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


 

Shraddha : Repaying the debt to ancestors
Shraddha : Repaying the debt to ancestors

 

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.

 

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’.

As per the above verse, to enable the deceased ancestors to progress to a higher sub-plane, 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) श्राद्धात् परतरं नान्यत् श्रेयस्करम् उदाहृतम् । – Sage Sumantu

Meaning : 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) Activities related to deceased ancestors are more important than those related to God – Brahmavaivarta Puran. Therefore every sacred ceremony begins with Nandi Shraddha.

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

H) 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’, then at that time he would not be in a state to 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.

I) By performing ritual of Shraddha for a deceased person, the give-and-take account that exists with that person gets fulfilled.

 

3. Benefits of performing Shraddha

A) The ritual of Shraddha is a sacrificial fire performed for deceased ancestors and it is sacred. The benefits derived after performing the ritual of Shraddha are mentioned in Smrutichandrika and other holy texts.

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.

Reference : Sanatan’s Holy text ‘Shraddha (importance and scientific explanation)’