Katha upanishhad verse I.2.23

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rbalasub at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Sun Apr 6 12:35:18 CDT 1997

Cameron Reilly <cjreilly at OZEMAIL.COM.AU> wrote:

>Are you suggesting, Charles, that through <bold>volition</bold> we avail
>ourselves of the Grace of God? My understanding of the phrase "By The
>Grace Of God" is that it normally refers to a spontaneous and
>non-volitional happening.

Yes, that's what advaita and all advaita teachers have said. Ramana
Maharshi, for eg. makes clear that grace is always available and but can
be obtained only with effort. He also quotes Appar's poetry in this
regard. In fact in many places he has said this.

>For example, through a fortuitous series of events, I was introduced to
>my guru. And he said something to me that night that struck a major
>chord. I did not choose to be where I was - nor did I choose to become a
>seeker. It simply "happened".

Yesterday, I just went to a friend's house to meet him. But he asked me
to stay for dinner. It was totally non-volitional. It just "happened".
So what? By your logic, my eating dinner yesterday is a major miracle.
Such things are explained by the teachers as a consequence of karma.

>Yes, of course, Charles. Very well put. As you say, there must be
>striving - but non-volitional striving.

What is that supposed to mean? Only a jnAni can act without volition.
Till then striving goes on and necessarily involves the will to a
certain extent. One can try not to be attached to the fruit of one's
action, but that again involves wilful striving, in some sense.


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