Gajwel: DECEMBER 17, 2012

The Three Types of Paapa & Punya

Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji was reverentially welcomed by the devotees of Gajwel on the evening of December 17th.

In His Anugraha Bhashanam, the Jagadguru said that this was His third visit to Gajwel and expressed joy at the Bhakti and Shraddha of the devotees. The Jagadguru said that everyone desires peace and joy in life. Without these, no amount of wealth is useful. Many come to Me saying that they have everything but no peace of mind. We have to remember that the Shastras point out that the joy and suffering that we experience in this life are a result of the Punya and Paapa performed in our past lives.

The Jagadguru went on to describe that Punya and Paapa are of three types based on whether the Karma is performed mentally, verbally or bodily. Consequently, the results of the sins too are experienced through the agencies of the mind, the organ of speech and the body respectively.

What constitutes mental sin has been defined as follows:

परद्रव्येष्वाभिध्यानं मनसानिष्टचिन्तनम् ।
वितथाभिनिवेशश्च त्रिविधं कर्म मानसम् ॥

Mental sins are of three kinds: the arising of the thought that another’s possessions must be usurped, the thought that another must be harmed, and harbouring of thoughts that are contrary to the Shastras. For instance, the Shastras state the existence of Ishwara who creates, sustains and dissolves the Cosmos, and also ensures that everyone gets the fruits of their own Karma. There are some who deny the existence of Ishwara; this denial is a mental sin. There are others who deny rebirth. This too is a mental sin. When people commit such mental sins, they lose peace of mind in their following births.

It is a matter of experience that one first thinks, expresses the thought and then puts the thought into action. Even if the thought has not fructified into action, a mental thought as mentioned above still constitutes a sin. Similarly, when one commits a verbal sin, one has to experience those results as well through the organ of speech. The Shastras classify the verbal sins as follows:

पारुष्यमनृतं चैव पैशुन्यं चापि सर्वशः ।
असम्बद्धप्रलापश्च वाङ्ममयं स्याच्चतुर्विधम् ॥

Hurting others by speaking harshly is the first verbal sin. Telling lies is the second. Speaking unnecessarily without paying attention to the context of where we are (for instance, gossipping while sitting in a temple). When people indulge in these sins, they end up being dumb, or develop a stammer, or speak incoherently.

अदत्तानामुपादानं हिंसा चैवाविधानतः ।
परदारोपसेवा च शारीरं त्रिविधं स्मृतम् ॥

Stealing, causing physical harm, and lusting after women constitute bodily sin. The reactions to these sins have to be experienced by the body.

It is important for everyone to refrain from these 10 sins in this lifetime, thus avoiding experiencing the fruits of these sins in future. The Dharma Shastras advise us thus for our welfare. We have to realize this and adhere to these instructions.

Just as sins fall into three categories and are enumerated under each category, the good deeds or Punya also fall into these categories and are enumerated as the exact antithetical act of the sins.

For instance, the thought of usurping another’s wealth is a mental sin. The corresponding Punya Karma constitutes the thought of engaging in charity – the thought of giving away one’s wealth for the welfare of the other. The thought of harming other is a mental sin. The corresponding Punya is to have the thought of bringing about the welfare of another. Thoughts harboured in opposition to the Shastras constitute mental sin, whereas the corresponding Punya is to live with thoughts that conform with the Shastras. We see even today that some children have the tendency to engage in worship. If the child’s father sits in worship, the child would do the same. If the father applies Bhasma, the child too follows. The child is not instructed to do so. This inclination comes to the child naturally. Such is the Samskara of the child, that it develops a devotion to God. Such Punyas result in peace of mind in the future lifetimes. Some people say, “I have no worries. I am peaceful happy and contented”. This is the result of the Punya performed by the mind in the past.

Speaking sweetly, adherence to the truth, refraining, and speaking in accordance to the context and time constitute verbal Punya. Such people are blessed with a great power of speech.

Engaging in charity, helping others and looking upon every woman as one’s mother constitute bodily Punya. In future lives, they are blessed with good physical health as a result.

The Jagadguru ended His Anugraha Bhashanam stating that one has to remember these aspects of Punya and Paapa, refrain from Paapa and engage in Punya Karma, thus establishing a conduit for peace and joy to flow into your being.


Anugraha Bhashanam at Gajwel





On the afternoon of 18th November, the Jagadguru visited the ancient and dilapidated Marikamba temple in Gajwel. This ancient temple has been acquired by the Sringeri Sharada Peetham and will be renovated with the blessings of the Jagadguru.

The Jagadguru then graced the Goloka Ashramam at Rimmanagoodu. After having Darshan at the Bala Maruti temple in the Ashram, the Jagadguru blessed the devotees with a Anugraha Bhashanam.

The Jagadguru then visited the Rudreshwara temple, Kondapakkam and laid the foundation stone for the renovation of the temple.