[Advaita-l] what is advaita to a samsari?

Vinodh vinodh.iitm at gmail.com
Sat May 15 11:46:09 EDT 2021

Dear Sri Murali,

I will attempt to answer the follow-up based on my own limited
understanding of what Adavaita Acharyas have said in related contexts
because I cannot recall a direct answer to this by an Advaitic Guru at the
moment (the previous answer was completely based on guru vaakya pramaana,
so it was just a summary of what a Guru has said).

I believe that one’s motivation to act fundamentally comes from one’s own
desire (kaama). Desires are based on one’s vaasanas (latent unsatisfied
desires from previous births). The vaasanas and the karma of previous birth
determine where one is born in this life, which naturally sets the context
for one’s svadharma (duties) while at the same time providing a body and a
mind to satisfy one’s desires through the senses. The desires give the
goals to be attained and the motivation for it. And one’s dharma (right
action based on one’s context) sets the best means to achieve them without
incurring additional karma, which would keep one in the cycle of samsara.

While actively pursuing these goals in the right way, one desirous of the
Advaita Jnana will have to submit all of the results of such goals to
Ishwara so that one may get Ishwara’s grace, which is chit-shuddhi (purity
of mind).

In short,
- the goal is set by oneself (due to one’s vaasanas / desires)
- the best means for attaining those goals are set indirectly by one’s past
karma, which sets one’s context and therefore the right actions within that
context (aka sva-dharma)
- the result can be enjoyed by oneself if one has bhoktrtva (enjoyership)
- if one is desirous of Jnana, it must be offered to Ishwara (who is the
bestower of the results of action or the “karma-phala-dhaata”) so as to
obtain his grace, which is chit-shuddhi. This is because Jnana can be
attained only by Ishwara’s grace and not by any action performed by a Jiva.
When one performs actions without desire for the result (nishkaamya-karma),
Ishwara shows his grace by providing chit-shuddhi. And Chit-shuddhi is
absolutely required for the vedanta maha-vaakya sravana (listening to
Advaitic Truth from a Guru) to result in aparoksha-anubhuti (direct
experience of the Truth).

The above is what I believe is meant by dharma-artha-kaama-moksha being the
Purusharthas (four goals of human life).

Om tat sat

On Sat 15. May 2021 at 12:21, Murali k <methusala8 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Vinodh,
> Wonderful answer. A follow up question, if I may:
> How  does one go about setting goals/targets in order to motivate oneself
> to fulfill one's duties  while still following all the precepts?
> Does one also offer the results of such a goal to Ishwara? Or Dedicate the
> action/goal itself to Ishwara?
> Best,
> Murali

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