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Nitya Karma - Is it a sign post or a Goal in Itself

From: Vijay Srinivasan (Vijay_Srinivasan_at_praxair.com)
Date: Wed Mar 13 1996 - 08:28:28 PST

Anand in a recent posting raised a very interesting point. He alluded to the 
performance of some of our daily duties (such as sandhya vandhanam, ekadashi 
etc.,) as some kind of a sign-post or suggesting that they should be considered 
only as a means to an end. This is not a correct view according to our 
philosophy.  I would like to attempt to clarify this as follows.  

The quintessence of our philosophy is expressed in verses like Chitram 
Chirukale .. (Andal's 29th pasuram) and Ozhivil Kalamellam ... (Nammalwar's 
pasuram).  According to our philosophy the means as well as the goal are Sriman 
Narayana (prapya and prapaka/  Upaya and Upeya). There are no other means for a 
prapanna.  The purusharthha is eternal service to Him (here or hereafter).  All 
activities that fall into one's station in life is performed as a service to 
Him. Even our official work can be sanctified, if done in a spirit of service 
to God, vide a sloka from BG Ch. IX (Yat Karoshi... Kurushva Madarpanam) and 
partaking the fruits of our action as a prasada from our Lord.  Therefore, to 
interpret our philosophy in its broadest terms, bhaghavt and bhaghavata 
kaimkarya in whateverform is indeed our goal.
  

Vijayaraghavan Srinivasan