Significance of the Pitrusuddhi - Ancestral Cleansing at Santhigiri
By M. Chidambaran, Dy. Director of Education- Retd., Haripad)
This is not the usual pitrusuddhi (purification of the souls of our ancestors) carried out through sacrifices (homas) or oblations as practiced according to the Hindu tradition. Real pitrusuddhi does not happen through that ceremony. The sinful souls of the dead who are ineligible for liberation or mukti become instrumental in generating children in neecha rasi (evil position of stars) which in turn results in failures of actions (karma) and also misery. This can be overcome only through pitrusuddhi carried out through sankalpa or will which is the unique way of the Guru. He divines the conditions of all objects of our worship and those of our earlier generations (souls of the dead) and with His knowledge of Brahman He brings them to his own spiritual light making them eligible for liberation through His acquired goodness (virtues). This is what is known by the name Guru Pooja in Santhigiri.
Our duty is to bring forth our children to become parents to establish a new lineage (parampara) of the people arising from the purified souls. Such people will be the embodiment of goodness, fortune and power as well as purity of action. The realization of the ultimate truth experienced by the faithful and the disciples of the Guru is the distinctive characteristic of Santhigiri. Nowhere else can we find believers and disciples who have really experienced visions and revelations as in Santhigiri. The concept of God is realized through the Guru. People who follow different religions, faiths and practice different rituals can have their sins of the previous births removed by following the path of the Guru. He is the only person who can divine the actions of the previous births and foresee the future and its dharma and advise how to carry out our duties in relation to it. Offering correctives to the darsans the Guru alone can lead us to the path of liberation. Without a real Guru this becomes impossible. We can find out this Guru through His disciples who have actually experienced His grace.
The purpose of Guru’s birth is the creation of a casteless and classless society, the members of which will maintain purity in thought and action and also hold on to eternal moral values, fraternity and peace. Navajyoti Sri Karunakara Guru fulfills this mission of establishing a new lineage of people with faith in One God following the genuine dharma and karma of Manu. Hence this is a liberating religion. Santhigiri will be known as the birthplace of anew concept of humanity. Navajyoti Sri Karunakara Guru spoke on the relevance of Santhigiri Ashram to the present age thus:
‘The knowledge initiated for the dissemination of dharma which human race cannot attain through Manusmriti of Manu can be obtained through the message of Santhigiri. Of the four epochs known as chaturyuga, the last one is kaliyuga. It is brought out through our lineage what the objectives of life during Kaliyuga should be, and what the full realization of divinity is expected to be. The corrections regarding the dharma to be followed in each epoch starting with Krita or Satya yuga as propounded by Sri Krishna through Bhagavat Gita becomes a reality through Santhigiri.
Sri Krishna took his birth at the end of Dwapara Yuga. His life and message have not been properly understood by either scholars or unschooled people. This distressing fact cannot be forgotten. Sri Krishna’s birth and life based on dharma sastras and puranas was a great asset to humanity. Even that we have failed to follow. Countless scholars have explicated the idea contained in the Gita. However nobody belonging to the human kind right from the Brahmin to the chandala (the untouchable) has failed to comprehend the full significance of it.
The concept of form, name and quality, countless subtle states, cause and effect relationship, the knowledge about age, the stages of dharma in the order jagrat (wakefulness) dream, slumber, turiya and turiyateeta and the inner secrets of life are perceived through the faculty of darsan (vision) of disciples and believers. They are realized from time to time as the divine design. This is a phenomenon unique to Santhigiri. Some serious mistake had crept into this kind of knowledge at some point of time resulting in the non realization of the absolute truth, which is symbolically described as the loss of the fourth face of Brahma. Nevertheless, some great souls who came after Sri Krishna could perceive the truth….. Thanks to the serene and blameless divine darsan of exalted souls. Santhigiri by its precepts and practices embodies their great ideals. It has been fully proved here that the people belonging to all castes and creeds can realize the ultimate truth. It takes into account that has been emphasized in our ancient puranas and epics. It also focuses on the yuga dharma of Kaliyuga and it is revealed only through the special faculty of darsan.
India’s purnas, epics and Vedas prescribe a laborious method of long term practice for the attainment of spiritual realization. However, Santhigiri emphasizes spiritual realization through activities according to yuga dharma not hurting even an ant. This is nothing but what the Holy Bible said, ‘seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened’. It is the same as the ‘jyoti varna’ in the Holy Koran and ‘Satya Dharma’ described in Hinduism or the Sanatana Dahrma. Therefore Santhigiri shows us the divine exhortation for all people to grow in every way’.(To be continued)