Pt. Pawan Ji Pandita 
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Is it necessary to perform all Shraaddh kriya such as 'pinda daan'?

- Pt. Pawan Ji Pandita

In our traditions Shraaddh kriyas are performed for the salvation of departed souls. We are indebted to our parents, forefathers and other soul mates. Therefore we should perform 'pinda daan' with faith and pray for their salvation. Shraddh must be performed with faith, devotion and reverence. The sons and daughters who does not perform Shraddh and Tarpan are an ungrateful sons and daughters . The sacred scriptures declare: "He who does not perform Shraddh will lead a miserable life and suffer from poverty. 

Na tatra veera jayantay nirogom na shatayusha, na ch shayo adi gachanti yatrshraddh vivarjatam (Harit samrati)


When is Shradh performed? 
Shradh is performed every year on the anniversary of the death of the person as per the Hindu Calendar (Panchang). Mahalaya (Apripakay) shradh is performed during a fortnight called as the " Pitru paksha" in the month of Ashwin of the Hindu samvat. By the offering of the Shraddh, the sons and daughters helps his father / mother to dwell in joy with the Pitris. 

But it is more important that we respect them, serve them and please them when they are alive. 
 
During the Vedic era, boys and girls had equal opportunities for advanced education. The girls used to spend the early years of their life, like the boys, in brahmacharya ashram after participating in the Upanayana Sanskara ceremony. Therefore, in the Vedic age, Brahmacharya discipline and training was as much necessary for girls as for boys. Rishinis or women rishis like Gargi and Lopamudra are said to have undergone the Upanayanam. Later Manu Smiriti was in force and the females were not allowed to undergo Upanayanam. This is followed till date. 

In the olden days girls got married before seventeen years of age. After the thread ceremony one had to live with the Guru to learn the scriptures. This was not possible after marriage as she had to live with her husband. Upon marriage the number of sacred threads increases to six, as the man is expected to assume the debts of his wife as well. 


Pitru Paksha Shraddh 

- Pt. Pawan Ji Pandita

Pitru Paksha Shraddh are the rituals dedicated to Pithru devatas or dead ancestors. In 2009, Pitru paksha shraddh begins on September 5,  and ends on September 18 with Pitru Amavasya Tarpan and shraddh. Pitru paksha begins on the first day during Ashwin Krishna Paksha . As per Hindu  calendars,  Pitru Paksha Shraddh ends on Pitru Amavasya or Ashwin Amavasya.  On the next day Navaratri or Durga Maha Navratri begins. 

The Pitrupaksha fortnight is a reminder of our subtle existence and the spiritual or subtle measures needed in the form of last rites (antya sanskar) and other rites like shraddha, to ensure a smooth passage from existence in the physical to the subtle planes. By focusing solely on gross sciences, many of these subtle measures are not practiced, even forgotten, especially now . This has led to significant number of the population suffering from problems created by the subtle bodies of ancestors, who suffer in inferior planes, as their smooth passage was not ensured.   

Inability to get business opportunity or jobs, married, marital disharmony, difficulty in conceiving a child, miscarriages, bearing mentally retarded or handicapped children, death during childhood, depressions, illness, etc., are some of the indications of suffering due to ancestors’ subtle bodies as per our religion. However, astrology can be helpful, but only Saints can tell with certainty if one is suffering or will suffer due to ancestors’ souls. 

One can assess if one is undergoing such problems, that are not resolved despite trying various conventional methods, and take the spiritual measures to overcome these problems, on September 18, 2009 Pitru Amavasya you can go forTarpan and shraddh for all dead ancestors. This is an opportunity one should not miss. 

If you are living in NCR (Delhi) you can consult Mayur Vihar Phase II Amar Nath Mandir authority they are organising  Pitru Amavasya Shraddh every year. 


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