pravR^itti vs nivR^itti

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Fri Aug 2 10:49:18 CDT 2002

On Fri, 2 Aug 2002, Subrahmanian, Sundararaman V [IT] wrote:

> When you say "Law is to be observed" - does it refer to either of the
> paths at any time or both simultaneously or one followed by the other?

Based on my recent reading of Ishavasyopanishadbhasya, I think
Shankaracharyas' views of the following scenarios (as pertaining to
moksha) are as follows:

pravrtti only         ---- ok for the ignorant, not ok for the jnani
nivrtti only          ---- ok for the jnani, not ok for the ignorant
pravrtti + nivrtti    ---- not ok
pravrtti then nivrtti ---- ok
nivrtti then pravrtti ---- not ok

> What is Sri Sankara refering to when he says that the "Law is described in
> the Vedas" (vedokta)?

That the Vedas are the source of knowledge of Dharma.

> Regarding (1) - this sometimes makes me wonder.  Let us say:  I work with a
> view to earn money and take care of my family.  I am ambitious to progress
> in my career.  At the same time I read giitaa pray to God to relieve myself
> from limitations.

I think nearly everyone on this list sympathizes with you because we are
in the same situation.

> What is the above called?  I feel it is partly pravR^itti and partly
> nivR^itti.  Do the shaastras call such a person confused?

No that's pravrtti.

> A little while
> ago Sri Vidyasankar said that there is a bridge between the two.  The below
> seems to suggest that once I take up nivR^itti marga, I have to give up my
> desires or to put it differently - till I give up my desires I am not yet in
> nivR^itti marga.  I am trying to keep the context of Sri Jaladhar's posting
> on iishaavaasya - something is not clicking within !!

the key is all desires are not equal.  One of the requirements for a
sadhaka is mumukshatva -- the _desire_ to get moksha.  Although it is a
desire, it is desire to lessen desire.  Eventually it too will pass but
for the moment it will help destroy the other desires.  The bridge is
karmayoga.  When karma is done to get rewards or avoid punishments it only
entangles further but when it is done purely as duty and a sacrifice to
the Lord, it will eventually quench the thirst of desire.

> That is saddening because even though I have love for God, I still have
> worldly desires.  Does that mean I have not yet taken the path of
> spirituality.

No only that there is a long way on the path to go.  But as long as you
are moving forward why be anzious?

> May be I am asking too many questions too soon.  Perhaps these
> would be covered later in giitaa.

I think this is the central question of the Gita and the reason we hold it
in such high esteem.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>
It's a girl! See the pictures -

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