For navagraha shanti (satisfying 9 planets), people give navadhanya daana respective to the planet, does it has power to transfer our sins earned by our own karma or it is just meant to satisfy the planets?

Are there ways to transfer punya/punyam or pap/papam?

  • River Ganga has power to wash your sins. Elder People gives blessing to younger one, I think it is one of the way to transfer punya to other people. In Mahabharat Gandhari has given her life's whole punya to her son Duryodhana by making is body hard.
    – Kedarnath
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 4:16
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    @Kedarnath sins transfer is much different from sins removal! discussion on sins washing is already present here hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/2665
    – pbvamsi
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 4:45
  • All right, my mistake.
    – Kedarnath
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 4:47
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    I personally do not believe that Ganga can wash sins, even though GOD himself comes and tell me though I will reject to accept such non sense. Everybody will do sins and then take bath in Ganga, Why to cut sins of people who rapes or do crimes in free? They must feel guilt and only Prashatap and asking for forgiveness can wash sins.
    – prem30488
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 5:20
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    @ParthTrivedi: I assume such criminals will not get chance to touch the water in river Ganga.
    – user11
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 18:16

4 Answers 4


Karma refers to the reward or fruit of action. When one commits a good deed, it is returned back to him/her. When one commits a bad deed(sin), it is also returned back.

Can it be transferred to someone else? There are accounts of saints taking on the sicknesses (or bad karma) of others in order to relieve them of their misery throughout history. But this is done voluntarily by the saint, rather than by the disciple.

For example the great Saint/Avatar Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is believed to have taken the sins of the people Jagai and Madai story as given below here:

Later Jagai and Madhai came before the Lord with folded hands. Lord Chaitanya then requested the brothers to give the Lord a tulsi leaf saying, "I will take your sinful reactions. Give them all to Me." At first the brothers refused saying, "O Lord You do not know how sinful we are. We can not do it." The brothers reminded the Lord that they had killed many cows, brahmins, women, and given trouble to countless innocent persons. But the Lord insisted and finally it was done. When Lord Chaitanya received the sins of Jagai and Madhai the Lord lost his golden complexion and He immediately became black.

However this cannot be done by all. Only the great Yogis, the great Avatars and the great Saints can do this. Others may be able to but it is dangerous to attempt such things as taking on another's fruits without proper intuition and Divine Will.

Swami Paramahansa Yogananda speaks of this 'Autobiography of a Yogi':

The metaphysical method of physical transfer of disease is known to highly advanced yogis. A strong man can assist a weaker one by helping to carry his heavy load; a spiritual superman is able to minimize his disciples' physical or mental burdens by sharing the karma of their past actions. Just as a rich man loses some money when he pays off a large debt for his prodigal son, who is thus saved from dire consequences of his own folly, so a master willingly sacrifices a portion of his bodily wealth to lighten the misery of disciples.

By a secret method, the yogi unites his mind and astral vehicle with those of a suffering individual; the disease is conveyed, wholly or in part, to the saint's body. Having harvested God on the physical field, a master no longer cares what happens to that material form. Though he may allow it to register a certain disease in order to relieve others, his mind is never affected; he considers himself fortunate in being able to render such aid.

So it is clear that not all can/should attempt to take on the karma of another preson. So then what else to do with the bad karma. Sin can not only be transferred but also removed.

How to circumvent sin? Three ways:

  1. Through self-inquiry:

    to one person, the daily job gives great misery and seems like a great sin committed, but yet to another person who is unemployed the daily job seems to be a great blessing. Therefore both persons are envying each other, while not happy with what they have. Then what really is a sin? It is only sin if we choose to think of it as sin. Just as the world looks green when we have green spectacles, the world appears to be dual when we wear the 'good & evil' spectacles of the Mind. Thus realizing this will destroy all sin.

    Sri Adi Shankaracharya states in aparokshanubhuti 98:

    All actions of man, Perishes when one is able to see, Brahman which is in the higher and also lower

  2. Through devotion to God:

    a the child accepts both the sweet-tasting chocolate as well as the bitter-tasting vegetables from the parents, in trust that the parent Loves the child and will do only what is best. Similarly trust in the Lord, that whatever happens is controlled by Him and is done for our own Good. Then this leads to surrender and leads to acceptance. When we accept all as gift of God, there is no sin, there is only gift. This requires faith.

    Sri Krishna states in Bhagavad Gita 18, 66:

    Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.

  3. Through karma yoga (doing good deeds without expecting results):

    simple logic: if what we do comes back to us, then why do bad? thereby spend all of time doing good day and night, until we realize that in our joy of giving, we do not care for receiving anything. Then where is the need to think of ourself? Selflessness thereby dawns and destroys all sins.

    Sri Swamiji Sivanandaji on Practice of Karma Yoga:

    The practice of Nishkamya Karma Yoga destroys sins and impurities of the mind and causes Chitta Suddhi or purity of the Antahkarana.

What about going around nine planets in temple?

Like the all great rituals of Hinduism if done with conviction, sincerity, purity and love then it will also result in removal of sins. However if done mechanically with thoughts of "I have to go here today", "I have to get Y today", "What will Z do today", "What to eat" etc. then it is not as effective. Thus concentration and discipline is the key.

Sri Ramakrishna says in "The Five Commandments of Sri Ramakrishna" by Swami Dayatmananda:

We have to impress on our minds that purity of thought and sincerity of purpose are the essential conditions one has to achieve and develop in the religious life if it is to be expeditiously fruitful. An aspirant must practise self-control. He has to avoid all slips in ethical life and should live a life of discipline. These are the sine qua non of the higher life, and it is well-known that nothing will happen if spiritual disciplines are practised perfunctorily.

When that purity of purpose and sincerity in sadhana is achieved and when one tries in secret and in solitude and with single-minded devotion to repeat the name of God, His vision will come and the devotee will get absorbed in Him. This chanting of God's name must form a regular habit.

  • 4
    There is a story where Indra shares his sin among women, trees, water, etc... don't know whether this story is scriptual or not....
    – Tezz
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 0:26

Transfer of karma means someone else will suffer or enjoy the results of your actions. So Navagraha Shanti is not actually a transfer of sins. It is just pacification of the planets done for rishta khandana (breaking malefaction due to planets). It doesn't reduces or transfers sins, it just pacifies the planets who have become malefic in our birth chart due to previous minor wrong actions. (The thing to note here is that, scriptures state hell is the punishment of committing sins. Sins can only be negated by performing appropriate expiatory actions, otherwise a person has to experience punishment in hell.)

Astrology gives different kinds of activities, rituals and mantras to pacify the planets that are in malefic positions. The activity of performing those actions mitigates the bad effects to some amount that otherwise could have happened. But they do not transfer you karma. Your performance of those remedial actions cancels out some of the bad effects.

But in case of transfer of karma, you won't have to do anything. The other person who is willing to receive the karma will have to undergo the equivalent effect. However, transfer of karma, even though is possible, is quite rare and against the natural order. Only some advanced yogis and saints can do this. Even if one is eligible to do this, he won't take upon himself someone else's karma and suffer the consequences of breaking the law of nature. Only few compassionate saints and yogis take upon themselves other person's sins and that too very few times when extremely necessary. So the concept of transferring of sins is as good as non existent for average people like us. The best we can do is to avoid making sins or expiate the ones we have already done by performing expiatory actions.

  • It would be useful to add scriptural citation.
    – Pandya
    Commented Jul 4, 2020 at 4:45

More than transferring the sins of past lives to others, the recommended way to reduce the bad karmas of a person from his past life is to to do good things participate in charity helping the poor and needy building temples and operating NGOs without a profit motive etc etc


"Sin or Good both are fetter, one of iron other of gold, need to cut both" I'll go to the reference of Geeta:

14.5 O mighty-armed one, the alities, viz sattva, rajas and tamas, born of Nature, being the immutable embodies being to the body.

You cannot kill your sins, but you can make you good larger than your sin. Everything in this world is relative, if the word is very good (ie. satyug) then even a lie will be a sin, but if the world is very bad(ie. kalyug) a lie would look a very feeble sin to anyone.

The GANGA SNAN or the NAVGRAH SHANTI are again relative words, they do a very merge consent in kalyug, but they give differential benefits.

For eg. the ganga, from where it comes, flows through many plants, which are very good herbs, thus having herbal benefits to human, this causes human to live more stable life in respect to his helth problems. Less health problems less needs for medicine, more saving to eat, less changes of you mind being corrupted to go for sins.

You can never be free from sins, there will be instant in life where you will go wrong, you motive to make your good greater than you sin.

  • 1
    "You cannot kill your sins." That is simply not true. Numerous scriptures discuss the destruction of sins. Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 12:45
  • Hi..your first statement is very correct, but it's not present in the Gita. The closest one with a similar meaning that you are referring is 14.5
    – Be Happy
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 16:54
  • @jabahar, hi can provide me with the link, or reference, I will add that in my answer, thanks again.
    – Mr. K
    Commented Aug 21, 2014 at 7:14

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