Last Updated on 30 September 2023 PM | Shradh 2023 (Pitru Paksha): It is time for Shradh Paksha. According to the Brahmin community these days, Shradh Karma is performed with reverence for the dead family members and ancestors. Shradh karma is performed according to the dates. Every date of Shradh has its own significance for the devotees.
Shradh 2023 (Pitra Paksha) Start and End Date in India
Shradh 2023 (Pitra Paksha) begins on 29th September, and ends on 14th October.
What Is Pitru Paksha (Shradh Ritual)?
Shradh 2023 (Pitru Paksha): As per Hindu mythology, Shradh is considered an important ceremony which is performed to express gratitude towards the dead member of the family. It is performed with several rituals. Mostly the males of the family perform all the rituals since it is believed that they are the descendants and have the right to perform all these rites. The first annual death anniversary is observed by a Shradh ceremony. However, this observance is not mentioned in our Holy Scriptures.
Etymological Meaning of Shradh
The Sanskrit word Sradhdha is made up of two words ‘Srat’ and ‘DhA’. The word ‘Srat’ means ‘truth’ from the root ‘rt’ meaning truth from the heart. ‘Dha’ is a root word meaning support, place etc.
Thus, the combined meaning of Shradh is performing an act or ritual with absolute faith. But unfortunately, our scriptures are against it. Shradh karma is completely an arbitrary ritual.
How the Shradh Ceremony Is Performed?
Shradh 2023 (Pitru Paksha): On this day, numerous activities are performed. The Brahmins are invited to pay homage to the ancestors. Also, the priests are given ‘Dakshina’ along with a great deal of foodstuff. Various other activities are also done, namely Pindadan, Tarpan, Feeding the Brahmin (Brahman bhoj), animals and birds.
Significance of Shradh 2023 (Pitra Paksha)
Nowadays, it has become a trend to perform Shradh in Hindu religion. This is only because the priests (pandits) are befooling people in the name of compulsory religious activities. Since it has now become their business from where they earn a huge amount of money.
However, it merely is a myth and not the fact that by Shradh one can feed and make his ancestors happy after death. It is done with a belief that it nourishes, protects, and supports the spirits of the dead in their pilgrimage, which entirely is a false statement. In our holy books, it is mentioned that those who perform Shradh can never attain Moksha (Salvation). Moreover, he (the performer) will go to his ancestors and himself cannot attain salvation.
Some of the people who carry out Shradh are also those who didn’t love their parents while they were alive, there is no meaning of showing kindness after their parent’s death. Saint Garib Das Maharaj Ji also explains in His Verses about this showing off;
Jeevat baap gail lattham lattha, Muye gung punchiya|
Aur jab aawe aasoj ka mahina, Kouvaa baap bnaiya||
Why Should Shradh NOT Be Performed?
Shradh 2023 (Pitra Paksha): Performing Shradh after the death of the father, grandfather, or great grandfather, father in law, mother, mother in law or any other senior member of the family is believed to be one of the most important rituals in India. Unfortunately, innocent people are befooled by the pandits as they make them believe that in this way only they pacify the soul of their ancestors. Also, it is believed that by doing this, those who are dead, their soul would not harm any of the family members and they will live with peace and harmony.
■ Also Read: Shradh or Pitru Paksha
However, performing Shradh is entirely opposite to our scriptures. Nowhere it is mentioned that by doing these rituals, one can calm down the soul of his ancestors. On the contrary, it is mentioned in the holy book Gita Ji that those who perform these rituals will never attain salvation.
Reality of Shradh (Pitru Paksha) According to the Scriptures?
- About Shradh (Pitra puja), it is mentioned in Gita Ji chapter 9 Shlok 25
Yanti, devvrtaH, devan, pitrn, yanti, pitrvrtaH,
Bhootani, Yanti, bhootejyaH, yanti, madhyajinH, api, mam.
This shlok clearly explains that the Worshippers of gods go to gods, worshippers of pitras go to pitras, worshippers of ghosts go to ghosts, and the devotees who worship according to the scriptures are benefited by the knowledge-giver of Gita Kaal alone.
What is the purpose of Shradh (Pitru Paksha)?
As per the saying, Shradh is considered an important ceremony which is performed to express gratitude towards the dead member of the family. It is performed with several rituals. Mostly the males of the family perform all the rituals since it is believed that they are the descendants and have the right to perform all these rites. The first annual death anniversary is observed by a Shradh ceremony. However, this observance is not mentioned in our Holy Scriptures and is completely useless.
Is it OK to cut hair during Shradh?
The readers should note that Shradh observance is not mentioned in Hindu’s Holy Scriptures Vedas and Gita, so these rules become insignificant. Still people refrain from initiating any new activities, including seemingly minor tasks like cutting hair, washing hair, even shaving, and purchasing new clothes. This prohibition is particularly significant on the final day, namely Mahalaya Amavasya.
What is the myth of Shradh?
Nowadays, it has become a trend to perform Shradh in Hindu religion. However, it merely is a myth that by Shradh one can feed and make his ancestors happy after death. It is done with a belief that it nourishes, protects, and supports the spirits of the dead, which entirely is a false statement. In our holy books, it is mentioned that those who perform Shradh can never attain Moksha (Salvation). Moreover, he (the performer) will go to his ancestors and himself cannot attain salvation.
What does Gita say about Shradh (Pitru Paksha)?
Know the reality of Shradh According to Holy Gita, In Gita Adhyay 9 Shlok 25 it is said that those who worship the gods attain the gods, those who worship the ancestors attain the ancestors, those who worship the ghosts (donating the Pind) attain the ghosts, that is, they become ghosts, Those who worship Kaal according to scriptures attain Kaal, that is, they spend some more time in heaven and Mahaswarga etc. created by Kaal.
Similarly, if someone worships the ancestors, then he will reach the ancestors in his next life and will suffer along with them. Similarly, if someone worships (serves) ghosts, he will become a ghost. Holy Gita Adhyay 16 Shlok 23-24 states that those who do arbitrary conduct (worship) by abandoning the scriptures, they neither attain happiness, nor attain salvation, nor do they attain happiness.
Do Vedas prohibit Shraadh?
In the Markandeya Purana, there is a story titled “The Birth of Rouchya Rishi.” The proof of this can also be found in the Markandeya Purana (published from Gita Press Gorakhpur on page 237). Ruchi Rishi remained unmarried and diligently followed the practices outlined in the Vedas. His ancestors, wandering as spirits in the realm of the deceased, including his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather, appeared before him. They urged Ruchi Rishi to perform their Shradh (rituals for the deceased) by getting married.
Ruchi Rishi questioned his ancestors, “In the Vedas, these rituals of Shradh and Pind Daan are termed ignorance, and are considered to be the actions of fools. Why are you asking me to perform these deeds?” His ancestors acknowledged the truth and stated that indeed, these acts like Shradh are considered ignorance and the actions of fools, according to the Vedas. Then, they deliberately misled Ruchi Rishi by imparting knowledge contradictory to the Vedas, knowing that attachment is also rooted in ignorance.
As a result, Ruchi Rishi got married and performed the rituals of Shradh and Pind Daan, thus destroying his spiritual progress.
What is the difference between Shradh and Pind Daan?
According to Hindu beliefs, the rituals performed with reverence for the ancestors’ liberation are known as “Shradh.” During the Shradh ritual, food is offered to the soul by its relatives. Pindas, shaped like round balls, are made from specific food items and offered. This ritual is known as “Pind Daan.” It is considered a simple and straightforward path to attain liberation (moksha).
In reality, in the Vedas, the worship of Shradh and Pind Daan is described as the worship of fools. According to Chapter 9, Verse 25 of the Bhagavad Gita, those who perform Shradh do not attain liberation; instead, they go to the realm of Yama (the god of death) and reach their ancestors.
Worshiping Tridev (Hindu Trinity) is useless
According to Samved Mantra no. 1400 Utarchik Adhyay no. 12 Khand no. 3 Shlok no. 5, it is evident that instead of guiding the devotees towards the true path of the way of worship of Supreme God (Kabir Sahib Ji), clever people (fake Saints, pandits) misguide people to carry out the worship of others. For example, ghost-worship, Pitra worship, carrying out shraadhs, worship of the Three Gunas (Rajgun, Brahma, Satgun-Vishnu, Tamgun-Shankar) and worship of Brahm Kaal and way of worship in the temple, mosque, Gurudwaras, churches, places of pilgrimage and keeping fasts, all are against our scriptures.
vastra samanyavasaano mahaan’ kavirnivachnani shansan’ |
Aavachyasv chamvoH pooymano vichakshano jagrvirdevveetau
Besides this, Gita Ji chapter no.16 verse no. 23 explains by performing man-made rituals that are against our scriptures, a devotee can neither attain salvation nor happiness.
YaH, shastrvidhim’, utsrjya, vartte, kamkaratH, na, saH,
Siddhim’, avapnoti, na, sukham’, na, paraam’, gatim’.
Bandichhor Garibdas Ji Maharaj Ji and Kabir Sahib Ji Maharaj Ji also say,
Garib, bhoot ramae so bhoot hai, Dev ramae so Dev |
Ram ramae so Ram hai, Suno sakal sur bhev ||
Right Way to Attain God Kabir on Shradh 2023 (Pitru Paksha)
To be more precise, if one worships the deities (who themselves are not free from the cycle of taking birth), one will go to heaven, if one worships one’s ancestors one will certainly go there after one’s death. And if someone worships the Supreme God (the immortal and omnipotent Kabir Sahib), she/he undoubtedly will go to Satlok (our eternal home).
Therefore, one should do the bhakti of that Parmeshwar (Purna Parmatma/ Supreme God), from whom you will attain Complete Salvation. That God is Purna Brahm / SatPurush or Sat Kabir Sahib Ji. Thus, it is concluded from the above-mentioned verses that one should perform the rites mentioned in our scriptures and not the man-made artificial rites in order to achieve the satisfaction of doing something for the dead loved ones and for their Salvation.
Reality of Shradh According to Holy Gita
Shradh 2023 (Pitru Paksha) Special info: In Gita Adhyay 9 Shlok 25 it is said that those who worship the gods attain the gods, those who worship the ancestors attain the ancestors, those who worship the ghosts (donating the Pind) attain the ghosts, that is, they become ghosts, Those who worship Kaal according to scriptures (according to holy Vedas and Gita) attain Kaal, that is, they spend some more time in heaven and Mahaswarga etc. created by Kaal.
As someone who works for a Tehsildar, he cannot become a Tehsildar. Yes, with the money received from him, he can get a good livelihood but he will still be dependent on him. In the same way, the one who worships demigods like Brahma, Vishnu, Shiv gets the benefit only from them. The prohibition of worship of Trigunmai Maya i.e. the three gunas (Rajgun Brahma ji, Satgun Vishnu ji, Tamgun Shiva ji) is also mentioned in the Holy Gita Adhyay 7 Shlok 12 to 15 and 20 to 23.
Conclusion From Holy Gita
Similarly, if someone worships the ancestors, then he will reach the ancestors in his next life and will suffer along with them. Similarly, if someone worships (serves) ghosts, he will become a ghost. Performing worship which is forbidden in the holy Gita and in the holy four Vedas is against the scriptures. Holy Gita Adhyay 16 Shlok 23-24 states that those who do arbitrary conduct (worship) by abandoning the scriptures, they neither attain happiness, nor attain salvation, nor do they attain happiness. That is, their lives are wasted. Therefore, Arjuna, for you, the scriptures are the evidence in the arrangement of what to do and what not to do. Only perform those spiritual practices that are mentioned in Gita and leave the rest that are prohibited.
Reality of Shradh according to Holy Markandeya Purana
The proof of this can also be founded in the Markandeya Purana (published from Gita Press Gorakhpur on page 237) that a seeker named Ruchi was doing spiritual practice according to the Vedas by being a celibate. When he turned 40 (forty) years old, he saw four of his ancestors who had become ‘Pitar’ by doing spiritual practice against the scriptures and were suffering. The ancestors asked Ruchi to get married, and perform their Shradh.
Ruchi said that Pitramaho, in Vedas, the path of rituals (Shraadh) has been called as the practices of fools. Then why are you putting me on such wrong practices which are against the scriptures. His Pitar said that it is truth that in the Vedas, worship of ancestors, worship of ghosts, worship of gods and goddesses (Karma Kand) has been called avidya (Nonsense and useless), there is nothing false in it. This proves that Shradh Karma is against the holy scriptures.
Conclusion From Markandey Purana
This is the speculation made by the ancestors, that we should not follow, because in the Puranas the order is of a particular sage who has asked to worship ancestors, ghosts or other gods. But due to lack of proof of the same in the Vedas, it is not considered as the order of the Lord. Therefore, disobeying the command of the Lord at the behest of a saint or sage will be punishable.
Right Way to Attain Ultimate Salvation on Shradh 2023 (Pitru Paksha)
Attaining Salvation is impossible without going into the shelter of a true Guru. Since people are now educated and somewhere have become aware that they have been befooled by pandits for so long. Majority are now finding and have the zeal in them to know how Salvation can be achieved.
Although many practices are followed by people of different cultures, these are not according to our scriptures. One should do the practices mentioned in our scriptures. As in every scripture such as Gita Ji, Bible, Quran, Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the evidences about Kabir Sahib Ji as the Omnipotent Supreme Power can be seen. And telling people about attaining Salvation is not everyone’s cup of tea. This can only be told by the one who Himself has the in-depth knowledge of all holy books. He is that only true Saint.
Gita Ji chapter no. 18 verse no. 62 says;
“Tamev sharnM gachchh sarvbhaven bharat |
Tatprsadatparam shantiM sthanM prapyasi shashvatam’ .
These lines explain that one should take the refuge of only that Supreme God. By the Grace of that Supreme God, one will attain Supreme Peace and will attain the eternal Supreme state.
Gita chapter no. 15 verse no. 4 says that after attaining the refuge of Supreme God, human beings would not return to the world, and from whom this ancient creation -nature/Srishti has extended.
TatH, padam’, tat’, parimargitvyam’, yasmin’, gataaH, na, nivartanti, bhooyH,
Tam’, ev, ch, aadhyam’, purusham’, prpadhye, yatH, prvrttiH, prsrta, puraani
Therefore, one should find who is the true Saint who would help us to attain Salvation by reciting the mantras mentioned in our scriptures.
Description of True Saint in Accordance to the Scriptures
Garibdas Ji gave the description of the true Saint telling that the true Saint will be a complete knower of all the religious texts.
Satguru ke lakshan kahoon, Madhure baen vinod|
Chaar ved shat shastr, Kahae athaara bodh||
Yajurved Adhyay 19 Mantra 25 says that the true Saint would reveal the hidden meaning of the mantras in our scriptures. And He is none other than Saint Rampal Ji Maharaj who explained the mantras.
Arddh richaeH ukthanm′ roopam′ padaeH aapnoti nividH.
PrnvaeH shastranam′ roopam′ paysa somH aapyate
Thus, one should take the refuge of a true Saint. Because the devotee then will not fall in the trap of 84 lakh life-forms. It is also mentioned in a shlok:-
Je Satguru ki sangat krte sakal karm kat jahin|
Amarpuri par aasan hote jhan dhoop n Chhain||
Who Is the True Saint at Present?
In the present scenario, there are numerous Saints but no one decoded the coded mantras mentioned in our scriptures. Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj not only has decoded the coded religious texts but also has complete knowledge of all the religious books. Also, His devotees are not involved in any arbitrary conduct. By taking initiation from Sant Rampal Ji, it is definite to attain Salvation because He provides the true devotion mentioned in our scriptures. So, without wasting your time in performing fake worship rituals, take initiation from Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj.
It is important to perform devotion while alive, you will understand this only by listening to the Discourses of Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj. It is better to renounce fake worship ideas and hypocrisy as soon as possible and start doing true worship to attain Salvation in this birth.
FAQs About Shraddh
A- According to the Hindu calendar, Pitru Paksha or Shradh is a 15-day period that begins with the Full Moon of Shukla Paksha in the month of Bhadrapada. It comes to an end on the Amavasya of Krishna Paksha.
A- According to Holy Shrimad Bhagwat Gita and Holy Vedas No one (Male or Female) should perform Shradh Ceremony as it is an arbitrary practice that is against the constitution of God.
A- No. It is termed as a useless practice in Holy Vedas and Shrimad Bhagwat Gita chapter 9 Verse 25. Hence, it should not be performed by anyone.