message to my friends

f. maiello egodust at DIGITAL.NET
Sun Aug 9 23:17:26 CDT 1998

Vidyasankar Sundaresan wrote:
> > > 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
> > apply.
> > 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.
> Yes indeed, there is still the momentum of prArabdha karma for the
> jIvanmukta. However, true actionlessness can also apply to the jIvanmukta,
> so long as there is no identification with the body.

I agree with this entirely.  The idea of "no identification with the
obviously entails a mental factor, and not a physical one (viz. that the
body is still acting, yet so long as the individual is not identifying
himself with his active body, mukthi prevails).  However, this isn't
you implied above, pitting actionlessness against desireless action
that actionlessness is a higher reality, beyond nishkama karma).  This
carries the same implication that nirguna brahman is "superior" to
brahman, whereas the fact remains that both are purely brahman itself.
This is only a great driving mystery to the intellect [which is by
rooted in relativity].  Its resolution lies in the atmavichara, yielding
mahamouna in the terrible wonderful face of mahamaya.

> Otherwise, one is
> giving too much value to mere physical death.
> Which brings me to this question - in what way does the videhamukti of a
> jIvanmukta differ from the death of an ignorant man? The answer to this
> question determines many things in one's view in this entire debate.

To my understanding, the after-death experience of an ajnani involves a
recapitulation of his entire lifetime, including desires, hopes, fears,
etc.  Whereas the jnani's antahkarana has already been purified prior to
death, therefore there are no vasanas to be processed; all that
happens is that the residual prarabdha is dropped--representing, in
the only distinction between jivanmukthi and videhamukthi.  These two
reference points being strictly for the benefit of the onlooker, as
really is no intrinsic difference between them.  Passages in the Ribhu
make it sound as though videhamukthi is a higher state than jivanmukthi,
but Sri Ramana considers them fundamentally equivalent.


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