Karma and Sanyasa

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Mon Jul 20 10:35:16 CDT 1998

On Sun, 19 Jul 1998, Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:

> This post will summarize my understanding of karma and sanyAsa. I am
> also concerned about how karma is being devalued (implicitly) by many in
> this list. IMO, miunderstanding karma and Sanyasa is very serious. So,
> please understand that my statements are from such a concern. People who
> are offended by any and everything would do well by deleting this mail
> at once without reading it.
> Who can give up Karma?
> -----------------------


My understanding is that no one and absolutely NO ONE can give up karma.
The word karma is used in two contexts.

1. As a subject, karma is the action performed by an individual (a) either
by his/her own initiation, or (b) in reaction to someone else's action.

2. In an objective sense, in Hindu philosophy, in vyavahArika advaita,
karma is the residual effect which clings on to the subtle aspect of the
jeeva as a result of action or omission either mentally, orally or
physically or any way. It is this aspect of karma which is important
and which cannot be given up as long as one is embodied. Either a
sannyAsi, a grihastha, even Shri RamaNa maharshhi or Shrikrishna
cannot escape from this.

The only way this karma would not cling to the jeeva (note - this is
not of *giving up* of karma by jeeva, but it is the karma not clinging
to the jeeva; there is an ocean of difference between the two) is if
the jeeva performs the duties (whatever they are) without any any touch
of anticipation or attachment to the result.

The subject karma (which I explained in # 1 above) is of minor importance
in understanding, compared to # 2. I am not sure which karma Shri
Ramakrishnan is talking about. The latter part of Shri Ramakrishnan's post
(re ac, house, car, fat paycheck and other so-called modern "conveniences"
or hindrances) can only be interpreted as one's prArabdha karma.

Gummuluru Murthy
kurvann eva iha karmANi jijIvishhet shata.g.m samAh
Evam tvayi nAnyatheto'sti na karmA lipyate nare

                                        IshhA upanishhad verse 2

Just by performing your work in this world, you should desire to live
hundred years. Thus, and not otherwise, does karma not attach to you.

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