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>Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 12:20:04 -0400
>To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
><ADVAITA-L at ADVAITA-VEDANTA.ORG>
>From: "K. Sadananda" <sada at anvil.nrl.navy.mil>
>Subject: Re: Rituals
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>>I agree that karma as enjoined by the Vedas alone does not include all
>>obligatory duty. But how does one know what one's obligatory duty is?
>Shree Karthik - I am not an expert in karma-s or rituals. Hence my
>answer is from what I understand based on logic, nature and purpose
>of all karma-s and nature of bondage and means of liberation. As
>Shankara rightly points out in his Bhaasya - role of karma -
>including the vedavihita karma - is only to gain the four-fold
>qualifications required for Brahman inquiry. Cittasya suddhaye
>karma na tu vastuuapa labyaye| - it is meant for purification of the
>mind. If purity of the mind is the central purpose, then the
>response I gave is only from that perspective. In the discussion of
>the first suutra - adhikaara for Brahman inquiry, sevearal aspects
>of the role of vedavihita karama-s are discussed - please seen my
>notes on the Brahmasuutra related to suutra 1.
>Veda vihita karam-s are those actions that pertain to pitR^i-s and
>Deva-s. If one does not understand them - then one should confirm
>to shaastra, it is better to confirm to traditions and culture than
>not to confirm. If one understands them then one adopts them to
>suitability and availability of things, since one understands the
>The question that was raised was since we cannot perform the
>agnihootra etc that are enjoined by Veda and therefore 'is Bhakti' a
>simpler approach than karma in kaliyuga. Hence my answer was geared
>to this specific question raised by Shree Bharadwaj.
>Hence what is karma and what is karma yoga and how iiswara comes in
>to the equation and how bhakti manifests even in karmayoga is what
>I discussed - the whole B.G. is centered on this issue.
>What are ones obligatory duties - These depend on what one thinks of
>himself to be.
>If I think I am father - I have fatherly duties.
>If I think I am a son - I have duties of a son.
>If I think I am a student - I have duties of a student.
>If I think I am an employee - I have duties of an employee.
>If I think I am a neighbor - I have duties to my neighbor.
>If I think I am a citizen - I have a duties to my nation
>If I think I am human being - I have a duties as a human being.
>One learns these values from parents, from friends from elders and
>from education. These are universal and nothing to do with Vedas
>per sec. although Veda-s prescribe additional duties such as
>pitR^ikarma-s etc. But obligatory duties go beyond these.
>If I think I am mumukshu - then my role as mumukshu by passes all
>other since this is considered as the supreme - moksha is the
>highest purushaartha. For that only the inquiry of Brahman is needed
>and the four-fold qualifications and yoga shaastra as a means for
>>I understand that performing action in this world by going to the office
>>etc. and working with detachment may lead to purification of the mind, but
>>this is certainly not what is commanded by the shastras, and cannot
>>compare with the purification of the mind that is acquired by simply
>>following the scriptural injunctions with devotion.
>Purification of the mind is purification of the mind. How one
>achieves that is immaterial and that is what Shankara emphasizes in
>the discussion of first suutra.
>I was addressing the question as posed by Shree Bharadwaj in terms
>of superiority of bhakti over karma in kaliyuga.
>Since my knowledge of Veda vihita karma-s are close to zero, I will
>refrain any further discussion of this issue.
>>> >Hi Everyone,
>>> >I don't know if this kind of question is appropriate for this
>>>list, but I'll
>>> >ask anyway :)
>>> >Is there any relevance or benefit in observing rituals such as Shraadh, or
>>> >performing Yagnas in this age of Kali? I have heard from some followers of
>>> >Bhakti Yoga that the age for which these were prescribed was a
>>> >and the only way to salvation in the Kali Yuga is Bhakti. They say that
>> > >there are so many things to be done if one follows the way of
>>the Vedas (?
>>> >I'm not sure if that's the right way to put it) that he is bound to get
>>> >lost. If he undertakes Bhakti, everything is taken care of by the Lord.
>>> >Thanks a lot,
>>> >Sunny Bhardwaj
>>> >Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp
>>> K. Sadananda
>>> Code 6323
>>> Naval Research Laboratory
>>> Washington D.C. 20375
>>> Voice (202)767-2117
>Naval Research Laboratory
>Washington D.C. 20375
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
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