[Advaita-l] Pitru Paksha questions.

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Thu Sep 22 08:10:02 CDT 2011

Hari Om,

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.

I think Advaita Vedanta has no problem in agreeing that pUrva mimAmsas has
authority in interpretation of karma kANDa and that its applicable to
everyone who is not in sannyAsa ashrama. Even those traditions that take
esoteric meaning of the karma kANDa don't say that there is no need to

> 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.

Apologies, but I think this dubbing would likely still apply to those who
shun karma kANDa under the garb of Advaita Vedanta, while still being a
non-sannyAsi. Bhagavatpada's Vedanta argument against pUrva mimAmsa is only
for those who take to sannyAsa for pursuit of moksha.

> All these goes to show that these Priests follow "anukoola sindhu"for the
> purpose of extricating money!

When talking of mimAmsa & karma kANDa, we need to talk of Veda dharma,
grihyasUtra & tradition, than some vague things in Kashi by someone. Such
things happen with all sects. I could say that all yoga is nonsense since
people make money on retreats teaching some AsanAs on a beach and surely,
I'd be wrong. The plain simple fact is that just as people want some quick
pUjA today instead of involved rituals, similarly priests too have become
money-minded. In short, just because some priests are greedy, that doesn't
make all mimAmsakAs so. After all, its kali yuga, how would everyone stick
to svadharma! :)

> 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.

I particularly disagree with this line of thinking because that is not what
the tradition holds. Advaita siddhAnta is applicable to all, agreed, but
giving up nitya/naimittika karma is only for sannyAsis.

> 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!.

Isn't it more likely that the pandits performed some kind of prAyascitta
karma on their behalf with the money received since they themselves
disagreed to do? Even if they didn't, it doesn't prove that thats what
dharma shAstras say or that mimAmsakAs put those kalpa sutrAs in for more
earning! One of my relative's son married against the traditional
varNa-following and when asked to perform a prAyascitta karma, his son
refused. He went through the whole process himself, which cost a lot, to
absolve the family of the burden accrued from his son. One may disagree that
it was needed, but to say that pandits just made money out of it is plain
wrong. It can equally be alleged that these people who don't want to do
prAyaschitta are lazy & disrespectful. Would that be fair? Its just that
they don't "believe" in it. AFAIK, mimAmsakAs view is that each kalpa sUtra
or even smRtis trace back to Vedic injunction. When not traceable, the
original text is lost. IMHO, Vedanta owes a lot to pUrva mimAmsa for laying
a great foundation, we need to be a little more respectful.

Praveen R. Bhat

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