Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


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Future and Past

Hari OM

'Text-days' are for delving into the words and theory of Advaita Vedanta.

[You are reminded that reviewing the previous week's posts will become essential as the meanings of the Sanskrit terms may not be repeated. There may come additional or alternative meanings, but all should be noted. As study progresses, the technical terms must necessarily become 'second nature' to the student. When the Sanskrit is used, the translation will fall easily into place - or likewise, if the English is used, the Sanskrit term must easily come forwards.]

Please revisit THIS post and chant the mangala-charana. Please use the TattvabodhaH label to access all posts relevant to this text.

Last week came the introduction to karma. It was stated there are three forms of it. All four chants for this section are on the clip. Today we will study two forms.

ज्ञानोत्पत्त्यनन्तरम् ज्ञानिदेहकृतं पुण्यपापरूपं
कर्म यदस्ति तदागामीत्यभिधीयते।
GYaanotpattyanantaram GYaanidehakR^itaM puNyapaaparuupaM
karma yadasti tadaagaamiityabhidhiiyate.

"The results of actions, good or bad, performed by the body of the realised soul after the dawn of Knowledge is known as agaami."

सञ्चितं किम्
अनन्तकोटिजन्मनां बीजभूतं सत् यत्कर्मजातं
पूर्वार्जितं तिष्ठति तत् सञ्चितं ज्ञेयम्।
sa~nchitaM kim
anantakoTijanmanaaM biijabhuutaM sat yatkarmajaataM
puurvaaarjitaM tiSThati tat sa~nchitaM GYeyam.

"What is sanchita?"
"The results of actions performed in all previous births which are in seed form and giving rise to endless crores of births are called sanchita (accumulated) karma."

In terms of how we currently think of karma, for those of us on the wrong side of Realisation every action undertaken must bring its consequences upon us. "As you sow, thus you reap." However, the Guru of this text is discussing from the point of view of one who has already passed the barrier and moved into Unity of Self. The aagami for such a one is thus altered slightly.

Whereas all our current actions will have a bearing on our future due our thinking we are the doer and enjoyer of those actions, the jnaani, being no longer bound by such notions, does not add to the 'debt' side of the karmic account - that is, the sanchita. All karmas performed by a jnaani are merely the burning out of left-over vaasanas and praarabdha. There are those who enter samaadhi and remain there until the physical container withers away. Others reenter the condition of daily transaction, mostly they will continue as they were; if a writer, the writing still gets done, if a carpenter, the woodwork still takes place, and so on. Those around, who are alert, will notice only that now the work is being done without any attachment. This is important because results of actions in terms of karma depend upon the intent behind them… if we remain in dualistic state. For a jnaani, who is unified, any 'intent', if there can be said to be any, will be only for the clearing of debt. Whilst we, in our ignorance may attach a label of good or bad action, the jnaani is indifferent. Actions must be burnt out, that is all. The jiva that has been 'fired' from bow of bondage, must still fly, like the released arrow, to the completion of its trajectory.

For the rest of us, the importance of ensuring pure and genuine intent for the betterment of society and Self behind every action is of prime importance.

In doing this we can limit depositing to our sanchita account; the repository for all past karmas. The basis of this word is 'chi', which means to collect. Placing 'sa' as prefix to a word says that it is good and the 'ta' makes it a past action. Thus sanchita is 'that which is well collected'.  From the very initiation of the jiiva it has gone through innumerable cycles and various incarnations. What drives the births is the need to utilise some of accrued balance - whilst the balance is 'positive', it is actually a debt from the point of view of aatmaa - to obtain Realisation is to clear out this account and to make no further deposit. The problem we have in taking each birth, whilst we may well use up our sanchita account, we are almost certainly adding to it via aagaami. Aagaami can only be utilised whilst in manifest state. Sanchita exists 'in the cloud'; aagaami is our 'salary account', whilst sanchita is our ISA, or term deposit!

Each of us has a 'healthy capital' account of karma and we are very adept at adding to it. If we learn the right knack of performing actions, such that we can exhaust our sanchita without creating new deposits, we can be truly 'rich'. If one must collect karmas, let them be for the good actions to ensure a shift up the ladder of spiritual path in future lives.

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Hari OM
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