[Advaita-l] Re: Tantra

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Wed Jan 28 14:46:01 CST 2004

On Wed, 28 Jan 2004, Raghavendra N Kalyan wrote:

> Namaste,
> Dear Jaldhar, I really liked your answer. However, given a choice
> between "performing action" and "renunciation of action", is it not
> better to choose the latter when the former involves doing something
> "wrong(?)" even if the "wrong(?)" thing is the only alternative? Of
> course, this is the basic issue on which the bhagavad gIta is based, but
> I never really got Krishna's point here. Can you or someone else please
> explain? I would appreciate it if you use the example of the mahAbhArata
> war itself. For instance, what would be so wrong if Arjuna renounced
> worldly life instead of fighting the war? Thanks.

Because it was a dereliction of his duty as a Kshatriya and a king.  The
consequences for his family and country even himself would have been
disastrous.  And could Duryodhana have been trusted to keep any treaty?
An abject display of weakness would only have provoked such a man.  The
result of failing to fight at that juncture would have been like Neville
Chamberlains' "peace in our time" -- no peace at all.

The evil consequences of inapproriate inaction can be seen in the behavior
of people such as Dhrtarashtra, Bhishma, and Drona.  Had they reined in
Duryodhana none of this would have happened.  In fact the Mahabharata
pinpoints the humiliation of Draupadi as the moment of the downfall of the
Kuru vamsha.

Arjunas' arguments for renunciation were self-serving.  Therefore sannyasa
at that point would have been hypocritical.  We all probably know people
like that who use "spirituality" as an excuse for not facing up to life.
But the Vedantic path requires fearlessness.  The sthitaprajna
(steady minded one) extolled in the Gita faces all situations in the same
calm manner.

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

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