[Advaita-l] Pitrupaksha questions.

Srikanta Narayanaswami srikanta.narayanaswami at yahoo.com
Sat Oct 1 07:33:21 CDT 2011

> 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
Mr.Vidya shankar,now I understand your view.You are living in the U.S where the Purohits live and take their dakshina in dollars.Dont you know that before venturing  on haranguing on the the system of karma performance,you are living in a 'mleccha'country where performing karmas is not only prohibited in the sastras,but also will incur other doshas.I know a Purohith who was very dedicated in the place where I live in India,who performed all rituals scrupulously.He performed both apara karmas and shubha karmas.A few years ago he some how obtained a Visa and migrated to U.S.There he started a temple and performed all rituals for those in US,and earns in Dollars!But,it is not a karmabhumi.The sankalpa says :Bharatha vershe,Bharatha khande,karma bhumau,.meroh,dakshine parshve,vyavaharrike followed by that Chandramana or sauromanena,etc.The very sankalpa gets violated in US.Further that "Mleccha"desha is not clean conducive to perform even apara karmas.Iam
 bringing the point of dana and dakshina to the Purohith is to focus your attention that giving dana dakshina is also part of the karma performance.there are specific and definite rules in the "Dharmasastra"on the gifts.A Purohith cannot  walk away jolly-free after the karta gives the dana and the Dakshina.In the obsequies,there is 'Godana"which has many "Mantras"to be chanted by the Karta along with the Purohitha.What is said here is the actual 'Godana"and not just its equivalent.Actual pavithrams in God and silver has to be given as dana,not its prototype as is done now a days.In every way what is done by the Purohiths is detestable and will incur not only Pratyavaya,but all types of other doshas.It is better not to perform any karma there.
Further you have said that it is necessary to perform karmas for cittashuddhi is performed nishkamya karma paves the way for nishkamya.But a person still needs Upadesha from a Guru to attain that Jnana.That a-kar
trtva will come only if he realises the limitation of Karmas and their limitations.
"You have said I hesitate to put some words at this juncture,because it may get  very personal and sound quite offensive.Suffice it to say if one were a true Jnani he need not perform funeral and need not perform annual shraddha"
I donot understand what is the implication of this statement:Farther from sounding very personal it sounds more threatening!Is there a scope and no hold on issuing such statements.?I never said performing the funeral to a departed parent is wrong.It must be performed by one who calls himself a son.Even SriShankara Bhagawathpada performed the cremation of his ,mother though the Purohith class stood against him.So,even from the days of SriShankara these Purohiths were exploiting and harassing the people!
Regarding the dawning of Jnana one neednot wait for it to come after 100 years performing karma,but it may dawn on any stage of life.It doesnot mean one has to perform the karmas 'Yavajjivam".
I would like to bring to your attention that the topic under discussion is on the performance of "Nitya naimittika karmas"and not to digress from it.Unfortunately you have gone away from the point and taken the statements rather disjointedly.You also seem to repeat statements without any significance!
It is good that you have decided not to respond further!

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