a previous birth.  I have heard about this view from
the words of Swami Paramarthananda.

If there is any new question that we have not so far covered I shall respond
to it.  There is no point in continuing the discussion with the same tenor.


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list