[Advaita-l] Nitya Karma question

श्रीमल्ललितालालितः lalitaalaalitah at gmail.com
Thu Oct 6 15:26:38 CDT 2011

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

On Wed, Oct 5, 2011 at 17:00, Raghav Kumar <raghavkumar00 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Does not the concept of RNa (debt) come in, when we talk of obligation to
> do
> nityakarma?

animitte vihitaM nityam karma.
nitya karma is that which is prescribed (by veda-s) independent of any
as 'aharaH sandhyAmupAsIta'.

Now, 'jAyamAno vai brAhmaNastribhirR^iNavAn jAyate' - shruti which says that
traivarNika-gR^ihastha has three R^iNa-s is not a vidhi-vAkyam. So, nitya
karma are not done by it's effect.

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;

R^iNa is abhAva because it is counted as negative.
You have R^iNa - this doesn't mean that you have some positive entity. It
means you don't have that much amount.

pitR^i-R^iNa is abhAva of putra, R^iShi-R^iNa is abhAva of svAdhyAya and
deva-R^iNa is abhAva of yaGYa.
How ?
Same as debt of Rs. 10 means lack of that amount.

Women, shUdra have no debt ?
Not these one, at least. It comes to you because you follow a system which
takes you higher and you have more responsibilities.
Women, etc. have limited reach to this system. They have other rules to
follow and different responsibility.
You can see this type of division in daily life too.

such a RNa is the cause for pApa-phala accruing to us because of
> non-performance of nitya-karma.

>From where you learnt that R^iNa causes pApa ?
You will need some scriptural proof.

R^iNa being abhAva of son, etc. can't produce pApa. It being abhAva of
sAdhana=means(son, etc.) bars achievement of lokas(pitR^iloka, etc.) which
are acquired by those means.

shruti saying 'karmaNA pitR^ilokaH' says that son, etc. are means of
pitR^iloka, etc.

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.

You can now understand that lack of specific means is called as debt. So, it
is not some positive entity which we possess.
These debts are accepted for traivarNika-gR^ihastha only.
Why ?
Because brahmachArI, vAnaprastha and saMnyAsI-s have no right to produce
progeny, 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?

This is for sakAma-gR^ihastha-traivarNika and it comes to him because of
desire to win loka-s, 'putreNaiva jayyo',etc.

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?

Lack of agnihotrAdi will give room to pratyavAya-s to bear fruit.
AchAra, etc. will bring their fruit as puNyam. That puNyam will cause
But, which will come first depends on force of pApa and puNyam.

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."

Knowingly neglecting shows that he is not sincere. So, it is so.

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 ?
> latter seems to be the case.

Although it seems like this here, there are vidhi-s which prove that karma
one can take you to pitR^iloka. So, that too is true. For pUrtta and dattam,
I'll need proof to say that they too can do it independently.

What about those who do not have eligibility
> for agnihotrAdi ? Can they attain pitR-loka by nAma-japa, pUrta-karma etc ?

If scriptures say then yes. If not then no.

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.

This is the question which is raised by tAntrika-s mostly.
They say that leave vaidika-path and come to us. Ours is easy path.
But, that's not true. Being against shruti is enough to reject them. And the
part in which they don't against veda-s, they are accepted to bear fruit but
with more burden.

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 ?

You will need some scriptural proof.

This  is commonly observed to hold for many gRhasthas
> these days.

They are not shiShTa, hence they are not example for vaidika-s.

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

mAnasam karma is mainly prescribed for those who don't have money, etc. but
want to get same result as with karma.
As ashvamedha-upAsanA.

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.

AchAra which has died can't give birth to anything.
So, you must accept that puNyam generated by them does it.

Such sukRta becomes the primary
> determinant for the next janma subsequent to the pitR loka exhaustion of
> 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.).

AchAra is accepted by us as generating puNyam and hence is a part of
religion. So, you may reconsider use of word secular.

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