sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Tue Jul 14 11:20:51 CDT 1998
Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:
>> The rest of my post actually justifies why the lack of interest too!
>Not just that, you seem pretty contemptuous of karma itself, as you
Rama - First let me state not as a formality but truly I respect your
scholarship. Your contributions to the list are noteworthy. Although you
sound harsh at times, I do not pay attention to that but take what I like
Frankly, I do not like to get into arguments with anybody particularly when
it is related to ones understanding or opinions. Nothing can be
accomplished of that. Scriptural statements need to be understood also with
reference to the goal and the context. Frankly, there is no need for me
to prove to myself or to anybody that I am right or wrong. With reference
to puja, I have discussed what my understanding of their utility is, based
on my own understanding of the scriptures, logic and my experience. If I
find convincing arguments to change my understanding, I will.
>> rituals nor I care to know about them since my mind is not tuned to that
>The phrase "that type", which is always used in a derogatory sense,
>clearly shows that you will not accept any statement from shruti or
>smR^iti about karma.
Rama - don't you see the statement you made is not mine but your
conclusions. You seem to conclude and then argue on that.
I have never stated that I do not agree with Sruties statements or Geeta's
declarations. My understanding may differ from yours. I have my own
opinion about the role of pramana in terms of Brahman, and thanks to Anand
Hudli, he had addressed the issues I have raised, and I am still analyzing
that in my mind since I see some merit in his arguments.
I have been studying Shankara bhaashya and his prakarana granthas and
discuss them extensively in our study groups - with that background how
can I dismiss the Sruties statements as irrelevant. True, I give more
importance to the Prastaanatraya than to other puraanaas, since they are
not considered as pramaanas.
>So, I wasn't planning to reply to your mail
>originally because of this. But as it happened it lead to some confusion
>about chitta shuddhi etc (incorrect at least according to my
>understanding) which is the sole reason I replied.
Rama, you hit right on the button in your parenthetical statement. Don't
you see, it is your understanding versus my understanding. I have no
reason to prove that one is right and the other is wrong. See my comments
to Sri Gummaluri Murthy's posts where he expressed concern if his
understanding is right.
>> I see in this and in the subsequent posts that you have lot of
>> disagreements with my post. I will certainly read them and contemplate on
>> them. Thanks for your detailed input.
>Illustrations should clearly explain the situation, only in the case of
>brahman it falls short since brahman is beyond words.
Since you wanted, let me clarify my understanding of Chitta Suddhi - It is
not purusha tantra - it is vastu tantra. That is, it is not that one can
will for. It is the result of physical or mental action. Appropriate
results follow from karma phala daata. If it is physical then appropriate
action at the physical level has to be performed - and that is where I gave
taking bath as an example. There ends the relevance of the example. You
brought the dirty water for bath and made the example beyond what it was
intended. Common sense tells us that the action has to be appropriate for
the results that one aims for. The point I was making is that shuddhi is
not in mans hands but follows the result of appropriate action.
Inappropriate action cannot lead to appropriate action. This is at the
Now when it comes to subtler instrument, the mind, that is, chitta shuddi,
not the physical but subtler motives and moods and the attitudes formulate
the subtler results. Even a good action with impure motive will result
mental impurity. This statement is logical. For puja, as it mostly
involves nishkaama karma, since karma is involved, its goal is chitta
suddhi or the purify of the mind. And purification of the mind, as
understood in vedanta, is getting rid of ahankara and mamakaara (both
involving ego). It is again not purusha tantra but vastu tantra. Getting
rid of Vaasanas is the purification of the mind and that involves getting
rid of ego. Chitta suddhi thus involves surrenderance of ego. Eswaraprita
buddhi becomes an essential ingredient for the chitta suddhi - one performs
the action with proper attitude with surrenderance to Eswara - all others
aspects involving action, - mantra hiina, kriya hiina etc which are vaacha
or karmanaa become secondary. This is the essence of Prapatti that
Bhagavaan Ramanuja also talks about. By surrendence, the mind is relieved
from unnecessory agitations, whether one has done correctly or not etc.
etc., which themselves are hinderence to purity. This is also what I
understand from Shankara Bhaashya. This is what I have discussed with
reference to Puja. I have provided slokas from B.G. and VivekachuuDaamaNi
and you dismissed them as irrelevant - obviously from your point. If they
are irrelevant, obviously I would not have given them. All I can say in
response is that I agree to disagree with your conclusions, since any
further discussion on whether they are relevant or not, is also a useless
>There is no point in saying "Let us agree to disagree" etc, since it's
>not of any use in discussion. I have had the opportunity to re-examine
>and correct myself on various issues, eg on sannyAsa on which Anand
>wrote several posts, and am thankful for that. If there is a specific
>point which is incorrect, it would be good to point it out instead of
>some general statement like "Let's agree to disagree and so on".
>PS: My good friend Krishna Kumar informs me that I seemed
>"condescending" in some mail/mails. Obviously there was no such
>intention. I guess when speaking, some facial expressions etc show the
>real intention whereas in e-mail that is missing. Unfortunately it will
>take a drastic change in writing style for me and think it'll take a lot
>of time. So I hope I will be given some leeway on that!
Personally I have no problem. I can discuss on logical grounds. I have
strong conviction that scriptures are not illogical. Achaaryas have
provided bhaashaays synthesizing apparent contradictions in the scriptural
statements using contextual logic. The explanations and statements have to
be understood and assimilated into ones own experience. Frankly, my
opinion about the karmas follow my understanding of Bhagavaan Shankara's
interpretation of the sutraas which is extremely logical in comparison to
If your understanding differs from mine, so be it - That is what this forum
is for. All we can do is to agree to disagree!
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
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