The Power of brahmins
I said something about doing karmas in my earlier post in this column.
The law of karma is the application of law of cause and effect in the moral
world. No action is exhausted without producing its effect , either in this
birth or in the next following. According to satapatha brahmana, ' every man
is born in the world fashioned by himself'. Good visits him if he does good
deeds and he who does evil will be born as evil. It is said in Brihadaranyaka
upanishad that ' Man is altogether and throughout composed of desire (kama);
in proportion to his desire, so is his discretion( kratu );in proportion
to his discretion he performs acts ( karma ); in proportion to his acts ,so
does it result to him.'
Hinduism tells us that the good and the evil tendencies ( vasanas )of this
life, and a man's happiness and suffering are the inevitable consequences
of the actions of his previous life, and the actions performed in this life
determine those of the next. This conviction has taught us to accept
the pain of the life as self-inflicted and take it with calmness . It is also
an incentive to do right action.
Good or evil action binds you with a golden chain or an iron chain respec-
tively. In order that the chain does not bind you, the scriptures tell us
to do karmas as offering to Iswara - kayena vacha.....
With chitta-suddhi, the groundwork is prepared. Bakthi infuses life into
everything. If any thing is done is without bakthi, it is something dry,
just a skeleton. Bakthi gives one chitta-eikagraham. According to sri
Adi Sankara, ' swaraswaroopa anusanthanam is bakthi '- this is a lofty
Then the sadhaka in pursuit of Truth is exhorted to practise four
disciplines, known in vedantic parlance as sadhanacatutaya. They are:
1. Viveka or discrimination between the Real and the unreal. Brahman
alone is real. 2. vairagya or renunciation. That is utter disregard of
pleasures of this and the netherworld. 3. satsampatti . This consists of
six basics which form form the ethical foundation of spiritual life. They
are (a) sama or calmness (b) dama or self-control (c) uparati or self-
settledness (d) titksa or forbearance (e) samadhana or complete
concentration (f) sraddha or faith. And finally the fourth qualification
is Mumuksutvam or longing for liberation.
And now the aspirant is ready for the final exercises needed to get
liberation. He seeks a Guru, who gives upadesa. The disciple has not
only to understand it intellectually , which is called paroksha gnanam,
but he has to experience it , he has to experience the knowledge of
Brahman directly and clearly " like a fruit on the palm of one's hand".
For this, Vedanta prescribes certain disciplines known as sravanam
( hearing ), mananam (reflecting ) and nididhyasanam ( meditating )
and finally samadhi ( absorption in Brahman ).
When he does this intensely and without anything else in mind, he
drops everything, mind, ego and all. Awareness dawns on him.
This is vichara marga or gnana marga.
Then there is Bakthi marga. Bakthi is total surrender. You do not retain
anything . You yourself are not there. About this , later.