[Advaita-l] re 8/24

Ramesh Badisa badisa55 at hotmail.com
Thu Jan 22 15:32:14 CST 2004


I have the following opinion about 8/24, and the apparent clash. There is no 
clash in the Gita slokas, as we all know. Therefore the term, 'apparent 
clash' is mentioned here.

A person who has divine knowledge (brahma gyan) will attain sadyo mukti 
(immediate salvation), attaining divine at once.

Other spiritual sadhakas who are able to annihilate the karma to zero by 
following niskama karma, bhakti etc  methods, if they die before attaining 
divine experience, then they will tread 8/24 path. This is called graduall 
salvation path or path of krama mukti. These sadhakas do not born again in 
the mundane world. Because their karma is zero. But they also can not attain 
the divine immediately by sadhyo mukti as they died before achieving divine 
experience. Thererfore, the souls of these sadhakas will tread 8/24 krama 
mukti path (gradual salvation). As you all know, the various terms in 8/24, 
like agni, jyoti, etc, are nothing but the names of various presiding 
deities in the path (according to Sri Shankara and Ramanuja). The final 
deity/god in this path is Lord Brahma. As he is not an absolute divine, we 
are not concerned here to know if he is a chatur muk brahma or some other 
brahma. After reaching this abode, the above souls will get a final li 
beration teaching from Lord Brahma. Mere getting this knowledge may not help 
attaining of divine for final salvation. Therefore, these souls have to 
experience their oneness with divine by meditation (this is my belief). When 
the final pralaya comes, these souls, along with the ruler of this abode, 
will attain the divine (Brahma sutras [4th chapter], Chandogya Upanishad, 
Mundaka Upanishad). This is absolute salvation. Upto this, every body knows.

But we have in 8/16, Lord Krishna saying that attainment upto Brahma Lok is 
subjected to return to mundane world. According to this rule, the above 
souls at Brahma Lok should also return to the earth or else where in some 
form. This is the apparent clash. I understood it in the following way:

  There are many different types of people who aim various lokas for the 
purpose of heavenly enjoyments. These people, when on earth, do not attempt 
to know who they are, and what relation do they have with divine. They 
simply assume by defalut that all humans have to born invariably every time 
forever. Therefore, they think that if they had to die and born again and 
again, why not to go to heavens and enjoy and come back. For this purpose, 
they do various karmic activities with the sense of doer ship, without 
knowing the real intensions of such activities. As all humans are not same 
with respective to karmic loads on them, it is natural that their tendencies 
differ a lot. Hence they worship various deities to reach heavens or some 
materialistic gains. It is also said in Gita 9/25, that those who worship 
various deities, petrus or ghost, will attain their respective lokas 
temperarily. On the same reason, those, who worship gods of higher caliber, 
like Lord Brahma (in their view chaturmuk brahma, or some other god), they 
will go to Brahma Lok. It is important to know, that aiming to various lokas 
does not mean that the souls will visit one loka and then go to another 
loka. They will only go to one loka. Which soul will go to which loka will 
depend upon the total temperaments, arising out of their activities and 
their aiming. At any rate, these souls after a while at these lokas, will 
return to the mundane world.

Now, see the souls of spritual sadhakas (with out divine knowledge) are at 
Brahma lok. Similarly, the souls of materistic gains or heavenly enjoyments 
are also at Brahma lok (and elsewhere also). Then, how to differenciate 
them, and impart the final liberation teaching at Brahma Lok? It is the 
"intension" of the souls which differenciates them. For example, a person 
while on earth, did lot of niskama karma etc. His purpose is not for any 
worldly gains, but to attain divine. Thus, to know the intensions, at one 
point, the deity will ask the souls who they are and what they want.

Those souls (from enjoying type people) fail to answer for salvation, will 
stay there for a while, and return. On the other hand, the souls of 
spiritual sadhakas will give the correct answer, and hence will get the 
final liberation teaching for divine realization. The bottom line is that it 
is the intension that makes all the difference. The Gita sloka 8/16 applies 
to the souls of enjoying type even at Brahma Lok. This sloka does not apply 
to souls of spiritual sadhakas. Hence there is no clash at all. I am open 
for constructive criticism.



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