Criticism of ‘Shraddha’ ritual by ‘Intellectuals’ and its refutation

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From the beginning of the Universe, Sanatan Vedic Dharma (Hindu Dharma), its Holy Scriptures, Deities, Dharmik rituals, spirituality have been criticised by many. Some believe in the criticism while others who inspite of realising that it is false cannot clarify or prove it. Many a times, out of ignorance many a scholars or learned people put forth incorrect explanations.Due to not opposing incorrect thoughts and criticism, faith of the Hindus wavers and thus there is loss to Dharma or Dharma suffers.In order to stop this harm to Dharma, correct knowledge is provided through this holy text by refuting the  incorrect thoughts and criticism.

1. Shraddha ritual is an conspiracy by Brahmins to earn their livelihood !

Criticism

Shrāddha ritual is conspiracy of the Brahmins. Through it they have arranged means for their livelihood.

Refutation

A. Shraddha ritual is has been prevalent  for thousands of years : From the past thousand years till to date Shraddha ritual is being practiced in villages, towns and in every house in India. The same ritual is followed everywhere. ‘You can’t fool all the people all the time!’ is a well known phrase. If Shraddha ritual is considered as a plot of Brahmins then would it be possible to fool the society for so many years? Even today this ritual is performed in places of pilgrimage like Gaya, Tryambakeshwar, Ramtek, Prayag.

B. Due to the effect of Kaliyug, people who waste money unnecessarily feel it inappropriate to spend money for their ancestors, by giving food to a Brahmins : In Kaliyug people have become selfish. They toil day and night to accumulate wealth and spend it on alcohol parties with family and friends. They feel happy doing this. It is surprising that these people after death of their parents do not even bother to perform ritual of offering food to a Brahmin (representative of the deceased ancestor) for repaying their debt to the parents’ whose debt  cannot be fully repaid by serving them in their life time)   However rich a person may be only 2 Brahmins are required for Shrāddha ritual, one to represent  God and other the  deceased ancestors. Maximum 5 Brahmins are required.

C. Giving food to guests : Offering food to guests during Shrāddha ritual means satisfying the ancestors. It is mentioned in the Puranas that Yogis, spiritually evolved souls and Deities roam the earth to watch the Shrāddha ritual. (Thus it is said that ‘Guest is God!’.)

D. Simple method is mentioned in our scriptures for a poor person who is unable to perform the Shraddha ritual : If a poor person goes to a deserted/isolated forest, raises his hand and with spiritual emotion pleads, ‘I am poor and do not have food. Please relieve me from my ancestral debt.’ He still receives merit akin to performing Shraddha ritual. 

E. In current situation, crying while facing towards south too is considered as Shraddha ritual. Then how can it be just a conspiracy made by the Brahmins to earn for their livelihood? (More explanation is given in Sanatan’s publication on ‘Shraddha its importance and scientific explanation’)

2. Shraddha ritual is barbaric.  Instead giving donations or donating to social organisations is appropriate !

Criticism

Shraddha ritual is barbaric. Offering flowers, lamp and dhoop on the tithi of the ancestor’s shraddha or donating to social organisations or giving food-grains to an orphanage is appropriate.

Refutation :

A. Shraddha ritual when performed with faith and scientifically along with the mantras satisfies the ancestors : Considering donation as appropriate action instead of Shrāddha ritual is similar to ‘Giving a remedy for another disease!’   Shraddha ritual is that ritual which is performed with faith and scientifically along with the mantras. If donation is done out of emotionalism without performing the Shraddha ritual then the ancestors are not pleased as they do not receive the fruits of the donation.

B. Ancestors unsatisfied due to not performing the Shraddha ritual, drink blood thus causing physical ailments which in turn result in affecting their children : It is said that  ancestors drink blood of the descendants those who do not perform Shraddha ritual as ancestors are  the presiding Deity of blood. They cause subtle ailments in the blood. This results in the  weakness of the reproductive cells, which cause  weak  , handicapped or offsprings affected by different illnesses.

C. Subtle bodies of the ancestors acquire energy through Shraddha ritual. After death the embodied soul along with yātanādēha (subtle body) travel to subtle planes. The soul doesn’t have gross body. In order to get a new body Shraddha ritual and cremation is necessary.

Thus one can realise that giving a donation in lieu of Shraddha ritual is inappropriate !

– Gurudev Dr Kateswamiji (Pangarjit, December 2008 and January 2009)

3. Shraddha is nothing but honouring living father or grandfather !

Criticism

Shraddha is nothing but honouring living father or grand father- Arya Samaj founder Dayānanda Swami

Refutation

A. Shraddha ritual is done only for deceased individuals : The verse that Swami Dayananda is referring to Shraddha confirms that it is a ritual which cannot be performed for a living father. Shraddha ritual is done only for deceased people.

B. Benefits of performing Shraddha : On earth { by digging the ground in the southern direction, 3 Pinda  are placed on  the darbha (grass used for ritual)} When the 3 Pindas are donated (pinḍa-dān- Offering rice balls during shraddha ritual) deceased ancestors suffering in Hell are liberated. Son must definitely perform Shraddha of deceased father. After recitation of their name and gotra their wishes are fulfilled. Due to their desires getting fulfilled the satisfied souls do not trouble the descendants. Also they gain momentum and travel to the next planes. Experiments have proved that Shraddha ritual is fruitful. Thus it shows that the thoughts of intellectuals and Dayanandaji are incorrect. If they were true then what was the neccesity of major rites involved in the Shraddha ritual?

– Gurudev Dr Kateswamiji (Pangarjit, December 2008 and January 2009)
 

Learn more : ‘Shraddha’ ritual

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