Pitru Paksha 2021 – Ritual Updates – Gaya
Gaya has been blessed by Lord Vishnu to provide salvation to the ancestors of one who performs the sacred ancestral rites. The Falgu river is considered a manifestation of Lord Vishnu Himself and hence one of the main spots where these rituals are conducted in Gaya. Sita Kund is the place where Mother Sita performed shraddh for her father-in-law Dasharath and thus affirmed the right of a married woman to perform shraddh for her husband’s lineage. Hence, this location is considered equally powerful to the banks of the Falgu river where the sacred ancestral rites are usually performed.
Since ancient Vedic times, killing or harming a cow accrues the immeasurable sin because the cow is exalted among the scriptures as the only animal that is purely sattvic – all its secretions and excretions are considered sattvic and essential for rituals. Conducting the rituals at Gau Ghat absolves one and their ancestors of gau hatya (the sin of killing a cow either deliberately or unknowingly).
The rituals were conducted individually for each participant at one of the two locations. Prayers were also offered at the Vishnu Paad temple. We thank our participants for their support and consideration and for giving us the opportunity to perform this service on their behalf for their dear departed ones and their ancestors. We sincerely pray and hope that this helps their ancestors in their salvation, lightens their lineage and also helps the participants, their families and their future generations.
We also arranged the following special ceremonies and prayers on behalf of the ancestors of all the participants across all locations (Kashi, Gaya, Prayagraj, Gokarna and Puri).
- On Mahalaya Amavasya (6th October), we lit a hundred and eight lamps in the names of the ancestors and arranged a chanting of the Vishnu Sahasranaam (1008 names of Lord Vishnu) and a reading of a portion of the Bhagavad Gita. It is said that a reading of the Bhagavad Gita and the chanting of the Sahasranaam grants salvation to the departed and concludes the sacred ancestral rituals.
- We also offered prayers at the Madhav temple and the Preta Shila Shiva temple at Shwetaganga in Puri which grants salvation to those ancestors who may have still been stuck even after the special ancestral rites.
- We offered prayers at the Lord Jagannath temple in Puri to seek blessings on behalf of all the participants, their families and their ancestors
- We did a Laghu Rudra Abhisheka at the powerful Bileeshwara temple, the main among the naturally formed eight Ashta Shambhus that form the circle of protection for Lord Jagannath of Puri, to seek blessings for all our participants, their families and their ancestors
Our deepest and heartfelt gratitude to all our supporters and volunteers who managed the rituals selflessly and provided the oversight and monitoring on the ground to ensure that the rituals are conducted with sanctity.