Shradh: it’s importance and significance
- फोटो : Myjyotish
Sraddha is a sanskrit word, it is combination of two words ‘sat’ which means truth and the other word ‘adhar’ which means basis. So shradh is an act performed with absolute faith and sincerity. Pitra Paksha Shradh as per Hindu calendar, starts from first tithi of Ashwin Maas and continues till Pitra pakha amavasya (New moon day) which is also known as Sarvapitri Amavasya or Mahalaya Amavasya. It is a 16 days long period which is also know as pitri pokho, jitiya or apara paksha in different regions of India. This is a time to perform shradh karma or tarpan of the ancestors on the tithi they met eternity.
According to Hindu mythology, the aim of every soul is to attain moksha. Pitra paksha is a time to pacify the departed ancestoral soul by performing shradh. It is a way to repay the debts to the ancestors for their sacrifices. Hindu scriptures like agni puran, Garuda puran, vayu puran, etc explains the great significance of shradh.
It is said “Shraddhyaa kriyate yaa saa”, which means shradh is a ritual to satiate one’s ancestors. This ritual shows one’s love, devotion and respect towards the ancestors.
As per hindu sacred texts, Rishi Atri, one of the 10 sons of Lord Brahma was the first one to perform the rituals of shradh. Shradh was first performed by Nimi rishi due to sudden demise of his son under the guidance of Narad Muni. Prayers of Nimi rishi resulted in moksha of his departed son’s soul and hence shradh plays a significant role in Sanatan Dharma.
According to Hindu beliefs, soul is neither created nor destroyed and the ultimate aim of soul is to attain moksha. So the soul needs to be free and hence the shradh is performed. The shradh kriya is done by the eldest son in the family. As this is the time to remember ancestors and their sacrifices, it is often advised to not perform any auspicious work during this period.