[Advaita-l] advaita vEdAnta Unit (2)

Krishnamurthy Ramakrishna puttakrishna at verizon.net
Sun Dec 31 16:19:01 CST 2006

Kris Manian posed some questions on December 30, 2006, on Unit (2) described
below. The responses are annotated with my initials and date for easy

>The law of karma and reincarnation to experience the karmaphala are the
>corner stones of the 

>philosophies of sanAtana dharma. We need to understand the three categories
>of karma (phala)in order to fully understand the law of karma.

First question: Based on law of karma and re-incarnation, hoping this
applies to whole of humanity, why then
only India and china's population grew rapidly and the white/western
population decreased?
Does this mean more Indians and Chinese did more bad karma or India and
china were the destination of
rest of the world's bad karma. The animal population is decreasing every
where due to rise of humans
and gaming. So more animals must be giving birth as Humans.
sanAtana dharma is eternal and universal; so it applies to all living 
beings all over the creation, whether one believes in it or not.
karma is not necessarily bad karma. There is good karma and there is bad
karma. Good deeds beget higher forms of birth or in better environments; bad
deeds(with respect to dharma) beget birth in worse environments or lower
forma of life (animals). When we say better or worse
environments, they could be economical (being born is affluent families,
affluent countries etc.), social or spiritual environments, depending on
the desires of the jIva in the past life or lives. Birth in India or China
or any place may be beyond human humans. Birth in an
environment also matches another dimension - compatibility with parents and
children, siblings etc. Every jIva owes debts to society; repayment of this
debt is optimized by service in specific environments or to specific 
communities, according to such debts; such debts may be a subset of
I remember reading that there are some 33 crore (3,300,000) species of
living beings (If some one has a different know-how, please let know). The
population of many of these species are larger than the human population. So
how do you reckon that animal population is decreasing?

>1.    sanchita karma (karma in storage)
Is Sanchita karma for one person be distributed and born as more than one
person? May be a reason for population increase?
KR - 12/31/06.
No; karma is a baggage of individual jIva. At the time of death, the jIva
escapes from the body in a capsule called sUkshma sharIra (subtle body) or
linga sharIra, which carries the imprints of this life, with the past karma
(call this the hard disk of each jIva; it writes the most recent karma to
the hard disk, which already has sanchita from past lives). There is no 
distribution of one's karma into different persons (jIva) at the same time.
On the issue of population; The jIvas (subtle body) from anAdi-beginningless
time, spanning several kalpas (we will review this when we study jagat), are
wandering to take birth in appropriate bodies; The only logical explanation
we can venture is that this time may be fertile for large number of
prArabdhas to come to fruition in human form; If any body has another
explanation, welcome!

>2.    prArabdha karma (karma that has begun to bear fruit)
And then there are karmas that we all beings do during our current life and
most of them
bear fruit during the life time. Again the fruit may vary from person to
person based on prArabdha karma, am I right? Because not every one gets the
same results for similar actions. This type of karma is not included in this
list, I believe.
KR - 12/31/06
Karma is used both as the act and fruits of the act; in vEdAntic context, in
conjunction with law of karma, it is mostly the fruits of action; It is not
as much the fruit of action with respect to effort, but with respect to
attitude; for example, for a karma yOgi, whose actions are for the welfare
of the society (lOka-kalyANa) and not desire oriented, there is no
karma-phala and no next life with respect to that action. The prArabdha
karma may
influence the results of an action, but it could be compensated by more or
a different kind of effort. We will study the variation of results among
individuals in Unit-3.

>3.    AgAmi karma (karma resulting from future activities).
This definition does not make sense, reading your explanation below it 
should probably read as "unfulfilled Karma resulting from current life
KR - 12/31/06.
The "future activities" is with respect to the beginning of this life. The
beginning of this life marks the point at which the prArabdha has been
detached from the sanchita; The AgAmi will add to the sanchita at the end of
the life. The future activities is the activities between birth and death,
looked from the reference of birth. Your statement that it is the
"unfulfilled Karma resulting from current life activities" is not
inappropriate; Consider that it is still in the computer's memory (DRAM),
and still has not been saved into the hard disk during the life; it will
be saved at the time of death. 

If one's entire sanchita karma were to be translated to
>prArabdha  for one life, the

>man will collapse under the weight of the misery (suicide!), that he will

But we do see suicides, is it due to imbalances in prArabdha karma?
Does this take in to account, deaths by accident, killing etc. or only
KR - 12/31/06
Yes! we do see suicides. You can say so that, it is my opinion that it is
due to imbalance in prArabdha. That is why I have it in parenthesis with an
exclamation mark.
I have not seen any documented statements to this effect. But what is
documented is the excessive burden if all sanchita is translated in to
prArabdha for one life. It is His mercy to break the prArabdha into 
installments to help the jIva succeed. Again, we are assuming here that all
sanchita will beget a human life. What if part of sanchita were to beget an
animal life? Then, of course, the sanchita has to be partitioned.

>own desires, adding to the store of karma with each appearance,
>necessitating more births and so on. 
So what happens to the kids who die prematurely? Were they destined that
way? How does this
explain decrease in child death due to medical advances as well  as increase
in avarage human
life? This means we will be expensing more of sanchita karma? or is
prArabdha karma already based on life expectancy?
KR - 12/31/06
Premature death is figured in prArabdha. Think of the seven children of
Ganga, who were killed by herself, before Shantanu stopped the eighth child
- BhIshma - from killing him ( The eight were the ashTa vasus; seven of them
were accomplices in attacking and killing vasiShTa's cow; the eighth vasu
killed the cow and had a longer life; the other seven just had to be born to
pay off their karma). bhIshma's prArabdha prevented Ganga from killing the
baby the eighth time, by the intervention of Shantanu; the prarabdha of the
first seven babies were responsible for Shantanu to keep quiet, as Ganga was
kuilling them (It was the pre-marriage agreement between Ganga and Shantanu
that she will be his wife until such time he will not object to any of her
actions). The orthodox view is that medical advances don't prolong life; at
best, they reduce the level of pain, to improve quality of life, which could
be built into the prArabdha. An intellectual argument can be made that
Brahman being omniscient, the current and impending medical advances are in
the realm of His omniscience and He will meter prArabdha with this

K. Ramakrishna.

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