Information | Tidbits
In Favor of Last Rites Etc
Our scriptures have conflicting statements. When one talks in one context, he cites one example, when the same person talks in another context he talks some other thing...
One argument is from Geetaa, 2/22 where
Krishn tries to convince Arjun to fight with Kaurav emphasizing the
importance of soul over the body, saying "As a human being put off his
old clothes an puts on the new clothes, in the same way this soul also
put off its old body and takes up new body."
Another argument is that we normally
perform 16 Sanskaar, since pre-birth to last rites. Why do we do that?
Why people insist on getting bodies of their loved ones if they are
drowned in a river, or if lost in a forest, or lost in a flood etc.
(1) The very first example comes from
Raajaa Sagar. When Raajaa Sagar's 60,000 sons got burnt by the sight of
Kapil Muni, he sent his grandson Anshumaan to search his sons. Following
the footsteps of his uncles he came to Kapil Muni's Aashram and saw his
uncles' ashes. He understood and asked Kapil Muni that how his uncles
could get Mukti. Kapil Muni told him to bring Gangaa on Prithvi so that
the touch of its waters can give them Mukti. First Anshumaan tried, then
his son Dileep tried, then Bhageerath tried and got success in bringing
Gangaa on Prithvi and gave his forefathers Mukti.
(2) The second example comes from MBH, G-0-Prolog/6. The story of Jaratkaaru. He wanted to be bachelor and perform Tapasyaa. Once he saw some people hanging upside down in a hole and the rope with which they were tied was eaten by a rat continuously. He was surprised to see this and asked them who were they and why that rope was eaten by the rat?
They replied - "We are Rishi of rigid
vows. We have no child that is why we are sinking inside the Earth. We had a son
named Jaratkaaru who has also become a Yogee. He does not think about his children.
That is why with the fear of the end of our race, we are hanging here. Who are you
who is asking our welfare like a friend?" Jaratkaaru said - "I am Jaratkaaru
and you are my ancestors. Tell me how can I serve you?" They said - "Try
for a son so that our family line can extend. This will be good for both of us. Penance
does not acquire so much merit as becoming a father."
(3) My third example is again from
of Maharshi Agastya. he also saw his Pitri hanging upside down in a pit.
On asking they told him that they were longing for Agastya's son so that
they can come out of this Hell.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/27/04
Updated on 02/22/13