[Advaita-l] Pitru paksha questions

Srikanta Narayanaswami srikanta.narayanaswami at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 24 09:49:20 CDT 2011

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
With reference to your above reply,it is mixture of monetary implications and importance of karmakhandha.What I said was if one wants to get entangled in karmakhandha despite having  some clarity in the pursuance of jnana kandha should he go through the sorrowful performance of karmakhandha?What i would like to ask you is that should a person who has climbed a tree and reaching its top,should get down and restart climbing it again,because some one asks him to do?
I hope we are following Bhagawad Gita and SriShankara Bhagawathpada's commentary!I want you to study the BG sloka IV.18,Karmani akarma yah pashyed----.I want you to study the commentary of Srishankara bhagawathpada BG bhashya 268 where he has discussed about the performance or non-performance of Karmas."na ca nishphalam vidadhyath karma sastram.sarva pramana virodhath.Duhkasya ca buddhipurvataya karyatvanupapatteh tadakarane ca narakapatabhyupagamth anarthayaiva ubhayathapi karane akarane sastram nishphalam kalpitam syath.Svabbhyupagamavirodhascca nityam nishphalam karma ityabhyupagamya mokshaphalaya iti bhruvatah!!
"Because the karma is in the form of sorrow(duhka).One will not perform the sorrowful karma,and since you have accepted that it they are not performed,one will encounter the fall into the hell(narakapatha),even if they are performed or not performed one will meet "anartha",then one would have to say that the "sastras'are without fruit(nishphala).and after agreeing that the "Nityakarmas"have no"Phala'and at the same time saying that it will lead to the phala of moksha,then it is against your acceptance."
I feel we are giving more importance to the performance of karmas than the "Moksha sastra",which is what is required for Progressive movement and "Nishreyas".Bhagavan himself says 'Yad jnatva mokshyaseashubhath".
should one remain in lowerstandards,when he has the capacity to move up?

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