Dr. M. Giridhar giridhar at CHEMENG.IISC.ERNET.IN
Mon Apr 20 06:10:57 CDT 1998

>Q1) Is it true that Shree Shankaracharya rejected the karma of the
>first kind for a mumukshu?

        you have to define a mumukshu. All of us in this list may desire
liberation, but are we mumukshus ?
        Other than a few exceptions, Shankara has repeatedly emphasized
that physical sannyas is required for "attainment" of jnana. Why ?  Karma
and jnana can not be combined. But if you are a householder, you are
_required_ to perform all the three kinds of karma. Now, if you do not
perform karma, you are not upholding dharma, and you are in trouble.  You
will neither have jnana or punya. The solution is, you are required to
perform all the karmas in a spirit of dedication to the Lord i.e.
nishhkaamya karma, and get chitta shuddhi. Shankara makes it very clear in
BG bhashya that 'na karmana, na dhana, na putra...' 'Liberation can not be
obtained due to karma, wealth, sons ..., it is only jnana that confers

        So, performance of nishhkaamya karma leads to chitta shuddhi,
which eventually leads to jnana, but karma as such is incompatible with


        Regarding the other post titled "questions," I kindly request the
questioner to read a book called 'The goal and the way' by Swami
Satprakashananda, which deals with the problem of "consciousness is
dependent on the nervous system" etc. from the advaitic standpoint. In the
later chapters, the author quotes extensively from Shankara's works. This
is a good introductory book for learning about Shankara's deep philosophy.

AUM shaantiH

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