Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Wed May 13 01:36:29 CDT 2009

On Mon, 11 May 2009, Jayaram Subramanian wrote:

> Dear sir,

>              Namaste.  I have a few doubts regarding how we shall live. 
> If time permits, kindly help me out with these 5 queries .

> 1) Are the paths to achieve material and spiritual rewards different? Or 
> can they be the same?  

I would say the same tools are to be used i.e. perception, introspection, 
logic etc.  Spiritual knowledge is no different than any other kind of 
knowledge.  But the goal is different so where and how much effort to put 
in is different.

> 2) Why should an evil-eye be effective? I mean, 
> if a person works for his betterment, he is solely responsible for his 
> success. How can an evil-eye affect it? Why are we giving it so much 
> importance?  

Is it true that one is solely responsible for ones betterment?  If so why 
does society even exist?  Unless you are a hermit in the Himalayas, other 
people will help or hinder you to various degrees.  If they try to harm 
you on the spiritual level that is refered to in popular parlance as the 
evil eye.  If you arm yourself spiritually it will not harm you and you 
need not give it importance.

> 3) There is a difference in the teaching of different 
> faiths with regard to rebirth. Hinduism and buddism talk about the 
> phenomenon of rebirth,whereas Islam and Christianity deny it? Why is 
> this difference?  

I don't know.  You would have to ask them that question.  It seems to me 
that nowadays (especially here in America) many people do accept the idea 
of rebirth even if it is not a formal dogma of their religion.

> 4) God is karma-phala-dhatha. According to our karma, 
> he gives us what we deserve. Similarly, if a person deceives us,why 
> should we not punish him. Why does the scriptures expect us to forgive?

It is perfectly legitmate per shastras to take revenge for wrongs done to 
oneself but they ask us to think is that really what we need?  Strong 
attachment to material things hurts ourselves more than anyone else.  On 
the other hand look at the message of the Gita.  Arjuna was prepared to 
forgive the offenses done against him and his brothers but Bhagavan urged 
him to fight because as a King his duty was to protect all the people and 
Duryodhanas evil would not have stopped with just the Pandavas.

> 5) This world is such an imperfect place with so much inequality and 
> injustice. How should we live - just accept things as they are or fight 
> against them?

Fight but beware you don't make things worse in the process.

My two cents anyway.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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