[Advaita-l] Dharma

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Wed Dec 8 00:38:27 CST 2004

On Tue, 7 Dec 2004, Kiran B.R. wrote:

> 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.

Yes which is why Arjuna eventually retires from his kingdom and takes

> > 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.

No obviously not.  Yet when the student graduates, the cave is where he
ends up.  Like Arjuna.

> > 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.

So why does that matter?  The work would get done.  Could it be the Lord
has some other motive than just work?

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

Also don't forget the many times Krishna Bhagavan sat there minding the
horses when something could have been done.  Why the "capriciousness"?  Do
you think He is so cruel that He would torture His creations for sport?

> 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).

That doesn't follow at all.  The shloka also makes grammatical sense if
samnayasa involves yoga plus something more.

> 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

You ask.  Don't kid yourself that you are getting any support from Advaita
Vedantic tradition for such eccentric ideas.

>: 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).

Your argument is illogical because you are changing terms in the
middle of it.  When Advaita Vedanta speaks of the superiority of sannyasa
it is speaking of sarvakarmasannyasa.  This is a superset of

> 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".

Noone is a college graduate who is not a highschool graduate.  Does it
seem strange to you that we refer to one who has completed high school as
a graduate?  Does that make him equivalent to a college graduate just
because both have the word graduate in their titles?

> It is therefore proved
> here also that giving up of expectations is necessary and sufficient
> for saMnyAsa.

Not for sannyasa in the way Krishna Bhagavan intends.  And He does intend
to make a distinction or else the use of two terms yoga and sannyasa would
suffer from the defect of redundancy.

> 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.

Exactly.  I wouldn't say idol though.  But sannyasa is the future of the
karmayogi, the state he is heading for.  Just like Arjuna.

> This interpretation is flawed in two ways. One - nobody can give up
> work.

This is just a variant on the age old argument against jivanmukti and the
answer is the same.  What apparent actions take place are just the last
gasps of prarabdha karma.  The sannyasi doesn't act further or produce

> Two - you don't score two points, one for giving up work and one
> for giving up its fruits. You score only one point.

...and after that there are no more points.  It's a different game.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a boy! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/nilagriva/

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