Keeping moksha (self-realization) as the primary end in life, the Vedic culture provides two spiritual paths committed lifestyles a person may follow.
- One is called Pravrrti Marga, a life of activity and duty, where one enjoys the attitude of Karma Yoga.
- The other is an abandoned life called Nivrrti Marga.
The former provides a lifestyle for internal growth that leads to one’s own knowledge, while the latter is a life that concentrates on one’s own knowledge. be. After all, both lifestyles are designed for Moksha.
In the life of the pravrrti, the individual is essentially committed to the dharma. In keeping with the Vedic dharma, one performs actions to achieve artha (wealth) and kama (desires) in this life and in the hereafter.
- Karma that helps satisfy one’s desires is known as Kamiya Karma. for example. putrakameshti yaga = Performed a ritual to acquire a child, and King Dasharatha performed this noctuid to acquire Rama.
- Karmas that are done daily are called nitya karmas. E.g. bathing, eating, cooking, cleaning, showing hospitality to surprise guests, going to school/work, etc.
- Karmas done occasionally are called naimittika karmas. E.g. Sraaddha, karma to propitiate ancestors.
These karma are considered binding when forced to act because of likes and dislikes. On the other hand, when the same karma is done for the purification of the mind, they become a means of growth and lead to moksha. That is, when done devotedly for the Lord (Bhakti), they can bring about inner maturity. This attitude helps to neutralize one’s likes and dislikes, and karma is exactly the offering known as Yajna. The results thereof are received as the grace of the Lord (prasada). Since Vedic rituals cover all stages of life, the life of a Vaidika (a person who follows Vedic traditions) is a religious life. In the vision of Vedas, the cosmic laws are functionaries, known as devatas (gods-sun, moon, fire, water, wind, earth etc.). The Lord is propitiated as these cosmic forms, and thanks to the Vedic yajnas, a person comes to understand and appreciate the interconnection of everything that exists in creation. Thus, a Vaidika’s life is committed to yagna, which brings about harmony between the individual and the creation. Such a prayerful life leads to inner maturity and prepares the person for the discovery of self knowledge and freedom.
The second lifestyle stipulated by the scriptures is nivrrti or sanyasa, an abandoned lifestyle. The scriptures absolve the sannyasi from the performance of nitya and naimittika karmas. Such a person is/should be committed to the pursuit of self knowledge only to the exclusion of all other activities.
These are the Two Spiritual Paths