Shraddh or Pitru Paksha is a ritual dedicated for our ancestors. It has special significance in Hinduism. People offer food to their ancestors in Shraddh. After death, the ancestors reside in the heaven. From 1 to 100 years of age the souls are in the state of rebirth.
It is believed that the ancestors are inhabited by the Moon. The ancestors residing on the Moon descend to Earth with the help of the Sun. Kiran, the Sastra of Surya, is ‘Ama’. During the Shraddh, Chandra Dev visits and during this time Pitru comes to earth.
The deity and ancestors take the essence of food. It has odour, juice and heat. Smell, juice and heat make the Gods and ancestors satisfied with these three. Both fathers and deities have different smells.
With the pronunciation of Vedic Mantras, the juice and smell reach the ancestors.
A lamp is lit and then with the help of ghee-jaggery, an odour is created in it. On this, food is offered. This is where food reaches the fathers.