[Advaita-l] Nitya Karma question

श्रीमल्ललितालालितः lalitaalaalitah at gmail.com
Tue Oct 4 03:37:55 CDT 2011

*श्रीमल्ललितालालितः <http://www.lalitaalaalitah.com>
lalitAlAlitaH <http://about.me/lalitaalaalitah/bio>*

On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 10:49, Ramesh Krishnamurthy <rkmurthy at gmail.com>wrote:

> I am presenting my understanding of this matter. The inadmissibility of
> pratyavAya on account of non-performance of nitya karma, on the  logic of
> an
> abhAva cause not producing a bhAva effect, is strictly speaking valid for
> saMnyAsin-s only.

non-performance by anyone, either saMnyAsin or others, is abhAva. And both
are addressed by sha~Nkara.

> The cause here is abhAva because saMnyAsin-s are not
> obliged to perform nitya karma in the first place.

As saMnyAsI are not bound to do karma, so non-performance itself doesn't
exist in their case.
Only those, who are adhikArI of karma and don't perform, can be said to be

Let us take some laukika examples to understand the matter.
> Lets say I am driving a vehicle and suddenly encounter a truck that has
> lost
> control and is heading right towards me. If I brake and swerve in time, I
> will prevent an accident. But if I fail to brake (non-performance of an
> action), I will meet with an accident (a bhAva effect).

There are differences.
In case of karma and pratyavAya :
that truck = pratyavAya was left by you
and you gave speed to car
So, abhAva of brake is not the cause of accident, but your deeds.

On the other hand, if there was no need to brake in the first place (because
> there was no truck or other obstacle in front of my vehicle), then not
> braking will not lead to an accident.

No need just means that you have no pratyavAya.
But, even saMnyAsI-s can say that they have no pApam left.
Only those pApam-s, which bar shravaNa, etc, are accepted as absent in them.

> Another example that should make the point even clearer. A government
> official, say a police officer, can be punished by the government for
> dereliction (non-performance) of his duty. The punishment here is like a
> pratyavAya.

Police officer can't work 24 hours and he surely doesn't. So, are you going
to punish him for every minute ?
Definitely not.
Whenever, he knowingly lets bad things happen, he is punished. So, it is not
his non-performance of karma again. He is punished for letting bad things
happen. He is actively involved.

Therefore, the idea that non-performance of nitya karma leads to pratyavAya
> is very much logical, so long as the obligation to perform exists.

Yes, it's logical.
non-performance leads to pratyavAya and doesn't generate.
When we don't perform nitya-karma in prescribed time, we indulge in useless
talks or other bad things. So, it will result in pApam
And according to sha~Nkara : as we don't perform nitya karma at times, it
will not destroy our sa~nchita-pApam and hence we will face duHkham.

> If the
> obligation exists, then the non-performance itself becomes bhAva
> (non-performance "asti").

That's not true.
It is abhAva even then.
abhAva can't become bhAva for specific people.

> However, when the obligation does not exist, then the pratyavAya also
> cannot
> exist.


> It is here that the yukti of abhAva cause not producing a bhAva
> effect becomes applicable.

It applies to others too.

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