[Advaita-l] Question about the right to Karma and Karma Alone

Aditya Varun Chadha adichad at gmail.com
Tue Apr 26 04:18:14 CDT 2005

I have the following much repeated and newbie-ish question about the
famous quote from the Gita:

"karmaNyevAdhikAraste mA phaleSu kadAchanaH"

A question that arises for a novice like me is the problem of
identifying one's karma. If we say that all karma is ultimately rooted
in the quest for brAhmaN-hood, then atleast within the bounds of mAyA
the paradox of this "desire for brAhmaN" arises. Can we say that this
"ultimate desire" is the only "permissible" desire within the shackles
of mAyA? If we take this as our "desired goal" then identification of
one's karma becomes a problem a solution to which atleast can be
attempted by mental activity.

I am afraid there must be some misconception in my mind about this,
but it seems that "although I have right only over my karma, and never
on its outcome," isn't the "reason" for karma the "desire" for that
very outcome? in the ideal sense (within mAyA) there should be only
one Desire, the desire for brAhmaN-hood. So then can we say that
although we do not have the right over the outcome of our actions
(that is we mustn't complain if we don't reap results), the desire for
this Outcome is fine (I am speaking only of the ultimate Outcome, i.e.

A broader question is: do the advaitins assert that the Gita supports
the advaitin view of brAhmaN-hood as the completely karma-less Highest
state that is ACHIEVABLE or atleast realizable? at the risk cheap
frills of language I ask: what is that "Karma" which the Gita
prescribes if the goal is to "attain" brAhmaN-hood - the state of
perfect "karma-lessness"?

In addition to Sankara's views, I would really like to know
gauDapAda's stand on this, if such literature exists.

Ofcourse in addition, the views of the members of this group are also
priceless. Even if gauDapAda's commentary is not available for this
specific issue, views about what a pure ajAtivAdi might think of this
issue would be useful.

Aditya Varun Chadha
adichad at gmail.com

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