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Would it be difficult for them to take a human birth and is there a set procedure for that?

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  • "ksheene punye martya lokam vishanti" - after their account of positive karma is over, they have to fall back to earth. they don't have to try, it's inevitable.
    – ram
    Commented Apr 24 at 3:09

2 Answers 2

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The devas desire to take birth in Bharata-Varsha (India) to attain Moksha. Yes, it is difficult for them as they need to perform more pious activities to be born in Bharata Varsha. This is described in Shrimad Bhagavatam (5.19.28).

यद्यत्र न: स्वर्गसुखावशेषितं
स्विष्टस्य सूक्तस्य कृतस्य शोभनम् ।
तेनाजनाभे स्मृतिमज्जन्म न: स्याद्
वर्षे हरिर्यद्भ‍जतां शं तनोति ॥ २८ ॥

We are now living in the heavenly planets, undoubtedly as a result of our having performed ritualistic ceremonies, pious activities and yajñas and having studied the Vedas. However, our lives here will one day be finished. We pray that at that time, if any merit remains from our pious activities, we may again take birth in Bhārata-varṣa as human beings able to remember the lotus feet of the Lord. The Lord is so kind that He personally comes to the land of Bhārata-varṣa and expands the good fortune of its people.

Purport: Even the demigods must return to earth to work like ordinary men when the results of their pious activities expire. Nevertheless, the demigods desire to come to the land of Bhārata-varṣa if even a small portion of the merits of their pious activities remains. In other words, to take birth in Bhārata-varṣa, one must perform more pious activities than the demigods. In Bhārata-varṣa one is naturally Kṛṣṇa conscious, and if one further cultivates his Kṛṣṇa consciousness, by the grace of Kṛṣṇa he certainly expands his good fortune by becoming perfect in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and very easily going back home, back to Godhead. In many other places in the Vedic literature it is found that even the demigods want to come to this land of Bhārata-varṣa.

Reference for further reading: https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/19/28/

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TLDR:

Conclusion: The devas do not need to be reborn as humans to attain moksha.

Detailed Answer:

In the Brahmasutras Chapter One: Samanvaya Adhyaya, Section 3: Devatadhikaranam: Topic 8 (Sutras 26-33), it is mentioned that Devatas are entitled for Vedic study and Brahma Vidya (moksha). The entire section can be read in the link. Some relevant portions are posted here.

The Devas also are entitled to the study of Vedas.

Sutra: Taduparyapi Baadarayanah sambhavat I.3.26 (89)

Also (beings) above them (viz., men) (are entitled for the study and practice of the Vedas) on account of the possibility (of it) according to Badarayana.

Tad upari: above them i.e. higher than men namely Devas; Api: also, even; Baadarayanah: the sage Baadarayana is of opinion; Sambhavat: because (it is) possible.

The description of the privilege of study of Vedas and meditation is continued.

There is a digression from the main topic in this Section in Sutras 26 to 38. The Purvapakshin or the opponent holds that such meditation is not possible in the case of the Devas, because they are not endowed with the sense organs. Hence they have got no capability to meditate. The Devas like Indra and the rest are mere thought forms created by the chanting of Mantras. They have no desire for the possession of Vairagya (dispassion), Viveka (discrimination) etc. To this the author gives a reply in this Sutra. A doubt may arise from the previous Sutra that as it is stated that men alone have the privilege to the study of the Vedas, the gods are thereby debarred. This Sutra removes this doubt.

The teacher Baadarayana thinks that the Sutra entitles gods also who are above men for the study of Vedas, practice of meditation and attainment of knowledge of Brahman. How? Because it is possible for them also as they too are corporeal beings. The Upanishads, the Mantra portion of the Vedas, the Itihasas and the Puranas all unanimously describe that the Devas have bodies. They may have the desire of final release caused by the reflection that all effects, objects and power are non-permanent. They may have the desire to possess the fourfold qualification which is necessary for attaining the knowledge of Brahman. The gods undergo discipleship in order to attain knowledge. We read in Chh. Up. VIII-7-11 "Indra lived as a disciple with Prajapati for one hundred and one years"; "Bhrigu Varuni went to his father Varuna, saying, sir, teach me Brahman" Tait. Up. III-1. The god Varuna possessed the knowledge of Brahman which he teaches to his son Bhrigu.

The gods also possess all the requisites for practising meditation. Therefore they are also entitled for the study of the Vedas and attaining Self-realisation. Even without Upanayana and study the Veda is manifest of itself to the gods...

Sutra: Bhavam tu Baadarayano'sti hi I. 3.33 (96)

But Baadarayana, on the other hand (maintains) the existence (of qualification on the part of the gods for Brahma Vidya); for there are (passages indicatory of that; body, desires etc., which qualify one for such knowledge do exist in the case of the gods).

Bhavam: the existence (of the qualification to practise the meditation like Madhu Vidya etc.); Tu: but; Baadarayanah: the sage Baadarayana (maintains); Asti: does exist; Hi: because.

This Sutra refutes the arguments in the previous two Sutras and concludes the discussion.

But Baadarayana holds that the gods too have the right to practise Upasana as meditation and Brahma Vidya, because there are indications in Sruti to that effect. He maintains that each luminary orb has a presiding deity with body, intelligence, desires etc. The gods can assume any form at will. Indra assumed the form of a ram and carried off Medhatithi. Surya assumed the form of a man and came to Kunti. We read in Chh. Up. VIII-12-6 "The gods indeed do worship the Atman." The sun-god may be disqualified for a particular form of meditation – Madhu Vidya, as he cannot meditate on the sun himself, but that is no reason why he should be disqualified for other meditations or for Brahma Vidya or the knowledge of Brahman. Similar is the case with other gods.

The expression 'Tu' (but, on the other hand) is meant to rebut the Purvapakshin.

Scripture declares that the Devas are qualified. "Whatever Deva was awakened so to know Brahman he indeed became that" Bri. Up. 1-4-10. Indra went to Prajapati saying "well, let us search for that Self by which if one has searched it out, all worlds and all desires are obtained" Chh. Up. VIII-7.

Conclusion: The devas do not need to be reborn as humans to attain moksha.

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