Kinds of karma

September 06, 2018 08:28 pm | Updated 08:28 pm IST

A common doubt that persists in all beings is the one about the relationship between karma yoga and chitta suddhi and how one is led to the path of jnana from karma. The Vedas are accepted as the highest authority on secular and spiritual matters; but the mystic quality and depth of their language can be inferred only through study, meditation, and instruction from enlightened preceptors. Sacred texts such as the Bhagavat Gita and the Bhagavata Purana have culled the essence of Vedic teaching for the benefit of humanity. Their teaching on traditional rules of dharma is to be upheld, but it should be understood that they are not an end in themselves and that the final goal is attainment of the Lord, pointed out Sri B. Kesava Dikshitar in a discourse.

Many perform Vedic rituals and yagnas without understanding the real import of their actions as is seen in the case of Prachina Bharhis, the great grandson of Prithu. Narada advises him on the most valuable effect of yagna or any action performed by anyone which is attaining purity of mind or chitta suddhi.

In the section on Nava Yogi Upakhyana in the Bhagavata Purana, the terms ‘karma,’ action, ‘vikarma,’ prohibited action and ‘akarma,’ non-performance of ordained action are explained. It is shown that actions are compulsory and have to be aligned to dharma and righteousness. Following the right action is sure to lead to the path to salvation. This is the meaning of the term “karma.” Then there is “vikarma” which refers to actions not sanctioned by the scriptures. “Akarma” means inaction or refraining from action and the Gita explains this as action in inaction and this is achieved by realised souls alone. It is action that is done with commitment, but with detachment towards personal gains.

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