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RE: "sandhyavandanam" and Sri.Sridhar Srinivasan

From: Krishna Kalale (
Date: Wed Aug 04 1999 - 09:37:11 PDT

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[Krishna Kalale]  Here are adiyen's responses to a few of the statements 
 indicated in your
 Sri Sudarshan Madabushi wrote:
(1)    Sri Sridhar Srinivasan  wrote: "In fact, the charama slOkam allows 
you the luxury of
relinquishing all dharmas and attendant karmas and pursue Him as the
ultimate dharma."

Sri.Sridhar, have you carefully watched an expert pole-vaulter?

[Krishna Kalale]
stuff deleted for brevity...

Sri Sudarshan Madabushi's views continued:
If you are a true "spiritual-athlete" you won't let go off the "pole" of
"dharmA/nitya-karma" until you have attained, like the professional
pole-vaulter, a certain "critical mass, force and speed" along the journey
of your spiritual quest. You hold on steadfastly to your "dharmA" right
until the moment you are in sight of your "goal" and are reasonably sure 
will sail over it successfully.

You let go off the "pole" ("sarva-dharmAm parithyaja?" of the B-G
"charama-shlOka") only when you are ready for it? not a moment too soon? 
a moment too late?

Next time when you talk of the "charama-shlOka", you should give the
pole-vault analogy a serious thought. Who knows, you will never again
misunderstand its true meaning.

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[Krishna Kalale]  Adiyen's views :

[Krishna Kalale]  Both the views presented above regarding charama sloka 
are actually views of "ADVAITA" and is not supported by Visistadvaita.

View (1)
 above which suggests total relinquishing of dharmas (karmas) is clearly 
advaitic.  Visistadvaita subscribes to the view that one should only leave 
the karma-phala or fruits of karmas and kartrtva ie. not consider that the 
he/performer is the agent of the karma.  Please note that I did not get the 
original email of Sri Sridhar Srinivasan.  this comment is only based on 
how Sri Sudarshan has quoted Sri Sridhar Srinivasan. Visistadvaita does not 
subscribe for karma-svarupa tyaga or total relinquishing of the activities 

Even the view 2 - is sort of advaitic.  Visistadvaita has a slight twist to 
the view indicated here.  According to visistadvaita even till the last 
breath of his life for a yogi, karma should not be relinquished.  The type 
of karmas which are part of karmayoga can be relinquished when a person 
gets atmasakshatkara or self realization.  This view is indicated in the 
verse : of 6th chapter

arurukshoh muner yogam karma karanam ucchyate
yogarudasya tasyaiva shamah karanam uchyate


ie. for one who is yet seeking to aschend to Yoga, karmayoga is the right 
path and for one who is already established in yoga, the cessation of 
activity is appropriate.  In other words all who seek self realization in 
the sense of attainmnet of a perfect immediate understanding of the nature 
of the self must adopt the way of activity.

This verse only refers to karmayoga not "agnihotra and nitya naimittika 

******  important conclusion below********

One should clearly bear in mind that in visistadvaita nitya naimittika 
karma (sandhyavandana etc.) is not included within karmayoga!!. In fact, in 
our HH Azagia singar's analogy,  Karmayoga is like OT (over time)  and 
nityakarma is like duty.  One cannot say he will do only OT and avoid duty. 
 Hence, nitya naimittika karma have to be performed as long as one lives. 
 Note that one who is already attained self realization, will not engage 
only in the activities that lead to self realization.  On the otherhand he 
can definitely engage in any "kainkaryam" type of activities. In fact that 
person will dedicate his actions in the area of bhaktiyoga which also needs 
daily performance of nityakarma.  According to our great preceptor 
Yamunacharya - tribiranyonya sangamah,  meaning - regarding these paths 
karmayoga, jnanayoga and bhaktiyoga,  each one of them has an an element of 
the other two yogas.  Hence there is no pure bhaktiyoga without an element 
of karmayoga and jnanayoga accompanying it.

In short,  nitya naimittika karma is not included in karmayoga
and nitya naimittika karma (sandhyavandana etc.) should never be 
relinquished even for a karmayogi or a jnani or bhaktiyogi till his last 

This is just to make the record straight as per visistadvaita, since there 
are so many views floating around regarding this subject.