Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Apr 16 10:24:21 CDT 1998

 Vivek Anand Ganesan wrote:

>   I thank everyone who answered my previous question.   After reading
>the posts, I would like to clarify my doubts regarding karma.
>   The most common meaning attributed to "karma" is that of action.
>But, what action?  In Shruti, it seems to be linked to "action related
>to performing the prescribed rites and rituals".  On the other hand,
>in Smriti it is considered to be "dispassionate action" i.e. "karma
>yoga".  The advaitic tradition also mentions other karmas like
>"Nishkamya karma".  Also, karma is considered to be the bond that
>holds one to samsara.  In the last sense, it is not something to be
>accrued.  ( So, it is bad, right?)
>   I kindly request an explanation of the concept of karma and its
>different connotations and their contexts.  What is the role of karma
>within Advaita?
>Thanks in advance,

 This is an important question for advaitins. It has been discussed
 before on the list. Please see for example:




 Shankara has stated in the GItA bhAShya and elsewhere that karma
 done by renouncing the fruits (results thereof) or in dedication to
 God  has the effect of purification of the mind (chitta shuddhi).
 Thus such karma leads one to jnAna and may be said to indirectly
 cause liberation.

 For example, Shankara says in his commentary on the GItA:

 IshvarArpaNabuddhyA anuShThIyamAnaH sattvashuddhaye bhavati,
 phalAbhisandhivarjitaH |

 (karma) done as an offering to God (Ishvara) and without expectation
 of rewards,  purifies the mind.

 And (in his introduction to the Giitaa):

   shuddhasattvasya cha jnaananishhThaa-yogyataapraapti-dvaareNa
   jnaanotpattihetutvena cha niHshreyasahetutvamapi pratipadyate |

   The mind purified (by the performance of action without attachment)
   becomes eligible for the practice of knowledge, thus causing the
   rise of knowledge. This knowledge leads to liberation. So action
   (performed  without attachment to its fruits) (indirectly) causes

 For further elaboration on this, please see:





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