I had a big doubt from many years, but didn't get a chance to get it clarified. As we all know punarapi jananam; punarapi maranam from Adi Shankaracharya's Bhaja Govindam which means until all of our karma is destroyed, our soul will continue in samsara (birth, death and rebirth cycle).

Also, we know that whenever we die our soul goes through various lokas (like pitru loka) and the son of the departed jiva should perform shraddha ceremony and do pinda pradanam for deceased soul, so that the deceased soul gets some kind of peace.

So my query is after death soul will get re-birth based on it's papa and punya? If soul gets rebirth into another body how does pinda pradanam and shraddha rituals reach that soul?

Our shastras say son should do shraddha ceremony till end of his life for his father and forefathers, so if father's soul has already taken rebirth how does these shraddha cermony and pinda pradanam reaches to that soul? Do our shastras or Garuda Purana mention anything about this?

Can anyone kindly clarify on this? Please let me know if my question is not clear, I will update it accordingly.


1 Answer 1


The same question was asked to Sri Swami Sivananda. He answers this question in his book "May I Answer That?"

267. When the Jiva undergoes transmigration and takes another birth after leaving this physical body, is it necessary that we should perform the Shraddha ceremony for him? He is no more in the heavens. To whom will the ablations go?

The Pitris remain in heaven, Pitri Loka or Chandra Loka, for a very long period. The enjoyments in heaven and the peace of the departed soul are enhanced by the performance of the Shraddha ceremony. Likewise the sufferings of the departed soul in worlds other than heaven are mitigated by the performance of the Shraddha ceremony by his sons. Thus, in both cases, the performance of Shraddha is a great help.

And even if the individual takes another birth immediately after his death, as happens in rare cases, the performance of Shraddha adds to his happiness in his new birth. So, it is the imperative duty of everybody to perform the Shraddha ceremony for his parents and forefathers. The Shraddha ceremony should be performed with great Shraddha or faith as long as you live. Faith is the main support for religion.

The various religious observances imposed upon mankind by the Shastras tend to purify the ignorant man. The Shraddha ceremony, being one of the obligatory duties as per the injunctions of the scriptures, also tends to purify the mind. Besides this, the forefathers are also pleased and their good wishes and blessings tend to our material and spiritual growth.


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