Pitru Paksha is when Hindus perform the ceremony of Shradha or Tarpana for their ancestors. A sixteen lunar day-long timing is considered inauspicious. No new deeds, happy ceremonies, or celebrations are performed during this phase. Every day has its importance, and people who died on the same Hindu Tithi are remembered, and death rites are performed for that family member. There is a fantastic fact relating to Pitra paksh; these are done only for adults and not for children lost by family. The last day of the Shradha is the one ordinary day when rituals are done, commonly for young ones and people whose death dates are unknown. If a person doesn’t follow these rituals, Pitra Dosha is attracted, and this is the common reason why people have Pitra Peda. It can be identified through analysis of their Kundali.
How Pitr is related to Pitru Paksh?
Though it is not a very encouraging time, rites, and rituals during this phase of the year allow a family to grow in every way. The 16-lunar days only happen once a year, and at this time, people invite Pandits and Panditains to accept the Shradha food and allow them to gift Brahmins food and clothes. Feeding Brahmins consider, and one is feeding their ancestors. It is a way to offer prayers, show gratitude, and remember your forefathers with happiness at heart. The ancestors are believed to be the guiding angels who look after the next generation's well-being. During this period, prayers and food offered to them were a way to show gratification and humbleness.
From 29 Sept 2023 to 14 Oct 2023 will be the Pitra paksh. The timing comes once a year; according to Hindu Calendar, it starts with the Purnima (Full moon Day) of Shukla paksha, specifically the falling Bhadrapada month. The last day is Amavasya (No Moon Day) of Krishna paksha, and it takes 16 lunar days to complete this cycle. It is the time of the year when Hindus ditch non-veg food and prefer having Satvik meals. Plus, this is the time when people buy no new clothes or initiate no new ventures. It is the specific time when no marriages or happy times are celebrated. It is the time when people seek the blessing of Lord Shiva by visiting Trimbakeshwar Temple and performing rites under the guidance of a priest.
29 Sep 2023, Friday- Purnima Shraddha & Prati Pada Shraddha (Two Shraddha Falling on the same day)
30 Sep 2023, Saturday- Dwitiya Shraddha
1 Oct 2023, Sunday- Tritiya Shraddha
2 Oct 2023, Monday-Chaturthi Shraddha & Maha Shraddha
3 Oct 2023, Tuesday- Panchami Shraddha
4 Oct 2023, Wednesday- Shashthi Shraddha
5 Oct 2023, Thursday- Saptami Shraddha
6 Oct 2023, Friday- Ashtami Shraddha
7 Oct 2023, Saturday- Navami Shraddha
8 Oct 2023, Sunday- Dashami Shraddha
9 Oct 2023, Monday- Ekadashi Shraddha
10 Oct 2023, Tuesday- Magha Shraddha
11 Oct 2023, Wednesday- Dwadashi Shraddha
12 Oct 2023, Thursday- Trayodashi Shraddha
13 Oct 2023, Friday- Chaturdashi Shraddha
14 Oct 2023, Saturday- Sarva Pitru Amavasya
In Human life, every person sins knowingly or unknowingly. Such sins hamper their peace of soul, and even after death, they have to pay for the sins committed during their lifetime. The next generation has a chance to help these ancestors' souls authentically find peace by performing Shradha. The rites, which are a part of the Shradh, allow these disturbed souls to find peace. It is believed that there is a Pitru Loka which is the place where the souls find their place after death; it is between Earth and heaven. To reach heaven, Pitru Loka needs to be cleared. With proper Shradh rites, souls can leave Pitru Loka and find their peace in heaven.
But, there are other reasons apart from sins that disrupt certain souls. These are disturbed souls who have died before their actual time to depart from Earth. It can be caused due to unnatural death or sudden loss of life due to murder, suicide, and other unnatural causes of death. In such cases, spirits cannot meet the eternal power or find a place in Heaven. As a result, they are often stuck between Earth and Heaven in Pitru Loka. The spirits find their peace and reach Heaven if proper rites are performed for those souls by the next generation during this period.
A holy place is the right one to be the ultimate way to offer prayers and perform rites for the ancestors. Lord Shiva is regarded as the lord of good and evil. Trimbakeshwar Temple is where lord Shiva is offered prayers, and devotees from all over the country visit Nashik to perform Pitra Paksh rites rightfully under the priest's guidance.
Trimbakeshwar temple's location is one of the most amazing spots to perform holy rituals, such as Pind Dan. Pind Dan is the rite performed by the next generation for their late ancestor. The place needs to have a sacred river flowing next to the temple where prayers are offered, and Puja is done for the peace and sanity of the late family member.
Pind Dan is important to be done at a holy place with a sacred river in which Pind needs to be given to the holy water, priest, and a crow. Every family follows their rules during this period and performs Pind dan accordingly. The standard part is to worship the lord and offer prayers per the priest's direction. If you have been wondering why you need a priest to do it all, let us guide you to the appropriate way of doing Pitra rites.
Every family has a set of rituals passed on from one generation to another. It depends upon the caste, sub-caste, gotra, and Kull family. The three types of Puja Vidhi followed by Hindus who perform Pitru Paksha Puja are Ashvalayana, Apastamba, and Baudhayana. These three are named explicitly as three Sutra types observed at Trimbakeshwar Temple during Pitr paksh.
Certain events cause sudden loss of money or illness due to unknown causes. Such incidents indicate the presence of Pitru Dosha. Pitra Paksha is the ultimate time when rites are done to correct such issues and dosha. There are many benefits of Pitru paksha, such as:
1. A unique timing to help ancestors find the ultimate peace.
2. If Karta does the Pitra paksha Rites rightfully, then positive changes are felt in the whole family's life.
3. It brings prosperity, wealth, and good luck back to everyone's life.
Hindus strongly believe the length of Shradh must be short and the days of Navratri must be more. The time when grief is the season's pill, and everyone remembers their lost one, is the time of Shradh. There are 15 days in this period, but it may be 14 or 16 sometimes. The addition and exclusion of the dates are all based on Hindu Calendar. The beginning of the shradh is with Varshik Shradh, done for one family member. One cannot do it for two ancestors at a time. Let's discuss such details for each of the Shradh as per Hinduism.
1. Nitya Shradh or Naimittik Shradh
The literal meaning of Nitya is a timely deed performed on a regular basis without missing a day. It is an activity that is done Once a day. One such Shradh can be done by pouring water and chanting Swadha three times. The absence of Vishwa deva during this Shradh is strongly felt.
2. Kamya Shradh
2. Kamya Shradh falls during Rohini and Kritika Nakshatra, which is when Karta performs the Shradh to manifest some materialistic goal. It is when one needs to invite brahmin to the house and conduct puja, followed by offering meals to the Brahmin. One can even offer fruits and sweets and new clothes to Brahmin for him and his family. It is a perfect day to give out and pray to God to grant your wishes.
3. Vriddhi Shradh
It is a special time in the family when the next generation is born or gets married. The birth of a boy in the family and welcoming a new family member is done by asking for the blessing of the past generation who have left the world for Pitrlok. Vriddhi Shradh is the one which is performed during the birth of a baby boy or when the boy of a family gets married. The other name for this Shradh is Nandi Shraddha.
4. Sapindan Shradh
Every Shradh holds a unique specialty and is performed for conducting a specific ritual. Sapindan Shradh is the merger of our ancestors with the Pitr Pind. One out of the fifteen days and person who died on the Hindu tithi of this shradh is remembered by family members. Pitr Pind dan is performed by offering prayers and feeding the Brahmin.
5. Parvan Shradh
The one Shradh, which Karta of the family performs to alleviate the ancestor, is known as Parvan Shradh. It is the top category of this unfortunate timing which is considered to fall during Mahalaya Paksha when Vishwadeva is in his place of worship. It is usually during the initial days of the Pitru Paksha.
7. Goshthi Shradh
The group Shradh performs together as a family to offer prayers to the almighty to provide peace to the souls of the lost one, Goshthi Shradh. It is believed that if the soul takes rebirth and Shradh is performed by the family members of the previous life, it offers peace to the soul and good fortune during the next life after rebirth.
8. Karmang Shradh
As the name suggests, the Shradh performed to increase the number of good deeds is Karmang Shradh. It is the golden rule of life, and if you want to attain something or wish to have something in life, then you should learn to live without greed. The more we give out, the more we receive. This is considered the ideal time to give it out and pray to welcome abundance.
9. Tirtha Shradh or Yatrartha Shradh
The one Shradh which is performed for wellness, prosperity, and to welcome fortune in the family is Tirtha Shradha. The Karta of the family feeds the Brahmin and offers them a chance to pray for the family through Puja. It is the Krishna paksha or Shukla Pash, also known as Teej Shradh. One should never miss a chance to perform the rites of Shradh annually to avoid the Pitru Shaap or Pitru Dosh.
The Shradh, dedicated to uplifting your fortune as an individual by offering Pind Dan and conducting all the rituals under the guidance of a Brahmin, is Pushtayarth Shradh. It is performed to aim for advancement in life and to let out the feeling of welcoming change in your life and family. It brings prosperity and happy times to the family of the person performing it.
11. Mahalaya shradh
It falls during Matri paksha and is usually considered the end of the Pitru Paksha. It is the time when Amavasya falls, and people perform shradh in the group for all those whose death date is unknown. It is one shradh that brings goodness to the life of the person performing it. In case any of your family member's death date is unclear or unknown as they died in an unfortunate event or during any calamity, you can conduct their shradh on this day.
12. Nandi shradh
In Nandi Shradh, Karta of the family is asked by Brahmin to make sitting for two Lords by keeping two mats for the Lord named Satyavasu of Durva or Dabha, that is, give the knots of Durva and keep them in a bowl or a plate. Similarly, make six mats of Pitamahi: Mother, Father, Mother, Mother, Mother, and Mother, and Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother. If you do not want to make 12 in total, then make only six mats. Make a total of two Vishwadevos, that is, eight. If the father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, etc. are alive, then do not make them.
The journey begins with Purnima and ends with Amavasya. The next day to Amavasya is the Navratri Sathaapna, and post the 9 days of Navratri is Dussehra. The period usually begins during September and ends with Diwali knocking on the door during the Oct-Nov time.
The tales relating to Pitru Paksha state that three generations of a family reside in Pitrulok. Pitrulok is the place to seek soul calmness, headed by the God of Death-Yam. Through Shradha rites, these three generations receive stability. During this period, as per Hinduism, spirits travel from Pitrulok to revisit and stay at their house for 15 days. It might be shocking for few to know that the visit to Heaven passes through Pitrulok and is given based on the generations that reach Pitrulok. The story of the rebirth of a soul is recited as only through Pitra Paksh rites, a soul transfers the deeds to Heaven and takes a rebirth soon after death. This way, the Shradha ceremonies done by the previous family bring happiness to the present life of the soul. It is all reconnected, and good deeds bring good fortune to the soul even after rebirth.
Upon post-death of Karna during the war of Mahabharata, his soul was directly sent to Heaven due to his deeds and faith. There he was suffering from extreme Hunger, and it was all because whatever he touched would turn into real gold. The Food he was holding quickly turned into gold within a few seconds. As a result, He, along with lord Surya, went to Lord Indra to learn about the facts and the real reason for this happening to him. At that time, an eye-opening fact was shared by Lord Indra that Karna had donated gold in his lifetime but had never donated Food during Shraddha for the peace of his ancestor.
But it was not a deliberate act. Rather, it was done in unawareness of such needs and duties that he was expected to perform. To rectify his deeds, he was given a chance to go back to Earth for 15 days to perform Shraddha. The fifteen days he spent on Earth are now known as the 15 days of Shraddha.
SOME FACTS RELATING TO PITRU PAKSHA
The benefit of Pitru paksha in Trimbakeshwar
The top location to conduct Pitra Dosh Puja in India is Trimbakeshwar temple, Nashik. The positive offerings post Puja will remove hardships from the life of the person conducting it, and positive offerings mean wealth, good fortune, health, and a good societal reputation. Pitru Dosh can do the reverse for a person and turn their life into a living mess. Only through successful completion of the Puja by a Brahmin in Trimbakeshwar temple will help a person get rid of the dosh.
How can you detect Pitru Dosh through Kundali?
A specific condition in Kundali reflects a particular person suffering from Pitra Dosh. When the Planetary position of the Sun and Rāhu combine in the 9th house.
What Food is made during Pitru Paksha?
Before revealing it, there is a list of food items that need to be avoided during Pitru Paksha. Let's discuss what you can make during Pitru paksha. The Food offered to ancestors and Brahmin during the Pitru Paksha is called Tarpan. One must add flowers, khus, sesame seeds (black, not white), and milk. The Food can be made per the family's cuisine but has to be static. Plus, it is to be offered to a Brahmin, any animal or bird like a crow, dog, or cow.
The Food prohibited during the period of Pitru Paksha while preparing Tarpan
1. Raw grains
2. Non-vegetarian Food
3. Onion & garlic
4. Masoor Dal
5. Alcohol, pan, supari, etc.
6. Black salt, brinjal, jeera, black mustard, cucumbers, etc.
For whom can you do Shradha?
You can do Shraddha for a family member who has died. One can do it for their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, brother, sister, son, or daughter.
Who should do shraddha?
Any individual can conduct Shradha for a lost family member whom they have lost due to death. The family member for whom they can do the shraddha is mentioned above.
Why should one perform Shradha?
Everyone needs to perform Shradha individually or as a family to welcome prosperity, positivity, good health, wealth, abundance, and fortune.
What should not be done in Pitru Paksha?
No new ceremony, inauguration, celebration, new venture, or marriage should be performed during Pitru paksha.
Can daughters do Shradha?
The religious texts allow every “individual” to conduct Pind dan. Therefore, daughters can conduct shraddha, and this can be done even after they get married.
Shradha can be done at home by conducting Puja and inviting brahmin and nearby family members to eat the Tarpan.
When should we not do Shradha?
There are specific days to do Shradha, and one should ensure it is done on the same day. Usually, there are 96 days when one can conduct Shradha.
Can we cut hairs in Shradha?
No, it is not recommended to cut hair during Pitru Paksha.11 Oct '22 Tuesday