[Advaita-l] Re: Tantra

latha vidya lathavidya at yahoo.co.in
Thu Jan 29 10:37:24 CST 2004

Hari Om,
I think there is a difference between "renunciation of action" and "inaction". When there is an obstacle in way of our performing an action, we are usually vulnerable to take the path of least resistance - inaction! Why do it at all when we can be safe not performing the action?! We let someone else take up the responsibility of doing it. This is cowardice, flinching from responsibility! I think Arjuna was in this state of mind when he said he would go away from the battle field.
Whereas renunciation of action comes into picture when you have shed all 'abhimaana' and 'moha' - rather they are shed by themselves when one realises the dream-like quality of this 'reality'. Here renunciation is not another action where there is 'kartritva' of renouncing and 'bhoktritva' of relief. Kartritva and bhoktritva would be redundant in this case. 
Renunciation should not be considered as an easy way of escaping from  responsibilities. Rather it should happen like "Oorvaarukamiva bhandhanaath"- like how a ripened cucumber automatically severes from the stem. Before its ripening, plucking it from the stem would cause injury both to the cucumber and to the plant. Similarly our renunciation will happen when our antahkarana is fully ripe with knowledge. No effort need be put to forcibly renounce, in which case it can not at all be called renunciation. A sanyaasi who keeps thinking that he has left his wife and children back home is deceiving himself.
Hence for us ordinary mortals who want to 'renounce action', just renounce the desire for fruit of that action. Indulge in 'nishkaama karma' and that will purify the antahkarana.
I am sorry if the list members feel that my replies to the letters here are impertinent. I am no scholar. Nor can I follow any of the "Bhaashyaas". I just express my thoughts aloud here. I hope I am excused.
Latha Vidyaranya
Raghavendra N Kalyan <kalyan7429 at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

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.

Then why is it mentioned at all?
Because there may well be situations when the only course of action is the
"wrong" thing. In which case if it has to be done it should be done in
the best way possible.

The war of Kurukshetra is an example. To kill your brothers and respected
elders is terribly terribly wrong. Yet this is what Krishna Bhagavan asks
Arjuna to do in the Gita. Of course all avenues of peace are explored
first. the Pandavas agree to give up half the kingdom. Krishna Bhagavan
Himself goes on a diplomatic mission to Duryodhana. However when war is
finally declared it must be fought to the death. There is no room for
cowardice or equivocation in the performance of ones duty.

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