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Subtle-reading of Pitru fortnight


1. Introduction 

During the Pitru fortnight (pitru-paksha) the ancestors come closer to the Earth plane. To pacify these unsatisfied souls (ancestors) the shrāadha ritual is performed in this fortnight. Some information about the aspects of this ritual like the need and benefits of Shraadha ritual, who should do Shraadha, subtle-reading of the Shraadha ritual, etc. is shared here.

The young generation in today's scientific era mistakenly views Shraadha as 'a show of unscientific and unnecessary rituals.' This is a result of the lack of Dharma education, lack of interest in understanding Dharma, the influence of western culture, and continuous denunciation of the rites and rituals of Hindu Dharma by the anti-Righteous organisations. There are some absurd views about the ritual of Shraadha too.

One of them is that those, who don't believe in ritualistic worship and rituals like Shraadha or believe that social work is most superior, say that, 'instead of doing Shraadha we will give food to the poor or donation to a school.' Many of them actually do so! This is just like saying, 'instead of operating on a patient we will give food to the poor or donation to a school.'

These statements are absurd because the mantras recited during the Shraadha ritual have the subtle-energy to help departed ancestors. The Shraadha ritual gives momentum to the ancestors journey in the afterlife.

2. Meaning of Shraadha

The term 'Shraadha' has originated from 'Shraddhā' (faith). It is impossible to repay the various favours which our deceased forefathers have done for us. The ritual performed for them with complete faith is known as Shraadha.

Definition: The definition of Shraadha as given in the 'Shraadha' chapter within the Holy text, Brahmāpurāṇa, is as follows:

Meaning: Offerings (food etc.) made to the priests (brahmins), after taking into account the time and place and done with complete faith, abiding by all the rules and with the intention of them being received by the deceased ancestors, is known as Shraadha.

3. Importance of Shraadha and the special feature of Hindu culture (Sanskruti)

Hindu culture (Sanskruti) tells us that as we serve our parents and relatives when they are alive as our duty (Dharma), we have some duty towards them even after their death. We get an opportunity to repay our debt to our ancestors and fulfil our duty towards them with the ritual of Shraadha. The ritual of Shraadha is necessary for the journey of our parents, who selflessly and painstakingly take care of us in our childhood. Their journey becomes smooth and painless and they go to the next spiritual plane in their afterlife. If Shraadha is not performed, the ancestors remain unsatisfied. Negative energies can then trouble the family members as they can take control of our ancestors due to their unsatisfied desires. Ancestors get relieved from this trouble and our life also becomes pleasant due to the ritual of Shraadha.

The energy generated from the ritual of Shraadha is similar to the energy of the three subtle-basic components (Sattva, Raja and Tama) in the subtle-body of the ancestors. Hence the subtle-body is able to cross the plane of mortals (Martyalok), quickly, with the energy generated by the Shraadha. A subtle-body which crosses Martyalok, cannot come back again into the atmosphere of the Earth to trouble his decsendants. Therefore the Shraadha ritual has immense importance. Otherwise, many subtle-bodies trapped in the vicious circle of desires can bring obstacles in ones spiritual practice (sādhanā) and can divert us from doing spiritual practice (sadhana).

4. Who should do Shraadha?

Son (even if the thread ceremony is not performed), daughter, grand-son, great grand-son, great grand-daughter, wife, the son of a daughter who has a share in the property, real brother, nephew, son of cousin brother, father, mother, daughter-in-law, children of elder or younger sister, maternal uncle, etc. Anyone in the family up to seven generations (sapinda), anyone in the same gotra (clan) (Samanodak) beyond seven generations, disciple, priest, friend, son-in-law. In this order if the first is not available then the next one can do Shraadha. In a joint family the elder male should do Shraadha. When separated everyone should do Shraadha independently. 

Hindu Dharma has made arrangements that Shraadha be performed for every dead individual so that he will go ahead in his journey after death. In the Holy text Dharmasindhu it is mentioned that 'if a dead person has nobody to do Shraadha then it is the duty of the king to do Shraadha for him'.

5. Subtle-reading of the Shraadha ritual *

During the Pitru- fortnight (pitru-paksh), the ancestors come near the earth plane. Thus the pitru-paksh ritual should be done for the fulfillment of desires of such ancestors. There is no relation of pitru-paksh and the yearly Shraadha ritual but once we understand the science behind all the rituals in pitru-paksh, we can perform the yearly Shraadha ritual with spiritual emotion (bhāv) each time. This will further help the subtle-body of our ancestor to move towards a higher plane in his afterlife. Thus the information about this ritual is given below. When the father of a seeker (from Goa) passed away, at that time a seeker doing spiritual practice under Gurukrupāyog took the subtle-reading of the rituals. Following are the readings and the science behind it.

5.1 Preparing Holy water (Tīrtha) in the copper plate (tāmhan)

Beginning of the rituals

10:32 am: The sacrificer started the Shraadha with the ritual of drinking water (āchaman) by taking some water with the help of a copper spoon (palī) Due to the act of āchaman, there was purification of the sacrificer's head, both sides of the waist, the mat on which he was sitting and of the white threads (janēu) worn by him. Also white particles were seen floating around him (as shown in figure 1A).

While doing breath yoga (prānayam) these white particles were seen entering the sacrificer speedily, through the nose (as shown in figure 1. B).


             Figure 1 - A                                                 Figure 1- B

Preparing Tirth for ancestors

10:37 am: After keeping the white thread (janeu) on the right shoulder (apsavya) and by taking black sesame seeds in one hand, he took the names of the father, grandfather, great grandfather. He then put the sesame seeds in the right hand and placed the base of left palm under the right palm. After that the black sesame seeds were released into the water placed in a copper plate (tamhan).

In this case the right hand represents the active energy of the ancestors. The ancestor's frequencies got attracted towards the black sesame seeds placed in the water in the copper plate (tamhan) and then they got scattered into the atmosphere (Vāyu mandal). This further helped to form a layer of ancestral frequencies (figure 2).

Figure 2

5.2 Worshipping the Holy water

10:42 am: Any activity done for the sake of ancestors is done by wearing a white thread (janeu) on the right shoulder (apasavya), while other tasks done for God are done by wearing the white thread (janeu) on left shoulder (savya).  After doing apasavya, the tamhan (copper plate) is kept on a bunch of dried grass (darbh) and then sandal wood paste is applied to it (tamhan) with the help of the right ring finger. Next, flowers, beetle nut, a donation and maka (an ingredient used in the ritual) are offered to the tamhan. Due to the maka, Raja predominant frequencies are emitted, which further increase the speed of the ancestral frequencies by activating them. The subtle-body of the ancestor then gets attracted towards the earth due to the whirlpool like frequencies which are created due to this. (Figure 3)


Figure 3

By doing purushsukta (chanting with nyaas (placement of bunched fingers)) there is emission of Deity Shiva's frequencies which ultimately purify the ancestral frequencies in the atmosphere.

10:45 am: When purushsūkta is said after putting the white thread (janeu) on the left shoulder (savya) and while touching the plate (tamhan) with both hands, there is an emission of Deity Shiva's principle in the atmosphere. This ultimately purifies the ancestral frequencies present there by reducing the heaviness from them. As the ancestral frequencies become lighter, they started moving vertically upwards and as a result, the subtle-body of the ancestor gets attracted towards them. (Figure 4)

Figure 4

5.3 Sacrificial grass (darbh) represting the Brāhmiṇs of God and ancestors

Putting one strand of grass (darbh) representing the Brahmins of God on a stool while placing another strand of grass (darbh) representing the Brahmins of ancestors on a different stool.

11:05 am: One darbh representing the Brahmins of God was put on a stool while another darbh representing the Brahmins of ancestors was put on a different stool. The sacrificer then got up and took some black sesame seeds and darbh (sacrificial grass) in his right hand and a copper spoon (pali) and a small copper cup in his left hand and did three circumambulations (pradakshiṇā) around both the stools.

Because of this Divine Consciousness (Chaitanya) got collected in the copper spoon and cup in the form of a yellow ball which represented the Brahmins of God (left side of Figure 5). From a rust coloured ball which represented the Brahmins of ancestors, the frequencies representing their blessings got collected in the black sesame seeds (right side of Figure 5). When these black sesame seeds and darbh were kept in a corner, a place (sthān) for the ancestors was created. Realised that all the further actions in the rituals will happen under protection of this place of ancestors. (bottom of Figure 5)

Figure 5

In the ritual of Shraadha, darbh (type of sacrificial grass) represents Brahmins. When mantras are chanted, there is a formation of the Brahma principle (Brahm-tēj) in the darbh representing the Brahmins of God while in the darbh representing the Brahmins of ancestors, there is a formation of the warrior-like attitude (Kshatra-tēj). Due to this warrior-like attitude, all the obstacles created by distressing energies, when the subtle-bodies of the ancestors arrive on the earth plane, are destroyed. The formed Brahma principle (Brahm-tej) creates a protective covering around the subtle-body of the ancestors in the form of a blessing. In place of the Brahmins of God, the souls of highly evolved Saints come whereas for the Brahmins of the ancestors, souls of saints who do great penance, come.

5.4 The sacrificer taking permission from the darbh representing the Brahmins of ancestors

Sacrificer taking permission from the Brahmins of ancestors to perform the Shraadha ritual 

11:08 am: Did namaskār to both the darbhs. While doing namaskar, sacrificer did apasavya and asked the Brahmins of ancestors, "do I have the right to perform this Shraadha vidhi (ritual)?" The priest who was performing the rituals said, "yes you do have the right."  At that time, felt that reddish waves came out of the darbh representing the Brahmins of ancestors and moved towards sacrificer. Also felt that the darbh gave permission to perform the rituals of Shraadha along with its blessings.

Inviting the Brahmins of ancestors to perform the Shraadha rituals through darbh

11:15 am: The sacrificer invited the Brahmins of ancestors through darbh by doing apasavya and sprinkling water on the ground with the help of kurchi (a type of grass). When water is sprinkled on the ground with kurchi, the frequencies of ancestors get activated (left side of Figure 6) which makes it easy to imbibe a portion of the offering of the ritual.

Figure 6- Sacrificer inviting the Brahmins of God to the Shraadha ritual 

5.5 Welcoming the Brahmins of God and ancestors in the form of darbh

The sacrificer welcoming the Brahmins of God and ancestors

11:20 am: The sacrificer welcomed the Brahmins of God and ancestors by touching both the stools. At that time felt rays of Divine consciousness (Chaitanya) coming from the atmosphere towards stools (places of faith). The place (stools) where ancestors and God had come, looked full of Divine light (Figure 7)

Figure 7

5.6 The sacrificer sprinkling black sesame seeds in all eight directions

The sacrificer sprinkling black sesame seeds around himself in all 8 directions

11:28 am: The sacrificer sprinkled black sesame seeds around himself in all 8 directions. Due to this the frequencies of ancestors were formed around the sacrificer in a circular fashion. Around 10-15 subtle-bodies got attracted towards this circular area (Figure 8). This is known as 'the formation of Vaishnavi Gayabhoomi.'

Figure 8

5.7 Welcoming ancestors by touching the thumbs of both hands in front of the stool

Purifying the food prepared for ancestors and God with the help of Holy water (Tirth)

11:30 am: The sacrificer did the purification of the food prepared for ancestors and God by sprinkling Holy water (Tirth) and asked the darbh representing Brahmins, "is the food purified?" At this the Brahmins replied from the subtle, "yes it has been purified now." At that time 2 glorious batu's (one whose thread ceremony has been performed) were seen in the atmosphere smiling and showing their happiness. 

Welcoming ancestors by putting both thumbs in front of the stool

11:34 am: The sacrificer welcomed ancestors by putting both thumbs in front of the stool while doing apasavya. At that time felt that ancestor frequencies created a protective layer around the sacrificer as a blessing. At the same time subtle black snakes present in the atmosphere started throwing black distressing frequencies through their eyes (Figure 9). 

Figure 9

5.8 Purifying of vessels used for performing the ritual

Holy water for ancestors

During Shraadha when the ancestors are invited and water is sprinkled into the plate (tamhan), this water is known as 'ancestral Holy water' (pitru-tirth). Ancestral Holy water is formed from the water of 7 rivers, black sesame seeds, leaves of maka and offerings (dakshiṇā). This Tirth is only used for the ritual of the ancestors.

Purifying the vessels used for performing the ritual with the help of mantras

11:42 am: The ritual began by sprinkling water on the stool and then putting darbh on it. Then two copper cups are put upside down on the stool and the Gāyatrī Mantra (a powerful Sanskrut mantra) is recited. Later, water is sprinkled on it. The Raja-Tama particles in the copper cup get destroyed when the Gayatri Mantra is chanted (left side of Figure 10).

When the Gayatri Mantra is chanted, a lot of small fire like particles are emitted into the atmosphere. Later these cups are turned over and water is sprinkled on them. Due to this the fire particles are created even in the cups (middle of Figure 10).

When darbh was put on the stool, a protective covering was created around the copper cups. Felt that when sandalwood paste, flowers, Holy basil (tulsī) leaves and satu (a kind of grain) was put in the copper cups containing Holy water (Tirth) for God, various colourful frequencies got attracted towards them (right side of Figure 10). At that time the entire atmosphere was filled with Divine fragrance. The sacrificer kept his right hand on the vessels and asked God whether they are purified?.Due to this the pressure in the atmosphere suddenly dropped.

Figure 10

5.9 The sacrificer sprinkling satu from the right hand and black sesame seeds from the left hand

The sacrificer, taking 5 steps ahead and 5 steps backwards, while having satu in the right hand and black sesame seeds in the left hand

12:45 pm: The sacrificer took 5 steps ahead and 5 steps backward, sprinkling satu with the right hand and black sesame seeds with the left hand, onto the ground. This action makes the place where the ritual of Shraadha is done, as Holy as the Holy cities of Kashi or Gaya. As a result the Raja predominant God's frequencies get attracted towards the satu and ancestral frequencies get attracted towards the black sesame seeds (Figure 11). Due to these frequencies, it becomes easy to pass the spiritually pure (sāttvik) frequencies, created by the chanting of the mantras during the rituals, to the subtle-bodies in the atmosphere.

Figure 11

* Based on Divine knowledge received by some seekers doing sadhana per Gurukrupāyog.

To know more about this Divine knowledge please visit the about us section of this website.



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