[Advaita-l] Jnana and Karma (was Fwd: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 75, Issue 5)

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Thu Oct 7 09:42:43 CDT 2010

Dear Sri Krishnadas,
It is not for me to suggest the path at all, being a person who struggles
with developing Sama, dama and the other qualities that are prerequisites
for vedAnta. I can only point to my intellectual understanding of what the
texts say and what the tradition of advaita AcArya-s whom I respect have
said for centuries.
Sankara bhagavatpAda's gItAbhAshya, particularly in the sixth chapter, is
a must read in this context. The following verses and their commentary are
a pointer to the vaidIka path from karmA to its renunciation.
Arurukshor muner yogaM karma kAraNam ucyate yogArUDhasya tasyaiva SamaH ...
SanaiS Sanair uparamed buddhyA dhRti-gRhItayA ...
Note that sureSvarAcArya cites the first in naishkarmyasiddhi in the same
My views on how yoga fits in the path from karmA to its renunciation, from
pravRtti dharma to nivRtti are informed completely by my reading of the
gItAbhAshya. Regarding the use of yoga in this context, please also see
the brahmasUtra bhAshya under sUtra "api ca saMrAdhane pratyakshAnumAnAbhyAm"
(3.2.24). I won't go into much detail on this now, for want of time, but 
note that here Sankara bhagavatpAda mentions bhakti, dhyAna and praNidhAna
as the means by which one ultimately sees the AtmA that is only describable
as "neti, neti".
Best regards,

> From: krishnadas135 at gmail.com
> To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 11:58:32 +1100
> Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Jnana and Karma (was Fwd: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 75, Issue 5)
> Sri Vidyasankarji,
> Would you like to suggest in simple and practical terms, what might be this
> valid vaidIka path from karma to its renunciation. I think that we all
> struggle with living jnana, whilst at the same time finding ourselves
> impelled to karma. We try to respond to our prarabdha karma in a way which
> reflects our jnana understanding, but often with mild success.
> Theoretically, of course, the error in this question might be: who is doing,
> responding, etc, but within the realms of each of our individual
> experiences, in our dualistic states we find ourselves in, we do still
> experience being the doer, etc., despite our mental acknowledgement that
> "all is Brahman".
> Krishnadas
> ************************************************************************
> >Sri Subrahmanian has already demonstrated why the padma purANa verses are
> clear and deliberate misunderstandings of advaita. I must, however, along
> with <.
> >Sri Murali, question your motivations if you think that the gauDiya
> vaishNavite's favorite verses attributed to the padma purANa are a correct
> representation of >the advaita position. You are looking only at the kernel
> of the advaita position regarding karmA and its renunciation, forgetting the
> pith of the matter.
> >"Encouraging the ignorant alone to perform veda karmA" - everybody who is
> born comes with ignorance. It follows that according to advaita, everybody
> has to >perform vaidika karmA, till the qualification for renunciation is
> firm. karmA and jnAna cannot be combined, because one cannot renounce karmA
> and still insist >upon its performance. Those sampradAya-s that have a place
> for saMnyAsa and still insist upon karmA have a deep rooted contradiction
> internally, in their core.
> >On the other hand, in advaita vedAnta, there is a path from karmA to its
> renunciation and if you don't see that this path is a valid vaidIka path,
> you are gravely >mistaken about what vaidIka really means. In this, you are
> not alone, for this sort of misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the
> advaita position (deliberate or >otherwise) is common to many. But if that
> is your preferred view, perhaps advaita-L is not the company you should
> keep.
> Vidyasankar
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