Jayaram Subramanian jyrmsubramanian at yahoo.co.in
Mon May 18 01:36:38 CDT 2009

Dear Mr.Vyas,
             Trust everything is fine at your end.  You had replied to my queries a few days back. Thank you very much for your clarification.   I have one more query and request you to help me with this.
1)Destiny and free-will are two sides of the same coin. For example, if 'A' kills 'B' , is it in B's destiny to be killed by A or is it because A exercised his free will? And if it is B's destiny to be killed by A, how can A be punished for bad karma?
                    All the very best to you for a peaceful and cheerful life.
Sincere thanks,
 N S Jayaram

--- On Wed, 13/5/09, Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com> wrote:

From: Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] REQUEST FOR GUIDANCE
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Wednesday, 13 May, 2009, 12:06 PM

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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