Pitradosha- Letting go of the past and claiming the present


The history of human beings has been riddled with wars, struggles, bloodshed, tears and at times peace. Those hurts of the past still remain in our consciousness and keep coming up to the surface every now and then. These wounds and hurts affect individuals, families, states, nations and perhaps the entire world. Why is it that some countries keep fighting forever over something that happened long ago? Why is it that some people keep fighting over something that happened centuries ago? They keep adding on to the hurt, keep talking about the past and keep the volcano alive.

These were some thoughts when I was at a temple in Kerala which specializes in Pitradosha Puja. People think of Pitradosha Puja as some kind of superstition but to my mind it is more of a transgenerational healing process. Do you know what is really the interesting bit? We don’t heal anyone else in Pitradosha Puja, we heal ourselves!

Don’t believe it? Tell me something. Who are we? If you believe in Pitradosha, then you have to believe in the concept of souls and lifetimes. So, we are souls, travelling through many life times and many births and deaths, some peaceful, some gruesome, some painful, some violent and some plainly unfair and untimely. So, the soul through the lifetimes has experienced all sorts of emotions and deeds (karma- a well known word) which have multiplied through lifetimes. This has caused a cycle of action and reaction which has resulted in the current state of affairs.

For example, let’s say in a particular lifetime, you were someone who had murdered someone. Now this person is your wife. In your current lifetime, your relationship with your wife is stormy. There are times she makes you feel guilty, there are times you feel angry with her, at times you may even want to divorce her or even feel like killing her. But, you cannot do anything because you feel guilty about having these emotions. All these emotions in you cause  havoc with your system. The negativity may cause cancer, the urge to control may cause diabetes, the unexpressed anger may cause blood pressure and many such diseases.

Most of us don’t know why our relationships turn sour without we having done anything wrong in our present lifetimes. Many feel that though they give their children everything, yet their children hate them or don’t love them at all. Perhaps, in these cases, the remnants of the distant past are affecting the present?

I know what you would say next. How are we supposed to remember our past lifetimes? No, you don’t need to remember anything except the feelings that you have with the person in this present lifetime. Deep within yourself, let go of all the grudges that you may have. Forgive the hurts that you may have experienced. Forgive yourself for having all those thoughts. You need to work on creating a new response to the situation rather than the same old pattern.


It is not a one-time process and is definitely not easy. This process is about letting go every day. The pitra dosha puja is not a miracle prayer. It is about letting go of our past. Letting go cannot be complete without completely forgetting. ‘Forgive and forget’ Jesus said and he said it because if you keep remembering you will always recreate the circumstances in your brain and in your life.


Perhaps we could do the same with India and its neighbors.  Perhaps we could think about letting go of the past, of what has been lost and of what happened? Maybe as the youth of the country we could talk about what is instead of what could be, what was because it was, we as a generation who did it in a lifetime and it is, we as a generation who have to let go in our current lifetime.

Think about it!

Would love to know your thoughts!


Shailaza Singh


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