Advaita Vision

Advaita for the 21st Century

Tattvabodha - Part 28

Notes on Tattvabodha
Dr. Vishnu Bapat

Dr. Bapat (72) was the co-founder of an Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical Industry and served as its Managing Director for 26 years until retirement. He is associated with several professional and spiritual bodies. He is now fully engaged in the study and practice of Vedanta.




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55. How is Sanchita Karma undone?

सञ्चितम् -कर्म

सञ्चितम् कर्म ब्रह्मैवाहमिति निश्चयात्मक ज्ञानेन नश्यति ।।

सञ्चितम् – sanchita कर्म - karma ब्रह्म-एव-अहम् – I am the truth (Brahman) इति – thus निश्चयात्मक -ज्ञानेन – by the firm knowledge नश्यति – is destroyed

Sanchita karma is destroyed by the firm knowledge, ‘I am Brahman’.

Sanchita karma is the sum total of good and bad actions accumulated from our previous lives. It has not started yielding any result.

ब्रह्म-एव-अहम् इति–निश्चयात्मक-ज्ञानेन नश्यति – Sanchita karma is destroyed by the decisive understanding that, ‘I am Brahman’ In other words our identity with the three bodies, five sheaths, and three states of consciousness is eliminated. The yogi realizes that 'I am indeed Brahman’ and sees Brahman everywhere at all times. He has a perfect knowledge of unity of Jiva and Ishwara. In simple words the sanchita karma is destroyed by enlightenment because knowledge burns all the products of ignorance. In case of jnyani the jiva abhimana or identification with 3 sharira and Jiva bhava has gone and Brahma bhava has appeared.


Just as all the pending police and court cases become null and void when the criminal dies, when the yogi loses body consciousness and realizes Brahman, all his accumulated karmas or sanchita karma get destroyed. Vedanta books give the example of a roasted seed which cannot sprout.


Why there is no rebirth for a jnyani?

At death of an ignorant man the gross body disintegrates and merges with the gross elements. The subtle body and the causal body pulled by the jiva takes a new body according to his sanchita and prarabdha karmas. In the case of a jnyani, the gross body disintegrates and merges with the gross elements. The subtle body also merges with its five subtle elements as there is no pulling force of the jiva because his ignorance is destroyed by the knowledge of the self. Jiva has rediscovered his true nature as Ishwara. So there is no more birth for him. The space appears to be conditioned by a pot. If the pot breaks, the pot space appears to be merged with the total space. Really speaking there is no merging. Space was always one and all-pervading, even when the pot existed. Similarly the self is one and the conditioning of the self was due to avidya and maya.


56. How is āgāmi karma undone?

आगामि कर्म

आगामि कर्म अपि ज्ञानेन नश्यति किंच आगामिकर्मणां ।

नलिनीदलगतजलवत् ज्ञानिनां सम्बन्धॊ नास्ति ।।

आगामि कर्मणाम् – Agami Karma अपि – also ज्ञानेन – by knowledge नश्यति – is destroyed किञ्च – also नलिनीदलगत -जलवत् – like the water on the lotus leaf ज्ञानिनाम् – for the wise man सम्बन्धः – relation न अस्ति – not there.

Agami karma is also destroyed by knowledge of self and the wise man is not affected by it just a lotus leaf is not affected by the water on it.

किञ्च आगामि कर्मणाम् अपि ज्ञानेन नश्यति –The agami karma also is destroyed by knowledge. We have seen that sanchita karma or the sum total of good and bad actions of our previous life is destroyed by knowledge and the wise man is not reborn. Prarabdha karma too although yields result during his life does not affect him because he has no identification with the body. It just wears away as he suffers them out.


Now question arises what about the Agami karma or actions done by him in the present life? The answer is since the very notion of identity with the body and attachment to work as “I am the doer, I am the enjoyer” dies, there remains none to enjoy or suffer result of the agami actions. When the criminal dies all the prosecution case against him also ceases because no sentence could be passed on a person who is no more.

नलिनीदलगत जलवत् ज्ञानिनाम् सम्बन्धः न अस्ति – the wise is untouched by his actions like water on a lotus leaf. Water on a lotus leaf does not wet the leaf or destroy it. It remains as a shining droplet. Similarly the wise man is untouched by the actions during his life. He just remains aloof, unattached and non-aligned.

Once Buddha was insulted when he was begging for alms. His disciple got angry and asked Buddha, “Sir, and May I give him a piece of my mind?” Buddha said, “If you have taken anything from him you have to return it. You have not taken anything and so there is no need to give back anything”.


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Page last updated: 27-Aug-2017