Practical Vedanta

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Sun May 16 23:38:06 CDT 1999

On Sun, 16 May 1999, Madhavan Srinivasan wrote:

> Yes, this is absolutely true. Is it  a fair thing to think about ourself(or
> whatever you say like 'self realization') and dying to attain mukthi  while
> lots of people(particularly indians) suffer from evils like
> castism,religious riots,hunger,unemployment etc.,?

Yes.  Peace and stability is what all people crave.  Your hungry,
unemployed riot victims would not give it up if it were within their grasp
so why should anyone else?

> What a great thought. You are refusing to accept the pains of other poor
> people and wants to concentrate on your comfartables by using some gimmicks
> like 'perception of the world'. Is this practical vedanta?

So people care.  How lovely.  What on earth have all the caring, practical
reformers actually done for anyone besides tell us how willing to accept
pains they are?  For the past 200 years socialist do-goodery has been the
political agenda of Hindu reformers.  Far from any progress they are the
ones keeping India backward.  I saw this on my last trip there.  Every
single area of life where free enterprise rules is uptodate, efficient,
and well-run.  Even in out of the way places like Rajkot, our home town,
many aspects of life compare favorably with the West.  But every service
run by the government is hideously unfriendly and inefficient.  It is the
very people that everyone claims to care so much about who suffer because
of this.

Everywhere people are given a choice, they choose crass, materialistic,
uncaring capitalism.  Because it delivers results not slogans.

> This is a pure escapism. We people settled in our lives and comfortably
> discussing vedanta in the net. There are people who are struggling for their
> day to day life. But you are advising that forget about other poor people
> and solve your problem first.

And you are not even doing that much.

> >  Please understand that the reason some of us dont feel as strongly about
> >"reforming" the world as you do, is not because we are complacent. We are
> >all full of enthu and all that, but some of us place greater emphasis on
> >the
> >teachings of jnAni's like Ramana Maharishi and others, who literally
> >beseech
> >us to find our "Selves" and hence try as much as we can to find it.
> >
> >bhava shankara desikame sharaNam
> >Vaidya.
> Then whats the use of your 'full enthusiasm' to reform the world. You place
> greater emphasis on the teachings of jnani's like Ramana Maharishi than
> reforming the society. Can you place greater emphasis on teachings of jnani
> than to keep your job safe, to get good hike in your salary, to get good
> comfortables etc.?

I can. If there is ever a conflict between my job and my Dharma, I'll give
up the job instantly.  But in the mean time, yes I'd like a bigger salary
too.  Why not?  What's wrong with being comfortable?

You are not the first person, to lament the supposed flaws of traditional
Hinduism.  Our history is littered with the wreckage of "reformist"
movements. Either they rejoined the status quo or they disappeared.
Sanatana Dharma has survived, because thank God, it is not
"spiritual"--not 100%.  It is concerned with all the things important to
Humans of which both the spiritual and the material are components.  The
Vedic teaching is very simple.  The person who is enamored of this
world--whether for selfish or noble reasons--must follow the appropriate
injunctions and prohibiions of the Vedas which cover Dharma, Artha, and
Kama.  One who has realized the futility of these pursuits should take
sannyasa and seek Moksha.  You cannot blame the sannyasi for not being
interested inyour petty concerns any more than I can blame you for not
being interested in the size of my salary.

> In my point of view, 'practical vedanta' means : helping others, reforming
> the society by eradicating - castism,religious differences,etc.

With all due respect what is your point of view worth if it not backed by
deep understanding?  History has shown what happens when people of little
knowledge start trying to eradicate things.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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