Shastra Dharma (was Re: Bumper stickers)

Gregory Goode goode at DPW.COM
Wed Jul 16 09:16:17 CDT 1997

At 10:17 PM 7/15/97 -0500, Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:
>Anyway, this is the way to get beyond both dharma and adharma according
>to my understanding of advaita. However, what do we have in some cases?
>Mere lip service is paid to advaita and then we have people going about
>doing whatever they please and justifying it by some high sounding
>(mostly nonsensical) phrases.

This topic is not to be taken lightly!  Just this week I've been talking
and reading about the disagreement between Andrew Cohen and his guru
Papaji that Cohen publicized in his book _Autobiography_of_an_Awakening_.
Cohen's issue is whether an awakened or enlightened one would act so as
to hurt others.  He says NO, that enlightenment entails ahimsa and also
a great deal of integrity (living not conflicting with dharma).  He
attributes to Papaji and others the view that there are still some
vAsanas that get burnt out, but that they have nothing to do with the
actor even if they can affect other people.  Cohen says that anyone
living in this adharmic way is not enlightened.

>So even if one does not follow sAmAnya dharma, but accepts that he has
>free-will, then there is scope for him to realize his mistakes and
>change. However, if such a person convinces himself that every thing
>happens automatically, then there is _no_ scope for him to change. Such
>a person typically states things like "everything is ephemeral, happens
>spontaneously, etc, etc" and is firmly convinced that whatever he does
>is completely correct.

I heartily agree with this paragraph.  As profound a view as this is
(and for me, difficult to arrive at), it IS held by some who think that
nothing they do is wrong.  But there are lots of other views that foster
irresponsible behavior, such as the different species of "God told me
to do this!"

--Greg Goode


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