Vivekananda talks about kitchen religion. Where many nuances of Hinduism are trampled and ladies without understanding the karmas give their own meaning. One such case is in shradham where many unequivocally claim that father/mother came as crow. Here are the actual truth see how wrong they are.
Significance of Shradham. It should be understood that there is difference between attaining Moksha and going to Swargam (often confused). Only realized soul ( realizing that one is Brahman) gets Moksha. Other go to different lokas (worlds) like Chandra Lokam, Indra Lokam, Vaikumtam, Kailasam, Brahma Lokam etc. All the lokams are within the samskaram. So also the world we are living.
मित्या जगत् अधिष्ठानाय़ै नमः ( refer to Laithasahasranamam)
So there is no going to Moksha. It is realizing the Mithya (The climax scene of Matrix is the best example). Now amongst smaskaras, ( Vyavahara state) we perform shradha, take bath going to temple etc. After death the son performs Aparakarma and performs yearly (प्रत्याब्दिक) shradham. If the actions of deceased (कर्म) are not adequate to send the deprived soul to these auspicious Lokams then the Karmas performed by the authorized person only (not unauthorized person) like son if there is son else grandson from daughter etc. will accrue to the deceased jivathma and lift them to these auspicious lokams. Un authorized persons doing shradham for near relatives etc is waste and is even sinful. Example the husband can do nothing to deceased wife. But there is an exception here. At Gaya and Badrinath Brahma Kapalam ( a huge Rock) Sradham can be performed for anybody. Even for pets which should be yours. Only restriction mamakara ( My cow, my dog, my uncle etc.)
Whereas the person to whom we do shrada is purported to come in the form of brahmin he is supposed to be brought by Visvwdevas.Hence we feed both the person to whom we do shrada and also to vishvedeva. But many ladies distort this fact and say that mother or father came as crow. This is not correct. There are many who do not have decedents to perform shradha in our family and it is they who come as crow. We are feeding (vayasa pindam ) The sloka is as follows. for people who die in fire or in rivers without any decendents etc.
ये अग्नि दग्धेभ्यः ये च अनग्निदग्धा ये व जाते कुले मम भूमौ दत्तेन पिन्डे़न
तृप्त यान्तु परगति
ये के च अस्मत्
कुले जाता अपला गोत्रजा मृताः
ते ग्रुण्हन्त्तु मया दत्तं वस्ल निष्पीडिनोदकं
Similarly water is given to them
लता वृक्षेषु गुल्मेषु वर्तन्ति पितरो मम तेषा आप्यानार्था तु इदमस्तु शिखोदकम्
This is not done by sons whose father is still alive.
Hence it wrong to say that father/mother came as Crow.
……..contributed by M H Gopalakrishnan