Shrinivas Gadkari sgadkari2001 at YAHOO.COM
Fri Oct 12 13:22:32 CDT 2001

Namaste Shri Vaidya Sundaram,

What I have said is what I understand of Gita and Upanishads. I can

>> Say person X while interacting with person Y, performs an action A.
>> Further suppose that Y perceives the action A negatively. What you
>> ask is: "What effect, this action A will have on the future
>> experiences
>> of X ?". (Karma is the collective effect of past thoughts and actions
>> on the future experiences of the concerned person).
> The question is independent of perceptions - so, I think the
>fundamental premise you are making here is not correct.

An action by itself is never right or wrong. In fact there is nothing
absolute about right and wrong. It is relative. It depends on the state
of mind of the one who acts. The whole of Krishna's life highlights
this point. However I would rather not go into a discussion on
Krishna's life.

> No it does not. Again, perceptions do not matter. Example: A man in
>some kind of painfull sickness may want to die. Another cannot just
>kill him even out of compassion. There is no question of even motive.
>It is wrong. Period.

Consider this, there are ants in the house. Consider three indiviuals
M1, M2 and M3.

M1 kills the ants, with the frame of mind that it is his dharma to
maintain the cleanliness of his house. He feels he has executed his
duty by doing so.

M2 kills the ants, but has a guilt feeling associated with the act.

M3 kills the ants while taking pleasure in his act.

What I am saying is:
M1 accrues no negative karma.
M2 accrues some negative karma due to the guilt feeling.
M3's action is perverse and accrues quite some negative karma.

>> How Y perceives A cannot affect, the karma of X. However
>> if the perception of Y, influences the perception of X, then in that
>> case the fact that Y perceived the action negatively will accrue as
>> a negative karma for X.
> Forgive me for asking this so plainly - but where do you get this kind
>of idea from - ?? I mean, I have never seen anywhere such an
>extrapolation ...!!

Do you agree with me that in the above example of killing ants, M2
accrues negative karma basically because of his guilt feeling ?
This is what I am trying to say here.

>> The amount of negative karma accrued is
>> related to the amount of influence of Y on X's perception. If X
>> executes the act A, while being established in the Self, there
>> is no possibility of accruing negative karma, irrespective of how
>> Y might perceive the act A.
>> This is in a sense the gist of Gita.
> What!!!??? I mean, - what are you trying to say?? I don't understand
>at all how you can say this ...!!  - look at your equation here -
>> How Y perceives A cannot affect, the karma of X. However
>> if the perception of Y, influences the perception of X, then in that
>> case the fact that Y perceived the action negatively will accrue as
>> a negative karma for X.
>let us say X is Arjuna - Y is Duryodhana - the act A is killing him. Y
>perceived that X doing A to him is bad - and buy your statement above
>that has negative karma for X ?? You mean, Arujuna killing Duryodhana
>is bad for Arjuna because Duryodhana takes it negatively ... ????
>Please make sense!! This is defenitely not in THE Gita!

No, I think you are misunderstanding what I am saying.
Suppose Arjuna (X) is attacking (act A) Duryodhana (Y). Further
suppose that Duryodhana perceives this act of Arjuna as negative.
If Arjuna is established in the Self and is unaffected by the
perceptions of Duryodhana, he accures no negative karma.
However, if influenced by the fact that Duryodhana is perceiving his
act as negative or for some other reason, Arjuna develops a guilt
feeling, then he accrues a negative karma. This what I understand of

I am quite sure that what I am saying here is correct. But let me not
leave this topic here. Let no one get an impression that by this
argument one can justify any action by merely convincing himself that
what he did was his duty. This sense of duty has to come from within.
>From the Self and not from intellect, not from intention, not from
passion, but only from the Self. For Self in it's Saguna Brahma aspect
is the supreme judge on what Dharma is. If the sense of duty is backed
by the Self, it can NEVER go wrong. In fact an act inspried by the
Self will contribute to overall good of the individual and the universe.
For this reason Vedic literature stresses the need to know the Self.
For once the Self is discovered in both Nirguna Brahma and Saguna
Brahma forms, one would have discovered the unfailing, ever accessible
guide in this world. With this discovery, one not only prevents accrual
of negative Karma, but one also finds the tools to burn the already
accrued Karma.

Best regards

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