Pitru Paksha is a special time period during the Hindu year when Hindus pay homage to the departed souls of their ancestors by performing Shradh rituals at holy locations. Few of such sacred locations are as follows:
Varanasi: Varanasi is one of the seven sacred spots for Hindus and is widely known as the ‘Religious capital of India’. Pindan puja or Shanti Paath in Varanasi helps the soul attain salvation through fulfilment.
Allahabad: Situated at the confluence of three holy rivers: Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati; the city of Allahabad is piously sacred and important. To perform Pind Daan Kriya ceremony at the sangam ghat is considered highly auspicious for the departed souls; especially during Pitru Paksha Mela.
Ayodhya: Ayodhya is the birth place of Hindu God Shri Ram, said to be located above the Sudarshan Chakra of Lord Vishnu. Bharata Kund is a sacred place for offering Pind Daan kriya. It is believed that the departed souls attain salvation if the Shradh rituals are performed here.
Ujjain: One of the religious destinations of India, the city has wide range of religious and spiritual interest. By performing Pind daan kriya in Ujjain, the unfulfilled desires and services can be provided to the departed souls.
Haridwar: Haridwar as a place is known for its importance in conducting puja towards all deities as well as towards our deceased ancestors. The pujas including Pind Daan and yearly shraddha ritual can be performed here and have high religious importance.
Mathura: The city of majestic temples and huge religious history is believed to be the sacred place for performing pujan and tarpan to the pitras.
Kurukshetra: The historic and religious importance is widely known by all. Performing shradh ceremonies on the bank of river Saraswati frees the departed soul from the cycle of birth and death.
Gaya: The ancient city in Bihar on the banks of the river Phagu is quite important in Hinduism and is eternally blessed by the power of Lord Vishnu. It is one of the holiest locations for performing Shradh rituals.
Jagannath Puri: Situated on sea shore of Bay of Bengal in State of Orissa, the city caters to the religious needs of lakhs of devotees. It is widely known for conducting shradh rituals for the departed souls.
Dwarka: Being one of the 4 dhams, the place is one of the known moksh-daayi cities. The city is highly auspicious for performing shradh rites, as it is the city of Lord Krishna himself.
The act of sitting together on the ground and eating seems quite ancient for the present techno-freak generation. A classy dine on the furniture or to sit in front of the television and eat; are few of the recent techniques of eating food. With transformation in living patterns we are going away from the nature and becoming dependent upon the mechanical world i.e. going away from nature to virtual. Yet at few places the bond of togetherness and tradition of sitting together in ‘sukhasana’ to eat is maintained, which in turn is beneficial for healthy living and high thinking.
Let’s make you aware with the pros of this unique habit prevalent at Gurudwaras and temples.
- The continuous movement of the abdominal muscles of bending forward and then becoming straight while eating, facilitates the proper process of digestion.
- The ‘sukhasana’ or ‘padmasana’ posture applies pressure to the lower spine that in turn brings calmness and relaxation.
- This position activates the satiety value and we feel full soon, and it also makes us eat slower due to which overeating is prevented.
- According to leading nutritionist, Rujuta Diwekar, eating food while concentrating on every aspect of the food – its smell, taste, texture and how much you are eating is the key to losing weight.
- The sitting postures help to keep our joints supple, flexible and less prone to injuries and degenerative diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis.
- Sitting cross legged maintain the blood circulation and the blood is pumped to all the required organs for digestion, much better than the sitting on the chair.
- The act of sitting on the floor and eating calms the mind and body that further leads to warm and blissful bonding among family members.
- In the Holy Koran, it was narrated that the Prophet used to eat (sitting) on the ground. He said: “I eat as a slave eats and I sit as a slave sits.” It automatically inculcates the feeling of gratitude and keeps us grounded.
- ‘Sukhasana’ means ‘calmness of body and mind through posture’ which makes us live longer and healthier.
The favourable act is a secret to blissful life and I am sure that none of us would like to compromise with our happiness. So why not go for some cool low furniture with runners and rugs in the room and enjoy the delicious food with friends and family on the floor. Moreover those who sit on the ground are not afraid of falling from the bed!
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja