Origin of ritual Sharadh(श्राद्ध) and stories associated to it.
Origin of ritual Sharadh(श्राद्ध) and stories associated to it
SHRADH IN HINDUISM
Shradh also known as Shraddha is a very important ritual in Hinduism where prayers and pujas are undertaken to pacify the spirits of dead ancestors. It happens every year and has become a tradition among Hindus. But not many know why Shradh is celebrated and how it all began in the past. Here is why Shradh is celebrated and how things began.
SHRADH IN PITRU PAKSHA
Shradh is performed in the days of Pitru Paksha. This is a 15-day long period when Hindus pay respects to the departed souls of their family members and ancestors. Food is usually offered during these special Shradh pujas. In 2016, Shradh begins on 16th September and ends on 30th September.
WHY IS FOOD OFFERED TO DEPARTED SOULS?
It is said in the Garuda Purana that after 13 days of the death of a soul, it makes a journey to Yamalok or Yamapuri. A total of 17 days are taken to reach the Yamalok for the departed soul. Inside the Yamapuri, the soul then travels for about 11 months. Only on the 12 month the soul makes its way into the court of the Yamaraj.
IMPORTANCE OF SHRADH PUJA
During the 11 months of journey through the Yamapuri, the soul has no access to food or water. This is when Pind daan and Tarpan are done to satiate the hunger and thirst of the departed soul. This is a ritual that is done by the eldest son in a family. The ritual holds prime importance in the first year of the death of the family member.
SHRADH AT GAYA
If you‘ve ever wondered how the great city of Gaya got its name, you might have thought that it would be a holy sage’s name or the name of a God. However, in reality, Gaya’s name stems from a demon called Gayasur. Vayu Purana mentions that Gayasur’s body was pious and ‘pavitra’ after a severe penance was observed by him. He was then granted a boon by Lord Vishnu, only to disappear as soon as he received the boon. Hence the name, Gaya.
Lord Vishnu asked Lord Brahma and other devtas to perform a puja in connection to this. Since they needed a pious and ‘pavitra’ body, the Lord suggested Gayasura’s name. As soon as Gayasura agreed to this, his head fell off his body and Lord Brahma then performed the sacrifice on Gayasura’s headless body.
DHARMAVRATA - STONE ON GAYASUR
As soon as they started the sacrifice ceremony, the headless body of Gayasura began shaking. Hence they put a stone on it which is the body of Dharmavrata.
DHARMAVRATA, THE STONE
According to numerology forecasts Dharmavrata is the stone set on Gayasura. When sage Marichi returned after a long outing in the timberland. He was drained and requested that Dharmavrata wash his feet. Like an obedient spouse she obliged. Be that as it may, in the meantime Lord Brahma showed up. Dharmavrata was befuddled as to whom she ought to take care of first. Ruler Brahma being wise Marichi's dad and her dad by law, she took care of him. In any case, this enraged her better half and he reviled her.
DHARMAVRATA BECAME A STONE
This revile transformed her into a stone. To fix her torment, she played out a serious retribution for quite a long time. Master Vishnu was satisfied by her reflection and conceded her a help. While Dharmavrata needed her revile disavowed, it was impractical. In any case, Lord Vishnu made her stone shape capable to such an extent that each god coveted her and dwelled inside.
STONE PLACED ON GAYASUR
Henceforth, this stone was set on Gayasur. It is said Lord Vishnu was profoundly touched by Gayasur's yield and offered him a reward. Gayasur asked Lord Vishnu that where he kicked the bucket or where his body lay as a stone, there ought to be an impression engraving of Lord Vishnu. Gayasur additionally requested Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, and Lord Brahma to remain on his body until endlessness. Along these lines, by offerings pinds on Gayasur's body would free the majority of their torment, impediments and sins.
ORIGIN OF SHRADH IN RAMAYANA
When Lord Rama and Maa Sita went by Gaya to perform Shradh and pind daan amid Pitra Paksha. It is critical that the Shradh custom be performed at the bank of a stream, consequently, Maa Sita held up by the banks of Phalgu waterway while Lord Rama made game plans for the service. Maa Sita played with sand as she sat tight for her better half. Be that as it may, it was amid this time late King Dasharath's hands showed up approaching her for Pind daan as the mahurat for Shradh would be over soon.
Maa Sita instantly offered the sand balls as she doesn't have anything else, tolerating which King Dasharath got Moksha. When Lord Rama returned, Maa Sita educated him about this episode. Be that as it may, he was disturbed and blamed his better half for lying. She knew he wouldn't trust her henceforth, she asks Tulsi, the stream Phalgu, a dairy animals, a Brahmin and the Akshyavat or banyan tree to be witnesses.
Be that as it may, the Phalgu waterway denied the occurrence supposing it would get more significance from Lord Rama. Irritated Maa Sita reviled it and subsequently, it turned into an underground waterway. Numerous call it as the Gupt Ganga. Water from the Phalgu seems just when the ground is burrowed.
SITA'S CURSE TO TULSI
Correspondingly, the Tulsi likewise denied supposing she would get more significance. The Tulsi was reviled by Sita that she could never be set inside anybody's home and in this manner, Tulsi kyara's or plants are constantly put outside the home.
SITA'S CURSE TO THE COW
The Cow too negated Maa Sita's story and was reviled by Sita that the lying mouth of the dairy animals would unpropitious from that day onwards and just the back parcel of the cow would be propitious. Thus, dairy animals fertilizer is viewed as consecrated and individuals touch the bovine's rear legs in veneration.
SITA'S CURSE TO THE BRAHMIN
The Brahmin excessively retreated and was reviled by Sita that Brahmins would dependably be eager and never feel fulfilled.
AKSHYA VAT'S TRUTH
However, the Akshaya Vat or the banyan tree spoke the truth and therefore, it was bestowed with a blessing that it would always thrive and remain evergreen.
ORIGIN OF SHRADH IN MAHABHARATA
In Mahabharata, Karna was known not an extremely thoughtful lord. He was everlastingly offering philanthropy and giving gold to his subjects and the destitute. He was relevantly known as the Daan Veer. When he kicked the bucket in the clash of Kurukshetra, his spirit made a trip to paradise. Here he was constantly offered gold and silver, and gems as nourishment.
Tired of gems and gold as nourishment, Karna asked Lord Indra for what good reason he was not given real sustenance. Ruler Indra told Karna that all his life as a Daan Veer, he generally offered gold and wealth to the general population yet he never gave sustenance to his predecessor. Karna asked absolution saying he didn't know about his progenitors subsequently he never gave sustenance.
KARNA PERFORMS SHRADH
To retouch his misstep, Karna could come back to earth for 15 days, i.e. the Pitra Paksha period and perform Shradh and offer pind daan, i.e. nourishment to his predecessors.