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  1. #1
    B Suresh Kumar is offline Member
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    Amavasai Tharpanam

    Hai,
    I am a a regular performer of amavasai thapanam but not able to follow the conditions prescriped on that day,that is abstaining from taking onions.
    if you go through my website bsureshkumar you might know that I am a frequent traveler and I have to take food outside the house. I am viiting places where I find it difficult to find a Vegetarian hotel and there is no preparation without onion in most of the hotels and I would like to know why we are supposed to abstain from taking onion on that day and if there is any exception to the rule
    B Suresh Kumar
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    vasuchak is offline Newbie
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    Thumbs up Amavasai Tharpanam

    You should not take onion/garlic/drumstck/radish etc on any day. You also should not leave the shores so there will be no contradiction
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  4. #3
    B Suresh Kumar is offline Member
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    dear Vasuchak
    Thanks for your reply but you have not understood my problem. If I were to take your instructions I will have to leave my profession. I am only talking about eating food in tamilnadu and not leaving the shore. If you can suggest any eating place in Tamilnadu in the area I visit for taking classes I would be happy take my meals. dinner there on the Tharpanam days.
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  6. #4
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    CLN
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    Dear Shri B Suresh Kumar,

    I warn you at the outset that some die-hard orthodox members are certain to frown upon my reply, but I am giving my opinion any way for what it is worth! I believe that any restriction on any custom or habit on the occasion of any specific ritual - it could be a Tarpanam, or a Shraaddham, or a Vratam or a Pooja or whatever might be - should be some thing to do with the notion that if unrestrained, that particular habit or custom, if practised that day, may hinder with the purity of thought and act concerning the ritual under consideration. That is ALL! So, now the burden of responsibility for ensuring the purity of thought and act is ENTIRELY on the performer of the ritual. Mere abstinence, by itself, has no value or significance.

    Restrictions on certain occasions the consumption of specific food materials like onion, garlic, drum stick, radish etc., habits like using foul/offensive language, seeing provocative scenes and sceneries (plentily available in so many TV channels nowadays), hearing certain kinds of sensuous music which arouse basic instincts and passions, indulging in sex and related activities - all these things are only for that one purpose, viz., carrying out that particular karma of the occasion in an unblemished and uncorrupted fashion.

    Is it possible for any individual to maintain his purity of thought and perform the karma with single-minded devotion, EVEN if he violated any of the restrictions listed above? My answer is a resounding YES! But it is not I who can vouch for him. It is he and he alone who can do so. In the absence of restrictions, the distractors, which are always very powerful, can easily pollute the karma, if adequate precautions are not taken. So, it is advisable to abide by the restrictions imposed, to make it easier for the karta to perform the karma properly; but a restriction, by itself, has no value or significance, unless it is observed with full consciousness and realization of what it is meant for.

    Coming to your specific problem, you and you alone, have the answer to your problem. Are you able to perform your Tarpanam, shraddham and similar rituals with full commitment and devotion, despite your taking onion/garlic etc. even on that day? If yes, wonderful, you have nothing to worry about. On the other hand, does your mind wander, telling you constantly what you are doing (i.e the karma) is just a burden and a formality, imposed on you by the society; and when it is over do you feel a great sense of relief, telling yourself, "Good! I need not bother about all this (food or any other) restriction for another month", then you are only kidding yourself and possibly others too! You can as well stop the hypocrisy and start being honest to yourself!

    Have you got your answer?
    Last edited by CLN; 07-03-2011 at 05:15 PM.
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  8. #5
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    sangom is online now Veteran
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    Quote Originally Posted by B Suresh Kumar View Post
    Hai,
    I am a a regular performer of amavasai thapanam but not able to follow the conditions prescriped on that day,that is abstaining from taking onions.
    if you go through my website bsureshkumar you might know that I am a frequent traveler and I have to take food outside the house. I am viiting places where I find it difficult to find a Vegetarian hotel and there is no preparation without onion in most of the hotels and I would like to know why we are supposed to abstain from taking onion on that day and if there is any exception to the rule
    B Suresh Kumar
    Shri Suresh Kumar,


    I am not an "orthodox" Brahman and so this should not be taken as a reply based on our 'Brahmanic Saastras'.

    Brahmans of ancient days used to eat meat and it was compulsory for Sraaddham also. Perhaps in those days they ate wild oninon varieties also - we do not know. Charaka samhita, the Ayurvedic treatise, refers to its diuretic properties. Most probably the ban on onions was copied from the Jains who incorporated many restrictions in their foods based on their over-zealous involvement with kindness to life. It thus became a "fashion" of nobility and the Hindu Brahmans adopted it. Subsequently when the "three-gunas" concept came in, all undesirable properties came to be attributed to oninon. The most offending property is that it it incites sexual urge. And our Saastra writers had an obsession with 'preservation of "retas" or semen' which was supposed to bestow very many wonderful properties and spiritual acquirements. (We must be thankful to their treating women and cattle on par; otherwise, they could have said that the ova also should not be allowed to be expended. )

    So, I think there need not be any guilt feeling about eating the best food which suits you, on amavasya days. After all it is one's regard for his ancestors which counts. The little bit of sesamum and water is only a token for expressing that regard and gratitude in a symbolic manner.
    श्रेयो भूयात् सकलजनानाम् ।
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  10. #6
    B Suresh Kumar is offline Member
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    Dear CLN and Sangom,
    Thanks for your reply.
    As you would have seen in one of my mails in CLN,s thread, that I do all these very happily and I will never treat it as burden on me imposed by the society. But Since I am doing the tharpanam I will also like to follow the rules prescribed for it. I always have a strong feeling that whoever has written the rules would have also mentioned about some exceptions. They might not have thought about it earlier as the earlier brahmins were running gurukuls and leaving on bikshas. Today this is not the situation and we may have to go out on official work and we have problems like the one mentioned here.
    It would not be out of place if I mention about my experience in Villupuram. Most of the hotels which were purely vegetarian two years back have now become Veg and Non-Veg and I had to walk for more than 20 minutes to find a veg hotel. When i asked the people there they told me that there is not much patronage for vegetarian hotels and to survive in the business they have converted their hotel into veg and non-veg.

    I always used to tell all those who were very srtrict about the Madi Thuni that their purity should be in mind and not in the cloth that they are wearing.
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  12. #7
    kunjuppu is online now Veteran
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    Dear Sangom,

    This is more a curiosity query. At what point do we say that the pithurs are completely satisfied so that amavaasai tharpanam is no longer needed. is there is something to that effect in the scriptures?

    You see where I am coming from. My dad did tharpanams and shraddhams all his life. I too did them, till when mom passed away, I went to kasi/gaya and spent a whole week of non stop shraddhams (atleast it felt like it). I was also given to understand that with this kasi/gaya stuff, all my ancestors, all people, pets everything would have reached their own heaven – even though I mentioned many of my relatives known to me and who had passed since I came of age.

    In this case, my relatives were very lucky to have me go to kasi/gaya. What about those whose progeny have not been able to go to such faraway place and perform such expensive (yes we get fleeced by those ganapaadigals) rituals? are those pithurs destined to be forever in the limbo zones? Those who have only girls, are they destined to be bereft of the pleasures of swarga?

    … and back to my first question: can one say that at the end of (for example) after 25 years of continual amavasai tharpanams and shraddhams, the pithurs have been liberated into their next mode of life as per their deeds on this earth?

    Thank you.

    the concept of amavasai & tharpanam is alient to 96% of the hindus. are they all destined to naragam per our scriptures? i mean the quota system does not work in the netherworlds?
    Last edited by kunjuppu; 07-03-2011 at 11:34 PM.
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  14. #8
    kunjuppu is online now Veteran
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    Quote Originally Posted by vasuchak View Post
    You should not take onion/garlic/drumstck/radish etc on any day. You also should not leave the shores so there will be no contradiction
    why?
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  16. #9
    kunjuppu is online now Veteran
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLN View Post
    ...Restrictions on certain occasions the consumption of specific food materials like onion, garlic, drum stick,
    CLN,

    by chance is gluttony to be avoided.

    let me tell you why. i am not at all attracted by onion, garlic, drumstick etc, but i can consume a gallon of keerai molagootal with puLi pachchadi (maththan or vendakkai). in the spirit of moderation and reverence, would it not be proper for me to avoid this gluttonous addiction and go for something else (not necessarily onion, garlic )...

    where i am coming from us... why do we emphasize so much joy on arrival of a baby, but focus only on sorrow/seriuosness when someone departs? should not debit and credit be treated equal, so that the books are balanced?

    thank you.
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  18. #10
    B Suresh Kumar is offline Member
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    Dear Kunjuppu,
    I am also waiting for a reply to your why from Vasuchak.
    I wish he informs us the reason from the scriptures.
    Everyone has his own understanding and interprets it according to their convenience.
    I have been informed by my elders that I dont have to perform sharadhas after 40 years but no one tells me why and the sastrigals are contradicting each other. i will be performing Shardhamas and Amavasya tharpanams my entire life
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