Hinduism - Good Karma and Bad Karma
  • Twice ... If my memory is right. Once when he comes to Duriyodhana's court
    as a messenger from the Pandavas side second time in Kurushetra

    ~ Udanx
  • 4?

    Kaurava Sabhai

    Correct me.
  • Dear V Venkat, first of all thank for you raising these questions. Visualising God as human or non human is essentially the Dwaita and Adwaita traditiions and how they are different.
    Let us face it, as young people everyone has a need to visualise God as human. It is impossible for a young and perhaps spiritually immature mind to conceptualise a God that is all pervading, spirit form without a body. We call him super human to differentiate as you nicely put from a 'stupid human'. There are some issues with this approach. A 'super human' is not that different from a human authority figure to the human mind. Those who have had positive relationships with authority figures will be fine with this approach and also with the stance that a 'super human' can do what 'He' likes (as Sri Krishna did on many occasion) and I as a human just have to assume it is His will. That is a great philosphy as long as I am not subject to one of those inexplicable perhaps cruel acts - maybe lose a child or anything else. If that happens it can and it will turn to great hatred against Him.Now am not implying everyone who has cruel things happen cannot believe
    in a personal God many people do but these are just some challenges with that approach.
    The adwaitic spirit based God is just the all pervading spirit that is in all and of all - the spirit does not have a human personality and it is a great mystery if It has a mind or a will that works like human minds and human wills. The great part of this belief system is that the spirit is experiential via dyana/mediation and so much and those who have tasted that cannot possibly forget it. The spirit approach is one that makes sense to atheists who practice meditation and lot of agnostics too who are confused either way.
    Just a small practical attempt to explain. There are many appraoches that mix both of these too.

    More later,
  • Very good reply dear Sri and Manickam !

    active participation by good number of members.. excellent..

    Venkatesh V & R, Vijay are there to kindle more.. lovely discussion.

  • Curious ( & ignorant)... if only two heard the preaching and no one
    survived... how did it get documented so accurately...

    are we missing something ?
  • I dont think so, Karna gets a Lord Vishnu darisanam, not viswaroopa.

    Viswaroopa darisanam, i believe is different from darshan of the Lord
  • God is like a CEO who really does not involve in the hiring and
    firing of janitors.
    Honest truth is Karma is extremely simple to understand, its simple
    plain physics.
  • Why, all of them survived, Arjuna, Sanjaya were alive after the war.

    And Vyasa is considered to be vishnu amsam, so he must have had gnana
    drishti to see what happened and documented it. or rather, since he
    was the one who gave out gita (krishna = vishnu = vyasa), he already
    knows gita, right.
  • If I am correct, vyasa starts baratham with the versus saying that,
    whatever (moral, gnana) is there in the universe, it is there in the
    mahabaratham, and if anything is not there in mahabaratham, then, it
    never exist. How true!!
  • Dear SPS

    Here is from Gita - the words you said in simple language...

    'Karmanyevaathikarasthe maa phaleshu kadachana'
  • > Now how Karma can be explained simple ?
    Rat eats Frog - case 1.
    Karma -2 - (Possibly) frog is a eagle and rat is a snake
    Karma -1 - Previous form of connection by two entities (rat and frog)
    Karma 0 - Rat meets Frog
    Karma 1 - intent of eating for scope of hunger.
    Karma 2 - action of eating
    Karma 3 - life of a frog
    karma 4 - duty to sustain life of self(rat)
    so on and so forth...

    Actions to each of above, has a reaction, in sequential
    fashion....for the rat.

    Frog - Cycle begins as above.

    Guru Arunagiri says

    'Eruvai karuvai, thanile uruvai, ithuve thodarbai...veri pole'

    Our energies hold on to the actions we perform, actions - i dont mean
    just physical, the more powerful action is the touch of mind, unless
    we recognize the value of action and understand that we do not
    control even the air we breathe. Then the concept of surrender -
    total begins to unbind the electro magnetic connection of the Spirit.

    As with any theory, its easy to read and reproduce, now
    practicals...is well...that's another story :-)
  • Dear Ravi,

    Very valid question. But I believe, as Vyasa was having the complete
    knowledge of whatever was happening, it is he who documented even

    Other possibilities, like Arjuna or Sanjaya are ruled out. And no
    need to expect Dridharasthra to document it. So it was Vyasa who,
    like Sanjaya keeping track of the happening, documented it.
  • Well,

    I still dont know if I am correct. Kelvi mattum kekkaraangappaa.
    Correct answer ennannu, kettavanga solla maattengaraangappaa.....

    Malaakarar, by the way is a part of Krishna's story and not exactly
    Mahabharata. Malakarar was a very poor person, who use to make
    garlands for Krishna while He was a child in Gokulam. If I remember
    right, while migrating from Gokulam to Mathura, Krishna asks
    Maalakarar to ask for a boon and Maalakarar requests to show His
    Viswaroopa form for which Krishna obliges.
  • Smt Malathi,

    You said:
    That is a great philosphy as long as I am not subject to one of
    those inexplicable perhaps cruel acts - maybe lose a child or
    anything else. If that happens it can and it will turn to great
    hatred against Him.Now am not implying everyone who has cruel things
    happen cannot believe in a personal God many people do but these are
    just some challenges with that approach.

    You are very correct in this observation. We do see many people
    saying "kadavulE unakku karuNayE illayA...." etc, when they
    encounter such tragedies in their life. And like you said, there are
    indeed some who even stop believing in His existence.

    But I would say, again from the Thenkalai Srivaishnavism Philosophy
    perspective, even this act of making a person to have dis-belief on
    Him, is done by Him only.

    Thirumazhisai Azhwar, in his Thiruchandhaviruttham says,

    naccharAvaNaik kidantha nAtha! nin pAdha pOdhinil vaitha sindhai,
    vAnguvitthu nInguivikka, nee inam meithan vallai AdhalAl, aRindhanan
    nin mAyamE, mayakkal ennai mAyanE

    Meaning, Oh my Lord who lies on the Snake Bed! You are capable of
    giving the thoughts about You to your creation, and also capable of
    taking it back. So please do not do that(taking away your thoughts)
    to me. I know you!!!

    Again, this signifies the fact that He controls everything and
    anything in the world and this has to be Natural to Him as He is the
    sole proprietor of the creation and also the master.

    The above pAsuram just re-iterates the present day movie songs that
    I quoted earlier. "nAyakan mElirundhu..." and "kaNNanE
    kAttinAn...kaNNanE kolai seigindrAn".

    Maybe very difficult to digest that the God, whom we expect to be so
    merciful, can even do bad things. But when one looks upon Him as the
    Master of all and that we are all "willing" slaves, then there would
    be no doubt in anyone's mind about what He can do, considering the
    Absolute Supremacy that He has on this world.

    This is the essence of Hinduism devoid of all the differences
    between the Godheads etc. And this Supreme Being according to
    Vaishnvaites is Vishnu and Saivites is Siva. Just being called by
    different names. What I mean to say is, keeping aside the
    visualisation of the Form (I mean, having Sangu-Chakram means Vishnu
    and Maan-Mazhu means Siva) when one tries to fit the God in the
    above role of having Absolute Supremacy over everything, then Siva
    and Vishnu are none but the same Supreme Being.

    This is what is glorified by Peyazhwar too,

    thAzh sadaiyum (Siva) nIL mudiyum (Vishnu) oN mazhuvum (Siva)
    chakkaramum (Vishnu) sUzh aravum (Siva) pon nANum (Vishnu) thOndRum
    mAL. Here "mAl" refers to being Supreme. The Azhwars saw everything
    as "mAl". Just that they visualised Him that way.

    Which is why the saying "Ariyum Sivanum Ondru"
  • Yes Sathish,

    I missed your reply earlier.

    "VyAsAya vishNu rUpAya, vyAsa rUpAya vishNavE"
  • Here "mAl" refers to being Supreme. The Azhwars saw everything
    > as "mAl".

    Hi brother

    What is the actual meaning of MAL, peruMAl and Mal seivathu...

  • Dear Vijay,

    Perumal is different. It is actually spelled, transliterated,
    perumAL. The "L" is as in "vaLLi".

    "mAl" has two meanings. 1. Biggest 2. mayakkuvadhu.

    remember the pAsuram "mAl seigindra mAl, Ar kANbArE". This means -
    The mAl who is deceiving (maykkudhal) me, who can see Him.
  • Vijay,

    I think you missed my point. Remember the "mAl" is different from
    the "mAL" in "perumAL". I will check the etymology for the
    word "perumAL". To my knowledge, Azhwars did not use the
    word "perumAL". They rather used the word "perumAn".
  • Also to remember the Mahabharat as written by Vyasa was related by his grandson Vaishampayana to Arjuna's grandson Janamejaya in the great 'sarpa yagna'. As I understand whatever we have now is the record of Vaishampayana's narration, not Vyasa's original. There fore 3 degrees of narration within the same epic it is wholly possible things were left out, added and so on.
  • Interestingly Vyasa also appears in two Jataka tales, perhaps the only character to be shared with Buddhism. He is known as Kanyadipayana in Buddhism, from Dwaimpayana in Sanskrit. One tale is similar to the last parva of Mahabharat where yadava youths ridicule rishis for their clairvoyant powers by dressing a male as a pregnant woman and asking the gender of her unborn child. The angry rishis curse that a rod would be born that would mean the end of their dynasty. In the Mahabharat the rishis are Narada, Kanwa maharishi and Vishwamitra, in Jataka tale it is Vyasa.
  • Dear Venkat (please if you dont' mind can you drop 'Smt' makes me feel old),
    I understand what you say on Thenkalai philosphy and I am no expert on Vaishnavite philosphies myself. However, I disagree that the commonality in Shaivaite and Vaishnavite philosphies and also beauty of hinduism lies in 'supreme being', yes that is one perspective. There is also the perspective of Brahman which is more on the lines of Supreme Energy rather than a big boss/supreme being. Buddhism indirectly refers to the same Brahman although it does not give it a form even as a non entity.
    The Brahman is not a boss however benevolent we may want him to be. It is experiential energy as experienced by great saints such as Ramana, Ramakrishna and so many others. Also as expounded by JK and other non religious philosphers. The beauty of the energy is that it is experiential even with a little effort with dyana/meditation and therefore demands little effort on the part of the believer.Since that energy is part of all of us it is refered to as 'Aham Brahmasmi'.
  • Dear Malathi (Hope you are happy now!!!)

    Call it Supreme Being or Supreme Energy - (thamar ugandhadhu eppEr
    maRRappEr - Poigai Azhwar)
    Call it as existant or non-existant - (uLan alan enil avan aruvam -

    This is the beauty of Hinduism. But pathetically, the Hinduism that
    we see today is not what it was, as correctly pointed out by Vijay

    Personally, I dont see any difference between the Brahman that you
    stated and the Supreme Being that I quoted, except the language
    difference. I would say, whatever you name it, if the character of
    what you call as Brahman matches with that of the Supreme Being that
    I said, they are all one and the same. Only that, you call it
    as "energy" and stop there. But when I try to attach a form to it,
    remember that a form without energy is nothing. So even my
    visualised God is having all the energy that you stated for the

    This is where the harmony of Hinduism lies. You call the God by all
    names and yet they all finally point out to only one. And most
    importantly this God is full of Mercy and is Easy to Attain although
    He is the Master. More logical definition of God isn't it?
  • Almost all Thirupugazh songs end in the word 'Perumale'...

    The Perumal here is different.
  • Dear VV,

    Am entering the forum after quite some time, and really enjoying
    your post. Great...
  • Sorry for digression - but is not Janamejaya the great grandson of
    Arjuna ?

    Arjuna -> Abhimanyu -> Parikshith -> Janamejaya

    I do not know if Vaishampayana was Vyasa's grandson. It is kind of
    news to me. Thanks.
  • Dear N Venkat, thanks for pointing out the errors. Yes Janemejaya was Arjuna's great grandson, not grandson. And Vaishampayana was Vyasa's disciple, not grandson. I wanted to say actually that all kauravas were really Vyasa's grandchildren as Vyasa really fathered Dhrithirashtra and Pandu.
    Parikshit Kund or the site of Janemajaya's sacrifice still exists somewhere northwest from what I know and the snakes there are harmless to this day.
  • Thats where we differ from our ancestors. Till the British came to
    India and started documenting everything, the mode of education in
    India was by sishya parampara. Guru teaches the sishya, sishya has to
    memorize it, upside down,downside up and what not. In veda's we call
    it gana padam.....repeating everything in the reverse order. Even
    today we say thalai keezh paadam...thookathula ezhupi ketalum theriyanum.

    That was the quality of education we had and if that was the case,
    just 100 years back, we are talking about nearly 5000 years where the
    human mind would have been more clear to remember things. So 3 degrees
    of narration and errors...I dont think that crept in....then we would
    have lost almost all the veda's and upanishads by now.

    Kanchi mahaperiyaval says that,we started forgeting things only after
    documenting them. If there is no documents, we will strive to
    remember, if we have a book, we will lazy thinking, ok i have the
    book, I can refer to it anytime, but we will never refer. Thats why
    the people who knew sanskrit and veda's have come down drastically in
    just a century, whereas our forefathers have preserved for eons together.
  • Dear V.Venkat,
    I followed your recent discussion with interest and thanks for your
    expalnations. ay I ask a question on the following sections:

    > But I would say, again from the Thenkalai Srivaishnavism Philosophy
    > perspective, even this act of making a person to have dis-belief on
    > Him, is done by Him only.
    > Maybe very difficult to digest that the God, whom we expect to be so
    > merciful, can even do bad things. But when one looks upon Him as the
    > Master of all and that we are all "willing" slaves, then there would
    > be no doubt in anyone's mind about what He can do, considering the
    > Absolute Supremacy that He has on this world.

    Does this mean that we don't have any 'free will' at all?
    If that is the case, how do we accumulate our Karma in the first place?

    I thought that when we say 'All Thy Will' as all the
    Thevaaram/Thiruvaasagam/Paasurams are saying, it is an attitude of mind to
    have, in order to surrender to Him and annhililate our Ego.

    I would be grateful for an explanation from your point of view.
    Thank you.

  • I am no expert like VV, Ravi et al.

    Just trying to put forth what I understand.

    The first step of bondage of the self is to think that we are not
    free. The atman is free and till we recognize it we are caught in the
    samsara sagaram. This is because we attribute every action to 'I',
    thinking that I am doing this, I am doing that. This 'I' is the cause
    of Karma. Once we relinquish this 'I' and do our duty, then we are not
    bound by karma. Very difficult to realize and attain this and trying
    to do things without expecting results is the first step of karmayoga.

    Easiest way is bakthi yoga, where we surrender to the God saying
    everything is yours, whatever I do is because of you. When we come to
    this state,as VV referred as 'willing slaves', then we dont take
    responsibility of our actions, and slowly the 'I' in us will be
    dissolved and we can be free. Till then, yes, there is no free will
    but the struggle of life is only to be free.

    There is nothing called wrong or right in this world. There is only
    'sathya', and if we say someone is doing a mistake, it means that they
    are moving from a lower truth to higher truth to attain the ultimate
    truth. So whatever we feel/do, let it be free will or slavery, nothing
    is wrong as long as we try to move forward towards the ultimate sathya.
  • Good analysis - documentation has both pros and cons.
  • I don't disagree that we have lost much of our great oral tradition. But times change, what we learn, where we learn, how we learn, everything has changed radically since the time of our ancestors. Atleast we had books, our children now have everything electronic.
    In this particular context - The Mahabharat is a history/story, not like Vedas/Upanishads. You cannot memorize it, and unlike Valmiki Vyasa did not write poetry, he wrote a story only. Try telling a story from one person to another. It is like the chinese whisper game. It is impossible for it to be factually accurate.
  • Yes absolutely. Also there is a huge flip side to this whole concept of memorizing, I mean everything about indian school education (atleast until the dawn of computers) was memory test. Every exam, every course. What learning really means, is understanding conceptually - in an ideal world there should be open book exams so that student can think about the concept, not pass by memorizing it.
    Memorizing has a purpose. Mantras, Chanting, repetitive chanting calms the mind, brings peace without mental chatter. Also helps focus on meaning when no direct meaning is possible. Memorizing is not learning in the right sense of the word - with or without books.
  • I guess this had more to do with the Macaulay system - its objective
    (to create Indian people 'employable' in the Indian British offices in
    clerical, etc. kind of jobs) and the methods to do that (read, write,
    recite, rote).
  • People,

    How many in our group have read Vyasar Virundhu (Rajaji's Mahabharatha) He
    covers everything in the Mahabharatha and the beauty is that it is crisp /
    small as a capsule. All the discussions that are happening now - Janemejaya
    / Vaishampayana all these feature in the first chapter of Rajaji's
    Mahabharata. This book you can finish it in a weekend session. This is
    regarding my favorite Mahabharatha Book.

    Coming to Udankar's appearance in Mahabharata (Not me, but the Maharishi.
    But I am using the same spelling which I use in my official records) Guess
    its time for me to re-read the Mahabharat again. I remember the incident
    when Mahavishnu meets Udankar Maharishi in the Kurushetra region,
    post Kurushetra war and why the rain clouds in the deserts are called
    "Udanga Mehangal" But this "Pidi Sabham" to Krishna I can't recollect. My
    gut feel is that, it may not be Udankar Maharishi as he happens to be a
    staunch devotee of Mahavishnu and how can he curse an Avatar of Mahavishnu!

    Opening up one more more pandora box ... If you go by the ISKCON idea Its
    Krsna who is supreme not Vishnu. Vishnu is considered as an incarnation of
    Krsna, not the other way round as we read. People who are from ISKCON can
    throw more light on this.

    ~ Udanx @ Udankar
  • Darwin'e evolution theory is also under review and I think it will be
    eventually burried. Survival of the fittest happens only within the
    species, but not across the board. It cannot explain the abundance of
    the species and multiplicity of the species. Quantum jumps in arrival
    of new species needs another theory!

    On the side, are we evolving into supperman or degenerating into
    aayudam', we are becoming 'aayudam irundal than vallavan'.

  • Sathish,

    Very rational analysis. In fact I have heard it (Kanchi Periyava's
    stance) too. That is true. The very reason the Vedas were called
    Sruthi is just because of the fact that they were only Heard for by-

    I realised this myself. The teacher who teaches me the Azhwars'
    Prabhandams, allowed me to keep the book open for the first 5 days,
    just to get a grasp of the words clearly, from the 6th day onwards,
    he ordered me to close the book. The reason he gave was that if we
    keep the book open, we will not be able to memorise it fast and even
    if we do so we will forget it soon.

    Believe me, I just remember whatever he taught me, with the books
    closed for the next 10-12 days.

    One more perspective to add to what you said. In those days,
    personally I would say that, they were more conservative and there
    would have been strong opposition and criticism for any new ideas.
    Even today we see that most of the elders object to everything new
    that is tried to infuse in some of the traditional practices. In
    those days it would have been more.

    I dont know about others, but atleast in Srivaishnavism it is very
    much. In fact I am pretty sure that most of the Iyengars who are
    supposed to be very traditional, would really term me an outcaste
    when I said "ariyum Sivanum OnRu", though that is the fact
    considering the "true" nature of the Supreme Being.

    Why I am saying all these is because, when there can be so much
    resistance even in these times, think of the resistance that would
    have been there 3000 years back or even more. So I am sure, like you,
    that there could not have been much of creepings happening. But at
    the same time definitely a lot of "idaicherugals" have happened in
    the last millennium or so. Take for example the statement made by the
    Central Government in the Ramasethu case regarding Rama breaking the
    bridge while returning back from SriLanka. They even quoted
    supporting verses from Kamba Ramayanam, taking cue from the "urai"
    pubished by VM Gopalakrishnamachariar. I have that book myself and
    yes, as quoted by the Government, the verses that confirm this
    statement are indeed present in that. But remember that many Tamizh
    scholars have rejected a lot of verses in Kamba Ramayanam as
    idaicherugals, not after the start of the Ramasethu controversy but
    atleast 3 or 4 decades back, when there was apparently no controversy
    and the project was itself in the godown.

    So I would say that, with time, when the sincerity & honesty of the
    Human race took the beating, the idaichergals started and looking
    back at the history, this is more to have happened only in the last
    millennium or even starting just 5 centuries back. Surely during the
    times between VyAsa and Vaisampayana, just for 3 generations, I
    presume it could not have happened.

    But all that we say (either Your statement or Malathi's statement)
    are only "possibilities" and we can't conclude until we have ample
  • Dear Atpu,

    Just my two cents worth.

    But before that a Caveat: As said earlier, this is based on
    philosophies of one particular sect. Does not necessarily mean that
    this is the only correct view. It still could be, from a human point
    of view but from the all-mercy Almighty's point of view, there can be
    absolutely nothing wrong. For Him, everything is just correct. I will
    explain the supporting verses for this caveat later.
  • Dear Satish,

    I am a little confused here. When you say the Atma is Free, what do
    you mean to say? Is it free from the Karmic Bondage or is it free to
    act on its own.

    Apart from the above doubt, the other things what you have said are
    very valid. And I am no expert. Just that my teacher taught me to
    question the rationale behind every claim, keeping aside the
    hagiologies and other mystic references. The moment we keep these two
    aside, we start to analyise purely based on Logic only and this is
    what is true rationality or Pagutharivu.

    With the statement that you have made below, even you are an expert
    here Satish.

    > So whatever we feel/do, let it be free will or slavery, nothing
    > is wrong as long as we try to move forward towards the ultimate
    > sathya.

    This is precisely what I said earlier as "avar avar vidhi vazhi adaya
    ninRanarE" and "vaikuntham puguvadhu maNNavar vidhiyE"
  • I am giving below the first para of an article from TOI, 19 aug. I could
    not find the link from toi website; I will post it when it is made

    What The Gita Says About Free Will And Destiny
    'Paramarthi Raina'

    We take for granted that we have the free will to make conscious
    decisions to choose between different possible courses of action.
    However, recently conducted experiments in the Max Planck Institute in
    Germany on the functioning of the human brain, have put that presumption
    into doubt. The researchers have concluded that free will could, in
    fact, be "little more than an illusion".

    The experiments indicated that our subconscious mind decides on and
    dictates our actions, long before our conscious mind actually realises

    Food for thought!!

  • I have, there are various translations, rajaji's version is a simple
    option to break down the complex food into a common man.
    Mahabharata can however cater itself to the mind level of the reader.
  • I am no philoshpical expert but a practical two cents -
    Free will is not an illusion. It is limited than what we think that is all. Just having choices does not mean person can make them. It depends on your background, psychological mindset, and several factors to be able to make a choice.
    I don't remember who said it but someone I read - It is more dangerous to believe you dont' have a choice than it is to actually not have a choice. In other words human confidence is based on the assumption that we have a free will or choice. If we negate that completely eeryone will be wimpy slaves of some power most people dont' really know. Only very few people are confident slaves, sages and saints of great spiritual maturity.
  • Satish

    Simple - straight forward analysis.

    The I does not go unless we understand the core of what we are. Only
    when we realize that we do not control anything, right from the air
    we breathe to the action that happens, we must resign ourselves to
    the fact that the I has never been there in the first place and we
    are holding on to something that is never been there, hence we have
    been cast out from our real space with the eternity.

    This 'I' here is totally not related or combined with the sentence 'I
    am ravi or I am satish' - that I is physical, very much there.

    The I here is above the physical concept, it is attached to the mind
    and action or thought....

    Romba kozappiteno :-)
  • Yes Vyasar Virundhu is a great and simple version of the Mahabharat. There is a new one out there in English by Ramesh Menon which is also excellent but voluminous.

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