gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Fri Aug 23 13:24:54 CDT 1996
On Thu, 22 Aug 1996, Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:
> Chelluri Nageswar Rao <Chelluri at AOL.COM> wrote:
> >AVASYAM ANUBHOKYAVYAM KRUTAM KARMA SHUBHA ASHUBHAM
> >(One has to go thru the fruits of one's actions Good OR Bad)
> >The same people said:
> >BUDDHI KARMANUSARINI ( Intellect must follow karma)
> >If these staments are correct where is the room for refinement?
> >May be some one can make it clear for me.
> There is actually no mutual contradiction between statements 1 and 2.
While I do not question the Sanskrit sayings that are quoted here, it
would be nice to see the full verse and from where it is taken so that
we know the context of the saying as well. A statement from the
Upanishads can be brief and makes full meaning even if taken out of
context. I think the others need to be amplified before they are taken
at face value.
> One certainly has to go through the effects of ones actions. However, it does
> not mean that the effects of past karmas, which have not yet fructified,
> be ameliorated. Why else would the sastras prescribe things like gaNapati
> homam, mR^ity.njaya homam etc? These homams have particular benefits
> with them. The yoga vasistha says that the statement "one cannot escape one's
> fate" has been invented by lazy men, who do not want to put in the required
> effort. Vasistha tells Rama that he acquired knowledge only by his own effort.
> Also he cites the case of Visvamitra to show the effect of effort. Similarly
> the mahabhaarata, brahma tells vasishta that fate is not inescapable and it
> requires effort. It is also pointed out that even worldly things are acquired
> only by effort.
> H.H Chandrashekahara bharati swami has also pointed out that fate and
> are two sides of the same coin. A masterly discussion is given in the
> "Dialogues with the guru", edited by Krishnaswami Aiyer. He clearly points
> that man can chart his own destiny. Of course one may require less effort than
> another to obtain something.
> It is an unfortunate fact that this myth of fate being inescapable has spread
> this far. This has no support, either from shruti or from empirical evidence.
> This has lead to the large hordes of charlatan swamis and the so called
> astrologers, which has contributed a lot to the general laziness of Indians.
> deyvaththaan akaatheninum muyaRchi than
> meyvaruththak kuuli tharum. (thirukkuraL)
> Even if, by fate one may not get something, by persistent effort atleast a
> small portion of the desired object can be obtained (rough translation, the
> beauty and succinctness of the verse is lost on translation).
It is the interpretation that differs.
I like to take the following approach.
This can be looked at in the worldly frame of reference at four
1. At a complete ajnani level (where man and his actions are
considered supreme): The riches that one acquires and the poverty
that one faces are entirely the results of one's own actions. This
applies not only to the material goods but also to the so-called
sorrows and joys. At this level, there is no God, the individual
creates his/her own world and the joys and sorrows.
2. As perceived by a person who recognizes there is something
beyond our control which dictates things: There is recognition of
God, and fear of God. This person propitiates Gods so that good
things are accrued to him/her. This person, at the same time, thinks
there is free-will of the human. In order to improve what he/she
thinks is his/her lot in the world, this person thinks (emphasis on
think) that he/she is acting on free-will, but at the same time seeks
God's support to alleviate him/her from the miseries of the world.
3. This person leaves everything to God. Accepts everything as
pre-ordained, including the actions to be taken by him/her;
recognizes there is no free-will of the human; even that is God's
grace; acts his/her role through life.
4. This person recognizes the whole world is mithya, that we are
the same as Paramatma. The worldly matters do not touch this
person. It does not matter to this person whether the world
recognizes this person as a sanyasi or a samsari, a failure or a
success or a jivanmukta or by whatever name. This person has a
quiet mind, in nirvikalpa state.
In that frame, karma does not have any meaning.
Even the persistent effors of man (thirukkuraL statement above), or
the man's ability to chart his own destiny (attributed to H.H.
Chandrasekhara Bharathi Swamy above): Are they also not pre-
ordained ? Surely, what sort of a destiny can man chart of his own
free-will, even if there is free-will ?
> Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant (May faulty logic
> undermine your entire philosophy) -- strong Vulcan curse
Adau ante ca yan nAsti vartamAnepi tat tathA !
GaudapAda in Mandukya kArika
What did not exist at the beginning and what is not going to exist at the
end is as good as non-existent even in the present.
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