[Advaita-l] Re : Karma and Reincarnation (Chandrashekar)

Lakshmi Muthuswamy lakmuthu at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 21 05:24:37 CDT 2006

CAturvarNyam -Verse 4.13 Bhagavad Gita Home study by Swami Dayananada Sarasvati– Continued –4
  Krsna as doer and non-doer   
  The vedic culture, then, divides people into foru groups, catvArah varNah, according to their duty, karma- the system itself being possible because of the three guNas, sattva, rajas, and tamas, found in everyone. And KrsNa, as Isvara, could say, ‘I created them all, but don’t blame me. I am not the doer. Because of their own karma, they are born differently.’ To blame Isvara is like putting your finger into the fire, and, when the fire burns it, asking the fire,’Did you burn my finger?’ Then the fire replies, ‘Yes, I burned your finger.’ And when you ask, ‘Why did you burn my finger?’ and the fire says ‘I did not burn your fingers.’
  ‘But’, you continue, ‘You told me you we re the kartA. You were the one who burned. You said you did it.’ ‘yes, I said it,’ the fire replies. Then you say to the fire, ‘But you also said you are not the kartA. You said you are akartA. Why?’ ‘This is because, I did not burn,’ the fire says. ‘But you burned!’ you say. ‘Yes, I burned,’ says the fire. Then, again, you say, “but you said you didn’t burn.’ ‘Yes’ agreed says the fire, ‘ because I didn’t burn.’
  What is all this? The fire says it is the kartA and also says it is the akartA. Then the fire explains, ‘I did it because I burned the finger. Nobody else burned the finger. It was me. But I didn’t do it because I didn’t go after your finger, did I? You stuck your finger into me. You asked for it and you got it. After all, I am fire, Lord Agni. In whichever form you invoke me, in that form I will bless you. You can try again. I can boil water for you. I can warm up your room or your hands. And I can burn your fingers, too. What do you want from me? Tell me, and I will give it to you. But don’t blame me. From my own standpoint I am not the kartA. From the standpoint of what you receive from me, I am the kartA because you get whatever your karma deserves. I am the law and I cannot transgress the law I am.’
  Similarly, as Isvara, KrisNa says that he had created the particular structure reflected by the four groups of people as a part of this creation. Therefore, we are to know Isvara as the kartA, the maker or creator of this four-fold division. At the same time, he is also to be understood as akartA because he says, ‘I have not done this at all. I am a non-doer. How can this be?
  Only from the standpoint of the world and the four groups of people in it can we take KrisNa to be the doer, the kartA. Whereas, from his own standpoint, from Parameshavara’s standpoint, in reality, he is not the kartA of anything. Therefore, he is not subject to blame. A person has a particular karma that determines whether he is a brAhmaNa, kshatriya, vaishya, or shudra. Which group the jiva is born into is the jives own doing and has nothing whatsoever to do with I svara.
  This four-fold division is in the creation. Those who have sattva as predominant become brAhmaNas, those who have rajas as predominant become kshatriyas or vaishyas. It all depends on one’s own composition. Everyone has the capacity to change his or her composition because every one has a free will. One’s composition has nothing to do with Isvara; he is only the giver of the results of actions, karma phala data, and is completely impartial in this regard.
  Isvara is kartA from the standpoint of what is created and akartA from the standpoint of his own knowledge about himself, meaning that for him, there is no notion that ‘ I am the doer.’ That is, he has no kartrtva - buddhi. KrsNa said earlier that this was not only true for him but for everyone. Anyone who looks upon Isvara as oneself, AtmA as the akartA, is also akartA.
  This is the end of the series on verse number 4.13 Bhagavd Gita – cAturvarNam maya srshtam
  Om namo narayanaya
  Lakshmi Muthuswamy

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