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Re: Digest bhakti.v010.n031

From: Srinivasan Iyengar S3 Inc (iyengar_at_s3.com)
Date: Mon Oct 07 1996 - 10:55:38 PDT

--------------- MESSAGE bhakti.v010.n031.4 ---------------

From: Jaganath.Bharadwaj@nrecatao.nreca.org
Subject: Question
Date: Monday, 7 October 1996 8:39am ET

Does an individual, whose parents are alive, but none in that
generation follow any of the prescribed nitya and naimittika karmas,
have any responsibilities towards ancestors like amAvAsya tarpanam or
annual Sraddha?

Jaganath.
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Dear Sri Jaganath, 

Again, from my limited understanding of some of our texts, I will venture
to voice my view of what our Maharishis say on this matter.

Ordinarily one does not perform Pitr Karmas if the Parents are alive.
In case of the situation you have outlined, our elders say that one is not
"obligated" to perform these Karmas. But it is "Higher Dharma" if we take
up the responsibility of "feeding" our Pitrs. Infact, Maharishis say that
one obtains the merit of performing the "Ashwamedha Yaagam", if we perform
such a meritorious deed. Not only that, the lapse on part of the one actually
responsible for this Karma may also get overlooked.

I will keep from expanding on this at the present time. 

Of course, some may take the enlightened view that our ancestors being
prapannas, are in Sri Vaikuntham and hence in no need of our half-handfuls
of Sesame seeds and water. 

What I have written above is from a more mundane standpoint of Karma.

Sri Ranganaatha Sri Paadukaabhyaam NamaH