[Advaita-l] Budha & Advaita

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Wed Jan 4 09:39:24 CST 2006

On Wed, 4 Jan 2006, murali mohan wrote:

> Karma phalas no longer affect a person who has gone beyond the mind.

you mean beyond the ego (ahamkara).  This is only one component of "mind."

> Karma Kanda rituals is only for beginners in the path. Cannot and need 
> not be followed by advanced seekers as expoused in Gita itself.

Only _knowers_ can give up karma.  "Seekers" no matter how advanced they 
are (or think they are) must continue practising their obligatory duties 
as long as they have even the nail of one toe dipped in the ocean of 

> Nor 
> feasible in Kaliyuga esp with shortage of time and money.

On the contrary there are plenty of historical and even contemporary 
accounts of shrauta yajnas.  And if you also include tantrokta animal 
sacrifices these take place thousands of times a day all over India.

> Animal 
> sacrifices were performed by tribals and the like who anyway wanted to 
> eat meat so were made to sanctify the meat by offering it to their deity 
> first. It was just a method to get them to consume it as prasad so as to 
> maybe lessen the sin and to gradually drag them away from the tendency. 
> By ignorant persons I meant those who do rituals for rituals sake 
> without trying to understand the significance of it.

Again not true.  The validity of Vedic animal sacrifices is upheld in 
Brahmasutra 3.1.25  and as I mentioned before historically they have been 
performed by all sectors of society including those who were otherwise 

The "problem" with yajnas from the Advaitic point of view has nothing to 
do with the manner in which they are carried out.  After all, the argument 
of 3.1.25 goes, how can they be unethical when they are recommended by the 
Vedas, the very source of ethics?  No the problem is not the method of 
implementation but the intention of the performer.  All animal sacrifices 
mentioned in the Vedas are kamya -- designed to acheive a specific 
material benefit for the yajamana.  It is this hankering after transitory 
objects which is the real "sin."

In fact this is probably (i haven't studied the sources) the Buddhist view 
too.  Consider that in no buddhist culture today is there anything like 
the percentage of vegetarians as there is in India.  If taking life is 
inherently sinful, how do you explain that?  Probably Jainism is the only 
Indic religion which has made total ahimsa one of its principles.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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