Adhikāri means the one who is qualified. On hearing this, there is ākāṅṣā, expectation, in our minds, as to qualified for what?

So, adhikāri is a contextual word. This has to be understood.

Adhikāri in this context means, one who is qualified for ātma-vidyā, self-knowledge. And a number of the qualifications are listed.

A key point to note is, it should not be given to one who is not an adhikāri. Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā 3.29, that one who is not discriminative, one of the qualifications for being an adhikāri for ātma-vidyā, should not be distrubed.. he should be left alone.

Ātma-vidyā is to be given only to those who seek it, and amongst those who seek it, to only those who are qualified.

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About Śuka

Śuka, 48, has been a student of Vedanta since 1980 and has learnt traditional Vedānta from Arsha Vidya Gurukula Teachers. As a Certified Public Accountant, he worked in India, Africa and the Middle East. Later he pursued a successful business career in Software and BPO industries. He has since retired from active business, and back to studying Vedānta full time. Having completed Masters in Sanskrit, he is currently pursuing a research programme in Advaita Vedānta...