Definition - What does Adhikari-Bheda mean?

Adhikari-Bheda is made up of two Sanskrit words: 'adhikari', meaning qualified or rightful, and 'bheda' meaning difference or distinction. It refers to the difference between two people capable of comprehending the same truth, and is a central concept in Indian philosophy.

Adhikari-Bheda allows for the rightful interpretation or understanding of one truth from different perspectives, and as such, is vital to peaceful spiritual progress.

Yogapedia explains Adhikari-Bheda

Classical texts, such as the Upanishads, Brahma Sutras and Bhagavad Gita, are based around the concept of adhikari-bheda, as their teachings are designed to be understood by different people at various stages of spiritual evolution. No matter where one is on the spiritual path, all are deemed to be qualified and rightful to know truth.

Adhikari-bheda is understood in yoga as an integral part of sadhana - disciplined personal practice. Not everyone is capable of understanding, living or realizing the highest ideal of yoga, yet it is ultimately beneficial to continue the practice. Adhikari-bheda recognizes that even though a uniform discipline cannot be prescribed, each individual is capable of gradual and distinct spiritual advancement.

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