[Advaita-l] kAmya karma

S.N. Sastri sn.sastri at gmail.com
Wed Jan 11 04:11:21 CST 2006

kAmya karma

During the discussions on animal sacrifice reference has been made to kAmya
karma which should be avoided by aspirants for liberation since it only
strengthens bondage. But are there any rituals which by their very nature
fall under the category of kAmya karma? Sri Sankara says in his bhAshya on
Br. Up. 1.3.1: "Nor are rites such as agnihotra, darSapUrNamAsa, etc,
definable by their very nature as kAmya or nitya (obligatory). They become
kAmya karma only when the performer does them for the fulfillment of his
desire for heaven, etc". So any ritual prescribed in the vedas can be
performed either as a kAmya karma or as a nishkama karma. It is said that
Appayya Dikshita performed animal sacrifices. An Advaitin like him would not
have performed it as a kAmya karma. It is also possible that he did it for
the general welfare of the people.


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