Shradh is remembering of ancestors. The idea is to remember the ancestors with gratitude. Shradh is a Sanskrit word, which literally means “anything done with sincerity and faith.” “Shradh” also means “Shraddha” which means unconditional reverence. Shradh is performed every year on the death anniversary of the deceased relative as per the Panchang (The Hindu calendar) or during the period of dark fortnight called Pitra Paksha.
Rituals of Shradh
The rituals of Shradh are generally performed by an eldest son or an eldest male member of the family.
While performing Shradh, one should pay special attention to three things – piety, control over anger and avoiding hastiness. Meditation, mantra repetition and prayer are done for the peace and attainment of salvation by departed soul.
Difficulties one May face –if Shradh is not performed
As per classics if Shradh is performed with whole devotion, the ancestors bless the native with comforts of life. It is imperative for person to perform Shradh to safeguard oneself and preceding generations from Pitr Dosha. If Pitra dosha is present in chart native himself and his family members may encounter various problems like-Inability to get married, Marital concerns, infertility, problems in begetting child, loss of Job and finances, critical health concerns etc.
Let’s know what the each day of Shraadh signifies.
- Purnima Shradh: On this day, Shraddh is performed for those who left this world on the Full Moon day (Purnima).
- Pratipada Shradh: This is performed for the members of the family who died on Pratipada Tithi.
- Dwitiya Shradh: Also known as Dooj Shradh, this is performed for the members who died on Dwitiya Tithi.
- Tritiya Shradh: This is performed for the people who have died on Tritiya Tithi. It is also known as Teej Shraddha.
- Chautha Shradh: This is followed for the persons who have died the previous year or on the Chaturthi Tithi.
- Bharani Shradh/Panchami Shradh: This Shraddha is performed when the Bharani Nakshatra prevails during Pitru Paksha. Bharani constellation either prevails on Chaturthi or Panchami every year. Shraddh performed on this day is equivalent to the Gaya Shraddha. Panchami Shraadh is special in its own way because on this day, Shradh of the people who died unmarried is performed.
- Shashthi Shradh: This is known as Chhath Shraddha performed for members who died on Shashthi Tithi.
- Saptami Shradh: This is performed for the family members who died on Saptami Tithi.
- Ashtami Shradh: This is done for the members who have died on Ashtami Tithi.
- Navami Shradh: It is known as Avidhava Shraddh. This is performed by the men whose wives have died. Also, this is known as Matra Navami, as the Shraadh of mother is also performed on this day.
- Dashami Shradh: Dashami Shraddha or Dasami Shradh is done for people who have died on Dashami Tithi.
- Ekadashi Shradh: This is also known as Gyaras Shraddh, performed for people who have died on Ekadasi Tithi.
- Dwadashi Shradh: This is performed for people who have taken up Sanyas or renunciation before death or who died on Dwadashi Tithi. It is also known as Baras Shradha.
- Magha Trayodashi Shradh: This is performed for dead children or the people who died on Trayodashi Tithi. It is also known as Kakbali, Balabholani Teras or Teras Shraadh. Magha Shraddh is performed when Magha Nakshatra (constellation) prevails during Aparahana Kaal.
- Ghata Chaturdashi Shradh: This Shradh is followed for the persons who have died unnaturally (accident, murder or suicide). It is also known as Chaudas Shraddh.
- Sarvapitri Amavasya Shradh: This Tithi is performed for all ancestors, irrespective of the way they died. If somebody is not able to perform Shraadh on the requisite Tithi, may perform on Sarvapitri Moksha Amavasya Shraddha. It is also known as Amavas Shraddha.