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Our Guest Mr. Prakash Pant
Tourism Minister, Govt of Uttarakhand (25 May 2008)

Pitradosh.jpgThis is one of the most important concepts of Indian astrology and it is called Pitra Dosh which is generally defined by many astrologers as the Curse of Ancestors meaning that the forefathers of the person having Pitra Dosh in his horoscope are unhappy with him and therefore they are cursing the native and due to that curse the native may suffer from debt, diseases, failures all around, being childless and in the worst cases early death due to accidents or serious diseases. And in case of Pitra Dosh, the misconception starts right from its definition which states that it is the curse of Ancestors.

Pitra Dosh is not a curse of the Ancestors for sure as the horoscope of a person is drawn and decided right at the time of his birth and accordingly any kind of defects are decided at the time of his birth which would include defects like Pitra Dosh,Kaal Sarp Dosh andManglik Dosh among other defects. Coming to the defect called Pitra Dosh, if this defect is decided at the birth of a person, then what has this person done in this birth to get cursed by the ancestors. I mean if a person grows older and does some bad Karmas or Bad deeds which may bring disgrace to the good and fair name of Ancestors, then it may be considered that the Ancestors are cursing that person. But why curse a person before his birth.
And before we move any further, let me tell you that in most of the cases a person born in a family line is none other than one of his own Ancestors. For example a person born in a family line is usually one of the forefathers of that family who has reborn in that family again. According to the theory of Karmic astrology, most of the people are born in the same family lines with same friends and same enemies in so many of their lives until their Karmic debts, duties and rewards are all cleared from that particular group of people or we can call them particular group of Souls. Coming back to the point, what actually is this Pitra Dosh if it is not a curse of the Ancestors. Let's look into the matter and find out what is Pitra Dosh.

Pitra Dosh is not a curse of the Ancestors, but it is a Karmic Debt of the ancestors which the person having Pitra Dosh in his horoscope is supposed to pay. In simple words a Pitra Dosh is formed in the horoscope of a person due to bad Karmas or bad deeds done by the Ancestors of that person and this person is supposed to pay that Karmic debt by suffering the punishments decided for those debts in different spheres of his life until the debt is cleared either by punishment or by the good deeds done by the person having this Pitra Dosh in his horoscope. So a Pitra Dosh in a horoscope does not mean that the ancestors are cursing the person having Pitra Dosh in his horoscope, but it means that the Ancestors of such a person are themselves cursed.

This theory may sound confusing to some people, so let's try to explain it on the basis of scientific as well as Karmic logics. Starting with science, it is a well known fact that there are a number of diseases found today which are genetic in nature which means that they are passed from mother or father to their children. A common example of such diseases would be diabetes which is prevailing throughout the world and in many cases it passes from generation to generation, though it may not affect some children born to a diabetic mother or father. In the same way a son generally inherits the assets and liabilities of his father which may have come from the forefathers also. Similarly other examples can be considered to validate the theory that the good or bad things earned, owned and owed by the parents or forefathers are passed on to the children of the family.

The theory of Karmic debts also works in the same way with the only difference being that it shows the results in the present life based on the Karmas done in previous lives. And as I have already mentioned that most of the people are born within the same family lines and same circle of friends, so an Ancestor suitable for the punishment of the Karmic debt of a family according to the bad Karmas done by him in his previous lives, is sent on earth to pay those debts and bear the punishments. And as this person does good or bad deeds in his present life, it contributes to the negative or positive Karmic balance of that family line where the negative balance means the debt and positive balance means the rewards which are going to be enjoyed by the coming generations of that family. This is why so much emphasis is put on doing good Karmas and it if often preached that the bad Karmas done by a person are going to affect the family line of that person which includes his children and their children and in the same way the good Karmas done by a person earn Karmic rewards which are paid to the future members of his family line who are going to enjoy good or great fortunes due to the good deeds done by their fathers and forefathers in the same way as a person enjoys the wealth earned and owned by his father. Let's go deeper in this theory of Karmic Ancestral debts and rewards with the help of an example taken from Hindu Mythology.

This example belongs to the birth of the Holiest river belonging to Hindu religion which is called Maa Ganga by Indians and is commonly known as River Ganges by rest of the world. Long time back, there was a King name Sagar who was an Ancestor of Lord Rama. Due to some misunderstanding, the sons of King Sagar attacked a great Sage Kapil and they all died with the burning flames coming out of the eyes of angry sage Kapil. Sages are given great respect in India and insulting and attacking a great sage like Kapil formed a heavy Karmic debt which was going to bother all the coming generations of this family. Knowing this, Anshuman the grandson of King Sagar went to Sage Kapil, asked for his forgiveness and requested him to prescribe a way to relieve the family of this Ancestral debt. It was then told by Sage Kapil that if the holy river Ganga is brought to the earth from the heavens and the ashes of the burnt Princes are offered to holy river Ganga, only then this debt can be cleared.

Accordingly, Anshuman worshiped throughout his life to bring Ganga on earth but he did not succeed and the duty was passed on to his son King Dilip who also worshiped throughout his life to bring Ganga to earth to clear the Karmic debts of his forefathers, but King Dilip also did not succeed and the duty was passed on to his son King Bhagirath who also worshiped Lord Brahma very dedicatedly and one day Lord Brahma came to answer his prayers and blessed him with his wish that Ganga would be sent to earth to relieve his family and forefathers of their Karmic debts. And as Lord Brahma blessed Bhagirath, King Bhagirath posed a question to Lord Brahma which goes something like this.

"O Great Lord Brahma, I have a question to ask and kindly bless me with the answer to this question. My grandfather Anshuman and my father Dilip worshipped you throughout their lives but you did not answer their prayers whereas you have answered my prayers. Was there any defect in their way of worship or was something else wrong due to which you did not listen to the prayers of my father and my grandfather". Hearing this Lord Brahma smiled and said, "Insulting and attacking a great sage like Kapil caused a very heavy karmic debt on your family line and all of it needed to be paid in order for me to come and bless a member of your family line with his wish. Your father and grandfather worshipped throughout their lives and were able pay most of this debt but as this debt was not cleared, so I did not come to grant their wish. And as you started worshipping, the Karmic debt has been cleared and after that you have earned the Karmic reward of your wish being granted by keeping on worshipping me and that is why I am here to bless you with your wish". And after that Maa Ganga was sent to earth to bless the souls of Bhagirath's forefathers as well as many others.

The moral of the story is that the karmic debt levied on the forefathers of king Bhagirath needed to be cleared before the family line could be blessed again with good fortunes and therefore three generations of his family worshipped the Lord to clear this Karmic debt and earn Karmic rewards which led to the good results like the incarnation of Lord Rama in the same family line which shows that the positive karmic balance of this family line was extremely great because a family line which witnessed the birth of Lord himself was without any doubt the most prestigious Karmic family line of that time.

Coming back to Pitra Dosh, now it should be easy to understand that Pitra Dosh is not the curse of the ancestors as defined by some astrologers, but it is a debt formed as a result of bad deeds done by the ancestors and this debt has to be paid by the present generation either by taking the punishment decided according to that debt or by doing some specific good Karmic deeds which would help paying this debt so that the degree of punishment may be decreased. And after knowing so much about the definition of Pitra Dosh, let's find out how this dosh is seen present in a horoscope.

If the Sun which is a signifier of the Self and the Ancestors, is afflicted by a Malefic planet, a Pitra Dosh is formed in the horoscope and depending upon the afflicting planet, the kinds and results of Pitra Dosh change. For example, the worst kind of Pitra Dosh is formed by the affliction of Rahu and Ketu to the Sun by placement and aspect. And a Pitra Dosh where the Sun and Rahu are placed in the same house and Rahu afflicts the Sun by placement and Ketu afflicts the Sun by direct aspect is a very serious Pitra Dosh and can even prove to be fatal for the native if the afflictions are strong. The affliction to the Sun by a malefic Saturn also forms a serious Pitra Dosh and similarly any malefic planet afflicting the Sun would form a Pitra Dosh which would trouble the native with different results depending upon the afflicting planet, the strength of the afflicting planet and the Sun, the placement of the afflicting planet as well as the Sun and some other factors. Apart from this, a Pitra Dosh is also formed if 9th house of a horoscope which stands for Ancestors among other things is afflicted by a malefic planet and the results would be predicted in the same way as in case of afflictions to the Sun. Afflictions to the Lord of 9th house also form a Pitra Dosh. In the same way if the Moon is afflicted by a malefic planet or planets, a Matru Dosh is formed in the horoscope and the worst Matru Dosh is formed by the placement of Ketu with Moon with the direct aspect of Rahu at the same time.

And now that we know about Pitra Dosh, let's discuss about its remedies. Like all other defects presents in a horoscope, Pitra Dosh is a very technical defect and general remedies are not sufficient for it. It is very important first to identify the planet or planets causing Pitra Dosh and then do the remedies which usually involve Pooja, Mantras, Gemstones and Charities. And for the people who are told that Pitra Dosh is a curse of the ancestors and it can be modified by doing Poojas and charities to pacify and please their ancestors, let me tell you that this remedy is not going to do much good for you because your Ancestors are not cursing you but they are themselves cursed and so you don't need to pray to them, but you need to pray for them. So in order to relieve yourself and your ancestors of the Pitra Dosh present in your horoscope, identify the planet or planets causing Pitra Dosh in the horoscope and then do specific Remedies to pay the debts of those planets and pacify those planets so that they may reduce the quantum of punishment they are imposing on you.