Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Thu Feb 20 13:35:46 CST 2003

On Wed, 19 Feb 2003, Elisabeth Faulkner wrote:

> I'm confused - first the question seemed to be how to separate mud from
> water. One way is to remove the water, like drying. Does it matter how?
> Why would it matter how? There was a want/need to make the separation.
> Does path matter?

What if you don't have the tools for drying?  Then what good is the
theoretical knowledge of e.g. paeper towels going to do you?

Path matters in the sense that it has to be practical and achieve results.
This means first determining what one thinks the goal should be.  Then
determining a way to reach that goal.  Then actually doing it.  And all of
these things are debatable.  That's why we need gurus, and mailing lists
and Sanskrit books.

> Another way to remove oneself from a mix of mud and water is to seek out
> the deeper water or faster flowing water. There is danger in this -
> either on the way or while in the pure water.

This is a good example.  Were one actually doing this one would have to
calculate whether the danger is to great or the risk is tolerable.  It's a
far cry from saying let the mud and water seperate themselves.

> But I ask: why want to separate mud from water? Each needs the other to
> flouirsh.

When I want a drink of water I'd rather not have any mud in it thankyou
very much.  If I was gardening aquatic plants, maybe I would want mud.
Different situations may or may not demand different outlooks.  Point is
again you cannot just say "let it be" and leave it at that.  The Taoist
(as I understand) can because his goal is not transcend the universe but
simply to be unaffected by it.  And so with similiar Hindu philosophies.
The Advaita Vedantic criticque is that this useless because it actually
leaves you totally at the mercy of external forces.

Nanda Chandran wrote:

> Please ponder on the numerous statements in Shankara's works which exhorts
> the aspirant to abandon all action to become "bodiless". It is this
> "non-action" that I was trying to relate to here.

The odd things is that non-action is itself action.  It is justified in
being called non-action because it systematically destroys itself as
opposed to conventional actions which multiply endlessly.  A definite
sadhana is being asked for and that doesn't seem to me to be the same as
just inertly waiting for things to resolve themselves.

I believe the passage from Mundakopanishad that was quoted a while ago is
relevant here and I'll try and write about it soon.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>
It's a girl! See the pictures -

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