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The word Shraddha literally means a ritual that is performed with faith. Through a shraddha a person pays home to his ancestors. It forms an important part of Hindu traditions that teaches us to honor our forefathers and get blessed.

Person should follow all the rituals right from the Jaatakarma of a child, Vivah, till the Shraddha of his forefathers. . During the Shraddha, a person should face towards east or north and sit attentively. Two persons engaged in welfare activities should be invited and they should be honored in the shraddha. This is known as Naimittik shraddha.

The Sraddha after the death of a person: The shraddha performed after the death of a person is called Aurdhvdaihik Shraddha
Markandeya Purana suggests us to carry out Shraddhas for the peace of the soul of our forefathers. Often they new generations ask questions, “why?  Why should we do something for someone who is no more.”
But Hinduism says that soul is immortal. The soul never dies. It’s the duty of ours to do Shraddha as per the Vedic rituals for the peace of immortal souls.

How to perform: A person should be offered Pinda mixed with til and water on his death anniversary remembering his name and the Gotra. Then the person should take water in his hand and remember the person.

When to Perform: This sraddha should be performed each month till one year. After passing one year, it should be performed annually.

Who can perform Shraddha: It’s the duty of a son to perform Shraddha for his father or mother after their death. In absence of son, a brother or a well-wisher can also perform Shraddha. In absence of anyone, a wife can also perform the Shraddha of her husband without chanting any mantra.If a person has no one to perform Shraddha, it’s the duty of the king to do the Shraddha through someone from the society of the deceased person.

How long to perform: After sapindikaran, the great grandfather goes to the category of forefathers. He would no more offered pinda offered to the deceased father.
The generations after the great grandfather are not supposed to get any individual shraddha.

Shraddha as per own wish: Shraddha is not always associated with death. It can also be performed on certain happenings as per the wished of a person.

Some of such incidents are:

  • Arrival of a special person
  • Solar or lunar eclipse
  • At the beginning of Ayan
  • On Bishuv Yog
  • On the day of Sankranti
  • On Vyatipat Yog
  • On receiving anything which is enough to perform a Shraddha
  • On bad dreams
  • On the day of birth star
  • To get rid of the evil influence of the planets

As per the Markandeya Purana, certain things are banned in Sraddha.

Things Banned in Shraddha

Corn, Black udad, Viprushi, Masoor daal, Garlic, Carrot, Onion, Mooli, Sattu, Juice, Gandharik, Gourd, Khara salt, Laal gond, Separate salt with food

Sacredness to be maintained in Shraddha

The place of Shraddha should be cleaned properly. Til should be strewn at the place to make it protective. It saves the place of Shraddhad from the evil effects. If an unclean or sick person touches the things to be used in Shraddha, the souls are not satisfied with such Shraddha. The sacredness of the Sraddha is affected by dirtiness  

Remembering the name and the gotra of the deceased father/grand father, a person should offer Pinda with devotion. Then the departed soul accepts it with gratification. A person should also give donations on the day of Sraddha to the people who are working for the welfare of the society. Educated people and yogis should be fed on that day.

Why should a person perform Shraddha: A person who wants his aspirations o be fulfilled and to get rid of all ths sins should perform the shraddhas of his forefathers. The sould of the fore fathers are gratified and shower blessings of long life, pragya, wealth, education, heven, Moksha, happiness and empire on the Shraddha performers, says Markandeya Purana

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