[Advaita-l] Meditation Vs nitya karma

RAMESH RAMANAN rameshramanan at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Oct 14 10:03:01 CDT 2008

Hi Sri Bhaskar YR,
  As far as I know, this issue of Meditation vs nitya karma has been settled a long time ago by both the Sri Paramacharyaal of Kanchi and Sri Abhinava Vidya Theertha Mahaswamigal of Sringeri. When one does one's nitya karma (especially Gayathri Sandhya Vandhanam regularly without flinching or wavering), the nitya karma makes him/her fit for the next stage in spiritual growth and then, as one progresses up the ladder, the nitya karmas fall away from him/her automatically, without even the least trace of doubt or question. Giving the nitya karmas up on one's own means one is inviting sin. Nitya Karmas ought to be performed wholeheartedly, till they drop off on their own, not because of laziness or due to lack of time and other such flimsy excuses. Those who do so, simply want to climb the peak of a mountain straightaway, without doing the basic things right first.
  Spiritual life is not easy or a joke to be practised. The non-performance of nitya karmas is a sin and it takes away the tejas from the person, while regular performance endows one with brahma tejas. Even for one's own sake and for the benefit of others (all those kith and kin, friends and for benefitting the society at large), all eligible people must, unwaveringly perform the nithya karmas as enjoined by the scriptures, without raising stupid doubts and questions. 
  I do not understand whether it was really Gondavalekar Maharaj who said that nitya karmas are not that important or whether you wrongly heard him say something else. But, as far as I know, all the top spiritual authorities have insisted that we should first finish performing our nithya karmas, first before resorting to meditation and the like. The gayathri mantra is the maathaa of all the mantras and there is no purifying power equal to that of the gayathri mantra.
  What do we think of ourselves as being capable of meditating on God? We are puny mortals (in the vyavahaarika world, not in the advaitic sense), with a very wavering mind, running in thousands of directions, when we think of sitting down for meditation. So, instead of fooling ourselves with thoughts of meditation, let us sufficiently purify ourselves through the nitya karmas, which will automatically lead us onward towards meditation and spiritual glory, when the time is ripe for that. At that stage, you would not need to ask these questions on this board, as you will be guided inwardsly. The pure mind acts as the guru of the sadhaka according to Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Ramana Maharishi. 
  This is my humble opinion. Jai Sri Ram and pranams, Ramesh Ramanan.
Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:

Hare Krishna

I need clarification from learned prabhuji-s of this forum...Can spiritual
practices like meditation, bhajans, nAma saMkeertan, japa be the substitute
for our veda vihita nitya & naimittika karma-s like sadhyA vandana, agni
kArya, dEvatArchana, vrata, hOma, havana etc.?? I have seen some people,
giving utmost importance to do japa, bhajans, nama saMkeertana and while
doing the veda vihita sandhya vandana, devatArchana, abhishekaM etc. they
do the same only for formalities sake & sometimes due to short of time &
to do scheduled bhajans, saMkeertana, they are ready to skip
pUja/abhishekam part of their programme!! Is this type of spiritual
practice acceptable?? I was talking to one of the devotees of brahma
chaitanya maharaj ( popularly known as Gondavali Maharaj), he was saying
after all we are observing/following these spiritual practices for the sake
of self agrandizement/chitta shuddhi..what is the problem if it is done in
one way or the other?? He continued to argue & said, moreover, in
sadhana-s like japa, dhyAna, nAma saMkeertana etc. mind is more focussed,
still & gets the peace very quickly when compared to routine, monotonous
sandhya & devatArchana...However, he does not have any objection to follow
periodical pitru tarpaNa, shrAddha etc. in the form of pitru R^Na. This
discussion is stopped abruptly in the midway due to some reason..In short,
his intention was to say that he has very limited period of time for his
spiritual practice, & he would prefer to spend that time in doing
meditation, japa etc. instead of sandhya, agnikArya, devatArchana..coz. his
contention is that later sadhana-s do require lot of kriya (action),
parikara/pAtrAsAdhana/pUjA dravya & preparation time !!??

IMHO, being a vaidika brAhmaNa one should first give preference to observe
his nitya & naimittika karma & other adhyAtmik sadhana-s like nAma
saMkeertana, bhajans, japa etc. can be done as an additional part if time
permits...I dont prefer to do japa/ meditation directly without observing
saMdhyAvandana formalities.

Kindly share your view points on this issue.

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!


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