The Time of the Ancestors

पितृपक्ष

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Lesson 14

Pitṛpakṣa Practice Day 13: Honor Your Spiritual Ancestors

As we enter the final days of this time, you might have started to wonder what happens after Pitṛpakṣa. On the night of the next new moon, the Goddess festival celebrating life and feminine energy begins. It’s perfect timing – we will go immediately from reflecting on and honoring death to celebrating and embracing new life.

You might already be feeling a bit of that playful energy rising in you – like a child, asking on a long car ride, “Are we there yet?” Well, almost! 🙂 The more we can transform now, the more space and freedom we’ll have during our celebrations next week. So hang in there, and keep going. It’s totally worth it!

Today is a day when we can remember that our direct ancestors aren’t just the members of our blood family. In fact, if you have received initiation (dīkā) into a lineage, it is considered a form of rebirth. Your guru (spiritual teacher), and all the gurus and wisdom holders/dharma protectors of your spiritual lineage are also your direct ancestors.

And just as you are impacted by your blood ancestors, the power and presence of your spiritual ancestors also impacts your energy body. For today’s practice, we will dedicate our practices to our spiritual ancestors.

You can do any of the practices we have suggested so far in this course (service, charity, spiritual austerity, remembrance, reflection, etc), except for now, your inner dedication would be to your spiritual ancestors and all the beings who protected and participated in your lineage. This includes fellow practitioners who have passed.

If they were fully enlightened beings, they have merged with the universe and are not technically in Pitṛloka (the ancestor realm), but you can still practice in essentially the same way. Rather than praying for their upliftment, pray to them for your own upliftment and that of all beings.

The primary difference between practicing for your family lineage versus your spiritual lineage is that you’re not cleaning up bad karma. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – you are opening yourself to receiving the full wisdom, love, grace, and GOOD karma of your spiritual forefathers.

Let today’s practice rejuvenate and inspire you. Let the power and love of all the great beings in your spiritual lineage fill your heart and mind-body.

If you like, you can even visualize this very pure love and peace from your spiritual ancestors entering your being, and through you, also reaching and nourishing your blood ancestors via the eternal soul connections linking us all.

In this way, you can honor both sets of ancestors and be a vessel for the awakening of many beings.

If you have any questions, or want to share your experience, you can do so by emailing us at admin@livingsanskrit.com.

Teacher: Shivani Hawkins

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