[Advaita-l] puNya for mentally challenged individuals
raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 16 09:48:54 CST 2013
Thank you very much for the responses.
On Mon, Dec 16, 2013 at 12:07 PM, V Subrahmanian
<v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>wrote:
> On Sun, Dec 15, 2013 at 2:48 PM, Raghav Kumar <raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
> > Om
> > Does a mentally challenged individual get the result of a karma like dAna
> > or a pUja or other karma done in his name by some other person like a
> > guardian. Is there any sAshtra reference to such cases. Or any purANic
> > anecdote which clarifies this.
> > (To elaborate: Performance of karma needs a sankalpa on the part of the
> > individual. Even a yajamAna initiates karma by his own sankalpa and so
> > purohita who is appointed to execute vaidika karma does not get the karma
> > phala - rather the yajamAna gets the karma phala. There the situation is
> > clear. And Jaimini Dharma Sutras etc make this quite clear.
> > But in the case of a mentally challenged individual (or even an infant
> > that matter), the situation is different. Will dAnam or some other karmas
> > done in their name accrue to them - that is the question. Intuitively we
> > may say 'yes.'. But are there any clear sAshtra or purAna reference
> > deal with this question - specifically of dAnam done in the name of a
> > mentally challenged individual or an infant. There is also another
> > aspect,i.e., popular notion is that a child below five years does not
> > incur any pApa for vidhi infringements. Does this have any implications
> > the question raised above.)
> We have what are known as 48 samskaras.
> The first few are with reference to the child, even before its conception,
> from the parental union itself. In these early samskaras undoubtedly the
> child is not even aware of these being done. It certainly does not have
> the kartRtva bhAva. Yet they are meant for the child. The parents alone
> do the sankalpa but the benefit of the karma, the samskara, is addressed to
> the child.
> Regarding the case of mentally retarded, here is an incident:
> // A goshAla worker working in the Mutt (Sringeri) had a large family to
> support and he was finding it difficult to make ends meet. Added to all
> this, his second son was deaf, dumb, blind, lame, etc. He was just a ball
> of mud, the worker felt. Everything for the boy had to be done by somebody
> else. The worker did not know whether the Upanayanam should be performed
> for him or not. Some Pandits whom he consulted were not able o give a
> definite answer and so he decided to consult Acharyal Himself. The
> Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha SwamigaL patiently listened to his tale
> of woe and said, 'Upanayanam should be performed, but because the boy
> cannot perform his nityakarma, it will be suffice if you do some extra
> Gayatri Japam daily on his behalf.' Not stopping with this, Acharyal went
> out of His way to see that the Upanayanam was conducted at the Mutt
> itself. He arranged for a priest, and provided a place, pelf and even food
> for the conduct of the function. He did despite His busy schedule during
> the Sri Shankara Jayanti celebration. //
> Quoted from the book 'Divine Discourses'.
> I have also noticed a case where the sandhyavandanam itself in its entirety
> being performed by a shishya for a Guru who was laid up in Hospital.
> Underlying all this is the role of prArabdha too. If the person involved
> is endowed with favourable prArabdha, despite the mental retardation or
> other disability, the good that is destined to come to him can and will
> come through the agency of others. He will be endowed with good parents,
> well wishers, source of appropriate guidance, etc. all of which help this
> jIva in its spiritual journey.
> > I request your clarification.
> > Thank you
> > Raghav Kumar
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