The Karmas and our destiny

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Mon Jul 14 19:03:08 CDT 1997

On Mon, 14 Jul 1997, Jonathan Bricklin wrote:

> > Hi All !
> >
> > If We and God are One then Our will is the same as Gods' will.

The sense in which the One-ness is asserted in advaita has to be properly
understood. We do not prove by assertion that we and God are one. Rather,
in order to arrive at the Oneness, we deny everything limitation that is
human (the tvam pada in tattvamsi). We also give up the idea of thinking
of God (the tat pada) as a Creator in terms of the created universe. Thus,
we arrive at the identity of we (tvam) and God (tat) at the level of pure
consciousness, at which stage there is no more individual, and no more
Creator or creation.

Thus, there is no place for something like will at this level. This is
paramArtha. To even admit will, we have to descend to vyavahAra, and at
this stage, it is not generally known that we and God are One. At this
stage, rather than saying Our will is God's will, a traditional advaita
guru would advise you to think, "let God's will direct my actions."

> >
> > Alternatively does God have free will? I mean does S/he have a idea (from
> > where does it come?) and then does S/he consider all(!) the options (from
> > where do they come?) and then say 'I will do this' (at which point in
> time
> > and space)? Whatever it 'does' it must do to itself, within itself. But
> then
> > it already knows what it is going to do so would it bother? And if it
> > bothered to carry out it's idea would it bother to observe it? Could it
> > observe it? It could only be it. In fact the idea is the act and all is
> now.

Check gauDapAda's thoughts on creation, which he ends with. "AptakAmasya
kA sprhA?"

> >
> > I'm reminded of Nisargadatta saying 'There is no creator or enjoyer...all
> is
> > spontaneously happening'. How's that for a jaw dropper?!
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Martin.
> As more evidence of the transcultural truth of advaitism (aka the reform
> branch of Advaita Vedanta)

I don't think that admitting the transcultural truth of advaita amounts
to a reform branch of advaita vedAnta. The word vedAnta comes with a
specific history, culture, mythology and theology, and it has certain
standard techniques of scriptural exegesis.

We can admit the transcultural truth of advaita without denying the
vedAnta character of advaita vedAnta. Kashmir Saivism and many other
Tantric traditions teach a sort of non-dualism. In addition to Boethius,
sometimes even Aquinas and Augustine come close to making almost
non-dualistic statements. Various Sufi mystics also do the same. But we
have to honestly admit that each of these other streams come with their
own traditions, which are not necessarily vedAnta.


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