Chelluri at AOL.COM Chelluri at AOL.COM
Tue Jul 7 19:25:21 CDT 1998

In a message dated 98-07-07 15:07:13 EDT, you write:

<< Desire for
 self-realization (mumukshutvam) or self-purification is not considered as
 selfish desire (impurity) that causes agitation in the mind.

I disagree Sada.    Why?   I just dont know but when I do, Hope very soon, I
will let you know.

And another thing.  In your recent post on this topic (sorry I accidentally
lost it) you said something to the effect that you are not interested in vedic
karmas and then went on elaborately making judgements on the karmas, instead
of expressing sada's opinions.   That approach, I felt is not right.    This
is my view.


>From  Tue Jul  7 21:00:38 1998
Message-Id: <TUE.7.JUL.1998.210038.0400.>
Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 21:00:38 -0400
Reply-To: ramakris at erols.com
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM>
Subject: Re: pUja
Comments: To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
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Sankaran Jayanarayanan wrote:

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

I am busy with work currently. I'll give a brief summary of my

1. Suppose I have the honorable intention of building a bridge to help
some people in a remote village. Should I make sure I have the proper
qualification in Civil Engineering or assume that the elementary
engineering mechanics from Shames (?), I did in my freshman year is
enough and start building it instead? Suppose the bridge collapses
killing a number of people, can I justify myself by saying that I had
"good" intentions?

2. In any case, as I explained, "good" and "bad" intentions are

3. Prayaschitta is only to account for the small errors which may have
occured _AFTER_ making a genuine effort to learn. As I understand here,
Ravi knows already that he is not doing it 100%, so first a genuine
attempt to learn must be made. Washing ones hands off by claiming good
intentions is rather ridiculous.

4. Vidura's example is not applicable here because he was not doing any
"karma". By "karma" I mean a ritualistic action. If he had perfomed such
an action he would have had to follow the necessary rules. The Lord
merely went as a guest to the house of a person who had genuine regard
for him, unlike Duryodhana. Your example has no relevance to this

5. This is also tied up with the pUrva mImA.nsA doctrines about the
methodology of performing karma-s. See page 20-21 of the mImA.nsA
paribhAshhA, by kR^ishhNa yajvan. He gives the example of the shruti
saying that husking of rice must be done by threshing. He says that
husking cannot be done by splitting paddy with nails. Note that both
achieve the same end. I don't have the time to go into detail about all
this here.

If a person does not have qualifications to build a bridge, he can help
people by ferrying them across water (or some such thing) if he is
capable of that. If he can't do that, then he can stick to writing
petitions. If he claims that his intentions are good and builds a bridge
instead, I am sure you will agree with me that he is a fool, albeit a
well intentioned one. In fact, well intentioned fools are more dangerous
than the ill-intentioned ones!

At any rate in _advaita_ smR^iti is a greater pramANa than ones own
opinions. As I understand from the other posts on this topic, many here
seem to think that their opinions have greater validity than smR^iti. I
do not wish to argue with such net-sarvaGYa-s, discussions on importance
of shruti and smR^iti led nowhere in the past. I clearly pointed out
that smR^iti is unambiguous in its rules about performance of karma-s.
If that's not convincing enough what can I say?

Handwaving statements about the grace of the Lord, etc are of no use.
The "Dialogues with the Guru" pp. 145-159, "True Devotion", are useful
in this context. H.H chandrasheshara bhAratI says: "True devotion lies
in carrying out His dictates implicitly. To disobey Him in action and to
profess allegiance in words is blasphemy. It is not bhakti. By bhakti is
meant single pointed devotion UNIFORMLY expressed in mind, speech and
body." (page 151, emphasis mine).

If an effort is not even made to _understand_ His dicates, or even
_know_ what His dictates are, where is the question of bhakti? On top of
this, people here are arguing that they don't need to!! Sorry, but IMO
it is bhrAnti, not bhakti! Note: There ARE some exceptional devotees
like sAkkiya nAyanAr, etc, who transgress rules, but I explained that
before. If anyone here is such a supreme bhakta, my salutations to
him/her, my statements do not apply to him/her. BTW, if anyone is such a
devotee, please send a mail to me, I'd like to meet you :-).


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