kAmya karmas (was Re: [Advaita-l] Animal sacrifice)

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Fri Jan 13 14:12:09 CST 2006

On 1/13/06, Ravisankar Mayavaram <abhayambika at gmail.com> wrote:
> I understand the part that not doing is a sin (akaraNe pratyavAya
> janakam), but I don't understand the "brings no specific reward" part,
> especially for sandhya. Earlier I used accept it without questioning.
>  In taittirIya AraNyaka dvitIya praSna, in verse starting with
> "raxAgmsi ...", which talks about giving arghyam to Aditya, clearly
> says that
> "udyantamastam(y)yantamAdityamabhidhyAnkurvan.h  brAhmaNo
> vidvAntsakalaM bhadramaSnute ...".  When shruti says sakalam bhadram
> aSnute, then it means it, does it not? Hence, doing brings good
> things. Which implies that even sandhya vandanam can be done with
> desire to attain all good things.

Only in the sense that either a) it purifies and takes
us closer to j~naana (advaita position) or b) performing them avoids
bringing harm, which is in turn essential to get the rewards of kaamya
karma (position of some miimaamsakas). Otherwise why svargakaamo
jyotiShTomena yajeta, sakalam cannot be interpreted in that sense.

> Hence, I like the view posted by the Sri S. N. Sastri. Any vedic karma
> can be performed with desire or without it.  The term kAmya karma is,
> I think, often used to denote a non-obligatory karma and not
> necessarily a karma done with desire.

That's true only in sha.nkara advaita vedaanta, not most of the other
schools. In fact if the miimaa.msakaa position is appreciated, this
comes as a revelation. As pointed out by Jaldhar and Sanjay, even the
name contradicts the advaitic interpretation, but one has to look
deeply to understand the position of advaita.


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