Pitru Paksha as the name suggests is the 15 / 17 days period dedicated to Pitra, ancestors. This period is inauspicious for performing any auspicious ritual like wedding ceremony, beginning of new ventures, long-distance travel except for pilgrimage to holy places, or major celebrations. However, it is believed to be the most ideal days for performing Shradh and Tarpan rites for ancestors as rites performed during this time satiates the ancestors for the entire year. As per astrology, planet sun enters the sun sign Virgo which coincides the time when spirits travel from Pitra Loka (the abode of souls of ancestors) to the house of descendant and reside there for a month until the Sun enters the Scorpio sun sign. The first half of this period, which is the dark fortnight is meant for propitiating the ancestors.
Reasons for performing rites for ancestors during Pitru Paksha
For benefits of ancestors: If the souls of ancestors are in Pitru Loka, then the souls get further momentum for their forward journey of reaching superior regions. Similarly, if the ancestors are unable to reach Pitru Loka and instead are wandering as Ghost due to their karma, then the rites help provide them relief. And if a desire or wish of an ancestor is unfulfilled which is causing them to not attain momentum in their onward journey or causing them to stay stuck in inferior regions, then the rites provides them relief.
For benefits of descendants: Souls residing in Pitra Lok need food and essentials which can be earned when their descendants perform Shradh or Tarpan rituals. When satiated they, in turn, bless their descendants with good quality children, happiness, harmony in the family, financial stability, mental peace, good health and success.
Due to connection, the happy, painful and troublesome vibrations experienced by ancestors are also experienced by the closest descendants. The positive energies of annual rituals performed during Pitru Paksha by descendants gets easily imbibed by the ancestors and this has positive effects on the descendants as well.
Pitru Paksha Shradh Days
During the period of Pitru paksha, depending on the day of death of ancestors, the particular day is assigned for performing Shradh rituals.
Pratipada Shraddha: Shradh rituals are done for ancestors who died on Pratipada including Krishna Paksha and Shukla Paksha and also for maternal grandparents.
Dwitiya Shraddha: For deceased family member or ancestor who died on Dwitiya (2nd day) Shukla or Krishna Paksha.
Tritiya Shraddha: For ancestor who died on the third day of Shukla (bright fortnight) or Krishna Paksha(dark fortnight).
Similarly, Chaturthi Shradh for ancestors or deceased family member who died on Chaturthi Tithi, Panchami for those who died on Panchami Tithi, Shashthi Shraddha for dead anniversary on Shashti Tithi(6th day), Saptami Shraddha for Saptami Tithi, Ashtami Shraddha for Ashtami Tithi and Dashami Shradha for Dashami Tithi.
Navami Shraddh: For ancestors who died on Navami Tithi and also for one’s deceased mother or female members of the family.
Ekadashi Shraddha: Also known as Gyaras Shradh, it for the ancestors who died on Ekadashi Tithi, Shradh rituals for them are performed on this day.
Dwadashi Shraddha: Also known as Baras Shradh, it is for the ancestor who died on Dwadashi Tithi and also for the deceased family members who took renunciation before their death.
Magha Shraddha: This day falls when the Magha Nakshatra prevails at the time of Aparanha Kala. If the Trayodashi Tithi prevails during the Magha Sharadh it is then called the Magha Trayodashi Shraddha.
Trayodashi Shraddha: It for ancestors who died on Trayodashi Tithi and for children who died in the family.
Chaturdashi Shraddha: This is for family members who were either murdered, committed suicide, killed by a weapon or died in an accident.
Amavasya Shraddha: For ancestors to who died in Amavasya, Chaturdashi Tithi and Purnima. However, this day is also suitable for all ancestors regardless of their day of death. It is also for ancestors or deceased family members whose date of death have either been forgotten or not known.
Rituals that are observed during Pitra Paksha
Shradha: It is a ritual of arranging a feast to satiate or fulfill the desires of ancestors or deceased families. People as well as holy men are invited to attend this feast. Cows, beggars, crows, and dogs are also fed.
Tarpan: This is a ritual of offering food along with Sesame and Durva to ancestors using a hand gesture. It is normally done near banks of a lake or river.
Brahmin Bhoj: In this Brahmins are invited and respected by offering food and touching their feet during Pitru Paksha. Along with food, money as Dakshina is also given. It is believed that the Punya accrued by the blessings of Brahmin benefits the ancestors.
Pind Daan: This is a ritual of preparing rice balls with sesame and invoking ancestors in them to worship them and making offerings like water, curd, and flowers. The ball later is kept in a place for animals and birds to eat.
It is best to perform all the above Pitru Paksha rituals by a learned priest as per Vedic rituals. We specialize in performing Vedic Pitru Paksha pujas. With years of experience and being one of the best and oldest online Vedic puja service providers, we pride in earning huge clientele of trusted customers across the globe. All pujas are duly performed by a team of highly qualified priests in our own temple as per Vedic austerities. We now also offer special puja services in our temple in the holy site, Trimbakeshwar which is highly revered and recommended by ancient scriptures for performing Pitru Pujas. We offer Pitru Paksha Pujas, Tripind puja, Mahalya puja and other powerful Pitra pujas.
20 things that should not be done during pitru paksha
Shradh paksha or Pitru Paksha based on Hindu calendar is starting from September 1st and ending on 17th of September this year. Shradh is a ritual that is performed by children or relatives of dead ancestors for the peace of the departed soul.
Our ancestors are very near and dear to us as our lives rest firmly on the foundation of their sacrifice. Pitru Paksha is the special time of the year when Hindus pay respect to their ancestors by performing few rituals and forbidding themselves to do certain things. It is believed that during Bhadrapada Maas, for 16 days from Purnima to Amavasya the souls of our dead ancestors come to earth in the form of energies. These energies may affect our lives according to their wishes.
During this period, food, clothes and donations are offered to Brahmin priests who help to perform Shradh rituals. Animals like cows, dogs and crows are fed. In Hindu religion, Brahmins are considered to be the primary servants of God and they are the link between a common man and the supreme power. They are an integral part of all religious ceremonies and rituals. There is a famous story behind feeding Brahmins – the famous Mahabharata character Kunti putra Karna donated a lot of wealth as charity to poor and needy people during his lifetime but he never offered food to them. When Karna went to heaven after his death, he was offered many luxurious and materialistic pleasures but was not given any food. Karna understood the cause and requested Yamraja to send him back to earth for 15 days in order to donate food to Brahmins and poor. Yamaraja accepted his request and sent him to earth for a fortnight. When Karna returned back, he was greeted with abundant food. It signifies Brahmin bhoj and feeding poor people is an effective ritual to gain fulfilment after life.
Pitru Paksha is the most auspicious time concerning our dead ancestors. Keeping them happy by way of various good deeds is one of the practices of attaining mukti or salvation.
Follow few simple rules and benefit during Shradh:
- During Pitru Paksha avoid eating foods like rice, non-veg, garlic, onion and outside food. Eat only home-made satvik food. Avoid cooking or eating brinjal as well.
- Don’t use masoor, kali urad, chana, black jeera, black salt, black mustard and any impure or stale food product in Shradh food.
- The person performing Shradh rituals should not cut his nails.
- He should not have a shave or haircut.
- He should not wear dirty clothes.
- He should not use leather made products like belt, wallet or footwear while performing Shradh rituals.
- If you are performing Shradh rituals and chanting mantras, never pause it to talk with someone. It may bring negative energy.
- Addiction destroys your good deeds and donations during Shradh. Many a times people chew tobacco, smoke cigarette or consume alcohol. Don’t indulge in such bad practices. It hampers fruitful result of performing Shradh karma.
- Avoid making physical relations. Be on a celibacy mode.
- Don’t tell lies or use harsh words or curse others.
- If possible, don’t wear slippers in the house for all 16 days.
- Avoid using black or red flowers and extremely scented or odourless flowers for Shradh pooja and rituals.
- Taking frequent meals on the day of Shradh by the person performing Shradh rituals is also prohibited.
- Don’t use iron vessels for rituals. Instead use gold, silver, copper or bronze vessels to please your ancestors.
- Don’t use iron in any way of seating. Use a seating of silk, wool, wood etc.
- Don’t buy or wear new clothes during Shradh period.
- Don’t enter a new home, start a new business or new venture or celebrate birthday etc. during this fortnight.
- Don’t bring home new materialistic things lie new car etc. during this period.
- Shradh Karma shouldn’t be performed during evening, night, dawn or dusk.
- Don’t wash clothes on Shradh day.
During Pitru Paksha, pray earnestly to God and your ancestors to cleanse your past karmas and bring happiness and prosperity to your life.