Agnirmanthan                                   THE FRUIT OF FRICTION



Regarding the explanation of Absolute in relative terms, there are only two possibilities.

1.Being silent

2.Using paradoxical language


q       yato vaco nivartante apräpya manasä saha

q       mauna vyakhyä praka ita parabrahma tattvam

q       mükaswadanavat

These statements indicate the first kind of situation.

And for the second, that is explanation of Absolute in paradoxical terms our legends are filled with numerous examples. For instance

q       tadejati tannaijati taddüre tadvantike

q       yasyämatam tasya matam matam yasya na veda sah

avijñäto vijänatäm vijñätamavijanata-


If rationality is like mother earth then this paradoxical language is like äkaša.

Mother earth as dharitrï obeys certain laws and compels all of its inhabitants to obey their respective laws too. But äkäša is different. It doesn’t obey any law for itself; but gives scope {avakaša} to all others to obey laws.


Similarly these paradoxical statements have given much scope to many theologies which some may describe as ‘contradictory’ and others may explain as ‘complementary’.

But for the heart, which can feel the essence of these teachings, they are simply elevating.

Only such a heart,

with its Universal vision

can proclaim

ekam sat viprä bahudhä vadanti




This upani·ad is the first of the principal upani·ads.

This is the only one from the samhita part of Vedas.

It is difficult to say if this upani·ad of 18 manträs is of karmapradhäna or jñänapradhäna.

Let us discuss the status of each manträ:

1.      ïšäväsyamida- sarvam: This manträ is sädhana pradhäna(journey from  prav÷ tti to niv÷ itti)

2.      kurvanneveha karmani: This is strictly prav÷ tti pradhäna

3.      asuryä näma te lokäh: It is difficult to say. This manträ’s status depends on the meaning of the word ‘ätmahanah’. It is safe to opine that it is sädhana pradhäna.

4.      anejadeka- manaso javïyo: This manträ eulogizes paramätma(somewhat His taastha lak·ana). So niv÷ tti pradhäna.

5.      tadejati tannaijati: Paradoxical definition of His swarüpa lak·ana. A purely niv÷ tti pradhäna manträ.

6.      yastu sarvänI bhütäni:

7.      yasmin sarvänibhütäni: Describes the qualities of a self-realized soul. niv÷ tti pradhäna.

8.      sa paryagäcchukram: The first of the two manträs in prose in this upani·ad. Praises paramätmä’s swarüpa lak·anä. a niv÷ tti pradhäna manträ.

9.      andhantamah pravišanti:

10.  anyadevähurvidyayä:

11.  vidyä-  cävidyä-  ca: Three mind-blowing manträs. They’ve been controversial throughout the ages. Their status depends on the meaning given to the word ‘am÷ ta masnute’. If the ‘am÷ tam’ here indicates the absolute then these manträs are sädhana pradhäna. Instead, if it indicates relative ‘nectar’ of  heavens then it is karma pradhäna.

12.  andhantamah pravišanti:

13.  anyadevähuh sambhavät:

14.  sambhüti- ca vinäša- ca: Almost similar to the above manträs. But these manträs are more karma pradhäna.  



Being natural is the essence of niv÷tti way, and being practical is the essence of prav÷tti way.

I am unable to find out the relation between these two.

Actually this problem can  be reduced to the relation between gunätïta and gunamaya.

Now my doubt is whether it is necessary to be more sättvik to become perfectly dhärmik.

This in turn raises the doubt about the relation between rägadve·äh and trigunäh.

Because in gïtä it is clearly told that there is nothing wrong with prak÷ti but only with rägadve·äh.

sad÷ša-  ce·ate svasyäh prak÷ter jñänavänapi

pral÷ti-  yänti bhütäni nigrahah ki- kari·yati

Till now it is OK. But here it is also told that,

käma e·a krodha e·a rajoguna samudbhavah

mahäšano mahäpäpmä vuddyenamiha vairinam

prak÷ti or dharma will be untainted if it is devoid of rägadve·a. So, it shows that every dharmik in order to be rägadve·a rahita should not contain any rajoguna or tamoguna but become totally sättvik.

Then what about Dharmavyadha? Is he sättvik or tämasik?

If he is sättvik then how could he perform such cruel deeds?

If he is tämasik then it is proved that gunäh have nothing to do with rägadve·äh

Because Dharmavyadha can not be considered as a slave of rägadve·äh.


An attempt to clear the doubt [9/4/2000]

Being natural is not niv÷tti. It is being ‘supernatural’. Since nature is gunamaya, niv÷tti is gunätïta.

Even then this doubt regarding sättvikata and dhärmikata, or in other words regarding rajoguna and rägadve·a arises.

Answer: To be dhärmik, one need not be totally sättvik. Because it is the different combination of trigunäh that makes an individual different from others. Or an individual’s identity is a peculiar combination of trigunäh confined to him alone.

So… true dharma or prak÷ti is the correct ‘equation’ of trigunäh for that particular individual.

A rägadve·a rahita need not be sättvik.

Arjuna, after gïta was devoid of rägadve·äh. Still he was räjasik.

Then what about Gita’s proclamation: käma e·a krodha e·a rajoguna samudbhavah ?

For a human being, individuality is of two kinds. One is identity and the other is ego.

Identity is natural. This can not be changed at any cost.

Ego is unnatural. This depends on how he makes use of his freedom. It has the capacity to hide the real identity and lead one’s life.

So, for a human being, even trigunäh are of two kinds. One denoting one’s identity [prak÷ti], and the other, helping one’s ego [aha-kära].

If a lion kills an animal, which is a rajasik act, we don’t say that he has a lot of dve·a in him.

A lion’s rajoguna is his identity.

But in Gita, in Arjuna vishada yoga, Arjuna weeps not just because he is sättvik, but because of his räga, which is the outcome of ‘ego’[aha-kära]. That is why Lord says…

yadaha-käramäšritya na yotsya iti manuyate

mithyai·a vyavasäyaste prak÷tistvä- niyok·yati


Now, coming back to our trigunäh, the rajoguna explained as the cause of käma and krodha is the guna related to one’s ego. It is to be controlled and shunned off at any cost.

päpmäna- prajahihyena- jñäna vijñäna näsana-

But the guna related to one’s identity need not be and should not be changed.

sad÷ša- ce·ate…


It shows that in the word gunätïta, the gunas are ego-related.

In dhärmikatä these ego-related gunäh are controlled and regulated so that they do not go against Universal law, that is Universal nature. And in svarüpänubhüti one is totally detached from them.

dharma: Individual is harmonious with the Universe.

jñäna: Individual is merged in the Universe.


IN THIS WAY dharma LEADS TO jñäna