Agony of the soul (?) etc

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Fri Jan 10 13:50:47 CST 1997

> reborn and continues to be reborn. The emphasis should be on "think". In
> reality, there is nothing reborn and that is the paramartha level which
> we should be understanding, not the avidya-based jIva is born and reborn
> concept.



> Again, aren't Ishwara and karma-phala concepts based on avidyA ? Why this
> avidyaic interpretation ?

Check SvetASvatara and kaTha upanishads for Sruti regarding ISvara and
karma-phala. If you have destroyed your avidyA, there will be no more
questions and no more discussion. So long as we are talking of being
detached in the midst of action in the world, ISvara is indispensible. As
SankarAcArya points out in the bhagavad-gItA bhAshya, "nishkAmya karmasya
rahasyam ISvara SaraNatA." To go beyond ISvara and karma-phala, one must
be prepared to accept complete karma-nivr.tti. The pravr.tti dharma,
whether kAmya or nishkAmya, is incomplete without the concepts of ISvara
and karma-phala.

> Certainly we do not go to Aristotlian concepts in physics after we come
> to know Einsteinian physics.

But neither do we use Einsteinian physics to solve a problem in pulleys or
simple elastic collisions. Understanding Newtonian physics is enough,
isn't it? And Newtonian physics is not without its value in appreciating
relativity when the student advances to that stage. Similarly, the
description of ISvara and karma-phala at the vyavahAra stage prepare the
ground for paramArtha.

S. Vidyasankar

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