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This is one of the most important concepts of Vedic astrology and it is called Pitra Dosh. It is generally defined by many astrologers as the curse of ancestors, which means the forefathers of the person having Pitra Dosh in his horoscope are unhappy with him and therefore they are cursing the native and due to that curse; the native may suffer from debt, diseases, failures all around, being childless and in the worst cases, early death due to accident or serious diseases. These astrologers believe that the native under the impact of Pitra Dosh has not completed the after death rituals of his forefathers like grandfather. The ancestors of the native are troubled in other worlds due to not receiving proper rituals and hence they are cursing the native for not doing his duty; and this curse is called Pitra Dosh.
We have already discussed misconceptions related to many important concepts in Vedic astrology. In case of Pitra Dosh, the misconception starts right from its definition which states that it is the curse of ancestors. Pitra Dosh is not a curse of the ancestors for sure and here is how. The horoscope of a person is drawn and decided right at the time of his birth and accordingly any types of defects are decided at the time of his birth which includes defects like Kaal Sarp Yog, Manglik Dosh and Pitra Dosh among other defects.
Coming to the defect called Pitra Dosh, if this defect is decided at the time of birth of a person, what has this person done in this life to get cursed by the ancestors? It means if a person grows older and does some bad Karmas or bad deeds which may bring disgrace to the good and fair name of ancestors, then it may be considered that the ancestors are cursing that person. But why curse a person before his birth? For the people reading this article who may have an opinion that the person may have done some bad Karmas or bad deeds related to the ancestors in the past lives and that is why he has got Pitra Dosh in his horoscope, let me tell you that in most cases, a person born in a family line is none other than one of his own ancestors. For example a person born in a family line is usually one of the forefathers of that family who has reborn in that family again.
According to the theory of Karmic astrology, most people are born in the same family lines with same friends and same enemies in many of their lives until their Karmic debts, duties and rewards are all cleared from that particular group of people or we can call them particular group of souls. It should not be difficult to understand that if a soul has unfinished business related to some particular souls, whether such business is positive or negative, such soul is logically supposed to be born along with these souls only; and that also in close relation to these souls, so that it may finish its unfinished business with these souls.
Considering an example, a native works very hard towards the betterment of his family line and he creates great fortunes for his sons and grandsons to enjoy. Before this native enjoys those fortunes properly, he may die. His sons as well as grandsons are all indebted to this native for providing them so many fortunes and pleasures; and they want to serve him and repay him. As a result, this native may be born in the same family as his grandson or great grandson so that he may enjoy all the pleasures of the fortunes initially created by him and at the same time, he may give opportunities to his sons or grandsons to serve him and fulfill their desires.
Similarly, if a native engages in all types of vices and money wasting practices; and he destroys the fortunes made by his ancestors so that the coming generations of his family line may have to struggle a lot in order to rebuild such fortunes; the native may be born as his grandson or great grandson in this case also. This native may be reborn in this family at the time when financial struggles are at their peak and he may have to go through many types of problems in order to get through such financial troubles, so that that he may face the fruits of bad karmas that he had committed in his past life. Likewise, a soul may be born in the same family line due to many other reasons. Since most souls have maximum number of unfinished businesses with their family members, whether such businesses are positive or negative, it is but logical for such souls to be reborn in the same families, so that they may attend to their unfinished businesses.
Coming back to the point, what actually is this Pitra Dosh if it is not a curse of the ancestors? Let’s look into the matter and find out what is Pitra Dosh. Pitra Dosh is not a curse of the ancestors, but it is a Karmic debt of the ancestors which the native having Pitra Dosh in his horoscope is supposed to pay. In simple words, Pitra Dosh is formed in the horoscope of a native due to bad Karmas or bad deeds done by the ancestors of that native and this native is supposed to pay that Karmic debt by suffering the punishments decided for those debts in different spheres of his life.
Such native may suffer until the debt is cleared either through punishment or through the good deeds done by the native having such Pitra Dosh in his horoscope. So Pitra Dosh in a horoscope doesn’t mean that the ancestors are cursing the native having Pitra Dosh in his horoscope, it means that the ancestors of such native are themselves cursed. Hence the native has to engage in more and more good karmas so that his ancestors as well as he may get rid of the sufferings caused by such Pitra Dosh. This theory may sound confusing to some people, so let’s try to explain it on the basis of scientific as well as Karmic logics.
Starting with science, it is a well known fact that there are a number of diseases found today which are genetic in nature, which means that they are passed from mothers or fathers to their children. A common example of such diseases is diabetes which is prevailing throughout the world and in many cases it is passed from generation to generation, though it may not affect some of the children born to a diabetic mother or father. In the same way, a son generally inherits the assets and liabilities of his father which may have come from the forefathers also. Likewise, a son may inherit his father’s physical or mental strength and he may also inherit his father’s physical or mental weakness. The same goes for physical shape and looks, which means that children can inherit their parents’ good or bad looks as well as their good or bad physical shapes.
Similarly other examples can be considered to validate the theory that the good or bad things earned, owned and owed by the parents or forefathers are passed on to the children of the family line. The theory of Karmic debts also works in the same way with the only difference that it shows the results in the present life based on the Karmas done in previous lives. As I have already mentioned that most people are born in the same family lines and they have the same circle of friends, so an ancestor suitable for the punishments for the Karmic debt formed on a family line according to the bad Karmas done by him in his previous lives, is sent on earth to pay those debts and bear the punishments.
As this person does good or bad deeds in his present life, it contributes to the negative or positive Karmic balance of that family line where the negative balance means the debt and positive balance means the rewards which are going to be enjoyed by the coming generations of that family. This is why so much emphasis is put on doing good Karmas and it is often preached that the bad Karmas done by a person are going to affect the family line of that person which includes his children and their children. In the same way, the good Karmas done by a person earn Karmic rewards which are paid to the future members of his family line, who may enjoy good or great fortunes due to the good deeds done by their fathers and forefathers, just like a person enjoys the wealth earned and owned by his father. Let’s now go deeper into this theory of Karmic ancestral debts and rewards with the help of an example taken from Hindu Mythology.
This example belongs to the birth of the holiest river belonging to Hindu religion, which is called Maa Ganga by Indians and is commonly known as river Ganges by rest of the world. Long time back, there was a king named Sagar who was an ancestor of Lord Rama. Due to some misunderstanding, the sons of king Sagar attacked a great sage Kapil and they all died with the burning flames coming out of the eyes of angry sage Kapil. Sages are given great respect in India due to which insulting and attacking a great sage like Kapil formed a heavy Karmic debt on the family line of king Sagar, which was going to trouble all the coming generations of this family. Knowing this, Anshuman the grandson of king Sagar went to sage Kapil, asked for his forgiveness and requested him to prescribe a way to relieve the family of this ancestral debt. It was then told by sage Kapil that if the holy river Ganga is brought to the earth from the heavens and the ashes of the burnt princes are offered to holy river Ganga, this debt can be cleared.
Accordingly, Anshuman worshiped throughout his life to bring Ganga to earth but he didn’t succeed and the duty was passed on to his son king Dilip who also worshiped throughout his life to bring Ganga to earth to clear the Karmic debts of his forefathers. However, king Dilip also didn’t succeed and the duty was passed on to his son king Bhagirath who also worshiped Lord Brahma very dedicatedly. One day, Lord Brahma came to answer his prayers and he blessed him with his wish that Ganga would be sent to earth to relieve his family and forefathers of their Karmic debts. As Lord Brahma blessed Bhagirath, king Bhagirath posed a question to Lord Brahma, which goes something like this.
“O Great Lord Brahma Ji, I have a question to ask and kindly bless me with the answer to this question. My grandfather Anshuman and my father Dilip worshipped you throughout their lives but you didn’t answer their prayers whereas you have answered my prayers. Was there any defect in their way of worship or was something else wrong due to which you didn’t listen to the prayers of my father and my grandfather?”
Hearing this Lord Brahma smiled and said, “Insulting and attacking a great sage like Kapil caused a very heavy karmic debt on your family line and all of it needed to be paid in order for me to come and bless a member of your family line with his wish. Your father and grandfather worshipped throughout their lives and they were able pay most of this debt through such worship, but as this debt was not cleared, so I didn’t come to grant their wish. As you started worshipping, the Karmic debt has been cleared and after that you have earned sufficient Karmic rewards for your wish to be granted by continuously worshipping me; and that is why I am here to bless you with your wish. Worship never goes waste Bhagirath. Had your father and grandfather not worshipped me so hard, your worship may not have succeeded”. After that, Maa Ganga was sent to earth to bless the souls of Bhagirath’s forefathers as well as those of many others.
The moral of the story is that the karmic debt levied on the forefathers of king Bhagirath needed to be cleared before the family line could be blessed again with good fortunes. Therefore, three generations of his family worshipped the Lord to clear this Karmic debt and earn Karmic rewards which led to the good results like the incarnation of Lord Rama in the same family line, which shows that the positive karmic balance of this family line was extremely great because a family line which witnessed the birth of Lord himself, was without any doubt the most prestigious Karmic family line of that time.
Coming back to Pitra Dosh, it should now be easy to understand that Pitra Dosh is not a curse of the ancestors as defined by some astrologers, but it is the debt formed as a result of bad deeds done by the ancestors and this debt has to be paid by the present generation; either by taking the punishments decided according to that debt or by doing some specific types of good Karmic deeds which may help paying this debt so that the degree of punishment may be decreased. After knowing so much about the definition of Pitra Dosh, let’s find out how this defect is formed in a horoscope.
If the Sun which is an indicator of the self and the ancestors, is afflicted by a malefic planet, Pitra Dosh is formed in the horoscope and depending on the afflicting planet as well as on some other factors, the kinds and results of Pitra Dosh change. For example, the worst kind of Pitra Dosh is formed by the affliction of Rahu and Ketu to the Sun by placement and aspect, and the Pitra Dosh where Sun and Rahu are placed in the same house, is a very serious Pitra Dosh and can even prove fatal for the native if the afflictions are strong. The affliction to the Sun by malefic Saturn also forms a serious Pitra Dosh and similarly any malefic planet afflicting the Sun forms Pitra Dosh which can trouble the native in different ways depending on the afflicting planet, the strength of the afflicting planet and the Sun, the placement of the afflicting planet as well as the Sun and some other factors.
Apart from this, Pitra Dosh is also formed if ninth house of a horoscope which stands for ancestors among other things; is afflicted by a malefic planet and the results should be predicted in the same way as in case of afflictions to the Sun. Afflictions to the Lord of ninth house also form Pitra Dosh in a horoscope. In the same way, if the Moon is afflicted by a malefic planet or planets, Matru Dosh is formed in the horoscope and the worst type of Matru Dosh is formed by the placement of Ketu with Moon.
The formation of Pitra Dosh in a horoscope can trouble the native under its impact with many types of problems depending on the type of Pitra Dosh as well as depending on the overall tone of his horoscope. For example, Pitra Dosh formed due to the presence of Sun along with malefic Saturn in the fifth house may delay the birth of the children till late or very late in the life of the native suffering from it. However, Pitra Dosh formed due to the presence of Sun in the fifth house of a horoscope along with malefic Mars may deny the possibility of children to the native or it may trouble the native with the death of many children before birth, and only then this native may witness a live child.
Similarly, Pitra Dosh formed due to the presence of Sun in the tenth house of a horoscope along with malefic Saturn can delay the professional success of the native due to which the native may not witness significant professional success before his age of 41. On the other hand, Pitra Dosh formed due to the presence of Sun in the tenth house of a horoscope along with malefic Saturn and Mars can either keep the native away from professional success throughout his life, or such native may become a criminal and he may have to spend many years of his life in prison by virtue of being convicted for a serious crime.
Considering one more possibility, Pitra Dosh formed due to the presence of Sun in the seventh house of a horoscope along with malefic Mercury can delay the marriage of the native under its impact and hence the native may not get married till his age of 35. On the other hand, Pitra Dosh formed due to the presence of Sun in the seventh house of a horoscope along with malefic Saturn and malefic Ketu may deny the possibility of marriage to the native, unless there is a strong marriage promoting planet in his horoscope. Even if such marriage promoting planet is there, the native suffering from such Pitra Dosh may get married after his age of 41 and he may also have problems in having children or some other types of problems related to children.
Let’s try to understand this concept with the help of a practical example. If Sun is placed in the fifth house of a horoscope in the sign of Cancer and malefic Saturn also joins Sun in the fifth house, Pitra Dosh is formed in this horoscope. Since the fifth house of a horoscope deals with children along with many other things, the native may not witness the birth of his first child till 35 years of his age. Looking at a couple of different combinations from here, if benefic Moon is placed in the first house of this horoscope in the sign of Pisces along with benefic Jupiter when Sun and malefic Saturn form Pitra Dosh in the fifth house, the native may surely have children. This native may have children soon after his age of 35 and he may enjoy many good things through such children.
On the other hand, if malefic Moon is placed in the sixth house of this horoscope in the sign of Leo along with malefic Rahu; and malefic Ketu is placed in the twelfth house of this horoscope in the sign of Aquarius when malefic Sun and Saturn are placed in the fifth house, the problem may aggravate. The native troubled by such Pitra Dosh and other malefic planets may have to wait till the age of 41 in order to have children. If this native has a child before the age of 41, such child may be either physically handicapped or mentally challenged, due to the malefic impact of such Pitra Dosh and other malefic planets mentioned in this example. Similarly, Pitra Dosh may form in all other houses of a horoscope in many possible combinations, and it may trouble the native under its impact with a variety of problems depending on the overall tone of his horoscope.
Vedic astrology mentions many remedies to rectify Pitra Dosh present in a horoscope. However it should be noted that Pitra Dosh is a very technical defect and general remedies may not be sufficient in order to get rid of it. Hence it becomes very important to first indentify the planet or planets which form Pitra Dosh in a horoscope by afflicting Sun, ninth house or the lord of ninth house. Once the planet or planets forming Pitra Dosh are identified, appropriate remedies should be practiced to rectify such Pitra Dosh.
For the people who are told that Pitra Dosh is a curse of the ancestors and it can be rectified by doing poojas and charities to pacify and please their ancestors, you should know that such remedies are not going to do much good for you because your ancestors are not cursing you, they are themselves cursed. Hence you don’t need to pray to them, but you need to pray for them. Therefore in order to relieve yourself and your ancestors of the Pitra Dosh present in your horoscope, identify the planet or planets causing Pitra Dosh in the horoscope and then do specific remedies to pay the debts of that planet or planets so that the quantum of punishment rendered to you by this defect may be gradually reduced.