[Advaita-l] Clarification regarding Nitya and Naimittika Karma

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Fri Jun 14 00:50:40 EDT 2019


One way to see nityanaimmittika karmas is that nitya-karmas are not really
daily karmas, they are regular karmas. The darShapUrNamAsa karmas done
every fortnight or nirUDhapashubandha (also seen in rudralaghunyAsa as
निरूढपशुबन्धात्मने अनामिकाभ्यां
नमः) which includes/d animal sacrifice done once or twice a year,
shrAddhakarma performed at tithis, etc, are all nityakarmas. naimittika
karmas then are occasional like the samskAras. Mostly, all kAmyakarmas
include animal sacrifice. On a related note, although there is no state
support for this and it is illegal, I have heard (from sources I trust, of
course) that in some places where these were done, the animal would itself
place its head on the sacrificial altar! One may consider it as nonsense,
but I particularly don't have any issues in accepting it as possible. As
someone already mentioned that tying the sacrificial animal to the yUpa
which has specific mantras and methods to make quietens it. The shAstras
say that although killing an animal is pApa, sacrificing it in a prescribed
yajna is exempted and said to free the jIva from pashusharIra and help its
gati as well as that of the yajamAna. Although in the context of Kshatriya
killing in the battle, Bhagavan Tikakara comments under BG 2.10 so: श्रौतानां
हिंसादियुक्तानामपि कर्मणां दूरतो न अधर्मत्वमिति स्पष्टमुपदिष्टं भवति ।
सामान्यशास्त्रस्य व्यर्थहिंसानिषेधार्थत्वात् क्रतुविषये
चोदितहिंसायास्तदविषयत्वात् कुतो वैदिककर्मानुष्ठानानुपपत्तिरित्यर्थः ।

To this above, a Charvaka (or a moderner) objects to the Purvamimamsaka: if
this is true, why don't you offer your own father in a sacrifice and send
him to svarga?!
The answer is as simple as: since it is not prescribed by Vedas.

In any case, most, if not all, complicated *rare* animal sacrifices have
been replaced by simple coconut and/ or black pumpkin (literally translated
from Kannada), etc, as offerings, as guided by the Kulagurus in keeping
with desha-kAla and yajamAna-svabhAva. Unfortunately, the state doesn't
have any objection to the *common* mass-scale fish/meat industry where all
sorts of animals are reared to kill, and even sets up such "industries"!
God save the jIvas. I wonder what Charvakas would say on this! Would they
say, eat your own ...?! Kindly pardon the offensive.

--Praveen R. Bhat
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