Agony of the soul (?) etc

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Sat Jan 11 08:24:40 CST 1997

On Fri, 10 Jan 1997, Vidyasankar Sundaresan wrote:

> > 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.
> Fine.
> [..]
> >
> > 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.

I do not deny the usefulness and importance of Ishwara and karma-phala,
just like Newtonian physics. But, we cannot stop there. Somehow, we
always seem to stop at this stage without going that extra step (a leap

My feeling is: vyavahara stage of advaita is like an armchair
quarterback. We simply analyse and analyse without having the
courage to experience it.

> Regards,
> S. Vidyasankar

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.

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