nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 14 12:22:19 CST 2003

The pancha kosha contd.

207. The fifth sheath is aanandamaya kosha or the blissful sheath, the
reflection of the real blissfulness. But it is reflected in the tamas
quality of maayaa and one feels it only under favorable circumstances. It
comes from good actions and appears without any effort on one’s own part.

208. The blissful sheath can be seen only in sushupti. In dream and in the
wakeful state you can get a glimpse of it when you meet with favorable
conditions or the fulfillment of desires.

209. This is not the atman because it has something to depend on while the
atman shines in its own glory. Then also it is the transformation of nature.
It requires good actions to be blissful so it has a cause. Therefore it is
not the atman. It remains with the body which is the result of the gunas.
Therefore it is not the atman.

210.  If you can do away with these five sheaths through the instructions of
the scriptures, what remains? The witness, the consciousness – that is the
Atman – self-effulgent, free from the five sheaths, the witness of the three
states, never changing, pure, ever blissful. Know this as your own self.
That is the Atman.

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>From ADVAITA-L at LISTS.ADVAITA-VEDANTA.ORG Tue Feb 18 12:53:25 2003
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Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 12:53:25 -0500
Reply-To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
From: "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM>
Subject: Re: Statements in our shastras
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My take on this subject.  excerpts have been taken from several other
posts in this thread:

Ravi Chandrashekhar wrote:

> I picked up some English translations of quotes from our shastras; do
> they actualy say this or are these mistranslations:
> Apastamba DharmaSutra (2:8)
> "As it is a sin to touch a Candala, so is it to speak to or to look at
> one"
> Gautama DharmaSutra (12: 1-6) "If a Sudra uses abusive language or
> physical violence against twice born people, the part of his body used
> for the crime should be chopped off. If he has sex with an Arya woman,
> his penis should be cut off and all his property confiscated, if the
> women had a guardian, then, in addition to the above, he shall be
> executed. And if he listens in on a Vedic recitation, his ears shall be
> filled with molten tin or lac, if he repeats it, his tongue shall be cut
> off, if he commits it to memory, his body shall be split asunder."

No our shastras do actually say such things.  They are not mistranslations
except for minor quibbles such as the metal involved is lead not tin.

Historians will react to  such things in one way.  Politicians in another.
But what should we as followers of Dharma do?  are we required to pour led
in peoples ears? if not, why not since this is plainly the wish of Rshi
Apastambha?  Here is one possible solution:

Malolan Cadambi wrote:

> Here is one interesting incident which you might want to read about:

the Shrivaishnava viewpoint as explained by Mani makes sense from their
point of view because they hold God to be the supreme authority.  So his
wishes trump the shastras.  From a Smarta point of view the Vedas being
apaurusheya are authoritative in themselves (as are the shastras based
upon them.) and no man or God has the power to alter the dharma based upon

Instead the authority to interpret is given to "tradition" as a whole
(hence the name Smarta)  To determine  the proper action, we need to look
at what was actually done on a historical basis.

FACT: From ancient times to the present day, the non-dvijas have not been
taught the Vedas.

FACT: There is no historical evidence that anyone ever had lead poured
into their ears for illegitimately listening to the Vedas.

FACT: Shankaracharya while explaining the apashudraprakarana of the
Brahmasutras upholds the idea that Shudras may not learn the Vedas but
says they can become jnanis anyway.  He gives the examples of Vidura and
Dharmavyadha from the Mahabharat as examples.

By examining these and other facts can we determine the proper course of
action.  As Malolan said, reason has to be employed here.  We cannot
simply dump our responsibilities into the lap of a book or sage, or deity.

Does this mean we can simply do whatever we want?  After all a brief
examination of the scene will tell us e.g. not many people do
sandhyavandana these days.  May the teachings of Rshi Apastambha onthis
topic be ignored also?  No.  Because the necessity of sandhyavandana isn't
just a pet theory of Rshi Apastambha but the consensus of all the sages
and acharyas upto the present day.  Furthermore those who don't do it have
not carefully examined the facts and determined they don't need to but are
simply ignorant and lazy which disqualifies them as judges of Dharma.

Like any successful civilization ours contains a certain amount of
contradiction.  Want support for dictatorship?  the arthashastra advises a
king to ruthlessly eliminate any competitors to his power.  But it also
says the purpose of a king is to "prevent the big fish from swallowing the
little fish" which could be interpreted in a more democratic way.  The
staus of women?  Some shastras say e.g. to increase their vairagya men
should think of them as nasty bags of blood, filth and bones.  While
others they should considered the embodiment of Lakshmi Devi and
misfortune befalls a home were the women are mistreated.  Or how about
Karma versus Jnana?  Advaita Vedanta becomes a lot more convoluted when
taking Karma into account.  Shankaracharya obviously prefers Jnana and I
bet he wished he could just make those parts of the shastras that seem to
promote Karma go away but to his credit he doesn't censor.  I believe this
attitude is why the Vedic religion has survived for so long when others of
similiar antiquity have not.

One last point:

> Ravi Chandrashekhar wrote:
> Vasista DharmaSutra (3:1)
> "Brahmins who are not learned, do not teach, or who do not maintain the
> sacred fires become equal to sudras."

I do not put this quote in the same class as the others.  It is a simple
statement of fact.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>
It's a girl! See the pictures -

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