[Advaita-l] Pitrupaksha questions

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Wed Sep 28 12:24:17 CDT 2011

> Thx Jaldhar for this post. I have wondered if when a grihasthsa, after vanaprastha takes sanyas, does that absolve his son from performing shraddha. It appears not. However, does the shraddha observance occur at time when father takes sanyas or after death, which the son may not know ? This scenario nowadays is rare. But my maternal uncle's father in law took sanyas after passing through the ashramas. Apparently he took sanyas from Sringeri Shankaracharya or one of the affiliates.

I would caution against equating the GYAnin with saMnyAsin in the excepts that Jaldhar
posted from the Sringeri Acharya. The question asked was not about a person who has
formally taken saMnyAsa and the answer was given accordingly. The Sringeri Acharya
would have been the first to acknowledge that a saMnyAsin is not necessarily a jnAnin
and that all jnAnin-s did not necessarily take to ritual saMnyAsa.
As you note, it is a rare case nowadays when someone renounces formally late in life.
As for any SrAddha, whether it should be done, how and when, I doubt if anyone on 
this list can provide a definitive answer. In many of these scenarios, what seems as a
reasonable inference to us turns out to be quite otherwise from a different perspective.
It is like case law, precedent and procedural codes informing the process and verdict
in a courtroom, not just abstract constitutional principles, to make a contemporary
comparison. I would urge that in specific cases, expert advice should be sought from
someone who is steeped in the tradition and lives it daily. That may not happen on
this list!

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