THE CURSES FROM THE FATHER/ANCESTORS
Pitṛśrāpāt Sutakṣaya Yoga
Can there be curse coming from one’s father? Why should a father curse a son? We can logically think that this occurs when the son either violates the principles laid down by the father, and his lineage to lead a Dharmic life (according to the lineage), or a child deserts his/her father and fails to the last rites. The curse from the father is mainly because of a sense of destitution and abandonment, and rarely because of anger. Normally, parents, howsoever angry they become, do not curse their child, but rather try to correct them to follow a righteous path. But what can be done, if the child forgets about his/her responsibility toward the father, one’s own lineage, and then strays away from his/her duty? Sūrya is the Kāraka for father, and the 9th house is the Kāraka Bhāva. In a curse of the father, there must be some affliction coming on Sūrya/9th house/9th lord, and they must be connected in some fashion with the Sutabhāva, of children. Sometimes, 10th is also regarded as the house of father, but this Bhāva is the father’s lineage, as it is the 2nd house of Kula of the father (9th). The duties father inherits from his lineage is seen from the 10th house, the house of Karma. It is normally seen that a child picks up naturally the livelihood/profession of the father’s lineage, because 10th is also the house of work. The son of a farmer becomes a farmer, the son of a doctor, doctor, the son of a lawyer, lawyer, the son of a goldsmith, goldsmith and so on. Even in the modern world, even though there is more flexibility, but this trend continues.
The curses from the Father
There are some tell-tale signs when a Pitṛśrāpa is present that cause denial of a Son, and progress of one’s lineage. The 5th is the house of the son. Therefore, one of the signs is that the 5th lord is Sūrya and is afflicted in the Kuṇḍalī. When Sūrya is in the 5th house, normally he denies children, or at least the 1st child is lost, and thereafter children are born, who live. If the 5th lord is in a Sūrya’s Rāśi/Añśa and is afflicted, then also father’s curse is seen, which causes denial of children. According to Maharṣi Parāśara, when Sūrya is in the 5th Bhāva, and is in Śani’s Navāñśa, subjected to Pāpakartari father curse is seen. The influence of Śani on Sūrya indicates that the native has forgotten (Śani) his duty towards his father, perhaps because the native ignored his duty to perform the last rites of his father/ paternal ancestors. We can very well say that Sūrya in the 5th house in Śani’s Rāśi/Añśa, or subjected to Śani’s dṛṣṭi, and the Suteśa/Bṛhaspati is weak elsewhere indicates this curse. Affliction of Suteśa/Bṛhaspati by Śani/Rāhu by yutidṛṣṭi or Kartari etc. is a serious concern.
BPHS 83.20–30. There is no male issue, as a result of the curse of the father in the previous birth, if at birth of the native, (1) Sūrya in his Nīca Rāśi, in Navāñśa of Śani, subjected to Pāpakartari in the Sutabhāva; (2) Sūrya as Suteśa, posited in a Trikoṇa with Krūragraha, subjected to Pāpakartari and having Krūradṛṣṭi; (3) Bṛhaspati in Sūrya’s Rāśi, Suteśa conjoins Sūrya and Lagna and the Sutabhāva occupied by Krūragrahas; (4) a powerless Lagneśa in the Sutabhāva and Suteśa combust and Lagna and the Sutabhāva occupied by Krūragrahas; (5) Rāśi Parivartana between Suteśa and Karmeśa and Lagna and the Sutabhāva occupied by Krūragrahas; (6) Maṅgala, as the Karmeśa, conjoins with the Suteśa and Lagneśa, the Suta and Karma Bhāvas are occupied by Krūragrahas; (7) Karmeśa in the Trikasthāna, Sutakāraka Bṛhaspati in Krūrarāśi and Lagneśa and Suteśa are conjoins with Krūragrahas; (8) Sūrya, Maṅgala and Śani in Lagna and Sutabhāva, and Rāhu and Bṛhaspati are in Randhra and Vyāya Bhāva; (9) Sūrya in the Randhra, Śani Sutabhāva, Suteśa conjoins with Rāhu and Lagna occupied by Krūragraha; (10) Vyāyeśa in Lagna, Randhreśa in Sutabhāva and Karmeśa in Randhra Bhāva; (11) Ṣaṣṭheśa in Sutabhāva, Karmeśa in Ari Bhāva and Bṛhaspati conjoins Rāhu.पुत्रस्थानं गते भानौ नीचे मन्दांशकस्थिते। पार्श्वयोः क्रूरसम्बन्धे पितृशापात् सुतक्षयः॥ २०॥ पुत्रस्थानाधिपे भानौ त्रिकोणे पापसंयुते। क्रूरान्तरे पापदृष्टे पितृशापात् सुतक्षयः॥ २१॥ भानुराशिस्थिते जीवे पुत्रेशे भानुसंयुते। पुत्रे लग्ने च पापाढ्ये पितृशापात् सुतक्षयः॥ २२॥ लग्नेशे दुर्बले पुत्रे पुत्रेशे भानुसंयुते। पुत्रे लग्ने पापयुते पितृशापात् सुतक्षयः॥ २३॥ पितृस्थानाधिपे पुत्रे पुत्रेशे वापि कर्मगे। पुत्रे लग्ने च पापाढ्ये पितृशापात् सुतक्षयः॥ २४॥ पितृस्थानाधिपे भौमः पुत्रेशेन समन्वितः। लग्ने पुत्रे पितृस्थाने पापे सन्ततिनाशनम्॥ २५॥ पितृस्थानाधिपे दुःस्थे कारके पापराशिगे। सपापौ पुत्रलग्नेशौ पितृशापात् सुतक्षयः॥ २६॥ लग्नपञ्चमभावस्था भानुभौमशनैश्चराः। रन्ध्रे रिष्फे राहुजीवौ पितृशापात् सुतक्षयः॥ २७॥ लग्नादष्टमगे भानौ पुत्रस्थे भानुनन्दने। पुत्रेशे राहुसंयुक्ते लग्ने पापे सुतक्षयः॥ २८॥ व्ययेशे लग्नभावस्थे रन्ध्रेशे पुत्रराशिगे। पितृस्थानाधिपे रन्ध्रे पितृशापात् सुतक्षयः॥ २९॥ रोगेशे पुत्रभावस्थे पितृस्थानाधिपे रिपौ। कारके राहुसंयुक्ते पितृशापात् सुतक्षयः॥ ३०॥
When the Suteśa is well placed in a Trikoṇa (continuation of lineage), but subjected to Krūra yutidṛṣṭi, and the Suteśa happens to be Sūrya, or is in Sūrya’s Rāśi/Añśa, Pitṛśrāpa is noticed. Suteśa in Sūrya’s Rāśi/Añśa and being afflicted by Krūra yutidṛṣṭi is certainly a yoga of Pitṛśrāpa. But, instead of Suteśa, if Bṛhaspati is placed in Sūrya’s Rāśi/Añśa or Suteśa conjoins Sūrya, and at the same time, the Lagna and Sutabhāva are subjected to Pāpakartari or Krūra yutidṛṣṭi, can we not say the same? IN fact, Maharṣi Parāśara clearly states that when Bṛhaspati in Sūrya’s Rāśi, Suteśa conjoins Sūrya and Lagna and the Sutabhāva occupied by Krūragrahas, Pitṛśrāpa is present. How about Bṛhaspati conjoining Sūrya instead of Suteśa? Well, this is one of the best yogas in a Kuṇḍalī because both are the Kārakas of the Bhāgya/Dharma Bhāva, and a sambandha between the two indicate that the person does not sway from his Dharma. If so, how can the person abandon his father? In the Kuṇḍalī of Lord Śrī Rāma, Sūrya is in the Rāśi of Bṛhaspati, i.e., Mīna Rāśi, aspected by Bṛhaspati, and he is the very epitome of Dharma. But, since Sūrya in the 9th is not conducive to father’s longevity, his father passed away near the age when he was ready to be coronated.
When the Sutabhāva, and the Lagna are afflicted by Krūragrahas, a Sutakṣaya Śrāpa is likely to be present. And, further to this, if the Suteśa is rendered very weak due to his conjunction with Sūrya and combustion, the Pitṛśrāpa manifests. Lagneśa’s weakness in the Sutabhāva makes it worse. The Lagneśa carries the vibrations of both Maṅgala and Sūrya, because Maṅgala is the Naisargika Lagneśa and Lagna’s Kāraka is Sūrya. According to Maharṣi Parāśara, the Pitṛśrāpa manifests when a powerless Lagneśa in the Sutabhāva and Suteśa combust and Lagna and the Sutabhāva occupied by Krūragrahas. When Lagna and Sutabhāva are afflicted by Krūragraha, Rāśiparivartana between Suteśa and Karmeśa denote Pitṛśrāpa. Karmabhāva is the 6th from the Sutabhāva, and the Parivartana between the two is a mediocre Parivartana. Here, the involvement of the Karmabhāva denote the Karma of the father’s lineage, which perhaps was ignored or forgotten by the native. This not a major issue, but it becomes an issue when the Lagna and the Sutabhāva are afflicted by Krūragrahas. Here Karmabhāva and the Karmeśa both are related to Sūrya, because this Bhāva is Sūrya’s dikbala Rāśi, and Sūrya shines brilliantly in this Bhāva. Sūrya is one of the four Kārakas of the 10th, the other 3 being, Budha, Bṛhaspati and Śani.
According to Maharṣi Parāśara this Śrāpa is seen when Maṅgala, as the Karmeśa, conjoins with the Suteśa and Lagneśa, the Suta and Karma Bhāvas are occupied by Krūragrahas. Maṅgala attains dikbala in the Karma Bhāva like Sūrya. When the Suta and Karma Bhāvas are afflicted by Krūragrahas, conjunction of Karmeśa Maṅgala with the Lagneśa/Suteśa denote this Śrāpa. The involvement of Maṅgala indicate anger, and the involvement of Karmabhāva indicate father and his lineage. This could also be a curse that is coming through father’s lineage, when Karmeśa in the Trikasthāna, Sutakāraka Bṛhaspati in Krūrarāśi and Lagneśa and Suteśa are conjoins with Krūragrahas. In this yoga, the 3 factors Bṛhaspati, Lagneśa and Suteśa are afflicted, and the Karmeśa, the significator for the father’s Kula is in a Trikasthāna, indicating that a curse is delivered by someone from the father’s forefathers. The question here is that, how can the curse causing specifically loss of demise of children be due to the father’s Kula when there is no connection of the Karma/Karmeśa with the 5th house, even though, this factor is afflicted? I think this yoga would make total sense, if the Suteśa is in Sūrya’s Rāśi or Añśa, or Sūrya is in Sutabhāva, or Suteśa conjoins Sūrya. It is said that when Suteśa is conjunct Sūrya, and is Asta, and other factors, 5H/5L/Bṛhaspati are afflicted, father’s curse is evident.
Maharṣi Parāśara states another yoga, in which, Sūrya, Maṅgala and Śani must be in Lagna and Sutabhāva, and Rāhu and Bṛhaspati are in Randhra and Vyāya Bhāva. This yoga appears confusing, and my interpretation is like this — Maṅgala and Śani must be separately placed in Lagna and Sutabhāva, and Sūrya must conjoin them. Bṛhaspati, the Sutakāraka must be either in Randhra or Vyāya and conjunct Rāhu. In short, Gurucaṇḍāla yoga in the Randhra/Vyāyabhāva, and Sūrya conjoins either Maṅgala or Śani in the Lagna or the Putrābhāva. Effectively, Lagna and Sutabhāva are afflicted by Krūrayuti, and the Kāraka Bṛhaspati is also afflicted in a Dusthāna by Rāhu. Even though there are several possibilities, my personal preference is to take the yoga in this manner — Sūrya conjoins Śani in the Sutabhāva, Guru with Rāhu in Randhra or Vyāya, and the Lagna is occupied by Maṅgala in a Śatru/Nīca Rāśi. This fulfils the condition of affliction of the Suta/Lagna Bhāva, the Sutakāraka, the Pitṛkāraka, and association of the afflicted Pitṛkāraka with the Sutabhāva.
In another yogas, the Pitṛkāraka Sūrya is in the Randhra, Śani is in the Sutabhāva, Suteśa conjoins Rāhu and Lagna is occupied by Krūragraha. In this yoga however Sūrya is not related to the 5H or the 5L. For the Pitṛśrāpa to cause childlessness, there must be some association of Sūrya with the 5H/5L/5th Kāraka. Now, what happens when the Suteśa is afflicted by Rāhu in Sūrya’s Rāśi/ Añśa. Or Sūrya is in Randhra Bhāva in a Rāśi/Añśa owned by the 5L. For instance, for Kumbha or Siṅha Rāśi, the 5th and 8th are owned by the same Graha. If say, for Kumbha Lagna, Sūrya is in the 8H in Budha’s Rāśi, who is also the 5H, Budha is conjunct with Rāhu in Dusthāna or Karmabhāva, and Śani is in the Sutabhāva in Mithuna, and the Lagna is occupied by Maṅgala, it completes the yoga. In short, we should be looking for one of more of the following four yogas: (1) the Sutabhāva, Suteśa, Sutakāraka are afflicted, (2) The Lagna, Lagneśa are afflicted, (3) The Śrāpa Kāraka Sūrya is in the Sutabhāva, conjoin with the Suteśa, or in the Rāśi of Suteśa, (4) Suteśa, Sutakāraka in the Śrāpa Kāraka Bhāva, i.e., Dharma or Karma. The affliction to the concerned Bhāva (5th house), the Śrāpa Bhāva/ Kāraka (9th house/Sūrya), and the association between the two indicate the Cause of the Śrāpa (9th/Sūrya), and the Effect (5th house).
In the next Yoga, Maharṣi Parāśara explains that, when Vyāyeśa in Lagna, Randhreśa in Sutabhāva and Karmeśa in Randhra Bhāva the Pitṛśrāpa is caused. Let us start with the origin of the curse, which is the position of Karmeśa in the Randhra Bhāva. Earlier we noticed that an affliction of Suteśa in the Karmabhāva indicate a similar issue, because, from the 5th, 10th is the 6th house. Now, we notice that placement of the Karmeśa in the 8th house of sin (12th from 9th, the house of righteousness) denote a Pāpakarma that is coming through the father’s lineage. The impact is on the Sutabhāva, because the dispositor of the Karmeśa (cause), is in the Sutabhāva (effect). Further to this, the last among the Dusthānas, 12th lord is in the Lagna, causing weaknesses. This fulfils the criteria, which is affliction to the Suta and Lagna Bhāva, and the involvement of the Pitṛkāraka (in this case, the Karmeśa) with the Sutabhāva.
The last among the yogas is the presence of Ṣaṣṭheśa in Sutabhāva, Karmeśa in Ṣaṣṭabhāva and Bṛhaspati conjoins Rāhu. We have previously seen how the presence of Karmeśa in Randhra, and his dispositor in Sutabhāva gave rise to this curse. This yoga is a slight variation of that. In this yoga, the cause of the Śrāpa is seen from the presence of Karmeśa in Ṣaṣṭabhāva! And, the impact is seen from the Bhāva where Karmeśa’s dispositor is, i.e., the Sutabhāva. Furthermore, the Sutakāraka Bṛhaspati should conjoin Rāhu. In the previous śloka, Lagna was occupied by Vyāyeśa, and in this śloka Bṛhaspati afflicted by Rāhu. Therefore, the generic principle used here is that, the Karmeśa must be in Ṣaṣṭāṣṭama, and the Karmeśa’s dispositor is Sutabhāva, and another factor related to Sutabhāva/Lagna (5H/5L/Bṛhaspati/Lagna) is also afflicted by Rāhu/Śani. I think, a similar yoga is caused when the Dharmeśa is in Ṣaṣṭāṣṭama and his dispositor is in Sutabhāva, and another factor of Sutabhāva/Lagna is afflicted by Śani/Rāhu.
Redemption from Pitṛ Śrāpa
It is evident from the remedy that the cause of the Pitṛśrāpa is the abandonment of the last rites of the father. In the Hindu Śāstras, the last rites of the departed is attached great importance, as that helps the departed person to attain peace in the other world. If the native forgot to perform the last rites of the father in the last life, one is born with the Pitṛśrāpa yoga in this life. To overcome the Śrāpa, one must perform the Śrāddha in this life to his parents with full sincerity. And for the Śrāpa coming from the past life, he must perform the Śrāddhas to his forefathers, in Gayā, a divine place known for this. It is commonly known as performing Piṇḍadāna in Gayā. It is said that Lord Rāma came to Gayā to perform Piṇḍadāna for his father Maharaja Dashrath. The story of Gayā Asur, the demon who was granted the wish of being known as the origin of the most sacred place by Lord Viṣṇu is also known. There’s a Viṣṇu temple known as “Viṣṇupāda temple” which forms the major reason of Gayā being the most sacred place for Piṇḍadāna. In the Purāṇa, Lord Viṣṇu said that that the people who worship his footprint present in the temple and sacrifice the ash of the relative in Gayā releases his ancestor to attain Mokṣa.
BPHS 83.31–33. To get deliverance form the curse of the father the remedial measures are performance of Śrāddha at Gayā; to feed ten thousand, one thousand, or 100 Brāhmaṇa, as one can afford; Kanyādāna; giving a cow in charity. By observing these remedial measures, the person concerned becomes free from the curse and the family lineage is prolonged by the birth of sons, grandsons etc.
There are major categories of Ṛṇa (debts) that can be addressed here, by performance of the appropriate rituals in Gayā, (1) Pitṛṛṇa, (2) Devṛṇa, and (3) Ṛṣiṛṇa. There are certain procedures which are conducted to complete these Ṛṇa rituals.
For Pitṛṛṇa, one should perform the Antyeṣṭi Saṅskāra, Asthi Visarjana, Śrāddha, and Brāhmaṇa Bhoja. According to Maharṣi Parāśara, one should feed 10,000, 1,000 or even 100 Brāhmaṇas according to one’s capacity. For one should perform Vedic Karmakāṇḍa, Rudrābhiṣeka Pujā, and Yajña. For Ṛṣiṛṇa, one should perform charitable deeds (Sevāsatkara) and donations to the needy (Dāna). Ṛṣiṛṇa and Devṛṇa can be addressed in one’s regular lifestyle, but for Pitṛṛṇa one must set aside a separate time to perform the special activities that grants peace to the departed soul.
1. Antyeṣṭi Saṅskāra: This is Funeral Ceremony. Antyeṣṭi is a Sanskrit word where antya means “Last” and iṣṭi “fulfilment of desires”. It is the desire of everyone to attain peace and Mokṣa after death. Therefore, it refers to the funeral rites for the dead. It is mostly known as “Antima Saṅskāra”. Here the body of the dead is put to fire by following certain Vedic rituals.
2. Asthi Visarjana: This is the immersion of the funeral ashes in Holy Gaṅgā: The ash collected from the Antyeṣṭi ceremony is stored in a copper vessel. According to appropriate time and date, the ash is made to flow in the river Gaṅgā.
3. Śrāddha: This is the Feasting ceremony for the remembrance of the deceased person: The people who are known to the dead are invited for food offerings and to pray for peace, for the departed soul.
4. Brāhmaṇa Bhoja: This is the offerings of food to the Brāhmaṇas. The Brāhmaṇas, who are the caretakers of God are invited for Food and Dakṣiṇa offerings.
Appropriate day for performing Piṇḍadāna: The ritual of Piṇḍadāna is done throughout the year on the banks of Gayā, but there is a specific time which is the most auspicious, which is Pitṛpakṣa Amāvasyā. Pitṛpakṣa is a 16 Tithis period in Hindu calendar when Hindus pay homage to their ancestor (Pitṛs), especially through food offerings. Pitṛpakṣa is considered by Hindus to be inauspicious, given the death rite performed during the ceremony, known as Śrāddha or Tarpana. In southern and western India, it falls in the Kṛṣṇapakṣa of Bhādra Māsa. The Lunar month of Bhādra commences immediately after the Sūrya-Candra yuti in Siṅha Rāśi. The first Pakṣa is the Śuklapakṣa, in which, in the Caturthī Tithi, the Gaṇeśa Caturthī is celebrated. The Kṛṣṇapakṣa begins nearly 15 days after the commencement of the Bhādra Māsa. It begins on Kṛṣṇa Pratipada and ends with the Amāvasyā the ends the Bhādra Māsa. The Amāvasyā of Bhādra Māsa is known as Sarvapitṛ Amāvasyā, Pitṛ Amāvasyā, Peddala Amāvasyā, Mahālaya Amāvasyā or simply Mahālaya. With the end of Pitṛpakṣa, Devipakṣa begins. It is during the Pitṛpakṣa, people in large numbers gather here to perform these rites.
The rituals of the Śrāddha or Piṇḍadāna rite performed in Gayā that include, (1) Snāna and Saṅkalpa: One should take a bath in the holy Gaṅgā before performing Piṇḍadāna. (2) Piṇḍadāna: The worshiping of the departed souls and the ancestors. (3) Tarpana: In this act the closest relatives make a sacred offering to God so that the soul may enter Svarga. Tarpana is also referred as Arghya where an offering is made to all the 5 Devas and Navagrahas. Some perform Tarpana by using water and Sesame seeds during Pitṛpakṣa which is known as Tilatarpana.
Types of Piṇḍadāna: There are several kinds of rites which are supposed to be performed depending on the type of death.
1. Ekodṛṣṭi Gayā Śrāddha: This is performed in a day. For Ekodṛṣṭi Śrāddha one must cover only three important Vedis or special locations i.e. Falgu River, Viṣṇupada Temple, and the Akṣayavaṭa. If the death was abnormal then one must also visit Pretaśilā, Gayākupa, and Dharmāraṇya.
2. Bṛhat Gayā Śrāddha: As the name suggests this is a very elaborate process of lass rites. This requires the investment of more time and you will have to visit 48 Vedis. (1) Poonpooncharan Puja, (2) Falgu River, (3) Viṣṇupada, (4) Brahmākuṇḍa, (5) Pretaśilā, (6) Rāmaśilā, (7) Rāmakuṇḍa, (8) Kārtikapada, (9) Mat Gowapi, (10) Muṇḍapṛṣṭha, (11) Jihvālol, (12) Kagbali, (13) Gaṇeśapada, (14) Rāmagayā, (15) Dudhtarpana, (16) Uttaramānasa, (17) Amarasichen, (18) Sandhyānagnipada, (19) Sitākuṇḍa, (20) Baitarni, (21) Udichi, (22) Rudrapada, (23) Yāgñipada, (24) Soubhāgyadāna, (25) Akṣayavaṭa, (26) Kankhal, (27) Brahmāpada, (28) Dadhisthipada, (29) Gayāsira, (30) Gāyatrighāṭa, (31) Dakṣiṇamānas, (33) Kannapada, (34) Gayākupa, (35) Kopada, (36) Agastyapada, (37) Indrapada, (38) Kaśyapapada, (39) Gajakarana, (40) Dadhigagni, (41) Ahabaniagni, (42) Sūryapada, (43) Sarasvatī, (44) Gajadhara, (45) Dharmāraṇya, (46) Brahmasarovera, (47) Dhodpada, (48) Ādigayā.
The Agnipurāṇa, Mahāgarūṛapurāṇa and Vāyupurāṇa mentions about the 27 padas or sacred places, which are highly relevant for the liberation of the ancestors. Many of them have disappeared because of Time. They are, Kedārapada, Kaṃkeśapada, Rāmapada, Brahmapada, Rūdrapada, Kaṇvapada, Agastyapada, Mātaṃgapada, Gaṇapada, Kārtikapada, Iṃdrapada, Candrapada, Sūryapada, Gārhastyāgnipada, Gṛddhayapada, Dakṣiṇāgnipada, Matsyapada, Kroṃcapada, Gayapada, Arūṇādityapada, Karūṇādityapada and Amodhapada.
Om Tat Sat