We have a responsibility towards our ancestors. To receive an inheritance is not merely about property and assets, but also comes with a corresponding spiritual legacy that includes their vocation, their belief system, and their way of life.
On this day of Pratipada Shradhha, I honour your memory and the life you lived on earth. You passed away a decade before I was born, but your teachings have come down to me through the stories and photographs of those who knew you before you even had a granddaughter.
This year, Shradh runs from 13 Sept to 28 Sept 2019. It is believed that during this time, ancestors visit earth in their subtle form to bless their descendants. The kin offer food, money and other gifts to the ancestors as a sign of respect.
In Hinduism, the fortnight of Shradh is the time during which one pays homage to one’s ancestors. We have a responsibility to our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents as they brought us into this world. Their genes are part of our body system and their mental traits influence our thinking.
These days we no longer talk about our ancestors. We’ve disguised this topic under more modern semantics such as: ‘identity’ and ‘heritage’. But I think the concept is still the same. We talk about those that came before us so that we may better understand who we are today.