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A few doubts

From: Srinivasan, Venkataraghavan (CTS) (SVenkata_at_CHN.CTS-CORP.COM)
Date: Sun Feb 13 2000 - 20:32:12 PST

Dear Srivaishnavas,

	I had a few doubts as listed below which, I got clarified through
Anbil Swamin.  As requested by him, I am posting the questions and answers
so that other members with similar doubts are benefitted.

Daasan,
Raghavan.


Dear friend,
I will answer your queries to the best of my understanding.

1. It is being said that a Jeevathma which does not aspire for
 Moksha, depending on its Karma goes to Swarga/Naraga. As life here is not
 permanent, it has to come back again to Prithvi after its Karma vanishes.
As
 the Jeevathma has enjoyed the fruits of its PoorvaJanma and the current
 janma, what will be the basis of Karma on which it takes new birth?

Reply
In such cases, ordinary and extraordinary Punyas / Papas come to play. It is

only that jeeva that had done an excessive Punya beyond a threshold limit 
that goes to Swarga.  Once the effects of such extraordinary Punyas get 
exhausted, it returns to earth to enjoy the ordinary Punyas 

Similarly, it is the jeeva that had done extraordinary Papa beyond the 
threshold limit that goes to Naraka. Once it has gone through the sufferings

commensurate with the extraordinary Papams, it returns to earth to
experience 
the effects of its ordinary Papams.

In either case, the Papam and Punyam are not exclusive. So, the Prarabda 
karma in such cases would be a mixture of both enjoyment and suffering. 

Depending upon the "propensity"of the jeeva to indulge in further Papams, 
they are given birth as animals (tiryak), or plants (sthavara) etc. so that 
they may not continue to commit any more Papams in such births. Animals and 
plants also do have what is called "Dharmabuthjnanam" but it is very much 
contracted compared to humans (manushya) and divines (Deva). When this
period 
of probation, as it were is over they are again born as humans with an 
opportunity to improve.
 
 2. In a book by RamSukha Das I read recently, it was mentioned that
 Karmas affect/account only human beings involved in Samsara. Other fellow
 beings such as animals or insects do not get affected by their deeds. Is it
 true or, an error in my understanding? If it is true, then is it that the
 multiple births the animals take are only for accounting the Papams they
had
 done in a human birth?

 Human beings, though blessed by the Almighty to understand about
 the nature of God and Karmas, do Papa Karmas and suffer. Other Jeevathmas
 such as the animals, birds and insects may not be blessed with the
Knowledge
 of the Superior Power/Moksha (except for a few like the Gajendra or Nahusha
 who may be born as animal/insect by some Curse).  They are certain to do
 more and more Papams for their livelihood. Then it goes that they will
never
 get rid of their Karma (atleast to the understanding of this poor being).
 How is this actually explained according to our Dharma?
Reply
The answer is as at 1 above. Animals and plants also experience pleasure and

pain dependent on their Prarabda karmas as explained above. When water is 
supplied when it needs water, the plants do relish it. When they are cut, 
they also experience pain. But, they have no deeds to affect them or not in 
their births as animals / plants etc.
 
 3. It is being said that Brahma had his birth from Sriman Narayana's
 forehead and Shiva from Brahma's forehead. (Naanmuganai Naarayan Padaitthan
 Naanmuganum - Thirumazhisai).  In Mahabharatha, it is being said that Both
 Brahma and Shiva had their birth from SriMahavishnu, one from His
 shaanthaswaroopam (Brahma) and the other from His Roudhram (Shiva) and
 ordered by Him to look after Shristi and destruction. Which of these is a
 correct version?
Reply:
Your kind attention is invited to Chapter 21"Evolution and Dissolution of 
Matter-Space- Tme triad" of my book "Hinduism Rediscovered" archived at 
www.srivaishnava.org/sati
You may go to the website and click on "Table of Contents" of
Pre-Saranagathi 
(SDDS) Issues Volume 2 Issue 2.15 Where the apparent contradictions have
been 
explained and reconciled.
 
 4. In a few books, it is being said that Buddha is an Avatara of
 Lord Vishnu. Buddha is known as a vehement critic of Vedas and Vedic
 rituals. If Buddha is indeed an Avatara, then what might be the Iswara
 Sankhalpham for such an avatara which weakens the foundations of the
 religion?
Reply
Buddha (popularly known as Gouthama Buddha, the founder of Buddhist religion

is NOT an Avatara; But, long long before him was an Avatara of Lord Vishnu 
called "Adi Buddha" taken with the specific purpose of misleading the 
heretics. This is also one of the leelas of the Lord.
You may refer to Chapter 9 "The Descending God" in SDDS Vol.1 Issue 1.26 
Section 2 Auxilary Avatars" where this has been explained.

Hope this helps. Please feel to ask any questions/express your comments
after 
going through the excerpts mentioned.

Dasoham
Anbil Ramaswamy