Episode # 42 – Why should we perform “Shraadha” for our departed parents??? Vidura’s important explanation!!!


In the previous episode we had witnessed a very important explanation by Vidura with regards to “Procrastination”. We witnessed in due course, instances from the modern day as to how relevant is this attribute and it’s ill effects in our today’s society. We also focused primarily on our judicial system in India and how corruption and indefinite delays plague the system, which in turn affects scores of innocent people of the country with “delayed and denied justice”. Also we discussed the significance of having a definitive plan of action with a stipulated time frame for projects to be completed. Only if projects (like infrastructure) stick to the deadline of completion, will it be useful for citizens. Thus the message is that, every task that we do should have a definitive time frame. Procrastination or indefinite postponing of the task execution would lead to a situation wherein the purpose of the task becomes redundant and useless. Hence such situations should be avoided.

Thus moving on further, Vidura explains the next important attribute of a “Mooda”. Let us see what it is:

“Shraadham pithribyo na dadaathi daivataani cha archati!!”

Here Vidura explains that a person who fails in his duty to worship the “Deivatas” (Celestial Beings), fails in his duty to worship the Lord and also fails in his duty to perform the “Shraadha” for the “Pithrus” (Ancestors and forefathers) is a “Mooda”!

Now here comes an important discussion on why should we perform the “Pithru-Shraadham”. As a person, it is our bound duty to pay or respects to our ancestors and forefathers who have been responsible for our good upbringing. This “Pithru-Shraadham” encompasses all the prayers that should be done during “Amaavaasya” (No-Moon day), special prayers during a solar or a lunar eclipse, yearly prayer for our departed parents, etc. Care should be taken that each and every individual should execute all these prayers without fail! This is the primary basis of our “Sanaathana Dharma” Value system.

However, what is happening in today’s world? Many of us have stopped performing all the “Shraadham” and try giving reasons for not performing the prayer. What are some “interesting reasons” that we give? We might proclaim that “Oh! I’ve started doing innumerable good deeds in this birth of mine! Hence, doing all this “Shraadham” is useless and doesn’t add any value to my life!” Also, there is a doubt in the modern day society especially from the so-called atheists: “What is the use of doing the prayer with the “Pinda” (A small ball of rice) and water? Are our forefathers and ancestors going to live with these things? Isn’t it just a false belief and a superstition?”

If we start asking questions like these, it is clear that we do not have the “Shraddha” while doing the “Shraadham”. I’ve already spoken about “Shraddha” in our previous episodes. “Shraddha” means complete involvement and 100% perfection in what we do. In fact, the word “Shraadham” has been coined from the word “Shraddha”The offering that we do to our departed parents with “Shraddha” is called “Shraadham”. Moreover, it should be understood that whatever offering we do to our departed parents (“Pithru”) is not for them, but it is for us! Thus one should do the “Pithru-Shraadha” not for the benefit of our ancestors and forefathers, but for the benefit of his life and his family’s.

For instance, if a person departs from this world, we do a 12-day offering for the departed soul. However, the soul, once departed from the body, travels very quickly to reach “Vaikunta”. But the question comes here as to why should I do this 12-day offering if the soul is not going to wait for all these. What is the use of doing all this? This means that we have a wrong notion here – We think that it is only because of whatever we perform for these 12 days, the departed soul is going to attain “Moksha”! The truth is not this! The departed soul would reach “Svarga” or “Naraka” depending on the good/bad deeds that the departed person would have done. But if this is the case, why should I perform these duties? The simple answer is that, we should go to Vaikunta tomorrow. Isn’t it? Thus we should realize that we are performing all the “Shraadha” offerings, 12-day offerings to our departed parents, only because we should reach Vaikunta and “Moksha” tomorrow once we depart!

Thus, for all the readers of this episode I have a small request: All of us should take a pledge that we should perform all the “Shraadha” and “Pitru” offerings on all the prescribed days and in the prescribed format with the “Shraddha” (100% effort) WITHOUT FAIL! Each and every one of us should make a conscious effort in performing our duties as prescribed by our “Sanaathana Dharma”. By doing so, we would automatically make Bhagawan happy. Once Bhagawan becomes happy with our actions, He is automatically going to grant us the highest “Moksha” wholeheartedly. Hence, let us follow this practice meticulously – I’m sure many of us are performing the practice already with 100% efforts. We should continue doing it in future too. However, if some of us haven’t started yet, let us make a conscious effort to start it immediately!

We shall wait for the next episode to witness the next important attribute. Stay tuned! 🙂
















Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at International School of Business & Media, Pune, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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