Monday, August 04, 2008

Women doing Homam and Tarpana

Sri Narisimha Rao-
Thank you for sending this out. I am very interested to learn these explanations as I have seen my father do this for years without understanding the exact meaning and purpose.
Is this something women practice or is this practice exclusive to men? Like so many other rituals in Hinduism?

From: Narasimha P.V.R. Rao <>
Date: 2008/8/4
Subject: [vedic-wisdom] Re: Fwd: Pitri Tarpana Manuals Available Now

Namaste Madam,
I will be honest and make a bold statement and ask elders to forgive me if they disagree my strong views.
> Is this something women practice or is this practice exclusive
> to men? Like so many other rituals in Hinduism?
This is typically practiced by men only, but I see no reason why women cannot do it. In fact, if you see the explanation I have given for why this should be done and how it works, you will see that it applies to men and women.
There are some differences. Women have only XX chromosomes while men have XY chromosomes. A man is more likely to get the genes from father's side ancestors than mother's side ancestors. In the case of women, the probability calculation is different. In the mantras I gave, father's ancestors are covered first and then come mother's ancestors. Perhaps the order can be switched for women. But for a possible change of order based on probabilities, the procedure and mantras given apply to both men and women.
The bottomloine is that both paternal line and maternal line karmas affect both men and women. The kaarrmik predispositions based on the rina to various ancestors and the blockages created by them are equally important for men and women in order to progress materially and spiritually.
In the old days, men did so much spiritual sadhana, so many rituals and so much tapascharya that women did not need to do anything. Just run the house, get groceries, cook, serve food and your husband builds enough spiritual bank balance for both of you. But things are not the same anymore! Most men today are worldly people and don't do enough spiritual sadhana for themselves, let alone for their wives!
Given this situation, women cannot rely on husbands for spiritual progress. I strongly advocate that women should be allowed to perform rituals like homam, tarpanam etc for their own spiritual evolution. I know some ladies who are performing Mahaganapathi homam using the manual on my website now and enjoying it.
If these rituals are not done during the monthly periods time, that is sufficient.
Just ignore the instructions on the sacred thread changes. In case you are actually wearing a sacred thread, reverse my directions, which are for men.
Even today, there are some groups where women wear a sacred thread, do veda mantras and do yajnas. For example, near Shirdi, a great yogi called Upasani maharaj (contemporary of Sai Baba) advocated this and started a veda pathasala for women and taught them vedic chanting and rituals such as yajnam! He was born as an orthodox Brahmin, mastered four vedas (!) and upanishads and then experienced Brahman. After experiencing, he became open-minded and worked against the prejudices in mainstream orthodox society. Sai Baba once declared "Upasani is God Himself. Today let us do pooja to Upasani"!
I will encourage all interested ladies to do this ritual.
Best regards,
Do a Short Homam Yourself:
Do Pitri Tarpanas Yourself:
Free Jyotish lessons (MP3):
Free Jyotish software (Windows):
Sri Jagannath Centre (SJC) website:

Brihaspati Gayatri, Vishwamitra/Gaathina Rishi Rig Veda 6.62.6