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

Venkatesh Murthy vmurthy36 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 8 22:30:07 CDT 2010

On Thu, Aug 5, 2010 at 11:43 PM, Ramesh Nagarajan
<rameshnj18us at gmail.com> wrote:
> In my humble opinion, both Prayascitta and Nitya Karma helps in chitta
> suddhi.  I am not sure if it removes the bad karma.  As per Ramana
> Maharishi, the body has to go through whatever it has to in this life,
> nothing could be done about it.  Being a Perfect Yogi, his body had cancer
> during the final stages of his life.

Some questions.

How can Citta Suddhi be there when there are sins? Is Citta Suddhi
different from removing bad karma? What is Citta Suddhi? What is bad
karma? What is sin?

Fast answer is this is all Maya but I like different answer.

> We can take an example of King Parikshit in Bhagavatham.  For Parikshit,
> great sages such as Suka were present before him, after he was cursed by
> Sringin.  The sages didn't ask him to do Prayascitta and other Karmas so
> that at least they could extend the seven days period to months or years.
> They taught him what he needs to know and do, to reach a stage where he
> would be free from all sufferings.

This is not a good example because: Will Prayascitta help when there is curse?

> Even if we assume that Prayascitta karma removes the bad karma, how one can
> validate it?  On the other hand, we can definitely say, these karma bring
> chitta suddhi by personally experiencing it.

Adi Sankara said Prayascitta removes bad karma. Why do you validate?

> As I had mentioned in my previous post, performing Prayascittam or not is
> purely depends on the state of the mind of that individual.   We can
> categorize the state of mind into two broad types: 1.  People who are
> attached to the material world and /or have commenced the journey towards
> spiritual goal but still exhibit moderate to strong attachment to body and
> mind.  2.  People whose goal is only to experience the Truth and give
> required importance to maintain the body to pursue Sadhana.
> Both these categories of people may perform same types of actions: rituals,
> offering, prayers, japa, service etc.,  But their intentions are different.
> The former one says I am doing to Prayascitta and Nitya Karma to protect the
> body, while the later says I am performing Sadhana to experience the Truth.
> Since there is a difference in intention, the former may give up the
> prescribed duties once the pleasant situation arises, while the later
> continues to perform Sadhana irrespective of the situation and until the
> final goal is reached.

Sureshvaracharya says Nitya karmas help to wipe sins. Why are they
unnecessary? One person may do them with ritualistic mind set. He
knows they will give citta suddhi. They  give citta suddhi.  He should
not do rituals not knowing why.



> Thanks,
> Ramesh
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