You cannot be without jñāna, and especially in the beginning jñāna is very good. We will have to have some knowledge of what is bhakti-tattva and so on. By tattva-jñāna, by knowing siddhānta, the mind will be steady, and with a steady mind one can become absorbed. Some jñāna is good, therefore.
If someone dies, then, according to Karma-kāṇḍa-śāstra, the relatives will have to do a ceremony for their deceased relative (śraddhā). Why? Being in this world, if anyone will commit sinful activities, knowingly or unknowingly, there will be a reaction and they will have to go to hell and suffer. Their descendants do this śraddhā ceremony, and by this they offer prasādam to their deceased relatives who become free from suffering.
If someone is a Vaiṣṇava and chanting harināma throughout his whole life, is there any necessity to do any śraddhā for him? Can he go to hell? Will he be in a suffering condition? No. There is no need to do śraddhā for Vaiṣṇavas. Still, Vaiṣṇavas may do śraddhā for their deceased relatives. Why? When they perform this function they will invite so many sādhus along with all their relatives. There will be harināma-saṅkīrtana, classes on hari-kathā, and prasādam distributed to everyone. Everyone will get benefit.
October 09, 2001 Purī