Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Sun Mar 15 21:29:54 CST 1998

On Sat, 14 Mar 1998, Ravi Mayavaram wrote:

> Divine grace is the only thing which makes everything happens. It is
> ever available. But one has to put _effort_ to receive it. I think
> that vairAgyam will not come in to being automatically. One has to
> cultivate it. I am not saying that it is impossible for God to confer
> someone with vairAgyam  just like that. SHE can do anything.  But SHE
> will not do it arbitrarily because then one can accuse of partiality.
> God is beyond such things. HER grace is ever available, yet we have to
> learn through effort to receive it.
> [...]

> Habits, attachment and bondage, happens through such repeated mental
> associations. To reverse the trend one has to cultivate dispassion
> through nitya-anitya vastu vivekam and through  prayer. In fact I
> recently read that one has to struggle and stay away from the bad
> habits (like smoking) for 10 years or so, escape from its clutches.
> Effort required cannot be under estimated.
> Ravi
> mInalochani pAshamochani


My views on "human effort" are quite known to list-members. I have
argued many times that what is called human effort does not have
meaning. It is only in the human thinking that the human is making
an effort. I would like to make four more points to substantiate
my view.

1. Is the human effort to supplement Ishwara's blessing
   Is the human effort in spite of Ishwara's blessing in order to
   correct any missed emphasis by Ishwara ?

2. Shri RamaNa maharshhi says in Nan Yar ? Who am I ? [answer to
   devotee's question 18] and I quote

   "He who gives himself up to the Self that is God is the most excellent
    devotee. Giving one's self up to God means remaining constantly in the
    Self without giving room for the rise of any thoughts other than that
    of the Self. Whatever burdens are thrown on God, He bears them. Since
    the supreme power of God makes all things move, why should we, without
    submitting ourselves to it, constantly worry ourselves with thoughts
    as to what should be done and how, and what should not be done and
    how not ? We know that the train carries all loads, so after getting
    on it why should we carry our small luggage on our head to our
    discomfort, instead of putting it down in the train and feeling at
    ease ?"

    Human effort has the same meaning as the passenger on the train
    (Shri RamaNa's example) carrying a load on the head, rather than
    leaving it for the train to carry.

3.  Shri Shankara says in Viveka ChuDAmaNi (verse 424) "... aham
    bhAvodayAbhAvo, bodhasya paramAvadhih....": The end of the rise
    of the sense of "I" of the ego is the culmination of knowledge.
    My interpretation of this is that the human has to give up the
    thinking that he/she is putting an effort (to better oneself).

4.  In latter part of Kena upanishhad (section 3 onwards), there is an
    allegory which, I think, is relevant for this discussion.

    Brahman won a battle for the devAs against asurAs. Though the
    victory was due to Brahman, the devAs thought that they won the
    battle and that the glory belongs to them. Brahman came to know of
    this vanity and appeared before them. The kena upanishhad goes on to
    say how devAs sent various Gods (agni, vAyu etc) successively to
    Brahman to find who it was. Finally, Indra, through Uma, finds that
    the victory indeed is of Brahman only.

    I interpret this section of kena upanishhad (I hope I am not wrong)
    to mean that devAs give themselves too much credit in this victory.
    The credit for victory rightly belongs to Brahman. In the same way.
    here, the human, in spite of obvious limitations, thinks too much
    of his/her strength and glory while the victory (over the evil forces)
    rightly belongs to Brahman.

Gummuluru Murthy
Yadaa sarve pramucyante kaamaa ye'sya hr^di shritaah
atha martyo'mr^to bhavatyatra brahma samashnute   Katha Upanishhad II.3.14

When all the desires that dwell in the heart fall away, then the mortal
becomes immortal, and attains Brahman even here.

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