[Advaita-l] Pitru paksha questions

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Sat Sep 24 11:47:28 CDT 2011

Hari Om, Srikantaji,

On Sat, Sep 24, 2011 at 8:19 PM, Srikanta Narayanaswami <
srikanta.narayanaswami at yahoo.com> wrote:

> What I said was if one wants to get entangled in karmakhandha despite
> having  some clarity in the pursuance of jnana kandha should he go through
> the sorrowful performance of karmakhandha?What i would like to ask you is
> that should a person who has climbed a tree and reaching its top,should get
> down and restart climbing it again,because some one asks him to do?

And I ask you if its possible to climb the tree by giving up things
selectively? For one who has to climb the tree, he has to be lightweight by
himself, not with a bag of some selective things. So, yes karma has to be
given up, not karma kANDa alone! So, I do agree with you that one needn't
get down & restart climbing, but one can't even imagine oneself on the tree
and say that I don't need to climb. IMHO, climbing the tree itself begins
with sannyAsa, which is when ALL baggage is dropped.

> I hope we are following Bhagawad Gita and SriShankara Bhagawathpada's
> commentary!

Yes Sir, I hope so too.

> I want you to study the BG sloka IV.18,Karmani akarma yah pashyed----.I
> want you to study the commentary of Srishankara bhagawathpada BG bhashya 268
> where he has discussed about the performance or non-performance of Karmas.

Thanks for quoting BG reference 4.18 (I assume "268" is a typo though).

> "Because the karma is in the form of sorrow(duhka).One will not perform the
> sorrowful karma,and since you have accepted that it they are not
> performed,one will encounter the fall into the hell(narakapatha),even if
> they are performed or not performed one will meet "anartha",then one would
> have to say that the "sastras'are without fruit(nishphala).and after
> agreeing that the "Nityakarmas"have no"Phala'and at the same time saying
> that it will lead to the phala of moksha,then it is against your
> acceptance."

Bhagavatpada is refuting the arguments that:
1) nityakarma is fruitless: because he says that "Further, the scriptures
cannot enjoin fruitless actions, they being naturally painful; and it is
illogical that what is painful should be done intentionally" ( न च निष्फलं
विदध्यात् कर्म शास्त्रम्, दुःखस्वरूपत्वात्, दुःखस्य च बुद्धिपूर्वकतया
कार्यत्वानुपपत्तेः।) I think its an error to read that "karma is in the form
of sorrow" but niShphala karma is!
2) nityakarma will lead to moksha phala: Nowhere does my mail imply that I
hold such views! For that matter, no one on this thread is saying that
performing pitR paksha shrAddha leads pitRs or performers to moksha! The
argument is that shrAddha or any nitya/naimittika karma can't be given up
unless all karma is given up.

I feel we are giving more importance to the performance of karmas than the
> "Moksha sastra",which is what is required for Progressive movement and
> "Nishreyas".Bhagavan himself says 'Yad jnatva mokshyaseashubhath".
> should one remain in lowerstandards,when he has the capacity to move up?

Bhagavatpada ends his commentary on this shloka 4.18 by saying that
perceiving inaction in action is being praised (तदेतत् कर्मणि अकर्मदर्शनं
स्तूयते) because in the action, doership is superimposed on the Atman that
is actionless.  So moving up to moksha is not by performing karma by
perceiving akarma in it & not by giving up karma selectively. If at all
karma is to be given up, sarva-karma-sannyAsa is the way.

--Praveen R. Bhat
/* Through what should one know That owing to which all this is known!
[Br.Up. 4.5.15] */

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