Should a Neophite devotee perform rituals for ancestors and family God?
Subhahini Raghupathy asked like this:
Hare Krishna Prabhuji, I have some doubts, 1) Is it necessary for a starting level devotee to do annual rituals for his ancestors? 2) I have heard that through the genes, Pitru Dosha is passed to the next generation. Please explain how does it happen. & 3) What is the reason to perform family tradition pooja, to follow family tradition and to worship family deities?
The purpose of performing annual rituals for the ancestors is to reduce their hellish term, to feed them when they are in the Pitru loka and to give them good rebirth.
When we offer food for ancestors in annual rituals, they get their share of food every day since our one year is the one day in Pitru Loka, hells, heavens, higher planets, etc.
If we do not offer them food here in annual rituals, they will starve and/ or their hellish term will be very severe.
Now, we are performing devotion to Krishna with material attachments also. If we successfully get material detachment and prema to Krishna in this birth itself, we will go back to Krishna at the end of this birth itself. When we go back to Krishna, our ancestors too get liberation from material bondage that relieves them from all the punishments and material planets.
However, if we do not successfully get material detachment and do not attain prema to Krishna, we will have to take another birth and continue our devotion. Till we go back to Krishna, the ancestors too have to remain in the pitru loka, heavens or hells.
So, if we perform some simple annual rituals for them, they will remain free from hunger in the pitru lokas, hells, etc.
That is why, I do not discourage performing annual rituals for the ancestors by the PRACTISING DEVOTEES (SADHAKAS). Let them be free from hunger and thirst till we go back to Krishna. That is the only purpose of performing annual rituals even by the practising devotees.
No one will consider himself as an advanced devotee if he is a true devotee. So, it is good for our ancestors if we perform annual rituals atleast in a simple manner by donating to brahmanas. Donating and feeding to the Brahmanas and crows is the important aspect in annual rituals that reduces the pains of our ancestors in the other planets.
In addition to that, you can offer some food to the crows after offering to Krishna. But, do all these things without any expectation of punya that is karmic and gives rebirth to us. Do them just as a duty of reducing the hunger and thirst of the ancestors.
Not only the pitru dosha, the outlook, diseases and all the characters of a person are passed to the births through the genes only.
But, as far as the Pitru dosha and other doshas are concerned, they are recorded by the planets in the genes of in every child when it comes out of the body of mother perfectly.
The point is that the outlook, diseases and all the characters of the person is already recorded in genes. The doshas and blessings received from their previous births are recorded while taking every birth.
The genes are the storehouse of everything. That’s all.
I think you are not reading our posts properly. I have written a detailed post about honouring family deities here. I had posted even about annual rituals to ancestors by the devotees. The devotees should search in our sites for their desired topics and ask a question after confirming that it has not been already replied.
Family gods (Kula devathas) come through generations and they are not just deities, but, one of the member of our families. So, honouring them is like honouring our father or mother or grandparents. What are we going to lose by honouring the family deity as a family member? We show respect to cows, animals, birds, etc. What is wrong in showing some respect to the family deity as a family member?
Only thing is that you should not consider any deity as Supreme Personality of Godhead except Krishna. The manager is a manager; The chairman is the chairman. Just because we are controlled by the chairman, will we fail to show our respect to the manager?
Only on this basis, I do not discourage showing our respects to demigods, devathas, family deities, ancestors, etc.
Let us keep our heart broader and love everyone. Just pray to them to pray for us to advance in the devotion to Krishna.
This is the healthy mindset.