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Re:material comfort and spiritual pursuit

From: Venkat Nagarajan (
Date: Wed Jul 21 1999 - 13:14:29 PDT

Dear Bhagavatas,
namO nArAyaNA.

Even though I have a strong distaste for Advaita (the philosophy), I have
respect for the great Yogis (that adhered to Advaita.)  ( Note I
consciously avoided  the term Acharyan.)

I think the quote speaks nothing but the candid truth.    

So far, all follow up posts have been quite honest but pessimistic, with
bhagavats merely saying I know I am living a lie, but I cannot do anything
about it.  I feel (this is my opinion, which may or may not be not be in
accordance with fact) this is not a good attitude.  

The mumukshu should exert his will to pursue a course of life that will
minimize the oscillation between happiness and sadness.  By perusing a
course that minimizes the oscillation, a jiva will be able to get the best of
both worlds; i.e., the jiva minimizes the misery in the present birth, and at
the same time is guaranteed eternal bliss upon leaving the body
(assuming prapatti is performed.)  Transitoriness is misery; the dictates
of the shastras, specify a course of life for the brahmin that seeks to
minimize  transitoriness.

The grip of avidya-karma in the kali Yuga may be high, but we still have
free will!  We can all act to minimize transitoriness and aim for the ultimate
goal of living according to the shastras, the results however are  or not
in our hands.  How far each one gets towards this ultimate goal 
ultimately depends on the will power and the prarabdha of that jiva (for
the paramAtman controls the fate of jivas in accordance with prarabdha
karma.)  However, failure to act is nothing but shear cowardice!   

adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan,