[Advaita-l] Nitya Karma question

Raghav Kumar raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Wed Oct 5 06:30:23 CDT 2011


Ramesh ji
Your examples were quite similar to what I had in mind and thank you for
articulating them. You wrote:
> 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. However, the officer can only punished for his own dereliction
>of his own policing duties. He cannot be punished for some other police
>officer's dereliction, nor can he be punished for not performing (say) an
>engineer's duty.

I have a question here based on the clarification of Sri Subramanian ji and
Sri lalitAlAlitaH ji - while it is true that " since non-performance of
nitya-karma is abhAva-rUpa, it cannot by itself said to "produce/generate"
pratyavAya ; and this applies to all, not just sannyasi-s", still..
Does not the concept of RNa (debt) come in, when we talk of obligation to do
nityakarma? Becoming thus obliged/indebted (becoming a R^iNI) is a peculiar
status of some jIva-s,(presumably those like traivarNika-s who are fortunate
to get a "better" birth) and this RNa (debt) can well be called bhAva-rUpa;
such a RNa is the cause for pApa-phala accruing to us because of
non-performance of nitya-karma. Even accepting that our "worthy" meritorious
karma is responsible for a human janma, the idea of RNa may well hold; in as
much as, a loan is santioned by a bank on being requested for it and after
the debtor is "credit-worthy" etc. My question is : Is the concept of
deva-RNa, pitR-RNa to be taken at face value or is it merely figurative
(gauNa) to prod us to do nitya karma?

Another question on karmaNa pitR-lokaH  : What happens if a gRhastha is
somewhat lax in performing agnihotra, but has impeccable conduct (AcAra) and
also does considerable pUrta karma (reaching out activities, charitable
activities.) Is he eligible to attain pitR loka or not?
The following somewhat extreme reference comes to mind -  Manu smriti XI.41
says "a Brahmana who, being an Agnihotrin, voluntarily neglects the sacred
fires, shall perform a lunar penance during one month; for that (offence) is
equal to the slaughter of a son."
But then the Chandogya Shruti says (SrI Kathirasan ji mentioned this among
others) -
""atha ya ime grAma iShTA-pUrte dattam-ityupAsate te dhUmam-abhisambhavanti"
Chandogya 5.10.3"
One attains pitR-loka by vaidik-karma like agnihotra, reaching out to
society at large by sponsoring wells, ponds, catchments, gardens etc and
donations given to worthy individuals extraneous to the sacrifice proper.
(i.e., in addtion to the donation due to the sacrificing priests.)
bhAShya says - iShTA-pUrte ishTam agnihotrAdi vaidikam karma, pUrtam
vApi-kUpa-taDAga-karaNaM ; dattam barhi-vedi yathA-shakty-arhebhyo
dravya-samvibhAgo dattaM,

The other non-iShTa karmas are also mentioned in the same breath as
agnihotra etc., as being the cause of pitR-loka. Whether they are
alternative means to pitR-loka or do they all have to be done together ? The
latter seems to be the case. What about those who do not have eligibility
for agnihotrAdi ? Can they attain pitR-loka by nAma-japa, pUrta-karma etc ?
If so it does seem to impose a greater burden on traivarNika-s seeking to
attain pitR-loka? It would seem to be much easier for women etc.

Can a person attain pitR-loka without doing agnihotra provided he has good
AcAra and  abstains from nishiddha karma and does pUrta-karma and
datta-karma etc ? This  is commonly observed to hold for many gRhasthas
these days.

Is there any mAnsam karma which is a substitute for agnihotra ? Not to my
knowledge, although Chandogya mentions something to that effect in one


P.S. As an aside - bhAShyakAra indicates that a gRhastha who performs
charitable activites (reaching out activities) and does his ritualistic
nitya karma-s gets access to the dhUma-mArga and attains pitR-loka. But the
next janma to be attained after exhausting the fruits of such iShta-pUrta
karma-s is not determined by these iShTa-pUrta karma-s themselves, since
they have already been exhausted in pitR-loka; rather the "other" karma-s
done while in the previous human body are responsible (in conjunction with
sanchita karma from still older births)  for generating the next janma -
these other karma-s are presumably other karma-s related to AcAra (conduct
towards fellow human beings and duties towards the near and dear ones etc,
when they are guided by ethics, values etc, other varnAshrama actions.)
called sukRta in another context in BSB. Such sukRta becomes the primary
determinant for the next janma subsequent to the pitR loka exhaustion of ALL
the iShta-pUrta karma-phalas. the word ALL is insisted upon by bhAShyakAra ;
implying that doing nitya-karma is alone not enough to ensure that the next
janma will even be a human one - rather one's conduct vis-vis others and
'secular' human actions are quite crucial (in addition to the over-arching
assurance in the gItA that a sincere mumuxu gets to continue his spiritual
endeavours in a subsequent human embodiment.).

2011/10/5 श्रीमल्ललितालालितः <lalitaalaalitah at gmail.com>

> *श्रीमल्ललितालालितः <http://www.lalitaalaalitah.com>
> lalitAlAlitaH <http://about.me/lalitaalaalitah/bio>*
> On Wed, Oct 5, 2011 at 14:40, Ramesh Krishnamurthy <rkmurthy at gmail.com
> >wrote:
> > why the advaitin-s recognize
> > anupalabdhi as a separate pramANa and then compare that with what is said
> > in
> > the taittirIya bhAShya introduction on the issue of pratyavAya.
> >
> Your view was :
> for traivarNika-s non-performance is not abhAva.
> We are saying that :
> for anyone non-performance is not a cause of pratyavAya.
> I don't see any use of presenting anupalabdhi here.
> anupalabdhi is actually knowledge of abhAva. And it is instrument to know
> pratyavAya. It is accepted. It doesn't mean that abhAva becomes kAraNa.
> So says shrI-Ananda-giri :
> asmAbhistAvadabhAvasya svarUpeNa kAraNatvam neShTam. kintu tajGYAnasya
> pratyavAyagamakatvamiShTam.
> So, clearly abhAva is not kAraNam of pratyavAya but it's knowledge is
> kAraNam of knowledge of pratyavAya.
> So, I don't see any use of presenting anupalabdhi here.
> I can't understand why for some people a thing is abhAva and for others
> bhAva ?
> Things don't change nature according to people. And whatever changes in
> them
> according to people is definitely not their nature.
> So, even for traivarNika-s non-performance is abhAva of performance and
> hence it can't cause any bhAva entity.
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