Self-realization and Karma

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Mon Aug 26 07:19:08 CDT 1996

On Fri, 23 Aug 1996, Giri wrote:

> **
> Regarding karma and free-will, the following is taken from Shri Ramana's
> newsletter,
> --begin quote--
> One summer afternoon I was sitting opposite Bhagavan in the old hall, with
> a fan in my hand and said to him: "I can understand that the outstanding
> events in a man's life, such as his country, nationality, family, career or
> profession, marriage, death, etc., are all predestined by his karma, but
> can it be that all the details of his life, down to the minutest, have
> already been determined? Now, for instance, I put this fan that is in my
> hand down on the floor here. Can it be that it was already decided that on
> such and such a day, at such and a such an hour, I shall move the fan like
> this and put it down here?"
> Bhagavan replied,   "Certainly." He continued: "Whatever this body is to do
> and whatever experiences it is to pass through was already decided when it
> came into existence."
> Thereupon I naturally exclaimed: "What becomes then of man's freedom and
> responsibility for his actions?"
> Bhagavan explained: "The only freedom man has is to strive for and acquire
> the jnana which will enable him not to identify himself with the body. The
> body will go through the actions rendered inevitable by prarabdha and a man
> is free either to identify himself with the body and be attached to the
> fruits of its actions, or to be detached from it and be a mere witness of
> its activities."
> This may not be acceptable to many learned people or philosophers. I recall
> in this connection the following lines that Bhagavan once quoted to me from
> Thayumanavar on another occasion: "This  is not to be taught to all. Even
> if we tell them, it will only lead to endless discussion."
> --end quote---
>         In the spirit of the last sentence, I will refrain from posting
> anymore on the topic of freewill.
> **
> praNaam

As you might have noticed from my earlier posting(s), I fully accept the
interpretation that everything is pre-ordained, and thus I am perfectly
in tune with the quote from Sri Ramana Maharshi which you posted.

But Sri Ramana Maharshi's quote seems to comment on the body only. How
about the mind ? How about the reaction of the mind to any event ? Is
that also not pre-ordained ?

If you do not want to break your own dictum of not posting anymore on this
topic, a private e-mail (for my own clarification) would be appreciated.

Gummuluru Murthy
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.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list