Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pithru yajna – Yajna is to restore equilibrium!

Oblations to departed souls is known as Pithru Yajna – sacrifice for pithrus!

We know the general meaning of yajna,

which is usually done

in the name of some god, for some purpose.

But why oblations to pithrus is considered as a yajna?

Why should it be considered as a sacrifice?

To understand this

we must know what happens in a sacrifice or yajna

or in other words, what happens when one does yajna.

Bhagawad Gita (BG) is a rich source to know about yajna.

From the BG we get three definitions of Yajna.

All these three can be found in chapters 3 & 4 , starting from 3-10 to 4-32

Definition 1: Yajna is worshiping the divine, for, the root word ‘yaj’ in Sanskrit means worship.

Definition 2: Yajna is something which arises from Karma ( Karma samudbhavaha – 3-14) and it is karma-jaan vidhi (4-32)

Definition 3: Yajna is that by doing which, the doer attains liberation ( vimokshayasE – 4-32)

The basic idea from these three definitions which we can derive from BG is that

Yajna is a divine act which arises as a result of an action of the doer

and it ultimately leads one to liberation.

What is yajna ?

There are essentially four components in a yagna.

This is spelt by Lord Himself in verse 4-24 (BG)

There is something called arpanam, which is an instrument to offer with.

Then there is oblation, which is the havis offered into the yagna.

Then there is the very important fire which takes up the offerings .

And finally there is a fruit or the result of yajna.

In this verse, the Lord says that the act of doing arpanam is Brahman,

the one who is in the process of offering is Brahman.

The havis or rice offered is Brahman.

The agni is Brahman. The result attained also is Brahman.

Outwardly this would look very simple to read

but it is about a complex process happening in Nature.

To elaborate this, let me arrange the inputs that lord Himself has given

in the order to get the import better.

Idea / input 1: As per 3-10 ‘pra-savishyatvam’ happens to the people who do yajna,

this means they grow and prosper.

Input 2: How it happens is explained in 3-11 –

This happens by mutual support – ‘parasparam bhaavayanta:’

ie., the one who receives the offering and the one who gives, benefit mutually.

Input 3: Not only that , the receiver of offerings will satisfy the wishes of the giver as per 3-12

Input 4: This is how yajna becomes Kaamadhenu 3-10

(giving whatever one wishes or desires)

Input 5: The one who eats the remnants of this yajna prospers as he is released from sins whereas the one who does not offer at all will be a thief.

From all these, the following clues emerge.

Every act involves ‘giving’ be it to the gods or anyone.

(the relevant portion from Chandogya given at the end of this mail)

This giving always ends with ‘nama’–shabdam.

In His upadesa to Narada, Bhagavan says (MB - Shanti parvam)

that a mere ‘namaskaaram’ is enough to enable the person get all that he wants.

The ‘ na mama’ in nama: means ‘not mine’.

When something is offered with ‘na mama’ clause,

that means that definitely belongs to the other.

Such an offering will definitely go to the other provided the giver ‘understands’

and whole heartedly accepts that he is giving.

The sankalpa for homas end with nama: and na mama.

That is, all the materials that are going to be offered into the Homa kunda

are His (the devatha for whom the homa is being done)

When materials such as rice are offered in the fire of yajna

or sesame seeds and water in the pithru yajna

the moment of offering is accompanied with ‘na’mama’

( this is not mine, implying that it is theirs – to whom it is offered)

Thus ‘giving’ is the core part of any yajna.

The pithrus are offered with the note - ‘namas tarpayaami’.

Thus there is complete renunciation of that which is offered,

which in other words mean sacrifice,

which otherwise means worshiping the receiver by giving something.

When the offering is done exclusively for the sake of the receiver, sins cease.

When Arjuna offered his services in Kurukshetra in the spirit of yajna or sacrifice

for the sake of receiver, dharma.

So he did not incur sin.

The same act done by Dhuryodhana in kurukshetra was for ‘aham’, for him self

and so it could not absolve him of any sin.

It is on this basis, sacrifice of animals was justified by the Chandogya Upanishad.

(This is not ordained for Kaliyuga)

In the concluding passage we find these words, "Anyatra tirthebhyah".

It means ahimsa must be practised except with regard to Vedic rites.

It is because the offering has been made not for oneself

but for the receiver of the offering of the yajna

who is none other than the Brahman through the devas

entrusted with finite responsibilities.


What happens in a yajna ?

The clue for this is available in verse 3-14 (BG)

which explains the cyclical connection

between bhoothani (life) , yajna , rain, food and ending in bhoothani itself.

I take up this verse as the core verse to explain what happens in a sacrifice.

When actions are done for the sake of sustaining life,

that is, not for one’s own selfish benefits,

the natural happenings such as evaporation forming into cloud go on in an orderly way.

Perhaps this might include not polluting the atmosphere by man-made things

for gratification of self interest or not doing any act that goes against

sustenance of other life forms.

When this happens cloud formation and rain formation are also orderly,

not heavy, nor deficient.

In those days there used to be 3 spells in a month which will continue month after month. (Sangam literature in Tamil speaks of this nature).

There were no excess or dry spells.

It was because the actions by mankind were of unselfish goals

and what was done was to sustain nature.

So the result of doing anything as ‘na mama’ leads to the proper functioning

of the natural forces around us.

This is the paraspara or the mutual benefit between man and nature.

Needless to say every aspect of nature is an ati devata or the deva or the Lord

that Aitareya upanishad speaks about.

On receiving moisture, the rain gives back to the earth what it has received.

This offering to the earth is again offered to the plant life,

which in turn offers it as food.

This comes back to the life forms as their nourishment.

Keeping in mind the different aspects discussed so far,

we find that when a man does a karma in the spirit of yajna or sacrifice,

the deva such as rain deva is benefited,

who in turn becomes potent enough to give back more to man kind.

Now read the verses 3-11 and 12 and relate the above.

In this way, it can be said that

The earth is the homa kunda,

The sun is the agni

And the waters of ocean is the offering in the agni (since sun heats up the waters).

The offerings go to the Deva, the clouds (Indra, Varuna, Mithra combine)

Who in turn pour the rains to the land,

For the benefit of earth here.

The water runs off into oceans and

the oceans receive much of the benefits of clouds

In the form of rains.

This is the yajna done by the earth.

(Recall and relate this to the words of Krishna in BG 3-10

that He created the universe from Brahma-deva onwards with yajna!)

Similarly in the agnihotra mentioned in an earlier post,

ghee and rice are offered in agni which are taken up by vaayu deva

because scientifically more than hundred types of oxides are released due to this act.

These oxides nourish the vaayu deva who then becomes highly potent

when we inhale him (air /vaayu)

or even otherwise by himself, the vaayu deva keeps the surrounding layer of air

potent enough to withstand poisonous and radio active substances.

This is the idea behind ‘ you nourish the devas and they in turn nourish you’ .

Taking this to the verses 3-10 in BG,

we find that right from the beginning of creation something is offered into something

which results into something else

which in turn becomes the basis of some other thing,

good for propagation and sustenance of Life.

The collision of sub atomic particles in the Homa kunda of hydrogen gas mass,

might perhaps be the first yajna initiated by Brahma deva.

From then onwards at every step,

we find yajna or sacrifice continuing, thereby sustaining creation.

Even in the very heart of supernova from which our solar system was born,

it received offerings by hydrogen onwards to many other elements

( one giving rise to the other) till the iron core was born.

This iron core given back as a result of the homa in the supernova is

what stands as the core of earth (Anantha, the snake holding the earth)

and the magnetic aura giving it a shield,

capable of withstanding many a hazardous radiation from outer space.

It is by this principle of one sustaining the other,

the worlds do not get destroyed after each kalpa- pralaya.

Science is still not sure how the universe will be after billions of years.

But Vedic knowledge says that continuous re-alignment will happen

after each manvanthra- pralaya and kalpa-pralaya

and will continue to exist for trillions of years till Brahma completes

another 50 years of his age (at the end of Para).

The kind of one offering something to the other ,

as outlined earlier, given to Brahma by the Lord at the very beginning of Creation,

maintains the equilibrium in created universes –

whatever be the new system that is emerged as a result can continue to sustain life.

From this external world to the internal world of man ,

our scriptures teach us how to do the sacrifice at every level.

While it is about doing every karma with ‘na mama’ spirit,

there is a particular type of sacrifice which is crucial for sustenance for mankind itself.

It is the supreme of all yajnas, the Pancha maha yajna.

This has been given prime importance by Bhagavan Himself (in BG).

One of the names worshipped by the sage Narada in his sthuthi on Narayana

before receiving the upadesa on Pancharathra, is ‘Pancha yajna:’ –

the one who is Himself the 5 yajnas.

Pithru yajna is one among the 5 maha yajnas.

(Not going into details of them,

in the assumption that readers must have already been aware of them.

Also can be read in the 4 part series on ‘Athithi bhojanam’ in provided in the link section in this page. )

These are the Yajnas that are not only about getting some tangible results

but also for sustaining the link of mankind itself

and attaining the ultimate equilibrium so that mankind can continue its sojourn.

The ultimate creation is Man.

His lineage, his knowledge must live on.

And this can happen only by Pancha maha yajna.

This has to be done as nithya karma (daily routine).

In every day life,

A person is expected to do

(1)Brahma yajna by means of worship of god by offering something (food)

(2) deva-rishi yajna by means of reciting some portions from scriptures or slokas (because the rishis have given to mankind the knowledge through their works such as Upanishads.)

(3) pithru yajna by means of thinking about ancestors

(4) Bhootha yajna by means of offering water to plants or food to some animals (such as a dog or cow)

(5) Manushya yajna by means of giving food to a visitor. In today’s world athithis are rare. So it is better to offer food to some one who is in need or hungry.

What is recommended by scriptures is that

pithru yajna and deva yajna must be done before sun rise,

when a person is taking his bath in a ritualistic way.

As and when he is taking bath he is supposed to offer oblations

to Deva-rishis and pithrus.

They are done as Deva-rishi tarpanam and pithru tarpanam.

The water offered to devas and pithrus with mantras reaches them

(or even the mental offering or thinking of them in gratitude helps)

and comes back to us in a cyclical way as knowledge and ayush.

Because without knowledge, man kind can not get salvation.

And without long and disease –free life,

one can not dream of acquiring knowledge.

When one has a healthy long life and knowledge too,

His future generations also will flourish in a similar way.

The continuity will be maintained.

How this cycle works with reference to pithru tarpanam

will be discussed in another post.


But in the present context, there is something else connected to this that we must know.

Living in the midst of theologies and practices of different religions,

we find many people getting influenced or attracted by the concept ‘service’-

so popular in other religions.

This concept also has been picked up by Hindus.

But Sanatana dharma does not recognize service to others.


It says - help others in the spirit of duty.

Duty is a far superior word than service.

When we serve someone, our hand goes up

and the receiver has to stretch his hand below in humility.

But when the same is done as a duty,

the pride of the receiver is never put under stress.

The doer gives because it does him good

and the receiver takes because by so-doing he is helping the giver

receive some benefits (the rationale behind charity or dhaana in sanatana dharma is this).

The self-respect of the receiver is not hurt in this scenario.

So giving is done as a duty and Taittriya upanishad (chapter 1)

lays rules for how to give.

All karmas or actions are sacrifices

and all sacrifices include the component of giving as na mama.

The giver has to give with complete detachment to the thing given and without motives.

(Though yajnas are done with motives, the spirit of na mama is maintained,

the motiveless yajna is the supreme of all yajnas,

which gives Moksham – Release from the cycle of Birth.

(the essence of ‘sarva dharmaan partyajya …–

sacrificing or giving up even the results of actions)

That is why at the end of any action, even recital of slokas or worship,

It is customary to say the sloka,

‘kaayena vaacha manasindiryaivaa bhuddyaathmanaava

prakruthE swabhaawath/

karOmi yathsat sakalam parasamai narayanaya iti samarpayaami’

kaayena – by body,

vuvaacha – words

manas – mind

indriyaiva – senses

buddhi – thoughts

athman – the I in us

all these are of prakruthi swabhava -

have sprung out of or made of matter.

Therefore let whatever I am doing,

I am offering it to Narayana

(the one in whom everything exists and who exists in everything).

Thus when everything done by us is done in the spirit of offering

which is nothing but yajna,

also known as worship,

the burden of responsibility becomes His (God’s or Narayana’s).

We will not be responsible for the results – be it good or bad.

When we are not responsible, we don’t get any sin or goodness out of it.

Our paapa –punya accrual will be nil.

That is how sins cease to occur to us.

And since we have offered everything to Him –

who rightly owns all these things,

we would not become a ‘thief’ (BG)

This happens at every of action in our life.

We take continuously some benefits from

the earth, air, water, fire and ether.

And from our ancestors too from 3 to many generations behind us,

-from parents, grand parents and great grand parents.

What have taken from them,

Should we not give them back?

If we don’t give them back,

How can this cycle of offering going to them

and coming back to us as a benefit can happen?

Without giving back, how can we get something from them?

If we don’t give back for what we have received,

how can we give to our children, what we have received from them?

This is the essence of pithu yajna or pithru tarpanam.

- A cycle in equilibrium by which we live well,

- Our children will live well,

- if we take care that we are no longer indebted to our fathers.

More in the next post.


Chandogya upanishad - Part 5-

Chapter IV — The Five Fires (I)


"Yonder world is the sacrificial fire, O Gautama, the sun the fuel, the rays the smoke, daytime the flame, the moon the embers and the stars the sparks.


"In this fire the gods offer faith as libation. Out of that offering King Moon is born."

Chapter V — The Five Fires (II)


"Parjanya (the god of rain), O Gautama, is the fire, the air the fuel, the cloud the smoke, lightning the flame, the thunderbolt the embers and thunderings the sparks.


"In this fire the gods offer King Moon as libation. Out of that offering rain is born."

Chapter VI— The Five Fires (III)


"The earth, O Gautama, is the fire, the year the fuel, the akasa the smoke, the night the flame, the quarters the embers and the intermediate quarters the sparks.


"In this fire the gods offer rain as libation. Out of that offering food is born."

Chapter VII— The Five Fires (IV)


O Gautama, is the fire, speech is the fuel, the prana the smoke, the tongue the flame, the eye the embers and the ear the sparks.


"In this fire the gods offer food as libation. Out of that offering semen produced."

Chapter VIII — The Five Fires (V)


"Woman, O Gautama, is the fire, her sexual organ is the fuel, what invites is the smoke, the vulva is the flame, what is done inside is the embers, the pleasures are the sparks.


"In this fire the gods offer semen as libation. Out of that offering the foetus is formed."

Chapter IX — Birth and Death


"Thus in the fifth libation water comes to be called man. The foetus enclosed in the membrane, having lain inside for ten or nine months, or more or less, is born.


"Having been born, he lives whatever the length of his life may be. When he is dead, they carry him to the fire of the funeral pyre whence he came, whence he arose."


(There are many levels / types of sacrifices such as these

described in Chandogya and Brihadaranyaka Upanishad translations.)

Centre hurts peoples’ sentiments insisting on cutting through Rama Setu

Centre hurts peoples' sentiments insisting on cutting through Rama Setu
In the affidavit approved for submission to SC, Centre reportedly asks
SC to decide on Sri Rama. This is disgraceful buck-passing, a cop-out,
without admitting the reality of Sri Rama in the nation's identity and

If the reports are true, the proposed new affidavit is an insult, a
deep hurt on sentiments of millions of people by proposing that the
mid-ocean channel (SSCP) will desiccate the sacred Rama Setu. This is
politics at its worst, just to stay in power with the support of an
atheist group (synonym in vogue for 'secular'). Taking such a stance,
it is political dishonesty to aver in media reports that peoples'
sentiments are being respected.

Kindly write/Email to authorities in India with a request to –

(a) notify the 'Ramsetu' (Ram's Bridge) sited in the Rameswaram sea
as a "protected, historic national heritage of Bharat";

(b) notify the 'Rameswaram' Island as a "Holy Pilgrimage Place

(c) leave the Ramsetu totally unscathed,;

(d) use the existing Pamban gap (with a cantilever BG
Railbridge) to tranship goods between Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay,

(e) adopt an alternative to improve the lives of coastal people
and for 'real' development of the nation by establishing "Marine
Economic Zones" (MEZs) to extend upto 200 kms. of the ocean from the
coastline. MEZs have the potential to realize Rs. 40,000 crores of
foreign exhange per annum by exporting marine products juxtaposed to
the Rs. 200 crore earning from a shipping channel (SSCP).

Government should notify Ramasetu as a 'National Heritage Monument'
under section 4(1) of the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites
and Remains Act, 1959. The Ram Setu comes well within the expression
'ancient monument' just as the Brahma Sarovar at Kurukshetra – the
land of the Gita (in Haryana and 160 kms north of Delhi) was on a
similar consideration declared by the Punjab and Haryana High Court
{cf. Air 1993 P&H 204} as an ancient monument.

Besides it being a matter of belief, faith, deference and reverence of
all of us to save the Ram Setu, it is nevertheless our national cause
for the sake of national security, promotion of heritage-/eco-tourism,
protection against future tsunami threats, preservation of marine
flora, fauna, environment and ecology, banking upon one of our
indigenous sources of nuclear energy (about 32% of Thorium deposits of
the world in the area) and ensuring livelihood for 20 lakh coastal

Jallikattu (bull fight) was allowed by SC on the ground that banning
it would hurt the sentiments of people in some districts of Tamil
nadu. Desiccating Rama Setu would hurt sentiments of millions of
people world over. Government should be reminded to respect the
peoples' sentiments. PM may recall the sage advice of former Supreme
Court Justice VR Krishna Iyer that no patriotic Indian can support
this SSCP.

Dr. S. Kalyanaraman

Faxes/Emails may be sent to:

Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil
President of India
Rashtrapati Bhavan,
New Delhi, India – 110 004.
Fax : 00-91-11-23017920 / 00-91-11-23017824
Telephone : 00-91-11-23015321
Email ID: <>

Dr Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
Prime Minister's Office (PMO)
South Block, Raisina Hill,
New Delhi, India-110 011
Fax: 91-11-23019545 / 91-11-23016857.
Telephone: 91-11-23012312.
Residence: 7, Race Course Road, New Delhi
Tel. - 23018939, 23011156, 23018907, 23019334, 23015470

Hon'ble Mr. K. Gopinathan Balakrishnan
Chief Justice of India
C/o-Secretary General,
Supreme Court of India,
Tilak Marg, New Delhi-110 001 (India)
E-mail :

Shri Lal Krishna Advani
Leader of Opposition, Lok Sabha (House of People of Parliament of India)
Member, Committee on Home Affairs, Government of India
Residence: 30, Prithviraj Road,
New Delhi - 110 003 (India)
Tels. (011) 23794125, 23794124
Fax: (011) 23017015
Govt asks SC to decide on 'Lord Ram'
2/28/2008 11:32:54 AM (TimesNow TV)

Under pressure from its allies down south, paticularly the DMK, the
Govenment in a draft affidavit to be filed in the Supreme Court has
said that the Ram Sethu is not man made and that work on the Sethu
Samundaram project must resume.

The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs has approved the final
draft of the Centre's affidavit on the Sethusamudram project to be
filed in the Supreme Court.

The CCPA has decided that the Centre can go ahead with the filing of
the affidavit in the Supreme Court on March 5.

As per the affidavit, the Government will seek to remove the stay on
the project. It will also seek to dismiss all PILs on the issue. The
government is filing the revised affidavit after withdraiwng its first
controversial affidavit on September 14.

The draft of the second affidavit is a toned-down version as it says:
"There is no scientific evidence that the Ram Sethu is a man-made
structure. It is a matter of faith of millions of Indians it was built
by Lord Ram. The Government to seek SC direction on how to honour
matters of faith."

The initial affidavit had created a furore after the Government had
stated that there was no proof of the existence of Lord Ram.

Govt to ask for lifting stay on dredging

Speaking on the latest development, Culture Minister Ambika Soni told
TIMES NOW that the Government had decided that the Shipping Ministry
headed by the DMK's T R Baalu would be responsible for readying the
affidavit asking for a vacation of the stay on dredging work.

Commenting on this, TIMES NOW's Political and Economy Editor Navika
Kumar said this decision effectively kept the Congress' important ally
the DMK which has been pressing for the project, happy while at the
same not giving any political ammunition to the BJP with questions on
the existence of Lord Ram or the nature of the Rama Sethu, manmade or

"DMK has obviously put its foot down and got its way - the Shipping
Ministry will ready the affidavit to be filed next week. Soni did not
go into the details of the affidavit, however sources say the Congress
is trying to appease the DMK while trying to anticipate criticism from
the BJP - clearly a tightrope walk for the UPA and Congress. The
affidavit will ask for a vacation of the stay on dredging given after
the Lord Ram controversy and the series of PILS filed afterwards. It
will not question the existence of Lord Ram like its predecessor,"
said Kumar.

The CCPA is leaving matters of faith and the prudence of tampering
with the Rama Sethu, for the Supreme Court to decide on.

The Government will likely argue in its affidavit that the Rama Sethu
is almost 30 kms long whereas the area in which the dredging is
expecetd to interfere with it spans just just 300-400 metres - hence
dredging should be allowed to begin with some minor realignments.

This would suffice for the DMK which feels pressured to show some
progress on the Sethusamudram project to its votebank.

The exact contents of the affiavit will only be known on March 5. If
the SC passes the ball back into the Government's court, it may
decided to buy time and hand over investigation of the Sethu area to
the Archaeological Survey of India which would take months to submit a
detailed report on the nature of the Sethu, Navika Kumar observed.
Whatever the moves, the Government is sure to navigate with caution.

Affidavit approved, UPA to go ahead with Setu project

CNN-IBN (28 Feb. 2008)

SETU ISSUE: UPA is ready to consider an alternate alignment that would
not affect the structure.

New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs has approved a
new affidavit on Ram Setu. The Government is seeking to lift the stay
on the construction of the controversial project off the Tamil Nadu

The affidavit will be filed in Supreme Court on March 5. Sources have
told CNN-IBN that the Government wants the project to go ahead,
something which the DMK — a key ally of the Government — has been
demanding for some time now.

However, the UPA has been more cautious this time around. It says
there is no available scientific evidence to prove that Ram Setu is a
man-made structure but adds that the Archaeological Survey of India
doesn't have the expertise to either support to contradict this

The affidavit also says that the legend of Lord Ram in literature,
philosophy and religious sentiment occupies a significant place in the
psyche of a large segment of Indian society.

Significantly, the Government is also ready to consider an alternate
alignment that would not affect the structure. The Government wants
work on the project to start in November should the Supreme Court give
its go ahead.

The views of the Culture Ministry and the Archaeological Survey of
India on the historical and cultural aspects of the case also have
been taken note of.

In the first affidavit which was filed by the centre on the
sethusamundram project (and later withdrawn) the Centre had made the
following controversial statements:

Ram Setu is not a manmade structure, but a natural formation made up of shoals
Valmiki's Ramayan and Ramcharitmanas are mythological texts and they
cannot be reiled upon
Ram Setu is at best a case of disputed mythology and not a matter of
historical importance

Sethusamudram Project

The Sethusamudram Project was originally conceived by a British
commander of the Indian Marine, A D Taylor, in 1860. And while he may
have been inspired by the Suez Canal at that time, nearly one and a
half centuries later, India's decision to revive his abandoned dream
project will have very little similarity to the vastly profitable Suez
Canal or Panama Canal.

At least that's what this study done by a group of researchers led by
Jacob John and Sudarshan Rodriguez claims.

"What we find is that the project has based its economic rationale
only on distance saved for coastal shipping which is the highest which
is 22 hours and the time saved is 22 hours," said senior research
associate Sudarshan Rodriguez from Ashoka Trust for Research in
Ecology and the Environment.

But Rodriguez says for ships coming from Europe and Africa, the time
saved is only 30 per cent of what is claimed by the project. From Aden
time saved is just 8-12 hours. From Mauritius ships will actually lose

"The tariff for this project is based on the savings from," said Rodriguez.

Coastal shipping saying that 50 per cent of time saved will be the
tariff charged. So for a vessel which is around 20,000 Dead Weight
Tons (DWT) we find that the savings by using the canal will be around

"So ideally tariff then would be $9000. However the savings for a ship
coming from Aden is only $4000. So if a ship from Aden is using the
canal they are losing $5000," said Rodriguez.

This study also found that 70 per cent of shipping traffic in the
Indian Ocean are big shipping vessels like oil tankers and bulk
carriers. So it becomes next to impossible for them to navigate this
narrow channel.

Captain Balakrishnan, a retired Indian Navy frigate commander who's
done a parallel study says that ships would go around Sri Lanka rather
than have to go through a canal with draught restrictions and with a
need for a pilot to embark and disembark from the ship.

Let SC decide on Sethu: Cong
28 Feb, 2008, 0343 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: Even as the UPA's top leadership gears up to decide the
Centre's stand on the Sethusamudram issue in the affidavit to be
submitted to the SC shortly, the Congress has made it clear that it
wants 'development' and 'people's sensitivities' to go hand-in-hand.
It has also added that a final decision will have to be taken by the
SC, setting the tone for the government's stand on the political

The party's search for a middle path on the contentious issue comes in
the wake of its ally, DMK's, insistence on not putting the work on the
ship channel project on hold. The project, when completed, will cut
through a portion of the Adam's bridge or Ram Sethu.

This has raised the hackles of the BJP and Sangh Parivar outfits. The
BJP has lumped the Sethusamudram decision with the government's
withdrawn affidavit in the SC — about there being no historical
evidence that the characters in the Ramayana existed — and the
Congress worried over losing votes to the Opposition party's 'Hindu'

Party spokesperson Manish Tewari, articulating the Congress' stand on
the issue in response to questions from mediapersons in Parliament,
said: "The effort is to try and find a way so that both development
and sensitivities (of people) can be taken care of". He also said that
ultimately the apex court would have to decide on the matter.

The Congress has so far been focusing on NDA's role in getting the
project sanctioned and also their role in selecting the alignment for
the project.

It has talked of the matter being sub judice and even earlier left it
to the SC to decide on the matter. Party spokesperson Jayanti
Natarajan has even said that the Congress-led UPA will keep in mind
'public opinion' on the subject. However, the party is now veering
closer to Union culture minister Ambika Soni's stand on the issue by
factoring in 'people's sensitivities'.

Ms Soni has been at loggerheads with DMK's shipping minister T R Baalu
over what the government affidavit, to be submitted in court on March
5, should say. She has been opposed to Congress taking a decision on
the matter that will 'alienate Hindu voters' and said that the
Archeological Survey of India cannot take a definite view on whether
the Ram Sethu can be declared a 'site of national importance' without
undertaking a 'survey'.

Those who agree with her say that such a stand when expressed in court
will help putting off an immediate decision on the matter. However,
with the DMK insisting that the government ask the Supreme Court to
vacate its stay order on dredging near Adam's Bridge, the issue has
become a sticking point in Congress-DMK relations.

Mr Baalu, in reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, said that
the project can be operational by November 2008 depending on SC
clearance to it.

This is the stand that the DMK is sticking to at the moment. This
signals that that the party and its minister are factoring in the apex
court's stand on the issue. In the months leading up to the next
general elections, this could create discord between the Congress-DMK
but it does seem to be threatening the alliance at the moment.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Location of pithruloka - in the sky!!

It is a tricky job to deal with an issue like pithrus and oblations to them.

But no concept of Sanatana Dharma is without a rationale.

It is not right to say that oblation to pithrus is superstitious,

and if such oblations were to really 'help' pithrus, how can we rationalize for billions of

non-Hindus who would not be doing it.

Oblations to Pithrus is not a practice only among Hindus.

All the people of the world remember their departed ones in some way or the other.

But the Hindu way is precise and target-oriented

and indeed designed to transfer results but in intangible ways.

Also the mantras are so designed

that oblations are done to all those departed ones

who have not received oblations from their dear and near.

Concern for all is thus the core nature of Sanatana dharma.

And science is nonetheless doing its bit

in substantiating the concepts of Sanatana Dharma!

The understanding among cosmologists that our system is part of Virgo super cluster

is vindicative of our theory

that pithru loka is in the direction of or towards Virgo.

From the previous posts on this topic,

it is known that every level of existence is in the grip of succeeding level.

Earth in the grip of sun,

sun in the grip of centre of our galaxy,

our galaxy, in the grip of its next level and so on.

Cosmologists have come up with the same theory

and have seen up to Virgo Super cluster,

of which our system is a part.

Here are some pictures and links to see how this network looks like.

Our location in the milky way.

Panning out to see more local galaxies that define the Virgo Supercluster:
The Milky-Way recedes to a speck at the center of the blue circular outline,
and we see the larger part of our Virgo Cluster at the right.

There is perfect geometry and alignment within these clusters
that revolve around Virgo,
which in our reckoning of Sanathana Dharma is the location of Pithruloka.

The pictorial and other details of this can be viewed in the link below.

What we see from our position, as part of this Virgo cluster can be seen in this link.