ADVAITA-L Digest - 21 May 2002 to 22 May 2002 (#2002-128)

Ashish Chandra ramkisno at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed May 22 14:58:04 CDT 2002

On Wed, 22 May 2002 17:57:03 -0000, hemang Chamakuzhi Subramanian
<hemangcs at REDIFFMAIL.COM> wrote:

>     I totally Agree with this point of view of yours..but as is
>known from our actions.. your actions of today determine your
>course of life. Then if someone predicts what you are doing
>tommorow and you believe that and live like that,
>Q. where is the purpose solved.

I think you first have to think what is being predicted. I spoke to a very
good Jyotishi once and he emphasized that ultimately, it is the resolve of
the person that will matter. He gave the example that if it is cold
outside, what one does is put on a sweater. Similarly, Jyotish, which is to
be used to calculate muhurtas for various karmas, primarily, tells you what
that sweater will be. If you are under the adverse influence of, say, Shani
Dev, then you are asked to chant the 10 names of Shani Dev. Chanting the 10
names does not remove the evil influence - all it does is make it less
painful, just as putting on the sweater does not remove the cold but
protects the person wearing it, from the cold.

In my opinion, if one follows Dharma, then that is enough. That is in our
hands. We can pray to the Supreme to give us the strength to do that, and
not worry too much about finding out what is in our future. What we have
done in our past lives, we cannot change that. However, we can do good
karmas today. In fact, by having the opportunity of discussing Advaita, as
opposed to mugging someone, we are making the future better. The book Hindu
Dharma gives a very good explanation about it. It says that even when we
are affected by ailments, we should pray to the Supreme and bear it smiling
as we are being rid of some bad karma that is working its way out by making
us suffer. God does not do our Karmas for us, he is only the phaladata,
dispenser of the fruits of our action. Karma is in our hands, and more
importantly, in our minds. We can pray to the Almighty so that our
intellect becomes strong and that we never stray from the path of Dharma.
That is our only insurance policy.

>  Correct me if I am wrong, please..
>>Advaita considers all these to be a part of a Brahmachari's or
>>Grihastha's duties,and it accepts them as such.
>I do understand your logical reasoning that Jyotish is a part of
>Vedanga and as a follower this forms a part of karma..but
>   Q. Could you kindly illustrate where does it advocate/preach
>this. which work of Bhagavatpada or any of the seers is
>prognostication specifically mentioned as acceptable OR Is there
>any discussion of this topic itself in the philosophy? (may be I
>am being too explorative).

The very first work that I read of Adi Shankara was Atmabodh. The very
first verse goes "...Mumukhshunaam apekshyo ayam atmabodho vidhIyate" i.e.
it is for the benefit of the true seeker (mumukshu) that I have compiled
this work called Atmabodh. Similar verses can be found in VivekachudaamaNI
and Upadesh Sahasri. These are the works of Adi Shankara that I have
studied. Apart from these I don't know. But I am fairly certain that he
would have made similar statements, i.e. who has the adhikaar to study the
pertinent work, in other texts as well.

Also, in the arhives you can look for Brahma Sutras and you will find an
exhaustive discussion by Shri Sadananda about the very first Brahma Sutra -
 "Athato Brahmajijnasaa" ("Now, therefore, an inquiry into Brahman").

>     .though surprisingly..many of the predictions bind to be
>true.. This is my personal opinion that "If one does his duty
>without trying to look too far into his/her future and
>concenterating on his present wouldn't it amount to him Doing his
>KARMA as he is entitled to..would it mean that he extrapolates
>this to some future date and then rectifies it in his present.
>Wouldn't it be apt to go forth and face your doshas..if there are
>any..rather than trying to extrapolate and remedy it through

Various doshas have various Upaayas (solutions). A good pandit can tell you
the Upaaya. Rituals are not empty gestures. Our lack of understanding them
should not imply that they have no meaning. We are asked to put a little
food out for the birds and animals and a little flour for the ants as part
of the bhoot-yajna. It is said that we accidentally kill various things,
like small creatures. However, we do that karma so it has a phala
associated with it. For expiation of those ignorant crimes, we feed the
animals and ants.

>Q.Could you elucidate where Shankara/other leaders have advocated
>that The Tatva of Advaitha is meant only for "Sanyasis only"..

It is for Sannyasis and Sannyasi is further defined as one endowed with
Sadhana Chatushtya or working towards it exclusively. You should really
read the discussion on Brahma Sutra, Sutra 1.


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