nitya karmas are daily obligatory duties (karmas) to be performed by a householder from dawn to dusk. It is also called “Ahnikam आह्निकम्”. Doing the nitya karmas at the specified time is a pre-requisite to the performance of any samskaaram. There are some other karmas which are performed on certain days of the year. So karmas can be summarised under the following heads:
1. nitya karma नित्य कर्म
* daily obligatory karmas like snAnam, Achamanam, trikAla sandhyAvandanam, brahmayagyam, deva Rushi pitru tarpanam, aupaasanam, dEvatArchanam/bhagavat ArAdhanam, vaishvadEvam and athithi bhojanam are to be performed daily and so they are nitya karmAs
* karmas like amAvAsya tarpaNams, sankramaNa tarpaNams, mahAlaya tarpaNam, are performed repeatedly but not daily, yet they are classified under nitya karmAs.
2. naimittika karma नैमित्तिक कर्म
karmAs that are ordained to be performed on the happening of occasional events like special bhagavat Aradhanam on festivals like shri jayanti, karmAs performed on the occasion of birth and death; and tarpaNas performed on eclipses (grahaNaM),
nitya naimittika karmas are designed to support the performance of all the samskArAs especially the panchamahAyagyas (samskArAm no.21-25)
3. kAmya karma काम्य कर्म
karmAs which are performed for the fulfilment of specific desires like special hOmas or penance.