[Advaita-l] Pitrupaksha questions.

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Fri Sep 30 10:02:11 CDT 2011

> I am seeing from your posting above,that you are repeating the same answers you are saying,

Unfortunately, Sri Srikantaji, this holds true more for you than for anyone else on the list! i.e.
repeating the same things that you have already said before.
>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.
On the contrary, you have not understood the context in BG Bhashya at all. bhagavatpAda's
stance about pratyavAya dosha and its absence is meant with respect to those who have firmly
renounced ALL karman. It pertains to the saMnyAsin, not to the gRhastha. Please read the gItA
and the bhAshya carefully, at least once again. The opponent argues that NOBODY can renounce
karmA, because of the possibility pratyavAya dosha through non-performance of nitya-naimittika
karmA-s. Sankara bhagavatpAda's answer is that no such dosha applies to the one in whom 
even the kartRtva is absent or to the one who has renounced ALL karmA. 
Your stance implies that none of the Sankaracharya-s within our living memory have understood
their own paramparA guru in this matter. It would have been the easiest advice to say, "you have
already come to vedAnta, you don't need to perform any nitya or naimittika karmA-s, no pratyavAya
dosha will apply to you" when asked about these matters by men and women of the world. On the
other hand, they have kept emphasizing the citta-Suddhi that is a pre-requisite for even starting
upon vedAnta vicAra and the fact that this arises from diligent performance of nitya-naimittika
karmA with due SraddhA. You sir, are saying that they have ALL been wrong about this, but this
is because you seem to have no place for the spectrum of adhikAra among human beings who
can talk and write about vedAnta.
> 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!
I am glad that you at least state that this is "beside the point" but you sir, again repeat the same
things that you have said before. I, too, performed my father's antya karmA fifteen years ago. Our
family's elderly purohita and his son performed it in an exemplary manner. Not once did they ask
me or my brother for additional dakshiNA, not once did they exhibit any lack of dedication. On the
contrary, they went out of their way to help us with every single detail. And let me assure you,
they are not fat, either through my feeding them or other kartA-s feeding them. As for gifts, please
remember, "dAnaM yajnAnAM varUthaM dakshiNA loke ... dAne sarvaM pratishThitaM tasmAd
dAnaM paramaM vadanti" (mahAnArAyaNopanishat, taittirIya).
In the USA, where I currently live, I have again come across sincere and dedicated professionals
of the purohita class. There are young and old purohita-s, even in this country, who do not check
their cell phones for text messages in the middle of a ritual and who do not demand exorbitant
dakshiNA from people. To date, I have not been asked for a specific amount of dollars before or
after any event, whether it is my father's annual SrAddha or my daughter's naming. Of course, I
am not saying that every single purohita in this world is of that caliber. What I am saying is that
there do exist purohita-s whose dedication and behavior are of the highest standards. Yes, there
are those too, who behave exactly in the opposite manner, but then, you as a kartA always have
the choice to shun those who are not up to standard. You do have the choice to approach only
those of whose dedication and expertise you can be confident.
Finally, whether or not a purohita is getting fat on the dAna and dakshiNA given by people is
completely irrelevant to the basic question of whether a given individual is ready to renounce ALL
karmA or whether he or she is still in need of developing citta-Suddhi through nishkAmya karmA.
It is not about the purohita; it is all about the kartA and his need to realize intrinsic a-kartRtva.
I hesitate to put some things in words at this juncture, because it can get very personal and sound
quite offensive. Suffice it to say that if one truly a jnAnI (i.e. a vedAnta-vijnAna suniScitArtha), then
one does not need to even perform a funeral (forget about the annual SrAddha) for a departed
parent and one does not need to engage purohita-s to do these rituals and one does not need to
exhibit either ill-will or good-will towards them. 

That's it; no more responses from me to you on this thread.

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