At present Pitru Paksha is on i.e. the fortnight of the ancestors. The offering made to the pitar’s has tremendous importance. This ritual should be done after understanding the reason for this action. It should not be done just as something which has to be got out of the way and so do it. And this is exactly what seems to be happening in Nasik (Maharashtra), the place which is traditionally famous for doing this ritual of Shradh and Pinda Daan. At this place there is talk that there are no crows to accept the offering. Hence this ritual of the crow accepting the offering is being forcefully contrived at the cost of Rs 10.
In this a person holds a crow in his hands and a crowd of people holding the offering stand on front of him. As when the crow touches the offering with his beak the ancestors are satisfied and the ritual is completed. But this, touching the offering with his beak has to be voluntary action of the crow. It is of no use if the action is forced. We offer the food as a ritual during this period but how many of us think about these crows at other times? We eat our fill but do we think of offering some of it to the crows right through the year. And then when we need them for the ritual we force them to eat it. If we think of the ancestors, not on just that day but we should feed them right through the year. Then only the kaksparsh which is an important aspect of the Pitru Paksha ritual will happen. And we shall get their blessings too. It is not enough to be highly qualified, it is necessary to know our customs and rituals too. Because we need these thinks right from the naming ceremony to the cremation ceremony and thereafter to the panda daan too.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)