Pitru Loka and Pitru Upasana
The word ‘पितृ’ is a Sanskrit word which basically means ancestors of one’s lineage. In western civilization especially in Roman mythology, the word Pitru is translated as ‘Manes’ which basically interprets as the soul of the deceased ancestors who are considered to be the beneficial souls to the lineage.
Pitru holds much esteemed position in oriental civilization and in Kaula Siddha dharma too. It is believed that the Pitru never dies but only change their bodies. Their existence never ceases to exist. They are believed to be situated in the “Pitru Loka”. Every year a special ceremony called “Pitru Paksha” is celebrated to respect and offer food to the Pitru’s as in the form of gratitude and in return, the Pitru empowers the person who offers.
Rationale of Pitru
- 1 Rationale of Pitru
- 2 Pitru loka and classification
- 3 Matru Pujan and resemblance with Pritu Pujan
- 4 Pitru paksha
- 5 Shraddh
- 6 Classification of Shraddh
- 7 Pitru tarpan and rites
- 8 Kaula Siddha Pitru Pujan
- 9 Pitru and the law of inheritance (Paitrik sampatti)
- 10 Reference
The Kaula Siddha lineage believes that nothing in the universe is ever created or destroyed. Only form changes but the existence and essence remains the same. A seed becomes a tree and the tree becomes a seed. A seed and a tree is different in terms of shape, form and size but the very essence that is the existence of that particular plant never ceases to exist. It exists both inside the tree and also inside the seeds. This concept of Kaula Siddha lineage is also explained by Geeta in following shlokas.
As Lord Krishna in Bhagawat Geeta says,
‘नैनं छिन्दन्ति शस्त्राणि नैनं दहति पावकः
न चैनं क्लेदयन्त्यापो न शोषयति मारुतः”—- Geeta 2:23
“The soul cannot be slain by sword, nor can it be burnt down by fire, nor can it be decomposed by water and nor can it be dried by wind.”
Based on Geeta we can infer that the soul never dries. The things like fire, sword, water and wind can only impact the material form. These can only impact the five basic elements but not the essence of all these. Therefore, we can very much say that the Pitru doesn’t die but only changes their body. Their body is not as like that of human body. They have their own body.
The human body is basically made up of five basic elements i.e earth, air, fire, water and ether. The body of the Pitru is made up of three basic elements i.e air, fire and water. Since the elements like earth and water is absent from their body so the body of the Pitru is not materially tangible. Their body has the absence of matter and compactness. They have the body of the light as portrayed in movies.
After their death in this world, they either find another body or they remain stuck as a soul for various karmic deeds. The ancestor or manes who have not taken rebirth and is stuck due to some karmic deeds are basically known as Pitru.
Pitru loka and classification
The Kaula Siddha lineage believes that the Pitru do not die. They only change their body. After their death, they usually find a new body to be born within the 12th day of the death based on their karma. But in some instances, the Pitru for various reason and also based on their karmic deeds are unable to find another body. They remain stuck in the form of Pitru. The Pitrus have their own heavenly place to reside and it is called as Pitru Loka.
The Kaula Siddha lineage believes that this universe has 14 lokas i.e the 7 lokas above the earth and the 7 lokas below the earth. The Pitru loka is the loka just above the earth. It is also known as realm between heaven and earth. It is the place where the Pitrus go after the death.
As per Kaula Siddha lineage, the Pitru loka is considered as transit point between many lokas. Normally, when any person dies, the person immediately goes to Pitru loka and then based on their modes of nature they either make their journey to the higher lokas or reincarnate in this earth.
In popular culture, it is believed that the Pitru loka is ruled by Lord Yama but as per Kaula Siddha lineage, the Pitru loka is ruled and governed by the god name Aryaman. He is also believed one of the 12 Adityas. His connection with Pitru can be also verified from Bhagawad Geeta. Lord Krishna in Geeta says:
अनन्तश्र्चास्मि नागानां वरुणो यादसामहम्
पितृणामर्यमा चास्मि यमः संयमतामहम् || —- Geeta 10:29
“Amongst the snakes I am Anant; amongst aquatics I am Varun. Amongst the departed ancestors I am Aryama; amongst dispensers of law I am Yamraj, the lord of death.”
Lord Krishna says to Arjuna that amongst the Pitru, he is Aryaman. Aryaman therefore is the best among Pitru and the ruler among them as he is also one of the 12 Adityas who themselves are kings. So, Aryaman is the deity who rules the Pitru loka and not Yama.
Pitru loka doesn’t necessarily imply that only good souls or Pitru reside there. Both beneficial Pitru and maleficent Pitru reside in Pitru loka. Since, both souls stay there therefore the Pitru loka is basically classified into three sub divisons based on its modes of nature. They are as follows:
Satwa Pitru Loka
As per Kaula Siddha Dharma, the Satwa Pitru loka is where satwik Pitru resides. A person who is satwik in nature when becomes deceased goes to satwa Pitru loka because it is the loka closed to his or her nature. The environment there is also satwik and is closely related to heaven or resembles that of heaven.
Rajas Pitru Loka
As per Kaula Siddha Dharma, the rajas Pitru loka is where rajas Pitru reside. Mostly the rajas Pitru loka is inhibited by great souls and great kings. It is also resided by great rajasic person after their death. It is more of a luxurious place, full of life.
Tamas Pitru Loka
As per Kaula Siddha Dharma, the Tamas Pitru Loka is where the tamasic Pitru resides. The tamasic Pitru is believed to be the maleficent Pitru and is responsible for creating havoc in the life of its descendents. This loka closely resembles to hell. The Pitrus who have turned into a ghost resides in this loka. Those Pitrus find it very difficult to achieve another body because of their ill karmic deeds.
So, in a nutshell we can say that not all Pitrus are dangerous as portrayed by the society. The nature of Pitru is based on their own nature while they were in this planet. We have both good Pitrus and bad Pitrus.
The Pitru upasana means the worship module of Pitru so that once become near to Pitru. The word upashana means (upa+asana) means near and seat. It means to be situated near to the object of worship. The Kaula Siddha Dharma lays much emphasis on Pitru upasana because of many constraints. Following are the reasons.
Just like the law of energy which states, “Energy can never be created nor be destroyed but only form changes”, similarly the Kaula Siddha lineage believes that nothing in this universe is ever destroyed. The only thing altered is the form of matter and five basic elements. The existence or the essence of the
Existence will never cease to exist.
The Bhagawad Geeta 2:12 says:
न त्वेवाहं जातु नासं न त्वं नेमे जनाधिपाः।
न चैव न भविष्यामः सर्वे वयमतः परम् ॥२- १२॥
“Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.”- – Geeta 2:12
Even the sacred book of the Hindus, state that nothing in this universe is ever destroyed. Everything always existed, exists now and will never cease to exist in future. Therefore, Pitrus do not die because their existence will never perish or die. They shall never cease to exist and will exist in some corner of this universe.
Since, they exist in Pitru loka therefore their existence cannot be undermined because they are connected with us in one or other ways. We are nothing but their extensions in this world. We are bounded to them in terms of obligations and duties. We carry some certain responsibility towards them. When one doesn’t perform the duties, then he/she incurs karma out of the breach of duty. The karma is not decided by Pitru but by the nature itself. Nature is pre-god. It is god before god. It is the nature or prakriti that decides the effect of one’s karma so the sanction is inevitable. This very possibility of sanction is commonly known to the society as “Pitru Dosha”
As per Kaula Siddha lineage, there is no such thing as “Pitru Dosha” incurred by Pitru. It is a kind of karmic effect produced by an individual in the breach of one’s own duty. When one does not perform their duty, the nature sanctions them with a maleficent effect called “Pitru Dosha”.
So every year 16 days are separated for the worship of Pitru so as to fulfill one’s obligation towards the Pitru. Those 16 days are exclusively dedicated for Pitru.
Matru Pujan and resemblance with Pritu Pujan
The word Matru (मातृ) translates as Mother. Matru is a parallel term of Pitru. Pitru often denotes the male aspect and Matru the female aspect. Just like Pitrus have their existence so does Matrus. Both have equal impact on their lineages. The only reason the Pitru is little popular is that the Pitru is more metaphysical then Matru.
As per Kaula Siddha Dharma, Matru and Pitru are the exact form of Shiv and Shakti. Just like Shiv and Shakti are one and the same but their nature varies, similar is with the Pitru. Pitru is like the Shiva and Matru is their Shakti. Kaula Siddha Dharma originally being a Shiva-Shakta peeth which follows both Shaiv and Shakta tradition so it approaches Shiva-Shakti as “Ardhanarishwara” i.e half male and half female. It is for the reason; Kaula Siddha Dharma approaches every sadhana procedure through mixed system of both Shaiva and Shakta tradition. Matru and Pitru’s are no different.
The Kaula Siddha Dharma approaches Pitru pujan through ‘mixed system’ or mischrachar. So, the Pitru pujan is taken to be incomplete if the Matru shaktis is omitted and not worshipped with Pitru. Just like in Mahavidya, the worship of any Mahavidya is incomplete without Avaran puja and its corresponding Shiva puja, the Pitru pujan is therefore incomplete without Matru Pujan.
As discussed in the above sections, “Aryaman” is considered to be the king of Pitru loka. He is also the best among Pitrus. His shakti is the “Aryamai Goddess” (अर्यमै देवी). In the tantric tradition, the Shaiva worships Aryaman as the chief of Pitru, while as the Shakta worships his consort and Shakti Aryamai as the chief of the Pitru. Both leads to the same result i.e satisfaction of the Pitru. But the Kaula Siddha Dharma, being the amalgamation of both Shaiva and Shakta tradition, worships Aryaman and Aryamai jointly with the concept of ‘Ardhanarishwara’.
The Kaula Siddha Dharma worships every deity with the help of yantra. So the Pitru Pujan is performed with the help of a joint yantra that encompasses both Aryaman and Aryamai. It can simple be understood that the Pitru yantra is the amalgamation of two yantras i.e Aryaman yantra and Aryamai yantra. So, a person who worships Pitru through the mixed module releases oneself from the negative impacts of both Matru and Pitru Dosha. Therefore, as per Siddha Dharma the best way to worship and satisfy the Pitru is through the mixed module worship of both Aryaman and his consort Aryamai.
As per Kaula Siddha Dharma, every year, 16 special days just before the “Ashwin Navaratri”, the 16 days that starts from the full moon to the no moon is considered to be Pitru paksha. The Pitru paksha is such period of the year where all the auspicious works are left aside so that the only work related to Pitru is carried out.
As per Kaula Siddha lineage, the Pitru paksha are the days where most paranormal activities take place. It is because of the influx and hyper activities of the Pitrus. Since not all Pitrus are satwik in nature and since these 16 days are the point of the year when the Pitrus are most powerful, the tamas Pitru causes or to be caused lot of havocs. Therefore, Pitru upasana is the most logical thing to do at this time of the year.
Just after the conclusion of the Pitru paksha, Navaratri starts and this period is where the reigns of Shakti starts. It is at this period, the powers of Pitru are subdued and weakened and then after shakti upasana is carried out.
The word Shraddh (श्राद्ध) is derived from the word “श्रद्धा” which literally translates to faith, belief etc. The main ingredients of any faith are ones own willingness to believe in it and also to be bound by it.
As per Kaula Siddha Dharma, the entire universe operates with the law of mutual obligations or duty. Just like a soil has the duty towards the plant to accept it as it because the nature has designed it that way, therefore a soil doesn’t differentiate between a Cactus tree and a Bermuda grass. It is the survival of the fittest among the plants which explains why there are certain types of grass in one area while as the others in other area.
As far as Humans are considered, the Prakriti has designed humans in such a way that the human are the best among the creations and humans are endowed with intelligence for differentiating between right and wrong. Humans can use this intelligence to either stay in this creation or strive for liberation from this sansara. So, humans have been given intelligence but nevertheless humans are also designed in such a way that we have deontological responsibilities towards everything in this universe. Therefore, we are bounded to Pitru in terms of duties towards them. So, when an individual doesn’t perform the duties as designed by the Prakriti itself, then there is a breach of duty and one incurs karma. Karma is not a sanction but a web of one’s own action.
The spider spews lots of webs but one day it gets caught and trapped in its own web and ultimately dies. Humans are like the spiders, the karmas are the webs that human spew and ultimately in the webs of those karmas, human being ultimately has to suffer. Human being although being the most intelligent and developed species meets the fate of a spider when it comes to karma.
Therefore, Shraddh is wholly based on faith. The whole act of Shraddh is performed with the love of performing one’s own duty perfectly and also acknowledging our past, present and future relationship with the Pitrus. Shraddh is human’s fundamental spiritual duty which one has to obey to rid oneself of the karma. Therefore, Kaula Siddha Dharma thinks the Pitru worship is mandatory for one’s own spiritual upliftment.
Classification of Shraddh
As per Kaula Siddha Dharma, there are five classifications of Shraddh. Shraddha can also be carried out for other person. It can also be carried out for relatives as well as non-relatives. The main ingredient of any shraddh is faith and belief so a person can also consider strangers as Pitru and perform the rituals accordingly.
Following are five types of shraddh besides relative’s shraddh which has classified as per Kaula Siddha Dharma. These five classified shraddh are the major shraddh that is possible for any individual to perform.
Untimely death shraddh
The above shraddh is performed for those individuals who died untimely death in accidents like motor accident, road accident, falling from the trees, hills etc and under unforeseen circumstances like natural disasters. It also includes individuals who died in medical negligence and unintentional drug overdose.
Missing person shraddh
This shraddh is performed for those persons who have gone missing and whose death has not been confirmed for many years. It includes those type of persons who went out of their house in the morning but failed to return home and whose present whereabouts are not known to anyone plus they have not returned for a long period of time. This is a very special type of circumstance and there is also a special shraddh procedure for it which should be learned from a guru.
This shraddh is performed for people who are outside your blood relationship. This shraddh is basically based on ‘bhava’(भाव) of any individuals. Since relationship is also based on bhava or feelings and therefore it is called “भावनात्मक संबन्ध” meaning the relationship based on feelings.
This shraddh can be performed for people whom one has feelings for like their friends, their contacts etc. It can also be performed for someone who one likes. For instance, it can also be performed for one’s friends and also for one’s neighbors. It is mostly performed out of deep respect and sense of duty towards the deceased.
Implied relationship shraddh
For those who are deceased and a person incurs implied relationship with them, the person can also partake the shraddh rituals of deceased. For instance, if A does not have any relationship with B, but A inherits the property of B then A can also perform the shraddh rituals based on the implied relationship between them. Normally, the properties of the deceased are specially given to them who carries out the shraddh because the property is used for fulfilling the shraddh expenses.
For strangers shraddh
Shraddh for strangers can also be performed. There are some circumstances when the whereabouts of the deceased person is unknown then if a person is willing to perform the shraddh for the unknown deceased person, he is free to do so. For instance, let us suppose a person is found dead in the middle of a jungle. A woodcutter discovers the body and informs the police. The police then search their database and they do not find the deceased identity. Now if the last rites are performed by the woodcutter then the woodcutter can also be eligible to perform the shraddh for the unidentified body. This type of shraddh is also validated by Kaula Siddha Dharma.
Pitru tarpan and rites
As per Kaula Siddha lineage, the best mode of Pitru upasana is Pitru tarpana. The Pitru tarpana is the most easy, convenient method for satisfying the Pitrus. Tarpana means “tript” i.e. to satisfy. The Pitru are most satisfied by our relentless faith to them and acknowledgement of them. Since, they have ethereal body and they do not have to be dependent upon foods for their anamaya kosha, a simple act of benevolence will do the wonders.
Tarpana is done through water. Just like the water satisfies the thirst inside similarly the feelings and faith of any person is dissolved into the water and then the water reaches to the Pitru and they become satisfied. The water is basically mixed with black sesame seeds, milk and is steered. The water is then taken into the enclosed area of the palm and then the water is slowly poured in the opposite direction of the hand such that the water passes through the thumb and pours down and with it, “ओम सर्व पितृभ्यो नम:” is chanted.
The above mantra is the most simplified and condensed mantra of the Pitrus. Just like “ओम सं सिद्धाय नम:” is the mantra for all the siddhas of this world similarly the above Pitru mantra encompasses all the Pitrus.
The other method of Pitru rites is by offering a pind to the ancestors. Pind are rice cakes with sesame seeds mixed with it. The rice makes are part of the rites where the pind is offered to the ancestors and then it is then offered to the Pitru. Just like the water, the pind is not directly edible to the Pitru. The Pitru doesn’t accept the pind offered but accepts our gratitude offered through the medium of the pind. It is the sense of adhering to the ones own duty the Pitru rejoices upon.
Kaula Siddha Pitru Pujan
The Kaula Siddha Dharma is basically a tantric dharma. Although Siddha dharma doesn’t practice the Brahmans method of Pind offering but it still respects the tradition. We do not have problem with any pind being offered to the ancestors but Kaula Siddha Dharma prescribes tantric means and methods for Pitru worship. The Pitru pujan through Kaula Siddha lineage is done by three ways. One is the pure tantric way which uses yantra, mantra and other additives. The second is the pure Yoga or samayachara where pure dharana or visualization is used. Thirdly the most prevalent method is the mishrachara which means mixed system. The Pitru is worshipped through Yoga marga but with the help of tantra i.e. utilizing yantra for visualization
As already stated above, Lord Krishna has mentioned in Geeta that he is Aryaman among ancestors. Therefore, Aryaman is the best among ancestors or Aryaman is the ruler of Pitru loka. Since, he is also one of the 12 Aditya, he is also portrayed as a great king of Pitru loka. So, one willing to access the Pitru loka needs his permission. It is for the reason; Kaula Siddha lineage does Pitru upasana through Aryama yantra.
The Aryama yantra is also known as the Pitru yantra. It is through the yantra one would be able to access the Pitru loka and the Pitru residing there. But the yantra is very secretive. It is not accessible. It is unlocked and one should always take the diksha and then receive the yantra through qualified guru. Only after the Pitru diksha, the person can be free to practice it.
This diksha empowerment is going to be conducted by His Holiness Mahayogi Satyendra Nath Ji Maharaj (Ishaputra). He is the crown of Siddha Dharma and through him the Siddha Dharma has taken its root. Through the blessings of gurumandala, Kaula Siddha Dharma has reached the present state that we are all familiar with.
Pitru and the law of inheritance (Paitrik sampatti)
In Eastern Jurisprudence, especially when it comes to property law or the question of inheritance, the law is governed through the law of Pitru. Since, religion, culture is also the major sources of law. Our whole inheritance and property law is based on Pitru.
As per Manusmriti 9:187 which states “Always to that (relative within three degrees) who is nearest to the (deceased) Sapinda the estate shall belong; afterwards a Sakulya shall be (the heir, then) the spiritual teacher or the pupil.”
So based on Manusmriti, it clearly states that the estates shall go to the relative within the three degrees nearest to the deceased. It means the primary right goes to the relative nearest to the deceased within three degrees. It is because the nearest person is the person who offers the rice cake pind to the Pitru. The property thus inherited supports the person offering the pind financially and. It simply also means that one who incurs the duty of the Pitru is entitled to the inheritance of the Pitru.