[Advaita-l] Pitrupaksha questions.

Srikanta Narayanaswami srikanta.narayanaswami at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 30 04:06:47 CDT 2011

Please read the very beginning of the kaThopanishat. Naciketas first questions his father about
the quality of ritual gifts being given (old, non-productive cattle). Only then does he go to Yama. 

> 2)You are wrongly quoting me in the choice of Purohits.You have just picked up sentences without seeing the context.

No, I am absolutely going by what you wrote in your earlier mails. Again, your experience with
the priests at your mother's funeral rites is, I think, unfortunate. I, on the other hand, have seen
nothing but very high quality of SraddhA, expertise and behavior on the part of purohita-s and
dAna recipients whom I have come across. In any case, lack of dedication, expertise etc. or an
abundance of these qualities on the part of one or even a hundred or thousand purohita-s are
quite independent of the philosophical positions involved here. I object to (a) your denigration
of all mImAMsaka-s as "parasites" or commercially minded, and (b) your blanket statements
regarding karmA and jnAna that do not properly take adhikAra into account.

> 4)while it is the duty of the advaita list is to highlight Advaita siddhanta,I find there is more emphasis on only karma
>and the rituals,which will not take us further.So,there should be more space for discussing the topics on Jnana.

That again is a very different problem of perception. While I wouldn't say that every list member
here is focused only on jnAna, I think the list discussions by and large serve the purpose for the
existence of this list. In any case, if you have concerns about this, the answer lies not in the kind
of attack that you have done on vaidika karmA, its performance and its ritual specialists. What
most of your respondents have found unacceptable in your posts is your rejection of vaidika karmA
even within its own proper sphere of applicability. I think you will find that no one finds any fault
with the statement that moksha is not a result of any karmA. However, dharma is a separate
purushArtha from moksha and that is what you don't seem to account for.

> 5)My discussions on SriShankaraBhagawath pada and the importance of studying and assimilating the books by Sri shankara Bhagawathpada stems from the reply of some of the list subscribers who stick to their point of view irrespective of me pointing out on the contrary.These list members seem to stick to their views even if it is brought to their notice the Sri Shankara's upadesha on these relevant points.They seem to stick to only the Karma siddhantha which is not any where found in the Bhagawath pada's bhashyas.

If you read carefully through the most recent responses to you from, say Sri Praveen Bhat or 
Sri Krunal Makwana, to name just a couple of these list members, it is very clear that they do
NOT stick to karma siddhAnta, but they do not think that you correctly represent Sri Sankara
bhagavatpAda's views on the matter either. And it so happens that a number of others see it
the same way, but then, the opportunity to exchange views is what this list's purpose is. I don't
think any of us here should have any illusions that others always have to change their views
based on what we write. But we should always be open to the notion that we are perhaps
wrong about some things and be open to the possibility of being corrected. If it happens, well
and good, but such an event should be based on the inherent strengths of the arguments and
To Vidya shankar
I am seeing from your posting above,that you are repeating the same answers you are saying,I would like to bring to your attention on a proper perspective.What I am saying is this:
From the discussions that we find in the B.G and the commentary of Shankara(I hope you are following that.
In the B>G verse on the performance of karmas,nitya,naimittaka,Sri shankara has the following discussions.whether nitya,naimittaka karmas have to be performed,he takes into question a vrttikara (Chapter 4,I have quoted earler the full discussions on this topic)that nitya,naimittika karmas must be performed,the discussion is on this.
Sri shankara(I hope we have SriShankaraBhagawath pada as our Guru,if it is any other guru,I will not bother to answer that question),says that there is no pratyavaya dosha.If it is not for pratyavaya dosha then it is not for other karmas.this is what I have said.Has it been followed.
Mr.Vidya shankar,I take strong exception to what you have commented on my mother,s funeral.If you have seen exception priests then it is your lookout.You are free to feed them and give danas etc.and make them fat.But,that is beside the point.I would like to point out to you that there is not even an iota of dedication on the purohit class.If it is not so then what is the purpose of performing the obsequies on the part of the karta.You are just closing your eyes to what is being performed.It is not gifts wemust give to the Purohits,but its eficient and proper performance!
Few years ago,the funeral was being performed by arranging a funeral pyre and mantra etc.Now,everything is over with the press of a button.What if it is there!We have buttons by our side for every thing. we have Cell phones,pagers,on the part of Purohits who perform many funerals and shraddhas on a single day!What we are missing are Conveyor belts,which move the corpses in the same fashion as products in a factory.
SriShankara never hoped to have such a set up as this.The importance he gave is not for karma as some of the postings suggest,but to realise the place of Jnana.If karmas are meant to be the be all and the end of Hindu dharma,no one will be left to follow the dharma.The Jnana khanda is also Vaidika,it is not non-vaidika.Infact,it is deeper than the karma kandha.Iam not attacking Vaidika on that basis.I find in most of the postings as quoted by you,I am seeing only performance of karmas,only on the perfornce and not on its sifnificance and a greater understanding!From the responses of Krunal makwana,Pravin Bhat and also your response,I am seeing that they are not giving significance to Sri shankara Bhagawathpada's,since they are giving emphasis only to karmas and their performance.If it were so we would not have seen these discussions in his commentary.Every time I point out this,they are quick to respond to my view points.
By what you write,it seems you are bent on changing my views,much less to put the discussions on a proper perspective.While discussing we must not forget that Sri shankara i his commentaries has also discussed the place of Jnana in our daily performances.It is actually karmas he derides in his commenataries.otherwise,if it is blind performace of karmas,then his writings on Jnana would be of no use.I still hope that the list follows Srishankara as a Guru!

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