[Advaita-l] Dharma

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Mon Dec 6 12:54:46 CST 2004

--- "Kiran B.R." <kiran.br at gmail.com> wrote:

> > 1) The ignorant holds 'I act'. (GItA 3.27)
> > 2) The knower of Truth holds 'I act not'. (GItA 5.8)
> > 3) The Lord says 'I act'. (GItA 3.22)
> >
> > Therefore, we have a most wonderful conclusion that can be drawn
> from
> > your novel interpretation of the GItA that takes into account the
> above
> > three verses:
> > 
> > 4) The Lord says 'I act', which only the ignorant thinks, therefore
> the
> > Lord is ignorant!
> When the lord says 'I act', what is meant is - the world perceives
> him
> to be acting, not he, for he is established in the knowledge of BG
> 5.8.

So when you said in your previous email: "Although there is no karma
for kRuShNa in any of the three worlds, he works. Repeat - he works."
You actually meant: "Although Krishna NEVER works, he says 'I work' in
a secondary sense of taking care of the living beings of the world
through his power of Maya."

It is imperative to interpret correctly what in the GItA is said in the
primary sense and what in the secondary sense, without which correct
understanding would become impossible.

Let us look again at the verses which speak of Karma Yoga and sannyAsa.

The verse that unambiguously speaks of sannyAsa is:

asaktabuddhiH sarvatra jitaatmaa vigataspR^ihaH .
naishhkarmyasiddhiM paramaam sannyaasenaadhigachchhati ..
"He who is unattached, whose self is subdued and desireless, by
sannyAsa he attains the supreme state of freedom from action." 
(GItA 18.49)

Note what the Lord is saying about sannyAsa -- SANNYASA REQUIRES

Now, did Arjuna possess the qualifications for sannyAsa? No - he wanted
to take up sannyAsa out of "pity" for his relatives, and because his
rightful duty as a warrior led to their destruction. This is absolutely
the wrong reason to take up sannyAsa, and hence Krishna had to deter
Arjuna from taking this wrong decision.

Let us take a look at the verse 6.1 again:

anaashritaH karmaphalaM kaaryan karma karoti yaH .
sa sannyaasii cha yogii cha na niragnirna chaakriyaH .. 6.1 ..
"He who, without depending on the fruits of action, performs his
bounden duty, he is a Samnyasin and a Yogin: not he who is without fire
and without action."

Note that the above verse is contradicting the dharma shAstras that lay
down the renunciation of agnihotra for a sannyAsI. Does Krishna then
mean that a true sannyAsI ought not to renounce works (such as
agnihotra)? No. Krishna is saying something more - that there exist
persons who (out of laziness or otherwise) do not perform their
obligated dharma. These people CANNOT be called sannyAsIs. It is with a
view to COMMENDING the Karma yogI that Krishna praises action with
detachment to its fruits, contrasting it with those FALSE RENOUNCERS
who reject their moral obligations out of laziness (or other wrong
reasons, such as "pity" in Arjuna's case).

The entire GItA is to primarily help Arjuna understand the difference
between taking up sannyAsa with the right qualifications and taking up
sannyAsa for the wrong reasons. Interpreted in this light, verse 6.1
leads Arjuna to the right understanding that relieving oneself of
enjoined dharma and taking up sannyAsa without the proper
qualifications is to proceed on the wrong path, therefore working with
detachment to the fruits is commendable to the alternative. 


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