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Re: prakR^iti and karma
Dear Kunalji and Pradipji:
Thank you for your follow-up posts. I apologize for not having seen your
posts before today; our site is not picking up articles.
To make the distinction between svabhava guna and the guna in Prakrti
as two separate entities is illogical.
The use of svabhava guna has been used by Vaishnavas to
justify castism for a very long time by tying the persistent nature of
the svabhava guna to birth in a lower or higher caste.
The introduction of the svabhava guna as distinct from the gunas in
Prakrti are not supported by Shaivism --
What is illogical about the theory is that determinism and personal
responsibility cannot be mixed.
Gunas as described in Prakrti are considered necessary for Prakrti to
function and no guna is considered inferior or superior to another.
Indeed there is never a time when one can become free from such gunas.
Vishnu himself is described as tamsik within and satvik outwardsly.
So what is the purpose of the svabhava guna ? Simply to again enable
a judgemental mentality by attributing responsibility for a man's
karma beyond his own lifetime, perhaps beyond even Prakrti. But the
flaw becomes apparent as one reads the later verses of the Gita.
People who are so born of an inferior "svabhava" as opposed to a
superior "svabhava" are basically damned to hell. Because once you
declare someone as having an inferior "svabhava" in a deterministic
world which does not allow for personal control, its a one way trip to
hell. Because your "svabhava" is inferior, you will incur more and
more sin and will just sink further and further on the caste/species
chain. This again makes the system linear, the good guys go to
heaven, the bad guys go to hell and is thus subject to all sorts of
weaknesses. In other words, it sucks!
I do not think, however, that there is any mixing between determinism and
personal responsibility in the Gita. When the jiva realizes God, i.e when
he is no longer separated from God by his ego, the jiva will find that there
is no free will for an unrealized soul. He will find that not even a leaf
falls without God's consent.
only realized souls like Sri Chaitanya or Sri Ramakrishna are truly free.
This is because their wills have become the same as the one and only one
truly free will, the Divine will.
Kunalji, svabhAva-guNa exists with us, it is not a matter of either
vaishnava or shaiva opinion. Your questions really take us to chapter
16 of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, about the suras and the asuras. Are the
asuras created only so that they can be condemned? The answer is 'no'.
First, people are not born with any God-given svabhAva, inferior or
superior. God said that He does not create karmafala. svabhAva is the
result of what we choose to be, a culmination of choices and circustances
svabhAva is our own doing. It is the result of the exercise of the
so-called 'free will' that Pradipji said that is not independent of the
one true free will, the Divine Will. Whether or not we will end up in a
superior or inferior circumstances of birth depends on sour
svabhava-guNa, especially according to the desires at the time of death.
This issue is not related to casteism, but to sura or asura births. The
sura are those who already have the daivI-sampatti that is independent of
castes (arjuna had it, according to Sri Krishna), and the asuras did not
have that. The asuras reject God's authority over creation, and consider
themselves to be Lord. But God said that He is 'pralhAdaschAsmi
daityAnAm' (prahlAda among daityas) among manifestations. This tells us
very definitively that even Asuric birth (that is a punishment) is not a
condemnation. Even in the Asuric birth, a person has the 'free-will' to
Pradipji, I just want to add one thing to your post, about the
relationship of free-will with Divine will. When God told Arjuna that He
has already killed arjuna's enemies, he gave him a choice, to be or not
to be the instrument. Implying that whether or not arjuna chose to do
it, the warriors will die, if not by the instrument of arjuna, but by
another instrument. Nothing gets done without the use of Divine power,
but whether or not we will use the power that we can access to do
someting, depends on us.
With best regards,