Devayana and Pitriyana

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Apr 8 11:32:21 CDT 1998

  Vivek Anand Ganesan wrote:

>   Could someone please explain to me what "DevayAna" and "PitriyAna"
>mean?  I understand that these terms are dealt with quite extensively
>in the vedas.  Is this true?  Also, I have heard explanations that
>these  -"yAnas" are the precursors of the -"Yogas", -"Margas" like
>Bhakti-Yoga, Jnaana-Yoga etc., which came later.  Can this be

 Devayaana which means the path of the gods, and PitR^iyAna which
 means the path of the manes, are indicated in the upanishhads.
 For example, the BR^ihadAraNyaka (6.2.15 and 6.2.16) says that
 those who meditate on the five fires and the satyabrahman reach
 the world of HiraNyagarbha (brahmaloka) eventually by the path
 of the gods. Those who perform yajnas, give away gifts, and
 undergo penances, eventually reach the world of chandra (moon),
 by the path of the manes.

 The path of the manes is clearly identified as those who take up
 the karma mArga, not necessarily karma yoga which involves giving
 up the fruits of actions. As such, those who take the path of the
 manes and reach the world of chandra will have to be reborn on the
 earth after their merits have been exhausted.

 The path of the gods is slightly better because those take it
 are supposed to live in brahmaloka for a large number of years and
 then be reborn in another yuga or time cycle.

 Those who do take neither the path of the gods nor the path of the
 manes are reborn as insects, moths, mosquitoes, etc. and lead a
 lowly existence on earth.

 Shankara in his Brahma suutra bhaaShya has referred to these topics
 from the BR^ihadAraNyaka.

 Regarding the yogas, karma, bhakti, and jnAna, I think a clear
 indication is in the Giitaa which itself is considered to be a very
 ancient text.


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