Here are the things to avoid during Pitru Praksha:
- Do not harm your Fellow Beings : You never know in which form your ancestor(Pitru) arrives at your door during Shradh. Never turn down any anyone who turns up at your door, be it any beggar, needy or even an animal. During Shradh, avoid hurting any species intentionally or unintentionally, especially cow, cat and dog.
- Say ‘NO’to Tamasic and Rajasic food : One should abstain from consuming non-vegetarian food, and alcohol during Shradh. Also, avoid using onion and garlic at home. Furthermore, refrain from gram (black and horse), lentil, radish, cucumber, black salt, barley and mustard (black and large) in Shradh Puja.
- Never use Banana Leaf : Shradh meal should never be served on a banana leaf. Instead, use plates made of gold, silver, bronze, copper or a common paper plate. Silver is the most appropriate metal since silver destroys evil forces and satiates the ancestors completely.
- Cow’s milk : Be cautious while using a cow’s milk during Shradh as a cow, who has recently given birth to a calf, should never be used.
- Do not serve food with a single hand : Never serve food to Shradh Brahmins with a single hand as it is believed that the evil forces take away the food and nothing goes to our ancestors (since the ancestors accept food through Brahmins). Always hold food trays and dishes with both the hands while serving.
- Shradh Brahmins should not speak while eating : Brahmins who accept the Shradh food are advised not to speak while having food. Be it a compliment or a complaint, they should avoid talking as the ancestors who receive the food through Brahmins get disturbed and leave without accepting their descendants’ offerings.
- Do not dine at someone’s place : It is strongly recommended not to have food at someone else’s place until and unless they are a part of your extended family and you share common ancestors. It is believed that the person at whose place who dine as a guest, his ancestors become your ancestors and since you don’t perform their Shradh, you get afflicted with Pitra dosh (suffering from not performing Shradh of one’s ancestors.
- Never perform Shradh at others place : The auspiciously pious places to perform Shradh are Rishikesh, Gaya, Prayag and Badrinath. If you aren’t able to visit these places for Shradh karma, then, Shradh can be performed in your house veranda or any open space which is not owned by anybody else like river bank, mountain area etc. One must not perform Shradh rituals at somebody else’s place as it upsets the ancestors and they remain dissatisfied with their soul still wandering in the hope of attaining freedom.
- Do not forget your Near and Dear Ones : Don’t forget to invite your immediate family on Shradh and serve them with your own hands. For example, if you are performing Sharadh, make sure that you invite your sister along with her husband and son or daughter. The entire family paying homage to the ancestors, make them extremely happy and contented.
- Don’t carry out Shradh rituals in Shuklapaksha : It is advisable not to perform Shradh rituals in Shuklapaksha (in evening or night) since it is believed that the offerings made in Shuklapaksha reaches the devil forces and not to our revered ancestors.
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