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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A question on Adhikara

Question:
While searching for explanation on Karma, Akarma & Vikarma, I found your essay on karmayoga. It is verylucid and informative. I had a question, you have mentioned that there is word for "Rights" in sanskrit but isn't ADHIKARA the word for "Rights" in sanskrit ? Please advice.

Answer:
Adhikara can not be translated into Rights because of two reasons. one is, Krishna mentions adhikara with reference to Karma. If Adhikara is supposed to be right, rights are always about the fruits of action or the remuneration you receive for the work you do and is not for work per say. Like you have an adhikara to work as doctor but you do not get any payment no law says it is ok. in fact Krishna specially mentions that no adhikara for phala which means what the Karma supposed to give us as returns or even the benefits. therefore Krishna is saying you have an adhikara to do the activity but not for the phala has to be looked at from different angle. Imagine the amount of contribution and role of the society in your becoming a doctor or engineer.the education is supported by the society in the form of charity they give for education. The amount of research went behind so many scientists earlier which has given us this science which we learned. we have taken the benefit of all this and therefore we have the responsibility on us to repay our debt.this we do it by serving the society as engineer. this is given as the Hippocrates oath in case of medical graduates. but what Krishna says this is the responsibility not only for doctors but for all who have earned the knowledge.i am blessed by all the people of wisdom who are all my elders about this knowledge and i have therefore responsibility to give this knowledge to others and i don't have any thing to look for the results or phala.

second point is Adi shankaracharya gives us the qualities of Adhikari in Viveka choodamani. who has read the scriptures and who have practiced shama dama uparati etc are adhikaris for the learning of the viveka choodamani, clearly indicating that adhikara means eligibility and not right. in the same way if you have graduated in medicine you have the adhikara or eligibility for practicing medicine. putting two together Adhikara means eligibility and responsibility and not right. therefore i mentioned Adhikara as responsibility and not as right and when i look at all the Indian languages i don't find any word Sanskrit based word, used for right and it is only hak, in other context in India adhikara used is for power. power is the distortion of eligibility and has to be relieved from the burden of right.

Raghuram

2 comments:

veerendra said...

Dear Sir,
Your answer has further improved my understanding of karmayoga. Thank you very much.
I am very interested in developing a business/management framework based on Hindu concepts. I would like to request you to name few books, to improve my understanding of our scriptures, especially Bagavath geeta.

Thank You
Veerendra.

Suchitra said...

Sir,This is a wonderful article.Which is giving clear definition about the word 'adhikara'.Thank you for enlightiing us by this.