Life is what we make of it, so it is said. It is very much so with ancestors as well. Your ancestors can be a source of inspiration, help and protection or a source of trouble, chaos and obstruction in your life — it’s all up to you! Most people have no idea how powerful the hidden influence of their ancestors is on the life they are living. Many of the problems you are having today might be caused by your ancestors or by you not handling them properly. Many persistent and “unsolvable” problems in your life — though not necessarily caused by your ancestors — could easily be overcome with your ancestors’ help — if only you knew how to contact them and harness their power.
It has been said that not feeding one’s ancestors is the root cause of poverty! Could it be that we are having global poverty because — among other things — we have lost the sacred traditions of communing with and feeding our ancestors?
Have we perhaps been intentionally cut off from our spiritual benefactors, the protectors of our clans?
I fear this is so, not just by coincidence but by design. Otherwise, if ancestors are so important to us, as many ancient traditions from cultures all over the world are telling us, why have we never been told about this? In my opinion this is part of the ongoing intentional discrediting of sacred knowledge with the goal of disempowering humanity through false religions, fear mongering, ridicule and obscuring of all true spiritual knowledge which could lead to empowerment and self-governance.
Ask yourself honestly, how do you feel when you read my words? How do you feel about my suggestion to work with the dead, with spirits? Are you afraid? Do you think it is evil? Does it freak you out because it brings to mind certain trashy Hollywood movies which totally distort the truth about the spiritual realm? Most people are so conditioned by religion and by the brainwash media that anything to do with spirits either is taboo or really scares them. Both death and spirits have been declared “the enemy” by the media and the medical egregore. People whose organs have long given up are artificially kept alive instead of allowing them the mercy of death by switching the machines off. Countless horror movies show evil spirits going after people, even killing them. As a result people have a very distorted view and unreasonable fears of anything to do with death, spirits and the realm of the dead.
The fear mongering by the media and prosecution by the Church/Temple has led to people forgetting all the traditional ancestral passing-over rites of their cultures which in turn has created a huge problem in the astral realm. More and more souls are becoming earthbound, due to this gross negligence and ignorance about death, the dead, and the truth about our ancestors. I feel that it is time now for all of us who love freedom and life to reconnect with the power of our ancestors so they can protect us in these difficult and troublesome times, and so that they can get healed, and through healing them we also heal ourselves, our families and ultimately our society. For this reason I am now teaching people how to establish a good relationship with their ancestors and turn them into their friends, helpers and allies.
According to shamanic beliefs, when a person dies their spirit goes into the Underworld. There the spirit stays for a period of time and then it becomes an ancestral spirit with the ability to freely travel to other regions of the spirit world such as the Middle World, which is the spirit side of the world we are living in. Virtually all tribal and shamanic traditions had ceremonies and rituals of honouring the ancestors, of feeding them, seeking their advice or appeasing them. Shamans due to their ability to see spirits could usually commune directly with ancestral spirits when in a trance or having imbibed sacred plants.
While the other members of the tribe might not have been able to communicate with ancestors directly, they might have had ancestral contact in dreams for instance. Dreams were given great importance by many tribal cultures, and contrary to our modern Western attitude, were seen as real. I too have had several dreams of my deceased grandmother, which I feel were real experiences on the astral planes. These were very powerful dreams that touched me deeply. Even in our disconnected and dis-spirited times many people speak of feeling their beloved ancestors near and protecting them, or report dreams of deep meaning about relatives who have passed on.
In all ancient cultures it was common knowledge that ancestors could be of great help to the living but also create problems, if they were not honoured or when there was an ancestral curse etc. In the Vedic tradition, for example, the ancestors or pitris can hold negative karma that afflicts the living descendants. These karmas can be alleviated or altogether overcome if the living descendents organise sacrificial rituals to certain Vedic deities. This is believed to help both the forefathers and the living descendents and is a very popular and effective Vedic practice. By the way, if the word sacrifice scares you, all Vedic sacrifices are totally non-bloody and vegetarian! The Vedic Gods as very high spiritual beings do not demand blood or harm to innocent creatures as the lesser gods frequently do.
As per the sages of India, life of all people is influenced by three aspects – karmic, ancestral and spiritual. In other words they are termed as karma dosha, pitru dosha and aradhana dosha. The blemishes of bad karma manifest from the soul of man like puss from a wound in the form of bad fate, auspicious and inauspicious experiences, fortune and misfortune, physical debilities, incurable diseases and so on.
Karma (actions) repeated over a period of time becomes karmagati- karmic tendency in the soul. Suppose a man mixes one bag of inferior quality rice with a bag of superior quality, and sells it for the price of superior quality rice, it will help him earn more profit. Karma has two unavoidable results or consequences – physical and qualitative. The profit earns the karmi material possessions which get perished or dispossessed at the time of death. The qualitative aspect, i.e. the result of cheating goes into the soul and gets recorded in there. The adulterator would have become rich, but the result of his action of cheating will haunt him birth after birth as disease, as stomach disorder, ulcer and the like.
Such karmic diseases could be cured only through the unwinding of bad karma, through the purification of the karmic sore with the antidote of appropriate remedial karma coupled with medical treatment. No treatment, rituals, worship, yoga or meditation will be effective unless one is able to cure the underlying sores of bad karma through repentant actions.
All human experiences have this subtle karmic aspect lying deep in one’s jeeva. Souls with luck can become aware of their karmic past through the grace of an Atmagyani Guru – a seer who can know the knots of a soul and suggest remedies.
Ancestral problems are referred to as ‘pitru dosha’ in astrology. Pitrudosha or ancestral curse is genetic or familial problems with which an individual or family is affected with and which are beyond the normal methods of healing. Every soul is connected to a pool of ancestors. There could be ancestors of good and bad karma as well as good and bad tendencies (vasana or karmagati). At the time of birth, the soul gets influenced by any one of such ancestral souls which is known as pitru rashi. The souls of ancestors take birth as children in the related family lineage for their evolutionary spiritual as well as physical fulfillment. To whatever pitrurashi one belongs, he or she will carry the same characteristics, fortunes and misfortunes related to the ancestral soul, even disease. It is due to pitru dosha children are born with genetic problems, mental retardation and undergo other family misfortunes.
One aspect of the spiritual root causes of problems in our lives is the distress caused to descendants by the subtle bodies of their ancestors who have passed away (died). It is also one of the more common spiritual factors that affects almost all of humanity in some form or the other. Before we give a detailed explanation as to why our ancestors would want to cause any kind of trouble for us, let us first examine the kinds of difficulties that people can experience due to departed ancestors.
The distress caused to us descendants by the subtle bodies of our ancestors manifests in many ways in our day-to-day lives. It creates obstacles in both, our worldly lives as well as spiritual practice. In some cases, it may seem that the entire family has a dark cloud over it and various family members are undergoing various problems despite all efforts to overcome them. The difficulties that are created due to departed ancestors come in various forms as listed below:
- Inability to get married
- Marital disharmony
- Addictions (a sizeable % of addictions are due to ancestral spirits possessing descendants in order to experience the addictive substance or activity)
- Going blank in examinations despite being well prepared for it
- Loss of job
- Difficulty in conceiving a child
- Bearing mentally challenged children or children with special needs
- Death during childhood
Miscarriage, death in childhood, etc. happen when the distress by ancestors is coupled with other major spiritual causes such as destined possible death. It cannot happen solely on account of distress of ancestors. While the above types of problems may be a strong indication of ancestral problems, only a Saint or a Guru (a spiritually evolved guide) can tell with certainty the root cause of a problem.
At an intellectual level, we could use two rules of thumb to decide if the cause of the suffering is spiritual in nature:
- All remedies to solve the problem have failed. This is especially so when the problem should be easily treatable by modern sciences such as a skin rash, chest pain, etc.
- A number of family members (e.g. 4 out of 5) are suffering with any of the above mentioned issues simultaneously. (The reason that all the family members get affected is that they all have the same ancestors.)
Such ancestral problems can be removed only by the rehabilitation or spiritual cleansing of ancestral souls in the spiritual brilliance (jnana agni) of a sage who is capable to envision through spiritual vision (darsan) such karmic and ancestral problems related to an individual and absorb it in his own spiritual light. Ancestral problems cannot be remedied through simple rituals and prayers or pitru tarpan based on tantric methods. Such rituals can only provide a temporary relief to the sufferers. When king Dilip failed to beget a child despite his unlimited access to power, wealth, rituals and remedies available in the world, he along with his wife Sudakshina decided to visit Rishi Vasisht, Vasisht after listening to the woe of the royal couple ordered them to live in the ashram and tender his cows. Dilip and Sudakshina lived an ordinary life in the ashram of Vasisht tendering cows. When some time passed, Vasisht called them aside and told them that now they could go back. Sudakshina conceived after some time and delivered a child – Raghu, the ancestor of Sri Ram. The chariot of king Dilip had hurt a heavenly cow during one of his exploits. It worked as a curse in his soul. Rishi Vasisht could envision this karmic problem through his omniscience and therefore suggested appropriate antidote karma. Karmic knots in the soul could be diagnosed by an Atmagyani Guru only.