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Significance & Importance Of Shradh Pooja In India

Shradh Pooja
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Highlights

  • The story of Shradh pooja in India is related to Karna in Mahabharata
  • Reading from the holy Sashtra is considered auspicious
  • Shradh can be done on the new moon of every month, but doing it in Pitru Paksha is considered significantly beneficial.

Shradh pooja in India is very significant and is performed with different rituals in every home. Pitru Paksha is a sixteen-day long period during which Hindus pay homage to their ancestors. This time frame begins with the first full moon after the Ganesh Chaturthi and ends on the new moon. This period not only allows people to honor their forefathers in a biological sense but also in a spiritual sense, and hence is considered very helpful for moral and cerebral development.

The History Behind Shradh Pooja

The legends say that when the warrior king Karna died in the battleground of Kurukshetra, his soul traveled to heaven and he was provided with gold ornaments instead of food. Since no one can survive on gold ornaments, he confronted Lord Indra and asked him why he was not being provided with real food. 

Later on, Lord Indra explained to him that people donate gold ornaments in honor of their ancestors, but never donate food, and that is why he is being presented with gold ornaments instead of food. 

Karna talked about how he never knew about his ancestors. After hearing this argument, Lord Indra agreed to let Karna return to Earth for fifteen days so that he can cook and donate food in remembrance of his ancestors. This time frame is known as Pitru Paksha. 

As per Garuda Purana, the Shradh rituals are to be performed in the first year of the death of an individual. After the death of an individual, 13-days rites are performed by the family, and food is offered for the soul. It is believed that when a soul departs from a body, it starts its journey after 13 days and reaches Yamlok in 11 months. In the last month, the soul reaches the court of Yam. Only after reaching the court of Yam, the soul gets to eat the food, and that is why Shradh pooja in India and food offerings are important.

Also Read – Ganesh Chaturthi Festival: Things To Remember

Process Of Shradh Pooja

The Shradh Pooja is done in four major steps:

1. Vishwadeva Sthapana
shradh Pooja

This process includes consulting a priest and collecting all the required materials for performing the pooja.

2. Pindadan
Shradh pooja

Food made up of rice, barley, cow milk, honey, ghee, and sugar is offered in this ritual to the soul. 

3. Tarpan
Shradh pooja

Offering water along with sesame seeds, barley, kush grass, and white flour is considered to be Tarpan in Shradh Pooja.

4. Feeding of Brahmins
shradh Pooja

Offering food to Brahmins is a very significant ritual. This is done to show gratitude towards them.

Date Of Shradh Pooja In 2021

The period of performing Shradh Pooja in India this year is from the 2nd of September to the 17th of September. This occasion extends to two weeks, ending on the day of sarvapitri Amavasya. The final day is considered the most auspicious for the offerings. Reading from holy Shashtra is considered to be very auspicious during this period.

Final Words

Shradh Pooja in India is also known as Pitru Paksha. It is a very significant pooja that is conducted to pay tribute and homage to the souls of the ancestors. This pooja can be done in a specified time frame that starts from the first day of Ashwin till Amavasya or the new moon as per the north calendar. It starts from the new moon day of Bhadrapada month according to the south calendar. Shradh is done by the relatives of the passed person. An offering of food, fruits, etc. is given to the brahmins or sages and the soul of the deceased is pacified.

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