Search & Read
Seeker: Thanks again, James. I’ll definitely read that and think about it. It’s one thing to have heard the teachings and assimilated them to some degree; it’s another to live within this dream and know what is the appropriate, right and dutiful action in a given circumstance from a karma yoga point of view.
I guess the classical Vedantins are steeped in the whole of Vedas, obviously including the Dharma Shastras, so there is a moral guide. We in the materialist West seem to be all at sea on these questions – but at least the ahimsa ethic provides a good imperative.
James: Yes, the non-injury value pretty much covers the whole visesadharma question. We are not so much concerned with actions that relate to others, because we assume that inquirers are well-mannered people. From a self-knowledge perspective, we are concerned with the dharmic implications of certain types of thoughts – do they injure the mind?
Non-injury is defined as “non-injury in thought, word and deed.” If you control the thought by analysis, the words and the actions don’t come. Jealously, for instance, injures the mind whether it is expressed outwardly or not – does the food I ingest injure me or bless me? – etc. Karma yoga first applies to one’s thinking. If the thought is positive and generous, the actions that flow from it will be helpful, at least non-injurious. Once it is clear that the thought is sattvic, the action is permitted and the result left to Isvara.
~ Love, James