What are three historically established phases of Shradh?
By: Future Point | 13-Sep-2023Views : 3088
The importance of Shradh in Hindu Mythology is for over 7000 years. When for the first time it was documented in the Vedic text of Ramayana. It was Lord Sri Ram, the seventh incarnation of lord Vishnu in the earth who gave importance to the rituals of Sharad. This word of Sharad emanates from the Sanskrit term Shradh as per Lord Sri Ram.
The term Shradh in Sanskrit means faith. The definition of Shradh as given in the ‘Shradh’ chapter within the Brahmapuran Holy text which as follows :
देशे काले च पात्रे च श्रद्धया विधिना च यत् ।
पितृनुद्दिश्य विप्रेभ्यो दत्तं श्राद्धमुदाहृत् ।। – ब्रह्मपुराण
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Meaning of the above Shoka: The offerings (food etc.) made to the brahmins (priests) with the intension being received by the deceased ancestors, after taking into account the aptness of country, time period and place and with complete faith and abiding by all the rules is known as Shradh. In other words, the one who performs the rituals of giving peace and repaying the debt to one’s ancestors or forefathers with Shradh or complete dedication and fait is known as Sharad. In fact, it is impossible to repay the various favours, which our deceased forefathers have done for us.
Also Read: Shradh 2019: Date, Pitru Paksha Time, and Shradh End date
When is Sharadha observers of Sharad is observed?
In India, the Sharadha or Sharad is observed differently. For example, In the sought the actual date of death (tithi or the nakshtra) of the deceased ancestor or forefathers is observed as the day for Sharad. Accordingly, the Shradh 2019 start date is on 13th September 2019 till 28th September 2019. This is also known as the Pitru Paksha fortnight where on the last day which happens to be on the 28th of September 2019, the native would perform Sharad or observe Sharadha. In some text this is also known as Purnima Shradh. There is another practise which is seen in India. Some would perform Sharad on Dwitiya Shradh during the fortnight of Pitru Paksha. It is done for those forefathers who passed away on the Dwitiya tithi of any month. Thus, this year, the Dwitiya tithi would fall on 26th September 2018. Similar practise is observed in other tithi of Pitru paksha such as Saptami Shradh or Sharad.
Again, no auspicious activities in the form of marriage, or buying or selling is undertaking during the entire Pitru Paksha.
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However, this practise of Shradh has evolved over a period of time. Let us see how has the practise changed in the three historically established phase.
1st Phase: Agnoukaran. This is the first phase where Shradh was observed. During the Rig Vedas, a deceased ancestor was worshiped in the forms of Samidha (a kind of wooden stick) and Pinda (rice balls) and offered in the Sacrificial fire. This was practised for ages and even today, those who follow the Rig Veda school of thoughts practise the same.
2nd Phase: Pinda Daan. This is the second phase which was practised during the days of Mahabharata. Which ranges to over 5000 years old and also mentioned in certain text of Yajur Vedas. In this phase, the deceased ancestors are worshiped in the form of Pinda (made of rice balls) and darbha (dried grass twigs). Where, the native who would perform the ritual would sit facing the South direction and give three Pinda’s to Father, grand father and then great grandfather. Certain mantras are chanted along with the name of one’s ancestors as mentioned above and then the Pinda is offered as meal to the Birds (especially crow). It is believed when the Crow consumes the same, then one’s ancestors are satiated with the ritual.
Also Read:Pitru Paksha Importance and Rituals
3rd Phase: During the post Gruhya sutra and Shruti-Smruti period (ranging approx. 3000 years ago), offering food to priests (Brahmins) was considered mandatory and became an important part of the ritual of Shradh.
Thus, the three phases of Shradh were practised and followed religiously. To know more about any Rituals, readers can write to us at email@example.com . or visit us at www.futurepointindia.com. We at Future Point are a team of expert astrologers for the past three decades. Our team of astrologers can also provide you more special details based on one to one consultation.
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