om brhmah namah:
THE ETERNAL AND EVERGREEN
CONTINUITY & GRATEFULNESS
In chapter 1.14 of naarad puraan dharma-raajaa,
otherwise known as yam-dev, the god
of death, teaches the following as part of sva-dharma
(one's own dharma). dharma-raajaa
offers this teaching as part of ved
and shaastra outlined in
smruti (ved revealed transmitted through memory):
"Once every year, one shall greet with satkaar
(hospitably) one's deceased father and mother by pranaam
(obeisance) and abhivaNdaN
(salutation with reverence) by performing a SRaaDH`DH.
This SRaaDH`DH is performed without reference to
devo. In this SRaaDH`DH, piNda
is offered. The uddeshya (the
intention and aim) in every piNda at the time of offering the
piNda should be offering to both the father and mother. The
offering should also be in the names of up to six pitruo
(father and grandfather and great-grandfathers).
Three piNda should be offered. The person who offers three piNda
thereby becomes free from the effects of maayaa's
moh which is delusion of not seeing satya.
The deceased mother is fed along with her deceased husband who is the
father of one performing SshraaDdh. Along with them the devo,
the grandmother, the great-grandmothers are fed with their husbands in SshraaDdh.
A woman is separated from her birth family gotra (lineage) after
taking the seventh step in the sapta-pad vidhi (ceremony)
in her marriage. The offering of water and piNda should be made
to her in the name of the gotra of her
Since brahmaa created pitru-devo and mrutyu (death) at
the beginning of this creation cycle of 4.32 billion years humans have performed
vidhio which are rites, ritual and ceremonies to acknowledge our
relationship with aadi-devo, pitru-devo
pitruo, collectively called as pitruo....pitru means
an ancestor of one's family lineage... and humans also have been acknowledging the relationship they
have with their pitruo with a variety of offering through various rites,
rituals and ceremonies...to suit their culture, region, place of residence, and
The first day of kruSHAN pKSH
(second half or dark half of a lunar month) starts the
fortnight in bhaadarvo maas....when
all vedik peoples remember their pitruo with different vidhio
for the whole fortnight....
GENESIS OF SRaaDH`DH
In vedic lifestyle this relationship based on offerings of
to pitru-devo and pitruo
starts with the sixteenth and last sanskaar (life term sacrament) of
a life term which is called antyesti sanskaar meaning funeral ceremonies
when one moves on to the next life term....performance of offering of
continues for seven generations in a family lineage.....shraadh will
continue to be offered for the next 7 manvantra of this kalpa
(creation cycle) which is for about 2.16 billion years......
In vedic lifestyle, starting from the desire to conceive an offspring
with the union of a human sperm with a human embryo through the entire life term
till one moves to a new life terms, 16 sanskaar are performed. A sanskaar
is vedic rites and ceremonies ordained by shaastra to purify and
sanctify the body, manas (mind) and budhhi (intellect) of a human
being from pre-conception to the time of marriage for preserving the bond
between the body and aatmaa. The sanskaar at each stage also
prepares the person to become a participating and contributing member in a
community as per the aashram of the person life. The sanskaar also
acknowledges the person's position of responsibility commensurate with the age
and aashram of life. The sixteenth antyesti sanskaar is the funeral
ceremony preparing the person's aatmaa for its next life journey in the lok
(world) which is realized from the fructification of one's all the karma
of previous life at the time of this death. SRaaDH`DH
continuation of the antyeshi sanskaar to provide trupti which is
the fulfillment of the thirst and hunger, most likely in hell, of the departed aatmaa
during the wait time till the next life cycle begins.
SRaaDH`DH is a ceremony in which offering is made to the pitruo. pirtuo
consists of one's departed paternal ancestors ....father, grandfather and great-grandfather and
great-great-grandfathers. The word putra which
expresses a son of a father also means one who saves the father from hell. A putra
is ordained to offer shraadh. This definition is from the history of
described in the write-up which follows.
The start of SRaaDH`DH offering resulted from an
adharmik act of
firstly created devo by prajaapati brahmaa-dev, the grandfather of the
Also SRaaDH`DH is offered for our creator and sustainer devo called pitru-devo.
The history of pitru-devo is related by suta-muni in dharma-shaastra.
brahmaa-dev created devo in the process of creating the creations
so that these devo would perform the subsequent work of creating as
sub-creators. It is the sacred rule of creation they the creator be worshipped
by the creations....this is why children have to worship their parents.....
Somehow, the firstly created devo forsook brahmaa-dev as their
father and started
considering themselves as creators by stopping to worship brahmaa-dev. brahmaa-dev
got angry at this behaviour and cursed them for this adharmik act. This curse made these devo loose
all their indriyo (senses) and the empowering knowledge of the senses and
became un-functional. This created problems with the entire creation existing at
the time. The creation along with these defaulting devo asked brahmaa-dev
for forgiveness and repeal of the curse.
brahmaa thus propitiated told
them: "Perform praschyaa-taap (repentance and expiatory rites) for the
transgression which you have committed. Ask your sons and from them you will
These devo asked their sons. The sons who were dharmik
explained to their fathers the verbal, mental and physical modes of praschyaa-taap
prescribed by brahmaa-dev. When the defaulting devo performed the
prescribed praschyaa-taap, the knowledge returned to them empowering
their indriyo (senses) to function.
The defaulting devo who were pleased with their
sons for rescuing them from the curse of brahmaa-dev said to their sons:
"You are our pitruo (fathers). What boon should be granted to you -
virtue, knowledge or love?"
brahmaa-dev who was listening to this boon
granting by defaulting devo to their sons said to the defaulting devo:
"You are the speaker of the satya (truth). Hence what is spoken by you shall be so
and not otherwise. This is what is uttered by you - that your sons are your pitruo;
therefore your sons shall be from now on be your pirtuo. Let this boon be given
to your sons." Thus the sons of these defaulting devo came to
be known as pitru-devo."
Furthermore, brahmaa advised the defaulting devo as follows for
their own vruddhi (prosperity) and kalyaan (welfare):
"If anyone will perform any vidhi without worshipping the
pitruo-devo in a SRaaDH`DH ceremony, rakshaso and daanavo
will obtain the fruits of that SRaaDH`DH. The pitru-devo propitiated
and prospered by means of SRaaDH`DH
develop the imperishable som-ras
or amrut which gives devo strength and immortality. Propitiated and prospered by
you all, they will always increase."
In this manner pirtuo are devo
and devo are pitruo. Devo and pitruo are
reciprocally pitruo. Thus the creation continued and continues to
grow and prosper in this creation cycle of 4.32 billion years.
suta-muni has further explained the scope of shraadh as
expanded by prajaapati brahmaa-dev to be applied to all humans:
" Those men, who
desirous of nourishment, and who perform shraadh are always granted prosperity
and progeny by the pirtuo-devo and pitruo. Those pitruo,
whom the performers of shraadh offer three rice balls while mentioning
the names and gotra of the pirtuo up to their great-grandfather, will be
present everywhere to strengthen and develop their progeny by that offering of shraadh.
It is by the grace of pitruo that daan, addhyayana (study of ved)
and tapas fructify. There is no doubt in this that pitruo
grant you perfect knowledge. "
TIMES OF SRaaDH`DH CEREMONY
Every grahastha (householder meaning a married person) should offer
at the hour called kutap. This time is the eighth muhurat
after sunrise. A muhurat is of 42 minutes duration. Therefore shraadh
should be performed 4 hours and 54 minutes after sunrise. This is the
time granted by brahmaa-dev to pitruo to receive shraadh. shraadh
offered to pitruo at the wrong time goes to rakshaso and does not
reach pitruo. In this case of shraadh offered at the wrong time,
the offerer and the partaker of the shraadh bear the fruits of an a-punya
or paapi karma which usually fructifies in hell.
The second or vad fortnight of bhaadarvo-maas is entirely
devoted to offering SRaaDH`DH to
aadi-devo, pitru-devo and pitruo on a
daily basis. aadi-devo are a special class of devo who are eternal
and are not affected by the times of pralay. aadi-devo continually
perfrom sevaa for the well-being and sustenance of all creations from devo
to a tiny atom. as they exist eternally and before anybody at the time of a
creation cycle aadi-devo are called pitru-devo. A pralay
is re-absorption into brahmaa-dev at the end of 4.32 billion year
creation cycle. The day of SRaaDH`DH offering in this fortnight for one's pitru
is the tithi (date) on which the pitru continued to the next life
SRaaDH`DH is also offered on the actual day of the death
anniversary of a pitru.
The ninth day of this
SRaaDH`DH fortnight is called avidhvaa-navami
when shraadh offering is made to the aatmaa of women who have died before
the death of their husbands. This avidhvaa-navami may also be called a widower's
day on which the aatmaa of the departed wives is adored and
remembered.....in tune with all the other family days we have in current times.
If the widower has a second wife, then this second wife performs pranaan
and namah to the departed wife and inwardly wishes that she may be also
fortunate to die before her husband ........
Other rules, methodology and essence of offering
information on pitru-devo will be offered in other write-ups on this
Anybody wishing to offer additional knowledge on this topic in the form of
more knowledge or corrections to the write-up is welcome to email to VED
PAGE: Prajaapati Vishva Aashram
(This shastra-gnan has been compiled by SRii
chmpklaal Daajibhaai miisTRii from the gnaan
left for the benefit of humanity by many rushio, munio and gnaanio
in the naam (name) and ruup (form) of our creator, brhmah
in the form of shruti and smruti. The mission of this
presentation is the
continuation development of ved offerings through Prajaapati Vishva
Aashram Foundation on this web site as gnan -daan.)
namah....pranaam our guru brhmah....
.........om tat sat......om shaanti shaanti shaanti......