Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Tue Oct 16 16:32:04 CDT 2001

On Mon, 15 Oct 2001, Shrinivas Gadkari wrote:

> Namsate Jaldhar,
> Do you mean to say that an action performed while being established in
> the Self can in some cases be negative karma ? I disagree on this issue.

You gave the example of killing ants.  Even in your first scenario where
one believes it is his dharmic duty, there is still the notion of
ahamkara.  So it is not "established in the self."  One was established in
the self would not want to kill anything for any reason, for the same
reason it would never occur to a sane person to kill themselves.  Because
for such a person, the ant would literally be his own self.

In the second example, Krishna Bhagawan doesn't say to Arjuna that killing
Duryodhana will have no consequence but rather he should face whatever
consequences come with equanimity.  One who "anAshritaH karmaphalaM kAryaM
karma karoti" [6.1] is the role model for Arjuna.  (As an aside, the
second half of that shloka produces an interpretive challenge for the
Advaita view if taken on its' own.)

> Self is the very essence of purity. Contact with Self is the highest
> purifying ritual and far far superior to any yajna. If any yajna can
> indeed purify, it is only due to the fact that a yajna is an indirect
> technique of establishing a contact with the Self. And then it is the
> Self that purifies. Once this is recognized, it follows that any action
> performed while in contact with the Self cannot possibly need any
> futher purification.

While agreeing with the premise, Advaita Vedanta words the conclusion
differently.  It follows that while in contact with the self, no action is

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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