The rituals of Shraddha not only clear oneself from the debts of deceased ancestors of this as well as previous Births, but also help clearing the debts towards God and Sages. Therefore, to be able to repay other debts, it is necessary that everyone relies upon debts towards ancestors that acts as link between God and Sages, satisfy them by performing these rituals and in turn acquire blessings from God.
The term ‘Shradha or Shraddha’ is for relieving oneself from bondage of Karma or Deeds, when the threads of the give and take relationship that binds us, dissolve, the embodied soul liberated and then only the Soul can acquire momentum to progress towards attaining Final liberation. Therefore through the ritual of Shradha one can get rid of the bonding with others and get liberated in this birth itself.
In present time people started lack faith in ritualistic worship or Shradha and consider social service superior because of the not taking interest in learning the religious teaching and also denying the things without going into the reasoning behind it. Actually when we measure any spiritual things we need to measure it on the scales of spiritual science because the modern science does not have any such scales to measure such authenticity..
Purpose of performing Shradha rituals
The Purpose of performing the Shradha rituals is:
1. Fulfilling the desires of the departed souls of the deceased ancestors from ones' family who are trapped in the negative regions of higher planes due to unfulfilled desires.
2. Fulfilling their wishes & desires give momentum to the deceased ancestor’s soul to progress to a higher sub-plane of existence, through the means of Shradha rituals.
3. The deceased ancestors who are in Ghost Regions, due to their evil deeds, reside in hell and through the medium of ritual of Shradha, one can relieve them from being trapped in this form by fulfilling their desires and clearing their Karma / Deeds..
Importance of performing Shradha.
Now, the question may arise what is the need of performing this Rituals however this is very much clear from the above purpose but to further emphasizes the importance of this Shradha Rituals is one relieves himself pr repay the debt to ancestors.
Repaying debts to the ancestors is as important as repaying the debt to God or society otherwise your soul may also get trapped in lower regions due to the bondage of these debts because your soul cannot reach the higher region until all bondages or blocks are cleared. Further, it is the duty of descendants to respect their ancestors, make donations in their name and to undertake activities that will please them. Performing Shradha is a part of obeying Dharma, as per spiritual science of Dharma.
Further the ancestors' soul also becomes satisfied only after receiving offering or pinda and water from their son. Even in “Mahabharata” it is written that the son protects his ancestors' souls from the Hell named 'Puta'. Therefore Lord Brahma himself has named him as 'Putra'.
So, to enable the deceased ancestors to progress to a higher region, to relieve them from distress and to get their grace on descendants, every son should perform ritual of Shradha.
Gita also says that Due to the nonperformance of rituals like pinda shradha and offering water to deceased ancestors etc, the ancestors of such people (who do not perform Shradha) have to reside in the Hell region. This results in stagnation and no progress of the descendants.
Brahmavaivarta Puran says, 'Activities related to deceased ancestors are more important than those related to God'. Therefore every sacred ceremony begins with Nandi Shraddha.
Further performing Shraddha for a deceased person, the give-and-take account that exists with that person gets settled and both living and nonliving being get their Karma or Deeds clear.
Effects of unsatisfied Ancestors
In the present time, people do not perform rituals like Shraddha or spiritual practice therefore most of the people experience distress due to unsatisfied ancestors' souls.
Only spiritually evolved people can tell us whether the suffering is due to distress caused by ancestors' souls or not. The Common distresses cause due to unsatisfied ancestors may be caused by ancestors' souls –
- Delayed married in spite of all favorable conditions,
- Consistent clashes between family members,
- Unable to save any money,
- Regular & Serious illness,
- Non-Compatibility with the partner after marriage,
- Unable to conceive Child,
- Birth of a physically or mentally handicapped Child
So, by performing Shradha rituals one gets relieved from the distress caused by the deceased ancestors since the deceased ancestors get satisfied and if they are trapped in a particular region, they get momentum to progress to a higher regions and in turn the descendents are able to obtain their positive blessings.
In various holy texts this is written that by Performing the Shradha Ritual one can conceive a baby boy and acquire a long life, success, heaven, fame, strength, wealth, animals, happiness, food, etc.
Do's and Don'ts of Shradha
Things to remember during Shradha / Pitrapaksha
1. On the day of Shradha, the person who is doing ‘sharadhakarma’ and the Brahmin who is performing the ritual, should follow celibacy.
2. Black & Red colour flowers, strongly scented and odorless flowers Kadamb, Kevada, Bilvapatra, Karvir, Maulsire, all these flowers should not be used for this ritual.
3. Never use an iron vessel for ‘shradhakarma’. Silver Vessels should always be used instead because these are favourite of ancestors.
4. Eating beetle leaf, taking oil massage, fasting, brushing of teeth(Datoon) and taking medicines are all prohibited for the person who is performing shradha.
5. One should not use Kasturi (Musk Deer), Gorochan, Rakt Chandan etc. in this ritual.
6. Eating food from outside sources for the person doing Shradha especially on Shradha day is strictly prohibited.
7. Lifting heavy weight, long distance travel and taking frequent meals is prohibited for the person doing Shradha.
8. Telling lies, using foul language, theft, infidelity all these should be avoided on shradha day as all these things make the ancestors angry and they put hurdles on the way of our progress and cause hardships.
9. The vegetable of Brinjal should never be cooked on the day of Shradha.
10. If a dog sees the cooked on the day of shradha, such food should be abandoned.
11. Food cooked for our ancestors should not be covered with used clothes and an iron vessel should not be used.
12. Donation of black sesame seeds are considered auspicious while doing Shradha.
13. The ‘pitras’ get satisfied with pure vegetarian food, fruits and cereals. Pure & hygienic food should be offered with full devotion to our ancestors so that they get pleased and bestow their blessing of happiness, progress and remove family discords.
14. ‘Kusha’ should be taken from the sacred religious place while performing Shradha.
15. If possible, shradha Karma should not be performed before sun rise, in shukla paksha, in night time or on the birthday of the person doing Shradha.
16. Keep apart five morsels of cooked food for a dog, sinner, leper, sick and for a crow on five leaves and perform ‘panchbali’.
17. Night, evening, dawn and dusk times should be avoided to perform ‘Shraadhkarma’.
18. Whomsoever ancestors died in war or by weapons they should do shraadh on ‘Chaturdashi’ fourteenth day of pitrapaksha.
19. As far as possible, on the day of Shraadh, only raw cereals, like wheat flour, rice flour or barley flour should be consumed. And, ‘pinddaan’ should also be done by the food made out of these flours.
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