By Swami Harshananda
Pitṛ-ṛṇa literally means ‘debt to the manes’.
Every human being, according to the religion, is said to be born under three ṛṇas or debts. Among these, the pitṛ-ṛṇa is the second. This ṛṇa or debt can be repaid by marrying according to dharma and having a son who will perform śrāddhas to the pitṛs or departed ancestors thereby appeasing them.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore