[Advaita-l] mANDUkya series

Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy annapureddy at gmail.com
Sat Jun 17 19:59:48 CDT 2006

namaskAramu shiva sEnAni gAru, sadAnanda gAru,
       Thanks for your comments on the issue of the karma theory etc.
Apologies for the
delay in responding. Regarding the theory of karma etc. that I
mentioned last time, there are a couple of ways one can look at this
-- as conducive to "morality", or as conducive to the purification of
the mind for higher knowledge, or as a statement of facts. With this
understanding, here are some comments/questions I have. Thanks.

-- shiva sEnAni gAru, I did not intend that one could/should violate
the moral laws because the theory of karma is flawed. What I meant is
that recognizing that karma is a "theory" does not (or, at least,
should not) in any way undermine the moral structure erected upon it.
To give a crude example, we do not steal from others. This is not so
much because the vEdas prohibit us from stealing, but because we
realize that if everyone does that, the society would be a bad place
to live in. Thus, my contention is that these theories need not be
deemed mandatory for the sake of morality. That said, I totally agree
to "amendment with due process".

-- sadAnanda gAru, thanks for pointing out the debate on the saMnyAsa
issue. I read through those posts (I just wanted to make sure what the
traditional position was).

-- You mentioned that the vaidIka karmas etc. are necessary for chitta
shudhdi. I agree with that. All I am trying to say is one does not
have to invent a theory of lOkas to justify the rituals. You can
always say that the rituals are meant for chitta shudhdi. If we are
afraid that this would lead to improper (ill-disciplined) performance
of rituals, the wise would/did always set a rigorous precedent by
their own example.

-- A third position that can be discerned is that the theory of karma
etc. are a statement
of facts; things as they are in the vyAvahArika world. I guess this is
a matter of faith,
and I should either believe it or not.

My line of reasoning previously was as follows. The message of
advaita, viz. conviction in the mind of the unity of everything, would
have been useful even if we considered that there is only one life for
every soul (i.e., that a soul is generated on conception, and it gets
destroyed at the time of death). Because, attaining a steadiness of
mind is useful even for this single life, as we do not get tossed
about, like a helpless being, by the vagaries of life. But, this would
not have been conducive to morality, as people might not desist from
evil acts if they knew this was the only life they could "enjoy". So,
I felt that one pUrvapaksha is that the karma theory is a fabrication
to promote morality. (Though personally, I feel it's a very powerful,
useful and logical theory, and given also some scientific evidence for
reincarnations, I tend to believe it all the more.)


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