It is said that a Hindu pilgrim may attain moksha after earning 1000 punya-points (just called ‘punya’) through pilgrimage. Surprisingly, not many in the current generation know about how many punya one may earn at which pilgrim spot. Here we tried to present the various ways of getting punya as have been approved by the Shankaracharyas. We have also mentioned a few tips & tricks about how to score a few extra points.
There are three categories of pilgrim places – local, regional and global. According to Lalchandji’s Punya Guide, this categorization reflects the maximum standard punya attainable from a particular pilgrim place in a period of twelve consecutive months. Here is a brief summary:
Some of the devasthanams offer an attractive option for the internet-savvy devotees. Yes, I’m talking about e-punya. You can cut the hassle of actually traveling to that devasthanam but can still accumulate up to 50% of the standard punya assigned to that devasthanam. Of course, this way you will be getting only 50% standard punya and no bonus punya at all, but this is good for two reasons. First, you can do this sitting at home. Second, there is still no limit on how many devasthanams you may earn e-punya from, in a single day. So, theoretically, you may accumulate 50% of the total standard punya attainable by a pious Hindu, in just a single day! (Read Moksha in Just One Day! by the same author)
The calculation of e-punya is easy. For any one devasthanam (take Thirupathi for example), you get 1% of standard punya for every single person that gets irritated by your forwarded forward-this-chain-mail-to-get-your-wishes-granted mail, subject to the limit of 50%. But the catch is, you never know how many will get irritated by your mail. So, it is not as easy as it may sound to be. But it still is worth a try.
It is strictly forbidden to appreciate the architecture, historical context or scenic beauty of the pilgrim places. Up to 80% of your punya may be forfeited for doing any of these.