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How to do a Vedic Prayer to our Ancestors

Posted by Christy Wandrei on

How to do a Vedic prayer to Ancestors

What is Pitra divas/ Pitru paksha/ Malaya Shraadh: 15 days dedicated to pay respect and homage to the ancestors. Pitru means the ancestors and divas is days.

Above all "prakruti" / Mother Nature is the ancient most ancestor to all of us. For a long time we have neglected her, exploited her and undervalued all she has to offer and has offered. This is more than co-incidental that we feel the wrath of nature and it coincides with the 15 days of Shraadh.

Shraadh means thankfulness, gratitude, faith, devotion and surrender. Maha-laya means the great cosmic dissolution. Mahalaya Shraadh comes once in a year and this is the auspicious time to seek forgiveness from the ancestral lineage and create a ripple of thankfulness. We cannot undo what is done but we can create a new chain of actions by acknowledging the role of nature, its resources and its presence.

Here are three simple practices I highly recommend:

1. Upon waking up touch the Mother Earth. Be grateful that she is present beneath your feet and seek forgiveness that you stomp at her. The mantra that is specifically used to honor mother earth:

samudra-vasane devi, parvata-stana-mandite |
vishnu-patni namastubhyam, pada-sparsham kshamasva me ||

O ocean-draped mother earth O the one adorned with mountains as breasts |
O consort of Vishnu, forgive me for stepping on you ||

2. For these 15 days light a lamp every morning honoring the entire lineage of ancestors

3. Chant the following Pitru Gayatri Mantra in the honor of Mother Nature and ancestors for world peace:

|| Om pitru ganaye vidmahe
jagad dhaarineye dhimahi
Tanno pitru prachodayaat ||

All the above practices are small yet powerful rituals and hey, why not make it a part of your daily practice / dinacharya?

May my ancestors, your ancestors, ancestors of those who are not aware of their presence, ancestors of those who have forgotten about them find peace.
May the divine Mother Earth, prakruti find peace. May we heal so that we may take mindful steps.
May we all remember to always remember where we came from.
May we always be respectful to our roots.

This is is my prayer for all of us. Humble pranams to my roots, to entire lineage of pitru's and to Mother nature!

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