Bhagavad Gita: Understanding One Shloka at a time. (Chp. 1, Verse 42) — HBR Patel
Trying to understand Bhagavad Gita, one Shloka at a time…
सङ्करो नरकायैव कुलघ्नानां कुलस्य च |
पतन्ति पितरो ह्येषां लुप्तपिण्डोदकक्रिया: || 42||
Such increase in undesirable children creates hellish life for both the family and the destroyers of the family. Deprived of the offerings of Pinda and water, their ancestors fall down.
The children that are born illegitimate, out of the scenario mentioned by Arjuna in the previous shloka, don’t know about their family, their traditional values, and sometimes even their father. This leads to the wash-up of the traditional and moral values passed on from generation to generation. When traditional values are washed-up, the situation deteriorates to a hellish environment.
Not only the family members of those illegitimate progeny suffer from hell but the ancestors of such a family also fall from the grace due to the absence of a any qualified descendant that can perform the ritual offerings and rites as mentioned in the scripture i.e. Pitru-Tarpana and Sraddha.
Due to the destruction of the family structure, the family members fail to perform these rituals/oblation. As a result, their forefathers to fall from heaven as they are deprived of their periodic ritual offerings of food and water.
Many questions this ritual of offerings Pind(food and water) to the Pitrus(Ancestors). Wouldn’t it will be better to offer that food to some needy or can’t I donate it to the temple? Questioning tradition helps us understand the reason behind it and when we understand the reason behind that, seldom we will deprive ourselves of the benefits of following that tradition.
Like many questioned the presence of the “Tulsi” (holy basil) plant in front of every house in ancient times. When the Medicinal benefits of the “Tulsi” plant were known and approved by medical experts, the majority of them favored that tradition.
Likewise, offering “Pinddaan” is a tradition with a reason behind it. The world is yet absorbing the benefits of gratitude but our ancestors knew those benefits and molded such gratitude practice in our daily lives.
Like the first thing to do after taking a bath is to meditate and worship the Bhagwan. To thank him for what he has given to us. To express gratitude to the Bhagwan for our existence. Next is to bow-down to our Mother and Father. To express the gratitude for bringing us into this world. Our entire rituals and traditions has a meaning, a purpose attached to it.
Similarly, offering “Pinddaan” to Pitru, we express gratitude for all that we are. Because of them in the past, we exist here in the present and as an act of gratitude, it is our duty to give oblations to our ancestors.
When family values are lost due to immoral acts in society, the ancestors are deprived of their offerings and as a result, they fall down.
Thus, Arjuna is arguing to let go of the intention of fighting in this war and killing his family members. Because by doing so, Arjuna will indirectly be responsible for the downfall of the Ancestors from heaven. So, to avoid that, Arjuna is rooting for No-War.