Tue Jul 8 13:52:48 CDT 1997

  praatarbhajaamyabhayadaM khalu bhaktashokadaavaanalaM
     gaNavibhuM varakuJNjaraasyaM |
   mutsaahavardhanamahaM sutamiishvarasya ||

  praatarbhajaami - In the morning, I worship
  abhayadaM - Him who grants the security (of the devotees)
  khalu - verily, certainly
  bhaktashoka- the sorrow of His devotees
  daavaanalaM - the forest fire
  gaNavibhuM - the Lord of the gaNa's (followers of Shiva)
  varakuJNjaraasyaM - whose elephant face is handsome
  aGYaanakaanana - the forest of ignorance
  vinaashana -  destruction
  havyavaahaM - fire
  utsaahavardhanaM - who increases (my) enthusiasm
  ahaM - I
  sutaM - the son
  Ishvarasya - of Shiva

   In the morning, I worship the son of Shiva, Ganesha  who surely grants the
   security  of the devotees,  who is the forest fire that burns away
   (eradicates) the sorrow of His devotees, who is the Lord of the gaNa's,
   whose elephant face is   handsome, who is the fire that burns away
   the forest of ignorance and who increases my enthusiasm.


>From  Tue Jul  8 16:57:25 1997
Message-Id: <TUE.8.JUL.1997.165725.0400.>
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 1997 16:57:25 -0400
Reply-To: chandran at
To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ram Chandran <chandran at EMAIL.ECON.AG.GOV>
Organization: Economic Research Service
Subject: Re: "Does God make mistakes?"
Comments: To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
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The discussion on this topic by Chuck, Martin and Vidya has some
interesting questions. I do not intent to start an intellectual debate
on this subject but  that we face these interesting questions almost
every day in our daily life.  Who controls our life and can the
controller make mistakes?  Can we get a satisfactory answer when the
object and subject are the same? Who is the evaluator of mistakes?
        The answer is obvious in the world of plant and animal species with the
absence of interference from human intelligence.  All actions in that
world  are spontaneous there is neither appreciation nor condemnation
for any action.  The flower blooms, it doesn't expect any reward. When
the tiger kills a goat for its meal, it doesn't get punished!  Human
intelligence has the potential to leave us with more questions than
answers! This may explain why religions in general attempt to suppress
the human mind with faith and intuition.
        Religion is an attempt to explain the nature, purpose and goal of human
life and the relationship(unity or separation) of human and Divine.
Different religions have different visions on the relationship between
human and Divine.
        Advaitins believe that there is no distinction between human and
Divine.  They argue that the separation between human and divine is the
imagination of the  programmed human mind, pervaded by its ignorance
(Avidya).  The purpose of human life for an Advaitin is to negate Avidya
through spiritual practice (sadhana).
        The viSishTAdvaitins on the other hand believe that human and Divine
are separate entities and the purpose of human life is for unification
with the Divine.  They argue that Divine Grace is essential for the
unification of human soul with the Divine and the human has to surrender
the ego through spiritual practice.
        There is ultimate unity between these two diversified beliefs of
Advaitins and viSishTAdvaitins in the end!  Logical starting points may
appear different but the end point is the same.  They both ascertain the
importance of freeing the mind from ego through discipline and dedicated
service to the humanity.  For the purpose of pure intellectual analysis,
they are mathematically equivalent concepts.  In abstract algebra it is
possible to establish different sets of assumptions and rules to arrive
at the same outcome.  The analytical part of Vedanta is northing more
than high-level abstract algebra.  It is no wonder why Sankara and
Ramanuja, the two great mathematical geniuses, came to the same
conclusion!  For Sankara, the lack of spiritual practice is the cause
for the illusory duality.  For Ramanuja, the human experience of duality
is real but with spiritual practice, it is possible to get out of the
duality.  Both these great masters have emphasized the importance of
freeing the mind from ego to realize the Divinity.
        For Sankara, Creation is an illusion of human mind, which itself is a
fabrication! Abstract Advaita is a tautology with established
assumptions and rules. In abstract Advaita, there is neither human body,
mind, nor human intellect. Only Nirguna Brahman will exist with Total
Silence  and TOTAL PEACE!

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