[Advaita-l] Moral Goodness of Brahman?

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Tue Oct 20 13:51:50 CDT 2015

On Tue, 20 Oct 2015, V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l wrote:

> Very nice thoughts from Lance Nelson.  What immediately comes to mind is
> the famous mantra of the Kathopanishad, pl. see reference in the book:
> anyatra dharmāt anyatra adharmāt ...
> This is an excellent definition of the Upanishadic Brahman coming from
> Nachiketas as a question, which surpasses even the reply Yama gives.
> Nachiketas seeks to know of that Brahman which is beyond dharma and
> adharma, beyond cause and effect and beyond Time.  So, here we have Brahman
> presented as the Truth that transcends all dualities, notions, such as good
> and evil, cause-effect, etc.
> The BG famous verse: sarva dharmān parityajya...of the 18th ch. too is of
> the above nature.  Shankara says there: one must rise above both dharma and
> adharma to seek the Ultimate Truth.  Adhering to dharma and eschewing
> adharma is the path that prepares one to launch oneself into the Supreme by
> transcending the notions of dharma and adharma.
> We get the above purport in the Mandukya 7th mantra too.  It is a fine
> presentation of the Vedantic Brahman that transcends all three states, the
> three worlds, their contents, obviously dharma-adharma.

These are talking about dharma i.e. vidhi and nishedha.  Is there a 
goodness that goes beyond dharma?  Bhagavan says it in the Gita shloka you 
cite.  sharana in him is higher.  Why would that be?  Because the Brahman 
of which an amSha descended as Krishna Bhagavan is basically good.

I think most Hindus are more Mimamsaka than Vedantin in this regard.  From 
childhood I have heard (in Gujarati) "pApa lAgashe" (sin will "attach") or 
"puNya maLashe" (merit will accrue) in terms of good and bad actions only. 
Not a sense of an abstract cosmic good or evil.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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