In Garuda purana , Lord Brahma tells Vyas Maharshi, the tale of a Trader to explain the significance of performing Shraddh rituals (Pinda daan) and later who reborn as Vishal does Shraddh Rituals for son at Gaya.
Trader does shraddh rituals for spirit
Once upon a time there was a trader who had no son. One day, he met a restless Spirit who requested him to perform the rituals of Pinda daan at Gaya for his liberation from the pains and tortures of being a spirit. As per the request of the Spirit, The trader went to Gaya with his younger brother, performed the rituals of ‘Pinda-daan’ for the Spirit. Since the two brothers traveled so long to reach Gaya, they performed rituals for their ancestors too. As a result not only the Spirit but all Trader’s ancestors became liberated.
On this account of his virtuous deeds, the trader got a son. He enjoyed a long life full of joy and contentment.
Traders’s rebirth as King Vishal
After Trader death, he was reborn as Vishal in the state of Vishala. In this birth also he never had a son. He worried about his Successor of the kingdom and approached royal priests as to what should be done to get a son. Royal priests advised him to offer Pinda daan at Gaya to his ancestors. As suggested by the priests Vishal did Shraddh rituals(pinda-daan) at Gaya. Vishal indeed had a son after he had offered Pinda daan at Gaya.
Later on when Vishal was walking around his garden, he saw three vital forces approaching him from the sky. When they landed in front of him, Vishal saw each vital force with different color. One of them was appearing fair, the other was red and the third one was dark. Vishal asked about their identities. These vital forces replied him saying that they are none other than the souls of his Father, Grand Father and Great Grand Father, all of whom had died long ago and came to thank Vishal for performing pinda daan for them and helped them in getting liberated from all their sins.
- The fair identity replied that it is Vishal’s father and was in hell but now it attained Indra lokha.
The reddish identity replied that it is his grand father who committed many sins while he was alive and went to hell named Avichi after his death. It thanked him for liberating him from that hell.
The third dark identity replied that it is his Great Grand Father. It thanked him saying that since his death it was unstable and roaming for a very long time and was happy that he was liberated from that because of you.
Saying all three of them disappeared and departing for heaven. Vishal was extremely satisfied that he had been successful in fulfilling one of the major duties towards his ancestors by helping them attain to heaven. He enjoyed a long life and after his death he too went to heaven.