[Advaita-l] jnAna-karma samuccaya

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 22 09:15:45 CST 2010

> But the Swamijis participation in Pujas, Homa activities means these
> Karma are good for society. No Swamiji said stop doing Puja because
> you are Brahman Tatvamasi. No Swamiji said stop doing Homa because you
> are Brahman. No Swamiji said if you want Moksha Purushartha stop
> doing Karma . It is correct the activities are needed for Advaita
> Sadhana. But they must be done with Isvara Arpana Bhava.

All of this is already covered under the umbrella of setting an example for
sAdhaka-s to follow. bhagavAn kRshNa says it in the gItA too. As per the
Swamijis, if you want moksha purushArtha, you have to first get qualified
for it. That is why karmA is needed, but eventually, the jnAna mArga
requires karma-saMnyAsa and it is the same Swamijis who will approve 
this giving up of action, in the appropriate case.

Today, we have armchair renouncers, who renounce their duties but want
their rights handed to them on a platter. That attitude is itself a growth of
adharma. It is to counter this trend that the Swamijis emphasize the correct
performance of karmA today. It is like ensuring that you at least have a 
basic level of education certification before applying to a university. It is 
like a specialist in relativistic physics using the concepts of classical physics
to design an automobile to run on city streets. It does not mean that the
university professor will teach you nothing more than 12th grade calculus
and it does not mean that the specialist in relativistic physics will use the
classical physics to talk of the properties of light etc.
> > The term 'samucchaya' is a technical one and Shri Sastri ji has clearly
> > brought out its implications.  The Jnani's engaging in karma aimed at dharma
> > rakshanam is clearly out of the purview of 'samucchaya'.
> >
> The technical argument against Jnana Karma Samuccaya is only
> theoretical but not practical. Practically there is a Samuccaya of
> Nishkama Karma and Jnana Sadhana. Adi Sankara said Karma cannot be

This is quite confused thinking. Please read through the gItAbhAshya on
nishkAma karmA and understand why Sankara emphasizes that even that
eventually comes to an end in the state of naishkarmaysiddhi.
"This is only theoretical, not practical," is not a philosophical argument with
respect to any issue. What is "only" theoretical has far reaching implications.
The jnAnI cannot be REQUIRED to do any karmA - that is the reason why
there is such a great argument against jnAna-karma-samuccaya in advaita
vedAnta. If one jnAnI appears to be doing some activity for loka-kalyANa,
that is a blessing to the loka. If another does nothing and appears to be just
sitting in dhyAna, that too is a blessing to the world. If a third appears to be
crazy, that is a laukIka perception only, not true of the jnAnI. The point is that
you cannot say that a living human being who wants moksha should ALWAYS
perform karmA. If you make this a sort of requirement for moksha, then you
are making a false argument within advaita vedAnta.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list