dharma extraneous of shAstra (was Re: [Advaita-l] Thanks [Was some questions on dharma])

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 17 22:59:43 CDT 2006

--- Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy at gmail.com> wrote:


> shrI
> kR^iShNa also narrates the story of a certain kaushika (
> http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m08/m08069.htm) when urging arjuna
> to desist
> from his vow to kill yudhiShThira (when yudhiShThira asks arjuna to
> give
> away his gAnDIva).

Thank you very much for the above link. Here's an extract that
teaches that when there is no "explicit command" to be found in the
shAstras for a specific situation, one ought to exercise reason and
act according to the well-being of the creatures of the world. These
are Krishna's words, so there can be no doubt as to its veracity:


tatra te lakShaNoddeshaH kashchideva bhaviShyati .. 47..\\
duShkaraM paramaGYAna.n karteNAtra vyavasyati . 
shrutirdharma iti hyeke vadanti bahavo janAH .. 48..\\
na tvetatpratisUyAmi na hi sarva.n vidhIyate . 
prabhavArthAya bhUtAnA.n dharmapravachanaM kR^itam .. 49..\\
dhAraNAddharmamityAhurdharmo dhArayati prajAH . 
yaH syAddhAraNa sa.nyuktaH sa dharma iti nishchayaH .. 50..\\


"There must be some indications for distinguishing virtue from sin.
Sometimes that high and unattainable knowledge may be had by the
exercise of reason. Many persons say, on the one hand, that the
scriptures indicate morality (i.e. dharma). I do not contradict this.
The scriptures, however, do not provide for every case. For the
growth of creatures have precepts of morality been declared. That
which is connected with inoffensiveness is religion. Dharma protects
and preserves the people. So it is the conclusion of the Pandits that
what maintains is Dharma."

Krishna even narrates a story that explains that even speaking the
truth is subservient to the well-being of creatures. When lives are
at stake, it is better to lie!

"There was an ascetic of the name of Kausika without much knowledge
of the scriptures. He lived in a spot much removed from a village, at
a point where many rivers met. He made a vow, saying, 'I must always
speak the truth.' He then became celebrated, O Dhananjaya, as a
speaker of truth. At that time certain persons, from fear of robbers,
entered that wood (where Kausika dwelt). Thither even, the robbers,
filled with rage, searched for them carefully. Approaching Kausika
then, that speaker of truth, they asked him saying, 'O holy one, by
which path have a multitude of men gone a little while before? Asked
in the name of Truth, answer us. If thou hast seen them, tell us
this'. Thus adjured, Kausika told them the truth, saying, 'Those men
have entered this wood crowded with many trees and creepers and
plants'. Even thus, O Partha, did Kausika give them the information.
Then those cruel men, it is heard, finding out the persons they
sought, slew them all. In consequence of that great sin consisting in
the words spoken, Kausika, ignorant of the subtilities of morality,
fell into a grievous hell, even as a foolish man, of little
knowledge, and unacquainted with the distinctions of morality,
falleth into painful hell by not having asked persons of age for the
solution of his doubts."


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