Vivek Anand Ganesan v_ganesan at YAHOO.COM
Sun Apr 19 00:48:34 CDT 1998

   I took the suggestions of Shree Hudli and Shree Ramakrishnan and
consulted the Advaita-L archives.  Sure enough, there was a wealth of
material on the topic of "karma".  After reading a lot of the posts, I
have discerned different connotations of "karma" which I have
summarized below for easy comprehension ( by me :)- ).

Besides the common meaning for karma, i.e. all actions, there are
different philosophical meanings for karma.  They are :
  1. Religious Rites and Rituals. ( Primarily mentioned in Shruti )
     This karma is of three kinds : (thanks to Shree Vyas for his post)
       a) Nitya - performed daily.
       b) Naimittika - performed regularly on certain occassions.
       c) Kamya - performed for special events. Is not an usual rite.
  2. The fruits of actions ( more properly karma-phala )
     ( Primarily mentioned in Smriti and Nyaya prAsthana canons )
     This karma is also of three kinds : ( thanks to Shree Vidya )
       a) Prarabdha - Fruit of past actions already being felt now.
       b) Sancita   - Fruit of past actions which will be felt later.
       c) Agamin    - Present Actions that will bear fruit later.
                      This karma is also known as "kriyamAna karma".
  3.  NiskAmya karma - Dispassionate action ( a.k.a "karma YogA" )
      ( Primarily mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita )
      This karma is "proper action" i.e. in adherence to "Dharma",which
      by definition does not lead to any of the karmas mentioned in 2).

I kindly request corrections and/or clarifications to my understanding
as stated above.  In addition, I have two more questions :

Q1) Is it true that Shree Shankaracharya rejected the karma of the
    kind for a mumukshu?

Q2) What role does "NishkAmya karma" play in Advaita? Does it conflict
    with the attainment of jnAna or is it just a means for

Thanks in advance,


P.S. : I know that my presentation above is very simplistic.  It makes
thing clearer to me, if I can break them down in to manageable pieces.
I apologize if this sounds too "reductionistic".

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