Each of us is born with three debts of karma.
We owe a debt to the Gods and Goddesses, which we discharge by making this world a better place because of our having been here. We owe a debt to our ancestors, which we discharge by respecting the elderly the way we will want to be respected when we are old, and by teaching the young people the way we want this world to become.
The third debt is to the Gurus, which we discharge by living in accordance with the wisdom that they taught us.
Where we are today, what we are doing today, what are our achievements and aspirations, all in part are predicated upon the path that our ancestors have prepared for us. Each of us took birth with a certain destiny, and a propensity to fulfill that destiny. We took birth into a specific family that created an environment most conducive for us to become what it is that God intended.
Many of our families inspired us to become what we are by showing us what we might not want to become. By both positive and negative re-enforcement, our families prepared our paths, just as we are preparing the paths of those who will come after us.
Therefore, we want to say, Thank You. We who like where we are and what we are doing, want to demonstrate our respect and appreciation by asking for blessings from the preceding generations. These mantras communicate that attitude.