[Advaita-l] Pitru Paksha questions.

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Fri Sep 23 00:45:59 CDT 2011

On Thu, 22 Sep 2011, Srikanta Narayanaswami wrote:

> 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.

There is controversy about this yes, but I believe the consensus of the 
authorities on dharmashastra that Smartas follow is that it must be 

>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.

This is factually incorrect.  Actually most Mimamsakas have also 
simulataneously been Vedantins, Advaitins in particular.

Jaimini himself is quoted by name in the Brahmasutras which is an honor 
reserved only for those the sutrakara believes belong to his own 

Kumarila Bhatta is said to have given his blessings to Shankaracharya on 
his funeral pyre.  Even if we doubt the historical veracity of this story 
it at the very least shows that the author of the digvijaya didn't think 
of him as an "infiltrator"

Mandana Mishra even before he met Shankaracharya wrote a work on Vedanta 
called Brahmasiddhi as well as on Mimamsa.  Whatever his earlier views, 
tradition says he went over to Shankaracharyas views and took sannyasa as 
the illustrious Sureshvaracharya.

Vachaspati Mishra wrote authoritatively on several systems other than 
Vedanta.  Mimamsa is one of them.

Parthasarathi Mishra is the commentator on Kumarila Bhatta and the author 
of the first major systematic compendium (nibandha) of Mimamsa topics 
called Shastradipika.  He took sannyasa under the name Swami Amalananda 
and wrote the Vedantakalpataru on Vachaspati Mishras Bhamati on 
Shankaracharyas brahmasutrabhashya.

Madhava wrote another authoritative nibandha called Jaiminiyanyayamala. 
He is none other than Swami Vidyaranya the greatest of post-Shankaran 

Khandadeva took Mimamsa in a modern direction following the navya nyaya 
revolution and it is primararily his works which are studied by pandits 
today.  He took sannyasa under the name Swami Shridharendra Saraswati.

Stalwarts of Advaita Vedanta such as Appayya Dikshita also took an 
interest in Mimamsa.  In fact Khandadeva refers to him as "Mimamsaka 
Murdhanya" - the dean of Mimamsakas.

Despite there differences on some topics, Mimamsa and Advaita Vedanta are 
deeply connected.

> It is this view which is 
> perhaps responsible to include Buddha in the Hindu panthean.

unfounded speculation.

> In that case,will the ritual has validity,scripturally and vedically?

All those questions you put are covered in dharmashastras if you care to 

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

This is the kind of jaundiced view that could come straight out of the 
mouth of a missionary.  I am shocked and saddened you could be so cynical. 
Kindly keep such nastika views away from advaita-l.

> 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.

Perform this experiment.  Next time you go to the bank for a mortgage or 
loan payment rip up the bill and tell the bank manager you are a vedantin 
so you don't have to pay.  See how far that gets you!  You are under a 
debt to the pitrs who gave you life and as long as you take advantage of 
the identity they gave you that debt must be paid.  It is only discharged 
by taking sannyasa -- i.e. actual physical renunciation of nama-rupa not 
mere "feelings" of Advaita.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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