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Who causes the sun to set?

Dharma

1.See I am not taking it literally but light/sunlight is symbol of pure knowledge in most scriptures which kills ignorance, so how does dharma end(sets) this liberating source.please explain or interpret it correctly

--who should be called an atheist?

, An atheist is he who is ignorant

2.So, I want to know here ignorance of what referred like ignorance of aatma,param braham Or ignorance of vedas Or shrutis Or ignorance of an idea like everything has cause, so cause of universe is God [I am asking because even one who has read vedas can become athiest, and aatma is unknown to most thiests(gita 3.17)and ignorance to a single idea can't make one ignorant]

What, O foremost of kings, is Amrita?

the milk of cow is amrita

  1. is this verse explaining health property of cow milk or divinty of cow as sacred animal

[Source:The Mahabharata Book 3: Vana Parva SECTION CCCXI]

2 Answers 2

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Bad translation strikes again. Or perhaps it's the BORI version that is at fault... either way...

First: Who causes the Sun to set? Dharma.

This Dharma question is really quite simple. What is Dharma?

धारयतीति धर्मः That which upholds/sustains is Dharma.

What would happen if the Sun didn't set? you would be fried, no biological life would exist. Therefore It's the Dharma of Surya Bhagavaan to set.

1.See I am not taking it literally but light/sunlight is symbol of pure knowledge in most scriptures which kills ignorance, so how does dharma end(sets) this liberating source.please explain or interpret it correctly

You're getting confused, and I'm not quite sure where. It is the Dharma of the Sun to rise (and set, and move across the sky). And, sunlight also symbolizes knowledge. Those two things are separate and can be true at once, and are, true at once.

Second: This is the case of faulty translation syndrome.

Here's the actual two relevant verses from Mahaabharata Kumbhaghonam Samskarana:

यक्ष उवाच। कः पण्डितः पुमान्ज्ञेयो नास्तिकः कश्च उच्यते। को मूर्खः कश्चकामः स्यात्को मत्सर इति स्मृतः ॥ 3-314-99

Yaksha said: Which man should be understood to be a Pandita? Who is called a Naastika (Atheist)? Who is a fool? What is Kaama (desire) What is Matsara?

युधिष्ठिर उवाच। धर्मज्ञः पण्डितो ज्ञेयो नास्तिको मूर्ख उच्यते। कामः संसारहेतुश्च हृत्तापो मत्सरः स्मृतः ॥ 3-314-100

Yudhisthira Said: The knower of Dharma should be understood to be a Pandita, a Naastika is called a fool, and the fool is a Naastika...

Notice here that Yudhisthira answers two questions by giving the same answer. Either way, what he says is that an atheist is called a fool and the fool is the atheist. There's no question of ignorance because the word used is मूर्ख which means stupid/silly/fool/idiot and not ignorant.

All your extra questions about Ignorance don't need to be answered since the text doesn't say ignorant anyways. If anything, pardon the language but the word 'retard' is far more fitting than the word ignorant.

Lastly: What is Amrita (un dying)? it's the Soma (extract) of the cow.

Keep in mind that cow milk was one of the only source of protein especially since eating meat without involvement of Deva or Pitr Kaarya is forbidden. Every single other thing was pretty much only vegetables, some spices, salt and water. Cow milk was very important. Not to mention, that cows are special for reasons I won't go into.

So:

is this verse explaining health property of cow milk or divinty of cow as sacred animal

The answer is yes to both, but in this specific instance, it's about the positive qualities of cow milk in particular.

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  • Indeed, but the term Atheist for Nastika isn't a good one for one perhaps disbelievers in Vedas are better so really all other Dharmic and other religions in general correct? Also, no Hindu holy text has to respect other religions nor do other religions have to respect ours. For us, these scriptures expound the truth and if another scripture is contradictory to it, then the follower follows that which is against the divine moral conduct of Dharma expounded in scripture.
    – Haridasa
    Feb 4 at 22:37
  • Btw do Nastikas go to Naraka or if they have good Karma do they go to not Swarga, but another area?
    – Haridasa
    Feb 4 at 22:44
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This is the first question in the post.

Who causes the sun to set?

Dharma

please explain or interpret it correctly

The translator of the Mahabharata, K M Ganguli, explains this in the footnotes here, using the commentary of Nilakantha.

Original Mahabharata passage translation

The Yaksha then said, 'What is it that maketh the Sun rise? Who keeps him company? Who causeth him to set? And in whom is he established?' Yudhishthira answered, 'Brahma maketh the Sun rise: the gods keep him company: Dharma causeth him to set: and he is established in truth.

Explanation based on Nilakantha's Commentary

Behind the plain and obvious meanings of the words employed both in the p. 606 question and the answer, there is a deeper signification of a spiritual kind. I think Nilakantha has rightly understood the passage. By Aditya, which of course commonly means the Sun, is indicated the unpurified soul (from adatte sabdadin indriadivis &c.). The first question then, becomes, 'Who is it that exalteth the unpurified soul?' The act of exaltation implies a raising of the soul from its earthly connections. The answer to this is, 'Brahma, i.e., Veda or self-knowledge.' The second question--'What are those that keep company with the soul during its progress of purification?' The answer is, Self-restraint and other qualities, which are all of a god-like or divine nature.' The third question is.--Who lead the soul to its place (state) of rest? The answer is, Dharma, i.e., restitude, morality, and religious observances.' It is often asserted that one must pass through the observances (Karma) before attaining to a state of Rest or Truth or Pure Knowledge. The last question is,--'On what is the soul established!' The answer, according to all that has been previously said, is 'Truth or Pure Knowledge.' For the soul that is emancipated from and raised above all carnal connections, is no longer in need of observances and acts (Karma) but stays unmoved in True Knowledge (Jnana).

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