In Hindu culture, Once a year, every year, comes Shraddha Paksha. (The Ancestors’ forthnight)
The time to pay respects, perform some religious ceremony and remember our ancestors- Known as Pitrtus, for their wisdom, sacrifices and their being that have helped us come into this world and be what we are today.
On the day of their particular shraddha day, It is believed that if we cook their favorite food and offer to the Pancha maha bhoot- crows, cows, dogs, give some tochildren, the temple priest, the poor etc, the ancestors will be fully satisfied where ever they are for the next one year and will have a happy and fulfilling life no matter where they are at this time. They will shower blessings of happiness, health and prosperity upon us and our family of future generations.
This year today Is day one of Shraddha Paksha. (sept 30th, 2012) in East USA, and Oct 1st, in Indian.
For the next 15 days, in Hindu calendar we offer prayers, respects to the dearly departed ancestors of our family. They have done a lot for us during their life time and this is a special day in one year when we remember them all, each on their specific day or departing from this world and from us.
In respect to our ancestors, I am posting this small prayer in audio/video in gujrati to remember them. Recitation of the bhagwad gita chapter 12 and 15 are also considered to be very beneficial for the ancestors as it helps them in achieving peace and happiness in their abode/nextlife cycle. Cook their favorite food on the day and feed all you can and after offering to all, enjoy the meal with your family.
In case you do not remember which day they passed, the last day is a good day to offer your food and prayers. It is know as Sarva Pitru shraddha. (The day for all the ancestors) This year the day is on Sept 14th in East USA and Sept 15th in India.
Happy Shraddha days.