[Advaita-l] jnana karma samuccaya

S.N. Sastri sn.sastri at gmail.com
Tue Nov 23 04:01:09 CST 2010

Dear Shri Venkatesh Murty,
You have said:

<The technical argument against Jnana Karma Samuccaya

<is only theoretical but not practical. Practically there is a <Samuccaya of
Nishkama Karma and Jnana Sadhana. Adi <Sankara said Karma cannot be combined
with Jnana. But

<this Karma is not Nishkama Karma but done with Aham

<Karta Aham Bhokta Bhava. In Nishkama Karma as Isvara <Arpana only there is
no Aham Karta Aham Bhokta Bhava.

<The doer does not feel he is doing Karma. Samuccaya of <Nishkama Karma and
Jnana is not only possible but very <beneficial very much needed.

My answer is as below:

niShkAma karma performed as an offering to God is karmayoga. Even in the
performance of karma yoga there is the notion of doership. This has been
made clear by Shri Shankara in the introduction to the bhAShya on chapter 5
of the gItA. After realization there is no notion of doership and so
niShkAma karma is also not possible after realization.

When it is said that after realization of the identity of the individual
self and brahman no karma is possible, it does not mean that the realized
person sits idle all the time. He may be very active, as most jnAnis have
been, but what he does is not karma. It is akarma according to gItA. It is
not performed for attaining any desired end nor even as karmayoga. It is
done only for the welfare of the world and for setting an example to others.
When realized swamijs perform pUjA they do not expect to get anything from
it, but those who witness the pUjA feel blessed. As far as the swamiji is
concerned, it is not karma at all, but is akarma. So there is no samuccaya
of jnAna and karma.

Best wishes,


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