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RE: Ashaucham & Nitya karma

From: Ranganathan, Sriram (sriram.ranganathan_at_funb.com)
Date: Thu Feb 25 1999 - 14:47:49 PST

First Union Capital Markets Corp.

Dear Bhaktas,

Prompted by Sri. Vijayaraman's  queries and answers to the above, here are
*my own* humble
opinions based on my limited understanding.
 
I have held on to these for a long time, and many qualified elders have
endorsed it in their own style, 
but I would also like to seek the opinions from members of  this excellent
group, deriving their knowledge 
from many Acharyas,  Sampradayams and  sources.

Correct me if I am wrong, but here is the gist of my feeling:

In order to understand and appreciate the Asaucham / Nitya Karma guidelines,
I feel one should
first ask the question " What is their purpose ?"

In my opinion, the Asaucham rules are  to *relax* (relatively speaking) or
more 
appropriately, re prioritize the general Nitya karmas / kainkaryams  
and  help us to concentrate on the actual task at hand / special karmas /
duties  associated 
with  *those* specific situations, like birth / death as the case may be. 

For Eg :Kshaya  Asaucham rules forbids us from performing
Aradhanam since a person in great distress / sorrow will
not be in the right frame of mind, immediately after the loss, to perform
such 
kaimkaryams.

Therefore a "time frame"  is stipulated to  help us in  getting back to
regular activities like
Aradhanam, etc , progressively as the days go by, and in the meanwhile 
discharge our specific duties at such (Asaucham) times like Tharpanams etc,
etc.

Having said that, in my opinion, therefore, one most not dig too deep into
the  rules / regulations per se,
as there may be many variants / schools of thought,  but to follow generally
accepted practises / regulations
according to the advice as per Acharyas / qualified elders in the
sampradayam  one belongs.

And there is nothing wrong, if one feels more comfortable/ (mana saanthi ?!
)  saying Slokams, 
Gayatri Japam during such times.

In effect, what this means is one may continue such nitya duties like 
Sandhyavandhanam,  Aradhanam  or   slokams  etc. as long as it is
NOT STRICTLY AND EXPLICITLY FORBIDDEN, and 
one should not go to great depths to analyze what is not specifically and
openly laid down as this might
give confusing or contradictory answers.

However, it is definitely a must, to clearly understand to a degree,  
what is said and not said  in  the  rules / regulations
governing such Asaucham .

Sri. Vijayaraman's  queries and subsequent findings  throw   light on these
issues, and as he has
rightly  observed, perhaps for the above reasons, no one gives a definite
straight-forward interpretation, but common answers 
generally based on their experience, even though the Asaucha rules go to a
great length in defining the 
period of "theetu"  in a precise manner. 

Again, I request to be corrected  if wrong.

Regards
Sriram Ranganathan