[Advaita-l] Eka jiva vada and nana jiva vada.

vinayaka ns brahmavadin at gmail.com
Wed Mar 20 23:31:43 CDT 2013

On Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 8:04 PM, Srikanta Narayanaswami <
srikanta.narayanaswami at yahoo.com> wrote:

> I want to know in which sutra and the bashya in BSB,Sri.Shankara discusses
> on the "Eka jiva vada and the nana jiva vada"?The meemamsakas donot
> subsribe to "Eka jiva vada"but to "Nana jiva vada"otherwise their theory of
> Karma cannot fit their concept.
> N.Srikanta.

Here are some quotes for your quiery:

BSB 3.2.38. From him (i.e. the Lord, there comes) the fruit (of works); for
(that only) is possible.

We now turn to another characteristic belonging to Brahman, in so far as it
is connected with the every-day world in which we distinguish a ruler and
the objects of his rule.--There arises the question whether the threefold
fruits of action which are enjoyed by the creatures in their
samsâra-state--viz. pain, pleasure, and a mixture of the two-spring from
the actions themselves or come from the Lord.--The Sûtrakâra embraces the
latter alternative, on the ground that it is the only possible one. The
ruler of all who by turns provides for the creation, the subsistence and
the reabsorption of the world, and who knows all the differences of place
and time, he alone is capable of effecting all those modes of requital
which are in accordance with the merit of the agents; actions, on the other
hand, which pass away as soon as done, have no power of bringing about
results at some future time, since nothing can spring from nothing. Nor can
the latter difficulty be overcome by the assumption that an action passes
away only after having produced some result according to its nature, and
that the agent will at some future time enjoy that fruit of his action. For
the fruit of an action is such only through being enjoyed by the agent;
only at the moment when some pleasure or some pain--the result of some
deed--is enjoyed by the doer of the deed people understand it to be a
'fruit.'--*Nor in the second place. have we the right to assume that the
fruit will, at some future time, spring from the so-called supersensuous
principle (apûrva), which itself is supposed to be a direct result of the
deed; for that so-called supersensuous principle is something of
non-intelligent nature, comparable to a piece of wood or metal, and as such
cannot act unless moved by some intelligent being*. And moreover there is
no proof whatever for the existence of such an apûrva.--But is it not
proved by the fact that deeds are actually requited?--By no means, we
reply; for the fact of requital may be accounted for by the action of the

39. And because it is declared by scripture.

We assume the Lord to bring about the fruits of actions, not only because
no other assumption appears plausible, but also because we have direct
scriptural statement on our side. Cp. e.g. the passage, 'This indeed is the
great, unborn Self, the giver of food, the giver of wealth' (Bri. Up. IV.
4, 24).

40. Gaimini (thinks) for the same reasons that religious merit (is what
brings about the fruits of actions).

Gaimini bases a contrary opinion on the reasons specified in the last two
Sûtras. Scripture, he argues, proclaims injunctions such as the following
one, 'He who is desirous of the heavenly world is to sacrifice.' Now as it
is admitted that such scriptural injunctions must have an object, we
conclude that the sacrifice itself brings about the result, i.e. the
obtainment of the heavenly world; for if this were not so, nobody would
perform sacrifices and thereby scriptural injunctions would be rendered
purposeless.--But has not this view of the matter already been abandoned,
on the ground that an action which passes away as soon as done can have no
fruit?--We must, the reply is, follow the authority of scripture and assume
such a connexion of action and fruit as agrees with scriptural statement.
Now it is clear that a deed cannot effect a result at some future time,
unless, before passing away, it gives birth to some unseen result; we
therefore assume that there exists some result which we call apûrva, and
which may be viewed either as an imperceptible after-state of the deed or
as an imperceptible antecedent state of the result. This hypothesis removes
all difficulties, while on the other hand it is impossible that the Lord
should effect the results of actions. For in the first place, one uniform
cause cannot be made to account for a great variety of effects; in the
second place, the Lord would have to be taxed with partiality and cruelty;
and in the third place, if the deed itself did not bring about its own
fruit, it would be useless to perform it at all.--For all these reasons the
result springs from the deed only, whether meritorious or non-meritorious.

41. Bâdârayana, however, thinks the former (i.e. the Lord, to be the cause
of the fruits of action), since he is designated as the cause (of the
actions themselves).

The teacher Bâdârayana thinks that the previously-mentioned Lord is the
cause of the fruits of action. The word 'however' sets aside the view of
the fruit being produced either by the mere deed or the mere apûrva.--The
final conclusion then is that the fruits come from the Lord acting with a
view to the deeds done by the souls, or, if it be so preferred, with a view
to the apûrva springing from the deeds. This view is proved by the
circumstance of scripture representing the Lord not only as the giver of
fruits but also as the causal agent with reference to all actions whether
good or evil. Compare the passage, Kau. Up. III, 8, 'He makes him whom he
wishes to lead up from these worlds do a good deed; and the same makes him
whom he wishes to lead down from these worlds do a bad deed.' The same is
said in the Bhagavadgîtâ (VII, 21), 'Whichever divine form a devotee wishes
to worship with faith, to that form I render his faith steady. Holding that
faith he strives to propitiate the deity and obtains from it the benefits
he desires, as ordained by me.'

*All Vedânta-texts moreover declare that the Lord is the only cause of all
creation. And his creating all creatures in forms and conditions
corresponding to--and retributive of--their former deeds, is just what
entitles us to call the Lord the cause of all fruits of actions. *And as
the Lord has regard to the merit and demerit of the souls, the objections
raised above--as to one uniform cause being inadequate to the production of
various effects, &c.--are without any foundation.

brihadAraNyaka manta & bhAshya:

"Verily, under the mighty rule of this Imperishable, O Gargi,
the sun and moon are held in their respective positions. Under
the mighty rule of this Imperishable, O Gargi, heaven and earth
are held in their respective positions. Under the mighty rule of
this Imperishable, O Gargi, moments, muhurtas (about forty—
eight minutes), days and nights, fortnights, months, seasons and
years are held in their respective positions. Under the mighty
rule of this Imperishable, O Gargi, some rivers flow eastward
from the white mountains, others flowing westward continue in
that direction and still others keep to their respective courses.
Under the mighty rule of this Imperishable, O Gargi, men
praise those who give, the gods depend upon the sacrificer and
the Manes upon the Darvi offering.

Selected portion of the shAnakara bhAshya:

Moreover, even the learned men praise those that give gold etc., even at a
personal sacrifice. Now the conjunction and disjunction of gifts, their
donors and their recipients are seen to take place before our eyes in this
very life. But the subsequent recombination (of the donor and the fruit of
his gift) is a matter we do not directly see. Still people praise the
charitable, for they observe on other evidence that those that give are
rewarded. *This would be impossible were there no Ruler who, knowing the
various results of actions, brought about this union of the giver and the
reward, for the act of giving obviously perishes then and there. Therefore,
there must be someone who connects the givers with the results of their

Best Wishes,


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