Shastra Dharma (was Re: Bumper stickers)

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rbalasub at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Wed Jul 16 13:37:52 CDT 1997

Gregory Goode wrote:

>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

shrI sureshvarAchArya says in his naishhkarmya siddhi (paraphrased) "If
a wise man can act whatever way he pleases, what is the difference
between him and a dog?". He also says that the "good qualities"
naturally occur in a sage and that he doesn't have to strive for it. It
makes sense. To attain enlightenment one has to make the mind pure and
the vAsana-s of such a person are pure. After enlightenment also the
GYAni will continue the same way.

But this is _not_ to say that a GYAni _cannot_ act in "atypical" ways.
Why? shruti has explicitly said so. The jAbAla upanishhad (quoted by
shrI sha.nkara) explicitly mentions this. H.H abhinava vidyAtIrtha
mahAsvamigaL has also said the same thing, but has mentioned that such a
person does _not_ have the adhikAra to _teach_ others, since the
disciples will follow him by example. So, a person who seems to act in
an adharmic way _may_ be enlightened. Hence the best course of action is
not to criticize other's actions, but to act according to dharma as far
as one is concerned. But in most cases someone who quotes shruti as an
_excuse_ for some action of his, is probably a charlatan. The best thing
would be to avoid them.


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