New Member Introduction: Anand Hari Ghalsasi

nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Oct 27 18:10:23 CDT 1999

Devendra Vyas writes :

>let us concentrate more on the jnana-kanda rather than
>the karma-kanda.let us have more debates on the core of

Ofcourse in the ultimate sense, karma kAndam is of no use and
only jnAna kAndam matters. But then, are you ready for jnAnam?

In any of our AchArya's works the opening verses generally start
off with a salute to his guru and then he demands as requisites
four qualities for the aspiring Advaitin.

1. vivekam - discrimination between the real and the unreal.
2. vairAgyam - the will to pursue and live by what vivekam shows
   to be true.
3. the control of one's senses, mind, body etc
4. Mumukshutvam - the intense desire for liberation.

Strictly speaking, if one doesn't have the above qualities
there's not much to be gained by studying Advaitam - infact
it might prove counter productive - you'll just be caught midway
between - you can neither live a normal life nor can you live
like a VedAnti. And this is not a comfortable situation for
anybody to be in.

Karma kAndam is what gradually leads to the development of the
above qualities. If you understand and adhere to the karma
kAndam, then the transition between karmam and jnAnam will be
much smoother.

And it is a misconception that Buddha rejects the karma kAndam.
He only forbade the sacrifices of animals which is only part
of the karma kAndam. There's even an instance in the NikAyas
where he participates in a Vedic ritual with a brAhmana.

Karma literally means activity - all kinds - physical as well as
mental. JnAnam means transcending both the activities - physical
and mental. To transcend these requires control, which
itself is karma. Since Buddhism and Jainism are more ascetic
than Hinduism, their karmas too are more severe. Their karma
is similar to the karmas prescribed for Hindu samnyAsins. So if
you're mature enough to become a samnyAsin, then go ahead become
one and you can give up karma and devote all your attention only
to jnAnam.

But with respect to us, with our modern education - our intellect
might be highly developed for us to understand the technicalities
of Advaitam, but our discipline is so poor, the such knowledge
will infact become a burden, rather than the liberator ie though
your insight has developed, you'll be shocked to realize that your
body and mind, uncontrolled, do not live up to your ideals - which
will cause you unimaginable misery. Many people take up Advaitam
without realizing the implications - it's a very serious quest and
if you're not careful you might get burnt. So take care not to slight
the karma kAndam. These rituals and procedures were developed by those
who've tread the path, with full awareness of the qualities which
need to be developed for jnAnam - so have faith and adhere to it.

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