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follow-up on "bandhus&jantus"

From: sudarshan (
Date: Mon Jul 13 1998 - 09:40:33 PDT

Dear friends,
Two interesting questions on "bandhus & jantus" were posed by some members
to me privately. I have their permission to discuss it on the

1) Why can't a jantu get enlightened by revelations by divine grace and 
get the knowledge of his/her/it being a "cosmic orphan" and there are
where great atmas are born-realised (eg. Sri Sukha Brahmam, the holy son of
Sage Vyasa, hastAmalakar, disciple of Srimad Sankaracharya). Ofcourse Swami

Desikan and other Acharyas also didn't preach this wisdom after getting 
forsaken by their bandhus. Why should the jantu be forsaken by his bandhus 
before this wisdom shines in him/her/it ?

2) What is exactly is meant by the phrase "transcending the limitations of
Time and Space" in the verse from the Gita you translate as:

(Ch.6.44): purvAbyAsEna tEnaiva hiyathE hyavashO-api sa-ha I
           jijnyA-surapi yOgasya shabda-brahmAti-varta thE II
(By the power of his earlier efforts, he is carried forward relentlessly,
and even against his own will, until he reaches a state where he transcends
"sabda-brahmhan" ( "prakriti" or Matter with all its concomitant
limitations of Time and Space)

Answer to Question 1:

The forsaking of "bandhu-s" is not to be taken literally although in the
case of the "pUrAnic" episodes involving Gajendra, Vibeeshana or Draupadi
there was clearly a physical "un-binding" or unwinding of "bandham" between
kin. In the lives of great ones like the Buddha, Sankara and RamanujachArya
too there was a clear effort on their part to untie themselves from the
shackles of worldly kinship and "bandhus".It preceded and hastened their
date with "brahmic" destiny, isn't it?

I believe there is thus abundant material, evidence, "pramANam" or
"purAnic" precedent to suggest that "jantus be (and are indeed) forsaken by
bandhus before "brahmic" wisdom or the sense of Universal "bandhu-hood"
shines (forth)"!

"kArpannyam" --- the sense of "cosmic" desolation or helplessness ---
naturally sets in a man when he loses "herd instinct", the identification
with kin. Take away "bandhus" and Man, Animal or any "jantu" becomes
instantly an "existential cipher". I explained this at length in one of the

Disaffiliation from "bandhus" need not be in the literal/physical sense. I
concede the point. Draupadi after her ordeal continued to remain, after
all, the loyal spouse of the Pandavas. But it is doubtful if she ever
thought of them again as her "bandhus" in a living sense! It is highly
doubtful too, I think, if she, traumatized as she certainly was, could ever
have regarded anyone else but Lord Krishna as the true "bandhu"!

But the point I was trying to drive home was simply this:

From the "purANic" episodes, from the way the "AchAryA-s" expound them and
from the way they themselves experienced it, we conclude that a "jantu"
must "disaffiliate" from "bandhus", literally or otherwise, in order to
truly experience the feeling of "kArpannyam" or "akinchinyam".

Question 2 is a very tough one to explain although it looks easy enough. I
will post after a few days. 

Meanwhile if any other good member (well-versed in the GitA) would like to
handle it, he/she is most welcome.