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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: drsundaram on June 01, 2014, 08:11:16 AM

Title: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: drsundaram on June 01, 2014, 08:11:16 AM
 I request all readers to give a patient reading of this post [ sent to me by friend of mine] so that they I and he will comprehend the truth and correctly understand.I apologies if my statement might sound shocking and rude to most of the well read members of this beautiful forum 
                                                                   *************
        Vedas are considered to be the highest authorities of  INDIAN PHILOSOPHY. In all the four VEDAS consisting of 20000 +  mantras there is no mention of after death rituals.
       
       " ANTYESTI or the final disposal of the dead body is the last of the SHODASHA SAMSKARAS described in the Vedas. Burning, burying , throwing in water,  leaving the dead body in the ground or high altitudes to be eaten by eagles etc are the usual practices.
 Vedas are silent after Antyeshti. They do not speak of the 14 day rituals which are widely practiced among traditional Hindus especially devout Brahmins. Also no ref to the Vaikunta samaradhana done on the 14th day of death of a person. This ceremony claims to give sadgathi or moksha  or liberation from all sins done during his/ her  lifetime and directly send him/her to VAIKUNTA the abode of lord VISHNU.
                     Even the followers of other gods and goddesses other than LORD MAHAVISHNU like shiva , parvathi,ganesha  etc who never chant the name of Vishnu during lifetime also want to enter Vaikunta after death !! Is it possible ? Is it so easy?
                  I am not  discriminating between devotees of LORE SHIVA OR LORD VISHNU or  devotees of OTHER GODS .  I have utmost respect for all forms of god not only of Hindus but also of other religions. I am only questioning whether getting liberation or moksha is so easy for any one irrespective of his / her karmas or ACTIONS  performed  while alive.
             If by performing Vaikunta samaradhana ,anybody can get salvation  why spiritual sadhanas, mantra japa, pooja , religious practices, charities etc  are required ? soon after the death, the 14 day ceremony would suffice !
        Can any body who leads an  adharmic or unpious life while living get moksha after performance of these rituals ? If yes, will it not violate the basic TENETS  OF THE LAW OF karma ?
           ;   The VEDAS, DASOPANISHADS, BRAHMA SUTRAS  and BHAGAVAD GITA do not agree with or accept the above rituals as helpful for the departed soul. It is only in the PURANAS  you can find stories of  such rituals being performed and  departed souls liberated. Due to high level of interpolation the Puranas  are not considered as authorities on spiritual matters. I strongly feel and believe that these  meaningless rituals & means  nothing.  Did these rituals became a source of exploitation in the hands of some vested  whose words mattered much in religious matters from times immemorial .
           ;  The following Gita verses make my point more clear .  verse 13 of ch 4 says , according to the guna, karma and svabhava of a soul it gets re birth in chatur varnas (NOT CASTES ) . Krishna says further, the souls by virtue of their Actions done in the past  lives create eligibility for being classified into any one of the  4 varnas and that the lord does not randomly select anyone for any Varna.
            Verse 23 of ch 7  says lower form of rituals are only for the dull headed ? alpa medhasas.
        Verse 25 of ch 9 says those who worshiplower forms of  gods do not get into higher levels after death. But , those who worship me i.e the supreme Brahman only get liberated. Those who do after death rituals like SHRADDHA ,  PITRU TARPANA for the departed nearest and dearest souls  etc  reach only PITRULOKAS . No mention is made of the dead people for whom all these rituals are done. At the most,  this  can give psychological satisfaction to the performer of these rites and a sense of relief from guilt feelings if any . for not looking after the departed ones with love and affection while living. It may also be  because of the thankfulness for  the departed ones for leaving behind  them inherited properties.
  Verse 4 of ch 17  speaks of devotees of sattvik, rajasic and tamasic dispositions  who worship  gods ,demigods, spirits ,demons etc respectively get those destinations only and never get liberated.
             Having Vedas as the yardstick , should we not reject / discard all AVAIDIC  RITUALS  for our own good, failing which we are wrongly lead and  exploited? 
            Since the  effects of after death rituals are  are not to be confirmed by the departed souls   this may remain an unresolved question for ever. Only people with analytical skill and wide reading of scriptures can accept the truth of my words.
   Rituals , if , for the dead body is useless and  if for the soul , it  is meaningless because SOUL is immortal ! !

                           NAHI    JNANENA SADRUSHAM  PAVITRAMIHA VIDYATHE ?.Gita verse  38    ch  4""

                                                             *********************
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on June 01, 2014, 10:37:44 AM
drsundaram,

Quote
Vedas are considered to be the highest authorities of  INDIAN PHILOSOPHY. In all the four VEDAS consisting of 20000 +  mantras there is no mention of after death rituals

Here is the verse from taittriya upanishad:

SathyAnna pramadhitavyam ,dharmAnna pramadhitavyam,kuchalAnna pramadhitavyam,bhoothyaina pramadhitavyam,svAdhyAya pravachanabyAm na pramadhitavyam,deva pitr kAryAbhyAm na pramadhi tavyam

deva pitr kAryAbhyAm na pramadhi tavyam-Swerve not(na pramadhi) from duty to the Gods and manes.

So,I am afraid your friend is totally mistaken and his claim of 20000+  mantras not containing any references to pitr karma goes up in air.For the Upanishadic(jnAna kAnda)Teacher is cautioning and advising the student to swerve not from all these kAryAms.

Has your friend done veda AdhyAyana?This is one of the best ways to get acquainted with the Vedas.We may build on this chanting later on with further understanding that goes into  spirit of the mantras.

What happens after Death?This is a subject that only people with occult knowledge can deal with authoritatively.I have access to such a rare Master-TGN and he is emphatic that the kAryams need to be done.The Sage of Kanchi,I deem is the supreme Master in these matters.He emphasizes that this must be done.I will deal with this a little later.I have already touched upon this in my posting of the TiruppAvai-how imprints of karmas are transferred after death.
We will deal with the samskAras as kAnchi mahAswAmi has expounded it in his inimitable fashion.

Namaskar.

Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: atmavichar100 on June 01, 2014, 01:33:23 PM
Quote
So,I am afraid your friend is totally mistaken and his claim of 20000+  mantras not containing any references to pitr karma goes up in air

When it comes to Vedic Mantras we need to understand that the current available Mantras is only a part of what was originally available and many Vedic Branches have been lost .  Kanchi Mahaswamigal did extensive work to see to it that what is available does not shrink further due to lack of people taking interest in preserving Vedas . When he was talking of preserving Vedas he was not talking just of preserving it in CDs/Printed books etc but in real human form through teacher student relationship .So when we claim some thing is missing in Vedas we have to first understand that we are basing our views only with regard to the available Vedic Mantras and not the Original set of Vedic Mantras .

Coming to the topic of doing rituals and ceremonies for the dead there is one view that these are basically designed by the selfish Brahminical priestly class to further their own interest . No doubt there is a lot of commercial exploitation of these rituals / ceremonies by the Priestly class but there are lot of people who also do these things sincerely and I go with what Sri Kanchi Maha Swamigal has said about how to do these rituals and ceremonies .

Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on June 01, 2014, 05:18:43 PM
Atmavichar/friends,

Quote
Kanchi Mahaswamigal did extensive work to see to it that what is available does not shrink further due to lack of people taking interest in preserving Vedas . When he was talking of preserving Vedas he was not talking just of preserving it in CDs/Printed books etc but in real human form through teacher student relationship.

I will share this incident here!I trust our friend drsundaram will not mind my sharing this!
drsundaram was in chennai ,less than a year back.He was attending a wedding of his niece.We were to meet at a convenient time and venue.On the day of the wedding he landed in chennai and we had a telephonic conversation in the morning.I had told him that I would call him in the evening (during the wedding reception)and would fix up time so that we could meet.I did call him and clearly heard the ring tone on my mobile,and as the battery was getting discharged,I put it on charge and did not pursue the matter any further.

I again called him the next day and after talking to him ,went and met him at the MRC kayAna mantapam,where the wedding had taken place.He told me that he was awaiting my call the previous day evening and I responded saying that I had infact called and not receiving a response,took it that he was busy with the marriage reception;and that was how I called him the next day in the morning.He showed me that there were no 'missed call' from my mobile!I was surprised,and when i checked my 'outgoing call' list,there was no trace of me having dialled his mobile.I surely did dial him and heard the ring tone!

Anyway,it was all for good.That day,as I landed there,he warmly welcomed me and made me sit-There was a Vedic sadas organized to bless the newly wedded couple .There were representations from all the 4 Vedas-and it was wonderful to listen to their chanting.In this sadas,there were a couple of persons who chanted the Rig vEda(if I recall right)and they announced that they were specially deputed to learn it from a solitary exponent of that Branch of Veda in the North west by Kanchi mahAswAmi!They went there as children and now they are grown up and in turn are teaching other students.
I thought that the 'missed call' that did not take place was worth all this drama for it landed me at just the right time at the right place to hear that wonderful chanting.
thanks to our friend drsundaram who made it possible .

Namaskar.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: atmavichar100 on June 01, 2014, 06:51:11 PM
Quote
In this sadas,there were a couple of persons who chanted the Rig vEda(if I recall right)and they announced that they were specially deputed to learn it from a solitary exponent of that Branch of Veda in the North west by Kanchi mahAswAmi

This is the real why many of the branches of Vedas were lost and how due to the timely arrival of Kanchi Mahaswamigal *on this earth some of the branches of Vedas  that were on the verge of dying were preserved and being now passed on to the next generation . No doubt today CDs , Pen Drives etc are available to store the Vedic Mantras . They can be useful for laypeople like us to listen but for Vedas to really be kept alive they need to have real humans taking interest in the same and follow the Guru Sishya Sampradaya to learn and pass it on to others . For those individuals who cannot be part of this direct Guru Sishya relationship best is to help support those who are doing this .

* : When I say that Sri Kanchi Mahaswaigal did lot of work in preserving the Vedic tradition ,I do not mean to say that no other Acharya / Individual /Institution did the same . Many people have contributed to the revival of Vedic Dharma in the last 100 years or so  in various ways  but since I am more aware of the role played by Sri Kanchi Acharya I am pointing this fact .
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Nagaraj on June 01, 2014, 06:53:48 PM
Talking about 'rituals' I felt, the english word Ritual does not really carry the the true essence of the sanskrit equivalent, perhaps due to over analyses and reanalyses over the ages. However, regarding the subject of ritual, life itself is a ritual, daily acts that we engage in casually are themselves various acts of rituals, exchanges of pleasantries, showing respect to the boss at work, taking oath in the government and so on, are all extensions of rituals. In deeper sense, all these are not required, but life without rituals will be barren and just animal instinct would prevail.

Pitru karyams, as we know it here, is known as Thanks Giving in the western world, So these rituals exist all over the world in various forms.

Rig Veda Mantras contain such excellent mantras that provide all guidance one may need in life. I know of Rig Veda Pandits who told me of a Sukta that they chant when a daughter in law enters the house of her husband for the first time, it expressed the conduct the bride is supposed to have towards her husband, father in law, mother in law and the conduct expected by the father in law, mother in law towards their daughter in law and so on. IN this way, the daughter in law is welcomed to her new home with promises and assurances and blessings.

The way we interpret the word 'Ritual' is very primitive, unfortunately it is unable to carry the weight of the essence of Vedic mantras.

The people of the yore lived very very closely with the nature, every so called rituals are perfect and the modern scientific bent of rationale can never seek to understand it. As the saying goes, where science ends, spirituality begins! Panchayatana Puja is one such excellent example, five naturally shappened stones are got from 5 different rivers which signify the 5 elements of nature, and the way of life of rituals is closely living with the nature. One has to imbibe the real spirit behind every act, without shradha or faith, everything will look barren and dry.

Talking about Animal sacrifices, it is a recorded state that eminent Advaita saint, Appaiah Dheekshitar has performed animal sacrifices as directed by the scriptures. IN the end. And again, we should never make a mistake of comparing the Karma Kanda with Jnana Kanda of the Vedas! To compare between the two is a folly.

I heard from some recently about some scientific reports coming after studies that the vedic homams that is performed to propitiate the Gods for rainfall with various ingredients that are added in the fire, goes up in the atmosphere in the form of smoke and they cause to bring about changes in the sky at various levels of atmosphere and is potent bring rainfall.

Even today, the famous Athirathra Maha yajna is being performed in kerala since thousands of years. Researches are going on.  the Agnichayana, a 3000-year-old ritual, the longest and the oldest surviving ritual of mankind, is performed in Panjal in Kerala. It is a 12- day ritual performed by Namboothiri Brahmins of Kerala. Long considered extinct and never witnessed by outsiders, the ceremonies require the participation of seventeen priests, preceded by several months of preparation and rehearsals.

(Further reading: http://www.scientificindians.com/culture/traditions/athirathram-%E2%80%93-the-oldest-vedic-ritual (http://www.scientificindians.com/culture/traditions/athirathram-%E2%80%93-the-oldest-vedic-ritual))

Let us leave the complicated parts, but i know of people personally, (many of you may do as well) whose life course of difficulties are alleviated by the performance of common homams such as Ganapaty Homam, sri Sukta Homa, etc.. If anything is performed with sincerity, one does really get help! Why even these? I know of persons whose life has changed for the better simply by offering coconuts to Lord Vighneshwarar, or even by simple chanting of Vinayagar Agaval.

Ramana Bhagavan says in Ramana Gita 1.22 ?The seeker of knowledge does not achieve his end merely by a study of scriptures. Without upasana there cannot be attainment for him, this is definite.?

I present some verses from Rig Veda that talks about Fathers, in context to Pitru Karyams.:

1. MAY they ascend, the lowest, highest, midmost, the Fathers who deserve a share of Soma-
May they who have attained the life of spirits, gentle and righteous, aid us when we call them.

2 Now let us pay this homage to the Fathers, to those who passed of old and those who followed,
Those who have rested in the earthly region, and those who dwell among the Mighty Races.

3 1 have attained the gracious-minded Fathers, I have gained son and progeny from Viṣṇu.
They who enjoy pressed juices with oblation seated on sacred grass, come oftenest hither.

4 Fathers who sit on sacred grass, come, help us: these offerings have we made for you; accept them.
So come to us with most auspicious favour, and give us health and strength without a trouble.

5 May they, the Fathers, worthy of the Soma, invited to their favourite oblations.
Laid on the sacred grass, come nigh and listen: may they be gracious unto us and bless us.

6 Bowing your bended knees and seated southward, accept this sacrifice of ours with favour.
Punish us not for any sin, O Fathers, which we through human frailty have committed.

7 Lapped in the bosom of the purple Mornings, give riches to the man who brings oblations.
Grant to your sons a portion of that treasure, and, present, give them energy, ye Fathers.

8 Our ancient Fathers who deserve the Soma, who came, most noble, to our Soma banquet,?
With these let Yama, yearning with the yearning, rejoicing eat our offerings at his pleasure.

9 Come to us, Agni, with the gracioug Fathers who dwell in glowing light, the very Kavyas,
Who thirsted mid the Gods, who hasten hither, oblation winners, theme of singers' praises.

10 Come, Agni, come with countless ancient Fathers, dwellers in light, primeval, God-adorers,
Eaters and drinkers of oblations, truthful, who travel with the Deities and Indra.

11 Fathers whom Agni's flames have tasted, come ye nigh: ye kindly leaders, take ye each your proper place.
Eat sacrificial food presented on the grass: grant riches with a multitude of hero sons.

12 Thou, Agni Jātavedas, when entreated, didst bear the offerings which thou madest fragrant,
And give them to the Fathers who did cat them with Svadha. Eat, thou God, the gifts we bring thee.

13 Thou, Jātavedas, knowest well the number of Fathers who are here and who are absent,
Of Fathers whom we know and whom we know not: accept the sacrifice well prepared with portions.

14 They who, consumed by fire or not cremated, joy in their offering in the midst of heaven,?
Grant them, O Sovran Lord, the world of spirits and their own body, as thy pleasure wills it.

Note: Again this Soma Juice is another controversy, i do not get into :D All i would like to say is that Soma Juice is not what it is commonly understood as.

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Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Nagaraj on June 01, 2014, 08:56:51 PM
Dr Sundaram, friends,

some more thoughts.

As mentioned in my previous post, there are many such similar suktas that speak of the oblation to the fathers and prayers to the lord of death Yama as well. But what is not to be found in the Vedas is how does one perform or show ones gratitude to the Fathers, but it is certain that the Karma Kanda of Vedas are very clear about the right of living, and Such a one is an"Aryan". Aryan is one word widely seen in the vedic mantras. Perhaps the highest ideal spoken about in the mantras.

This set of rules are laid down by Rishis such as Apasthamba and Gauthama in their Sutras, prescribe how one may show ones gratitude to various things in the nature, Gods, Fathers - the highest ideal of the Vedas. How respectfully and ideally an Aryan ought to live and offer ones Thanks giving is what so delicately prescribed in the rules as the ways.

The other things such as what was mentioned in your article about reaching vaikuntam etc.. are the fruits for the actions performed of the kartha for his sincerity. A feeling of "Contentment" and affirmation that yes, ones father after the death is going to higher realms and would not the son and the related people feel comforted to know that their fathers have not just disappeared but have reached the Gods abode and as a son, one offers repent for all one may have not performed knowingly or unknowingly his obligatory duties as an Aryan towards his Fathers. And to convey ones heartfelt gratitude to all that the Fathers have done to them, bringing up, etc.. So even in a mourning, the spirit of "Aryan" is not left out. The value of Aryan was above everything else. This was the vision of the Seers and the Rishis. This is what they had in their minds who formulated the samskaras

More apart the above spirit, the tarpanams, etc.. that are performed throughout the life is more towards oneself, to not forget the past about their fathers and most importantly, to oneself who would have to bear with the loss of ones father. Such acts such as offering tarpanam gives the performer a contentment, when performed in such a spirit that his fathers come and receive their offerings with full heart. These do have psychological motives as well.

Your articles also mentioned about persons of different faith and non believers if they also reach the goal such as Vaikunta. IN Gita Krishna has said: (4:11) says: 'Whatever and whichever way men approach Me, even so do I accept them; whatever paths they may chose finally lead to Me' And the Vedas as said before do not mention about religion or paths, they simply speak of highest ideal. Therefore Gita, sutras and puranas are never in violation against each other.
 
The Vedas do not speak about paths, they lay down the nature of an Aryan, to say so in brief. The highest ideal is spoken off in the Karma Kanda, How an Aryan leads his life, he offers his gratitude to various spirits, Gods, nature, fathers, the elements. Such was the connectivity ideal mentioned in the Karma Kanda.

How one is to achieve the Vedic ideal is shown by the Guru who has lived and seen what is stated in the Vedas. Only who has lived such an ideal alone can guide others. Such a one is Guru. The Guru came up with set of rules that people can follow and following which would nourish and kinder the spirit of "Aryan". They obviously cannot go and communicate to each person one by one. They set such standard way of living, that came to be known as Achara, samskaras, what we call tradition.

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Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Nagaraj on June 01, 2014, 09:23:17 PM
Dr Sundaram , friends,

finally in your article you mentioned

Having Vedas as the yardstick , should we not reject / discard all AVAIDIC  RITUALS  for our own good, failing which we are wrongly lead and  exploited? 

Yes, the Rishis have also provision for this too, when one attains the complete perfection so as to be absolutely unabusive of the nature and its resources where there is absolutely no giving and taking between one and the nature, when such a perfection is attained holistically, where one has truly become an Aryan, which is the highest Purushartha, for such a one, these samskaras are redundant. This is attained by virtue of passing through various stages of life. The Rishis came up with Sanyasa Ashrama, where one is absolved of any such duties and rituals. But even Sanyasis too have some other rules too a to live and conduct oneself.

But ordinary folks who are predominantly a Bhokta, enjoyer, who has been extensively consuming all of the nature and causing so much harm to the nature has no right to stop his duties, or rituals so to say, as these rituals are various ways of yajnas to give back to nature what we take from it. very body is obligated to perform the Pancha Maha yajnas 5 yajnas towards Rishi Yajna, Deva Yajna, Manushya Yajna, Pitr Yajna and Bhuta Yajna.



What you says is primarily the siddhanta of Jains in a general way. Jina means conqueror. One who has conquered all the impediments to the highest ideal is a Jina, a perfected being. But it eventually turned out to become a separate religion eventually. But having become a separate way, which completely discarded the Vedas, God. came up with a similar set of samskaras eventually. Similarly Buddha too, who came separate from the Vedas and the samskaras came up with more or less similar samskaras eventually.

All paths cannot do away with rituals.

"A path is a ritual"

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Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Jewell on June 01, 2014, 10:40:35 PM
Dear Sri drsundaram,Friends,

I wish to share some of mine experiences and thoughts about this subject. In my country we have these rituals too. They are probably not the same,and we do not have a Vedas to follow instructions,but rituals of all kinds were always part of people here.
I now look on them like sort of prayer and thinking of that person,since i cannot tell what is a true practice(genuine one),and what is just added by all ppl here,by invaders,pagans,etc. There are some practices totally ridiculous and strange,and the thing is,there is no single person who knows how to do it,and there is no two persons who agree on same practice. I think that is something which happened in India too. Because of that,i follow these rituals in a way that this is a prayer from me for that person. I thought,whatever done with the thought of this man,will certainly help. About their real significance i cannot tell,so thats why i wont say that they are needed for sure. For me this is just giving a respect to that person.

Infact,this is something i came in touch again last and this year,since my grandma died. I was literally attacked from all sides,from all older women. Every single woman told me that i should do different thing than what previous woman said. One said it is like this in here village,other says it is not like this,next one does not agree with them... Complete craziness. In the moment when they suposed to take the coffin out,one grand ma approached me and said i should say:"You go your way,we wont come with you. ". ::) Sure,i did not want to say it,coz it sounds so ridiculous,rude and strange. And there was so many such things. In the end,i was looking them,myself,how we actually do not think of her at all,but about such silly things,would i put by her side towel or jacked,or who knows what else...

And then i realised one very valuable thing,these things we do when someone departs,i salute all of them if they are greeting to that person,but much much important thing is to love this person whille alive,to show love,to be kind and present. Only that truly matters! That is something i learned from all this. Like that also,that anything done with true heart have its fruits. Rituals or not,right or wrong,our heart and intention is most important.

And i will say,there is a truth in the words of your friend Sir,and there is a truth in words of all members here.

I guess,here we also need to discriminate very much,betwean the foolishess and true meaning of something.

[added later]
I wish to add one thing i totally forgot when posting,the most important part,about liberation and rittual considering the same. I also believe this is not possible,to chant some mantra for departed one,and he gets liberated. This truly sound absurd and does not have any sense. I really doubt it.

With love and prayers,
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on June 02, 2014, 02:13:29 AM
Friends,
Being grateful,thankful and all that is quite in order and will ensure freedom from personal grief- but that is not the key issue here.The key issue is to deal with the karmic burden of the departing soul -the fact that one is born implies that one has come with a baggage -and when departing a certain baggage gets carried.The departing soul depends on those with life links(close relatives like spouse,sons ,daughters)to share a part of this load(which ofcourse it has been doing during its life time as well).This needs to be absorbed by the relatives and towards this they need to follow discipline.particularly ,couples need to avoid sexual relations during this period immediately after death of the near one.This is to ensure that harmful karma does not get transferred to the offspring ,if the conception happens during this period.Instead of the grownups absorbing the karmic load,it may fall on the defenceless soul in the womb.
How do we know that the transfer of imprint has taken place?Soon we may get some thoughts in us which were not there earlier.It may be good thoughts -giving charity or taking to spiritual life.Or it may be adverse thoughts as well-It depends on the baggage that the departed one carried and what desires remain unfullfilled but were ready to manifest at that point in time.One has to be alert and deal with them appropriately.
The Karmas that are carried out are for the purpose of absorbing these imprints and act on them in an appropriate manner.Typically the Eldest son(well versed in the vedAs)is expected to deal with this-although others also share the load.
The Departed soul ,out of the body does take time to find its bearings and lightening the karmic burden frees it from being rooted to its past moorings.
There are more occult phenomena involved here.The padma purana (Sri aurobindo recognized that it is written by some one with good occult knowledge)deals with this subject.
Master TGN has touched upon this subject many a time .
I have given the essence of what he has said.More of it may be a distraction.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Nagaraj on June 02, 2014, 07:06:37 AM
Dear Sri Ravi,

I understand the importance of what you have mentioned very briefly is seldom found anywhere anywhere in books or does one openly talk about these.

I would be grateful if you can kindly write further on the issues of the karmas of departed souls. It would be nice if you mention what Master TGN has said about these and the ways one may overcome the same.

Thanks so much.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on June 02, 2014, 07:28:57 AM
drsundaram/Friends,

Quote
Since the  effects of after death rituals are  are not to be confirmed by the departed souls   this may remain an unresolved question for ever. Only people with analytical skill and wide reading of scriptures can accept the truth of my words.
Rituals , if , for the dead body is useless and  if for the soul , it  is meaningless because SOUL is immortal !

Just wish to add that no one performs last rites with the express purpose of securing mOksha for the departed soul.

To say that -only people with analytical skills and wide reading of scriptures can accept the truth of my words-is something that I do not know what to say!

For if anything and everything can be arrived at through analysis,there is no need for the vedAs.Further the Truth is not something that can be secured through reading and analyzing the scriptures.Sadhana is required for this-to verify the Truth first hand.

To say that-Rituals , if , for the dead body is useless and  if for the soul , it  is meaningless because SOUL is immortal !-is also something that I do not know what to say!

If the soul is immortal,then why do sadhana or read the Gita?

The Body,even though dead is to be given due respect;it has carried that soul thus far in the journey ,and deserves to be treated with honor and dignity.Part of the samskara is also to dissolve it into five elements-pancha bhootha.If a plumber or carpenter comes to our house and after fixing the tap or repairing a furniture,leaves the place with dust and grime all around and departs,will we accept it?Here,in this case,the departing soul is not in a position to dispose the body and this needs to be done by those close to it-its relatives or friends.

Later on ,I will post what kAnchi mahAswAmi has to say on this-How he insists on giving this treatment to even total strangers who have no one to take care.

I would request your friend to study Deivaththin kural(if he knows Tamizh)-Talks of kAnchi mahAswAmi or else,he may read the translation of the same in this blog(although this does not cover everything):
http://advaitham.blogspot.in/ (http://advaitham.blogspot.in/)

To learn the Gita is quite good but to understand it properly,a Guru and sadhana are required.This is what Sri Ramakrishna says :

MUKHERJI: "It is good to read sacred books like the Gita."

MASTER: "But what will you gain by mere reading? Some have heard of milk, some have seen it, and there are some, besides, who have drunk it. God can indeed be seen; what is more, one can talk to Him.

Different stages of spiritual progress
"The first stage is that of the beginner. He studies and hears. Second is the stage of the struggling aspirant. He prays to God, meditates on Him, and sings His name and glories.The third stage is that of the perfect soul. He has seen God, realized Him directly and immediately in his inner Consciousness. Last is the stage of the supremely perfect, like Chaitanya. Such a devotee establishes a definite relationship with God, looking on Him as his Son or Beloved."

Namaskar.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on June 02, 2014, 07:41:08 AM
nagaraj,

Quote
I would be grateful if you can kindly write further on the issues of the karmas of departed souls. It would be nice if you mention what Master TGN has said about these and the ways one may overcome the same.

TGN has given an exclusive talk on -'What happens after death' and the CD is available.He has given this talk quite a few times(may be 4 or 5 times).I never have been interested in this,and I did not listen to this talk,even though my mother-in-law had this CD.
Suffice it to say what I directly heard during one of his talks where by way of expounding something he touched upon this subject-'At one point in time,I wanted to know what happens after death;I started visiting all the burning ghats.There is not a single burning ghat in Chennai that I have not visited.The matter became clear to me and this is what I am telling you'.
Again he has said this regarding Meher Baba(He gave a Talk on this great soul as well).He said-"Meher Baba used to travel in a car;on the way ,if he encountered any funeral procession,he would get down from the car and accompany it to the burning ghat or burial ground.He had the ability to help the soul in its onward journey and he would extend it and return to his place'.

Yes,I will try to listen to that talk and share more details,god willing.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: drsundaram on June 02, 2014, 07:46:48 AM
thanks  to all my dear friends of this forum... shri ravi and others who are  sharing their beautiful, healthy thought. mr ravi i am astonished at your sharp memory power. nice going. what a learning. God bless us all.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on June 02, 2014, 07:59:02 AM
drsundaram,

Thanks for your kind words.How humble you are!Just wish to add one more thing-Regarding the Gita verses mentioned by your friend-Please refer to kAnchi mahAswAmi's talks that refer to these in the vedAs thread-'vedas and vedAnta-any conflict?' topic.That would clear the doubts your friend has raised.
I wish him all the very best.

Namaskar
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Nagaraj on June 02, 2014, 12:10:31 PM
Dear Sri Ravi,

The key issue is to deal with the karmic burden of the departing soul -the fact that one is born implies that one has come with a baggage -and when departing a certain baggage gets carried.The departing soul depends on those with life links(close relatives like spouse,sons ,daughters)to share a part of this load(which ofcourse it has been doing during its life time as well).This needs to be absorbed by the relatives and towards this they need to follow discipline.particularly ,couples need to avoid sexual relations during this period immediately after death of the near one.This is to ensure that harmful karma does not get transferred to the offspring ,if the conception happens during this period.Instead of the grownups absorbing the karmic load,it may fall on the defenceless soul in the womb.

Why i became interested in the above subject is because, as far as i knew, i felt ones Karma cannot be shared or transferred to other souls and each one has to face the consequences of ones own karmas. We see in the story of Valimiki, when as Ratnakar, was made aware of his misdeeds and because of which he would acquire negative karmas, Narada asked him to enquire with his family if they would share his load of bad karmas acquired, and when he realised that none would come forward to share, he surrendered to Narada for emancipation, and the rest of the story is known.

On the other hand, we have seen from Jnana perspectivem when it is asked why the children have to bear the burden of the karmas of their fathers, they said, the children are none but their own fathers.

I wonder if the karmas of the departed can be transferred to others. In the time of mourning, it does not befit a person to engage in activities of pleasures, it befits one to mourn for the departed soul. But I wonder beyond offering respects and ones duties to cordially finish the duties towards the body. The performance of Amavasya tarpanams thereafter, i learn that the offering of Pindams in spirit, would eventually reach the soul, which may be born in some other form in some place, and all the other good spirits involved in it.

But beyond this, i wonder how the bad karmas may be transferred to others. Yes, the antyesti samskaras ought to be performed in faith to help the soul reach its place, other wise it may result in what is called a pitru dosha, of not performing the antyesti karyam completely not helping the departed soul to complete its journey.

Each one is born with their karmas, In the Ramayana, (Rama to Bharata Sarga 106, Ayodhyakaanda, who had come all the way to Chitrakuta where Rama was residing inorder to bring Rama back to kingdom)

"Inescapable is separation, for just as drifting pieces of wood come together, in the boundless main toss around for a while and then drift apart. So do wives, children, relatives and riches. They remain together for some time to be separated again by the irresistible laws of destiny to which all life must bend and bow. In this changing world the common lot of not one man can ever be neither changed nor averted. Why lament for the dead, whom tears can never bring back. Like a flowing river life can never roll back to its source, and age with time marches onwards, relentlessly. Those who aspire to conquer the higher worlds must lead a life of compassion and obedience to the gurus, seeking only the pleasures that do not contradict the rules of dharma."

But, When one is born with ones share of Karmas and if one is born in such a birth which involves performances of karmas, duties enjoined in the scriptures, it becomes ones own obligatory karma to perform the karyas enjoyied in such a birth. If however one does not perform ones karyas such as Antyesti in proper manner and engages in non sanctioned activities during the period of such a karma, such a one would incur a sin of ignoring ones own duty, and it would be understood that the departed soul's karma is such that it does not receive its antyesti karma in full because of that souls karmas and it has to undergo the consequence till its expiation.

I hope i have been able to convey what i am striving to state or question in good spirit. Thank you.

--
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on June 02, 2014, 12:31:37 PM
Nagaraj,
I appreciate your question.I am posting here an excerpt from what I have done in TiruppAvai regarding Karmic imprints:

தாயைக் குடல் விளக்கம் செய்த தாமோதரனைத்   
thAyai kudal viLakkam seydha dhAmOdaran=He who illunined his mother's womb and is called 'damOdaran'


AnDAL is subtly introducing the doctrine of Karmic Imprints in these wonderful lines-The Embodiment of the jiva is the result of subjection to karmic imprints that are carried over innumerable births in the past into the Present and  carried forward into countless Future births-The wheel of Births and Deaths goes round and round until the momentum of Karmic load is lightened and finally disassociated and Dissolved.

TGN explains the Doctrine of Karmic Imprints as Follows:
The Very reason for an offspring to come into being in any family is to share a part of the imprint-burden of their parents.These imprints are garnered by each embodied soul(jiva)through his or her desires and deeds.The Life-energy is our soul otherwise known as 'spirit';and to learn about it is 'spiritual Knowledge'.The life-energy is only an agglomeration of ethereal particles filling the entire space of the universe and pure in its Native State.In Humans,it is under pressure like compressed air within the cycle-tube.Mind is only a projection of the life-energy;and it is the mind in the state of ignorance of its own origin and intoxication with sense-pleasures that hooks on to worldly persons and objects,gets into emotional moods and reaps the consequences of its deeds that are deposited as imprints on the soul.
Every Object has an inherent quality.A Quality could also be induced in it.Take Water for example.coolness inheres in it.you can pour it into a vessel and heat that container.What is the Result?it has become Hot water,the quality of Heat has been introduced into it.The heating of water calls for effort;but not the cooling thereafter.Take the vessel off the burner and leave it alone;the water automatically loses its heat and return to ambient temperature.
Likewise with the Life-energy.Imprints are foreign to it and so it seeks to throw them off.This can be done only through the Physical Body which is the container.Why so?The Imprints were acquired in the first instance by the soul only through the medium of the physical body.
All through a person's life the soul is engaged only in purging itself of the imprints;and this accounts for our pain-and-pleasure experiences.when the soul realises that a person would not be able to clear his or her burden in the remaining life-span,it has to bring in a working partner in the form of son or daughter.This is the basis for the urge for marriage and the subsequent pressure to bring forth progeny.Part of the parents' load is passed on to the next generation which,in turn,does whatever the parents did and harvests the same consequences.

continued....
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on June 02, 2014, 12:35:00 PM
karmic imprints continued....

One's arrival on this planet as the son or daughter in a particular family was not an accident.The Life-energy assembled for itself a physical body utilising which it projected as the mind in order to purge itself of the dross of imprints accumulated through countless births.The Obstacles to this endeavour are the negative imprints inherited as well as those added during the course of living in the years of spiritual ignorance.This burden differs in quantity and quality from person to person and hence the variation in the extent of progress registered by them at any given moment.
The Karmic imprints should be identified and those that are disadvantageous to the journey of the soul weeded out through diligent practice.The imprints surface in the mind as thoughts;whenever a thought arises,it should be evaluated before being translated into action.'Will my acting on this thought subserve the purpose of life or will it entrench me deeper in the quagmire I am already in?'-This is the question to which we have to find an answer each time ,on our own responsibility.If we assess that the implementation of a particular thought could cause harm or hurt to us or any other living being,either at present or at a later date,one should determine to abandon the thought.The Possible consequences one has tabulated should be consolidated into a new thought in order to counter the old one(Pratipaksha bhavana).This might have to be done day after day,until the original thought becomes attenuated and ultimately non-existent.The practice may sound assiduous but actually it is not so.It is less difficult than kicking the starter of the motorcycle in order to spur the engine into action.Lifting the mind out of the rut;once that is put in,the mind would run on its own motive power.This is why the Trained mind is one's best Guru.
Having understood this,all we have to do is to be in a state of awareness so that the purpose of embodiment of the soul be fulfilled without any let or hindrance.
An artisan picks up a rugged piece of raw wood and painstakingly gives it a neat shape on the lathe.He then colours it bright and fixes a sharp nail on it.A beautiful top is the resultwhich when whipped with a string rotates in a manner to gladden one's heart.It is in this manner that the Totality of Nature(Purna)is working on one ,as William shakespeare,in one of his super-conscious moments states:
"There is a Divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will"
We need to be conscious of the Divinity in which we live and move and have our being;and do nothing to disturb the rhythm of Nature.Life then would be a pleasant hike and the Goal will come within our ken.

continued...
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on June 02, 2014, 12:42:20 PM
Karmic imprints continued....

If we inherit the karmic imprints ,do we help our parents and forefathers to clear their karmic load and free them from the chain of transmigration?The answer to this is an emphatic yes.It depends on whether we work towards the clearing of the 'dues' or add to it.If we add to the load of imprints we not only have to suffer the consequences but will end up adding to the burden and passing it onto our offsprings who in turn have to suffer the consequences.This puts us under a two fold responsibility-to serve our parents and forefathers free themselves of the imprints,and also to ensure that we do not pass on adverse imprints to our children but only hand over assets that they in turn inherit and turn it into purposeful living serving the Totality of Nature.
TGN points out to verses in TirukkuraL to clearly bring this out:

தந்தை மகற்காற்று நன்றி அவையத்து
முந்தி இருப்பச் செயல்(verse 67)


A Father renders his Gratitude to his son
by making him foremost(jnAni)in a Gathering.

TGN points to the key word நன்றி-Gratitude;A Father is indebted to his son(or daughter)because the son has to carry a share of the load of imprints;he therefore has the Responsibility to guide the son to become a JnAni.

எழுபிறப்பும் தீயவை தீண்டா பழிபிறங்காப்
பண்புடை மக்கட் பெறின்(Verse 62)


Seven generations are rendered  immune from harm
in giving birth to a Noble child.


தம்பொருள் என்பதம் மக்கள் அவர்பொருள்
தம்தம் வினையான் வரும்(verse 63)


One's Wealth is one's progeny;for that wealth
is garnered by their deeds.

ஈன்ற பொழுதின் பெரிதுவக்கும் தன்மகனைச்
சான்றோன் எனக்கேட்ட தாய்

Greater the Rejoicing of the Mother than giving birth to the son;
it is to hear that he is a JnAni.

TGN points out that even a poor mother who already has several children is filled with Happiness and a sense of fulfillment when she gives birth to a new Baby;this is an unconscious lightening of the Karmic load that is transferred to the infant.Yet,Greater and permanent is the sense of fulfillment of such a mother when her child grows up and attains the purpose of living in attaining jnAna.

மகன்தந்தைக்கு ஆற்றும் உதவி இவன்தந்தை
என்நோற்றான் கொல் எனும் சொல்.(verse 70)

The Help that a son should render his Father
is to Elicit the word -'What penance the Father did to beget such a son'!

TGN clearly points to the way Sage Tiruvalluvar has used the words நன்றி Gratitude (in verse 67) and  உதவி Help (in verse 70)-this is in line with the science of Karmic imprints.Most of the spiritually ignorant Tamizh Pandits and scholars mix up this and interchange the use of words-Ignorant of the Science of Karmic imprints,they have commented that a 'son should be grateful to the Father'!TGN asks the Question 'Why?Did the son begged to be brought into this world process?!No,it is on account of the father's ineptitude to clear the Karmic Load that he brought in an offspring to share his Burden!He is the one who is indebted to his son!This is what Sage Tiruvalluvar has clearly Stated.'

continued....
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on June 02, 2014, 12:52:30 PM
karmic imprints continued....

தாயைக் குடல் விளக்கம் :By virtue of having given Birth to the Lord,the mother is purged of her karmic imprints.

தாமோதரனைத்:Lord Sri Krishna allowed himself to be tied by a thick cord by Mother Yashoda.This shows his accessibility.The Lord is bound by the cord of Love.
Be it Krishna, Adi Sankara or Ramakrishna,Chaitanya or Ramana-They were bound by the Love of Mother.

தூயோமாய் வந்து நாம் தூமலர் தூவித் தொழுது
தூயோமாய் வந்து thooyOmai vandhu Having purified ourselves (Please see verse 2)if we approach

தூமலர் தூவித் தொழுது thoomalar thoovith thozhudhu if we sprinkle fresh flowers and worship

Flowers are symbolic of freshness and purity-Like this,our thoughts of devotion are pure and Fresh and not just  an act of Routine ritual.Our act of worship should be an expression of this Devotion.

வாயினால் பாடி மனத்தினால் சிந்திக்கப் vAyinAl pAdi manathinAl sindhikka singing with our mouths paens spontaneous,with our minds steady in contemplation

This may be either in our words or the wonderful compositions of The Great ones-The Key thing is that it should come from deep within us.This keeps the mind in Steady contemplation.

Our Lady AnDAL is giving a wonderful and simple method that is accessible to one and all-It is to harmonize our act,words and thoughts in the act of worshipping the Divine whose very Nature is Love.

போய பிழையும் புகுதருவான் நின்றனவும்  தீயினில் தூசாகும் pOya pizhaiyum pugutharuvAn ninRanavum theeyinil thoosAgum
then the sins of our past and those yet in store for us would be reduced to nothing,even as dust-specs  are annihilated in the Blazing fire
.

This is AnDAL's assurance to the earnest seeker

This is how Lady AnDAL is teaching as to how to overcome all karmic debts.
We may see this in operation in the life of Sri Bhagavan-how generations of his relatives had to become wandering Andis,and how the imprint ended with Sri Bhagavan.
TGN also points out how the chain of succesive generation gets thinned and comes to naught once Self Realization is attained by anyone.

What about people who are childless?TGN takes up this aspect also and points out that they need to pay more attention to the clearing of imprints and be prepared to go it all by themselves.More later.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Nagaraj on June 02, 2014, 01:34:28 PM
Thank you Sri Ravi, the series of posts were truly enlightening. One thing is quite clear, that each one recognize and fulfill ones armic responsibilities towards his duties responsibly and diligently. I thoroughly enjoyed reading these series of posts with regard to the subject in discussion.

--
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: atmavichar100 on June 02, 2014, 02:23:18 PM
Thanks Sri Ravi for continuing to share Sage TGNs views on Karmic Imprints and how it gets transferred from Parents to Children and how one needs to get rid of the same .
One question I have here . We have seen / heard about cases where the couple are very pious and devoted but have a son who is highly notorious and people say that the parents are good but the son has inherited these  negative traits form his Uncle ( either father's side / mother side ) .So how  can this be explained ? Are imprints to be taken to be the collective imprints of the whole family ( parents , grandparents , cousins , uncles , relatives and extended relatives etc etc )  and not just the  imprints of the couple in question ?
In this regard I wish to point out one incident in Kanchi Mahaswamigal's life about a boy whose father was a great Vedic Scholar but his son was smoking Cigarettes and taking alcohol and even though Kanchi Mahaswamigal advised him to mend his ways he ran away refusing to mend his ways and no idea what happened to him later  ( This incident was discussed in this forum itself before ). So  my take is that this boys father being a Vedic Scholar well known to Kanchi Paramacharya would not have such qualities ( like smoking / drinking ) then how come this boy have those qualities ?
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on June 02, 2014, 02:44:03 PM
Atmavichar,
Yes,there is such a thing like collective karma-and the karmic imprint 4 generations earlier may get passed on as well.This is the reason that the parents ,both the mother and father have to be very careful and certainly if they know the science of karmic imprints,can help ward off such a thing.
The externalities of a person do not mean anything;outward piety cannot offset the karmic imprint.It is quite likely that the person may have these imprints lying dormant and had not the courage to give vent to it.TGN has clearly brought out several examples-In one such example of a temple priest,who was known for his outward piety,TGN narrated the story of how his son got drowned in a pond!It was later found that the priest had orchestrated a chit fund scheme -and in such schemes there will be people desperate to take loan at a very high interest rate.The vexation of such people when driven to extreme can fall on the person initiating such a scheme and can prove dastardly.They will be forced to bear the 'curse imprint' or what is called 'sAbam' in Tamizh.
TGN would warn people never ever to take advantage of other people's compromised position or discomfiture.To do so would be asking for trouble.
TGN narrated a case of a Daughter-in-law who was put to hardship in her in-laws's place.This made her think very strongly-'Only if a Girl of this place undergoes this sort of torment,it would be a fitting lesson to these people'.Little did she realize that her own daughter was also a 'Girl of this place'!And it came to pass that her own daughter suffered in the hands of her in-laws!
The chain of the laws of Karma are so subtle!
TGN has given any number of these examples-He not only cites them but also has given advice as to how to surmount them.To be positive and disciplined is the only true asset and protection.This we can certainly pass on to our children and throw a shield around them.No doubt on this.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: drsundaram on June 02, 2014, 03:44:05 PM
dear mr ravi
that honour of meeting with you u was in feb 26th.
thanks  quoting this and  i am happy of sea of knowledge sharing [after enabling you listening the  four veda chanting & narration ]
   
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ritter on June 03, 2014, 01:20:48 AM
Jewell, I heard the same things for Serbia... It is truth that here, every village, every town or a city, has its own rules, customs, regarding funerals..... One man I know had many funerals in last years, and he said to me how, everywhere there are simply different customs...

I don't know the story behind it, probably some ethnologist and anthropologist from our Philosophical Faculty would know it...
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ritter on June 03, 2014, 01:25:19 AM
Jewell, and why don't you make some of your own rules of dealing with departed, making a tribute to them from your own sincere heart? It is not always someone has to say to you how you should do it, it simply comes from the heart... for example I would burn incense to someone's grave regardless of the rules society or local customs want to impose on us...... or something else...
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Jewell on June 03, 2014, 06:21:34 PM
Dear Ritter,

Thank You Very much for so kind words and sugestion!

Indeed,this would be something i would chose myself too,to do it in my own way. But it is impossible not to follow these instructions and customs coz of many reasons. First,it is hard to avoid it because of all relatives,aunts,distant grandmothers,my own parents... Even,i wanted to do it,and i somehow accepted these things like our saying goodbye to her...
It is different matter no one actually knows how it supose to be done. And i was mostly irritated coz all these things are very much show off to some people,than actual sharing of grief. Since i was little they involved me in such practices,coz it is custom that little girls make garland of flowers and share offerings,and whole my life i watch how people mostly do these things for totally wrong reasons... And i camnot even explain how complex these practices are,and how many things people invented by themselves actually,that it goes to absurdity sometimes. Well,most of the time,better to say.

We asked the priests too,and they all do not agree about these peactices too. They had their function,and prayer,but for rest they said to listen to older women. It is different thing they do not agree among each other,and every single lady knows best.

Well,what to do. I listened these instructions,and some other things i did do in my own way. Like i refused to say some things some grandmas said to me,coz they sound more like magic or something similar,than actual prayer.

And true,such things can truly know only some researchers. So many things happened here,that it is obvious we are doing who knows whoes practices. What to say when even priest does not know. Like You have said,only our heart matters in the end.

With love and prayers,
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: ksksat27 on July 09, 2014, 02:40:01 PM
Dear Nagaraj,

What you have mentioned is fully correct.  Because of not perfomring shrardhaa one may incur sin.  But one will not inherit or got transferred the sins of his forefathers.

There may be a curse or blessing in the family but Ishwara will arrange a person's birth only into that family where sutiable blessing or curse is there.   

This concept is not agreeable to me.  It was never stated that way by Bhagavan or any other saints in the past.  All have only told to do the pithru karmas properly.  pithru devatas will give the fruit good or bad.

I have read that book.  That somehow does not seem correct to me.

Let us not invent new concepts. Better you stick to your understanding and not get new ideas imported.

I am not playing down other's views but we already have enough concepts of dualtiy in the Shrishti of Ishwara.  Let us not invent new concepts.

Regards,
Krishna
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 09, 2014, 03:57:56 PM
Ksksat(Krishna),
Whatever TGN has mentioned has been personally validated by him in the lives of many who had approached him for help.These are not theories or concepts.The law of karma operates whether one is aware of it or ignorant of it.The Effect of Karma affects all those bonded in the karmic chain.
Even on the material plane,if the Father has diabetes,the son is likely to have it.Quite the same with the psychic effects of Karma.
Ofcourse,everyone is free to believe or disbelieve.Most important is to see what can be assimilated and practised.Nothing is more practical for any person to be watchful lest his deeds affect his kith and kin.This is not a concept but a bare reality.
Namaskar.

Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: ksksat27 on July 09, 2014, 05:32:01 PM
Dear Sri Ravi

Sri TGN has a point and to some extent he is right.   But it is the effecitve consequence to take birth in such a family where so and so was pious or impious.  the root cause of the karma still lies with indivisual soul only.  At the end by Ishwar\s will,  it is taken care that no one ego suffers due to another ego's karma.  the Ghataakasham encloses the egos under thick sheaths.  The Ammachi of Kerala has clearly told this like ,  in a big crowd the spy identifies the culprit,  the karma picks up the same ego even after many births.  It is not based on family lineage.

Another flaw in his approach is that  in the same book he has not acknowledged or stressed the importance of  proper vedic shraddha ceremonies and to many people he had indirectly encouraged to bypass the vedic based shraddha ceremonies and just donate and feed some poor in orphan home or something ( I dont remember the extract that book was given away to somebody).

If you go to Buddha temple near Freedom Park Bangalore daily they accept donors for remembering their near and dear souls.  But they do it in their religous way , not simple feeding.

It is very complex,  one can definitely pray for others. not only relatives or family.  and any prayer on behalf of the departed soul is a bonus the soul gets.  but without bonus only by hard work one can burn karmas.

There is also a concept of Atma Shraardham in our vedic religion. my Mother is very fond of such rare terminologies and she likes to mention this and few other deeply significant things.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 09, 2014, 06:55:40 PM
ksksat(krishna),
The Karmic law is accepted by Hindus and Buddhists,irrespective of whether one believes in isvara or not.The principle involved in dissolving the karma is the same-There are are only 4 basic ways:
1.Expiation through suffering
2.Mitigation through meritorious deeds , earning the blessings of other souls.(Whether it is through feeding Brahmins in a shraadha ceremony or feeding poor people in a plain way.Principle is the same-To earn the Blessings and goodwill)
3.Sharing it with kith and kin and this extends in a diluted way to others.
4.Giving up the sense of 'Ego' or doership.
The last one is the sureshot way.

As I have already posted earlier,at the time of death,a big chunk of the karmic imprint has to be absorbed by one's kith and kin and this paves the way for the onward journey of the departed soul.It is important for the kith and kin to observe special discipline during this stage(Vedic or otherwise).These absorbed imprints will have to be then expended by the kith and kin through one of the above 4 ways.This is the final chance for the karmic imprints to be worked out-as such a working out is only possible on this Terrestrial plane(and not in the other planes)

Do not think that all that TGN has said is to be confined in that one book that I am not sure whether you have read once completely.That contains some excerpts from some of his talks.That is all.

The above are the general guidelines and the chain of karma is quite complex.This is sufficient for our practical needs.Hence the need for dharmic living, what is called Ara vAzhkai in Tamizh.Ara VAzhkai(Dharmic Living)+Mei Porul nAttam(Devotion to Truth)=Spiritual Living.This will empower us to pass on Assets instead of liabilities to our children and grand children.

What happens to the soul after it departs,whether iswara takes care of it,etc,etc are mere speculations with which we need not concern ourselves and this is the reason that no Master would talk about it even if he or she has the knowledge.

Namaskar.
 
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: ksksat27 on July 10, 2014, 11:34:47 AM
"As I have already posted earlier,at the time of death,a big chunk of the karmic imprint has to be absorbed by one's kith and kin and this paves the way for the onward journey of the departed soul.It is important for the kith and kin to observe special discipline during this stage(Vedic or otherwise).These absorbed imprints will have to be then expended by the kith and kin through one of the above 4 ways.This is the final chance for the karmic imprints to be worked out-as such a working out is only possible on this Terrestrial plane(and not in the other planes)"

Dear Ravi sir,

there are two important points where I vary definitely.

one is your above quote. I dont agree that Kith and Kin can absorb the imprints (by seeing the face etc. as Sri TGN has metioned in that book) and it is counter productive to have that tendency to absorb the imprints of the departed however close they are.

Our vedantic system as expounded by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi cleary states that the jiva carries its karma to subsequent births and it can work it out in next lives.  There is no need for inherited children to go through the karma. if that is the case, it will lead to huge confusion.  I will come with a bag of karma to be in a lineage of family for a short span.  and then I will leave the body to take another janma.  now per your theory this span of 90 years maximum will leave permanent imprints on the descendants which they have to work out? and then what myself as a jiva will do? i will also work out my karma?  it cannot be the case. however close one may be,  one can utmost help the departed soul in reducing some effects of karma by intense pooja to Ishwara and intense meditation and devotion to one's own Guru. this I agree, will definitely save that jiva from hell.    But this business of absorbig imprints and working it out is not quite right.   all jivas have their own sheath of Kadaakaasham.  except very qualified yogi or a jnani,  no one can absorb other's imprints and work it out. infact it is dangerous to attempt it.

my second point of difference is the importance of vedic shraddha ceremonies.

simply because someone goes to orphanage and distribute food to poor, it wil not replace the vedic based shraddha ceremony.  Only a post box can accept posts and deliver elsewhere.  not the small box that hangs at every door of the houses can carry letter and deliver.  I need not tell you,  you are admirer of Maha Periayava.  so feeding poor or any other remembrance activity can NEVER replace vedic ceremonies.  only after proper vedic ceremonies to appease pithur devatas,  one should go may be in the evening or next day to orphanage and do social service.

the belief in these entities is also held by buddhishts -- the terminologies vary.

whether one is a Hindu or Buddhist my point is to better stick to the rituals the particular religion prescribes and not replace it by this feeding poor stuff.  feedig poor is very good but it is only additional enhancer or catalyst. 

I could observe very subtly the belief in Ishwara with form is reducing bit by bit by many people who take to this advaita.  it is the greatest blunder. 

Sri TGN's talks I have observed lot of talks they all do not acknowledge the important Gods like Shiva, Vishnu .  May be I am wrong but my intution feels a aroma of formless , service oriented buddhistic approach in his talks that tend to deny or limit the existence of Ishwara with a name and form to one's mind (the pradhaana murthis like Shiva, Ganesh, Vishnu , Subramanya)



Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 10, 2014, 02:23:13 PM
ksksat(krishna)
You seem to carry strong beliefs/opinions and I have nothing to contest.TGN does not ask anyone to gulp what he has said but to put into practise,observe ,validate and then accept what one finds as true.He leaves it at that.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 10, 2014, 03:14:18 PM
ksksat(krishna),
Let us see how kith and kin share the karma.Let me illustrate this through an extreme example.Let us say that a mentally challenged child is born to parents.If it is only the karma of the child that he is born  mentally challenged,does it leave the parents immune or insulated from the consequences?Are they not affected by this ,even more so than the child?In this way,the load of karma is shared by the entire family.
What happens to any member of the family affects others as well.There is no such a entity as 'individual' who is isolated from the rest of the jivas.What happens to one affects others in general and the stronger the psychic bond,the greater is the intensity of the effect.

The strongest of the psychic bond is that between the guru and the disciple-and it is a fact that the karmic burden of the disciple is transferred to the Guru.It does not mean that by this sort of a transfer,the entire karmic load is lifted from the individual.He still has to workout the rest of the karmic imprints.

This is how Nature has ordained the working out of the Karmic imprints.

Hope this clarifies how karmic imprints are in fact transferred in a chain like fashion-down the generations.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: ksksat27 on July 10, 2014, 07:01:44 PM
ksksat(krishna)
You seem to carry strong beliefs/opinions and I have nothing to contest.TGN does not ask anyone to gulp what he has said but to put into practise,observe ,validate and then accept what one finds as true.He leaves it at that.
Namaskar.

Dear Ravi sir,

Sri TGN's practical methods consists of good thoughts, social service, desirlessness etc.   If this is applied I agree it will improve the happiness in the family and overall karmic burden will be reduced.  But there are some important aspects where Sri TGN's perception cannot be accepted.   He is giving too much importance to gene based karmic imprints.   And his suggestions during the time of last rites to absorb karmic imprints, pranic energy etc.  is not at all advisable.   It is better to always remember Shiva or Vishnu or one's Guru than to try these things. 

Second point:  Sri TGN should consider and encourage people to abide by their religious rituals and use Orphan serving only as a additoinal measure. This I am sure you know how Periayava emphasized in Deivathin Kural.    Even if one is not able to perform vedic rituals only Guru mantra or deep devotion to Shiva/Vishnu can possibly serve as a substitute. But Sri TGN does not consider these aspects.  Infact in one question  he suggested to replace vedic shraddha ceremony and put Orphan food serving instead. 

Ofcourse,  I dont know Sri TGN's background but His Holiness is definitely not into buying the reality of saguna upasana.  It is a different topic.    I need to learn more about his teachings to elaborate but there were enough indications in his reference to Lord Rama's ignorance in Yoga Vasishta's lecture that suggest this tone. We will take it up separately later if feasible and comfortable.

Coming to your example,  the mentally ill child certainly carried his own karma.  and it was also the individual karma of the parents to bear and grow such a son facing embarrasment, expdentiure, worry and mockery in society.  So suitable child meets suitable parent and they are brought together circumstantially considering their own background karma only.  And as Upadesa Undiyar states,  Karma by itself is jadam, only Ishwara is the agency power who arranges such a circumstance Karmam Kadavulo undhi para karmam jada madhaal undhi para.

So only Ishwara can bear and reduce other's karmic imprints, not sons and daughters.  Atleast not directly.  At the most they can pray and do shrardha sincerely.



"What happens to any member of the family affects others as well.There is no such a entity as 'individual' who is isolated from the rest of the jivas.What happens to one affects others in general and the stronger the psychic bond,the greater is the intensity of the effect."

This is the effect of maya.  Even though it looks like close bondage ,  even though we call blood relation, it is only at the body level.  genes level.   beyond that one simply undergoes that portion of his karma as ordained as prarabhda. Quite individually.  One who has to suffer the death of son as Puthra Soham will be given a son who is destined to die young. Both meet each other but ultimately it is ony the individual prarabhdha that works out.   Ofcourse exceptionally if the father happens to be a staunch God believer or Guru believer,  he may be able to avert this son's premature death.  But that is something where Grace started operating.  And it ofcourse nullifies the son's karma to bless his pious father.  We have heard such cases , they are exceptions .  even then it is by the strenght of their own practice, this pious father was able to avert that danger.   There is really no bondage whatsover.

the minute the karmic debt is over,  we are split forcibly and made to enter aother  womb.  with that all relationship is over.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 10, 2014, 09:22:54 PM
ksksat(Krsihna),
You do not seem to have any doubt,so there is no need for me to proceed further.Please proceed as you deem best.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: ksksat27 on July 11, 2014, 12:47:35 PM
Dear Ravi sir,

Generally I will be surrounded by confusions but atleast in this case there is no doubt.

My point is:  actually no need to tell you.  these imprints, inheritance, transfer during funeral,  and many other things which Sri TGN mentions was not propounded by any famous advaita masters I know.  All I am saying is theory of karma is already well established and agreed by major schools of vedata in a same line.  Now why to introduce a new concept? 

And with your vast learning and meeting great saints like Paramacharya and Annamalai Swami, it would have  bene great if you would have got their opinion on these matters. That would infact add to as a strong authority in the absence of direct authority and widely held belief.  That is why Sri Nagaraj got a doubt .

Ravi sir --  i dont know if i am expressing myself, my concern is people are already shaky and fragile in sadhana atleast many are in that level.  It is not advisable to add new new things and confuse them.

And why to buy a belief like this in the first place?  And you have not answered about Sri TGN's approach towards vedic ceremonies.   If his holiness is a buddhist master or of any other faith i wont even ask,  as I think he is  a vedantin,  I expect elders like him to promote vedic based rituals and not deviate from that.  Got my point? 

With intellect we can easily prove and convince vulnerable people like me but what is the use?  the best approach is to mind one's own spiritual growth and live like lotus in pond in family life.

this stuff of interchanging imprints and other service based punyas without the due importance to vedic rituals are entierly new domain.  that is all i wanted to emphasize.

From your capacity you have reference to ther spiritual materials and so you will ultimately follow both Sri TGN's advise and other regular rituals but novice people may get misguided.

Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 11, 2014, 02:53:39 PM
ksksat(krishna),
I will convey your words of wisdom and advise to TGN.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: ksksat27 on July 11, 2014, 03:52:47 PM
No  :)  :).

how can I have words of wisdom and then you go all the way to His place and convey my advise?? :) :)

You have used a brahmasthraa.

Just ponder it over neutrally Sri Ravi.  Whatever touches the innermost  recess of your heart take it,  be it mine or others view points.

Ultimately that is how I make a final judgement on any thing.  We all have the Supreme Self as Antharyami,  if we tune to it,  intuitionally we will get a feel of what is truth, to which degree etc.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Subramanian.R on July 11, 2014, 05:52:48 PM
Dear Krishnan,

The Indian Law says that when one's father leaves debts, and dies it is compulsory on the part of the son to pay off the 
debts.  He cannot avoid responsibility saying that the debts are father's and he has not duty to pay.  So also in these
cases of rituals of the departed.  Only Sannayasis (the real ones like Sri Bhagavan) can be exempted from the rituals of
these types.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 11, 2014, 06:49:05 PM
ksksat(krishna),
Okay,I am not conveying it to TGN.

Quote
Just ponder it over neutrally Sri Ravi.  Whatever touches the innermost  recess of your heart take it,  be it mine or others view points

Thanks very much.I take your advice.

Namaskar.

Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: atmavichar100 on July 11, 2014, 08:39:26 PM
Dear Krishnan,

The Indian Law says that when one's father leaves debts, and dies it is compulsory on the part of the son to pay off the 
debts.  He cannot avoid responsibility saying that the debts are father's and he has not duty to pay. 
So also in these
cases of rituals of the departed.  Only Sannayasis (the real ones like Sri Bhagavan) can be exempted from the rituals of
these types.

Arunachala Siva.

In a lighter note to what you said ,I have to share this following joke and I do not know how many of you have heard of this before .
A  Young many visits his native place after many years ( he had last visited when he was a baby ) and becomes very tired and hungry due to travel to that remote village which is his native place and is searching for a restaurant  and after walking for a couple of miles  he sees at a distance a restaurant and is very happy with that .On going nearer he is still more happy that in front of the restaurant there is a board on which the following is written " You can eat here how much ever you want and you need not pay a single rupee and it is enough if your grandson pays for this in his next visit " . This man himself is young and he thinks it will take at least 50 more years for his grandson to be old enough to visit here and pay the bill and so he eats there to his hearts content . On leaving the restaurant the owner presents him a bill of Rs.1,000 /- . This young man gets angry saying how can he show the bill when it is clearly written that it is enough if one's grandson pays for the same and not only that he did not eat for Rs.1,000 and ate for far less that amount and for which the owner of the restaurant said "Sir , this is not  your bill , this is the bill of your grandfather and it is time you cleared the same " .  :)

So moral of this funny story is "We cant escape the Karmas ( Positive / Negative )  of our parents and grandparents "
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 12, 2014, 08:47:46 AM
atmavichar(Krishna),
Quite an amusing story.
Namaskar
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: ksksat27 on July 18, 2014, 07:18:28 PM
Dear sirs,

you are all not getting my point I think.

In the first place, what I am saying is,  shraddha rituals has to be done otherwise it will accrue to our bad karma..  Almost all are not exempt except sanyasis and adhyashramis like Bhagavan.  I dont deny this.

But what I dont agree is this business of imprints transfer from father to son etc.   There is some truth to it,  if you are born in orthodox family you are more or less likely to be more orthodox.  But it is just an arrangement of Maya for you to take birth in such a family.    It is not a chance .  The main factor that will always decide your pleasure or pain or your vasanas is your own bag of karma.  Nothing else.

Being born in suitable circumstances and inherting the characterisics of the father etc. is only the instrument to fullfil our destiny.

Let us not get confused --  let us assume this,  if grand father or great grand father of Mr. A was a villian and incurred a family curse ,  there is ideally no sin Mr. A need to suffer for that.  But what will happen is, a person who is already loaded with bad karma will take birth as Mr. A in that family and will suffer the curse. 

Actually it is only a reason , an instrument,  in the first place A's birth in that cursed family was decided not by genes but by karma of that individual A only.

Secondly peforming shraddha and other rituals is not to carry the karmic imprints and continue solving the generation's problems.    One does shraddha ceremonies for the good of the departed, for the good of the pithru devatas (pithru devatas are demi gods ,  they are agencies , they are themselves not our ancestors.   Pithru devatas exist common to all family ancestors.  they are like agni, vayu etc.  they are a galaxy of devatas.   )

No need to worry about inter-transfer of imprints etc.
All this one need not worry about, one just needs to follow his family tradition consult family priest and just carry on with the rituals.  For jnana and meditations our Bhagavan Ramana has given ample guidance and grace.

That is why I told, let us not add concept after concept.   



Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 18, 2014, 07:23:47 PM
ksksat(krishna),

Quote
Master TGN does not advocate vedic based rituals,  His holiness has a entirely different approach

Firstly TGN is an 'ordinary man'  and does not admit any 'His Holiness' tag.Secondly,he is not against any tradition,nor does he deny the efficacy of vedic rituals.Please do not comment on what you do not know.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: ksksat27 on July 18, 2014, 07:30:15 PM
Dear sir,

Actually we are typing simultaneously. I prepared an elaborate draft but I removed it honouring your sentiments. 
You are true, I have not sat with him long enough nor I read extensively on his works.

I undersand He calls Himself normal, but I have to use some prefix as a mark of respect for someone who has attained some high state from vyavaharika stage.

Regards,
Krishna
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 18, 2014, 07:37:12 PM
ksksat(krishna),

Here is an excerpt from 'At the Feet of Bhagavan':

One Amavasya (new moon day) all the Ashram inmates were sitting down for breakfast in the dining room. I was standing and looking on. Bhagavan asked me to sit down for breakfast. I said that I had to perform my late father?s ceremony on that day and would eat nothing (Usually the ceremonies are done to enable the ancestors to go to heaven). Bhagavan retorted that my father was already in heaven and there was nothing more to be done for him. My taking breakfast would not hurt him in any way. I still hesitated, accustomed as I was to age-old tradition. Bhagavan got up, made me sit down and eat some rice cakes. From that day I gave up performing ceremonies for ancestors.

TKS wan neither a sannyasi nor an athivarnashrami.Do you have a single instance where Sri Bhagavan has advocated Shraddha ceremony?Please do let me know.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 18, 2014, 07:43:44 PM
ksksat(Krishna),

Quote
You are true, I have not sat with him long enough nor I read extensively on his works.

I understand He calls Himself normal, but I have to use some prefix as a mark of respect for someone who has attained some high state from vyavaharika stage.

Are we competent to evaluate what another person has attained,even if we stay with him 24 hours?

This is what TGN says-"You see me sitting before you and I say that there is not a single worry that can touch me.I am no different than you.You can also do this."

Namaskar.

Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 18, 2014, 09:00:00 PM
ksksat(krishna),
You may read this article in tamizh where TGN explains about imprints:
http://www.tgnfoundation.org/FAQ/20_Imprints.htm (http://www.tgnfoundation.org/FAQ/20_Imprints.htm)

He refers to the answer that Yudhishtira gives to the Yaksha in the 'Yaksha Prasna' (Mahabharata).

kiṁsvid ātmā manuṣyasya kiṁsvid daivakṛtaḥ sakhā|
upajīvanaṁ kiṁsvidasya kiṁsvidasya parāyaṇam||

yudhiṣṭiraḥ

putra ātmā manuṣyasya bhāryā daivakṛtā sakhā|
upajīvanaṁ tu parjanyo dānaṁ asya parāyaṇaṁ|

यक्षप्रश्नं महाभारतं वनपर्वम्
yakṣapraśnaṁ mahābhārataṁ vanaparvam


The Yaksha asked,-
'What is the soul of man
Who is that friend bestowed on man by the gods?
What is man's chief support?
And what also is his chief refuge?

Yudhishthira answered,--'
The son is a man's soul:
the wife is the friend bestowed on man by the gods;
the clouds are his chief support;
and gift is his chief refuge.

Your claim that what TGN says is something totally new is baseless.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 18, 2014, 09:18:34 PM
ksksat(krishna)
Here is another question & answer session where TGN has talked about what happens after death:

LIFE AFTER DEATH
 
Question : I have understood from you that life is an agglomeration of basic energy-particles held within the physical body like air under pressure inside the cycle-tube. If so, will it not disperse straightaway after the death of the body?                 
(Kamakshi, West CIT Nagar)
 
Sage TGN :     The energy-particles constituting life are in constant self-rotation and they are held within the physical body by the vital fluid which alone has the strength and power to draw and carry them. When through damage, disease or ageing, the physical body is no longer able to retain the stock of vital fluid, the energy- particles exit from the body. They do have innately free velocity and should ordinarily escape into the universal field. But they are not able to do so because of the psychic load or burden of imprints accumulated by them through innumerable generations and still remaining uncleared. The energy- particles in this condition are still in agglomerated state and are called the 'disembodied soul' in collective noun-form.
 
          As long as the corpse is not cremated or buried, the disembodied soul will only be hovering over it because that is what it has been associated with for the duration of a lifetime. It would not be visible to the naked eye but the camera for aura-photography (known as Kirlian photography) can capture its image as an outline around the corpse. (A neurosurgeon in Chennai has such photographs in his album.)
 
          At this stage the offspring of the dead person can draw it by the method of self-invocation, in which case it would become part and parcel of their life-energy. Sons and daughters could each draw a portion of the parent's soul and the imprints carried by that segment would now have the physical medium to expend themselves. Should offspring (sons and daughters) alone do this? Not exclusively, but they are best-equipped for the purpose since they are from the same stock; they are chips of the old block.
 
          Life-partner, brothers and sisters, intimate friends and disciples of the deceased person could also draw a part of the life-energy but their position would, in the normal circumstance, be only secondary. The criterion is the closeness of the life-link and the fitness of the receptors of the survivors.
 
          Both in cremation or burial you would have observed that just before the pyre is lit or the refilling of the grave completed, there would be an announcement that whoever among the mourners wants to see 'the face' of the dead person should come forward without delay. This ritual is significant because when a life-linked person has a last look of the face of the dear-departed, he would be doing so with intense feeling and it is at such a moment that the transfer of life-energy is effected.
 
          You would have seen the recent news-item about the second daughter Ms Yuko Obuchi (26) of the late Prime Minister of Japan Keizo Obuchi announcing her sudden decision to contest the forthcoming election for her father's parliamentary seat. She had no intention whatsoever of entering politics but made up her mind- 'when I saw my father's face shortly after he died.' The new imprints she has received have arisen in her mind as the thought, 'I will take up those tasks which my father did not have the time to carry out.'
 
This would serve as an illustration of the philosophy I have been giving out.

You have misrepresented and questioned as to how his reference to the ritual of  'Looking at the Face of the departed' would transfer the imprint,totally ignoring that TGN has clearly mentioned that It is the 'intense feeling' that is necessary to draw the imprints-It happens automatically and one need not will it.
It is also clear that he does not diminish the importance of rituals.You have misrepresented this as well.

TGN is clearly  not spinning yarn read from some book but speaks from direct experience.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 18, 2014, 09:41:57 PM
ksksat(krishna),
If looking at a Face is of no value,then looking at Sri Bhagavan's Picture is also of no value.Is it true?
'Face' does reveal the personality to a large extent-In Tamizh,it is said that 'அகத்தின் அழகு முகத்தில் தெரியும்'-The Face is the mirror of the soul.
Hence the significance of the ritual mentioned in the previous post.The onus ofcourse rests with the sensitivity of the observer.If the observer is already 'dead' so to say,i.e if he is one who is merely marking his 'attendance'(with half a day casual leave) at the ritual,  he cannot draw any imprints.
So,that is that.
Namaskar.

Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 19, 2014, 08:33:47 AM
ksksat(krishna),

You have written some longish posts which I find are only a mass of undigested material heard or read .I thought I will address a few core beliefs as everything else is just based on this:

Quote
Coming to your example,  the mentally ill child certainly carried his own karma.  and it was also the individual karma of the parents to bear and grow such a son facing embarrasment, expdentiure, worry and mockery in society.  So suitable child meets suitable parent and they are brought together circumstantially considering their own background karma only.


Quote
This is the effect of maya.  Even though it looks like close bondage ,  even though we call blood relation, it is only at the body level.  genes level.   beyond that one simply undergoes that portion of his karma as ordained as prarabhda. Quite individually.  One who has to suffer the death of son as Puthra Soham will be given a son who is destined to die young. Both meet each other but ultimately it is ony the individual prarabhdha that works out

The Basic Flaw in what you have understood is this-That there are an indefinite number of souls hovering somewhere and the moment and egg and sperm unite (or at some other opportune moment-you have not said this, but it is tantamount to it),the 'hovering diembodied soul' finds a 'most suitable fit' and  somehow is reborn as the 'son' or 'Daughter' or a 'Hijra'!

Let me ask you this-If as you say ,the 'individual soul' is awaiting a 'suitable fit' (in terms of karma match),what happens if it does not find a 'suitable fit'?What happens if the number of such 'Diembodied souls' far exceeds the number of people on the terra firma?

How many souls were there at the beginning of creation and how many are there now?(as per your theory)

How do you take the answer which Yudhistra gave the yakhsa -'putra ātmā manuṣyasya' ?


You may ponder over these questions and respond and then we may continue,if you have any doubts.If you are already sure that you 'know it all',then I will just leave it at that.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 19, 2014, 11:58:16 AM
ksksat(Krishna),
You mentioned about Devas,etc.Here is an Excerpt from the talks of Kanchi Mahaswami:

In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad the entire divine community gets the advice: (V -2 - 1) *dAmyata*, meaning, 'Keep your senses under control'. The story goes as follows: Not only the Divines, but the Humans as well as the Asuras , all three species went to PrajApati, their Creator to get advice. They were told by BrahmA only a single letter 'da' and were also asked whether they had understood it.
Generally every one knows one's own weakness. So if somebody tells him a message in a disguised way and asks him to understand what he needed to understand, they will get the message in the way they think it was applicable to them. To understand something oneself this way has also a greater value. It will stick. One will not find fault with the fault-finder, for the curiosity to decipher the message will win!
That is how, in the story of Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, the single letter 'da' was conveyed by BrahmA to all the three species (devas, asuras and manushyas) at the same time but each one of them understood it to mean differently. They understood it to stand for the first letter of a message specially intended for them. The divines took it to stand for 'dAmyata', that is, 'control your senses'. The Creator agreed with their interpretation of the message.
The humans took it to mean 'datta' that is, 'Give: Do acts of charity; be charitable'. This also was approved by the Creator.
The asuras took it to mean 'dayadhvaM', that is, 'Be compassionate'. Again the Creator gave his approval of this interpretation.

The Acharya(Sri Sankara-ravi) in his Bhashya has commented on this that the three categories of people - devas, manushyas and asuras - are all of them in the human kingdom itself. People who are generally known to be good, but still do not have their senses in control are the 'divines'. People who have no charitable disposition and are greedy are the manushyas in the classification, because man's greatest weakness is greed and the consequent absence of a charitable disposition. People who have not even an iota of compassion in their hearts are classified as asuras. In other words, all the three messages of advice are for humanity.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 19, 2014, 04:05:55 PM
At what point of time did this separation of the individual soul (Jivatama) from the Absolute (Paramatma) occur, Sirs ? Never. Inhabiting the physical body which has a form (roopam) and was given name (naamam) for the purpose of worldly identification, the Jivan carved out for itself a miserly corner and imagined itself to be on its own. It is all a mischief of the mind that became hardened through crores of births; and now you are here steeped in misery and unending anxiety,stresses, strains and tensions and casting about for a way out which is nowhere in sight. The mind created the entanglement and the mess and it has to disentangle itself. Make bold to take responsibility for your present predicament, as the first step, or reconcile yourself to live out in anguish and fear. The choice is yours!
 
 Can you deny that the atmosphere enveloping the Earth is one and indivisible? Are not the oceans surrounding the land-masses of the world but one expanse of water although you have slipped into the habit of nomenclaturing them as Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific ! While so, can you ever be apart from your own material and effective Cause which is the Absolute, the static State and the Source and Origin of all the objects and appearances in the Universe ? Think along these lines and come to your own conclusion, which you should then proceed to implement.

An excerpt from TGN's talk.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 19, 2014, 04:11:25 PM
D: Do not one's actions affect one in after-births?
M: Are you born now? Why do you think of other births? The fact is, there is neither birth nor death. Let him who is born think of death and the palliative thereof!
D: Can you show us the dead?
M: Did you know your kinsmen before their birth that you should seek to know them after their death?

Excerpt from Maharshi's Gospel
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Subramanian.R on July 19, 2014, 04:36:03 PM
Dear Ravi,

Nice quote from Maharshi's Gospel.  There is no birth, no death, no after birth, no heaven, no hell.  There is  only the state of "I am".
'asmitha' ;   'Naan IrukkiRen'.   For us to realize the state, it may take a long time.  Till one realizes that state one has to do
all nithya karmas and naamithika karmas.  There is no escape.


After performing his mother's death ceremony, Muruganar came to the Asramam, bare chested.  Sri Bhagavan found him
not even having a sacred thread!  He smiled and said:  'O athuvum pOchchaa!'

Ozhivil Odukkam says: muNdaikku Ethu pon aabranam? 

For a widow there is no gold ornaments to wear.
 
In a way, the Brahma Jnani is also a widow.  His family life is dead!

Once someone asked Sri Bhagavan: Are there Indra Loka, Chandra Loka?

Sri Bhagavan said: Yes.  There also some people would be sitting around a person and listening to him!
He further added: Oye!  These are all in your mind!  In deep sleep, where your mind is in suspended animation,
do you think of Indra Loka and Chandra Loka?   

In this connection, I am giving separately a verse from Devi Kaalottara Jnana Vichara Patalam.

Arunachala Siva.       
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Subramanian.R on July 19, 2014, 04:58:16 PM
Devi Kaalottaram Jnana Vichara Patalam, Verse 33:



நித்திரையாலும் நினைவாதியாலும் நிதம்
சித்தந்தான் மூட மிகச் சீரழியும் - சித்தமிதை
எத்தனத்தாலே உணர்த்தி ஏகாமல் தன்னிலையில்
வைத்திடுவாய் மேன் மேலும் வை.

Due to sleep and due to thoughts, the mind always loses its sharpness, its foolishness increases, and it goes to ruin.
Awakening this mind with effort, and without allowing it to wander, establish it in the state of Self.  Persevere in this
effort by fixing the mind again and again  in its natural state.

Tr. T.K. Jayaraman.

Arunachala Siva.       
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 19, 2014, 09:26:09 PM
Subramanian/friends,
I have given the quotes from Maharshi's Gospel as well as from TGN to emphasize that One Truth is behind appearances-It is this one that has become many.As such the many are related and are not isolated islands.
This is how TGN puts it:
நம் ஒவ்வொருவருடைய உயிரும் பிரபஞ்சகளம் முழுவதும் படர்ந்து நீக்கமற நிறைந்துள்ள ஆற்றல்-துகள்களின் ஒரு சின்னஞ்சிறிய பகுதி என உணர்ந்தால் நாம் ஏற்படுத்திக்கொள்ளும் பதிவுகள் பிரபஞ்ச ஆகாசத்திலும் உடனடியாக விழுந்து நிற்கின்றன என்பது தெரியவரும்[/b].  எனவே தான் அறிவில் சிறந்தவர்களாலே ஒரு கருத்துச் சொல்லப்பட்டுள்ளது-'நீ செய்யும் எந்த ஒரு செயலும்  கூடப் பிரபஞ்சம் முழுமையுமே பாதிக்கச் செய்யும்'  என்பதாக, ('You cannot pluck a flower in your garden without disturbing the stars in the heaven')

This Truth is Readily perceived in the parents-Progeny trail and has to be adequately addressed.This is inextricably linked to the doing of so called 'Meritorious' deeds,'Charitable' deeds.This is different than just social service.Social service serves some mental ideal,an altruistic one whereas what is advocated by the Great ones is very different-it is to recognize the underlying unity of Life-and giving oneself in whatever way to alleviate the misery of 'others'-in 'helping' others we help ourselves-it helps to remove the shackles of 'I' and 'mine' and the mind purified thus ,is in a position to attain to the summum Bonum.
TGN explains it beautifully through an example:
In those days ,in the Government offices,the official papers used to be tied through a 'Tag' -The Tag is a 6 inch piece of thread with metal strip endings at both the ends.A Bunch of these tags used to be carelessly put together and over a period of time,with careless handling they used to become so tangled that it used to take quite an effort to separate them.The most practical way is to get hold of one of the outer tag end and lead it in a reverse fashion through the entangled mass until that particular tag comes out free.This would take the maximum effort.The same is to be done with the next tag as well and the process repeated.After the extrication of 5 or so of these tags ,the rest of the tags are loosened and relatively easier to extricate.A few more of these tags extracted in such a fashion,the rest of the tags simply come out separately.Now is the time to affix them in a card board so that they do not become entangled and can be used as and when needed.
Similiarly,the Karmic imprints have to be loosened and if the few major ones are loosened through selfless deeds,the rest of the imprints simply fall apart -revealing the ever free Nature of oneself.
This is what TGN advocates:
1.ஈகை+ ஒழுக்கம் =அறவாழ்க்கை
2.அறவாழ்க்கை+மெய்ப்பொருள் நாட்டம்=தவம்

He loves quoting this TirukkuraL:

ஈதல் இசைபட வாழ்தல் அதுவல்லது
ஊதியம் இல்லை உயிர்க்கு


Nothing expands the soul as giving and living without Friction(இசைபட வாழ்தல்) and as another Kural says:

வசையொழிய வாழ்வாரே வாழ்வார் இசையொழிய
வாழ்வாரே வாழா தவர்


ஒழுக்கம் விழுப்பந் தரலான் ஒழுக்கம்
உயிரினும் ஓம்பப் படும்
.

உற்றநோய் நோன்றல் உயிர்க்குறுகண் செய்யாமை
அற்றே தவத்திற் குரு
.

தவமும் தவமுடையார்க்கு ஆகும் அதனை
அஃதிலார் மேற்கொள் வது.


தவஞ் செய்வார் தங்கருமஞ் செய்வார்மற் றல்லார்
அவஞ்செய்வார் ஆசையுட் பட்டு


கூற்றம் குதித்தலும் கைகூடும் நோற்றலின்
ஆற்றல் தலைப்பட் டவர்க்கு.


Even untimely Death(கூற்றம்-akAla maraNam)can be overcome by one
who is fortified by Tapas.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 20, 2014, 06:50:32 PM
Friends,
Just what is the nature of the Rituals to the Departed-These Rituals have an outer form and at the same time have a inner pscholgical function.We have seen partly what TGN has said by way of the science of imprints that belongs to the later(Psycho-spiritual).

We may like to explore the nature of the Traditional Rituals and see whether there is any one to one correspondence with what TGN has said.Again,I wish to reiterate that TGN does not advocate abandoning the Traditional rituals,but goes behind to put things in proper perspective.
I now refer you to a few articles that may help understand things in proper perspective:

1.http://www.kamakoti.org/kamakoti/varaha/bookview.php?chapnum=5 (http://www.kamakoti.org/kamakoti/varaha/bookview.php?chapnum=5)
(May my Tarpanas be please accepted on behalf of those in our Vamsam, the Sagotras or those who died without sons by way of sqeezing water from my Yajnopaveeth; this Mantra be recited by wearing the Holy Thread as a mala or long necklace and be left in the Tarpana Plate)

2.http://www.kamakoti.org/kamakoti/varaha/bookview.php?chapnum=6 (http://www.kamakoti.org/kamakoti/varaha/bookview.php?chapnum=6)
(One another significant ritual relates to Pinda Daan; ?Pindas? made of Cooked rice or Wheat Flour along with black Sesame (Tila) seeds and water, each rounded in equal size placed on Kusa all facing South are worshipped by Dhup, Deep and Naivedyas.The Pindas represent the forefathers of three generations, viz. Father, Grand Father and Great Grand Father; in case of Shradda for mother, the two other gerations would be father?s mother and father?s grand mother)

3.http://www.hinduism.co.za/tarpana.htm (http://www.hinduism.co.za/tarpana.htm)
(You need not even believe in reincarnation, or even life after death, to perform Tarpana. Your parents and grandparents are still alive inside you, in your genes. You are simply projecting a part of your personality, contacting it, and requesting it to be pleased with you and to relinquish any inappropriate influence it may have over you. This visualization releases you from any unhealthy psychological habits you may have as a result of the influence of these previous beings who also shared your genes, and of the images you have of those beings.)

4.http://www.hinduism.co.za/rituals.htm#The ritual of sraddha (http://www.hinduism.co.za/rituals.htm#The ritual of sraddha)
(There are two classes of Pitris, viz., the Celestial Pitris who are the lords of the Pitri Loka, and the Human Pitris who go there after death. Brahma is the paternal grandfather of all. Kasyapa and the other Prajapatis are also Pitris, as they are the original progenitors. Pitri Loka or the Abode of the Pitris is also called by the name Bhuvar Loka.
The word Pitris primarily means the immediate ancestors, viz., father, mother, etc. Sraddha proper is performed for three generations of Pitris, or to all Pitris. Three cakes are offered to the father, the grandfather and the great grandfather. Two Brahmins are fed first. Seven generations can mutually influence one another by the giving and receiving of food-Swami Sivananda)

5.[url]http://www.hinduism.co.za/funerals.htm[/url
(When a son dies and the father is alive, then the father cannot apply or light the funeral pyre, and there is no Sapindi ceremony. Father does not do Vidhi (ceremony) for son.

The living son performs the ten day ceremony for the soul and not for the body. Living son performs the ceremony to liberate from father?s debt. If there are many sons, any one son can perform the ten-day ceremony. Sons staying apart can each perform the ceremony. Final rites for the mother and for the father, done according to scriptures, yield fruits that are equal to making Parikrama or circumambulation of earth.)

It is now time to revert back to the original post that triggered it all:

Quote
The VEDAS, DASOPANISHADS, BRAHMA SUTRAS  and BHAGAVAD GITA do not agree with or accept the above rituals as helpful for the departed soul. It is only in the PURANAS  you can find stories of  such rituals being performed and  departed souls liberated. Due to high level of interpolation the Puranas  are not considered as authorities on spiritual matters. I strongly feel and believe that these  meaningless rituals & means  nothing.  Did these rituals became a source of exploitation in the hands of some vested  whose words mattered much in religious matters from times immemorial


I have given that one reference from Taittriya upanishad-"Deva pitr karyAbhyAm na pramaditavyam".

If we actually go through the ritualistic Chants,they do not have anything of the nature of Veda Mantras(with my limited knowledge)and are more of the nature of a Prayoga(a set of  Practices put together).

Namaskar.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 20, 2014, 07:20:16 PM
Friends,
Here is a Q&A session excerpt from TGN:

Question:I am 70 and ailing.I am still performing annual ceremony for my parents.My wife and I are not able to withstand the strain of fasting till late in the afternoon.Will you kindly say whether the ceremony has to be done all through my life?(Natesan,Tambaram)

Answer:"SrAddham" comes from the  word "sraddha" which means "care".This care for one's parents is best displayed while they are alive.The funeral ceremonies are directed towards absorption of the disembodied souls by the offspring(sons and daughters)who have come from the same stock of life-energy.If conscious absorption is done at that point,the indication would be sudden surge of peace in the minds of sons and daughters(I have personally verified this -Ravi) and a cessation of the pangs of grief.Where this science of absorption has not been learnt,it has to be assumed that the souls are still earth-bound and hence the annual exercises in the form of rituals.
In view of your age and ailments,you could try out the following method:On the day of anniversary,arrange for lunch to be provided to an orphanage in the vicinity.The Food should be of good quality and you and your wife should partake it in the company of the children.At the close,request the children to chant "May the soul of Sri..../smt....rest in Peace".If your burden feels lightened at this juncture,you may dispense with Traditional ceremonies.Also,if you are aware of any unfulfilled desires of your parents(Noble ,innocuous ones-Ravi),do what you can to carry them out.

I have heard innumerable  times during his talks where TGN has expressed the wish that the Religious instituitions should arrange for carrying out the Funeral ceremonies for unclaimed bodies of victims killed in accidents like Fire,Flood ,Building collapse,etc.
Yet,his emphasis is always on the psycho-spiritual aspects-everything has to be subservient to the spiritual dimension-Karmic imprints have to be cleared so that the Innate freedom of the Self be realized.Nothing is achieved if this is not done.
It is pretty clear that what TGN says tallies with Traditional Practice as well.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: ksksat27 on July 21, 2014, 10:46:04 AM
Sir

You have seemed to subscribed to views of Sri TGN as much as I have subscribed to the traditional view on re-birth karma etc.

I dont have any comments except this:

Maharishee Ramana never never discouraged shraddha ceremony. The example you had quoted was a rare exceptional one.  There is another story where one devotee heard similar anectode like you had quoted and stopped shraddha ceremony.  Maharishee Ramana scolded him and when that devotee quoted Maharishee's past anectode,  Maharishee simply asked him "are you that A to whom that advice was given?"

I could not re-collect the source or name of the devotee involved in that incident.

Any case, fine sir,  we all are destined to follow a path, a teacher and a set of teachings -- nothing can be altered.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: ksksat27 on July 21, 2014, 05:46:41 PM
Dear sir,

That is all fine, but I have one observation in positive spirit .

You seem to be open to all teachings and listen to a number of saints.  There is nothing wrong for inspiration we can even refer to non spiritual quarters.

But if we are serious on sadhana and liberation, I think one has to really subscribe to a Master, choose Him consciously and follow his teachings vigorously. 

This is in no way mean we are not open to other quarters.

Somehow I feel,  just standing at the railway station and knowing each & every informarion about all trains passing by will not help. One hast to leave all other trains and board a particular train.

One has to drop everyone else and choose a sage.   That dropping is not really dropping.  One has to trust Him the one who the sadhaka chose.  It may be a living saint or a saint who attained samadhi . Does not matter, but one has to choose Him in that moment of self will.

With your approach,  you can remain in the shore sir -- you can even get part and parcel inspiration but it will not help beyond a point. 

For eg, Sri Aurobindo does not accept the Vedantic school of thought.  One can turn to him for inspiration but if one cannot follow Him and vedanta at the same time.

So I kindly advise, you 'belong' to somebody and call yourself 'Ramana devotee' ' Ramakrishna devotee' or TGN follower etc. There is nothing wrong in that approach.

Dont mistake me, "are you afriad of the sense of belonging to a community?, you dont want to belong to a class of devotees, a group? Just be an onlooker, commentator and a point of inspiration and help?,  but how long one can wander like this? "

 I think we should really identify with our Guru, oh this is my Home, it does not take any pratice to lead that, it is a inner will or state. you know.
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: ksksat27 on July 21, 2014, 07:06:27 PM
well sir, 

"Krishna,Please go through your posts .They are full of advices to one and all.You may like to examine whether this is okay for you."

Frankly speaking every moment I wander away from Sri Ramana I feel that I am not fully surrendered to Him.  If I would have surrendered, where is the need to read other saint's teachings ?

To what I do is atleast increase the percentage of time I spend with Ramana Maharishee.  It should be the maximum time.  Only for relaxation,  instead of seeing mega serial or reading any type of novel, one can read the respected teaching of other saints.  Otherwise,  one should always , one and only follow his Master alone.

so it is like this:

best preferrable approach:     only who am i or arunachala bhakthi in Arunachaleshwara temple.  change between these two only.

second preferrable approach: if that bores (due to our lack of maturity),  read Ramana recommended books like Ribhu Gita or Ramana related books like Guru Vachaka Kovai or Sannidhi Murai or Direct teachings like Ulladhu Narpadhu or Upadesa undiyar.

third preferrable approach:    if even that bores,  turn to devotees of Ramana and re-read their accounts from Power of presence or living by the words of Bhagavan.

fouth preferrable approach:  for some divertion go ahead and read about other saints, but come back soon to world of Ramana Maharishee alone.


What I have put here may seem crude and raw,  but that works sir.  You may consider ,just rewind all the Masters before your eyes,  you will feel that dualistic attraction to your Master at some point.

It is not advise,  but a frank wondering with regards to our flawed approach ( i am very much there in the group but varying degree)
Title: Re: performing rituals to the departed
Post by: Ravi.N on July 21, 2014, 07:56:26 PM
ksksat(krishna),
If you wish to discuss anything unrelated to the topic,we may do so in the Rough Note book thread.I am moving my responses from here to there.
Namaskar.