His (Lord Chaitanya) father expired and then traditionally the place in India where one would perform the sradha ceremony or the ceremony to invoke benediction for forefathers was performed in Gaya. In such a sradha ceremony one could actually deliver the forefathers from their sinful reactions. After death we are getting the reactions for our sinful activities and are being placed in various conditions. It is not that it is all over, rather then we are getting the reactions and are suffering for our sinful activities. So a son, a son was able to deliver, to deliver his father by performing a certain ritual to shorten distinctly the suffering conditions, the hellish conditions, and so that his father now in a new body could again attain a human form of life.
All this is of course now forgotten. But Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu performed this activity. It is not that this means that devotees should also….. So it’s not that devotees have to perform the sradha ceremony. The people from India are often times very attached to performing the sradha ceremony, It is very difficult for them to give it up because it is such a tradition. But the scriptures say (Sanskrit) That when we are serving Krishna then there is no need for performing such ceremonies as the sradha ceremony because they are karma-kanda. Karma-kanda are all the ceremonies which are in the Vedas that give some temporary benefit. Some temporary benefit for material existence. But, if we perform devotional service automatically, automatically everyone is, all our family members are also being benefited. It is saying that 7 generations before and 7 generations are being benefited…….. And if we go back to Godhead, they will also go, they go!
So I’m sure there are some relatives here of temple devotees so the best thing is, is you have to see your son and your daughter is like an athlete in the Olympics running for the gold medal of going back to Godhead!
And therefore you ought to encourage that child! Give it all the support like you would when your son and your daughter is going in the Olympics! Of course you want them to score a gold, back to Godhead:
“Come on you can do it!”
“You will do it!”
“You must do it, are you getting up every morning and so chanting your rounds?”
….. So this devotional service is a very powerful thing. It is so extraordinarily powerful that even those who are practising it are not aware of it. We are following a process which is very very powerful and we just ourselves don’t even believe it how powerful it is!
(HH KKS 31/07/2005)