Crow and Prasadam

How many have actually seen a crow eating the shraddha food offered as part of the ceremony for the deceased ?

Certainly most people must have heard about this in Bharat – either with belief, skepticism or completely rejecting it as stupidity.
As student of Dharma, I speak about this phenomena with a mix of logic and some tradition, but I had not seen this personally.

As my sister’s family was doing shraddh ceremony on 12th day for her, their family priest who had also done the Bhagavatam recitation for their family, requested the family to offer some prasadam to a crow in their backyard. It was the afternoon and my sister’s husband took me to the backyard of their house, suddenly one crow – no other crow was there – picked up the favorite food of my sister from the plate and left instantly. This all happened so quickly.

When this was conveyed to the priest he narrated the story of how Sri Ramachandra had given benediction to kakasura who came to harm mother Sita, but eventually was blessed by her and given the special benediction of receiving the shraddha patra to prove its efficacy.

Surely just a crow does not decide everything about the efficacy of the ceremony. There are many parameters, but the crow picking up something is amusing and fascinating.

The beauty of the Dharma tradition is that it brilliantly harmonizes simple faith to profound logic. Innocent shraddha does not have to be loggerheads with the profound logic.

Therefore attending any samskara is not a set of rituals but exploring the deep traditions conceived by our great rishis. It only takes a little investment and some logic to see, feel and experience it.

– Govinda Das