By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda
In India it is the old custom that a prostitute quarter is maintained for the lusty people. Those who are not satisfied with one wife, they should not pollute the society, but they should go to the prostitutes. So illicit sex means sex without the intention for begetting a nice child. Avaidha-strī-sanga: avaidha means against the vidhi, against the regulation. Putra-pinda. Putrārthe kriyate bhāryā. Bhāryā means wife. Wife is accepted simply for begetting sons. Therefore she is called dharma-patnī. A son is required. [Lecture, SB 6.1.56-62, Jan 3, 1971, Surat]
Why should one accept a wife for begetting a son? Putra-pinda-prayojanam. According to Vedic dharma the pinda-dāna (is) offering pinda, oblations to the forefather. Putra (son) is pun-nāmno narakād yasmāt trāyate iti putrah. Who is putra? There is a naraka, or hell and if somebody by his sinful action is sent to that hell, the putra will deliver him. Pun-nāmno narakād yasmāt trāyate. That pun-nāmna narakāt, the first word of that naraka, i.e. pu, and trāyate, i.e. tra, if combined together, it becomes putra (son). So putra has meaning. Putra is not a product of sexual intercourse. No. Putra means “who can deliver the forefather if by chance he is fallen in the hellish condition.” Therefore putra-pinda-prayojanam. [Lecture, SB 6.1.56-62, Jan 3, 1971, Surat]
Putra is required. Why? After death, if by chance the father does not get ordinary life or goes to the hellish condition of life, the son will deliver. Therefore śrāddha ceremony. What is that śrāddha ceremony? Śrāddha ceremony means to offer foodstuff to Vishnu, and the prasadam is offered to the forefathers or to the father so that by eating prasadam, if he is in ghost life or in hellish life, he’ll be delivered. This is called śrāddha. [Lecture, SB 1.5.24, Aug 5, 1975, Vrindavan]
What is putra-pinda? Caitanya Mahaprabhu also showed us the example. He went to Gaya Pradesh to offer pinda for his forefathers. This is necessary still. In Gaya there is Vishnu temple, and in the Vishnu temple the oblation is offered at the lotus feet of the (Lord). There are many practical cases that one’s father or mother became ghost after death, and after offering oblations at the lotus feet of Vishnu at Gaya, he was delivered.
Ulimate goal of Vedic civilization is Vishnu worship
So actual fact is Vishnu worship. That is the ultimate goal of Vedic civilization, but they do not know. Na te viduh svārtha-gatim hi visnum [SB 7.5.31]. Their attention is diverted in so many demigods. The greatest disservice to the society (is the propaganda) that “Here is another god, here…” Not only manufacturing a man-god, but they are advising that “You can worship any God.” No! Only Vishnu. Tad visnoh paramam padam sadā paśyanti sūrayah. This is Vedic mantra. Those who are sūrayah, means advanced and asūrayah means demons. Vishnu-bhakto bhaved surah: “Those who are devotees of Lord Vishnu, they are sura.” Asuras tad-viparyayah: “And those who are not Vishnu bhaktas, they are asuras.” Just like Rāvana was a very great devotee of Lord Shiva; but still, he was considered an asura. Hiranyakasipu, he was a great devotee of Lord Brahmā, but he was considered asura. So anyone who is not devotee of Lord Vishnu, he is asura. That is the verdict. Asuras tad-viparyayah.
And this pinda-dāna is offered oblations to Vishnu. So if any man becomes a Vaishnava, he is offering oblations to Vishnu at every moment, so his forefathers are delivered without any trouble. If one’s son becomes a Vaishnava in the family, he can deliver fourteen generations, up and down. That is the verdict. Not only verdict, this is the version in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. [Lecture, SB 6.1.56-62, Jan 3, 1971, Surat]