[Advaita-l] puNya for mentally challenged individuals

Raghav Kumar raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Sun Dec 15 03:18:44 CST 2013


Does a mentally challenged individual get the result of a karma like dAna
or a pUja or other karma done in his name by some other person like a
guardian. Is there any sAshtra reference to such cases. Or any purANic
anecdote which clarifies this.

(To elaborate: Performance of karma needs a sankalpa on the part of the
individual. Even a yajamAna initiates karma by his own sankalpa and so the
purohita who is appointed to execute vaidika karma does not get the karma
phala - rather the yajamAna gets the karma phala. There the situation is
clear. And Jaimini Dharma Sutras etc make this quite clear.

But in the case of a mentally challenged individual (or even an infant for
that matter), the situation is different. Will dAnam or some other karmas
done in their name accrue to them - that is the question. Intuitively we
may say 'yes.'.  But are there any clear sAshtra or purAna reference which
deal with this question - specifically of dAnam done in the name of a
mentally challenged individual or an infant. There is also another
aspect,i.e.,  popular notion is that a child below five years does not
incur any pApa for vidhi infringements. Does this have any implications for
the question raised above.)

I request your clarification.

Thank you
Raghav Kumar

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