B.J. Ganesh prasad bjganeshprasad at YAHOO.COM
Sat Jun 17 23:50:55 CDT 2000

Hari om,

In reply, to your question, which is a highly debated one, I can think of
the following.

Hinduism, bases itself on the Shrutis amd Smrithis. Particularly, Manu

Manu, makes it an obligatory duty to perform shraddha on the children of the
deceased. Manu says that by doing so one increases his merit etc.....

Alternatively, we have the Grihya sutras and the shrouta sutras of the
vedas, which mention about shraddhas. These injunctions, even further
advocate the performance of a parvani shraddha, for agnihotris. Well, to put
it in simple words, an Ishti. The vedas proclaim, that the shraddhas have to
be performed and have made it into a naimittika karma.

Now for the question, whether one should give all these karmas and
concentrate on vedanta, which gives liberation from all karmas and mundane

Bhagavatpada Sri shankaracharya says in his Bhashyas,

Chittasya shuddaye karma, performance of karma, purifies the mind.

since, the vedas proclaim,

jnanadeva tu kaivalyam prapyate yena muchyate, i.e; moksha is through jnana
alone.... and how do u get jnana ? This is answered by the vedas again,

tametam vedanuvachanena Brahmana vividishanthi
yagnena daanena tapasa anaashakena....

here, tametam, according to Sayana bhashya means, moksha. Moksha, is
obtained as a result of jnana, derived from chitta shudhhi, which is
obtained by performing karma like yajna, daana, tapas etc....

However, it may be wrong to deduce the mimamsa way, that doing karma leads
to moksha, here karma, is an injunction for chitta shuddi, a primary
requisite for moksha. Acharyal, in his bhashya further says, so long as one
does not have an intense desire for liberation, one should perform karma.
This is echoed in the upanishads andthe bhagavad geetha.

Further, at this point we get a doubt, we all have a desire to get moksha,
so can we leave karma ?

This is answered by acharyal as that point when men are no longer interested
to dwell amongst their loved ones, earn money or desire wealth, but crave
only for liberation. A state of sanyasa indeed. This state alone, and not
Table philosophy regarding the atma, entitles one to leave karma. otherwise,
one is obligated to do them religiously.

iti kshama,

----- Original Message -----
From: S. V. Subrahmanian <svs_shankara at HOTMAIL.COM>
Sent: Sunday, June 18, 2000 3:34 AM
Subject: Shraardham

> This question that I am posing may not exactly relate to understanding of
> Advaita, but certainly falls within the purview of Vedas.  If
> members deem it fit to be replied, please do.  This question haunts me a
> lot.
> Is there any value/purpose behind the performance of Shraardham
> performed for departed ancestors) ?  If we read sacred texts (I have read
> only English translations), they say that everything  is the projection of
> the self....  the world is nothing but the projection of your own mind
> there is only one God (or only God)...  I am just quoting simple and
> convenient phrases which everyone must have read (I know I am not being
> specific here, but I hope you get my point).
> How does the theory of Advaita answer this ?  I know in one of the earlier
> threads we discussed about idol worship.  But I know that in South India
> performance of these rituals extract a lot of effort.  Does it have a
> philosophy behind it or is it the accretions of dead habits over a period
> time ?
> Is there any other alternative way of showing our gratitude to our
> sanctioned by the Vedas ?
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