This is an extract taken from Kanchi Paramacharya’s write up on sharadham. It is in Tamil and the original is available By by clicking here or on the paramacharya’s photo. Contributed by Sri.Krishna Kanna.
Shardham is an ancient ritual which is very important and should be done without any doubt in mind. In the modern days the Rs spent has increased and it is but natural as Re value is down. We should give thinking the pundits as ‘devata swrupa’. Under no condition should the Brahmins be insulted. Though as a Brahmin we are supposed to eat in shradhams how many of will go now.
Many godly functions can be done at any time. But shradham alone cannot be procrastinated.
Shradham pleases our for-fathers, Visvedevas, Lord agni, devas, and atmas not receiving pindam, and those not able to go to pitrulokam; Thus many go satisfied in shradham . We should believe in our ability to contact the pitrus. As they have are a part of devas they will be be able to bless us. This will please all the pitrus in the same gotram and we can receive their blessings.
Thus understanding that our dead parents are a part of the Devas will in itself fetch us blessings. It is important not insult the priests coming for shradham. People not performing the shradham will incur their wrath. Mantras should be told in proper rhyme with clarity (to the best of their ability). In the end of shradaham the kartha should seek (and get) the blessings of bhokthas ( Priests) for the welfare of the family and abundance of wealth.
Methods of doing shradham: Atleast for 3 days before the shradham should not eat outside the house, should not take oil bath, should not save, should not have contact with ladies. Straying away from practices has become modern trend. Generally everybody will have to do 2 shradhams every year. This cannot be a financial burden. Rich people doing shradham with indifference will incur wrath. Some items needs special attentions are
1. Parvanam ( Homam)
2. Tasty pure and hot meals
3. Brahmins ( Bhokthas) enthusiasm.
4. Dakshina ( financial offerings)
5. Material offerings.
Silver and Silks are very good. All materials should be good and in plenty. There should be no indifference. If food cannot be served then plenty of Rice, Pulse, Jaggery, vegetables, Dress, and cash should be given. If people cannot offered this they can do as hiranya shradha. Or even if this is not possible cow can be fed with grass. After taking bath ‘Tharpanam’ should be done.Shrda matras can be recited. Maintain fasting on that day. But people with resources should not do these things else they will incur the wrath of ‘Pitrus’. Explanations such as we don’t buy dresses as it is not our family convention etc. are wrong and may have been introduced due to mistake of some elders. In the case of Dharma arguments are invalid. It is better to learn ‘shastras’ and then practice it obediently.Contd….
Contributed by Sri.Krishna Kanna