[Advaita-l] Adi Sankara's comment about Prayascitta Karma and Sureshvaracharya's comment about Nitya Karma

sriram nagaraj sriram_photon at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 5 08:31:47 CDT 2010

Certainly Sri Suresvaracharya refers to Nithya Karmanushtana as one of the ways of attaining chitta shuddhi among possibly other ways, but as Smartas, we have been told time and again by Acharyas adorning various Shankara Peetas throughout the millennia that Nithya Karmanushtana is both necessary and sufficient for chitta shuddhi and therefore Atmasakshatkara.

It is my humble opinion that Prayaschitta Karmas are very efficacious in wiping out past karma, particularly when we truly repent for the past actions done in ignorance. This is affirmed by the fact that various Sthala Puranas of most temples say that such and such Deva/Yaksha/Deity wiped out such and such a sin by performing Poojas/Shantis in the presence of the presiding Lord. Moreover, the strict Dharma Sastra prayaschitta is often much more stringent and difficult than what the Deva/Yaksha/Deity went through for the same result. To the pedantic, this may not be Shruti Pramana, but, the Lord has to shower his Grace in order for us to even think about getting rid of past karma and his Grace can certainly get rid of past karma. However, we must certainly keep in mind the final goal of Atmasakshatkara and face karmic residues as and when their effects are felt and offer these again to the feet of Lord.

I would be very happy if a member can elucidate the other means for attaining chitta shuddhi.

Sriram Nagaraj

--The inner Light illuminates our minds--

--- On Thu, 8/5/10, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

From: Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Adi Sankara's comment about Prayascitta Karma and Sureshvaracharya's comment about Nitya Karma
To: "Advaita List" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Thursday, August 5, 2010, 6:24 PM

> Sureshvaracharya says Papa Hani destroying of sins is must for citta
> suddhi purification of mind. There is no Brahma Jnana without citta
> suddhi. But citta suddhi depends on Papa Hani. The person's mind is
> impure when he has sins. Mind cannot be pure until sins are washed.
> Nitya karma can extinguish sins.
> The question rises Why Adi Sankara says Prayascitta Karma but
> Sureshvaracharya says Nitya Karma ?

Suresvaracharya is merely mentioning nitya karmA as a means towards
citta Suddhi. He is not saying that nitya karmA is the only means to remove
sins and he is not saying anything about prAyaScitta one way or the other.
His context in the naishkarmyasiddhi is quite broad (I presume you refer to
this text and not to one of the vArttikas).
ps. I have been intending to respond to your post on saMnyAsa and varNa-
ASrama rules from a few days ago. I'll try to respond before the week ends.                           
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