When Lord Yama knocks one's door!

Ravisankar Mayavaram msr at ISC.TAMU.EDU
Mon Jan 11 16:12:53 CST 1999

On Mon, 11 Jan 1999, Ashish Chandra wrote:

> but I do have a question/comment. If an action is performed by being
> cognizant of one's body (which surely is destructible) and the fact that it
> might be destroyed, say, tomorrow, I am not sure how significant that
> action would be as compared to action being performed in the light of
> knowledge that I am immortal.

Only Atman is immortal. It is but a sAkShi or witness and it does
not get involved in any action. I was addressing it to a jIvA who
thinks he/she acts. The transmigratory being jIva is nothing but
brahman limited by AvidyA. jIvA is not immortal, as the concept
of jIvA will disappear along with the destruction of avidyA.

> By attaching fear and/or anticipation to
> one's action, is one not looking out for the result ?

My point  was not fear or anticipation of result. It was about
priorities. The question "will it help at the time of death?" may
help one to keep the priorities straight. That is all.

If I compromise and do only 28 gAyatrI's instead of 108 (or more)
because of some official deadline and not willing to compromise
on my sleep then  at least during the day I should remember to
inwardly pray whenever possible. For abandonding religious duty
for a secular duty is keeping priorities wrong and that is what
many do.

Death is a reminder of impermanence, and it need not feared.
Faith in God and spiritual effort (even little bit) will
eventually will save one from the great fear (trAyate mahato
bhayat, as Rama pointed out).

>Then what happens to  detached action ?

When you offer the fruits of the action to God it is fine. But
should we not use our intellect before starting the action. For
instance watching T.V. or a movie (unless it is on God) often is
a waste of time. How can you dedicate it God? One can meditate or
pray instead of watching it. When we hate to eat a foul smelling
food, will we offer it to the supreme being? So we have to make a
choice. That choice, when we are aware of the consequences, can
be guided by the nitya-anitya-vasthu-vivekam.  Death is the
powerful play that demonstrates impermanence.  It shows what is

svAmi prabhavAnanda in his book "How to know God" suggests that
before buying anything ask whether it is essential (like life
supporting) whether it will take one closer to God. If the answer
is no, then it is unnecessary. In a similar vein is the question
"Will it help us at the time of Death"

I am not for abandoning one's duty. Rarely we abandon things that
pleases our ego. First thing that goes out is our religious

>How is one to be identified with the indestructible ONE
> in this case ?

Through the guidance of guru and God. We can pray to God who is
 our eternal friend for help. We can ask Him to guide our actions
and thoughts.


"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
List archives : http://listserv.tamu.edu/archives/advaita-l.html

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list