In Conversation with Swami Shailendra

This is our discussion with Guru ji, Swami Shailendra on various topics.

Four types of Karma (Action)

What are four types of Karmas (Actions) ? Meditation is which Karma ?


Shrimad Bhagwat Gita chapter 18 verse 36-37
सुखं त्विदानीं त्रिविधं श्रृणु मे भरतर्षभ।
अभ्यासाद्रमते यत्र दुःखान्तं च निगच्छति॥
यत्तदग्रे विषमिव परिणामेऽमृतोपमम्‌।
तत्सुखं सात्त्विकं प्रोक्तमात्मबुद्धिप्रसादजम्‌॥

And now hear from Me, O Best among the Bharatas, of the threefold pleasure in which one rejoices by practice and by which one comes to the end of sorrow, that which is like poison at first but in the end like nectar – that pleasure is declared to be Sattvic, springing from a clear understanding of the self.

Pleasures which will result in permanent eradication of sorrow and permanent establishment of bliss are satvik. Pleasure of meditation is the only pure satvik pleasure. There are four types of actions described in Vedic literature.

1. Nitya karma i.e.  Necessary actions,
2. Naimittik karma which are necessary only in order to be able to do the Nitya karma,
3. Kamya karma , which is not not necessary and depends on one’s liking, and
4. Nishiddh karma which are prohibited.

Nitya karma is meditation. All other usual activities like eating, earning money etc. are Naimittik . If one can afford to do Nitya karma  without these activities, they can be dispensed with.
One who is fully focussed on the Nitya karma finds no time for the kamya category. And of course no thinking person will do Nishiddh karma as they are hiderances in achievement of final goal of permanent happiness.