Episode # 52 – Why should we perform the “TARPANA” & “PITRU-KARYA” regularly without fail?

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Jarath-Kaaru being convinced by the “Pitru-Devatas” to enter into the “Grihasta-Ashrama”. The main worry for the Pitru Devatas was that, if Sage Jarath-Kaaru did not have a family of his own, then who would continue the “Pitru-Kaarya” routine after Sage Jarath-Kaaru? We had witnessed earlier that Sage Jarath-Kaaru had absolutely no interest in getting married and having a family of his own. He was so engrossed into his “Brahmacharya Vratha” that he thought of attaining “Moksha” through this practice only. Hence, he was into deep penance most of the time and never even realized what was happening around him. It is only with the timely intervention of the “Pitru-Devatas” in between his “Tapas”, that Sage Jarath-Kaaru was made aware of the importance of having a family. On the request of the Pitru-Devatas, Sage Jarath-Kaaru agreed to get married and to enhance the family tree from there on. 

This is where we’ve to realize the importance of having a family too, and most importantly, performing all the “Tarpanas” (Spiritual Offerings to our Pitru Devatas) regularly without fail. I’ve emphasized this point many times before as well, but given the context, it is good to remind ourselves of this important duty. As “Grihastas” living in this world, we have the bound duty to perform the “Tarpana” to our parents after they depart from this world. All this is part of our “Karma” and we’ve to meticulously perform it without fail. For instance, if it is an “Amaavashya Tarpana” (The offering that is done on a no-moon day), or “Mahaalayapaksha Tarpana” (The offering that is done during the Mahaalayapaksha time), etc. – All these should be performed without fail. This is the only way that we feed our “Pitru Devatas”, with whose blessings we shall be able to lead a happy and a peaceful life. In fact, many of them suffer in their daily lives because of the failure to adhere to these norms. Failure to perform this “Karma” leads us to accumulate truckloads of “Sins” and our “Paapa-Karma” account keeps on getting replenished. This would automatically get reflected in our horoscope and our planetary positions in the future or even in our subsequent births would make sure that we would undergo the repercussions of what we’ve failed to do today. This is where we’ve to be careful. 

Of course, I’m not trying to scare anyone. There is no need for us to get into a fear that if we do not do the “Tarpana” properly, our life would be doomed. Instead, we should take it as our bound duty to feed our “Pitru Devatas” using the “Tarpana”. Afterall who are these “Pitru Devatas”? They are our own parents, our grandparents and our great grandparents, isn’t it? How can they ever curse us? Even when they were alive, all of them wanted to see us in a good position and leading a peaceful and a happy life, isn’t it? The same mindset would continue even after they become “Pitru Devatas”. However, isn’t it our duty to give them back for all whatever they’ve done to us? For instance, our parents would have to undergo so much suffering for us to come to a good position in life, isn’t it? What are we going to give our parents back? How are we going to compensate for their phenomenal sacrifice that they’ve done for our benefit? It is only through the “Tarpana”. When our parents become “Pitru Devatas”, all they would expect from us is thus, “Oh! Till we were alive, we were feeding our son regularly and made sure that our son did not feel hungry even for a single day. Now we’re unable to feed him anymore. Atleast now won’t our son feed us for a change? Will our son make sure that we do not go hungry at the end of the day?” Thus, isn’t it our bound duty to fulfill our parents’ hunger at a time when it is required the most? 

Even when we are alive, we can somehow search for food and satisfy our hunger. But when we become “Pitru Devatas” after our demise, we would be able to accept food only through our son and nobody else. The water that we pour as “Argya” as part of the “Tarpana” process, combined with the “Mantras” that we chant, gets transformed into the food for our “Pitru Devatas”. We should understand this point very keenly here – Many of us might have this doubt – Oh! Why are we “wasting” water by doing all these “Tarpanas”? Instead, we shall use this water to nourish plants or other living beings, isn’t it? This is an absurd question to ask! As mentioned earlier, the water that we pour for the “Tarpana” gets transformed into the food that they eat at the “Pitru Lokha”. We do not know what kind of food they eat there. This is why we offer water along with the “Mantras” chanted along with it. These “Mantras” are so powerful that they would be able to transform the water that we pour into the food that they eat. 

For instance, if we’ve to transfer money from one bank account to another, do the same currency notes get transferred? No, isn’t it? Only the amount gets transferred, and the person who is withdrawing this money from another location gets different currency notes as per the availability at that particular location, isn’t it? Similarly here also, the water that we pour here, gets transformed into the food that they consume in the “Pitru Lokha”, and once we do this, our parents are extremely happy! In turn, they shed tears of joy and with that, they bless us with all their heart! This blessing is what makes our lives happy and peaceful! 

So for today, let us understand this important point and let us do the needful in this regard! We shall wait till the next episode to witness the continuation of Sage Jarath-Kaaru’s accord as to how he got married to Snake Vaasuki’s sister. Stay tuned! 🙂 

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at International School of Business & Media, Pune, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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