Shradh rituals: Important Dos and Don’ts
In Hinduism, every year a 16-day lunar period in the month of Bhadrapada is observed as homage to ancestors, where Hindus perform severe reverence to their Pitr.
The ritual, Shradha, is a way of informing the departed relatives and loved ones that they are still an essential part of the family and will continue to be a part of every happiness and sorrow.
This custom is mentioned in Vedas and Puranas, as a way to request for forgiveness and seek blessings of ancestors. It is also mentioned that any mistake during these rituals could anger the ancestors and become the reason for Pitru dosha.
At times it happens that despite of honest and hard working efforts, we fail to accomplish positive results and face unavoidable obstacles, which can be a result of Pitru dosha.
Facing such difficult situations make us re-think about what must have gone wrong in our present or past life; is it our Karmic Debt or Pitru Dosha?
Things to avoid
In order to avoid making our ancestors angry or provoking their wrath, we must pay full attention to the details of Shradh rituals and also our lifestyle habits during the Pitru Paksha period. Here’s a list of dos and don’ts that one should be careful about.
Right from the time you wake up, puja rituals, eating preferences to buying new things, everything requires slight change. During Pitru Paksha, one must adhere to these lifestyle changes as mentioned in Puranas.
#1. Avoid consuming onion and garlic
Hindu Shastras have explained that edible ingredients like onion and garlic are believed to ‘tamasic’, which interferes and influences our senses. During Pitru Paksha period, one is advised to avoid eating food prepared using these two.
#2. No celebration
One must refrain from celebrating anything or being a part of festivities. The one who performs the ritual must keep his mind focus. Being a part of celebration, party or festivity during this period affects your reverence to your ancestors.
#3. No new beginning
As this period is considered inauspicious, therefore it is advised not start anything new. Nothing new should be bought by the family members or get any good news delivered during this period (in case of child birth.) After the period is over, the good news can be delivered.
#4. No alcohol or meat
This period is dedicated to ancestors, hence one must avoid consuming alcohol or non-vegetarian food. Not following this custom could provoke the wrath of ancestors. You may face sudden difficulties and unexplained failures life.
#5.No fancy adorns
During this 16-day period, family members must avoid cutting nails, getting hair cuts, washing hair, or shaving.
#6. No sexual activity
Shastras strictly prohibit the family members from engaging in sexual pleasures during this time period. As the Shradh ritual is performed everyday, religiously and impurity in mind and thoughts could turn ancestor’s blessings into anger.