• Arun Kumar Subramanian

Pitru paksha

It's an annual fortnight dedicated to paying respect to our ancestors who brought us to this world. It is also known as Shraddha paksha, Shraddha means sincerity. It comes every year in the Krishna paksha (waning phase) that starts after the festival of Lord Ganesha Chaturthi.


Pitru tarpan (ancestral rites) is an important tradition to pay homage to the deceased souls of one’s family. It has to be done every year on the tithi of their death but some may not be able to do it. In that case, they can use this Pitru paksha to perform the rites. It is believed in Vedic culture that the souls of the dead will be judged by Lord Yama (God of death) based on its remaining karma. Souls then move on to the higher worlds or lower or may even come back to earth as a reincarnation based on the judgment. But some souls due to their karmic debt may not be able to move and in this case they tend to stay in Pitru loka (World of Ancestors) for a long time before moving on and in this time they’re sent back to earth (as ether) every year in this paksha so they can move on with ease by the homage done by their descendants. Puranas also say that a soul can get the offerings from its descendants regardless of wherever it is. Even if its reincarnated as a human being in a different family it will still get it.



Importance/Remedies

It's an active remedy to get rid of or reduce the effects of Pitru dosha (doshas related to ancestors). Pitru doshas are usually connected to familial and financial problems, especially childbirth. For example, if a deceased soul from a wealthy family wants to be born again in the same family to enjoy its hard earned wealth then the descendants (grandchildren) have to perform proper rites otherwise the soul may not be able to move and be born again. So the descendants may have trouble in childbirth and only after performing the rites they may get it.


Prayers to Saturn is also an active remedy as Saturn represents our ancestors. Feed the crows daily and feed the animals connected to your Saturn's nakshatra (only domestic animals).

Most important days

Amavasya is the most important among these 15 days as Amavasya is connected to the Pitris (God of Ancestors). Amavasya of this paksha is also called Mahalaya Amavasya or Sarva Pitru Amavasya. As in, the ancestors of everyone combined including deities and everything in the Pitru loka. Chaturthi, Shashti and Chaturdashi tithis are secondary important. Anyone can offer prayers and 'Pind Pradan' on these days esp. on Amavasya. Pind Pradan is the food offered to ancestors, a rice ball made of cooked rice, ghee, honey and black sesame.


Apart from tithis there are nakshatras such as Bharani and Magha given importance in this paksha. Bharani’s deity is Lord Yama, the God of death and ruler of Pitru loka. Magha’s deity is Pitris themselves. This is why Magha nakshatra natives will always respect Bharani natives.

Important dates:

India

24th September, 2021 Chaturthi and Maha Bharani nakshatra

26th September, 2021 Shashti Shraddha

3rd October, 2021 Magha nakshatra

5th October, 2021 Chaturdashi Shraddha

6th October, 2021 Mahalaya Amavasya


US

24th September, 2021 Chaturthi and Maha Bharani nakshatra

26th September, 2021 Shashti

3rd October, 2021 Magha nakshatra

4th October, 2021 Chaturdashi

5th October, 2021 Mahalaya Amavasya


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