This series chronicles interesting experiences recounted by the devotees of HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji. These articles are translations from the series, “Madhuramaana Mahaneeyar” that is published every month in Madhuramurali Tamil monthly magazine.
Sins and Merits – Are they True?
Once, a few people came to visit Sri Swamiji. Sri Swamiji received them with love and conversed with them. At that time, the conversation turned towards the topic of Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) and its holy scriptures. The visitors remarked that the holy scriptures (shastras) were written only to guide the human race in the right path and to establish discipline and righteousness in society; and that beyond that, there was nothing in them.
With a smile on his face, Sri Swamiji listened to everything they said. Later in the conversation, the visitors mentioned their trip to Gaya (a holy place in India where sacrificial offerings/rites to dead ancestors are performed) where they had performed rites for their dead ancestors. Sri Swamiji then asked them, “Why did you perform these rites?”
The visitors replied, “We performed the rites in order for our parents to attain salvation.” Sri Swamiji enquired, “Who told you that your parents will attain salvation if you perform last rites at Gaya?” The visitors didn’t have an answer and were perplexed. Further, Sri Swamiji looked at them and said, “People doing a wrongful act often claim that they do it because they do not believe in sins. However the same people believe in various meritorious acts and perform them. It is indeed ironical that people who do not believe in sins believe in merits!”
Original Tamil article by Jayanti Janakiraman, Sep 2005 issue of Madhuramurali
Translated by Viji Ramakrishnan, Dallas TX