Shradh: Connecting With The Departed Souls

Shradh is a time to pay homage to our forefathers, to connect with their lost soul, to make them happy and get their blessings. Here, at AstroSage your every question related to Shradh will be answered. So read on...

As Shradh rituals will begin from 20th September this year, so we have published this article to give you a brief on why, when and how it is performed. Read this and be prepared in advance to perform the ritual. Now, let’s see... 

What is Shradh ?


Shraddha is the ritual performed to worship, please and get the blessings of the departed souls of our ancestors. This is a period of sixteen days and is known as Pitru Paksha. This ritual is known by many names like Mahalaya Paksha, Apara Paksha, Jitiya, Kanagat and Sola Shraadh (16 Shradhs) to name a few. 

Shradha

Click here to know the shradh days of 2013 - Shradh 2013 Dates

Significance: According to Hinduism, with the death of a person, it’s only his body which leaves the world and not his soul. The soul either obtains salvation (Moksha) or wanders the E

arth for any unfulfilled wish or is reborn in the Earth itself, all depending on the individuals Karma. During this period of Shradh, the present generation performs the rituals for their past three generations. It is also believed that when the Gods (Devas), ancestors (Pitrs) and ghosts (Pretas) are pacified, they give longevity, wisdom, health and wealth as reward. 

Why is Shradh Done?


According to Vedas, a human being is born on Earth by carrying three debts on his shoulders. 

  1. Dev-rin - debt to the God
  2. Rishi-rin - debt to the sages and Rishis
  3. Pitri-rin - debt to one's parents and forefathers

Shradh is just one of the ways in which we can repay the debts to them. In this, the third debt, Pitri-rin is why we perform Shradh, so that we can thank our ancestors for all the good fortune, love and respect they have left behind for us. Different Shradhs that are performed for different people is given below:

  1. Shradh can be performed on the 4th day (Chautha Bharani) and 5th day (Baharani Panchami) for people who passed away the previous year.
  2. Avidha Navami Shradh is performed for married women who passed away before their husbands.
  3. Matri Navami Shradh is performed for mothers.
  4. Panchami Shradh is performed for unmarried individuals.
  5. Trayodashi Shradh is performed for children who died young.
  6. Ghata Chaturdashi Shradh is performed for those who had a sudden or violent death.
  7. Mahalaya Shradh is performed for our forefathers. 

It is believed if one performs Shradh with complete devotion and faith, he will forever be blessed and guarded by his forefathers. But on the other hand, not performing it would get them the wrath of the forefathers, which can lead to many unfortunate events and he will suffer from Pitru Dosha. Not only the individuals but also his family will suffer from bad luck and the curse of the forefathers will cover them all like a black cloud of misfortune. They might face difficulties in getting married, problems in relationship, work, finance and property to name a few. So, one should take utmost care to perform the Shradh to please and make their ancestors happy. 

Click here to know the remedies for Pitru Dosha - Remedies For Pitru Dosha 

How Is Shradh Performed ?


Performing Shradh

The person who is to perform the Shradh has to first and foremost take bath, wear clean clothes (preferably white colored). This ritual is usually performed by the eldest male or eldest son in the family. During the Shradha, pinda daan is given which is an offering consisting of rice balls mixed with Ghee and black sesame seeds. Water is also offered along with the Pindas. Lord Vishnu is worshipped in the form of Darbha grass and Lord Yama is also worshipped. The prepared offering is then made to the crow which if eats the offering, reflects a good sign. The reason why crow plays an important role here is that it represents the spirit of the ancestors and also a messenger from Yama. Other things done are offering of food and donations to the food and donations to the Brahmins, as it is considered that when a Brahmin is made happy, it makes your ancestors happy. Also, the poor and needy are helped with donations. Dogs and cows are also fed. 

Auspicious events like marriage and festivals are strictly avoided during Shradh. Wearing new clothes and getting a haircut are also avoided.

Hence, Shradh is a very important ritual, which is to be followed by one and all, as it is afterall the one and only chance to get connected and show our respects for our ancestors.

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