Mananam on Pururshartha with our acharyas

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Re: Mananam on Pururshartha with our acharyas

Postby meera » Wed May 19, 2010 12:03 am

Pauravi: Hari Aum, Pranaams to All.

Purushartha as i understand is 'Self Effort" and Prarabhda is 'Destiny'.
One cannot change what befalls on one, but surely one can change how we accept it. Prarabdha is built up on your past Karmas and the future will be built up on your present actions."What we have ,we have no control over but what we do with what we have ,we do have a control."As, Gurudev says,"What you meet in life is destiny! How you meet it is free will." Present actions and thoughts will carve our future destiny.

Are we really limited by our prarabdha or are we limited by our vasanas which forces us to put in more effort and also makes our intellect hazy? i feel once we master the elimination of our vasanas, purushartha
becomes easier, surely effortless.

Purushartha also gives us divinity and purity. It makes us aware of who we really are. So the three good souls were just Being their Self. Ravana deviated from the Real Truth and his intellect was all coated with vasanas (wrong understandings).

The ugly impregnation of our Self by our vasanas is what we need to work on. That is our attitude. Change the flow and pattern of our thoughts. In The Ramayan episode under discussion , this is what the
three good men tried to do with Ravana. They showed their purushartha.

Ravana did not heed to his purushartha so carved his fate.
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Re: Mananam on Pururshartha with our acharyas

Postby meera » Wed May 19, 2010 12:04 am

Lalitha:
Hari Om!


A....Purushartha is the roadmap given by the Rishis to go back to the home from where the individual soul has strayed and come on this birth. This Roadmap can help me provided I use my intellect and free-will to choose the path it shows...The yearning and willingness to use the intellect and free-will, to get out of the cycle of birth and death , necessarily has to be an "item" in the " baggage" that i have brought into this life.. This small seed of desire for deliverance can be nurtured to grow with the help of the Purushartha concepts...
I definitely have no control on my prarabdha . but i definitely can have a control over my reaction to my prarabdha...A proper understanding and following the principles of Purusharthas will help to regulate the effects of prarabdha..

Having said this, i wish to air my doubts about "kama" as a purushartha...

1 .Is'nt Kama innate with a human being ? In fact i feel it's because of kama (vasanas are the results , in a way, of kama , arent they ? ) that i have taken up this body ...If it is innate , how can it be an "effort" (artha )?

2 .If channelising Kama is what is meant, then that can be included very well in Dharma itself..Dharma would give the Dos and Donts about all aspects of life.

3...When Kama and Krodha are pointed out by Bhagawan as the emotions one should be wary about, ( kama esha krodha esha....) how can one of them become a purushartha ?

B...Hanuman's duty here is that of a Messenger and he does it Even if he can finish off Ravana and his tribe, that is not what he is sent for..but as a responsible messenger who knows the rights and wrongs of life , he advises Ravana to help him come to the Dharmic path...Vibhishana also does it and thus fulfils the duty of a brother ..When Ravana does not listen to him, Vibhishana leaves the erring brother and goes to Rama, to follow his own Dharma....Here one can notice the difference between Vibhishana and Kumbhakarna..Kumbha..also realises and tells Ravana that he is on the wrong path, but lacks the divine spark in him to break himself from adharma ...he stays with Ravana..

Ravana stands as the antithesis for Purusharthas..In spite of being a great devotee of siva, he is immersed in ignorance and so understands no values..He has broken all rules of Dharma, the Artha that he has amassed wrongly is spent wrongly, his Kama for a lascivious life is unbridled, there is no freedom from delusion (Moksha) for him.
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Re: Mananam on Pururshartha with our acharyas

Postby meera » Wed May 19, 2010 12:05 am

Sujatha:

Hari Om!

I am a novice in this ocean of Vedanta. Please forgive my limited knowledge and limited understanding of it.

( A ). Our Prarabdha of this birth is directly proportional to our efforts / actions ( Purushartha) of past births. Our current Purushartha / actions are to a certain extent governed by our prarabdha, but on that account effort cannot be stopped. Man's intellect and free will allow a certain amount of freedom to choose and perform right effort and actions. However, the intellect and free will are also governed by the individual's own prarabdha. Because we have a free will and intellect, we are responsible and eventually liable for actions we choose and indulge in.

Our past actions / efforts are today's Prarabdha, and today's actions/efforts will be tomorrow's Prarabdha. While Prarabdha provides pleasures/pains in present birth, Purushartha is the blue print we create for our next life. Thus, they are complimentary to each other.

The question was, " Do I really have control on my Purushartha ? " Answer is Yes, eventually. In the present life span ( and subsequent life spans ) we have no choice but to exhaust our acquired Prarabdhas, and simultaneously exercise our free will and intellect to do selective Purushartha. For example : To acquire or inherit wealth is dictated by our Prarabdha, but how we choose to use that wealth is up to us ( Purushartha ). What is needed is the Right Knowledge / Dharma and Guru's grace to perform the right actions.


( B ). In the Ramayana episode under discussion, Ravana was operating from ignorance. His Purushartha was dictated by his bad vasanas, thus he was holding Sitaji captive and using his wealth for selfish purposes. Hanumanji, the diligent messenger performed his Purushartha by delivering the message and encouraging Ravana to do the right thing and thus steer him to the path of Dharma. Same was true for Vibhishana and Sitaji. Ravana had to exhaust his prarabdha and therefore could not follow the good advice given to him.
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Re: Mananam on Pururshartha with our acharyas

Postby meera » Wed May 19, 2010 12:07 am

Brni. Shruti Chaitanya

Hari Om. Pranams.
‘purushai: arthyate praarthyate iti purushaartha:’
a. Purushartha is that which is pursued by man. ‘Rishis point out 4 human pursuits
b. The efforts put forth to gain desired end is also called purushartha. (Self effort)

A. Whatever my Purushartha, I am limited by my prarabda….therefore do I really have control on my Purushartha?

Gurudev says ‘What you meet in your life is Prarabdha and how you meet is Purushartha. If I am addicted to coffee today it is a product of my past lifestyle. If I desire dropping this addiction in future, I have to work on it thought by thought and action by action. We are at every moment making our prarabdha of the future. Choosing the right thoughts and keeping a high ideal, we can make a beautiful blueprint (prarabdha) for the future.

Talking of the present with reference to the past, I am helpless and have to live through it (Attitude decides the impact of it on me). Talking of the future- in the present, I can be the architect of my own life. By determination & a look ahead attitude there are many who just rise above adverse situations in which they are placed. ‘Future is the past, modified in the present’.

Have heard Gurudev give example of boat trying to go upstream. If the flow of river is at 20 km per hour downstream and motor is also working at 20 km ph, there is no movement up. But if the motor (effort) is 40 km ph, then the boat moves upstream 20 km. If the motor is working at 10 km ph, the movement will be downstream by 10 km ph since efforts are not sufficient to change the course. We can thus make or unmake our future by putting forth right effort in the right direction.

B. Ravan had spent lots of time, thoughts and effort in nurturing enemity with SriRama. Many advisors on evil side and just a few advisors (thoughts) for the noble path :(. Hence he could not surrender to Sri Rama.

What we call exertion is a joy to devotees who reveled in thinking of the Lord, singing or listening to his glories, getting others to meet the Lord. In fact Hanumanji takes every opportunity possible. It also serves to increase their faith in Lord whether others are interested or not. If it served to warn Ravan and his nature changes, good.
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Re: Mananam on Pururshartha with our acharyas

Postby meera » Wed May 19, 2010 12:13 am

Br. Saket Chaitanya

Purushartha means purush + artha. A little grammar for those who would be interested. Purush comes from 'pru' root which means to fill and to protect. (pru- piparti). one definition of purusha goes as - purnatvaat purushah. That which fills the human body, that is the jiva. Artha than means some achievement goal (arth root + ganj pratyaya). This creates a shasthi tatpurush samas. purushaaNaam arthah purushartha. The goal of the jiva.

If we take other definition purush as that which protects using pru for protection then it becomes bahuvrihi - paati purusham yena saha - purushartha, that by which a person is protected (from falling down).

Put together, this would mean purushartha is that which protects a person from falling below current level by protecting him.

This our dharma sastras have defined under:
Mahabharata (shanti parva) - dharma, artha, kaama, moksha. Geetaji talks of two - kshema & shreya (relative good & ultimate good)
Kathopanishad - preya and shreya (material good & ultimate good) (anyatchchhreyo anyadutaiva preyaste ubhe naanarthe purusham siniitah kathavalli 2 verse 1)
Even manusmriti would have defined it. If anyone is aware, please post them.

Now why all of these?
These steps indicate evolution of human beings & they are :
a) Stages when one would like to gain one or another.
b) Meant for different types of people.

Whereas most of the karma kanda of jaimini is focussed on dharma artha and kama most of the jnana kanda is focussed on moksha. The first sutra of brahma sutra athato brahma jigyasa defines, having done karma one should now start with brahma mimansa ( atha is now & jigyasa is mananam there). At the same time kathopanishad clearly defines two different paths for two different people - shreyascha preyascha manushyametat tau samparitya vivinakti dhiiraH. shreyohi dhiirobhipreyaso vriNite preyo mando yogakshemaata vriNite. Whichever way we interpret, one thing is sure, there is a stage in a life when one moves from dharma artha kaama to moksha and that is why moksha is known as parama purushartha. This is because finally everyone is searching for bliss. This is well known and doesnt need elaboration i suppose.

But the questions that are posed with regards to the four purusharthas are:
1) should one follow dharma at all? If so why?
2) Can dharma lead to artha?
3) Can artha earned through dharma alone can cause fulfillment of kaama. when we say fulfilment of desires only increases the fire of desires (havishma iva vardhate ??? (if someone can complete this verse... - manusmriti)
4) Can there be moksha at all by fullfillment of desires?

First considering dharma. Chodana lakshano dharmaH that is what jaimini risihi says in his karma sutras - meaning whatever is prescribed in vedas as injunction is all dharma. But it is not comprehensive atleast for today's world where vedic rituals are missing. Even later on subsequent to treta age, vedic rituals were lesser and lesser understood becoming very obsecure. The vedangas related to them nirukta and kalpa were becoming difficult to understand. Kalpasutras, the edifice for procedures of dharma were not clearly explaining the result of perfornance and non performance. Hence, smritis were created. That was the age of ishta karma (rites). Later purta karma (selfless actions for benefit of society) became more prominent and in today's world we find primarily purta alone exists. In that context vedic definition and associated kalpasutras or smritis might not serve as a proper guide. Also dharma cant be mere ritual or actions for society alone. Here a more comprehensive defintion of dharma as given by manu maharaj in manusmriti helps. It says one should follow shruti, smriti, people of good character and finally the agreement with one's own conscience in that order of precendence. Normally, a dharma is said to have been performed when all of them are in agreement and generally they would all be in agreement. E.g. in Geeta Lord himself says that for loka sangraha he has to follow dharma which indicates people of good character follow dharma. We see in case of Lord Rama - Ramo vigrahvaana dharma. It is also seen that their conscience agreement is always there in most of the cases. But if it doesnt then precendence is to be accepted as yudhisthira did in case of "naro va kunjaro va", speaking part lies against the conscience. This universal definition is much more acceptable for dharma in today's world.

However, this dharma should have a proper end in mind which is the artha which is wealth. Dharma done with wrong ends in mind is no dharma. Karna was fighting the war as per the rules of war but shri krishna didnt consider it as dharma at all. Artha is wealth. Wealth in gross terms means money, but it really means prosperity both material and spiritual. Even six fold wealth in saadhan chatushtaya is wealth. Actual dharma, action has two results, the drashta phalam seen result and adrashta phalam, an unseen result. Any action causes four types of changes says mimansa sastra which is taken up and discussed by bhagavan shankaracharya in the commentary of mundaka upanishad (verse - parikshya lokaan karma chitaana bhrahmanah) which is a change of any of the four kinds: aapya (gained), sanskaarya(purification), vikarya(transformation) and utpaadya (created). These are always there. No one can remain without doing any action and this results are essentially always there. What differs in case of dharma is the adrashta phalam. It relates to the intention a person has in doing the action. This decides whether the action is dharma or adharma. If it is dharma, it contributes to his purushartha. If not it leads to his destruction. Mostly people dont realise this relation and hence believe that dharma cant be helpful in gaining the results. They know that a particular action leads to a particular seen result. Hence, irrespective of the means they want to get the seen result alone. The unseen result is ignored. Hence, they fall and their efforts goes in vain. This is not purushartha, neither is dharma helping him gain any "artha" in truest of the sense. Obviously it cannot give him any joy at all. Hence, to achieve the artha dharma has to be followed and it has to be in line with the definition stated above.

Upto this I have taken up two questions: should one follow dharma & why and can dharma lead to artha.

Now comes what is kaama and can artha fulfilled through dharma alone help us fulfil our desires. This is tricky question. The answer again lies in purushartha. If we are talking of purusharta, we are searching for fulfillment. If we are searching for fulfilment it shouldnt be a mere satisfaction of baser materialistic desires. It should be accompanied by a sense of completion, inner peace and achievement.

The desires can be fulfilled by two ways: a) desires guiding the action b) dharma guiding the action. If desires guide the action, then that kaama is not kaam at all. kam means sukham, joy. Taddhita of kam is kaam. (sorry a little grammar too). Meaning that which gives us sukham. If the desires when fulfilled doesnt give us joy but leaves with an agitation which enslaves us leading to a spiral of misdeeds and an ever increasing hunger for the object then it is not kaama it is bhogavasana or kaamavikaara. Here kaamavikaara is not meant by kaama. Kaama is only those desires which are in line with sastras, permitted by your consicence and fulfilled by artha which is earned by dharma. If you achieve artha driven by desires, you might transgress dharma. This would definitely cause fear and dissatisfaction. This cannot lead to any kind of joy. This is hence not kaama. Such a kaama fulfilment done with dharma can only give satisfaction and doesnt increase the desires for more (answers third question). If at all it does, dharma applies the brakes. Dharma is the brakes in the highway of purushartha accelerated by artha. Thus kaama also leads to evolution of a person only.

For the fourth question, can kaama lead to moksha, we need to go back to Geetaji. Guruji says without desires no one can work!!! What? Yes, desires are there even if we talk of selfless action. Actions whose fruits are offered to Lord, or selfless by itself done purely as service have the desire of offering or service in mind. By that we want to achieve mental purity. 'Vina uddeshyena mandopi na pravartate. ' So any action has to have a desire. Without action, Geetaji says you cant stay a minute (na hi kashchit kshanam api jaatu tishthati a karma krit). So action has to be there. Now we cant perform an action which is against fulfilment of our desires. Hence, desire fulfilment has to be there even if we desire moksha. Desires are the pole vault which we used in guiding ourselves to the final goal, the moksha and then drop the pole and jump over dropping the desires. Viveka chudamani says - yadaa yadaa pratyagavasthitam manah tada tada munchati bahya vaasana, nissheshe mokshe sati aatmanubhuti pratibandha shunyaa. As our mind slowly absorbs in the peace of the self, the desires drop off. When they drop off completely we experience the unobstructed joy of the supreme self.

That is my first take on the concept of purushartha. I would like people to question on these. Request you to please use another colour or italics or something to identify seperately.

Sorry for the mail being too long. But when we say mananam, it is a thread bare analysis in a systematic logical approach. Sthula khananam nyaya - once a pillar is planted it should be shaken and tested for its firmness. Our ideas should be firm.
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Re: Mananam on Pururshartha with our acharyas

Postby meera » Wed May 19, 2010 12:15 am

Br. Kushal Chaitanya

Hari om! Pranams!!

Since the other two acharyas have already explained the etymology of the word Purushartha I will not go into that again.
Man is what he is because of his past actions. If his experiences from the birth to the present moment are pure and noble then he is today a man of chastity and dignity. If on the contrary he is vicious and immoral his character and so his life takes on those qualities. In short he is a product or an effect of his own past actions. This is the principle of Destiny (prarabdha). It may be wrongly concluded that man is a victim of his own past actions over which he has no control. The law of karma is a vital force in the vedantic philosophy which enables man to be spirited and dynamic and to reach the goal of human existence. Destiny (Prarabdha) is the product or effect of the past and it forms one aspect of the law of karma. Man is indeed influenced by his destiny since his present status is caused by the past. But at the same time he is gifted with the capacity to choose his present action which is called self effort (Purushartha). In fact these self efforts exercised by individual in the past have created his present destiny. But the future destiny can be changed for the better or for the worse by exercising intellectual choice of the present self efforts. Thus destiny today is caused by his past actions and man has no control now over the things he has done in the past. Hence man is said to be a victim of his destiny and this has reference only to his past.

The law of karma goes a step further than the law of destiny. The future lies in the hands of man himself since he has the capacity to change it by his own effort, or action. Thus man can make his future better than what it is at present by his self effort. In other words through his self efforts, today though he has to suffer the consequences of the past in the present he can make his future better. The future is therefore a continuity of the past modified in the present. The freedom to modify the past and to create a future, either for the better or for the worse is self effort. In short what we meet in life is destiny (Prarabdha)and how we meet what we meet in life is self effort or free will(Purushartha).

Now coming to the hanumanji’s episode he was a messenger and he only did his dharma of giving the message which he was asked to deliver. In the same way Sitaji and Vibhishanji were performing their dharma. Even all of us in our daily life know that the lord will take care of us, this does not mean that we do not exercise our purushartha. What we may term as exercising purushartha even though knowing that the lord is under control is another opportunity to those three noble souls to take the name of the lord and revel in his glory and strengthen themselves and bring themselves more nearer to the lord. It is not necessary that every time we exercise purushartha we see a clear result coming out. All the three were using purushartha while they remotely believed that ravana would change his way and surrender to the lord.

Hari Om...
Last edited by meera on Wed May 19, 2010 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mananam on Pururshartha with our acharyas

Postby meera » Wed May 19, 2010 12:22 am

meera

Hari Om!

Pranaam to our respected acharyas.
Thank you for the time and attention you have given us students in fine tuning our learning.

Having analysed what everyone has said, I present here two sets of thoughts:

a. Common understanding by students
b. Acharya wisdom

a. Commonly students have said i) we have no control over prarabda ii) But we can control our reactions to our prarabda (indicating ability not compulsion. You can do it if you choose to do it; you can equally choose not to control your reactions to your prarabda).
Pauravi said: i feel once we master the elimination of our vasanas, purushartha becomes easier, surely effortless.

Therefore Qs for Acharyajis: Can vasanas be totally eliminated during a lifetime? Or does dissolution of vasanas result or is simultaneous to moksha? Therefore if vasanas are eliminated then is there any role for purushartha?

The three wise men analyses:

Pauravi says (wisely) that the 3 good men in the episode were trying to enable Ravana change the pattern of his thoughts from the low to the higher.She also points out that Ravana’s intellect was coated with (wrong) vasanas);

Qs for Acharyajis: Can it be said then that the 3 good men’s intellect was also coated with good vasanas?


Interesting observation from Pauravi: we limited by our vasanas which forces us to put in more effort…
Pauravi this statement is very powerful and empowering, but Qs for acharyas: how is this ‘force’ felt in a jiva? As inability? As lower aptitude? What urges the ‘increased effort contribution’ from me? Vasanas again? The desire to work harder at something is again vasana led? Or is that my prarabda?

Lalitha says: Purusharthas are the road map to follow to get back Home. , provided I choose the path it shows. Lalitha also feels “The yearning and willingness to use the intellect and free-will, to get out of the cycle of birth and death , necessarily has to be an "item" in the " baggage" that i have brought into this life.”

It is a unique thought and I may even interpret that ‘baggage’, as vasanas that she alludes to (Am I right Lalitha?). It certainly opens a new line of discussion, for I ask our acharyas here: Does a spiritual orientation have to be a vasana I bring with me? Anukulasya sankalpah is pointed out in the Vaisnava Sampradaya. As, “ I want the Lord and am willing to do anything to find Him.”

Because Lalitha’s ‘to get out of the cycle of birth & death’ birth vision seems to me as a stage that very few could be in. There are likely to be more and many people who just tend to the path of good, shreyas… not knowing that it defines Bhagawan, not knowing that it is sattwa. Some stay on shreyas, some are unable to deal with the injustice that is meted out to them (despite their goodness) and hence tend to retaliate and incur angry vasanas (fresh ones)…
Therefore my question: even if I didn’t come with anukulasya sankalpah, what other elements in me can point the road of shreyas and Bhagawan in my life? There are many people without any desire for moksha simply because the concept is very fuzzy. Instead they want peace. Which is just that in their vyavaharik language. Do these people also count as those with a yearning and willingness?

Lalitha expresses doubt over ‘kama’ as a purushartha. To my mind, the purushartha indicated is not desire as we know it ordinarily, but enjoyment, comforts and working to fulfil desires (including, ‘I want to travel around the world’), because they exist as a vasana and can be exhausted only by fulfilment (without attachment).

These would be the desire felt by all the 5 sense organs. If there is a desire to eat tasty food, one must fulfil it by commensurate effort. If there is a desire to partner another to raise a family, then suitable effort must be made to fulfil this. To my mind the effort to fulfil also includes the effort to ‘not get attached’ to the enjoyment. The kama-krodha (lobha, moha, mada, matsarya) that we are asked to watch out for, are indicated as the vrittis or the influencers that get generated (verily like virus gets created under certain conditions and combination of events) during action and thought, for which we may have greater or less propensity depending on our vasanas. (Pleasing observation re Kumbhakarna!)

The observation re Ravana as antithesis for Purusharthas and in the context of being a great devotee who has no values: this seems like the story of most people. Devotion is misunderstood or not fully comprehended.

I request our acharyas to clarify this further for Lalitha.

Sujatha’s “Our current Purushartha / actions are to a certain extent governed by our prarabdha, but on that account effort cannot be stopped.” Is very very poignant. Very well stated.
Sujatha makes one more very strong statement: In the present life span ( and subsequent life spans ) we have no choice but to exhaust our acquired Prarabdhas, and simultaneously exercise our free will and intellect to do selective Purushartha.
But what should we do so that while ‘exhausting’ (= enduring) those prarabdas will those actions will not add to my vasanas? Add new karmas?
Therefore I highlight here for our acharyas this sentence from Sujatha’s post, for commenting on: Ravana had to exhaust his prarabdha and therefore could not follow the good advice given to him

B. Acharya Wisdom: I like the dormant etymology of Purushartha (and pursuit) in Shruti-ji’s mail. But most of all I thoroughly liked the Hence he could not surrender to Sri Rama. The phrase I see shining bright is ‘could not’; which means the ability was absent, and ability would be a sum of anukulasya sankalpa + shraddha+ vasanas+ grace; If these he didn’t have, he could never surrender to Bhagawan. So we are talking about inability.
Therefore Qs for Shrutiji: our purushartha is a function of prarabda? My attaining God or being able to lead a spiritual life is a function of my prarabda?
Some really amazing learnings have come through our esteemed acharyas. Saketji gives a stellar definition of purushaartha: paati purusham yena saha - purushartha, that by which a person is protected (from falling ). And putting weight behind Hanumanji and Vibhishana’s role in trying to convince Ravana, and why they did so, Saketji quotes the Manusmriti: one should follow shruti, smriti, people of good character and finally one's own conscience in that order... dharma is said to have been performed when all of them concur. Clearly therefore we see that Hanumanji did what Ramji would have done in his place, plus this conduct came to him naturally. Add to that another statement from Saketji: People of good character follow dharma.
So clearly purushartha expects that our action – be it for artha, kama, dharma or moksha will be primarily dharma-led, which is what Hanumanji and Vibhishana did.

Point for contemplation: Arises from Saketji’s comment: Desires fulfilled through dharma guided action = artha fulfilled through dharma

Kushalji has made some thought provoking deep statements. That man is a victim of his destiny is only wrt his past actions and hence his current status. This straightaway frees us from the anxiety of a seeming unpredictable future for we know that by choosing our actions today (in accordance with the tenets of artha, dharma as defined by Saketji) we can carve out future.
The most encouraging statement from Kushal ji is: The future is therefore a continuity of the past modified in the present. It seems delightful that we can in a manner of speaking, ‘alter’ the past ‘sins’ by choosing actions today that will impact the future outcome of those acts.

Kusalji reiterates the point Saketji made: Hanumanji did his dharma. But Kusalji adds: purushartha is an opportunity to revel in Bhagawan’s glory.

Arising out of these I have a new thought that is based on Kushalji's emphasis on Dharma.
We will take that up in our next round. This round I request our respected Acharyas to comment only on the yellow highlighted questions that will help us all.
Thank you very much.

Hari Om!
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Re: Mananam on Pururshartha with our acharyas

Postby meera » Wed May 19, 2010 12:33 am

Br. Saket Chaitanya replies to the qs above


Q1 - can vasanaas be totally eliminated during a life time?
Answer: Vasana elimination cannot take place unless ignorance is removed because ignorance is the seat of vasanaas. Till ignorance is there vasanaas will be there. So Vasanaas cannot be eliminated fully till ignorance is removed. This is the reason: Ignorance has two powers aavarana and vikshepa. When avarana, the covering is there then there will be projection of the world. Now that is where the role of purushartha comes in. Even when vikshepa continuous to exist, we have to apply our viveka to understand that all that is seen is not true. (for vedanta techies- baadahasaamanyadhikaranam - sarvam khalvamidam brahman iti vaakye sarvam iti baadhitam syaat. ato heyam, khalu idam brahman tu upaadeyam. tatah baadha saamanya adhikaranam.) This is called as brahma bhavanaa. We have to replace the vasanaas of duality by vasanaa of unity. When the vasanaa of advaita is strong then the feeling of sarvaatmatva rises. Gurudev says and Nisthananda amma often quotes. "This is the end of human effort. This is where a person can go by his own efforts. Then there is divine guidance and you are sucked into it, the supreme state." This is precisely why revelation of self is called vastutantrit and not purushatantrit. It cannot be created by the effort of humans. It reveals by itself.

Q2: Does dissolution of vasana result or is it a simultaneous moksha?
Answer: More or less its covered in explanation above. Vasanas cannot be dissolved completely but reduced. Reduced in the same way as a permanent stains cannot be removed completely. We can do two things either destroy the cloth completely (ignorance has to be removed) or colour it with some stronger colour which can hide and not allow the stains to manifest. This is brahma vasanaa. However, ultimate solution is destruction of cloth, ignorance only and with that only the real vasanaas will go.

Q3- if vasanas are eliminated, what is the role of purushartha?
Answer: As has been said before the role of purusharatha is to replace the vasnaas. Vasanaas when eliminated, realization is achieved.. nisshesheshe moxe sati vasanaanaam aatmanubhuti pratibandha shunyaa- says viveka chudamani. Pratibandha shunyaa means there is no further obstruction in experiencing the self. Obviously no purusartha is required. The parama purushartha of moxa has been realized.

Context: The three wise men analyses:
Pauravi says (wisely) that the 3 good men in the episode were trying to enable Ravana change the pattern of his thoughts from the low to the higher.She also points out that Ravana’s intellect was coated with (wrong) vasanas);

Qs for Acharyajis: Can it be said then that the 3 good men’s intellect was also coated with good vasanas?
Answer: Vasanaas are impressions from the world. World is rajasic, sattvik or tamasik. Accordingly, we form our vasanaas. Purushartha has a role to play here. gita 5.23- shaknoti ihaiv yah sodhum praksharirasya vimokshanaat kaam krodhodbhavam vegam sa yuktah sa sukhi narah.
One who is able to control this then the vasanaas will be +ve. They can then guide others. Vasanaas are the pole vault. We have to use it to jump into the releams of mindlessness and drop them behind.

Context: Pauravi: we limited by our vasanas which forces us to put in more effort…
Qs for acharyas: how is this ‘force’ felt in a jiva? As inability? As lower aptitude? What urges the ‘increased effort contribution’ from me? Vasanas again? The desire to work harder at something is again vasana led? Or is that my prarabda?

Answer: First of all let us clear one thing. Prarabdha and purushartha are not related. Why have we to bring the two together? Purushartha is purushatantrit - controlled by jiva, prarabdha is not. Prarabdha is prakarshena Aarabdha. That which has already started. Like an arrow which has already left the bow, which can only do one thing hit its target but never halt or return back. Bhagvan shankaracharya calls this by ishuvegakshaya nyaya in chhandogya upanishad commentary. But Purushartha can be controlled. For prarabdha it is said -"sati mule tad vipakeo jaati aayu bhoga'"- says patanjali sutra; where you are born, how you are born when you are born is all decided by jaati - jaati relates to birth. aayu - your life - not a single breath is more than decided and bhoga - all that you would experience in life. This shows there is NO active role of prarabdha in making a person work harder. (I suggest users to read self unfoldment - US version for more of role of vasanas). Vasanaas are the 'force' in the jiva behind everything. This force makes us work. Stronger the vasanaas, stronger the " effort contribution ". Vasanaas cant cover our intellect though as pauraviji has said. They can only they pressurize us. Duryodhana agreed to Krishna - "jaanami dharmam na cha mein pravrittih, jaanaami adharmam na cha mein nivrittih, kenaapi deven hridasdhiten yatha niyuktosmi tatha karomi". At that time also he was on death bed and he is saying that i know what is wrong and what is right and still i cant give up wrong and take up right because there is some god who is sitting in my heart and forcing me to do this". This is a foolish state which we always land up in. It were his vasanaas and not his prarabdha which guided him to wrong doing. Lord says in geeta - " sadrisham chestate svasyah prakriter jnanavaan api, prakritim yaanti bhutani nigraha kim karishyati". People keep following their nature, even those who are knowledgable (by sheer force of vasanaa) how will one implement control?" .

Context: Lalitha says: Purusharthas are the road map to follow to get back Home. , provided I choose the path it shows. Lalitha also feels “The yearning and willingness to use the intellect and free-will, to get out of the cycle of birth and death , necessarily has to be an "item" in the " baggage" that i have brought into this life.”
It is a unique thought and I may even interpret that ‘baggage’, as vasanas that she alludes to (Am I right Lalitha?). It certainly opens a new line of discussion,

Qs: Does a spiritual orientation have to be a vasana I bring with me? Anukulasya sankalpah is pointed out in the Vaisnava Sampradaya. As, “ I want the Lord and am willing to do anything to find Him.”

Answer: Difference of prarabdha and purushartha as stated above if clearly understood will automatically answer this. Prarabdha brings a spiritual situation and NOT vasana. Vasana helps you to hold on to it. " sadrisham chestate svasya prakriter..."- has been said before. If it matches your prakriti, your vasanaas only then you would go. In ashram we have employees working and staying. Few are here for more than two decades. Prarabdha has given them the opportunity but they are not interested in spirituality.

Sujatha’s “Our current Purushartha / actions are to a certain extent governed by our prarabdha, but on that account effort cannot be stopped.”

Qs: But what should we do so that while ‘exhausting’ (= enduring) those prarabdas will those actions will not add to my vasanas? Add new karmas?
Therefore I highlight here for our acharyas this sentence from Sujatha’s post, for commenting on: Ravana had to exhaust his prarabdha and therefore could not follow the good advice given to him


Answer to this is same as quoted in the first para. about duryodhana. same applies to ravana. What is said is true about exhaustion of prarabdha, we create new prarabdha by our vasanaas. Yes it is true. We create and that is where purushartha comes in. Purushartha is rowing against the flow. Natural tendency of water is to go from high to low. What effort is there? only when we have to raise it to third floor of our house we need effort. Now what we should do? Follow dharma. But that doesn't stop creation of new prarabdha. Never. That is at best going to give us swargaloka. But that is prarabdha. In panchadasi chapter 1 Vidyaranya swami gives a very great sloka of what is the role of guru. "aavartanaat aavartanam gachhati..".from one whirlpool to another goes the worm(jiva) fallen in the river till a compassionate person comes (Guru) and saves him". Nishkaam karma has to be done and its fruits have to be offered to the lord. There is no alternative. Only offered fruits wont come back to us. Everything else would. You do any action, result will be there. You dont have choice. Karma is vastutantrit. By itself it gives result. So only doing dharma and nishkaama karma you cant be saved. Only the fruits offered to Lord and by compassion of Guru one can be saved. Purushartha fails there. It takes us to the highest but doesnt take us over.
--------------------------------------------------------
Trust this answers all questions.
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Re: Mananam on Pururshartha with our acharyas

Postby meera » Wed May 19, 2010 12:40 am

Brni. Shruti Chaitanya

Sorry for the delay in replying to the post. Had gone for a yatra and continued with a camp at Chinmaya Vibhuti, where could not get on to internet facility because the tower was down when I could take time off. Got back yesterday. Would like to tell Meera amma that we are also enjoying this process of thinking and we thank you for giving us this opportunity. Have keyed in my understanding below.

Q1. can vasanaas be totally eliminated during a life time? Does dissolution of vasana result or is it a simultaneous moksha? if vasanas are eliminated, what is the role of purushartha

Yes. Vasanas can be eliminated.
Upanishads speak of Jeevan Mukti –Liberation during ones life time. (pretyasman lokad amrita bhavanti –Keno) The substratum for Vasanas is ignorance. When ignorance is eliminated, vasanas have no substratum to exist. Gaining of knowledge alone removes ignorance (atma bodh verse 2). Ignorance / Vasana gone – Self shines by itself like the sun when the clouds pass away.
When doership (effect of ignorance) is not there, there is nothing to be done nor is there anything to be not done. Sadashiva brahmendra in his song says’ sarvam brahma mayam re re.. kim karaneeyam kim akaraneeyam’ But still we see many actions manifesting out of the realized master. Gurudev explains ‘it is Ishwara (Total Mind) working thro the instrument-BMI.’ Instrument exists on account of Prarabdha (shot out arrow has to reach its destination- saketjis post)

Q2. Can it be said then that the 3 good men’s intellect was also coated with good vasanas?

The 3 good men – here we feel some are realized and some good men (in ignorance still)
Sankaracharyaji ‘ Bhaavadvaitam sada karyam….’ Remain with the knowledge of non-duality. Never try to bring non-duality into transaction. Never non-duality with ones teacher / Lord.

In day today life, My friends are watching tv. I come out and see the beautiful moon. Call them out to see out of joy or fullness within. Their coming out or not coming out does not affect me. What to speak of Gnani bhaktas who are found to be ever speaking about the Lord and reveling in His glory out of complete fulfillment. ‘Vedantic knowledge purifies all and great indeed is the beauty of devotion that arises in the heart of one who knows it’ – Guruji in Gnan Saar.
With reference to the ignorant, good vasanas are anytime better. In our spiritual sadana too we would like to overpower our bad vasanas with good ones thro regular practice. Then we think of substituting all vasanas with brahma vasana.

Q3. how is this ‘force’ felt in a jiva? As inability? As lower aptitude? What urges the ‘increased effort contribution’ from me? Vasanas again? The desire to work harder at something is again vasana led? Or is that my prarabda?

Vasanas urge us into action. Prarabdha only presents a situation in front of me.

Q4. Does a spiritual orientation have to be a vasana I bring with me? Anukulasya sankalpah is pointed out in the Vaisnava Sampradaya. As, “ I want the Lord and am willing to do anything to find Him.”

(Ref: Vivekachudamani – Durlabam..3) Desire for liberation and association with realized masters are rare and is obtained by Lords grace. Gurudevs says this does not mean that Lord is showering special packets of blessings to chosen individuals. Grace is the sum total of reactions gained thro healthy and intelligent living through ones many previous lives of great and noble cultural pursuits. We knowing Gurudev and participating in Satsang proves presence of the grace. Let us foster our efforts and move forward.

Q5 1.But what should we do so that while ‘exhausting’ (= enduring) those prarabdas will those actions will not add to my vasanas? Add new karmas?
2. Therefore I highlight here for our acharyas this sentence from Sujatha’s post, for commenting on: Ravana had to exhaust his prarabdha and therefore could not follow the good advice given to him


1. The notion of doership in actions adds to my vasanas. A gnani has no doership notion and hence no vasana accumulation. This notion of doership is weakened by the practice of karma yoga with the attitude that ‘I am the servant of the Lord’ or ‘I am an instrument and Lord is the doer’ Actions done without selfishness dedicated to the Lord, purify the mind, making it a fit instrument for gaining liberation. – Upadesa saar. Karma yoga spirit in its true sense exhausts existing vasanas and no new vasanas get created.
2. The future is always open. I can make it or unmake it by putting forth the right effort in the right direction. Filled with lust for Mother Sita and enemity for Shri Rama and completely selfish with strong doership notion, Ravana did not put forth enough efforts to stop himself from moving in the direction of his negative tendencies. Ravana infact strengthens his negative tendencies.

Q6 our purushartha is a function of prarabda? My attaining God or being able to lead a spiritual life is a function of my prarabda?
(see ans for Q 4 which is sufficient. however elaborated below with examples and counter arguments)

You see a nail driven into wood. The number and intensity of the pulls needed to take out the nail depend upon the number and intensity of the strokes which drove it in. But the strokes that drove the nail in are now unseen and unseeable. They relate to the past - prarabdha.
Do we stop from pulling out the nail simply because we happen to be ignorant of the length of the nail in the wood or of the number and intensity of the strokes which drove it in? Or, do we persist in pulling it out by increasing our effort?

Present is the time where future and past meets. Present has connection with the past and future. What I meet in my life at the present moment is ordered by my past (prarabdha). How I meet it is Purushartha which is exercised at the present. I am linked to both my prarabdha and purushartha.

[Generality of us for artha and kaama – worldly riches and pleasures, we run behind saying purushartha / current efforts. We are able to accept easily that purushartha works and we want to work more and more. (I want to become a doctor. I work for it.) When it comes to attaining God (moksha) or leading a spiritual life (dharma) we want to hide behind saying it is destiny/prarabdha !!. God did not call me yet.  (Someone calls me for a spiritual camp or a yatra). Just want to point out that the same individual does not hold to his opinion at all times in the same way.]

In the discussion over purushartha and prarabdha, everyone is right. Standpoints alone vary. The one who says prarabdha is more powerful, is also right and vice versa. There are arguments very powerful for both stands. One for prarabdha completely has to have the attitude of surrender to the Lord and accept as Prasad, so you don’t complain. One for Purushartha completely – do your best as servant of the Lord. If you are for both prarabdha and purushartha, do both. (In the ultimate analysis there is neither prarabdha nor purushartha.)

Some say we are quite free to do whatever we want. What do we see! Are we free to do whatever we want? We have limited freedom. In my childhood, I wanted to play like a normal kid but I could not play due to asthma. So, I had limitation of body to do what I wanted. So, we have physical limitations. Within that limitation, we can do whatever we want.

Vedanta says ‘Look ahead. Don’t look back.’ Past is dead and gone – nothing can be done in it now. We can act vitally in the present. Create our future – go ahead, look ahead. We have to create a good blue print right now. If my life has to be wonderful, I must have an ideal in my mind. If there is no ideal, I will become selfish and court disaster for myself and others around. So lets use our freedom to do seva to others and give happiness to others in karma yoga spirit, and attain moksha or liberation and not be bound by reaction of karma.

The bottom line of the above thought process is to make us aware that we should continue our purushartha and never try to abandon it at any stage. When our efforts fail, we can reconcile that certain things are beyond our purushartha -s and learn to accept the outcome and attribute them to the cause of very strong prarabdha. This entire line of action-outcome analysis requires a strong belief in karma theory. Prarabdha is nothing but the ripened and matured fruits of one's previous karma and nobody else, not even God, is responsible or to be blamed.
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Re: Mananam on Pururshartha with our acharyas

Postby meera » Wed May 19, 2010 12:42 am

Meera:

Hari Om Shrutiji,

Thank you very much for your explanations. Read along with Saketji's they have strengthened our understanding.

One sentence in your explanation got me thinking.

Vasanas urge us into action. Prarabdha only presents a situation in front of me.

This interpretation is stunning. I am now thinking of some people who have always stood for iconic conduct and behaviour and then one day they suddenly commit some really unexpected act. In the last one year alone we have witnessed 4-5 such cases worldwide, and it has made me think why does this happen. It has caused me pain also, because I am filled with sorrow for the person's sudden encounter with a total change in his whole life after the error.
Now what you have said makes total sense.

Even so, I would like to know, between the Vasanas urging one to action and the prarabda presenting a situation (for the vasana to get fulfilled) what is the jiva's protection? Knowing that he carries this bag of vasanas and knowing that his prarabda is the arrow that has left the quiver, how is he to ensure that the arrow does not land where it can cause sorrow? I am thinking of the Brahmastra that Ashwattama shoots to kills Uttara/Abhimanyu's yet-to-be-born child....and as the arrow flies out, the Lord does deflect it, no?

Can we thus have a prayer that at no stage should anyone be axed by his own prarabda and vasana combination? How amma, pls tell.
The 2 other sentences in your mail that resonate with this thought in your above sentence are:
I am linked to both my prarabda and purushartha
Ultimately there is neither prarabda nor purushartah
It is possible that I am taking long to understand. Sometimes I understand nothing. For that I seek forgiveness. If you can, kindly explain the last sentence.
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Re: Mananam on Pururshartha with our acharyas

Postby meera » Wed May 19, 2010 12:44 am

Brni. Shruti Chaitanya


Hari Om. Pranams.

Firstly thanks for patiently going thro our answers and raising questions, which makes us think over it. Am putting down understanding for clarifications asked for.

Vasana urges the action. Prarabdha presents the situation?
I see a pretty girl walking on the road with mini skirt and high heals and …. I am a young man waiting for my bus. There is an urge to whistle (Its my tendency -vasana urge). I use my head to decide whether I should whistle. It comes out, but I swallow it in. Prarabdha presents a situation. Vasana propels me. But I did not want to go down on my status or self image etc. Stopped the expression. Am not axed down by my own prarabdha and vasana combination.

I fall into a ditch. I curse myself and everyone and am unhappy. But once Swami Rama Tirtha falls inside a ditch and he is exclaiming joyously ‘Oh! How great! Rama has fallen in a ditch!’ Whether I see something as joy or sorrow depends on me. But I feel I am a small jiva and not Rama Tirtha. So the next question..

How can I ensure that arrow does not cause sorrow?
Understanding,
1. I get what I deserve and not what I desire. Results are according to actions performed by me alone and so why should I crib or complain?
2. I perform all actions dedicated to the Lord. Results are His Prasad which is enjoyed with cheerful acceptance.
3. I perform only my duty. In duty there is no likes and dislikes which alone causes sorrow.
4. Ultimate solution is I gain Self Knowledge. In an ocean of bliss how can mugs of joy or sorrow bring additions or subtractions from it.

[But what is my duty? What actions are ordained for me by the Lord?
1. Duties that come to me un-asked according to my status in life are god sent and frees me from personal likes and dislikes
2. Commands of the scriptures, elders and teachers when acted upon liberates us from the negativities of the mind.]
I am linked to both my prarabda and purushartha?. This statement is explained in my previous post.
Ultimately there is neither prarabda nor purushartah?.
This statement is made from the standpoint of our essential nature – a realized master.
In the ultimate analysis, i.e on gaining self knowledge, I come to know that I am neither the doer nor the enjoyer nor the servant of anyone. I am the Supreme Self that is ever free.
At this stage, if I say prarabdha exists, question is for whom? Individuality is dead. Gurudev at one place makes a powerful statement ‘ If I exist, I exist in your imagination.’

[ In the example given by meera amma, uttara surrenders to Lord Krishna running towards Him. She has put efforts for what was in her capacity to save the child. Also the entire lineage is devotees of the Lord. Bhishma great grandfather, Arjuna – grandfather, kunti- grandmother, abhimanyu and uttara – all were great devotees of the Lord. Lots of actions to please the lord is being done. Lord is continuously swirling His gada to protect Parikshit. Still some effect could not be avoided. Parikshit is born dark in color because of the astra’s heat. Even today when I am going thro terrible prarabdha, I may have other people coming in to help me out on account of my good nature, as showing gratitude for help rendered by me in past to them etc. Lets do good and be good. Hope this explains the example given by Meera amma.]

[Prayers give us strength to take the little pinpricks of life without complaining. Also the degree of sorrow experienced when one has faith is less compared to the ones who do not have faith in a higher power. Research shows that people who are more pious and devoted have lesser occurances of depression etc.]
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Re: Mananam on Pururshartha with our acharyas

Postby meera » Wed May 19, 2010 12:46 am

Br. Kushal Chaitanya

Hari Om! Pranams!!
Still having the problems with internet connection. It was restored yesterday afternoon but it is off from today morning. Now have borrowed a data card from the IT and answering your mail. Please find my answers in a different colour below.

Q1. can vasanaas be totally eliminated during a life time? Does dissolution of vasana result or is it a simultaneous moksha? if vasanas are eliminated, what is the role of purushartha

Let us understand a cycle by which all of us operate in this world. The cycle goes this way. We do all our action prompted by desires. These desires are prompted by Vasanas. Vasanas exist in us as long as there is ignorance. Ignorance can go away only when we have knowledge. Knowledge spoken here can be gained only through a pure mind. Pure mind can come to all of us only as a result of selfless action. So if we see the entire cycle we understand that we start from desire prompted action and land at selfless action.
Yes Vasanas can be eliminated during a lifetime. Jeevanmukta means a person who is liberated while living and he is spoken of in the upanishads. What is he liberated from? He is liberated from the selfish motives and all his actions are only for the welfare of the society. To speak in Pujya Gurudev’s Words when you are doing selfless action then the existing vasanas are burnt away no new vasanas are created and hence the vasana pressure on the mind is reduced automatically. Working in this fashion for a long time a person can eliminate his vasanas. The moment knowledge dawns in you the vasanas are burnt away completely and this happens simultaneously. Then he lives in the world as Ishwara working through the upadhi of BMI in which he has taken birth.

Q2. Can it be said then that the 3 good men’s intellect was also coated with good vasanas?

Speaking from the absolute standpoint there are no good vasanas or bad vasanas. Vasanas are inherent tendencies of an individual. The inherent tendencies in the person can be Satvik Rajasic or tamasic. Yes from a comparative standpoint satvik tendencies are much better than rajasic and tamasic tendencies. Hanumanji and Sitaji were having only one vasana i.e. longing for rama and devotion for rama, Vibhisana also had love for lord but he also wanted to attempt to change his brother.

Q3. how is this ‘force’ felt in a jiva? As inability? As lower aptitude? What urges the ‘increased effort contribution’ from me? Vasanas again? The desire to work harder at something is again vasana led? Or is that my prarabda?

This force is felt definitely as an inability. Vasanas force me into the action I am doing today including the desire to work harder at something. Prarabdha presents the situation to me in which I have to act.

Q4. Does a spiritual orientation have to be a vasana I bring with me? Anukulasya sankalpah is pointed out in the Vaisnava Sampradaya. As, “ I want the Lord and am willing to do anything to find Him.”

Following the cycle which I have mentioned above if the result of spiritual orientation is an action then yes it has to be a vasana.

Q5 1.But what should we do so that while ‘exhausting’ (= enduring) those prarabdas will those actions will not add to my vasanas? Add new karmas?
2. Therefore I highlight here for our acharyas this sentence from Sujatha’s post, for commenting on: Ravana had to exhaust his prarabdha and therefore could not follow the good advice given to him


As mentioned in answer to Q 1 when I am exhausting my prarabdha karma by doing selfless action then it is not going to add new vasanas at all. More over it exhausts all the existing vasanas and the vasana pressure on our mind also comes down.
Ravana was not doing any selfless action and neither was he putting effort to cleanse himself of the existing prarabdha karma. His mind was under the constant pressure of desire prompted action and he wanted to more and more satiate his desires than listening to good advice.
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Re: Mananam on Pururshartha with our acharyas

Postby meera » Wed May 19, 2010 12:47 am

meera....

Hari Om dear teachers and friends,

A friend who has been reading these has asked a question, identifying with the 'whistling at a girl' example that Shrutiji presented. She says, "i have personally run into situations like this, rare though. i am not able to control myself and then i realize how foolish i am as a vedanta student to do this when the situation is in front of me. It seems my intellect is totally veiled at that moment. eg. getting angry, showing inaction. i feel it was a test from GOD and i failed it why? i have not behaved like this recently, but i do think it has been my weakness.My anger spurts out when i see people doing the wrong all the time, crushing the underdogs by unethical ways and yet being raised to a high pedastal because of their phony nature. i sometimes wonder if that is my jealousy?" Grateful if acharyas can reply to this as well.
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Re: Mananam on Pururshartha with our acharyas

Postby meera » Wed May 19, 2010 12:48 am

Brni. Shruti Chaitanya

Hari Om. Pranams.
For situations like handling our negative tendencies expressing themselves outside, 'Attack at the grosser level and work on the subtle mind.'

To illustrate, a devotee (Sri Unni in Chennai) was telling Gurudev that he gets angry and bursts out, though he knows very well that he is giving way to weakness. What to do?
Gurudev's advice was that next time you burst out, you will prostrate to the 1st person you meet the next morning. Unni got angry..burst out. The next morning when doorbell rang he got up from bed to open the door & it was his milk maid. He remembered what Gurudev said and did it.... the lady was aghast.. and that was the end of his anger spurts. (Did something gross, that his mind could not take the punishment)

Guruji used to tell us that if some negative emotion is surging up and we are not able to give up, it means that in our subtle level of thinking we might be self congratulating ourselves for the vice. For eg, 'U know I got angry so much and gave him such a look that he ran away..etc' So we need to really feel for it and then only giving up is possible.

Habits die hard. We got to really work on them to change.
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Re: Mananam on Pururshartha with our acharyas

Postby meera » Wed May 19, 2010 12:48 am

Lalitha:

Pranaams to all.
I feel that the immediate life and people around me are too close to be observed or analysed wrt prarabdha and purushartha, i thought I will take up two stories for consideration.
The stories of Jadabharata and Ajamila in the Mahabhagavatam have always been puzzling to me The feeling has become all the more strong after the MOE discussions..
Bharata has been a perfect follower of purusharthas as I understand it..He performed his Varnashrama Dharmas too in the best possible manner..But all these sadhanas did not hold good against his one" flaw" viz. attachment to the deer..This results in his rebirth as a deer..
I told myself , may be it was his prarabdha to be thus born..But in his life as a deer , again he lived such a life that couldnt have accumulated any vasanas..He had to be born again and lead a ver long and arduous life as a human before he gets relief
On the other side, the mere uttering of the name Narayana at the time of his dath gives Ajamila respite from all his sins..He was a Brahmin with the knowledge of what is Dharma and falls into ways most Adharmic..Yet by calling his son, who happened to share the name "Narayana "with the Lord has Vaikuntaprapti..If again the good end is due to his accumulated Punya carried forward, what happened to the Vasanas that he would have accumulated in that long adharmic life?
How can these two stories be explained in the light of Prarabdha and Purushartha?.Please bear with me for the immaturity in my understanding....
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Re: Mananam on Pururshartha with our acharyas

Postby meera » Wed May 19, 2010 12:50 am

Saketji (on behalf of Kusalji):

Kushalji is very busy since last few days. Hence, I am answering on his behalf. He had told me to do that.

This answer should complete the whole cycle though questions may still be there.
It was a divine coincidence that in ashram where guruji's bhagvatam is being played, yesterday these two stories were related by pujya guruji in his discourse pertaining to lalitha amma's questions.

Our system of study is composed of two types of contents:
Philosophical truths and Stories for increasing faith in these truth.
Whereas essentially literal and purported meanings of philosophical truths and their relevance can be compared across various books and references, stories have to be taken in its spirit and not in its literal sense. These stories in upanishads are often called as akhyayikaas. This method over time became easier means to communicate the philosophical truths to the masses, who were not able to comprehend the esoteric language of vedas. This was later on adopted and became popular in puranas so much so that stories started getting accepted on their face value as if they were true. But in doing so the underlying meaning started getting obsecured rather than making them clear. Precisely this is what has happened in this case too.

First story relates to the importance of always being vigilant; of not getting caught in maaya. Purushartha is the effort of continously trying to detach from the world by identifying with the supreme. In the second, i.e. in the case of ajamila, he inadvertently did that same purushartha of attaching to the Lord. Knowingly or unknowingly he did the purushartha whereas knowingly or unknowingly bharata slipped from the purushartha and which purushartha was that, moxa the parama purushartha.
Now how does prarabdha apply here. Manu maharaj says in manusmriti that prarabdha is not created lock stock and barrel for life after life; meaning when i am in this life i dont create prarabdha for all my future lives, i create it moment to moment. If the prarabdha is tivra (extreme) i might get its fruits in this life itself, in 3 years, in 3 months and even in 3 minutes. Falling from parama purshartha created a strong prarabdha for bharata which made him suffer as a deer though it was towards his end of life whereas holding on to the purushartha created a strong +ve prarabdha for ajamila on his death bed.
(And this has to be understood in sense of karmas like yajna. If you do some yajna lets say for a son (putreshthi) you actually get it in this life not in future. Now according to prarabdha principle if prarabdha would have been created in next life only, he should have got it in next life but he gets it in this life. The purushartha gives the result here in this case.) Thus we can see that its not how long you did an action, but how stronger its impact is, is important. Dashratha maharaj never wanted to kill shravana but he shot an arrow unknowingly and this caused his own death in this birth itself and also so much pain of seperation from lord rama.

Further the two examples also need deeper reading because Guruji explained that bharata got moxa but ajamila was only saved by the representatives of lord vishnu. After being saved, ajamila renounced everything and practiced austerity and then got liberation. it was not that ajamila attained deliverance straightaway. Thus it is not that without chitta suddhi ajamila was relieved and poor bharata languished for one birth as a deer. In fact as deer he remembered everything and even after that. By deer's life he very quickly exhausted his prarabdha. That was in a way grace of the lord.

However, we do find in ramayana that because of Lord Rama lot of rakshashas got moxa and we think why? Because they unknowingly were focussing on Lord alone while they were dying. This became their upasana, meditation. This has been explained in panchadasi dhyana deepa prakranam with an example (there they call this kind of meditation on lord without knowing his true nature as dhyanam on samvadi brahman). If a person lost in the darkness starts moving in the direction of light which is actually a jewel thinking that it is a lamp he still is likely to find his way out though there was misunderstanding, because the direction of effort was correct.

Last point, we should always understand is that in purunas the language used is not "as is". The intention is to increase the bhakti of devotees. Hence, any little thing which can increase a person's devotion is extolled heavily and that which is likely to obstruct his growth of devotion is criticised heavily to detest him from doing those things. Keeping this in mind if we look at the two episodes we can understand clearly why getting caught in maaya has been shown as a big crime whereas only utterance of lord's name extolled so much.

I think this covers the entire gamut of likely doubts which could arise in the above two examples.
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Re: Mananam on Pururshartha with our acharyas

Postby meera » Wed May 19, 2010 12:52 am

Hari Om to everyone who comes by to read this discussion.

Thank you for reading our discussion. We had a rich experience of probing deep into Purushartha and its fine nuances...we learnt a lot and it is our wish to share this with all of you.

Leave your comments if any.

Hari Om!
meera
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Re: Mananam on Pururshartha with our acharyas

Postby meera » Thu May 20, 2010 2:40 am

meera

I did think we have concluded that discussion, but here I am back with a question. If others dont mind engaging a little longer, pls let me ask this:

In the example of Dasharatha, you say that he shot the arrow and reaped the result in this birth itself. Dashratha maharaj never wanted to kill shravana but he shot an arrow unknowingly and this caused his own death in this birth itself and also so much pain of seperation from lord rama.

The ordinary understanding is that even the act of error, erroneously causing the death of another too is prarabda -- so too in the case of King Dasharatha -- the killing of Shravana was his prarabda! So it is understood that (and if we may apply Shrutiji's stunning statement that Prarabda merely presents the occasion for a vasana to play out) ---

*Dasharatha was in the forest hunting,
*there before him, the gurgling sound of the kamandalu being dipped into the water for collecting water for his blind parents, by Shravana kumar happens
*the dipping sound carries to Dasharatha as the sound of a preying deer!
*And Dashartah lets go the arrow

Is this misunderstood then? I must know because we have always felt that the errors we commit too is a function of our prarabda...that there is nothing like purushartha...

Or were you saying, that that was Dasharatha's prarabda alright, but the purushartha reaped the result to play out in this birth itself?
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Re: Mananam on Pururshartha with our acharyas

Postby meera » Thu May 20, 2010 2:55 am

Br. Saket Chaitanya

Hari om

Here is my answer:

True, vasanas do play out like Shruti-didi says. Like may be I had vasana for IT (Info Tech) even though I left my job and now it has come back to me. Now its upto me to decide how I use this as an opportunity. So I am serving CM & gurudev and simultaneously discussing shastra and dharma with you.

In case of Dashratha Maharaj there was an opportunity for Dasharatha maharaj to do hunting for which he had come , the sound was heard, the prarabdha manifested and the opportunity presented himself to try out his expertise. With that it ended. But when you are trying out your opportunities, you have the discrimination with you. He didn't use the discrimination:

*He didn't wait for a moment to think and verify whether the sound was exactly of that of an animal drinking?
*He didn't have compassion to even think of that poor animal who out of thirst has helplessly come there and is unaware of his presence.
*He just wanted to prove his prowess at the expense of others.

When you try to do such thing, you are surely not doing a good karma in any case.

Arjuna once got angry on the Kauravaas and in his anger he shot arrows into a poor tree. Bhishma pitamah didnt like that. "On whom are you showing your prowess? On those you can't defend?" he asked.

So propelled by vasanaas you are forgetting your viveka and thus you are creating a new prarabdha. Point is how strong it is. If it is strong, you get it in this life itself. This is important -- or else there would be disorder in the world. People would get away saying, who has seen next birth. Enjoy, harass, kill, do whatever you like. No, it can't be that way. Then shastras are of no help. Heavens and hells become cock and bull stories and no one would believe.

"You choose your destiny", is as much fact as "you are a product of your past". Balancing is our job.

Let the past not shadow your present, that is viveka;
avoiding being overpowered by vasanas and doing positive actions to build your destiny, is purushartha.

That's why in one mail i indicated differently though, that both prarabdha and purushartha complement and not substitute each other. Let us never forget this. Else if we are only believers of purushartha we will never accept the present and the future as it unfolds; and if we believe only in prarabdha we will become gloomy fatalists who would be swaying here and there like rudderless boats.

Before I end let me write about one more question which might prop up in someone's mind. In the Geeta, Lord intends to tell Arjuna that whether you want or you dont want, you would engage in the fight even while you are ready to run away. So better fight.

This may seem to be a case of prarabdha.

Not so... It's a case of his vasana play. When he would try to run away, definitely kauravaas will start making fun of him and challenge him. Being Kshartriya he would definitely accept it & engage in fight. He can't give up his swadharma even if he wants to. It is natural to him. Then why think of sanyaasa. Do the karma, purushartha and face the prarabdha with wisdom to excel.
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