[Advaita-l] Re: More on Paurusha

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Wed Dec 6 09:12:28 CST 2006

On Wed, 6 Dec 2006, Viswanathan N wrote:

>  With due apologies, I disagree with the above statement. What is
>  Dharma? Isnt't it totally relative! Doing yajnas alone cant be dharma.

No and I'm not saying that.  Rather as I explained in an earlier email,
yajna is the archetype of Dharmic karma.  All actions can be analyzed on
the basis of the concepts originally meant for analyzing karma.

>  For a butcher , butching is Dharma (hope you recall the story of rishi
>  who burnt a bird, going for biksha, guided to a butcher by devote
>  housewife)

Yes, this is the story of Kaushika and Dharmavyadha told in the
Mahabharata.  Dharmavyadha was a hunter not a butcher btw.
Shankaracharya uses this very episode as an example of a Shudra who was a

>   One who knows " Who He is", who doesnt have desires/ attachments and
>   just carrying on his dutiful karma is spritually evolved. He needn' t
>   even be a scholor of scriptures or priest doing rituals. Take the
>   cases of Kabir, Meera, Bhakta Khumbhar.......

The Gita says:

yaGYArthAt karmaNo.anyatra loko.ayam karmabandhanaH |
tadarthaM karma kaunteya muktasa~ngha samAchara || 3.9 ||

"Except for the purpose of Yajna, this entire world is in bondage to
Karma. Only actions with that purpose, Kaunteya [Arjuna], free of
expectation, should you do."

This message of the Gita is often bastardized to "work is worship." but it
would be more accurate to say "work can be worship."  We can recognize
three types of workers:

1.  The one who is doing work without thinking or planning because someone
   told him to or forced him to etc.  His only relationship to
   spirituality is the idea that Gods and spirits may interfere with his
   life and need to be placated to leave him alone.

2. The one who is doing work for personal interest.  He may be religious
   but only because he may feel Gods can help him in his ambitions or
   reward him if  he is on good terms with them.

3. The one who works with dispassion and without expectations of results,
   purely as a matter of Dharma and for the love of God.  This is yajna
   whether it is done by the pandit or the butcher.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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