Ancestors: Remembering the Departed Souls

Just like a blade of grass does not move without the Divine’s sanction, all of our works do not fructify without the blessings of ancestors. Vedas mention that our ancestors dwell in the Pitru Loka, the planet between Bhuloka (earth) and heaven, where the departed members of the family reside. This Loka is ruled by Yama, the god of death, who takes the soul of a dying person from earth to Pitru Loka. The souls of three previous generations dwell in Pitru Loka. Upon the death of the next generation family member, the first generation leaves for heavenly planets. The rest are to be given remembrance and prayers.

Vedic scriptures mention that a person on earth is born owning to the Supreme, sages and forefathers. Debt to the Supreme is called Debv-rin, to the sages is called Rishi-rin and to the forefathers (ancestors) is called Pitri-rin. Our existence, happiness, riches and fortune are all due to the forefathers who performed their familial, religious and social responsibilities for our good.

To worship ancestors means asking them for their blessings and above all, forgiveness. Forgetting them while attempting to progress personally and professionally is like filling a bucket with the holes. No matter how much educated or sensible you might be, forgetting your ancestors result in despair and domestic unrest.

Forefathers, who are the foundation of your family linage, when forgotten, are angered by your insensitive behavior. They do not AT ALL want to ruin your family which is their own existence but all they need is to be remembered. They dwell in the subtle life on Pitru Loka which is full of mystic powers and celestial blessings, making them greater than who we are.

It is better you remember your forefathers throughout your life. And remembering them is not a complex Vedic ritual. Praying to them early in the mornings by lighting up a diya is enough.

You can also perform ‘Shraddha’ during Pitru Paksha in the month of September/October by offering food items to the crows such as Kheer, lapsi, rice, dal, the vegetable of spring bean (guar) and a yellow gourd (pumpkin) cooked in silver or copper vessels and served on banana leaves.

Ancestors pleased by remembrance are released from Pitru Loka to unite with the Supreme Lord. They bless you with love that begins to flow into your domestic system that might have shut down for many generations. And the result is your material fulfillment and liberation (Mukti).

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