The story of my experiments with truth

Greg Goode goode at DPW.COM
Fri Nov 14 10:07:10 CST 1997

At 11:58 PM 11/13/97 -0500, Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:

>The language of the Gita is about as simple Sanskrit as you can get.
>Relying on uneducated third-parties only needlessly complicates things.
>It is obvious from reading the Gita that by karma yoga it means the duties
>of caste and for Kshatriyas fighting is a much higher ethical value than
>ahimsa.  Indeed that's how all the Acharyas have understood it.

I understand your point about Krisna's arguments for karma yoga meaning the
duties of caste.  True, this is how Krishna's point instantiates in the
case of Arjuna.  But the emphasis on duty is generalizable to other
cultures and other sources of duty, as well as referring to the duties of
caste.  To deny this generalizeability would be to assert that Krishna is
arguing, "if you belong to no caste, you have no duties," which is plainly
false.  Every society has some notion of duty, the notion being contingent
upon the society.  This is partly why the Gita is such a profound book.
Though emanating from one culture, it is relevant for all.


>From  Fri Nov 14 11:19:14 1997
Message-Id: <FRI.14.NOV.1997.111914.0500.>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 11:19:14 -0500
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To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ram Chandran <chandran at TIDALWAVE.NET>
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Subject: Re: The story of my experiments with truth
Comments: To: Advaita List <advaita-l at>
Comments: cc: jaldhar at
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Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:

> What about the truth?  Does that not matter?

 Please understand, what we know is not the TRUTH and what we don't is
the TRUTH!

> Which is why I don't rely on your interpretations or mine but on the
> sadparampara.

I am happy to see that you understand the problems of subjective
interpretations.  When we allow our Ego take control, we are likely to
make mistakes!  Momentarily we assume that we are wise and make stupid
statements.  In addition, our Ego does not want us to admit our
stupidity and fall into the trap of illusions.  Let us direct our energy
to the path of wisdom than the path of illusions!

> The language of the Gita is about as simple Sanskrit as you can get.
> Relying on uneducated third-parties only needlessly complicates things.
> It is obvious from reading the Gita that by karma yoga it means the duties
> of caste and for Kshatriyas fighting is a much higher ethical value than
> ahimsa.  Indeed that's how all the Acharyas have understood it.

I am sorry to disagree with you again about the language of Gita.  The
great Acharyas have pointed out that we should never attempt any literal
translation of our scriptures. If we do, we are likely to  misinterpret,
misunderstand  and mis-communicate our scriptures. Gita is simple to
read but difficult to understand and that is why Sankaracharyar
recommends teachers for guidance.  Let us not allow our ego to destroy
our wisdom.  Om Shanthi!  Om Shanthi!  Om Shanthi!

> And the action enjoined is bloodthirsty violence.  The very opposite of
> ahimsa.

When we use the terms such as "bloodthirsty violence" we try to get
sentimental pity and Lord Krishna explains the irrelevance of the body,
mind and intellect in human actions.  Please read chapter 2, verses 14
to 38 and please  understand the full message!  We don't want to follow
the approach of press reporters and misinterpret statements out of
context!   The greatest intellect of Mahabharat, Arjun could not
understand the full implication of GITA after listening to all the
eighteen chapters directly from the greatest teacher, Lord Krishna. How
can we jump into our own conclusion of Gita from few verses here and
there?  At the level of my intellect, I found that reading several times
to grasp Gita was necessary for me.  Though you are a brighter and more
intelligent person than me, you cannot make sensible conclusions without
reading the entire Gita. Let us not allow our ego and pride to cloud our
  I agree with you that "bloodthirsty violence" is the opposite of
ahimsa.  In fact, psychological violence is much more damaging than
physical violence! Physical wounds heal faster than psychological
wounds!  According to a Tamil proverb, "If we spill rice, we can pick
them back and we cannot get back the words that we spill!"

> If I had said "Gandhiji was no good at basketball" would you have
> considered it an insult?  I think we all understand that everyone isn't
> good at everything.  It doesn't take away from anyones real
> accomplishments to point out their bogus ones.

Do we have a yardstick for judging people? What is good for some is bad
for others!  We have our own limitations and pitfalls. We know very
little and our ego has the tendency to project incorrect and
inappropriate images of people.

> A comfortable illusion is an illusion nonetheless.  People are not always
> honest with themselves.  Perhaps based on his limited understanding, he
> did think he was following the teachings of the Gita but the fact is he
> wasn't.

We are no exception to those pitfalls. We are not honest with ourselves
and we are quick to assume that others are dishonest! Perhaps based on
our limited understanding, we think  that we know all the teachings of
Gita. But we are not!

> But his understanding of "the ahimsa weapon" did not come from the Gita.

I did not say that "the ahimsa weapon" came from Gita.  Gandhiji was a
"Man of Action" and "Man of Duties" and a "Man of His Words." Gandhiji
built his character from his lessons of Gita to enable him to develop
the new weapon "Ahimsa" to fight the moral war against the British

> My hometown is Rajkot, where Gandhiji was born.  The mandir I usually
> attend follows the Pushti Marg.  I'm confident there's nothing baseless
> about anything I've said.

   Om Shanthi! Om Shanthi!  Om Shanthi!

> Let's not forgot that first and foremost Gandhiji was a politician.  He
> did a great service for India in that capacity but that doesn't say
> anything the usefulness of his thoughts in any other field.

He was a different type of politician. He was HONEST and TRUTHFUL. The
British couldn't handle a politician with those characteristics!

Finally, let me conclude with this quotation: " There is this difference
between happiness and wisdom that he that thinks himself the happiest
man really is so; but he that thinks himself the wisest is generally the
greatest fool."    Colton

Ram Chandran

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