Episode # 496 – Sage Ashtaavakra vs. Bandhi – The marquee debate commences!!!

In the previous episode, we witnessed a quick “rapid-fire” round of a question-answer session from King Janaka to Sage Ashtaavakra. This is an important prelude to what is going to come by next! As Sage Ashtaavakra gives spontaneous answers to whatever King Janaka asked, King Janaka was mighty impressed with the scholarliness and shrewdness of the little boy. King Janaka also understood that the little boy standing in front of him was not just a little boy, but he is extremely brilliant for his age! Thus, King Janaka accepted to arrange for a meeting between Bandhi and Sage Ashtaavakra, and with this, we now move on to the most interesting part of this entire accord – The Bandhi vs. Sage Ashtaavakra debate! So in today’s episode, let us set the background for this and let us see what conspired between both of them. 

Upon receiving the call from King Janaka, Bandhi arrived at the courtroom with much fanfare. The entire courtroom stood up in respect to Bandhi and everybody was silent. King Janaka introduced Sage Ashtaavakra (The little boy) to Bandhi and eventually explained that this little boy wanted to debate with Bandhi! Bandhi starts the proceedings. Bandhi commences thus, “Oh little boy! Do you know? Bhagawan (“Sarveshwara”) is one! Indra is one! Agni is one! Surya is one! All whatever I said above have only a single existence!” Actually, Bandhi says this on purpose to stimulate the anger in Sage Ashtaavakra! As Bandhi says thus, immediately within a fraction of a second, Sage Ashtaavakra reverts back thus, “Oh Bandhi! Whatever you’ve said now is totally wrong! Bhagawan has a dual nature! Indra has a dual nature! Agni has a dual nature! Everything in this world exist dually and can never be in isolation!” As Bandhi listens to this, he is surprised! He immediately quips thus, “Oh Ashtaavakra! If so, prove your point! Without proof and evidence, I shall not accept your argument!” 

As Bandhi asks thus, Sage Ashtaavakra replies back: “Oh Bandhi! You want proof, don’t you? Now let me tell you – Agni cannot burn without the help of Vaayu Bhagawan! Hence, Agni has the duality in him! You said that Surya Bhagawan exists as a single entity! No! Surya Bhagawan exists in duality with Aruna! Similarly, Indra doesn’t exist as a single entity! He exists in sync with Parva. “Ashwini Kumaras” are again dual in nature. Moreover, other things like the wheels of a chariot are two in number! Can a chariot run with just one wheel? Moreover, can a husband exist without a wife? Or, can a wife exist without a husband? If everything has a singular nature as per your statement, the entire world would come to a standstill! Hence, Bandhi! Nothing in this world can exist in a singular fashion. Duality is quite common in this world, and it is the law of nature!” 

As Ashtaavakra replies thus, Bandhi puts up another argument here! He says, “Oh Ashtaavakra! You’re telling me that everything in nature is dual! But now I’m saying that everything in nature exists as a “trio”! For instance, due to the “Karma” that we accumulate, an Atman takes three types of births – One as a “Deva” (Celestial Being), second as a “Manushya” (This encompasses all kinds of human beings in this world) and the third as a “Thiryak”, which encompasses all kinds of animals, birds, insects and other living beings in this world. Hence, the resultant of “Karma” exist as a “trio”. Even when we perform our “Nitya-Anustaanam” every day, we do it three times – “Praathaga Sandhya”, “Maadhyaaniga Sandhya” and “Saayam Sandhya”. Hence, the “Times” of the day is a trio in nature! Similarly, we take food thrice in a day – Once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once before we go to bed! Hence, food habits for a human being exists as a “trio”! Similarly, there are three “Lokhas” that are important! In similar lines, there are three “Jyotishs”, namely Surya, Chandra and Agni! Hence, now I say that everything in this world exists as a trio, or a set of three in nature!” 

As Bandhi explains this arithmetic, Sage Ashtaavakra immediately gets up and says thus, “Oh Bandhi! Now I shall tell you one more arithmetic – You’ve said that everything in nature exists in a set of three, isn’t it? Now I say that everything in this nature exists as a set of four!” Saying thus, Ashtaavakra starts listing down elements that exist as sets of four! With this, the debate is getting spruced up and enormous amounts of arithmetics are being exchanged between the two! Hence, for today, let us understand up to this part of the conversation and let us ponder over them! So what are those four elements combined to form a set? How many such sets is Sage Ashtaavakra going to talk about? Let us wait till the next episode to find out! Stay tuned, as the debate is getting heated up! 🙂 

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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