SHRAADH: ACKNOWLEDGING OUR CONNECTION TO OUR PROCREATORS TO THE BEGINNING OF TIME
Posted by Champaklal Dajibhai Mistry on September 12, 2001

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 pitru-devo....pitru means our ancestors of our 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...

In vedic lifestyle this relationship based on offerings of shraadh 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 shraadh 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......Part 1 of shraadh days....



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 shastra 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 ashram of the person life. The sanskaar also acknowledges the person's position of responsibility commensurate with the age and ashram 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. shraadh is the 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.

shraadh 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 shraadh described in the write-up which follows.

The start of shraadh offering resulted from an adharmic act of firstly created devo by prajaapati Brahmaa, the grandfather of the entire creation.

Also shraadh is offered for our creator and sustainer devo called pitru-devo. The history of pitru-devo is related by suta-muni in dharma-shastra.

brahmaa 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 and started considering themselves as creators by stopping to worship brahmaa. brahmaa cursed them for this adharmic 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 for forgiveness and repeal of the curse. brahmaa thus propitiated told them: "Perform praschyaa-taap (expiatory rites) for the transgression which you have committed. Ask your sons and from them you will attain knowledge". These devo asked their sons. The sons who were dharmic explained to their fathers the verbal, mental and physical modes of praschyaa-taap prescribed by brahmaa. When the defaulting devo performed the prescribed praschyaa-taap, the knowledge returned to them empowering their senses to function. The defaulting devo who were pleased with their sons for rescuing them from the curse of brahmaa said to their sons: "You are our pitruo (fathers). What boon should be granted to you - virtue, knowledge or love?" brahmaa who was listening to this boon granting by defaulting devo to their sons said to the defaulting devo: "You are the speaker of the 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 shraadh ceremony, rakshaso and daanavo will obtain the fruits of that shraadh. The pitru-devo propitiated and prospered by means of shraadh develop the imperishable som-ras 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 brahmaa 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. "

Every grahastha (householder meaning a married person) should perform shraadh offering 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 five hours and thiry-six minutes after sunrise. This is the time granted by brahmaa 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 shraadh offerings to pitru-devo and pitruo on a daily basis. The day of shraadh offering in this fortnight for one's pitru is the tithi (date) on which the pitru continued to the next life journey. shraadh is also offered on the actual day of the death anniversary of a pitru.

The ninth day of this shraadh 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 shraadh and information on pitru-devo will be offered in the coming writ-ups on this News Board during this shraadh fortnight of bhaadarvo-maas..........

Anybody wishing to offer additional knowledge on this topic in the form of more knowledge or corrections to the write-up is welcome to contact

(This shastra-gnan has been compiled by Shree Champaklal Dajibhai Mistry of Edmonton, Canada from many guruo in residence in his ved library and from shruti and smruti - as the continuation development of ved offerings through Prajapati Vishva Ashram on this web site. Prajapati Vishva Ashram appreciates this gnan -daan.

Prajapati Vishva Ashram welcomes one and all to contribute knowledge - current or from ved in this manner on this web site for prosperous evolution of mankind existing in harmony and serving each other and brhmah. )



There are 2 additional comments.

#1 Posted by RAJAN D. PITAMBER on 9/4/2005
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE ELIGHTENMENT... Modern Hindus need to learn and understand about the glorious knowledge and reasonings behind the ancient rituals, embedded in the treasure trove of the Vedas.


#2 Posted by RAJAN D. PITAMBER on 9/4/2005
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE ELIGHTENMENT
Modern Hindus need to learn and understand about the glorious knowledge and reasonings behind the ancient rituals, embedded in the treasure trove of the Vedas.


 

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