[Advaita-l] nitya karma and job

latha vidyaranya lathavidya at yahoo.co.in
Wed Jul 2 00:27:41 CDT 2008

hari om
in my humble opinion, the nitya karmas are the obligatory duties to be done on a daily basis, like, the sandhya and nitya pooja. naimittika karmas are the obligatory duties done on special occasions, like, on the day of eclipse, the annual ceremony of the pitris (shraadhdha) etc. these two kinds of karmas are ordained by the vedas in order to pay back the debts (obligations or rinas) of deva, pitri and rishis. they also help to cleanse the mind (chittha shuddhi)  and thus prepare the antahkarana to realize the brahman.
whereas the occupational duties (our daily jobs) are not vaidhika karmas and hence do not fall under either nitya or naimittika karmas. they are vyavahaaric karmas to fulfill the social obligations. having born as a human being and for taking the help of the society to grow up and make a living, we are all obligated to pay back this debt to the society. i think this is a bhootha rina that is to be fulfilled.

--- On Thu, 5/6/08, Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com> wrote:

From: Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
Subject: [Advaita-l] nitya karma and job
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Thursday, 5 June, 2008, 10:49 AM

[was Re: [Advaita-l] Advaita-l Digest, Vol 61, Issue 27]

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On Wed, 28 May 2008, pravin tewari wrote:

> Hari Om! I would like to know under which catagory "the job/
> comes? nitya, namittik karma????

Possibly one, both, or neither.

Until recently most people had a hereditary occupation but even in the 
"good old days" this was not hard and fast.  One should look to the 
historical practices of ones ancestors to see what they regarded as 
obligatory and what they were flexible about.  For instance, my surname 
indicates  a kathakara (of Bhagavata, Ramayana etc.)  However for atleast 
the last century or more, the Vyas family have been schoolteachers or 
minor bureaucrats.  Yet they were always careful to keep up practices such 
as sandhyavandana, shravana masa shiva puja etc.  So I would conclude that 
the latter items are what I should follow as nitya naimittika karma not 
the former.  (Though as a matter of fact I have publically said 
bhagavata katha.)

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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