Modern life is filled with mental stress, anxiety which frequently manifest psychological and even psychiatric problems. Various physical health problems arising from such disturbed mental state has also become common. Those who are religious and spritually oriented resort to various spiritual practices like temple visit, Pooja, chanting mantras, bhajans and astrology. These spiritual practices are known as Deva Karya or worship of Devatas. They do help to alleviate problem to some extent. But there is a religious practice which helps avoid these problems; it is known as Pitru pooja or Sraaddham, the worship of ancestors.
Pitru pooja is very distinct from Devata pooja and is considered to be quicker in bestowal of benefits and more auspicious than Devata pooja. More importantly, Pitru Pooja is mandatory. Doing Pitru pooja helps us gain ancestors’ blessings which prevent mental and other physical problems and confer health, wealth and happiness.
Can we not get get God’s blessing by worshiping directly; why go through Pitru worship?
To answer just imagine a child growing without parents. Will any amount of wealth and comfort be a substitute for such child? It is obvious that we receive god’s blessing through our parents, similarly we continue to receive blessings through our ancestors.
Another important thing: We worship Devatas just for purifying our minds and ultimately attaining Godhood. Devatas do not look for our Pooja.
But Pitrus do expect their children to feed them as per rules at prescribed times. If not, they feel angry; their wrath descends on the succeeding generations in the form of various ailments and problems.
Ok can I then feed poor people or do some charity on parent’s anniversary?
If the key word for Devata worship is ‘Bhakthi’ the key word for Pitru worship is ‘Shraddha’ or faith. On the day of Sraaddham one should follow prescribed practices exactly as one would while doing a chemistry experiment. Any other activity like pooja or charity can be reserved for some other day. In fact practices like Flowers, chanting, incense burning, ringing bells and bhajans should be avoided during Sraaddham as these are useful only during Devata worship.
Apara Kriyas and Sraaddham
A compendium on Apara Kriyas and Sraaddham has been complied by Sri P.R. Kannan from various authoritative sources like Smritimuktaphalam and Garuda Puranam.
Topics covered include 12 days rituals -Apara Kriyas, impurity
(Aasoucham) and Sraaddham including Gaya Sraaddham
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Books by Sri P.R. Kannan
- Sri Rudram with Chamakam – Commentary
- Sama Veda An Introduction
- Meenakshi Sundareswara Ashtapadi
- Apara Kriyas and Sraaddham
- Siva Ashtapadi
- Sri Venkatachala Mahatmyam
- Sripada Saptathi
Books by Sri Sarma Sastrigal
- The Great Hindu Tradition
- வேதமும் பண்பாடும்
- Antyeshti Apara Karma eng/tamil
- Parishechanam eng/tamil
- Achamanam eng/tamil
- பிரஹ்ம யக்ஞம்
- Yajnopaveetam eng/tamil
- கயா ச்ராத்தம்
Books by Shastra Ratnakara Brahmashri Thethiyur Subramania Sastrigal
- ஸௌந்தர்ய லஹரீ
2. சுப்பிரமண்ய புஜங்கம்
3. ஸ்ரீமத் வால்மீகி ராமாயணம் பால காண்டம்
4. ஸ்ரீமத் வால்மீகி ராமாயணம் அயோத்யா காண்டம்
5. ஸ்ரீமத் வால்மீகி ராமாயணம் சுந்தர காண்டம்
6. ஸ்ரீ தக்ஷிணாமூர்த்தி ஸ்தோத்திரம்
7. ஸ்ரீ ப்ரஹ்மவித்யா சதுஸ்ஸூத்ரீ
9. ஸ்ரீ கனகதாரா ஸ்தோத்திரம்
10. ஸ்ரீம்த் பாகவதம் சது : ச்லோகீ
11. ஸ்ரீ பகவத் கீதாஸாரம்
12. ஆதித்ய ஹ்ருதய ஸ்தோத்திரம்
- ஸ்ரீமீனாக்ஷி பஞ்சதஷீ ஸ்தோத்ரம்