SIGNIFICANCE OF PITRA KALYAN PUJA DURING SHRADH
Shri PitraKalyan Puja is generally performed for the welfare and wellbeing of ancestors as well as in order to uplift and upgrade their status in various lokas or worlds where they may be residing after death.
Shri PitraKalyan Puja is very good remedy which can be practiced in cases where one or more than one of the native’s ancestors had died and no proper after death rituals were done for them due to which such ancestors may not be able to move to their proper lokas and they are stuck somewhere in between due to which sometimes such Pitras contact the native through dreams or some other phenomenon in order to let him know that they are not well and something needs to be done by the native in order to relieve them from their present state of uncertainty and probable misery.
Apart from this reason, Shri PitraKalyan Puja can be performed for all the ancestors or Pitras in order to convey benefic Karmas and benefic results to them through this puja, in whichever world they may be at that time and in order to receive blessings from pitras.
It should be noted here that Shri PitraKalyan Puja is primarily meant for forwarding benefic karmas and benefic results to the ancestors in order to improve their conditions in various Lokas and not for the benefit of the native like in case of most most of other pujas, through the native almost always gets the blessings of such Pitras who do so as a gesture of gratitude towards the native who is doing all the effort for the welfare of Pitras.
Shri PitraKalyan Puja can be started and completed on any day of the week depending upon the suitability of the day according to the running time. The best times to perform this puja are the days of Pitrapaksh or shradh which are about 15 days of the year which comes once a year and during which the effect of anything done for Pitras or ancestors increases a great deal and which is why this time is named as PitraPaksh which in literal sense means The Days of the Ancestors.
Shri PitraKalyan Puja is performed with the chant of Shri PitraGayatri Mantra in a specific count i.e. 125,000 in this puja. Usually the pundits are able to complete this chant or jaap in 7 days and hence this puja is generally completed in a week and all necessary steps for this puja conducted during this time is generally the same as in pitra dosh nivaran puja right from taking Sankalp in the beginning and Havan in the end. It is believed that of God Narayan is the God of Ancestors in Hindu Mythology. So this puja is generally performed in front of him.
In Sraddha rituals numerous things are there to be taken care of. Here is some do’s and don’ts one should be aware of :
We should perform Pitripooja on the day they died and also on chaturdashi (14th day), if pitar i.e. ancestor had died of weapons. They become happy on conducting Sraddhapooja on two days.
One should never perform Sraddha in Shuklpaksh(waxing moon fortnight) , at night, a combined days (i.e. two tithi on same day) and on one’s birthday. According to the scriptures, sraddha done in the evening is reached to devil souls. Evening or night time is prohibited for any ritual related to sraddha. Donation made in the name of ancestors becomes most auspicious, if donated in the 8thmuhurtha of the day.
Sitting cushions for pooja should be of silk, blankets, wool, wood, grass, foliage, kusha grass etc. These are excellent. The iron should not be used in any case.
The major part of the Sraddha are:
a) Tarpan: - Milk, sesame, flower, incense, perfumed water etc. are offered to pitar. This offering should be done daily in pitripaksha.
b) Meal and Pindadan:- Brahmins are fed for the sake of ancestors. Pinda made of rice or barley should also be offered in charity.
c) Vastradan or donating clothes:- It’s one of the foremost aim of this pooja.
d) Dakshinadan:- Dakshina (money offering) is regarded as the consort of a sacrifice or yagya. Till dakshina and clothings are offered to Brahmins, the auspicious results are not possible.
These things are important to conduct a sraddhapooja: Ganga water, milk, honey, yogurt, Kush (a holy grass) and sesame. Sraddha meal is prohibited on banana leaf. Plates of gold, silver, bronze, copper is good. If not possible, common paper plate or like can be used.
All Sraddha Brahmin should take food without uttering any word. Even admiration of food or any good or bad comment on food quality or no. of food items is prohibited. It is believed that our ancestors (pitar) enjoy food through these Sraddha Brahmins till they keep quiet and concentrate on eating without praising food quality.
Brahmins should be fed meal prepared from milk, curd, ghee and honey and kheer (rice boiled in milk). So take special care of feeding the Brahmins.
Keep some portion of prepared meals for cows, dogs, crows, gods and for ant, separate. Then keep Water, rice, sandalwood, flowers and sesame in your hand and take resolution in favour of your ancestors from the Brahmins.
Food kept separately for dog and crow should be surely given to dog and crow only, and food kept for god and ant can be fed to cow. After doing all these, feed Brahmins. After satisfying feast of Brahmins, offer with a tilak on their forehead and also gift them clothing, food and other items as per your wish and take blessings from them.
Do invite your sister, her husband and her son, if they happen to live in your city. If you miss, your offering to pitar wouldn’t be accepted, even God decline to oblige such people.
While sraddhapooja is going on, if a beggar comes, he should also be served food with same respect. If you ignore the beggar, the pooja is not considered as complete and all auspicious results are destroyed.
Then see off brahmins with all due respect. It is believed that the ancestors go along with Brahmins. Then only you should take food along with your family.
Father's sraddhapooja should be done by son only. In the absence of son wife may perform all pooja. And in the absence of wife, real brother should conduct sraddha rituals. If brother is not available, near blood relatives can perform sraddhapooja. In case of many sons, eldest son should perform pooja.
Delighted and satisfied pitar (ancestors) bestowed upon his progeny with sons, money, education, long life, health, worldly happiness, salvation and heaven.