Ancestral Shraddha Yagya
Objectives of performing Shraddha
Providing momentum to the deceased ancestors present in the Pitru region so that they can progress to a higher sub-plane of existence through Shraddha.
Satisfying wishes and desires of the souls of the deceased ancestors from ones’ family who are trapped in the hostile regions due to unfulfilled desires and providing momentum for their further progress.
Importance and need of performing Shraddha
Repaying the debt to ancestors is as important as repaying the debt to God and Sages and the society. Descendants must respect their ancestors, make donations in their name, and undertake activities that will please them. Performing Shraddha is a part of obeying Dharma.
Ancestors’ soul becomes satisfied only after receiving pinda and water from their kids. The following is a verse in the holy text Mahabharat that describes ‘who qualifies to be called as a 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 kid should perform the ritual of Shraddha. It is amply evident in the verse that the one believed to be a child should perform these duties.
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. 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.
श्राद्धात् परतरं नान्यत् श्रेयस्करम् उदाहृतम् । – Sage Sumantu
Meaning: Nothing is as superior as the ritual of Shraddha. Activities related to deceased ancestors are more important than those associated with God – Brahmavaivarta Puran. Therefore, having a pure intellect to discriminate between right and wrong should never abstain from performing Shraddha.
Therefore, every sacred ceremony begins with Nandi Shraddha.
One who performs the ritual of Shraddha diligently and following one’s financial state, he satisfies everyone right from Deity Brahma to the tiny blade of grass. No one in the family of the person performing Shraddha remains unhappy. – Brahma Puran
At the time of death, if a person feels, ‘Shraddha is meaningless, and nobody should perform Shraddha for me after my death.
Later because of Shraddha having not been performed, after his death, he experiences that, ‘I am trapped,’ then 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 essential to perform Shraddha for every deceased person. By completing the ritual of Shraddha for a deceased person, the give-and-take account that exists with that person gets fulfilled.