You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : July 2000

RE: FW: Reg: Funding of Srivaishnava Causes

From: Sriram Ranganathan (
Date: Fri Jul 28 2000 - 00:11:02 PDT

Dear Sri. Narasimhan:

Thanks for writing to me. I fully agree and understand. But there is a
hidden caveat and I am sure you are very much aware when you pointed to
Bhagavad Gita. My apologies to list members up front if this creates a
digressing thread.

Please correct me if I am wrong in the following opinion:
Sri. Narasimhan wrote:
>>regarding the point made by sri sriram ranganathan  adiyEn would like to
add the following:
 >>yes, we all do such acts in the course of our work,  'in the assembly
line at some point or other' as he
>> has put it. In such a situation follow what Bahgawan  says in the GitA:
"do your duty in a steadfast manner
 >>WITHOUT thinking of the fruits thereof. Dedicate these  acts to Me. Then
like the droplets of water on a
>>lotus  leaf, no sin will adhere to you. Think of the job of an

Perumal's advice on detached performance of one's duties to overcome the
trials and tribulations of daily life is applicable "as is", to those
engaged in activities performed with NO basic violation of righteousness.
Now, what is right or wrong may vary a little bit here and there, but there
are some generally accepted accounting principles, on the lines of "Thou
shall not kill".

Your executioner example is perfect. The executioner (in the true sense of
the word) works for the justice department, and performs his duty per
court's order. Therefore, when he is troubled by the nature of the job, he
can seek solace in Lord's advice and derive strength to carry-on.

On the other hand, if I am a highway robber, I cannot go around merrily
killing and looting unwary travelers, deriving comfort and justification
from Sri.Krishna ParamAthmA's words, whenever irked. Can I?
Yama Dharma Raajan will be hell-bent on giving me appropriate treatment, at
the earliest.

In the same token, I feel, the executioner should use his 'judgment' to seek
another job if he is convinced about being specifically ordered to terminate
innocents in the name of law or duty! Even under human laws, carrying out
orders from higher-ups (in spite of being aware that it is against law) does
not necessarily provide one any immunity from the consequent punishment for
the crime.

And the highway robber, despite his different skill set based on poor
ethics, can and should find other morally acceptable jobs - unless he
performs his 'duty' in the name of some higher common good, say, robbing
ONLY bigger robbers (not from good folks, mind you) and promptly donating
the spoils to some charitable cause. In that case, it becomes debatable and
he has some right to seek comfort in the words of Bhagavad Gita!

Just thought of adding my two cents worth and improving my understanding of
Perumal's upadEsam (advice).

There may not be anything new said here other than good spin on 12th century
Robin Hood story, but I guess somewhere down the line, I managed to draw a
weak reference to my original posting - i.e. in some rare and exceptional
cases, an act of lesser good as a means maybe acceptable if there is a
higher common good toward the end. At all other times (which is for the most
part), the end does not justify the means. The bonus point on 'detached
duty' is well served by Bhagavad Gita. Thanks to Sri. Narasimhan.

On the lighter side, leather bags or otherwise, there are people with novel
ways to attract funds for a good cause. As always, PerumAl's will, will


Go to to improve the quality of military life.

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
To Post a message, send it to:
Visit for more information