Tririnas the three eternal debts of man

Hindu traition ordains one to follow Ashrama dharmas to discharge of three eternal debts, called as Tririnas. The Concept of Tririnas envisages that a Man is born indebted to Gods, Gurus, and his Ancestors.


Tririnas are called as Deva Rina, Rishi rina and Pitru Rina. He was indebted to his ancestors and parents and Gods for blessing him to be born on this earth. And he is indebted to his Teachers for training him to live like a human being distinct from other animals. TriRina Concept lays down Social duties on an individual by emphasizing one’s indebtedness to his parents,ancestors,Gurus and Gods for giving physical and social life to him.

These Debts are termed as Tririnas ( Three debts ) – Deva rina, Pitru rina and Rishi Rina. 

First one is Deva Rina debt towards Gods.

Second one is Pitru Rina debt towards Pitras – Ancestors

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The third one is Rishi Rina debt towards Rishis, Sages who kept the kindle of knowledge alive since time immemorial.

Manu Smriti envisages that,

maharShi pitRudEvaanaaM gatvaa nRuNyaM yadhaavidhi

putrE sarvaM samaasajya va sEnmaadhyasdhyamaaSritaH

accordingly a man shall pay his above eternal debts as follows:

Deva Rina

Devarina, the Debt to Gods is to be paid by performing Sacrifices at Yajna.  Yajna includes chanting of Mantras ( Slokas ) , burning Ghee along with sacred fire wood – Moduga, Sandal , Peepal woods and the like and finally offering sacrifices to the Gods at a Sacrificial altar. ( During Rig Vedic period  Gods of Nature, namely, Indra, Varuna, Agni, Aswini  Devatas are invoked for getting Rains, Cows and Children at Yajnas).   

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Pitru Rina

Whereas, PitruRina, the Debt to ancestors is to be fulfilled by  begetting  Children. Begetting children  and bringing them  up after the tradition by various means is one of the three Rinas that are to be paid back to our Ancestors. Elaborate rituals are prescribed for the welfare of the children during their upkeep.  

Rishi Rina

The Third One, RishiRina , the Debt to the Rishis , the Learned ( Law givers ),  is to be paid by Studying the Scriptures. And also by  observing  Continence and fasting on Parva ( Auspicious ) days.