[Advaita-l] Childless going to naraka

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Nov 11 00:26:53 CST 2016

Dear Sri Vishnu,

First, be assured that the statement you have in mind does not mean what it
says.  Sri Shankaracharya, in his Prabodhasudhākara, has clarified on this
vedic passage thus:

Quoted from the Book 'Yoga, Enlightenment and Perfection' p.27/28:

The context of this discussion in that book is:  Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha,
the 35 Pontiff of the Sringeri Peetham, before sannyasa, when he was 13
years, had posed some questions to a scholar in Sringeri.  One question is:

(iii) I have heard that when one is born, immediately a set of debts
accrue to one. Some of these are repaid by serving one’s parents,
some by worshipping the devas and yet others *by begetting progeny.* Is
this indeed the state of affairs?

In reply to that came the following clarification, although not directly
sought from the Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekhara  Bharati Swaminah:

loko nāputrasyāstīti śrutyāsya kaḥ prabhāṣito lokaḥ ।
muktiḥ saṁsaraṇaṁ vā tadanyaloko'tha vā nādyaḥ ॥14 (II.35)

(The Veda says that “loka” is not there for one bereft of a son. What is
that loka? Is it liberation or transmigration or another world? It
cannot be the first one.)

Paramacharyal then asked Vaidyanatha Sastry to recite the next two
ślokas of the Prabodha-sudhākara and give the meaning. The verses

sarve'pi putrabhājastanmuktau naiva saṁsmṛtir-bhavati ।
śravaṇādayo'pyupāyā mṛṣā bhaveyustṛtīye'pi ॥15 (II.36)
tatprāptyupāya-sattvād-dvitīyapakṣe'py-aputrasya ।
putreṣṭyādika-yāgapravṛttaye vedavādo'yam ॥16 (II.37)

Sastry gave the overall meaning on the following lines:

It cannot be said that begetting a son confers liberation. This is because
not all people who have sons have attained the exalted state.
Further, if mere procreation were to yield emancipation, then the cycle
of transmigratory existence itself would cease since numerous people
do have children. A son cannot necessarily be the cause of
happiness in this world and the next. The reason is that to attain a
higher world, the Veda prescribes the performance of special rites,
such as the jyotisṭoma. It does not explicitly declare begetting of
progeny as constituting the means. The Veda clearly proclaims that
wealth, progeny and the like cannot serve to confer liberation. Only the
realisation of the Ātman, by hearing the Truth, cogitating upon It and
focusing one's mind on It, yields immortality.

*Utterances of the Śruti to the effect that a son is essential should*
*be understood as merely eulogising the performance of sacrifices, such*
*as the putreṣti.* The putreṣti-yāga serves to obtain a son. To induce
people who have a desire for children to perform it, its importance
is stressed. The Veda, which is like a mother, certainly does not intend
to compel one without desires to perform such sacrifices.


So, the conclusion is: the statement that 'there is no loka for the
childless (son-less) is a mere eulogy, arthavāda, and not literally true.
The worship, etc. that you perform will never go waste on the assurance
given by Sri Krishna in the Bh.Gita 6th chapter:  nahi kalyāṇakṛt kaścit
durgatim tāta gacchati  - The doer of noble deeds will never go to

Mukti depends on other qualifications and definitely not on being endowed
with a son.  In fact the mithyā abhimāna 'I am a father' is an impediment
to mukti.


On Fri, Nov 11, 2016 at 6:48 AM, Vishnu Guru via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Respected pandits,
> I am childless.when referring puruna it says person who have no son will go
> to punnama naraga and that too eternal.i am doing daily japas,pooja and
> self enquiry.but always this naraga causes me fear.what is take of advaita
> Vedanta on punnama naraga.is there any way mentioned in our scripture to
> escape from this naraga. Please help me on this
> I also want to know advaita take on childless couple.do they have chnace to
> attain mukti
> Pranams
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