[Advaita-l] Pitru Paksha questions.

Srikanta Narayanaswami srikanta.narayanaswami at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 22 02:55:56 CDT 2011

On Thu, 22 Sep 2011, Bhaskar YR wrote:

> Some say, if the shrAddha is performed in gayA or kAshi then there is no
> need to perform prati sAmvatsarika shrAddha to pitru-s..is it true??  is
> there any shAstrAdhAra for this?? Pls. clarify.
The author of Nirnaya Sindhu condemns this notion.  Pitrkarya like devakarya must be continued till death or one takes sannyasa.  (And even there we have the story of Shankaracharya performing the rites for his mother to fulfill the vow he made to her.)

-- Jaldhar H. Vyas 
This statement is true.If one performs Shraddha at Gaya,there is no need to continue performing the  Shraddha.Now it is also said by some that if it is performed at Kashi,there is no need to continue the performance.What is said is "yavajjivam---".This is the voice of the Purva mimamsakas.Infact,they have infiltrated into our sciptures so much so that they object to even Vedantic views.We have studied how the great mimamsaka "Mandana Mishra"argued with Shankara against non-performance of rituals.Rhere are many who accept that Mimamsaka matam is the correct interpretation of the Vedas.They turn a blind eye to Shankara and Advaita Vedanta,and dub them as Budhistic.It is this view which is perhaps responsible to include Buddha in the Hindu panthean.
If we sat that if one has putra according to the dictum that "Putra is one who saves his parents from the naraka,(Puth narakath trayate iti putrah),what weill happen to the parents who have daughters?Moreover,if the Karta(A son)who is not able to arrive in time to perform the obsequies of his father or mother,how far is it valid vaidically,
scrpturally,morally or legally valid if his brother performs the obsequies till 'asti sanchayana'and later after two or three days the elder arrives to continue to perform the rest of the rituals,by handing over the "Pavithram"to the elder brother?In that case,will the ritual has validity,scripturally and vedically?The pundits at Kashi especially put terror into the worshippers by quoting numerous verses from the sciptures on shraddha kandha,puranas and Ashoucha kandha of the Hindu Dharmasastra,and also put fear into the "Karta"saying that it will have bad repercussions!All these goes to show that these Priests follow "anukoola sindhu"for the purpose of extricating money!Personally,I feel that if one has come to Vedanta which is the Jnana Kandha from the Karma Kandha,and is convinced of the Advaita siddhanta that the "Atman is Brahman and eternal",one need not continue to perform the shraddha to his ancestors.In the olden days,those who have crossed the
 ocean could not join the main stream witthout performing the 'prayaschitta".Ofcourse,there were exceptions if the Priests were appeased especially with 
high amount of money!To quote one example,when Sri Aurobindo returned from England and married Mrinalini,
there was an objection from the priest class that 'prayaschitta' should be performed,but Sri Aurobindo bypassed this by giving high amount of money to the priests.This also happend to his father,K.D.Ghosh after his return from England,who was a rich doctor!.It seems there was an element of "Anukoola sindhu"(opportunism)among the priest class,not to speak of the present days,where money has become a prominent element.Truly,the early mimamsakas have put us into this nut-cracker kind of predicament!

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list