Why should every son perform ritual of Shraddha?

Contents –

1. Objectives of performing Shraddha

2. Importance and need of performing Shraddha

3. Benefits of performing Shraddha


1. Objectives of performing Shraddha

A. Providing momentum to the deceased ancestors present in the Pitru region so that they can progress to a higher sub-plane of existence, through the means of Shraddha.

B. Satisfying wishes and desires of the souls of the deceased ancestors from ones’ family who are trapped in the negative regions due to unfulfilled desires and providing momentum for their further progress.

C. Some deceased ancestors, due to their evil deeds, become ghosts and reside in hell instead of nether region. Through the medium of ritual of Shraddha, one can relieve them from being trapped in this form.

The process through which the above objectives are met through Shraddha is documented under the title ‘Effects of Shraddha‘ in Volume 2.

2. Importance and need of performing Shraddha

A. Repaying the debt to ancestors is as important as repaying the debt to God, Sages and the society. It is the duty of descendants to respect their ancestors, make donations in their name and to undertake activities that will please them. Performing Shraddha is a part of obeying Dharma, as per science of Dharma.

B. Ancestors’ soul becomes satisfied only after receiving pinda and water from their son. In relation to this, following is a verse in the holy text Mahabharat that describes ‘who qualifies to be called as son’:

पुन्नाम्नो नरकाद्यस्मात्पितरं त्रायते सुत: ।
तस्मात्पुत्र इति प्रोक्त: स्वयमेव स्वयंभुवा ।।
– Mahabharat 1.74.39

Meaning: The son protects his ancestors’ souls from the Hell named ‘Puta‘. Therefore Lord Brahma himself has named him as ‘Putra‘.

A. Repaying the debt to ancestors is as important as repaying the debt to God, Sages and the society. It is the duty of descendants to respect their ancestors, make donations in their name and to undertake activities that will please them. Performing Shraddha is a part of obeying Dharma, as per science of Dharma.

B. Ancestors’ soul becomes satisfied only after receiving pinda and water from their son. In relation to this, following is a verse in the holy text Mahabharat that describes ‘who qualifies to be called as son’:

पुन्नाम्नो नरकाद्यस्मात्पितरं त्रायते सुत: ।
तस्मात्पुत्र इति प्रोक्त: स्वयमेव स्वयंभुवा ।।
– Mahabharat 1.74.39

Meaning: The son protects his ancestors’ souls from the Hell named ‘Puta‘. Therefore Lord Brahma himself has named him as ‘Putra‘.

As per the above verse, to enable the deceased ancestors to progress to a higher sub-plane, to relieve them from experiencing severe and everlasting distress and to initiate them to bestow grace on their descendants, every son should perform ritual of Shraddha. It is amply clear in the verse that the one who is believed to be a son, he should perform these duties.

C.

देवपितृकार्याभ्यां न प्रमदितव्यम ।
– Taittiriya Upanishad 1.11

Meaning: One should not commit mistakes in any task performed towards God or ancestors’ souls. One should not avoid these rituals.

D. Following verse, regarding people who do not perform Shraddha, in the holy text Gita is insightful

पतन्ति पितरो ह्येषां लुप्तपिन्डोदकक्रिया
– Shrimadbhagwatgita 1.42

Meaning: Due to the nonperformance of rituals like pinda shraddha and offering water to deceased ancestors etc, the ancestors of such people (who do not perform Shraddha) have to reside in the Hell region. This results in stagnation and no progress of the descendants.(?)

E. Sage Sumantu has said, ‘श्राद्धात् परतरं नान्यत् श्रेयस्करम् उदाहृतम् ।’, meaning that nothing is as superior as the ritual of Shraddha. Therefore, a person having a pure intellect to discriminate between right and wrong should never abstain from performing Shraddha.

F. Brahmavaivarta Puran says, ‘Activities related to deceased ancestors are more important than those related to God’. Therefore every sacred ceremony begins with Nandi Shraddha.

G. Brahma Puran says, ‘One who performs the ritual of Shraddha diligently and in accordance with ones financial state, he satisfies everyone right from Lord Brahma to the insignificant blade of grass.  No one in the family of the person performing Shraddha remains unhappy.’ (4)

H. If soul of a deceased person wishes that ‘someone should perform Shraddha for me’ and if it does not get fulfilled from the expected descendant, then it becomes unhappy due to non-fulfillment of the desire. Such soul can transform into an evil spirit (a type of negative energy) and cause distress to its relatives for not performing the ritual of Shraddha.

At times, souls of deceased persons manifest in their relatives and they start talking. An example of this is mentioned below:

Once a spirit manifested in a person and then the person started leaping. H.H. Khshirsagar Maharaj from Ahmednagar started a conversation with him and asked, ‘Who are you?’ He answered, ‘I am the father of this person’. Maharaj further asked him, ‘What is purpose of your arrival?’ The father’s soul manifested in the person answered, ‘He does not feed me. He does not perform Shraddha. I am starving.’ (?)

I. At the time of death if a person feels, ‘Shraddha is meaningless and nobody should perform Shraddha for me after my death’ and later because of Shraddha having not been performed, after his death, he experiences that, ‘I am trapped’, even then he cannot convey this feeling to anyone. He could become unhappy because of his wish remaining unfulfilled. Taking this point into consideration, it is absolutely necessary to perform Shraddha for every deceased person.

J. By performing ritual of Shraddha for a deceased person, the give-and-take account that exists with that person gets fulfilled, e.g. if we owe something to a person and he dies before we could repay him, then by the virtue of performing Shraddha the loan can be repaid.

K. In the current age, people do not perform rituals like Shraddha or spiritual practice the way it used to be done earlier. Therefore most of the people experience distress due to unsatisfied ancestors’ souls. Only spiritually evolved (saints) can tell us if we are suffering due to distress caused by ancestors’ souls or if we might face such distress in the future. If it is not possible to take guidance from a spiritually evolved person, then the following problems can be assumed to be caused by ancestors’ souls – regular clashes between the family members, unable to cope up any family member, unemployment, unable to save any money, serious illness, unable to get married in spite of all favorable conditions, unable to cope up with the partner after marriage, unable to conceive, abortion, giving birth to a physically or mentally handicapped baby and developing addictions.  By performing Shraddha 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 sub-planes and in turn the descendents are able to obtain their blessings.

(Spiritual experiences related to ‘Unsatisfied ancestors’ souls causing distress to their family members and the effect getting nullified after performing Shraddha’ and ‘Obtaining assistance and blessings from deceased ancestors’ souls’ are given in point 19, along with the ‘Importance of chanting the Name of Lord Datta, in a manner which is equivalent to performing the ritual of Shraddha, in reference to providing momentum to the ancestors’ souls and to protect oneself from the distress caused by the unsatisfied ancestors’ souls’)

3. Benefits of performing Shraddha

A. The ritual of Shraddha is sacrificial fire performed for deceased ancestors and it is a sacred, beneficial bestows blessings for conceiving a baby boy. The benefits derived after performing the ritual of Shraddha are mentioned in Smrutichandrika and other holy texts in the form of a verse as follows:

आयु: पुत्रान् यश: स्वर्गं कीर्ति पुष्टिं बलं श्रिय: ।
पशून् सौख्यं धनं धान्यं प्राप्नुयात् पितृपूजनात् ।।

Meaning: One can conceive a baby boy and acquire a long life, success, heaven, fame, strength, wealth, animals, happiness, food, etc. by worshipping (performing Shraddha for) deceased ancestors.

B. If the ritual of Shraddha is performed on the day of an eclipse, the host derives benefit similar to the one obtained after donating a piece of land to someone. (5)

C. Refer to the items B, G and K within point 6. ‘Importance and need of performing Shraddha’ and point 9 A 3. ‘Shraddha done for a purpose’

As per the above verse, to enable the deceased ancestors to progress to a higher sub-plane, to relieve them from experiencing severe and everlasting distress and to initiate them to bestow grace on their descendants, every son should perform ritual of Shraddha. It is amply clear in the verse that the one who is believed to be a son, he should perform these duties.

C. देवपितृकार्याभ्यां न प्रमदितव्यम ।
– Taittiriya Upanishad 1.11

Meaning: One should not commit mistakes in any task performed towards God or ancestors’ souls. One should not avoid these rituals.

D. Following verse, regarding people who do not perform Shraddha, in the holy text Gita is insightful

पतन्ति पितरो ह्येषां लुप्तपिन्डोदकक्रिया
– Shrimadbhagwatgita 1.42

Meaning: Due to the nonperformance of rituals like pinda shraddha and offering water to deceased ancestors etc, the ancestors of such people (who do not perform Shraddha) have to reside in the Hell region. This results in stagnation and no progress of the descendants.(?)

E. Sage Sumantu has said, ‘श्राद्धात् परतरं नान्यत् श्रेयस्करम् उदाहृतम् ।’, meaning that nothing is as superior as the ritual of Shraddha. Therefore, a person having a pure intellect to discriminate between right and wrong should never abstain from performing Shraddha.

F. Brahmavaivarta Puran says, ‘Activities related to deceased ancestors are more important than those related to God’. Therefore every sacred ceremony begins with Nandi Shraddha.

G. Brahma Puran says, ‘One who performs the ritual of Shraddha diligently and in accordance with ones financial state, he satisfies everyone right from Lord Brahma to the insignificant blade of grass.  No one in the family of the person performing Shraddha remains unhappy.’ (4)

H. If soul of a deceased person wishes that ‘someone should perform Shraddha for me’ and if it does not get fulfilled from the expected descendant, then it becomes unhappy due to non-fulfillment of the desire. Such soul can transform into an evil spirit (a type of negative energy) and cause distress to its relatives for not performing the ritual of Shraddha.

At times, souls of deceased persons manifest in their relatives and they start talking. An example of this is mentioned below:

Once a spirit manifested in a person and then the person started leaping. H.H. Khshirsagar Maharaj from Ahmednagar started a conversation with him and asked, ‘Who are you?’ He answered, ‘I am the father of this person’. Maharaj further asked him, ‘What is purpose of your arrival?’ The father’s soul manifested in the person answered, ‘He does not feed me. He does not perform Shraddha. I am starving.’ (?)

I. At the time of death if a person feels, ‘Shraddha is meaningless and nobody should perform Shraddha for me after my death’ and later because of Shraddha having not been performed, after his death, he experiences that, ‘I am trapped’, even then he cannot convey this feeling to anyone. He could become unhappy because of his wish remaining unfulfilled. Taking this point into consideration, it is absolutely necessary to perform Shraddha for every deceased person.

J. By performing ritual of Shraddha for a deceased person, the give-and-take account that exists with that person gets fulfilled, e.g. if we owe something to a person and he dies before we could repay him, then by the virtue of performing Shraddha the loan can be repaid.

K. In the current age, people do not perform rituals like Shraddha or spiritual practice the way it used to be done earlier. Therefore most of the people experience distress due to unsatisfied ancestors’ souls. Only spiritually evolved (saints) can tell us if we are suffering due to distress caused by ancestors’ souls or if we might face such distress in the future. If it is not possible to take guidance from a spiritually evolved person, then the following problems can be assumed to be caused by ancestors’ souls – regular clashes between the family members, unable to cope up any family member, unemployment, unable to save any money, serious illness, unable to get married in spite of all favorable conditions, unable to cope up with the partner after marriage, unable to conceive, abortion, giving birth to a physically or mentally handicapped baby and developing addictions.  By performing Shraddha 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 sub-planes and in turn the descendents are able to obtain their blessings.

(Spiritual experiences related to ‘Unsatisfied ancestors’ souls causing distress to their family members and the effect getting nullified after performing Shraddha’ and ‘Obtaining assistance and blessings from deceased ancestors’ souls’ are given in point 19, along with the ‘Importance of chanting the Name of Lord Datta, in a manner which is equivalent to performing the ritual of Shraddha, in reference to providing momentum to the ancestors’ souls and to protect oneself from the distress caused by the unsatisfied ancestors’ souls’)

3. Benefits of performing Shraddha

A. The ritual of Shraddha is sacrificial fire performed for deceased ancestors and it is a sacred, beneficial bestows blessings for conceiving a baby boy. The benefits derived after performing the ritual of Shraddha are mentioned in Smrutichandrika and other holy texts in the form of a verse as follows:

आयु: पुत्रान् यश: स्वर्गं कीर्ति पुष्टिं बलं श्रिय: ।
पशून् सौख्यं धनं धान्यं प्राप्नुयात् पितृपूजनात् ।।

B. If the ritual of Shraddha is performed on the day of an eclipse, the host derives benefit similar to the one obtained after donating a piece of land to someone. (5)

C. Refer to the items B, G and K within point 6. ‘Importance and need of performing Shraddha’ and point 9 A 3. ‘Shraddha done for a purpose’

Meaning: One can conceive a baby boy and acquire a long life, success, heaven, fame, strength, wealth, animals, happiness, food, etc. by worshipping (performing Shraddha for) deceased ancestors.

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