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Sun Jun 14 15:25:01 CDT 1998





>From  Sun Jun 14 10:53:01 1998
Message-Id: <SUN.14.JUN.1998.105301.0530.>
Date: Sun, 14 Jun 1998 10:53:01 +0530
Reply-To: kamal at homeindia.com
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Kamal Kothari <kamal at HOMEINDIA.COM>
Organization: Oriental Corporate Consultants Pvt. Ltd.
Subject: Re: ADVAITA-L Digest - 11 Jun 1998 to 12 Jun 1998
Comments: To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
Comments: cc: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM>
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Thansk....that was very helpful. Any more texts of Sankaracharya?

Regards,  Kamal
Kamal Kothari
E-Mail : kamal at homeindia.com     http://www.homeindia.com
"Tworoads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less travelled
by........and......that has made all the difference."
(ROBERT FROST- 19th century philosopher )
>From gmurthy at morgan.ucs.mun.ca Mon Jun 15 09:18:22 1998
Message-Id: <MON.15.JUN.1998.091822.0230.GMURTHY at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA>
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 1998 09:18:22 -0230
Reply-To: Gummuluru Murthy <gmurthy at morgan.ucs.mun.ca>
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Gummuluru Murthy <gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA>
Subject: Re: Dharma
Comments: To: Ram Chandran <chandran at econ.ag.gov>
Comments: cc: ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU
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A few comments on Shri Ram Chandran's two articles on Dharma: The personal
experiences (from his family's viewpoint) which he quoted are typical of
what most South Indian Brahmin families went through during the last four
or five generations. The way of life has changed, certainly, and the rate
of change (of the way of life) may have been more rapid during the last
fifty or sixty years. But, if we had asked our fathers for their views at
a similar stage in their life, I would assume they would have given a
similar response. The very fact that we are expressing such views is a
testament that the inherent values which we have, have not changed. Thus,
I do not see a need for alarm.

Dharma does not change with time. Still, a grihastha's dharma is to
provide provisions to the family. And it is to be done with the purity of
heart. The peace or turmoil which we see, is only a creation of the mind.
Thus, while most people see unrest and killings and technology-induced
unhappiness and insecurity around, a learned person sees himself to be
quite peaceful by the same events and in harmony with the surroundings.
That would not change with time.

Further, Shri Ram Chandran wrote:

> What is the solution to the problems of living in this modern society?
> Though we may love to go back to the Vedic life and values, it is not
> possible.  Should we feel guilty that we are not practicing the Brahmana
> Dharma? I would say no! This does not mean that we do nothing.  We can
> do concretely to uplift and revitalize moral values by diverting our
> attention to the children. The temples and religious institutions should
> divert their full attention in educating the children about the Vedic
> civilization.  The children of today will be the citizens of tomorrow
> and we the adults have the responsibility to change our life style so
> that children can observe and learn.  Those who are knowledgeable should
> come forward to serve as volunteers in temples and other institutions.
> Volunteers should come forward to organize classes for children of all
> ages and help the children to learn these values at the young age.   Let
> me repeat what Shri Giridhar has said in the previous posting: "So,
> everything can be done if there is a will to do so."
> --

Shri Ram Chandran made a forceful plea for providing the necessary
guidance to children and exhorted knowledgeable people to come forward
as volunteers at temples and other religious institutions.

I do not think anyone can disagree with that. However, I want to caution
about some pitfalls in that approach. Volunteerism is great as long as the
volunteer does not identify too closely with the cause.

We have seen many volunteers too passionately involved with what they are
doing, so much so that the individual volunteer and the cause in which
he/she is working cannot be separated. Usually this leads to a deep
involvement by the "volunteer" into the cause, so that he/she is no longer
a volunteer. That sort of attachment to the cause is sometimes worse
(for the individual) than not being involved. He/she may be doing some
"good" work but at the same time developing vAsanAs and attachments all

Only a mahAjnAni like Shri Shankara can be a philosopher and religious
crusader with a zeal for uplift of masses and at the same time be
unattached to what He is doing. Ordinary humans of the present day
society cannot be the two aspects simultaneously (being an unattached
vairAgi and at the same time a person who voluntarily gets involved
in projects for what he/she thinks is good for the society).

Further, and this is my biggest concern about volunteerism, volunteers
of today are the politicians of tomorrow, or put another way, we have
seen politicians of today are all volunteers of yesterday. That speaks
volumes against volunteerism.

While I laud Shri Ram Chandran's plea for knowledgeable people to get
involved in the society and work for its spiritual uplift, only people
with superior outlook can be good at it, without compromising their
own ideals.

Gummuluru Murthy
... sarvAgamAnA mAcArah prathamam parikalpate !

                                Sage VyAsa in MahA BhArata

For all (incoming) knowledge, discipline is the most fundamental.

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