According to religious texts, the time from Pratipada date of Ashwin Krishna Paksha to Amavasya is called Shraddha or Mahalaya Paksha. 16 days of this period have been specially set aside for the ancestors i.e. Shraddha rituals. This period is known as Pitru Paksha. The work done during Pitru Paksha brings peace to the souls of ancestors. Shraddha Paksha is related to death. On this occasion, ancestors come to earth from the world of death for 16 days. During this period, the ancestors come closer to us and we to the ancestors, hence we give up auspicious and auspicious works and keep respect and concentration towards the ancestors.
Ancestors come to Earth in Pitrupaksha
During these 15 days, the ancestors will descend to earth from the mortal world and bestow blessings on their family members. These days, family members also offer their prayers as per rituals. Many things have been mentioned in religious texts about Shraddha. Bhishma Pitamah was the first to tell Yudhishthir about Shraddha. How the tradition of Shraddha started in the Mahabharata’s Anushashan Parva and how it reached the public was explained in detail. Very few people would know who performed Shraddha first in the world. Let us know the importance of Shraddha.
First sermon of Shraddha
According to the Anushasana Parva of the Mahabharata, the first advice on Shraddha was given by Atri Muni. After this, the first Shraddha was performed by Maharishi Nimi. Later gradually many other Maharshi also started performing Shraddha and offering food to the ancestors. As the tradition of Shraddha increased, the gods and ancestors gradually became completely satisfied. After this, he started facing problems in digesting food.
Ancestors and gods fell victim to disease during Shraddha
The ancestors had suffered from indigestion due to continuous eating of Shraddha food. Then all the ancestors and gods went to Brahmaji to ask for a solution to their problems. Then Brahmaji, after listening to the words of the gods and ancestors, said that Agnidev would solve your problem.
Importance of fire in Shraddha
Hearing the problem of the gods and ancestors, Agni Dev said that from now on we will all eat food together in Shraddha. By eating with me, the problem of digesting food will go away. After this, the Shraddha food is first given to Agni and later to the ancestors.
First offering to the father
According to the scriptures, when Agni Dev is present in Shraddha, the demons run away from there. After performing Havan, first of all, Pind Daan should be done for the sake. First of all, offerings should be made to the father, then to the grandfather, and then to the great-grandfather. Shraddha must be performed on the date of Amavasya.
The importance of sesame and kush in the Shraddha performed during Pitripaksha is explained through this mantra. Which Lord Vishnu says that moles have originated from my sweat and Kush has originated from the hairs of my body. The root of Kush should be known as Brahma, the middle as Vishnu, and the upper part as Shiva. This god is considered revered in Kush. Brahmin, Mantra, Kush, Agni, and Tulsi never become stale, they can be used again and again in worship.
Importance of Brahmin, cow, crow, ant and dog in Shraddha
In Shraddha Paksha, apart from the ancestors, there is a tradition of offering food to Brahmins, cows, dogs,ants and crows. All 33 crore gods and goddesses reside in the cow, hence the importance of the cow. Whereas in Pitra Paksha, dogs and crows are the form of ancestors, hence there is a tradition of offering food to them. There is a tradition of taking special care of them during Pitru Paksha. Wheat flour is given to ants under peepal tree.