Once a devotee asked Mahaswamigal (Paramacharya) of Kanchi,
why do we keep food for crows during mahalayam ? Are our ancestors taking forms of crows? Why do they come as this low bird? Why not a high standard bird?
Do we address any other creature by its sound?
Do we call cat meow?
Because a parrot says kiki, do we call it kiki?
The crow is called by its sound that makes it special.
Ka means kaapathu or protect me…so when you keep food for a crow and say “kaa kaa”, you are asking your ancestors to protect you!
You say a crow is lowly because it is freely available and it eats anything! But let me tell you a crow is beautiful. Why? It wakes up at brahma muhurtham…it caws and wakes you up…..even cocks may not wake up on time many days as they are moody…but a crow is on time…it says “kaka” and wakes you up at brahma muhurtham apt to do japam. It is such an amazing guide for pooja.
Further, it calls other crows when it gets food…not seen in other creatures, teaching humans to share their food.
Then in the evening before it sleeps, it again says “kaka” to thank god for all that happened that day! Also crows don’t eat after sunset which is according to shastras…
Hence, I feel a crow is not lowly…it teaches us so much. Hence pitrus come as crows.
And one more…keep food for crows everyday not only during mahalayam.
Crow also teaches Advaitam! When a crow sees the food you have kept, it gets happy and eats it. Seeing it eat you get happy too. So both of you get happy…both of you are Bhagawan!
This is the explanation!
Hearing this the devotee questioner and others did Shaastaanga Namaskaram to the Sage.
Let us follow Periavaa’s amazingly beautiful explanation and get bountiful blessings of our Pitrs.