[Advaita-l] RE: namo namah: and some questions

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Thu Aug 12 12:23:33 CDT 2004

>I think my question formulation was not clear enough - take
>two different karma's for example: the daily sandhya vandhana
>and the shraddha ritual. Both are to be performed, and are
>ordained. Right? In the daily case, people approximate and say
>while it must be performed 3 times a day, and at these
>specific times, for shrarddha ritual, it must be performed
>only on this day, must have these elements to it, etc etc. The
>rigour attached to one kind of ordained karma is more that
>that for other karma's. I am not able to appreciate the
>emphasis on attention to detail in one, while not in the
>other. These are just two examples, and there are a lot more.

General rule of thumb when it comes to vaidIka karmA - those performed with 
respect to ancestors (pitR karmA) are observed with greater strictures than 
those performed with respect to the gods (deva karma). Also, nityakarmA-s, 
those that are performed everyday, tend to be simpler, while those that are 
occasional (naimittika karmA-s) tend to be more elaborate. Those that are 
once in a lifetime events, e.g. birth-related, marriage-related and 
funeral-related, are typically even more elaborate.

Given these conditions, the level of attention to detail is still relatively 
the same, if we are to do these karmA-s properly. That people approximate 
and often shortchange the daily sandhyAvandana is not a property of the 
sandhyAvandana. It is a fault of those who do it that way.

>How does one draw the line on effort vs. return on investement
>(focus on detail)?
> > But meditation is indeed a type of karma.
>  Thats news to me. If even meditation comes under the cap of
>karma, is there anything that we do in the mortal world that
>we can consider as non-karma?

There isn't. If we ask why, the answer is in the language usage itself. In 
English, we say "anything that we do". The verb there is "do", for which the 
Sanskrit verbal root is "kR", from which we derive the noun karmA. The 
simplest English translation for the word karmA is "action". Anything that 
we do is necessarily karmA. The only thing that is not karmA is pure being 
(we can put a capital B (Being) if we want, here).


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