[Advaita-l] Asuras and Dharma

Santosh Rao itswhateva at gmail.com
Thu Jan 7 14:05:55 CST 2016

Thank you, jaldhar, for your informative answers ad always.

On Dec 22, 2015 1:56 AM, "Jaldhar H. Vyas via Advaita-l" <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> On Fri, 20 Nov 2015, Santosh Rao via Advaita-l wrote:
> Namaskara,
>> In the shastras we read about how some asuras were given knowledge by
>> certain preceptors, for example, shukra is known to have been the guru of
>> the asuras, while brighu was the preceptor of the devas.
> Brhaspati as per your correction.
>> My question is, what exactly were these asuras learning? Was it the Vedas,
>> or some other type of knowledge? If it was the Vedas, doesn't that mean
>> there was adhikara for that to take place to begin with? How was that
>> defined?  If there was adhikara, then why would the lord have to incarnate
>> to mislead them with a false doctrine (buddha), instead of correcting them
>> in their errors?
> It is Vedas.  The Devas and Asuras are half-brothers being the children of
> Kashyapa Prajapati by his two wives Diti and Aditi.  So they have the same
> adhikara. It is what they do with it which separates them.  The names of
> the mothers give a clue.  Diti means finitude.  Aditi is its opposite e.g.
> infinity.  So the problem with the Daityas is not necessarily that they
> don't know dharma (there have been some virtuous ones such as Prahlad,
> Baliraja, Vibhishana etc.) but they do not put it to proper ends. The
> example of Indra and Virochana from Chhandogyopanishad has already been
> mentioned.  Another is Ravana who was a great Shivabhakta but on acquiring
> siddhis became drunk with power.
> In the Shatapathabrahmana of the shuklayajurveda there is a meditation on
> Prajapati as the year and the devas and asuras as days and nights which
> alternate in succession but neither prevailing over the other.
> These two sets of concepts, light and darkness, finity and infinity are
> brought together in Ishopanishad which also belongs to shuklayajurvda. In
> (rk 3) the worlds won by karma are called asurya which means asura because
> they ar finite and limited hence.  The oposite is path symbolized by the
> sun (rk 15.) Sun is surya and aditya.
> I also read somewhere that the carvaka atheistic philosophy has it's
>> origins with rishi brhispathi....is this true? If so, was it's purpose to
>> mislead a certain group of people similar to what we are taught about
>> buddhism? Sorry if this is offtopic, I've been curious about it for a
>> while.
> In the arthashastra of Kautilya the name of Brhaspati is given as a
> founder of that vidya and same in the Kamasutra I think.  So it may just be
> that Brhaspati is associated with "worldly" pursuits of all kinds not
> necessarily just heretical ones.
> Another possibility is that it is just a big joke.  Atheists may have
> wanted to ridicule astikas by pretending that the origin of their
> philosophy is from the guru of the very Gods their opponents believed in.
> --
> Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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