Upaya : is a ‘prayashchit’ and ‘tapasya’
Let’s understand the nature and the spirit of upaya. Whether the upaya are like ‘mantra jaap’ , ‘pooja’ ‘havan’ ‘daan’ ‘fasting’ ‘pilgrimage’ of the Vedic astrology or simple ethnic upaya of the Lal Kitab ; the purpose is the same .It is both a repentance and a penance .
Doing an upaya is doing a prayashchit ---a repentance . We through our own actions turn benefic planets into malefic ; may be even through an inadvertent action. By doing an upaya we repent for having done those deeds. For example : Saturn might be very well placed , but we might make it ‘manda’ or ‘ashubh’ by drinking liquor or maltreating our servants ; The moon might be well placed but we might make it ‘ashubh’ by harassing our mother and so on. Therefore one of the major purpose of the upaya is to repent ; by feeding the fish or touching the feet of our mother and seek her blessings.
Doing an upaya is also doing a tapasya , a penance : throwing a coin each day into a river for 43 days regularly or carrying 8 haldi ganth to a temple for 8 days regularly. Its no joke to go miles to throw a coin into a river, not just once , but for 43 days or driving for a couple of hours to reach a temple eight days in a row. These upaya test our patience and that’s what the ‘tapasya’ is all about. If we want some thing from some one we have to appease him. If we have to appease some one , in this case a planet , we have to do the ‘tapasya’ : the penance . A penance is never easy ; it’s hard, grueling and tough. Tougher the penance is , the sweeter are the fruits.
Therefore the upaya have to be done in the spirit of ‘prayishchit’ and ‘tapasya’ : repentance and penance. There are no short cuts to either of them. You have to do both with religious piety and rigor. If the upaya are done in this spirit and faith, I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be effective.
If in spite of your having done the upaya with extreme religious rigor and piety there are no positive results , then the fault will be entirely mine. That means I failed to diagnose the malady correctly or that I failed to devise the correct upaya ; and as a human being it could be quite possible. I am no Pt. Roopchand Joshi ; he was a ‘siddha’.
I will do a separate write up , shortly , on the purpose of upaya or what an upaya can do.