[Advaita-l] Abedha

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Aug 12 12:01:45 EDT 2020

On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 9:42 PM Srinath Vedagarbha via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste,
> However, the quartet of tAmisra, andhatAmisra etc are related to
> hari-dvesha. Whether
> these hells are temporary or not is the subject of the saptAdhikaraNa:
> 3.1.16. Srimad Acharya quotes Mahabharata to show that
> these two hells are permanent, unlike the other 5 main hells:
> rauravo.atha mahAnshchaiva vahnirvaitaraNI tathA |
> kumbhIpAka iti proktAnyanityanarakANi cha |
> tAmisrachAndhatAmisro __ dvau nityau __ samprakIrtitau |
> iti sapta pradhAnAni garIyo hyuttarottaram.h ||

According to the above, 'tAmisra and andhatAmisra' are both nitya.
However, in the Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya, Madhva says:

अग्रे निधाय मणिमन्तमजेयमुग्रं शम्भोर्वराद्विविधशस्त्रमहाभिवृष्ट्या ।
तान् सर्वराक्षसगणान्मणिमत्समेतान् भीमो जघान सपदि प्रवरैः शरौघैः । २२.२९५ ।
अवध्यां स्तान् क्षणेनैव हत्वा भीमो महाबलः ।
रणे क्रोधवशान् सर्वानतिष्ठद्गिरिमूर्द्धनि । २२.२९६ ।
ते हता भीमसेनेन *प्रापुरन्धन्तमोऽखिलाः ।*
हताः सौगन्धिकवने मणिमांश्च पुनः कलौ ।
जातो मिथ्यामतिं *सम्यगास्तीर्याऽपुस्तमोऽधिकम् । २२.२९७ *।

According to the above verses, ManNimAn and many others who were slain by
Bhima in the Saugandhika vana, //All of them// attained andham tamas. In
the next verse he says 'ManimAn was again born in Kaliyuga and spread the
'wrong doctrine' and attained even greater tamas.'

The above verses are rendered with slightly different numbers (312, 313 and
314)  in an edition by Bannanje Govidnacharya with a few commentaries.  The
commentary for 314 says: अत्र हताः तमः प्रापुः (Those slain in the
Saugandhika vana attained tamas (the shloka says andham tamas).  पूर्वं
सौगन्धिकवने हताः क्रोधवशाः , अत्र हतो मणिमांश्च पुनः कलौ जातः, चकारेण
सौगन्धिकवने हताः क्रोधवशाश्च पुनः कलौ जाताः, मिथ्यामतिं मायावादेन
असच्छास्त्रेण सम्यक्प्रसार्य अधिकं तमः आपुः |  [Those who were killed in
the Saugandhikavana, maNimAn who was slain there, all those who were slain
there in that garden, were born again in Kaliyuga, spread widely the
mAyAvAda, the asat shaastra, and attained 'greater tamas.'

Now according to the statement // tAmisrachAndhatAmisro __ dvau nityau __
samprakIrtitau |//  tAmisra and andha tAmisra are 'nitya' naraka.  However,
in the MBTN it is clearly said, both in the mUla and commentary, that //all
those who were slain in the Saugandhikavana by Bhima attained 'andham
tamas'. And //all of them were born again in Kali to spread mayavada and
attain 'greater tamas'.  Thus, 'andham tamas' is not a nitya naraka since
those who went there were born again as humans.  And they attained 'greater

In the Madhva vijaya 3rd sarga there is a description of a demon disguised
as a snake attempting to kill Madhva but was in turn killed by him.  The
Madhva tradition holds that this demon is none other than Maniman:

//  It is a matter of pride and honor for Kaniyooru Matha that, a holy
place near Udupi, Pajaka Kshetra, where shri Madhwacharya was born, is
managed by Kaniyooru Matha. There are a few historical monuments at Pajaka
Kshetra, like foot prints of Shri Madhwacharya, the place where Acharya
Madhwa killed Manimantha who had disguised in the form of a snake,  //

Some questions arise:

How can someone who has attained andham tamas be reborn?

How and when were those reborn in Kali (after having been sent to andham
tamas by Bhima) sent to 'even greater andham tamas' for their propagating

Did MaNimAn take the snake form after having been sent to that greater
andham tamas or before?

Since maNimAn is identified with Shankaracharya, when and by whom and by
what means was he sent to that greater andham tamas?

How does one fit the snake story in this?

Also, the MBTN says that those demonical ones killed by Bhima were jealous
of the genuine devotees of Vishnu and pleased Shiva by their tapas and were
born (to spread the Maayaavaada) and they were born in Brahmin families.
How can asura-s of such taamasic nature as having deserved death in the
hands of Bhima and having gone to andham tamas have the power to choose
their birth? Is not birth due to one's karma?

Also, is there any mention of these, the attainment of andham tamas by
those killed in the Saugandhikavana and their reincarnation in Kali, their
tapas to please Shiva, etc. in the Mahabharata?


> Srimad Acharya quotes kaunTharavya shruti for showing that these hells
> are eternal. Sri Jayatirtha also shows that the RgVeda 7.104.3, wherein
> Indra and Soma are said to ensure that whoever gets into tamas never get
> out
> of it:
> indrAsomA duShkR^ito vabre antaranArambhaNe tamasi pravidhyatAm.h |
> yathA nAtaH __punarekashchenodayAt.h || (Quoted by Dr.BNK Sharma in his
> BPC,Vol 2, pp 406 fn2)

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