[Advaita-l] giving up of karma

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Oct 11 00:31:57 CDT 2007

On Thu, 11 Oct 2007, Ramesh Krishnamurthy wrote:

> On 10/10/2007, bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:
>> You know how difficult it is to give suitable & convincing answers once you
>> start asking questions like *why, what, how* on dharma shAstric verdicts
>> :-))
> Bhaskar-ji, you have misunderstood my question totally. dharmashAstra
> verdicts are not the issue at all.
> I am trying to get a *technical* understanding of what is meant by
> renunciation of karma when one enters the saMnyAsa Ashrama.
> In other words, is it a matter of tradition that one stops vaidika
> karma on entering saMnyAsa or does it have anything to do with the
> advaitic non-acceptance of jnAnakarmasamuccaya. If it is the former,
> the matter ends there, but if it is the latter then more explanations
> are in order.

Eating, breathing etc. are not counted as karma as they are purely
instinctual.  Even people who who have suffered severe brain injury to the
point of non-function can be kept alive thanks to those instincts.

what is called  karma, whether vaidika or laukika, involves samkalpa
(intention) for the production of a previously non-existant result.  This
requires a belief in time and materiality which is based on avidya.  Thus
such karma cannot help in transcending avidya.

Now does this apply to nitya/naimittika karma too?  Yes for even they have
a purpose which is to fulfill the three debts, gain puNya and avoid pApa
even though their performance may be dispassionate in material terms.  It
is right and proper for a grhastha to follow that route to dispassion
because comparatively speaking it is less ignorant.  But the underlying
ignorance is still there and for one who has jnana, its very premises have
become irrelevant.

A sannyasi can do karma for the reasons Bhaskar mentioned (or to firm up 
his jnana if he is at a low level and not brahmanishta) but why would he 
want to do it?  What attraction could it have for him?

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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