[Advaita-l] Doubt related to pitr karya

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Jul 16 05:54:39 CDT 2012

On Sun, Jul 15, 2012 at 8:32 PM, Abhishek Madhyastha
<abhishek046 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Pranams,
> The pitr karya is done by the sons of the deceased father. To my
> knowledge the deceased one is supposed to come in the form of crows
> and receive the offerings. But what if the deceased one has already
> taken another birth and what if one has achieved moksha(I speak with
> respect to liberation in the advaita sense). What happens in such
> cases?
> Regards,
> Abhishek Madhyastha

Dear Abhishek,

Here is an excerpt from the book 'Yoga, Enlightenment and Perfection' from
a dialogue between HH Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati SwaminaH and Sri
Srinivasa Sastry (who later became HH Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha SwaminaH) of
Sringeri Peetham:

//Paramacharyal explained that shraaddha (a rite performed for the deceased
parents) is an obligatory duty that* purifies the performer*.  He
emphasized that the manes *(pitRs) do not sustain themselves exclusively on
the pinDa* (ball of cooked rice) that is offered during the shraaddha
ceremony.  He went on to add that the stories found in texts like the
Mahabharata about the necessity of offspring are not meant for advanced
spiritual aspirants who have strong dispassion.//  (emphasis mine for the
purpose of this post)

We have the scriptural injunction: deva-pitR-kAryAbhyAm na pramaditavyam
[one should not fail to perform the duties towards the Gods and manes]
Following this injunction will develop favorable samskaras in the kartA.
That the pitRs will starve if the pinDa is not offered is a kind of a ploy
to make the wayward putra to apply himself to seriously perform the
shrAddha karma.  In the sampradaya, even in the case of sannyasins and
jivanmuktas (after their death), the family people continue to perform the
shraaddha in some or the other accepted form regularly.  It brings about
sat-samskaras to the doer, as the Acharya says above.


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list