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Hindus/Please let me know what prayaschittam can be done

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QUESTION: Namaste.

I stumbled upon your email id while googling prayaschitta if father could have been killed accidentally or out of ignorance. My father passed away at home after being bedridden for about 3 months and critically ill for about 4 months. He was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma with bone mets. He was 80 at the time of death. I have followed the advice of the home care team (hospice) because the ailment was not amenable to treatment given the advanced stage as well as his health condition. I have confirmed that there is no treatment for him in India from different sources. However, the death occurred on the day of the visit of the home care nurse who administered enema based on telephonic advice from a doctor. The sudden death in a few hours post administration of enema made me search on the internet. Though I could not really relate the symptoms of his death to enema use, I have a feeling that his death has been premature and that I may be the incidental or accidental cause therefor because better home care might have been possible. I want to perform prayaschittha for the same even if it is very difficult. Kindly reply as soon as possible as it is distressing and traumatic for me. It is a totally different issue that he was relieved of the unbearable pain and torture as he was not even in a condition where he could be turned to a side to be cleaned. Indeed he was so fragile that his left arm got fractured when attempting to turn him and clean him a few days earlier.

Please also let me know what can further be done by me to ensure that his onward journey to Vaikunthaloka is without any hurdles.

I am very disturbed about this.

Regards
Sastry

ANSWER: Dear Sastryji,

Namaste.

You took sufficient care of your father. Death comes in this manner. You are not be blamed for his death. So, stop worrying. He died at the proper time and it was not a premature death though the external circumstances may make it appear so. There is no need for any prayashchitta.

If you give up attachment to sense objects and constantly think only of Lord Vishnu and have the intense desire to meet him, you will definitely go to Vaikunthaloka.

With best wishes,
Swami Narasimhananda

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Namaste.

I am grateful for the kind consideration and lucid reply that relieves me of much of my stress. However, I request you to let me know if I can do something here and now to ensure that my father reaches Viakunta Loka immediately. As things stand today, I am destined to struggle in the samsara for quite a long time. I am not predicting a long life for myself but my immediate concern is my father who not struggled his entire life but also did a lot to me at the cost of his own comfort.

Respectful regards
Sastry

Answer
Dear Sastry,

Namaste.

You can only pray. Whether your father will go to Vaikunthaloka or not depends solely on his karmas andyou cannot do anything about it apart from praying. There is no prayaschitta or any other ritual you can do.

With best wishes,
Swami Narasimhananda

Hindus

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Swami Narasimhananda

Expertise

Any question on the philosophy or practice of Hinduism and Vedanta.

Experience

A Hindu monk of the Ramakrishna Order. Writes and speaks on Hinduism, Gita, Upanishads, Vedanta, Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Sarada Devi.

Organizations
Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission.

Publications
Prabuddha Bharata.

Education/Credentials
Graduate from a reputed university.

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