Dvaita and Sophistry - Part 3(Inherent natures of jivas)

Shrisha Rao shrao at NYX.NET
Sat Mar 15 20:33:42 CST 2003

On Sat, 15 Mar 2003, kalyan chakravarthy wrote:

> Is it not possible for a tamasic person to become a sattvik one?


> If it is, then one cannot claim that his nature does not change.

Correct, but it isn't possible.

> If not,of what use are the scriptures to one who is tamasic?

They aren't.  No one has said they are.

> Can sattva, rajas, tamas be an inherent property of the soul itself?

Yes, as per Krishna's explicit word: svabhAvajA.

> If they are, then all persons with tamasic nature are bound for
> damnation(like in dvaita philosophy).

Correct; again as per Krishna's word: adho gachchhanti tAmasAH.

> Do you really get this eternal damnation idea from vedanta?

Yes, for example, from `andhaM tamaH pravishanti ye.avidyAmupAsate'
(Ishavasya U. 9), and also Krishna's word `mAM aprApyaiva kaunteya tato
yAnti adhamAM gatim.h' (having certainly failed to reach me, they reach
the lowest state).

> >Foods are themselves not classed into categories, except by reference to
> >the type of jIva that likes each.
> But the difference in their actions show that prakriti acts in a
> heterogenous fashion. Experience says that. You cannot deny experience. Your
> wish however if you choose to deny it.

No quarrel there.  The point however is that noting the various types of
food, etc., the various types of jIva-s form preferences in accord with
their own natures.  The preferences would have no meaning if the foods,
etc., were themselves all alike, which they aren't.

> >To take the reductio ad absurdum route, if, as you say, a person's
> >shraddhA is not constant, then ultimately all spiritual labor is
> >meaningless.
> No,for a theist may get converted to an atheist. An atheist anyway has least
> regard for spiritual labour. Similarly, an atheist may get converted to a
> theist. Would you deny these possibilities? Would you still say faith is
> constant?

The external manifestation of a person's quality is not constant (just as
a gem's lustre may get lost because of a covering of dirt); this has been
dealt with in the BG elsewhere.

> >Even changes made in
> >improving spiritual or good conduct do not constitute progress, as the
> >individual's character essentially is only doing a random walk and will
> >regress later.  No true seeker of any stripe will look upon such a
> >possibility with anything but extreme dread.
> You are making a far-reaching generalization. Faith is the major casuality
> in today's world. Change of faith is possible. Dont you see many people
> changing their religions? Who is a true seeker and who is not, who knows?

Non sequitur.

> >The Vedanta and its associated mythology does speak of good people who
> >wander from the right path or temporarily get overlaid with bad qualities
> >(because of sins, curses upon them, etc.), but even in such cases the
> >person does eventually gravitate toward a position reflecting the nobility
> >of his own nature, as the BG has said elsewhere
> Well, even bad people get reformed. Dont they? Does a bad person remain bad
> forever? May be in this birth. What about other births?

Krishna says there are people who remain bad birth after birth, whom He
refers to as cruel and foolish; these He "hurls" (kShipAmi) into one
demonic and inauspicious birth after another.  Such individuals, having
certainly failed to reach Him, reach the lowest state.  Those are the real
tAmasa-s, not anyone who reforms.

> >In regard to what you said, anecdotal experience is never a good empirical
> >tool, and is not so considered even in terms of the scientific method.
> But anecdotal experience should not go against the theory itself. Theory
> must be universally applicable.

Note and understand the meaning of the adjective, `anecdotal'.  What you
said above does not even make sense.


Shrisha Rao

> Kalyan

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