Runa means loan. In our day to day life, we may take loan for the purpose of education, building home, to satisfy personal needs, to do business and we are indebted to the banks and other financial institutions. We were not born with liability but in our slow growth, we may take loans and get indebted to others.
However, according to Vedas, we are born with 3 Debts. These are loans we need to repay during the lifespan of one. The 3 Debts are
However these runas cant be repaid through monetary/material terms. You can only repay the runa by following them ethically and taking moral responsibility.
Also read: A Lesson from Bhagavad Gita
1) Pitru Runa
When we say Pitru Runa, it doesn’t just mean loan from father but it is considered as a debt from our parents and ancestors. The life that you are living, your very existence is because of you parents, grandparents and your ancestors. You can only repay them by worshipping, performing special puja and other rituals on Amavasya day (no moon day), performing Srardham (ceremony conducted yearly on the day the ancestor passed away). Apart from these days, there are also some days considered to be Punya Kaal (auspicious time) during which some puja is performed in remembrance of the ancestors. It is also paid back by begetting the children and upbringing them in the noble ways conducive to the society.
Duty is emphasized here.
2) Rishi Runa
Rishis include both
(i) sages who have given up their own whims and fancies for receiving the Knowledge of Sciences, Astrology, Ayurveda, Yoga, etc and also
(ii) those teachers who passed on this knowledge for generations and to us.
We are in debt to our teachers who guided us this far, shaped us into US, shown the path. We can only repay them by respecting the culture, conserving, preserving, reading and expertizing those scriptures and passing on the knowledge to the next generations.
Selflessness is emphasized here.
3) Deva Runa
Next is our debt to the Devas. If you don’t have faith in GOD, you can call Deva Runa as Nature.
The air we take, water we sip, food we eat, Sunlight, oxygen etc are the offerings of the nature or the lord. Even digestion, good spirits, and sleep is dependent on these elements. You can only repay the nature by preserving it for the next generations.
Gratitude is emphasized here.
Also read: 4 Legs of Dharma