[Advaita-l] A Conversation between Divine Will and Free Will

praveen.r.bhat at exgate.tek.com praveen.r.bhat at exgate.tek.com
Mon Mar 14 04:31:20 CST 2005

praNAm Masheshji & others,

>> But one may argue about why others see as a jnAni acting
>> if there's no prarabdha.

Maheshji wrote:
> I think the Gita gives a clue to this in one of the tougher verses to
> understand. 4/18:
> "One who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is
> intelligent among men, and he is in the transcendental position,
> although engaged in all sorts of activities"

> So, while the Jnani is acting also, s/he is not acting i.e. creating
> no kriyamana karma and whose prarabdha karma and sanchita karma is
> destroyed. This view is covered by  "inaction in action". But what is
> "action in inaction" i.e. while not acting, how can one do action? I
> have read a number of commenteries on this aspect but none have been
> very satisfying. Any thoughts?

I hope the following extracts on above Shloka justify "action in inaction"

from Shankara's commentary, translated by swami GambhirAnandA:
"...he who sees action because of egoism being implicit in the idea, 'I am
happily seated quietly, without doing anything'..."

from aBhinavaguptA's commentary, translated by Dr. S. Sankaranarayan:
"he who recognises the non-actions [of his] i.e., the actions performed by
others, as actions being performed by himself (or who recognises the
non-actions undertaken by others as being undertaken by himself), because of
his intrinsic nature of the fully risen state"


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