[Advaita-l] Conscience in Gita

Ananta Bhagwat ananta14 at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 6 07:37:55 CDT 2008

----- Original Message ----
From: Shyam <shyam_md at yahoo.com>
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Sent: Friday, June 6, 2008 2:51:17 AM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Conscience in Gita

  <the Shastras, the vEdAs are the only
guidepost that should ever govern our actions in any
sphere of time/era.>

This is not what the great Sage of Kanchi is saying. He has identified five guide posts: Veda, Dharma Sastra, Sages, Virtuous people of today, and ones own conscience. He says *Another authority or guide is what we
know through our conscience  in a state of transparency.* This is what I am calling as a raised conscience. When all other means fail you approach your own conscience. It is the last arbitrator. He would not have mentioned these guide posts if dharmaSAstra is a simple linear matter.

We have to strengthen this conscience by proper sAMskAra-s and study of Dharma SAstra though these are not the only and full-proof means. By proper development of conscience you can dispense with referring SAstra every now and then. We can not after all carry the SAstra books every where! We can also resolve the contradictions in SAstra in a particular situation. So, woman is to be worshiped or she is to be controlled and constrained severely (manusmRti section V)? Your conscious will probably tell you to go for a via-media and treat her like a human being - neither as a devi nor as an animal to be chained. Similarly, you will avoid extreme positions in case of SUdra-s though they could be part of manusmRti (section VII). Probably you may declare that no SUdra-s exist today :)



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