The prayers offered during shraddha


असुंयईयुरवृकाऋतज्ञा:तेनोऽवन्‍तुपितरोहवेषु।।' -ऋग्‍वेद,मंडल१०,सूक्‍त१५,ऋचा१

Meaning : Let the ancestors residing on Earth attain an evolved region. Let the ancestors who are in heaven, that is, at a higher plane of existence, never degrade. Let the ones who are at a medium plane of existence, attain a higher plane. Let the ancestors who symbolise the Truth protect us.

Also, prayer is offered to the ancestors for the continuation of the lineage, ‘O Pitru-deities, give birth to a son like Ashwini Kumar, who is beautiful, healthy and who can fulfil the wishes of Deities, ancestors and all humans.

The prayers offered at the end of the shraddha ritual

A. 'गोत्रंनोवर्धताम्‌।'

Meaning : Let our lineage (gotra) grow. To this the brahmins bestow blessings, ‘Let your lineage grow.”

B. 'वीरंमेदत्तपितर:।'

Meaning : O ancestors, give me a valiant son.

Another prayer is, 'Since the time of the origin of the Universe to date, whoever was born in the lineage of my mother and father and all the servants from these two lineages and my past births, those supported by me, those serving me, friends, disciple, pets, the plants and trees planted and cut by me, the close relatives, those who incurred favours from me and those who bestowed favours on me, get the food offered by me.

It is evident from this prayer that the Hindu Dharma teaches us to express gratitude not only to our own but also towards our benefactors, other beings and trees and plants.

2. Regulations associated with performing shraddha when obstacles of purity-impurity are faced

A) If there is impurity due to birth or death in the family on the day of the shraddha, then after its completion consume panchgavya, change the Holy thread and do shraddha. Alternatively, perform shraddha on the first no moon day after the impurity is over.

B) After commencing the ritual of shraddha if impurity due to birth or death occurs in the family but outside the house, then do not follow the regulations of impurity till the completion of the shraddha. If it happens in the house, then stop the shraddha and only after the observance of impurity is completed, do the shraddha again.

C) If the wife of the one who performs the shraddha has menses, then Mahayala can be done any time after those five days. When the lady performing the shraddha has menses then no regulations need to be followed.

D) If the shraddha falls on Ekadashi, then the person performing the shraddha should merely smell the meal of the shraddha and offer it to a cow or one should perform Hiranya-shraddha.

Hiranya-shraddha is a shraddha done merely by offering donation (dakshina) without offering meal.

E) During eclipse, take a bath and do shraddha even if there is impurity.

Here two points become evident. One is that every ritual has been considered subtly from a worldly perspective in Sanatan Hindu Dharma. The second is that women can also perform shraddha.

3. The effects of the shraddha ritual

For the subtle body (linga deha), the interval from the time of death to the next birth is similar to that of a foetus in the womb. Due to the mantras of the shraddha, the blessings of the brahmins, the good wishes of the relatives and pinda-dan etc. the deceased ancestors acquire a protective sheath and get the momentum to progress.

Reference : Sanatan Sanstha’s Holy text ‘Shraddha’

Courtesy : Sanatan Sanstha

Contact No. : 9920015949 


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