message to my friends

f. maiello egodust at DIGITAL.NET
Sat Aug 8 22:32:37 CDT 1998

Vidyasankar Sundaresan wrote:
> > > Q. "Why then did you leave home in your youth?"
> > > A. "That was my prarabdha.  One's course of conduct in this life
> > > is determined by one's prarabdha.  My prarabdha lies this way,
> > > yours lies that way."  Talks p251
> > >
> >
> > Sorry but this notion of destiny is baloney.  All that prarabdha is, is
> > the effects of your prior actions.  Those actions required free will and a
> > sense of doership.  Similiarly it is ones actions today which determine
> > the "destiny" of tomorrow.  Renunciation means the renunciation of
> > prarabdha karma as much as any other kind.
> This needs to be qualified. The original question was about leaving home,
> not necessarily becoming a sannyAsin. There are probably a few hundred
> thousands of kids who run away from home. Only one among them leaves for
> the reasons Ramana Maharishi left home. If he told somebody to do
> otherwise, he probably recognized that the person was not ready. One
> cannot, after all, (and should not) renounce for the wrong reasons, and
> expect something miraculous to happen because of it. That does not mean
> that we should say that physical renunciation is unnecessary.

That the person was not ready for what?  Jnana marga?  Correct me if I'm
wrong, but here you seem to be rescinding on your previous assertion
physical renunciation may or may not be appropriate [for one's
the jnanamarg].

As I said, Bhagavan RM has stated on at least 2 dozen occasions, in
replying to individuals either already engaged in, or preparing to do
on the jnanamarg, that physical renunciation wasn't necessary.  The
following quote should clear this up:

"Why should your occupation or duties in life interfere with your
spiritual effort? [...] Nothing that the body does should shake you
from abidance in the Self.  Such abidance will never interfere with
the proper and effective discharge of whatever duties the body has,
any more than an actor's being aware of his real status in life
interferes with his acting a part on stage." --Day by Day p211

I can tell you from my experience, being an ascetic in the forest
for 7 years, 95% of the time solitary, no tv, no running water, no
bathroom, living in a tent, yet I was all the while extracting joy
out of the beauty of nature.  Should I have plucked my eyes out then?
Well, if that's what might have been "the next obstacle," I would have.
But in actuality, I wasn't doing that for the purpose of getting
enlightened, I was doing it because I had no interest in affluence.
The point I'm trying to make is that, in my case, practicing physical
renunciation for the purpose of curbing desires and gaining vairagya,
has no meaning, because I could've taken it to the level of being a
deaf, dumb and blind basket case, and still would've derived joy out
of breathing!  This is why mental renunciation, in some cases, is
the only way, irrespective of whether or not physical is implemented
*in the course of one's sadhana.*  Now, you mention [the caveat, here]
that, in your opinion, "physical saMnyAsa eventually follows, in the
case of true mental saMnyAsa."  I quite agree.  Yet this implies not as
a practical strategy, but rather as a natural byproduct of mental
after the fact.

> As for Janaka, he had responsibilities towards his kingdom. You can say
> that this was his prArabdha. If he had been born in another family, he
> would not have had such responsibilities. Still, do we know for sure that
> he died as a ruling king? How do we know that he did not appoint a
> successor, to retire to the forest later in his life? Indeed, this was an
> ancient practice with Indian kings. His is a legendary example, to teach
> people about the importance of nishkAmya karma. However, nishkAmya karma
> (desireless action) by itself cannot stand without positing
> naishkarmyasiddhi (actionlessness) as a higher value, a higher ideal and a
> higher reality.

I would say that only for a videhamuktha, does true actionlessness
Jivanmukthas still presumably operate out of prarabdha.  Bhagavan also
mentions this, using the analogy of a fan that's been switched off (no
longer generating agamikarma, no longer harboring unconscious sanchita),
yet it still turns from previous momentum set in motion whence the birth
of the body.


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