The 16-day long Pitru Paksha period, which starts after Bhadrapada Purnima is dedicated to the deceased ancestors. During this period, which is deemed inauspicious, people perform Shradh, Trapan rituals and offer Pind Daan. The Pind Daan is nothing but food meant for the departed souls, and it consists of cooked rice and black sesame seeds. But why are black sesame seeds used during Shradh and Tarpan rituals? Read on to know the significance of using Kala Til or black sesame seeds.
Significance of black sesame seeds
Black sesame seeds are believed to have the powers to absorb negative energies that are present both in the atmosphere and inside the body. Therefore, black sesame seeds are used for cleansing the surroundings during Pitru Paksha, which is deemed to be an inauspicious period. Hence, no auspicious ceremonies like Griha Pravesh, marriages, child’s mundan or any other functions take place during Pitru Paksha. Moreover, people also do not indulge in products of comfort or luxuries during this phase of the year.
By using the kala til or black sesame seeds, people invoke their dead ancestors who wander in the Pitru Loka, a zone between earth and heaven. People offer black sesame seeds with water to the Pitrus while chanting specific mantras. According to the priests, these mantras (sounds) have certain energies that, in turn, activate the black sesame seeds to start attracting the dead relatives to earth for accepting the Pind Daan.
The ritual is done to relieve the ancestors from the vicious cycle of birth and death and also help them in getting liberated from worldly desires that keep troubling their souls. Moreover, a person, who has Pitru Dosha (the curse of his ancestors) in his horoscope, must perform the Shradh and Tarpan whole-heartedly and ask for forgiveness from the dead, who he may have displeased.
The relevance of til or Black sesame seeds is huge when it comes to the worshipping of Lord Shiva.
Significance of Offering Til or Sesame Seeds in Shiva Worship:-
Til, also known as sesame seed is one of the oldest oilseed crops. It has been grown and farmed since ancient times and can grow even in draught like situations. Within the Hindu culture, sesame seeds are considered very pious and treated as a major puja saman. There are two types of sesame/til seeds – Black sesame and white sesame. According to the ancient Ayurveda, the use of sesame or til seeds have a huge impact on the human body. You are usually advised to consume it in the winter seasons as it keeps the body warm.
Black sesame seeds are given as ritualistic offerings to Lord Shiva. This is highly believed to bring good luck as well as good health. The black til is combined with milk or water and then offered to the statue of Lord Shiva as a form of Abhishekam. This ritual is almost similar to conducting an abhishek with the five main panchamrat. It is also believed that giving black til to Lord Shiva helps wash away all the negative energies and cast away all evils from the life of the worshipper. All your troubles will ward away. Instead, your family and your life will be filled with happiness, peace and prosperity.
Being regarded as a pavitra puja item in the Hindu culture, after giving it to Lord Shiva, you can also gain good luck from his blessings. It helps you get away from the negative effects or powers of the planet named Rahu-Ketu.
How to Worship Lord Shiva:-
Lord Shiva is hailed as the heavenly deity, known for his disregard for worldly pleasures. Unlike the other deities, he does not require his worshippers to adorn him with jewellery and ornaments. Before worshipping him, you should wear the rudraksha bead to gain instant blessings from him. Apply a tilak on the forehead. Perform abhishekham to the Shivalinga. You should also try offering bilwa leaves to Lord Shiva since it pleases him the most. Lighting a diya or a Jyoti is a good sign when it comes to Shivling worship. You can also carry prasad to the place of worship and distribute it among the other visitors.