[Advaita-l] Meditation Vs nitya karma

Sundaresan, Vidyasankar (GE Infra, Water) vidyasankar.sundaresan at ge.com
Wed Oct 15 16:18:18 CDT 2008

One thing we must remember is that all depends on the adhikAra of the
individual. A lot also depends on which purushArtha is being emphasized.
If we are talking about dharma, then yes, japa, bhajana etc. are not
substitutes for the prescribed nitya-karmA. However, if we are talking
about moksha, then all these karma-s are only preparatory. There comes a
stage when the need to do any of these karmA-s decreases and then
completely vanishes. 

Many people are attracted to the public and social aspects of bhajan
singing, temple pUjAs etc. Their mind cannot graduate from that level to
one where they have "aratir jana-saMsadi". On the other hand, there are
also people who are very strict about doing their nitya-karmA, but more
for the show than anything else. 

Neither of these is conducive to the pursuit of jnAna. For those who
have a clear goal of jnAna at heart, there is no need to pit one against
the other. The nitya-karmA at the personal level is primary, other
practices can be added as per one's choice and convenience. 

However, I would seriously object to clubbing together japa,
nAmasankIrtana, bhajana etc. under the title of meditation. In the
vedAntic sense, dhyAna is a very different thing from japa and bhajana.


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