Madhusuudana Sarasvatii's introduction to the Giitaa (6)
ahudli at SILVER.UCS.INDIANA.EDU
Sat Aug 31 11:17:03 CDT 1996
yataH samuchchayo naasti tayorativirodhataH |
bhagavadbhaktinishhThaa tu madhyame parikiirtitaa || 6 ||
word for word meaning:
yataH - since
samuchchayaH - combination
naasti - is not there
tayoH - of the two of them (karma and jnaana)
ativirodhataH - due to extreme opposition
bhagavadbhaktinishhThaa - the practice of devotion to God
tu madhyame - in the middle
parikiirtitaa - is explained
Since there cannot be a combination of the two (karma and jnaana),
due to their complete incompatibility with each other, practice of
devotion to God is explained as intervening (between the two).
1) Shankara is very emphatic about the point that jnaana (knowledge)
and karma (action) cannot be combined. He says, in his Giitaa
Bhaashhya (introduction to verse 2.11):
tasmaad-giitaashaastre iishhanmaatreNaapi shrautena smaartena vaa
karmaNaa .atmajnaanasya samuchchayaH na kenachiddarshayituM shakyaH |
Therefore, it is not possible for anyone to show even the slightest
(sanction) for the combination of action, as enjoined by the Shruti
and SmR^iti, with knowledge.
2) The upadeshasaahasrii of Shankara has this to say:
vidyaivaajnaanahaanaaya na karmaapratikuulataH |
Vidya (knowledge) alone destroys ajnaana (ignorance).
Not karma (action), because of its non-incompatibility
Since jnaana destroys ajnaana and karma is not incompatible with
ajnaana, it follows that jnaana and karma are incompatible.
3) Regarding why action and ignorance are not incompatible, Shankara
explains (introduction to verse 2.11 of the Giitaa):
dve nishhThe vibhakte bhagavataa eva ukte jnaanakarmaNoH
The Lord has distinguished between two disciplines - karma and jnaana-
a) karma involves the notion of agency whereas jnaana involves
the notion of non-agency
b) karma involves the acceptance of plurality whereas jnaana
involves the acceptance of unity,
and as such, these notions of karma and jnaana cannot possibly
be present simultaneously in the same person.
4) A crucial note is that karma and ajnaana are said to be
_not incompatible_, as opposed to saying compatible.
Why? The answer lies in the Giitaa. Work may be performed with
or without attachment. When work is done with attachment, it is
under the influence of ajnaana. When done without attachment (to the
fruits), it purifies the mind and leads to jnaana.
Says Shankara (in his introduction to the Giitaa):
shuddhasattvasya cha jnaananishhThaa-yogyataapraapti-dvaareNa
jnaanotpattihetutvena cha niHshreyasahetutvamapi pratipadyate |
The mind purified (by the performance of action without attachment)
becomes eligible for the practice of knowledge, thus causing the
rise of knowledge. This knowledge leads to liberation. So action
(performed without attachment to its fruits) (indirectly) causes
Shankara further quotes Giitaa 5.10 and 5.11
brahmaNyaadhaaya karmaaNi saN^gaM tyaktvaa karoti yaH |
lipyate na sa paapena padmapatramivaambhasaa || 5.10 ||
Dedicating all actions to Brahman, he who acts abandoning attachment,
is untainted by sin, as a lotus leaf by water.
kaayena manasaa buddhyaa kevalairindriyairapi |
yoginaH karma kurvanti saN^gaM tyaktvaatmashuddhaye || 5.11 ||
With the body, mind, intellect, and senses alone, the Yogins
perform work abandoning attachment, for the sake of purification
of the mind.
Lord Krishna advises how karma is to be performed (Giitaa 2.47):
karmaNyevaadhikaaraste maa phaleshu kadaachana |
maa karmaphalaheturbhuurmaa te saN^go .astvakarmaNi ||
You have a claim to work alone; but never to the fruits of work.
Don't be the driven by the fruits of works; nor shall you lean
towards inaction, ie. nonperformance of work.
Shankara, in commenting on this famous shloka, says precisely why
attachment to the fruits (results) of work is to be avoided. When
you are attached to the fruits, you will have to reap the fruits
of such works. And the fruits of works are the transmigratory
cycle (birth and death). However, you should not consider work
to be painful, due to undesirable fruits, and lean toward inaction.
Karma is a cause of the transmigratory cycle, and hence sorrow,
when done with attachment to its fruits. When the karma is
done without attachment to the fruits, it becomes a cause for
liberation. This is one of the central ideas of the Giitaa.
Again, in the fifth chapter, Arjuna asks Krishna (5.2) which of the two
-- karmasannyaasa, renunciation of works, or karmayoga -- is better.
Krishna says that karma yoga is superior to karmasannyaasa. Shankara
comments that karmasannyaasa is the mere renunciation of works without
jnaana. However, renunciation with jnaana is as effective as karma
sannyaasastu mahaabaaho duHkhamaaptumayogataH |
Yogayukto munirbrahma nachireNaadhigachchhati || 5.6 ||
Arjuna! Renunciation is hard to attain without karma yoga. The sage,
with karma yoga, quickly attains Brahman.
>From ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU Sun Sep 1 17:18:47 1996
Message-Id: <SUN.1.SEP.1996.171847.GMT.ADVAITAL at TAMU.EDU>
Date: Sun, 1 Sep 1996 17:18:47 GMT
Reply-To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: egodust <egodust at DIGITAL.NET>
Comments: To: advaita--group <Advaita-L at tamu.edu>
namaskaaram to all-in-One.
Today marks the Centennial Advent of Bhagavan Sri RM's arrival at
Mahadev's Red Hill of Transcendental Wisdom (Sri Arunachala), the
very hrdayam of our Sri Sivalingam! OM NAMO BHAGAVATE SRI RAMANAYA!
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