[Advaita-l] adhikAra - veda - vedAnta, a query

Vinodh vinodh.iitm at gmail.com
Tue Oct 5 05:56:22 EDT 2021

Namaskaram Sri Bhaskarji,

I agree with you completely on all your points and do not find anything
wrong with them at all. Indeed, without the proper adhikara
(qualifications) doing anything is bound to be fruitless. Can a person be
person be allowed to drive a car if he is blind no matter how much that
person believes they can drive? Of course, this is an extreme example, but
it is not too far from how the shaastras view this issue.  Each person,
according to the karma (actions) and vasanas (likes/dislikes) of their past
lives, has been accorded a certain set of characteristics including their
varna in their present birth which gives them the particular set of
abilities to pursue a certain set of activities successfully but prevent
them from successfully pursuing others. As long as they follow the
shaastras and their svadharma (dharma suited for oneself) prescribed in
them that matches with the particular characteristics of their present
birth (varnashrama), they are bound to be successful in their pursuit of
the all the purusharthas including moksha. However, like a blind man
thinking he can drive a car (or like Arjuna, who having come prepared for a
war, suddenly believes it is better to be a sannyasi), if one deludes
oneself into thinking that somehow a paradharma (dharma suited for someone
else) is better because of one’s desires prompted by the situation one is
in at a particular time, one is bound to be unsuccessful. This only leads
to additional karma and vasanas for which there will be additional births
so that this person’s desires can be satisfied (because it is ultimately
one’s own desires that cause one to take birth again and again to
experience them). Therefore, it is best to consistently follow one’s
svadharma to the best of one’s abilities and avoid other pursuits that are
prompted by one’s desires. This leads to the exhaustion of one’s karma, to
chit-shuddhi, and ultimately to moksha.

At the same time, I am reluctant to criticize the ones who do things
without appropriate adhikara accorded to them by shaastra in order to
overcome this samsara. It is because I feel that they are doing this with
their best intentions in mind and so I do not feel like criticizing them.
Criticizing those who are trying their best (in their view) to overcome
this samsara may not be the best help one could offer them. Instead I feel
that they need understanding and compassion to help progress in right
direction. And certainly, Ishwara, who is karuna-svaroopam (essence of
compassion) will certainly see their intentions and their efforts and help
them go in the right direction and cross the ocean of samsara. Therefore,
when confronted with this issue, instead of criticizing their
well-intentioned efforts to get out of samsara, I prefer to emphasize the
importance of following the shaastric injunctions, which are nothing other
than Ishwara’s prescriptions for the jivas, to the best of one’s abilities.
This is also what our traditional Acharyas recommend for one’s ultimate

Perhaps this is how the traditional matams also view this issue? Probably
that is why they also do not criticize those who are well-intentioned but
bend the rules of the shaastras (even while claiming to be associated with
these matams), and instead just keep emphasizing the importance of
following the shaastras for the ultimate wellbeing of the individual and
the society?

Ultimately, however, as the shaastras reveal, none of this matters in the
most fundamental sense, because the trinity of shaastra (teaching), shaasta
(teacher), and sishya (learner) is itself only a part of the maya that
helps one wake up from this maya. Once awakened even the shaastra is seen
to be only an illusion. Personally, I remind myself of this often and try
not to take things too seriously. So, instead of worrying too much about
what others do or don’t do, I follow with shraddha what my guru has advised
for me as an individual to the best of my abilities and surrender
everything with bhakti to Ishwara.🙂

Om tat sat 🙏

On Tue 5. Oct 2021 at 11:51, Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at hitachi-powergrids.com>

> praNAms Sri Vinod prabhuji
> Hare Krishna
> Any deviation from the prescriptions of the shaastras are only deviations.
> Continuing along such a path of deviation is certainly not what the ancient
> seers had in mind when prescribing the varnashrama dharma in the best
> interest of each individual and the welfare of the society as a whole.
> Therefore, definitively, those who have shraddha in the system must make
> effort toward following the system rather than to continue deviating from
> it.
> Ø    Deviations, though not intentional,  seems in their view point
> flexibility in interpretation of shAstra vidhi is acceptable according to
> socio-biological environment.  And importantly for these deviations, again
> very conspicuous at the present time,  not getting any attention and
> criticism from the traditional mutt authorities though openly these
> institutions claiming affiliation with the traditional mutts.
> To conclude through any reasoning of our limited intelligence that this
> deviation is somehow better given the current times is to think that we
> know better than the wise seers. Such a path is certainly bound to push one
> deeper into samsara by aggravating one’s ahamkara rather than to liberate
> one from samsara by destroying the ahamkara.
> Ø     I completely agree with this.  If I am right, somewhere HH Sri
> Chandrashekharendra Saraswati categorically rejected the request to reform
> the injunctions in shAstra as per current situation.
> As mentioned earlier, the relaxations are allowed by the sampradayavids
> (knowers of the tradition) out of compassion for the people in the current
> times who struggle to follow even a little of the rules of the shaastras,
> which are truly meant for the liberation of the jivas that have fallen into
> the ocean of samsara. By allowing these relaxations, those who struggle to
> follow even a litte get the confidence that they can indeed follow some of
> it. This must then be used in the right direction by putting more effort
> into following more of the shaastras. This is the way to obtain
> chit-shuddhi (purification of mind) and through that brahma-saakshaatkaara
> (direct experience of brahman), which is liberation (mukti) from the misery
> of the cycle of birth and death (samsara).
>    - The relaxation should be given to the sincere mumukshu / jignAsu-s
>    if it is really inevitable, but has to be on case to case basis at
>    individual level within his svadharma.  The general relaxation with regard
>    to the dictum of shAstra I don’t think is acceptable.  Moreover, the
>    relaxation should be in respect to following his sva-dharma as said above,
>    if he is not following cent per cent of his svadharma due to really some
>    unavoidable circumstances, out of compassion his / her guru can grant this
>    relaxation after the due assessment.  But what is happening today is
>    something frightful, practices prevalent today,  cannot be labelled as
>    relaxation but it is clear violation of the shAstra vidhi.  For example,
>    for stree and non-dvijas, as per shAstra vidhi no adhikAra to do veda /
>    shAstra adhyayana since they can get mOksha through some other easy means
>    like smruti, purANa, devatArchana with bhakti etc.  Relaxation with regard
>    to this sAdhana within the boundaries as per the guidance from guru is
>    acceptable but if the stree, non-dvija-s (no matter how shraddhAvAn they
>    are!!) requesting for vedAdhyayana, Ashrama sannyasa etc.  and by seeing
>    the eagerness / sincereness of these aspirants if they granted as per their
>    wish then it is clear violation of shAstra vidhi.  When shAstra vidhi
>    already there for the mOksha sAdhana for these type of aspirants why to
>    deviate from that and opting for the new and prohibited means??  Can we
>    take decision on this on our own??  Or for that matter can a shrOtreeya
>    guru suggest anything that clearly goes against shAstra just to accommodate
>    his very sincere shishya who is opting the means which is clearly a
>    violation of shAstra vidhi??  Don’t we have the clear cut declaration by
>    bhAshyakAra that for the dharma jignAsa ONLY the shAstra is the means??
>    ayaM dharmOyamadharmamiti shAstraM eva vijnAne kAraNaM……tEna na
>    shAstrAdrute dharmAdharma vishayaM vijnAnaM kasyachidasti.  Clarifies
>    bhagavatpAda in sUtra bhAshya.
>    - This is how I want to look at the current situation, kindly correct
>    me if I said anything wrong.
> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
> bhaskar

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