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Document Details :
Title: Le Pitrkalpa du Harimvamsa et le concept de Pitr
Author(s): SAINDON, M.
Journal: Journal Asiatique
Volume: 283 Issue: 1 Date: 1995
The Pit̥rkalpa (PK) is a misunderstood fragment of the Harivaṃśa. It is situated in the narrative context of the Mahābhārata and in the ritual context of the śraddha, the worship of the ancestors. It has been falsely regarded as a śrāddhakalpa (a ritual of ancestor worship) and seemed to be a compilation of heterogeneous elements only because piecemeal analyses were made. However, when it is considered as a whole, it appears to be a coherent and significant text that must be identified as a Pit̥rkalpa (an account of the origin and the role of the Pit̥rs). The importance of the PK lies in the originality of the concept of Pit̥r. The twofold discussion about the origin of the divine Pit̥rs points out an inversion of the roles of father and son and serves to affirm the supremacy of the yoga as a means of liberation. Now this yoga can be obtained by the performance of the śraddha for the Pit̥rs. Thus the Pit̥rs are a junction of paradoxes where the contradictory currents can be present all together. The PK witnesses directly to the changes which have produced Hinduism.