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Hindus/Yajna and Sraadha

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Question
Namastey sir,
         I want to ask you two questions.
1.What is the exact meaning of Yajna according to Vedic view? I think there are more than one meanings present in vedantic view.
2.Is Sraadha or Pindadaan is necessary for enlightened ones? I think enlightened ones do not require religional prescribed exercises after leaving their bodies.

Thanks

Answer
Dear Jagat,

Thank you for your questions.

Yajna in Veda meant fire sacrifice. Brahmana purohitas, ie., ritualists, performed elaborate sacrifices evoking various deities for various purposes with Agni, god of fire, being the deity who transported the offerings to their intended recipients. These sacrifice were perform sakama, i.e., with desire for particular results either here on earth or in heaven. Through correct performance of these rituals with perfect Sanskrit pronunciation purohitas could compel the gods to do their bidding.

As you say, in Vedanta yajna gets transformed into a metaphor for the inner process of Self-realization.

Enlightened ones need nothing from anyone on earth or in heaven. Enlightenment brings liberation, and that means liberation from all karmas, including ritual actions.

Best wishes,

Brother William

Hindus

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William Schindler, a.k.a. Brother William

Expertise

I can answer questions about Vedanta philosophy, Patanjali Yoga philosophy and practice, Tantra, Bhagavad-Gita, Upanishads, Vivekachudamani (Shankara`s Crest-jewel of Spritual Discrimination), Advaita (non-dualism), the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda tradition, Goddess worship, meditation practice, Hindu monasticism (sannyasa), and Sanskrit.

Experience

I've been studying and practicing Vedanta and Tantra since 1969.

Organizations
I'm the founder and spiritual director of Ashram West, a gay spiritual community based on traditional Hindu Tantra. I have been a member of the Vedanta Society of Southern California since 1969.

Publications
I have three books in print: GAY TANTRA, ESSAYS ON GAY TANTRA, BLOOD OF THE GODDESS.

Education/Credentials
I hold a B.A. in Sanskrit (UC Berkeley 1975) and an M.A. in clinical psychology (Antioch University 1986).

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