[Advaita-l] jnAna-karma samuccaya

Shrinivas Gadkari sgadkari2001 at yahoo.com
Sat Nov 20 20:30:53 CST 2010

Namaste Shri Sastri,
Thanks for your post that clarified an advaitin's stand on mixing jnAna 
and karma in an easy to understand manner.
What I find somewhat unsatisfying in such explanations is the following:
bhagavAna (mahA) viSNu and bhagavAna (parama) shiva, inspite of their
limitless jnAna, have not given up the karma of protecting the dharma,
and opposing adharma, evil. They never take an indifferent stand on 
even the smallest vyavahArika event. For someone who is devoted to 
these two, renouncing karma (vyavahAra) on attainment of jnAna somehow  
does not make seem to be the path to adopt.
If, however, an advaitin feels that on attainment of jnAna they reach a state 
these two deities have yet to attain, then of course that closes the argument.
However, someone like me will find such a theory somewhat unpalatable.
The functions of jnAna and karma are different and so no samuccaya, or
combination of the two, is possible. Karma is for those who have not
realized the real nature of the self, and consider the self to be a doer and
enjoyer. But the path of jnana is for those who have realized that the self
is not a doer or enjoyer. Thus the same person cannot be eligible for both
the paths at the same time. Karma has to be performed until the person
becomes a yogArUdha and then shama (remaining established in the path of
knowledge) is to be resorted to. This is not samuccaya, since karma and
jnAna are not practiced at the same time.

    After the dawn of knowledge any karma performed is akarma according to
the gItA. So jnAna karma samuccaya, in the sense of both being practiced
simultaneously, is not possible at all from the advaita point of view. The
advocates of jnAna karma samuccaya do not seem to have taken this aspect
into account.




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