pitru tharpanam

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Tue Apr 23 23:44:53 CDT 2002

Remember a while back you posed the question of how to reconcile the
philosophical idea that we are responsible for our own karma with the idea
that shraddha is necessary to maintain the Pitrs in their heavenly
position?  Well, the other day I got to meet an old firend of our families
who though by profession a businessman, is very knowledgeable about our
shastras.  Amongst the questions I asked him was the one you asked.  I
think you might find his answer interesting.

First he said I was mistaken in assuming that karma is completely a
personal affair.  He gave some examples.  During a yajna, depite the fact
that Agni receives the offerings, we don't just say Agnaye svaha, we say
Shivaya svaha, Vishnave svaha etc.  Because Agni is just the carrier
(Vahni) Or if we do some puja, the yajamana gets the punya, not the
purohit who performs it despite being the one who actually does the
"work."  And it was an ancient belief that the prosperity of a country
depended on the virtue or lack thereof of its' king.

He said that according to our philosophy the lifespan shouldn't be counted
from birth to death but from birth to rebirth.  The Pitrs may lack the
physical sharira but they still have the karana sharira (causal body) and
thus can be kartrs.  The Pitrs have laid a rna (debt) on grhasthas to
perform the shraddha so a son is merely an agent and the phala of the
karma goes to them.  Thus if the shraddha is not performed, the pitrs are
unable to sustain their place in Heaven and fall to Hell.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

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