[Advaita-l] Crossing death is not immortality

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Sun Jun 26 06:41:26 CDT 2016

On Thu, 23 Jun 2016, D.V.N.Sarma డి.వి.ఎన్.శర్మ via Advaita-l wrote:

> It seems that there was a tradition prevalent in ancient times that death
> can be crossed by ritual.

There is still a tradition now.

> Here avidya is interpreted by Sankara as ritual. Crossing death is
> different from immortality.

The Vedantin does not doubt that karma (of which rituals are the archetype 
but karma is all volitional action not just ritual.) will not lead to good 
or bad outcomes in future lives but becomes karma is finite, its phala is 
also finite.

> My question is, what do we mean by “crossing death by avidya or yajna or
> ritual”.

So if one diligently follows his svadharma it will result in various 
levels of heavenly reward.

For example One of Indras names is Shatakratu because He performed 100 
ashvamedha yajnas.  In the Vishnupurana there is a famous story about 
Indra getting very full of Himself so Devarshi Narada decides to teach Him 
a lesson.  He points out a column of ants marching under Indras throne and 
explains that each had once been an Indra.  They had reached that exalted 
position through their good deeds but having eventually exhausted their 
karmaphala they sank back down to the condition of ants.

By all means one should perform the 
appropriate karma for ones station in life but if one believes that is 
all there is, it is a type of ignorance.  Jnana is superior.  Jnana is the 
true imortallity because it is not subject to the corrosion of time.  the 
supreme goal in life should be to renounce karma and seek jnana and if 
that is not possible, at least to perform karma without regard to the 

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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