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In some of the Vedanta Acharya's talks, I have heard that the objective of Shraddha is chitha sudhi of the performer.

It is prescribed for our benefits, like our chitta will get purified...and even if you don't do Shraddha the departed soul will take next body...is it true?

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The objective , Purpose and importance of Shradha is greatly discussed in Garuda Purana -– Preta Kanda – Chapter 10 –Discussion between Krishna and Garuda on Shradha. (श्रीकृष्णगरुड संवादे श्राद्धस्य तृप्तिदत्वनिरूपणं).

In which Garuda asks Shree Krishna questions about Shradha , Importance of it , Why one should perform Shradha ceremony regularly at Amavsaya day. Objective of it and the benefits etc.

Here are some of the important varses. -:

Garuda Uvach (गरुड उवाच)

मृतानामपि जन्तूनां श्राद्धमाप्यायनं यदि |
निर्व्वाणस्य प्रदीपस्य तैलं संवद्धयेच्छीस्वाम ||9||

How can a Shraddha gratify the dead ? Can oil in the blown out lamp light the wick?

मृताश्च पुरुषा: स्वमिन् स्वकर्मजनिता गतिम् |
गाहन्त: के कथं स्वस्य सुतस्य श्रेय आप्नुयु ||10||
Tell me O Lord ! How does the deceased enjoy the fruits of the deeds such as rites of obsequy performed by his son ?

And then Shree Krishna tells him all about it.

श्री भगवान उवाच

श्रुते: प्रत्यक्षस्ताक्षर्य प्रामाण्यं बलवत्तरम् |
श्रुत्या तु बोधितार्थस्य पीयुषत्वादिरुपता ||11||

The validity of the tradition ,O lord , is more powerful than the validity of of direct perception . The Shruti declares that the food served to the Brhamnas in the Shraddha turns into nectar etc. for the departed souls.


नामगोत्रं पितृणाम वै प्रापकं हव्यकव्य यो: |
श्राद्धस्य मन्त्रास्तद्वत्तु प्रापाकाश्चैव भक्तित: ||12||
By their names and gotras the manes receive the offering made by the relatives. The mantras carry same when they are recited with devotion and faith.


अपि योनिशतं प्राप्तांस्तांस्तुप्तिरूपतिष्ठति ||
तेषां लोकान्तरस्थानां विविधैरर्नाम गोत्रके ||16||

Even they assume different species arid reach different worlds , with different names and gotras , they receive the offerings made in their favor by their kins.


Here Shree Krisha tells us why one should perform Shradha regularly on Sarva-Pitri Amavasya day ,without fail.

तस्माच्छाद्भं प्रयत्नेन अमायां कर्तुमर्हति |
यदि श्राद्भं प्रकुर्वन्ति पुत्राद्यास्य बान्धवा: ||54||
उद्भता ये गयाश्राद्धे ब्रह्मलोकंच तै सह ||
भजन्ते क्षुप्तिपासा वा न तेषां जायते क्वचित ||55||

Therefore , one should carefully perform shradha on the Amavasya day. If son or relatives perform shardha at Gaya , they uplift their ancestors from lower regions and themselves enjoy Brahmaloka together with the manes. They never suffer from thirst and hunger.

There is a story in Preta-Kanda Of Garuda purana about a person turned into Ghost , because of non performance of Shradha by his relatives etc. And he then requests a king of that country to perform Shradha for him so that he can be librated from the form he Is assuming.

So even if ancestors are assuming another form they will not get liberated without the Shradha , its believe that they get stuck in whichever form they are.

There is also a intresting story of Sita , seeing ancestors of Shree Rama in Chapter 9


There are lots of verses describing the objective in the chapter , here I am summarizing the objective of Shradha from then.

  • The performance of Shraddha by a son during Pitru Paksha is regarded as compulsory.
  • Its believed that our pitras (ancestors suffer from hunger and thirst , wherever and which ever form in they may be , the Shradha satisfies their thirs t and hunger , they receive the food offered during shradha ceremony.
  • By performing Shradha by son all the deceased ancestors gets librated , even if they are present in different yonies and the performer also gets librated with them.
  • Ancestors gets satisfied by the food offerings and bless the performer with satisfaction.
  • Shradha has to be performed ensure that the soul of the ancestor goes to heaven. . ancestors are content with the shraddhas, they will bestow health, wealth, knowledge and longevity, and ultimately heaven and salvation (moksha) upon the performer.

And this is the objective of the Shradha.

  • One doubts always arise in my mine...majority of souls were not receiving shradham...only Hindus were doing shradham...so majority are suffering from thirst and hunger? So I used to believe that shradham is for our chidha sudhi – Servent_of_Rama Jul 1 '17 at 14:20
  • Thank you for appreciating the answer.If we look closely ,we can see that every major religion is having some kind of tradition to pay homage or to show respect towards their dead ancestors. The methods may vary and ours is among one of the oldest religion of the world , so our tradition is far more evolved and also based on vedas ,the oldest texts. – SwiftPushkar Jul 1 '17 at 16:16
  • thanks for the explanation... I believe Egyptian book of dead is the oldest text... – Servent_of_Rama Jul 1 '17 at 16:19
  • Yes Vedas are among the oldest. – SwiftPushkar Jul 1 '17 at 16:20
  • The answer looks like from the perspective of Purva mimsa school of thought...is this the view of advaita vedatin too? Any advaita vedatin can help. – Servent_of_Rama Jul 1 '17 at 16:32

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