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Effect – Work - Deed – Karya In Hinduism

The word karya is derived from the root kr, which means to be performed, to be done or made, etc. The phrase krtasya karyasya ca (what is to be made) occurs in Atharva Veda (III. 24.5) and in Taittiriya Samhita ( The term is used in different senses in various texts in Sanskrit literature. In the great epic Ramayana (1.13.50), it is used in the sense of work, business, “na bhumyakaryamasmakam” (we have no business on the earth).

In Manusmriti, karya occur a number of times with different meanings, e.g., ‘work’ (v.150), “legal business”, and “law-suit” (VII.43). It denotes ‘duty’ in the Shishupala (II.1). It also means “motive, object, purpose, as rightly said in Hitopadesha (IV.66): “Skandhenapivaheccatrun karyam asadya buddhiman” – having to achieve a object, a wise man should even bear his enemies on his shoulder.

In Panchatantra, (1.71) karya is used in the sense of need (trnenakaryam). According to Samkhya, the theory of karya karana is known as Satkaryavada. It is a theory concerning the relation of an effect (karya) to its material cause. Satkaryavada denotes that the effect exists in its material cause even before it is produced. But Bauddhas and Nyaya Vaisesikas believe in Asatkaryavada. According to them, the effect cannot be said to exist before it is produced by some cause. However, the shrishti (universe) is also known as a karya (effect) and its Ultimate Cause is Ishvara or God, the Purusha (Supreme Being).

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