Vivek Anand Ganesan v_ganesan at YAHOO.COM
Wed Apr 15 16:41:06 CDT 1998

   I thank everyone who answered my previous question.   After reading
the posts, I would like to clarify my doubts regarding karma.

   The most common meaning attributed to "karma" is that of action.
But, what action?  In Shruti, it seems to be linked to "action related
to performing the prescribed rites and rituals".  On the other hand,
in Smriti it is considered to be "dispassionate action" i.e. "karma
yoga".  The advaitic tradition also mentions other karmas like
"Nishkamya karma".  Also, karma is considered to be the bond that
holds one to samsara.  In the last sense, it is not something to be
accrued.  ( So, it is bad, right?)

   I kindly request an explanation of the concept of karma and its
different connotations and their contexts.  What is the role of karma
within Advaita?

Thanks in advance,


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>From  Wed Apr 15 20:12:53 1998
Message-Id: <WED.15.APR.1998.201253.0700.>
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 20:12:53 -0700
Reply-To: ramakris at erols.com
To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM>
Subject: Re: mescellaneous (fwd)
Comments: To: Advaita-L <advaita-l at tamu.edu>
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It's good to be back! Now that the scope of the list has been made clear
by Ravi, we can get down to bussiness :-).

Vidyasankar Sundaresan <vidya at cco.caltech.edu> wrote:

[ ... ]

Vidyasankar has given excellent suggestions and comments as usual.

>5. I think we should begin discussion threads that are text-based. Your
>postings from the SrI-lalitA-triSati-bhAshya form a good start. The

Thanks to Ravi for the postings on the trishatI bhAshhya, a singularly
important stotra for advaitins.

>With more philosophically heavy texts like the brahmasUtra-bhAshya or
>bhagavad-gItA-bhAshya, one could cover the important features, instead >of
>discussing them sUtra by sUtra or verse by verse. I have seen little
>discussion of these seminal texts in the history of our list, and if
>somebody else has not already taken it up, I will probably initiate
>one, when I rejoin.

That would be very good. I'll be a spectator in the sUtra bhAshhya
discussions, but am very interested in discussing the subtlities in the
gitA bhAshhya.

I'd like to discuss the second chapter of the naishhkarmya siddhi, where
shrI sureshvarAchArya employs the method of anvaya-vyatireka (agreement
and difference) and proves advaita from the point of view of reasoning
and shruti most conclusively. In fact, IMHO, it's the best exposition of
advaita I have come across. Later, I'd like to discuss the mAnasollAsa
ascribed to shrI sureshvarAchArya and compare/contrast with Kashmir
shaivism. I'll start on this asap.

Perhaps someone can discuss that most excellent work aparoxAnubhUti,
ascribed to sha.nkarabhagavatpAda. It's not that popular, yet is one of
the best expositions of advaita available. The vivekachUDAmaNi is
another book to think about.

As for shrI Ram Chandran's concerns about Rameshvaram (though he
explained himself later), I am surprised that no one pointed out the
incident in the mAdhavIya sha.nkaradigvijayam, the oldest
biography/hagiography of shrI sha.nkara. In that shrI padmapAdAchArya
goes on a pilgrimage and there is a separate chapter on the greatness of
rAmeshvaram. In that chapter there is a very nice incident where shrI
padmapAda interprets rAmeshvara as a tatpurushha, bahuvR^Ihi and a
karmadhAraya compounds and comes up with the interpretations: shiva who
is the Lord of rAma, shiva to whom rAma is the lord and rAma who is the
lord (of all) respectively.

So, with the authority of mAdhavachArya, all postings about rAmeshvaram
are definitely not off-topic for this list :-).

shrIhariM paramAnadamupadeshhTaram Ishvaram.h |
vyApakaM sarvalokAnAM kAraNaM taM namAmyaham.h ||
To shrI hari, supreme bliss, the first teacher, Lord,
All pervading, Cause of all worlds, to Him I bow.


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