Sankaran Jayanarayanan sjayana at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Jul 5 21:49:30 CDT 1998

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM> wrote:

>Ravisankar S. Mayavaram wrote:


>> 3) I agree the form is very important. But is not intention to do
>> important?
>No. Intention is subjective, but the rules are based on smR^iti-s. My
>"good intention" may be "bad" to you and we can argue endlessly based
>that. smR^iti is not subjective. Sometimes two smR^iti-s may contradict
>each other, in which case the opinion of good teachers, say in any of
>the sha.nkara maTha-s, can be consulted.
>A child puts its hands in fire to learn what it is. Its intentions are
>quite honorable, that of a curiousity to learn. Does it not get burnt?

I have heard this example used by my parents several times at home. But
I have some unpleasant feelings associated with this. Consider the
person who performs the Panchaayatana Puuja overlooking some rules due
to circumstances (say, his mother was hospitalized) but nevertheless
endowed with great faith. Cannot the deities that he worships (Ganesha,
Shiva and others) protect him from any ill-effects? How can they watch
such a good devotee suffer for circumstances beyond his control?

I'll explain better with an analogy. Krishna, during his visit to
Indraprastha to meet with Duryodhana for peace-talks, refused to be
served by Duryodhana inspite of the latter's lavish wealth and instead
went to Vidura's place to dine. I can understand this Krishna.

Had the same Krishna enjoyed the comforts that Duryodhana offered and
said to Vidura,"I appreciate your good intentions, but Duryodhana does
know how to take care of a guest much better than you do. Your
intentions may be OK, but sorry, I have to accept Duryodhana's
invitation." This behavior from Krishna would have been incomprehensible
to me. After all, doesn't the Lord appreciate humility the most? Is not
the sacrifice of the ego far greater than any other kind of sacrifice?

Swami Vivekananda has said,"A God who is kind to his children called men
and cruel to his children called beasts is worse than a demon...My whole
life would be a fight against such a God." (I guess he didn't like the
Christians who voted for a God who was compassionate only to men.) This
was because he couldn't accept a God who could possibly be partial in
showing compassion. Such a God is not compassionate at all.

So my question would be: how can the deities even let such a "great
disaster" occur to a devotee, small though he may be? What manner of
Ishvara is it that allows a sincere devotee to suffer due to some easily
forgivable offense (even if he does see this as an offense)? Is he not
compassionate enough to prevent such a mishap?

>Good intentions should be followed by an effort to learn the details,
>otherwise it's not of much use to ordinary people. I'd in fact say that
>otherwise the intentions were not good enough.

OK. My question is when the intention was good and the circumstances
made following the rules impossible. Would praayashchitta help in such a


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