[Advaita-l] namo namah: and some questions

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Mon Aug 9 13:31:12 CDT 2004

On Mon, 9 Aug 2004 sanskrit_beginner at unlimitedmail.org wrote:

> Namo namah:
>  I just saw the moderator send my intro to the list. I thought
> I would send my pranam's to all members - namo namah:
>  Just so everyone understands my background, I am a skeptic
> right now, and while I am willing to learn and perhaps be
> proved wrong, I wish to not just accept everything that is
> said. I would like to question authority if that's acceptable.

Upto a point.  Because the truth is in the end we do believe in authority
-- of the Vedas, shastras, and tradition.  So this places a boundary.  But
within that boundary, there is nothing wrong with enquiry

>  I also have a few questions, as I get started and oriented on
> the pursuit of understanding the higher elements that I am told
> governs us and all creation.
> The first question is related to karma: Karma as I understand
> it is nothing more than a set of steps in a process, like the
> steps in a manufacturing process. One can pay any amount of
> attention to detail, but like in the manufacturing world, there
> comes a point when any additional effort to make the process or
> product perfect does not result in corresponding return on
> investment. There is a tapering off ... I have a gut feel Karma
> is also like that. If it is, what is that point when we can
> start saying that upto this point, the return on investment in
<> terms of attachment to detail will make sense, beyond this
> point  upto the next point, one can approximate, and beyond
> that, one can safely ignore? If this line is not understood,
> then I fear we lose focus.

No karma is not like that.  It is cause and effect.  Every cause has some
effect which in turn causes more actions.  You cannot "eat till you are
full"  The only way to break the cycle is to not act and reduce your
desire to act.

> The second question is related to meditation: is meditation
> different from nitya karma where one does japa? if it is
> different from gayathri japa, why so? if it is not different,
> then what type of meditation does it fall under (actually, I
> don't know for sure what the different types of meditation are
> either - just heard and read a few names)

Presumably the difference is that karma is done for selfish reasons (fear
that bad things, might happen, desire for earthly or heavenly reward etc.)
Whereas upasana (meditation) is done presumably for higher goals.  But
meditation is indeed a type of karma.

> The third question is bhakti: Can two peoples' bhakti be
> compared, measured, and contrasted as better/worse etc.


Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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