[Advaita-l] More about Janaka
Jaldhar H. Vyas via Advaita-l
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Tue Jul 15 01:24:17 CDT 2014
[was Re: [Advaita-l] Jiiva at Satya Loka - Will He or Won't He come back]
On Mon, 23 Jun 2014, Srikrishna Ghadiyaram wrote:
> How did you conclude that that Janaka and this Janaka are the same? What
> evidence is advanced for that, by anyone?
So after further research I must say they are not the same. According to
Bhagavata Purana 9.13, the Janaka mentioned in the upanishad was the son
of Nimi the son of Ikshvaku. That Nimi after an altercation with Maharshi
Vasishtha became bodiless. As Janaka was born while his father was in
that condition, he (and his kingdom) became known as Vaideha and Mithila.
That he came of the lineage of Ikshvaku is significant because the Krshna
Bhagavan says (Gita 4.1) that formerly the teachings of the Gita had been
passed down from Vivasvat to Manu to Ikshvaku. The Suryavamsha of whom
the Kurus including Arjuna are descendents are also of the lineage of
Ikshvaku through a different line.
The Janaka who was the father of Sita ma was also known as Shiradhvaja.
The Ramayana says his purohit was not Yajnavalkya but called Shatananda.
As well as under the Gita shloka 3.20, Shankaracharya discusses the case
of Janaka in the introduction to the bhashya on Samkhyayoga (adhyaya 2.)
I shall quote from the English translation of A. Mahadeva Shastri. Please
see Advaita Sharada for the original.
"First suppose that Janaka and the rest were engaged in karma though they
knew the truth. Then, they did so lest people at large might go astray;
whereas they were sincerely convinced that 'the senses'--but not the
self--were engaged in the objects. (See 3.28) Thus they reached
perfection by jnana alone. Though the stage of renunciation had been
reached, they attained perfection without abandoning works; that is to
say, they did not formally renounce works.
Secondly, suppose that they had not known the truth. Then the passages
should be interpreted thus;--By means of work dedicated to Ishvara, Janaka
and the rest attained perfection,-- 'perfection' meaning here either
'purity of mind' or 'the dawn of true knowledge.'"
Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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