Advaita Vision

Advaita for the 21st Century

On the Mumbai Terrorist Attacks
Dr. Kuntimaddi Sadananda (ed. Dennis Waite)

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Dr. Kuntimaddi Sadananda


Read Sadananda's other discourses.


(From a post to the Advaitin Egroup, Nov 2008)

There is story in the yoga vAsiShTha:  Rama, after listening to the advaita teaching which states that everything is mithyA, wanted to test vAsiShTha, his guru.  As he was coming to the palace, he sent a wild elephant to chase vAsiShTha muni.  Obviously, vAsiShTha ran away to avoid getting hurt.  Rama then questioned him as to why he had run away, when the elephant was only mithyA. vAsiShTha answered that his running away was also mithyA.
The point is that mithyA does not mean ‘unreal’. It is real within its sphere of operation. It is not non-existent as is a vandhyA putra [a son of a barren woman]. It is not absolutely real either, since what is absolutely real is that which never undergoes any change.
Hence Shankara says: All that you see (or experience) is mithyA, since there is seer-seen distinction which keep changing. That which you see is not non-existent, since non-existent things cannot be experienced.
Kidnapping and terrorizing is not new - it occurred in Krishna's time and Rama's time. Only the actors are different and the mode of operation is different.
Stand apart and look at the space-ship earth rotating itself and around the sun at incredible speeds. It will continue on its course irrespective of the drama happening on the ground. It has been doing so for millennia and will continue to do so for many more.  Generations have come and generations have gone. Civilizations have come and gone. yuga-s have come and gone.  From the point of view of the absolute, all is simply the drama that occurs ­- incredible drama. 

At the local level, selfishness broods and gives rise to these kinds of terrorist activities.  That does not mean that you have to stand apart as mere bystanders.  Rama did not keep quiet, nor did Krishna. Every Hindu God is fully equipped to deal with the situation; it is called positive goodness - not inert goodness like a door-mat.  The Lord has given us the capacity to fight back and to establish dharma - a universal dharma which is expressed by the prayer:

sarve bhavantu sukhinaH sarve santu nirAmayAH |
sarve bhaDhrANi pashyantu mA kashchidH duHkhabhAgbhavet || 

May everyone be happy. May everyone be free from disease.
May everyone see prosperity and let it be no one’s lot to be in misery.

That is the vision of the great sages.  Let us invoke their blessings in these devastating moments to give us the strength and intelligence to fight back to establish that universal dharma.

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Page last updated: 10-Jul-2012