[Advaita-l] 'Bhokta' broken up

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Mar 14 22:57:28 EDT 2020

Thanks Sudhanshu ji, for the very informative and interesting quotes and
analysis. We have the summing up of these in the Adhyasa Bhashya itself:
तद्यथा — पुत्रभार्यादिषु विकलेषु सकलेषु वा अहमेव विकलः सकलो वेति बाह्य
धर्मानात्मन्यध्यस्यति ; तथा देहधर्मान् ‘स्थूलोऽहं कृशोऽहं गौरोऽहं तिष्ठामि
गच्छामि लङ्घयामि च’ इति ; तथेन्द्रियधर्मान् — ‘मूकः काणः क्लीबो
बधिरोऽन्धोऽहम्’ इति ; तथान्तःकरणधर्मान् कामसङ्कल्पविचिकित्साध्यवसायादीन् ।
एवमहंप्रत्ययिनमशेषस्वप्रचारसाक्षिणि प्रत्यगात्मन्यध्यस्य तं च
प्रत्यगात्मानं सर्वसाक्षिणं तद्विपर्ययेणान्तःकरणादिष्वध्यस्यति ।

यावदयमेव यथोक्तमिममात्मानं न वेत्ति, तावदयं
ब्राह्मानित्यदृष्टिलक्षणमुपाधिमात्मत्वेनोपेत्य अविद्यया
उपाधिधर्मानात्मनो मन्यमानो
ब्रह्मादिस्तम्बपर्यन्तेषु स्थानेषु पुनः पुनरावर्तमानः
अविद्याकामकर्मवशात्संसरति |

The 'antahkarana' dharma-s have been taken as one's own Atman's dharmas due
to adhyasa,  a point you have also stated. Antahkarana comprises of buddhi
too. While talking about all the koshas, including the vijnanamaya, the
adhyasa with that kosha too is to be kept in mind. That is why the
Upanishad itself, at every stage, uses the word Atma, anyo'ntara atmaa

Your point is well taken. Even though the buddhi is karana, and it alone
'does', the jiva, who has the sentience aspect in him, has to be karta
since the buddhi, being insentient, cannot claim 'I am kartaa'.  It is this
adhyasa of the buddhi dharma, kartrutva, in Atman that gets expressed as 'I
am karta.'  Hence, if it is held that jiva alone is the karta and buddhi
cannot be karta, then it would be impossible to separate kartrutva and
bhoktrutva from jiva and enable moksha for the jiva. Thus, by default, one
has to hold that kartrutva is a dharma of buddhi and not the jiva really.
The example of 'the knife cuts' is quite apt here: while it is the knife
that cuts, the jiva, out of adhyasa, thinks and also articulates 'I cut'.
This is the point that Shankara makes in the Adhyasa bhashya itself. Thus,
kartrutva in jiva is aropita and  not svabhavika. We should also remember
that the term jiva is a product of the already-happened adhyasa.

I recall a vakyartha sadas explanation by Sri Mani Dravid Sastry in meeting
an objection of the Dvaitin:  By yukti one can of course place kartrutva on
the karaNa, buddhi, but by no means one can put bhoktrutva on the karaNa,
buddhi or any other, since the element of sentience, I, has to be there in

This element of I, sentience, comes from the Shuddha Atma and gets
reflected in the ahamkaara that clearly belongs to the antahkaraNa as one
of its four constituents.  It is this ahamkara element that is responsible
to claiming I am karta.  All this show that kartrutva and bhoktrutva
strictly belong to the anatma, pancha koshas. The jiva, when seen as a
samsari, is inalienable from the pancha koshas. Only when viveka,
discrimination, is attempted we separate the jiva from the koshas/kosha
dharmas in order to exonerate him as the Pure Atman, non-different from

It is with a view to establish kartrtuva in the jiva ( a product of
adhyasa) that the kartradhikarana comes up and not to pin the Atma/jiva
with kartrutva per se.

warm regards

On Sun, Mar 15, 2020 at 12:16 AM Sudhanshu Shekhar <sudhanshu.iitk at gmail.com>

> Hari Om V Subramanian ji,
> The literal meaning of kshetra and kshetrajna are explained in Gita 13th
> chapter. The constituents of kshetra are enumerated in 13.5 and 13.6.
> Kshetrajna is stated as synonym of jiva, purusha in 13.20 bhashya.
> Kshetrajna i.e. jiva is actually Ishwara is a subject matter of
> Brahma-vidya. It is not an obvious knowledge. It is gained from Upanishad
> and realized through sAdhana.
> Question arises as to who is kartA/ bhoktA i.e. who has kartritva/
> bhoktritva.

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