[Advaita-l] "Adharma" of a Jnani - the instances of Miracles (was Re: Is morality necessary for liberation?)

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 31 16:39:15 CST 2014

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com wrote:

> Hari Om, Sureshji,
> On Sun, Jan 26, 2014 at 11:50 AM, Suresh <mayavaadi at yahoo.com> wrote:
> >
> > So morality, as far as I can see, has utilitarian value - the same value
> > that 'dream water' has for a dreamer. But does it have any salvific value
> > at all?
> Its an interesting question which I had faced in another way, can a
> liberated person (appear to) be immoral.
Jnanis generally adhere to Dharma only. However, there are many cases where a Jnani may perform an act that a common man *perceives* as apparently Adharmic. In every such case, the Jnani has previously or afterwards proven his or her ability to perform miracles - i.e. wilfully act against the laws of nature.
Here are some examples:
Krishna played around with the Gopis.
But he lifted the Govardhana mountain with his little finger.
Agastya ate the animal meat that was offered to him.
But he easily digested the demon that had assumed the form of the meat.
Not to mention his effortlessly drinking up the oceans!
Adi Sankara took up the body of a king to learn the art of carnal love (he later returned to his original body through the power of Yoga).
But he made golden amlas rain from the sky as a blessing to a poor pious lady.
Prashurama killed a lot of Kshatriyas (he even challenged Rama to a duel).
But his curse on Karna turned completely true.

This is an anecdote that I heard when I was a child:
A sage had several disciples. One day, they were invited to the home of a wine trader. When offered wine by the host, the sage drank it. Seeing this, the disciples enjoyed getting drunk with wine.
Sometime later, the sage was invited to the home of a blacksmith. The blacksmith offered the sage some molten iron. The sage drank it up! The disciples were horror-struck when the blacksmith offered them the same drink!
Moral of the story: following a great man means following his/her instructions, not necessarily all their activities.

This is covered in Apastamba Dharma Sutra
"8. Transgression of the law and violence are found amongst the ancient (sages).
9. They committed no sin on account of the greatness of their lustre.
10. A man of later times who seeing their (deeds) follows them, falls."
> Lets see your question though and
> think of the person who wants liberation is immoral and perhaps, by choice.
> Even if the person wasn't immoral by choice and later on succumbed to it,
> he would be choosing preyas/ pleasant over shreyas/ good, to worldly ends.
> That, in itself, goes against viveka and surely, against mumukshutva.
> Without mumukshutva, where's the pursuit of jnAna and without chitta
> shuddhi, where is the place for jnAna then!
> In other words, although no direct salvific value is seen in morality, it
> is what makes up an adhikAri.
> Kind rgds,
> --Praveen R. Bhat
> /* Through what should one know That owing to which all this is known!
> [Br.Up. 4.5.15] */

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