Table of Contents
1. Offering made for the Shrāddha ritual
On 11 October 2015, I offered cooked rice with sesame seeds, oatmeal, linseed and wheat for my ancestors as this was the only available food at the time for the offering. I also offered water. I went out to the yard of my house, placed the offering for my ancestors on a platform and I made a prayer with all of my spiritual emotion (bhāv) in order to remove the Raja-Tama component from the offering. I also prayed for my ancestors to be liberated from their suffering so they can reach higher regions of the Universe. In that moment I felt so much devotion and surrender that I offered all to Deity Datta (Deity Datta is an aspect of God Who, among other functions, looks after the onward journeys after death of our departed ancestors) and my ancestors.
2. My experiences in relation to the offerings
2.1 Offering remaining undisturbed by flies
After completing the prayer, I waited for 2 to 3 hours. I was watching the offering for a few hours after placing it and I felt inspired to chant the Name of Deity Datta, ‘Shri Gurudev Datta’. I did just that and I noticed that the offering was remaining undisturbed by flies and other insects even though they were present. This would not normally be the case.
2.2 Experiencing intense spiritual emotion
Three hours after placing the offering, I made a prayer of gratitude to Deity Datta for the opportunity to make the offering to my ancestors and I also felt grateful that my ancestors got spiritual benefit from the offering. Then, I proceeded to remove the offering and I went to an area next to my house where there was an abandoned house. I proceeded to look for the right place to bury the offering and I made a prayer to Deity Datta while burying them. When I left there, I experienced intense spiritual emotion of gratitude since I was able to perform this ritual to benefit my ancestors.
2.3 Rain falling while chanting the Name of Deity Datta
Later, I chanted Shri Gurudev Datta for 3 hours while sitting down in order to help my ancestors on their journeys in the afterlife. During this time, it started to rain strongly. This reminded me of the Shraddha ritual I had performed the previous year where it rained in the same way too. I wondered if there was any meaning behind this or if it was simply a coincidence.
2.4 Having a deep sense of gratitude
I continued with chanting despite facing some distraction due to other thoughts, and I could complete 3 hours of chanting. Afterwards, I felt a deep sense of gratitude and satisfaction because God provided my ancestors with benefit from 3 hours of chanting ‘Shri Gurudev Datta’. This made me feel so motivated to make efforts in spiritual practice.
Overall, during the Shraddha ritual, I felt honoured by the opportunity to help my ancestors by so they can gain momentum on their onward journeys and be free from suffering. I had surrendered to Deity Datta and in doing so I felt that He helped them through me. After the ritual, I felt satisfied because I felt it is my duty to help them in this way as in their lifetime, they have cared for us and sacrificed for us. This ritual is a way of paying gratitude to them.
I am full of gratitude to God for these wonderful experiences.
During the entire ritualistic worship, it is faith which is the most important. God loves most the one who has the most faith in Him. – A quote from a Holy text