Author Topic: performing rituals to the departed  (Read 12179 times)

Nagaraj

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Re: performing rituals to the departed
« Reply #15 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.

--
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Ravi.N

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Re: performing rituals to the departed
« Reply #16 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....

Ravi.N

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Re: performing rituals to the departed
« Reply #17 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...

Ravi.N

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Re: performing rituals to the departed
« Reply #18 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....

Ravi.N

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Re: performing rituals to the departed
« Reply #19 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.

Nagaraj

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Re: performing rituals to the departed
« Reply #20 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.

--
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

atmavichar100

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Re: performing rituals to the departed
« Reply #21 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 ?
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

Ravi.N

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Re: performing rituals to the departed
« Reply #22 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.

drsundaram

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Re: performing rituals to the departed
« Reply #23 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 ]
   

Ritter

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Re: performing rituals to the departed
« Reply #24 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...

Ritter

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Re: performing rituals to the departed
« Reply #25 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...

Jewell

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Re: performing rituals to the departed
« Reply #26 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,

ksksat27

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Re: performing rituals to the departed
« Reply #27 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

Ravi.N

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Re: performing rituals to the departed
« Reply #28 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.


ksksat27

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Re: performing rituals to the departed
« Reply #29 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.