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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