[Advaita-l] Dharma

Kiran B.R. kiran.br at gmail.com
Tue Dec 7 03:53:29 CST 2004

> The beauty of logic is it doesn't depend on appearences.

Oh it does. You are the one who postulate that the world "appears" to
be this and that and whatnot to the Atma.

> That's a straw man you are raising.  "There is no crisis" doesn't imply
> "nothing needs to be done" only that what needs to be done (and eventually
> not done) should be determined by intelligence not blind panic.

The "imply" and "blind panic" parts are your lemon-juice in my milk.
Therefore the straw man is your construction.

> Again, the import of this shloka is that just giving up is not sannyasa.
> What is left out here but is the central theme of Advaita Vedanta is that
> giving up with understanding is sannyasa and it is the only path to
> moksha.

See reply to Kartik.

> Repeat he _appears_ to work.  As you yourself point out later.  This is a
> subtle but important difference because it establishes the relative values
> of work and non-work.

See reply to Kartik.

> > Also, why would he uphold that which is not superior?
> Out of compassion for those who are inferior?

Upholding the inferior for the inferior is ultimately not a display of
compassion. Upholding the superior for the inferior and helping the
inferior become superior is.

> The good teacher adjusts his lesson to fit the student.

Sure. And he doesn't go about teaching every student of mOkSha that he
ought to be in the cave.

> I have a question: if Krishna is so fond of work, why in the middle of
> this tumultuous battle is he sitting in a chariot minding horses?  Surely
> a few well-placed thunderbolts could have reduced the Mahabharata from
> 100,000 shlokas to 1,000.

That would be a hindi movie with nothing for us to take away but a
display of computer-graphics.

Also, don't forget how Krishna felt compelled to use his
sudarshanachakra when work was not progressing at the required speed.

> so the whole point of this diatribe on advaita-l is to encourage dieting?

Not the whole point, but one of the points, sure. It's a wake-up call
to those thinking of giving up their jobs because the body is a "mass
of urine and excreta".

> karmi -> karmayogi -> tattvavid -> sannyasi

This is your reading. Mine is:

karmi -> karmayOgi = tatvavid = sanyasi

> I don't know of one reader of this list who isn't out to improve
> themselves so if you are feeling guilty about such things perhaps you
> should discuss it on some psychology-related forum not advaita-l?

Ego-police, register this!

> > yaM saMnyAsamiti prAhuryOgaM taM viddhi pAMDava |
> > na hyasanyasta saMkalpO yOgI bhavati kaSchana || (B.G. 6.2)
> > That which they call saMnyAsa, know that to be [karma]yOga. No one
> > becomes a [karma]yOgI without renouncing saMkalpa.
> This shloka merely says that renunciation of action is a superset of
> renunciation of fruits of action.  In other words one cannot take up
> sannyasa in anticipation of some reward.  In the first adhyaya Arjuna asks
> Krishna Bhagavan if he shouldn't just concede the kingdom to Duryodhana
> rather than fight him?  That type of "renunciation" would be cowardice not
> true sannyasa.

"yaM saMnyAsamiti prAhuryOgaM taM viddhi pAMDava |" can mean one of two things:

1) "saMnyAsa = yOga", or
2) "yOga is the superset of saMnyAsa".

("saMnyAsa is the superset of yOga" appears when the venn-diagrams are
wrongly drawn).

Further, in saying "na hyasanyasta saMkalpO yOgI bhavati kaSchana ||",
the message is: Achieving saMkalpa-saMnyAsa (giving up of
expectations) is a prerequisite for being a yOgI.

Now we ask: What do you call him who has achieved saMkalpa-saMnyAsa?
Is he a saMnyAsI or not? If he is a saMnyAsI, we have the case of
saMnyAsa being the superset of yOga (which, together with 2 above,
establishes 1 above, i.e., that saMnyAsa = yOga). If he is not a
saMnyAsI, then, it is strange that "no one becomes a yOgI without
renouncing saMkalpa" is being given as support for "That which they
call saMnyAsa, know that to be [karma]yOga". It is therefore proved
here also that giving up of expectations is necessary and sufficient
for saMnyAsa. Hence we say that a saMnyAsI is he who has renounced
saMkalpa (expectations). If he has further renounced physical labour,
that's his whim, his fancy, the country's misfortune.

Instead of this, your interpretation is:

karmayOgi gives up results, saMnyAsI gives up both results and work
itself. Therefore saMnyAsa is the superset of yOga. Therefore saMnyAsa
is greater! Therefore a saMnyAsI is the idol for a karmayOgI.

This interpretation is flawed in two ways. One - nobody can give up
work. Two - you don't score two points, one for giving up work and one
for giving up its fruits. You score only one point. Besides, you're
afraid that if you start working again, you may have trouble giving up
karmaphala. That's cowardice. A coward is nobody's idol. If you claim
that you're not afraid of losing whatever you think you'll lose, come
out and till field irrespective of your elevated intellect!

Perhaps this drives home the point further: A so-called renouncer of
work, who is only sitting in the cave and meditating, is doing karma.
He is seen to be doing something, although he may not be transporting
gunny-bags full of rice. Whatever he is doing, he better be renouncing
its fruit. If not, he's a faker. If he is truly renouncing it,
ultimately he too is a fruit-renouncer, non-differentiable from a


achchakannaDigara baLaga!

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