[Advaita-l] Pitrupkasha questions.

Srikanta Narayanaswami srikanta.narayanaswami at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 27 07:10:59 CDT 2011

 Further,you are objecting that,"If all karma is to be given up,sarva-karma -sannyasa is the way.
>What is Sannyasa?Is it giving up the dress one is wearing,and takeup a Khavi dress?

Definitely not. The khAvi/ ochre dress is an outward appearance for a person who is a sarva-karma-sannyAsi, who has officially adopted sannyAsa Ashrama but just wearing ochre doesn't mean sarva-karma-sannyAsa, as much as one claiming to be a j~nAni, doesn't make him a j~nAni. Anyway, this is answered in Shankaracharya's Bhashya on the next Gita shloka 4.19: 

"He who knows the truth about action and inaction as explained before is free from actions owing to the very fact of his seeing 'inaction' etc. He is a sannyAsi, who acts merely for the purpose of maintaining the body  यस्तु अकर्मादिदर्शी, सः अकर्मादिदर्शनादेव निष्कर्मा संन्यासी जीवनमात्रार्थचेष्टः सन् कर्मणि न प्रवर्तते."

That should sort out that Bhagavatpada is not talking of giving up merely nitya-naimittika karma but all karmas except those that maintain the body. That is defined as sannyAsa. The rest of the commentary is for one who can't give up karma due to prArabdha "for the sake of preventing people from going astray".

So unless you're saying that all karma is to be given up, including earning money, accumulating any material wealth, entertainment such as movies, etc, but not limited to those, you're talking of selectively giving up only nitya-naimittika karma. In other words, if there is ever a sequence of giving up karma, it necessarily has to be giving up those listed & other laukika karma and the last to quit would be nitya-naimittika karma. It cannot be other way around of quitting only nitya-naimittika karma and holding on to many of the laukika karmas.

--Praveen R. Bhat
/* Through what should one know That owing to which all this is known! [Br.Up. 4.5.15] */ 
If it is the purpose of performing karmas,the Bhagavan could have directly said,like in the slokah:
"Karmanyevaadhikarste maphaleshu kadacana!
ma karmaphala heturbhu mate sangostavikarmani!1"
There is no need to talk in riddles,as in "karmani akarma yah pashyeth.."and he ned not say on karma,"dvaitajnanameva ashubha svaroopam" and later he need not say,"Yad jnatva mokshate ashubhath".The LBhavan advises Arjuna that the karmas themselves are ashubhasvaroopam.One without the dvaita jnana can perform karmas.hence,Bhagavan implies that the karmas have limited sphere of  function.he says,'doorena hyavaram karma".he thereby intends to point out a greater sphere,by which he says,"Yad jnatva mokshyate ashubhath".Sri shankara Bhagawathpada has devoted to write an elaborate commentary only for this slokah among other slokas.Hence we see the importance of this slokah.
Further,SriShankara has not talked about the prarabdha you are mentioning.If it is for those who cannot giveup karma due to Prarabdha as you are claiming,then even otherwise the people may go astray.Hence it is the conclusion that the Bhagavan is pointing out a higher truth.It has been answered by SriShankara to the objection of a Vrittikara that nitya-naimittika karmas has to be performed ,Sri Shankara has answered subsequently.Since it has been claimed by the vrittikara that only nitya-naimittika karmas has to be performed since it has no phala,just as one who calls a non-milking cow as a cow,the nitya-naimittika karmas have been given the name karmas.For this SriShankara answers,that this is not so.Since you have mentioned only nitya-naimitikakarmas the above holds good.Regarding other karmas,the one who performs them has his restrain in not performing them.Hence,this slokah has been brought to point out a greater truth,and belongs to Jnanakhanda.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list