GIST OF SAGE AGASTYA’S TREATISE ON PITRU-PAKSH RITUALS (MAHALAAYA SHRAADH) – Part I
10/5/2012 2:41:55 PM
Sage Agastya’s Treatise on rituals during 15 days of Pitru-Paksh (Mahaalaya Shraadh):-
Contrary to popular belief, Sage Agastya opined that salutations to ancestors during Pitru-Paksh is not the sole prerogative of sons.
Agastya’s Treatise is endorsed by all Buddhist texts esp. Lotus Sutra, which opines that everyone must pay respects to ancestors.
In Hindusim it is said, 15 days in a year, our ancestors visit us every day from sunrise to sunset in hope of receiving offerings from us.
Offerings of water & black sesame seeds, quenches their hunger & thirst; in return for this, they shower multitude blessings on us.
Also, doors of Vishnu-Lok remain open for all Pitrus (dead souls) for 15 days in a year during Pitru-Paksh, BUT there is a catch.
The catch is – Pitrus (dead souls) can enter Vishnu-Lok either based on their individual good karma or from a request by descendants.
When descendants send a request to Ethers to allow their ancestors to enter Vishnu-Lok, the fee for same is deducted from our karma.
It is as if we are paying for our ancestors’ ticket into Vishnu-Lok, from our own karmic brownie points. That’s the understanding.
This ticket to Vishnu-Lok is valid for a year until next Pitru-Paksh, when we have to renew same for our ancestors; hence its importance.
Those of our ancestors who have already attained Vishu-Lok owing to their own good karma; our ticket will take them to higher heavens.
It is precisely for this ticket that our ancestors line up in hope & expectation during the 15 day phase of Pitru-Paksh.
So if you deem ancestors to be unimportant & go about your daily jobs unconcerned, they leave in disappointment & dejection.
This dejection & disappointment of ancestors translates into “curses” which are nothing but material obstacles & hurdles in daily life.
But if you choose to welcome them, honor them & bid them farewell with offerings; then it translates into “blessings”.
“Ancestors’ blessings” are nothing but help & luck that you receive in material life in a tangible, material way.
Here again – `free will’ plays its own role. Ancestors do not/cannot accept offerings that forced or half-hearted.
So whatever comes `from heart’ is accepted by ancestors, rest stands rejected; so it is important to honor ancestors from both love & duty.
Sage Agastya’s basic rule1: Every living descendant, related by blood or bond, must honor every dead ancestor.
Sage Agastya’s basic rule2: If you are entitled to receive, you are entitled to give. If there are no barriers as who can receive…
… name, fame, wealth & blessings from ancestors, then there can be no barriers as to who can/should perform Pitru-Paksh offerings.
Restrictions entered into Hindusim regarding Pitru-Paksh rituals because men believed, they had ownership over wives’ & daughters’ karma.
Elaborate rituals apart, following 3 simple mantras from Agastya’s treatise will suffice for anyone (men, women, children, related, unrelated)…
…desirous of parting with a bit of their good karma so they can buy a ticket for their ancestors into Vishnu-Lok.
GIST OF SAGE AGASTYA’S TREATISE ON PITRU-PAKSH RITUALS (MAHAALAYA SHRAADH) – Part II
10/5/2012 5:24:58 PM
You will need to make the following simple preparations. Find a quiet corner of a room or balcony where you can sit down facing East.
You will need: 1 mat to sit on; 1 glass of water, a small bowl of BLACK sesame seeds (til); a plate into which you can release water & your list of mantras from Agastya’s Treatise.
Mantras required: Pitru-Gayatri ; Avaahanam Mantra; Pitru-Mantra; Gayatri-Mantra to close the show.
PITRU-GAYATRI MANTRA is chanted 11 times to activate all your Pitrus from Ethers above, so that their attention turns towards you.
You may not know who your Pitrus (ancestors) are; but when you begin to chant Pitru-Gayatri, you will start radiating unique vibrations.
These vibrations will be unique to you, and will resonate through Ethers via your body, your mind, your sound & your intentions.
Vibration emitted by you will be like no one else; so Pitrus whom you are intentionally reaching out to, will immediately turn their attention to you.
Either in the balconey of your house, or in a quiet corner of any room, sit down facing East on a mat.
Before you begin Pitru-Gayatri, it’s important to put forward the following intention (mentally & in your own thoughts & words) towards Ethers:-
“All ancestors from my father’s side; all ancestors from my mother’s side; all ancestors from my better-half’s side…
…all ancestors known to me; all ancestors unknown to me; all Pitrus in Ethers who may have no descendants…;
…all Pitrus in Ethers whose descendants may have forgotten them; all friends who have passed into Ethers…;
…and souls of all animals who dies feeding me & my family, directly or indirectly. Please turn your attention towards me:-
Now chant the PITRU-GAYATRI MANTRA (11 times in succession):-
PITRU-GAYATRI:- “OM PITRU GANAAYA VIDMAHE… JAGAT DHAARINEY DHEEMAHI… TANNO PITRO PRACHODAYAAT”
If you’re good at visualization, you will see your Pitrus few feet above you, surrounding you in a semi-circle, facing you.
You have now caught your Pitrus’ attention; next step is to invite them to accept your meager offering of black sesame seeds & water.
Invitation is extended by chanting the AVAAHANAM-MANTRA (3 times in succession):-
AVAAHANAM-MANTRA:- “OM AAGACHH-ANNTU ME PITRU EMAM GRIHANTI JALAANJALIM”
I invite you into my home to accept my offering of sesame seeds & water to quench your hunger & thirst.
Then you chant the PITRU-MANTRA (3 times in succession):-
- Take black sesame seeds in right hand.
- While chanting PITRU-MANTRA, pour water over sesame seeds into plate.
- Water has to flow from between thumb & index finger AND NOT from front of palms flowing over fingers, as we normally do.
- The water that will flow between thumb & index finger will automatically flow towards South direction as you are facing East.
- The direction of Pitrus is South.
PITRU-MANTRA:- “OM SARVA PITRU DEVAAYA NAMAHA… TRIPTAYAAMIDAM TILODAHAM –VA – JALAANJALIM… TASMAI SWADHAA NAMAHA… TASMAI SWADHAA NAMAHA… TASMAI SWADHAA NAMAHA…”
Now request them to proceed to Vishnu-Lok, the gates of which you have desired open, by parting with a bit of your good karma.
As a closure & thank-you, chant the GAYATRI-MANTRA (11 times in succession), during which time your Pitrus will depart.
GAYATRI-MANTRA:- “OM BHUR BHUVAHA SWAAHAA TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM BHARGO DEVASYA DHEEMAHI DHEEYO YONAHA PRACHODAYAAT”
If you’re someone like me who enjoys having a verbal dialogue with those gathered; then do so before you chant the GAYATRI-MANTRA.
Personally, I have experienced an amazing peace over last 5 days. In fact, my dialogue sessions are incredibly soothing.
Pitru-dialogues are something I’ve wanting to have for a long time now; but strangely this mention of “departed souls” & “Pitrus” is unnerving for a common man.
But thanks to our family Pandit who dropped in at an opportune time (bang on early morning of 1st day of Shraadh)…
…thanks to Agastya’s Treatise; and thanks to all Buddhist texts, esp. Lotus Sutra which support this Treatise, albeit in different words & with different mantras…
…thanks to all of these, and esp. to all Pitrus above who desired to connect with me; this year I managed to honor my ancestors on their sp. days.
What I find amazingly coincidental is that BHARANI SHRAADH, which falls roughly on 4th/5th day of Pitru-Paksh has special significance.
Coincidental because, my monthly dates arrived day after Bharani Shraadh, at which time I had not even read the importance of Bharani Shraadh.
Call it a series of coincidences, or call it a series of pre-destined events that just kept falling into place; call it what you will, but this year has been different.
This year, more than ever, I have felt that God does connect with you in tangible ways; God does steer your wagon – if you will him to.
I’m still waiting to understand my Krishna-connection; a chord that connected, roughly from the month of Adik-maasam this year.
I’m in no hurry. It’ll come to me in its own time. Like everything else. But for now, IMPORTANCE OF BHARANI-SHRAADH. Next.