The city of Bodhgaya is situated in the state of Bihar and is popularly known largely to us as being associated with Gautam Buddha. All though, the real association and the specifics about the place have always confused us. Bodhgaya is the place where the travelling prince Siddhartha to achieve peace sat in meditation below a Bodhi Tree. His three days of early meditation and following seven weeks of illumination have been connected with a variety of places in Bodh Gaya.
Pind Dan at Gaya finds reference in the great classics like the Ramayana and Mahabharata. In Mahabharata it has been mentioned as Gayapuri. Gaya gets its name from the mythological demon Gayasur which literally means Gaya the holy demon. With passage of time, the word asur got deleted and the name Gaya remained.
Pind daan is acknowledged to be the way of Mukti. The word Mukti means freedom from the Circle of Life and death and rebirth according to our Hindu culture.
When creating mankind, in Vayupuran, according to a narration titled Gaya Mahatam, Brahma formed a demon named Gayasur. The demon went above the Kolahal Mountain and offered great penance to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu was pleased with Gayasur and asked him to seek one blessing. So, Gayasur appealed that whoever came in touch with him – be it an angel or a demon, an insect, a sinner, a saint or a sage, or an evil spirit – should find deliverance and freedom from the circle of life and death. Since that day each person who came in touch with him found deliverance and proceeded to vaikunth the abode of Lord Vishnu or heaven.
It is supposed that it was Lord Brahma who first performed the pind daan ceremony in Gaya. Since then this custom has continued. Offering pind daan at some point in the dark fortnight of Ashvin is of exceptional importance. Figuratively a pind is a round ball made of a combination of oats and rice flour with some sesame seeds mixed along with some milk and honey. Seven balls are made out of 100 grams of flour and then out of these one is offered to the departed and the rest to others as required.
Previously pind daan was carried out around the year. There were 360 platforms where pind daan was completed with wheat and oat flour mixed with dried milk.
Pitripaksha Mela is a 15 day-long festival of souls, a world event staged in Gaya. It is planned each year which begins from the day of Anant Chaturdashi of Bhadra Shuklapaksh and finishes on pratipada of Ashwin Shuklapaksha according to the Hindi Calendar. It generally comes somewhere around September or October in each year. This Mela is extremely significant for mythological, religious and historical grounds. A huge quantity of Hindu Pilgrims visit Gaya each year to offer "Pinda" for attaining Moksh or 'Peace' for their ancestors and for this cause they offer "Pinda" and carry out religious rituals on "54 Vedis" situated at Vishnupad Temple. Thousands and thousands of pilgrims from various places of the country and neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh, and all Hindus spread across the globe perform the PINDADAAN.
Lord Rama Chandra is supposed that Rama belonging came to Treta Yuga came to Gaya to perform Pind Dan or carry out Shraddha of his Father Dashratha. This yuga covered 12,96,000 human years. Treta yuga was followed by Dwapar yuga covering 8,64,000 human years. The present yuga is the kal yuga. The period is to span another 4,32,000 human years.
If the shradha is not performed after the annual shradha of any person at Gaya, then the soul of person does not get peace and keeps wandering in the universe and it is supposed that the soul will curse to the family people and shall create diverse kinds of problems to parents or children like - losses in business frequently, illness of people recurrently and create complications in good work. These complications are known as Pitra Dosh, so according to Hindu Mythology, any person of the family need to perform Gaya shradha or pind daan in Gaya for Pitra Dosh Nivaran or to get rid of all the problems. And every person belonging to Hindu culture has to perform Gaya shradha or pind daan in Gaya for the deliverance of their ancestors or to give peace to their relatives and to send their ancestors to heaven.