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Sunday, August 09, 2015

Omniscience of Bhagavān and questions on Mahābhārata

On the Lord’s omniscience Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī comments on Bhagavad-Gita 7.26:

kiṁ ca māyāyāḥ svāśraya-vyāmohakatvābhāvād bahiraṅgā māyā | antaraṅgā yoga-māyā ca mama jñānaṁ nāvṛṇotīty āha vedāham iti

(Kṛṣṇa says:) “But My own knowledge is not covered by external māyā or the internal yoga-māyā, since I cannot be bewildered by that to which I give shelter. I know everything.”

The oldest Vaiṣṇava commentator, Śrīdhar Swāmī, comments similarly:

māyāśrayatvān mama | tasyāḥ svāśraya-vyāmohakatvābhāvād iti prasiddham

‘I am the shelter of māyā, and it is celebrated that there is no illusion in the shelter of illusion.”

Śrīmad Bhāgavat 10.87.41 seems to say that even Kṛṣṇa does not know His own limits - na yayur antam anantatayā tvam api. But this is the purport of Śrīdhar Swāmī to that part of that verse:

anantatayā antābhāvena na hi śaśa viṣāṇa jñānaṁ sārvajñaṁ tad aprāptir vā śakti vaibhavaṁ vihanti antatvam evāha -

“If one is ignorant of something that does not exist, like a rabbit’s horns, then that does not detract from his omniscience. And if one fails to find such a non-entity that does not limit his omnipotence.”
This shows what is meant with ‘He does not know His own limits.” Kṛṣṇa appears as Ananta Śeṣa, who has 1,000 heads that constantly glorify…...Himself. Yet they find no end to those glories. This is how the text na yayur antam anantatayā tvam api in 10.87.41 must be seen.


Q – It is said that Karṇa was named so because he was born from Kunti’s ear, the word karṇa meaning ‘ear’.

Advaitadās – “Karṇa being born from Kunti’s ear is a part of the Indonesian version of Mahābhārata only. Karṇa was named so because he cut off his own cover or shield at the request of Indra, not because he was born from Kunti's ear. The story is in the Vana parva of the Mahābhārata, ch.305-306.”

Q – It is sometimes said that when Arjun did tapasya to attain the Paśupat-weapon he defeated Shiva.

Advaitadās – “It is clearly described in all detail in Mahābhārata, Vana Parva, chapters 39 and 163, that Śiva defeated Arjuna instead of the other way around.”

Finally, it is sometimes said that the Rājasūya-sacrifice was held after the Kuruksetra war while it was held long before, when Yudhisthira got Indraprastha.