What is Shradh?
In Hinduism, shraddha, Sanskrit srddha, often written sraddha, is a ceremony held in memory of a deceased ancestor. All male Hindus are required to perform the ceremony, which is both a social and religious obligation (with the exception of some sannyasis, or ascetics). The significance placed on the birth of boys in India reflects the necessity to ensure that a male descendent would be available to execute the shraddha rite after one’s death.
For the departed father, grandpa, and great-grandfather, as well as the mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, the rite is done. Its purpose is to nurture, protect, and sustain the dead’s spirits on their journey from the lower to higher realms, prior to their reincarnation and reappearance on Earth. Depending on caste customs, the rites are done between the 11th and 31st day following death, and at regular intervals thereafter. A shraddha ritual is held on the first year death anniversary to allow the departed (preta) to be inducted into the assembly of forebears.
Frequently Asked Questions:
According to Hindu mythology, the soul must wander through numerous planets after death. Pitra Paksha is a time when people conduct Shraddha to appease their deceased ancestors. It is a rite in which obligations to the ancestors are repaid. The significance of “Shraddha” is explained in great depth in Hindu texts such as the Agni Puran, Garuda Puran, and Vayu Puran. At Gaya Lord Ram and Mata Sita did Pind Daan for Raja Dashrath, on the banks of Falgu River. Since then this place is renowned for doing Shradh, Pind Daan & Asthi Visarjan.
The eldest son gets the first privilege to conduct Shradh karma with Tarpan or Pinddaan to the ancestors, according to Hindu scriptures.
Son can conduct Shradh with his wife after their marriage.
If the elder son is deceased, the younger son can execute Pinddaan, Tarpan, and Shradh karma as well.
In the absence of a son, Shradh karma might be performed by the grandchild of the son.
If a person does not have a son, his siblings might carry out Shradh karma on his behalf.
The daughter’s son has the right to conduct Shradh karma if the individual has exclusively daughters.
Shradh can be done on the banks of Falgu River in Gaya. It is the pilgrim’s first holy place, and it is here that he must make his first gift for the spirits of his ancestors. The Phalgu is the incarnation of Vishnu himself, according to the Gaya Mahatmya, which is part of the Vayu Purana. According to one legend, it formerly flowed with milk.