11th December 2012 - Tuesday - Amma's Satsang
"Is it necessary to do regular, annual ceremonial offerings (Shrardha karma) to the deceased parents?"
The above question was posed by a resident.
The gist of Amma’s reply was as below:
"Our parents gave birth to us and did lots of sacrifice to bring us up. It is the duty of the children to take care of them at their old age. Our duty to them extends even beyond their death; The sacrificial and ceremonial food we offer to them and our fond remembrance of them on their death anniversaries do reach up to them in a subtle way, irrespective of whether they are still roaming around as spirits or whether they have taken a new birth. Like a properly addressed letter reaching the addressee through the postal delivery system or as a phone call getting connected to the person whose number is dialed correctly or like an e-mail reaching a person of the correct ID, the sacrificial offerings, properly identified with that person and addressed do get delivered to the spirits in the subtle world and they help the deceased to get positive benefits in their after-life.
"However, what is far more important is to take loving care of the parents while they are alive. Once there was a little boy, who was very fond of his grandfather. His grandfather used to play with him, tell him stories and take loving care of him and naturally the boy too was full of love for his grandfather. But the father of the boy had no love or reverence towards his father; he would ignore the old man and would not care about him at all.
"One day, the boy came to know that the birth day of the principal of the school was coming on the next day; the same day was the birth day of his grandfather too. When the boy mentioned about the birthday of his principal, the father suggested to him to present the person with a rose and he readily came forward to buy and give it to the son. The son asked, “Father, tomorrow is the birthday of the grandpa too! I love him so much; can you get me one more rose for him? If I present it to him, he will feel so happy”
"“No. Not necessary. Your grandfather does not need such things” was the curt reply by the father.
"After some days, the grandfather passed away. The little boy was grief stricken. When he was sitting beside the dead body of his grandfather, his father brought a huge rose flower wreath to be placed over the body of his father. The boy suddenly got up, stopped his father from placing the wreath and asked him: “When I wanted to buy just a rose to present to him when he was alive, you did not allow me. For what purpose are you now attempting to place such a large rose wreath? Can you make grandpa happy with this now?”
It is obvious that what we do to our parents when they are alive is far more important than what we do after their death.
"However, as for as house holders are concerned, it is necessary that they do the ceremonial rites to their deceased parents.
"But in case of spiritual aspirants, who leave behind their worldly life and dedicate their life in quest of God, there is no need for them to do the rites meant to be done for deceased parents. Spiritual aspirants acquire quite some punya through their sadhana and selfless service and a portion of that punya definitely goes to the benefit of their parents. So, they need not worry about doing prescribed ceremonial rites for their deceased parents."