Tonight marks the end of Pitru Paksha – the Fortnight of the Ancestors; and that maxim, which I’ve been turning over in my head ever since it first … turned up therein, seemed an appropriate thought for the occasion.
Whether we consider the example of the major figures of the Illiad – many of whom were *directly* able to trace their own ancestries back to the Gods Themselves within about two or three generations removed; or whether we consider the Gotras, (Paleo)Patronymics [of which, indeed, “Rolinson” – “Son of Rolo” – is one], and other such pathways of oft-narrative remembrance of more illustrious forebears(and this is without getting into the scriptural origins of the Nordic caste system, the Julii of Caesar fame tracing their own ancestry back to Aeneas and thence to Venus Herself, or any of a half a hundred other such instances throughout our shared Indo-European mytho-social cultural complexes) … even the term “Mankind” itself, as “Son of Man(n)u(s)” … it has some considerable, capacious, downright *resounding* truth to it.
And yet, whereas others might choose to consider this more-than-ample grounds with which to seek to ‘justify’ despair … the notion that as one is *always*to be overshadowed by one’s ancestors, that there is no real point in trying, in striving, to live a good life *anyway* [the “born too late to explore the world, born to soon to explore the stars” crowd, we might perhaps call them], the more *proper* approach is to view it exactly the other way around.
That theirs is an example, a standard to *live up to*, indeed in some respects to endeavour to *improve upon* with the benefits of hindsight and therefore, foreknowledge [in this instance, knowledge passed down from one’s forebears].
To attempt, in short, to avoid making some of the same mistakes, while endeavouring to at least *aim* to reach Their triumphs.
Pitru Paksha is a time of the Remembrance of the Ancestors – as well as of Service rendered unto Them. Such as we may, even beyond the Bounds of Death, while They are with us as the barriers between the worlds grow weak in this phase of the Moon and of the seasons and orrery of the planes.
And how better to do *both*, than to *show* Them that They have put out into this world, even however many generations or millennia removed, something *worthy*. A *continuance* not merely [in PIE pun-value of this term as well], of Their genes, and Their occasionally told tales of valour and glory … but of Their Will and Vision and the Essential Essence of (a) People(s).
To Fill the World which They have Left Us , so that in truth, They have never really Left it, while Their Mighty Spirit may still be said to prevail – *Through Us*.
I am reminded, at times like these, of the words of Tennyson, from his great poem Ulysses:
“Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
Become What You Were Born To Be.
Live Up To Your Ancestors’ Better Example.
And Through Them, Through You, Live – Again.
Hail to the Lord of the Dead, and the Lords Who Are Dead.
It may be a year until the Shades of the Pitrs walk so easily amongst us again – and yet, They shall not be far from our minds at any point over this cyclic span. Nor are we from Theirs.