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Pitru Paksha


Pitru Paksha 2017: Dates, Timing For Shraadha, How To Perform Shraadah, Pind Dana

Pitru Paksha (Sept. 5 to Sept. 19, 2017) is a period when Hindus offer prayers their ancestors, especially through food offerings called ‘Shraadha’. Consisting of a fortnight of lunar day, Pitru Paksha is also known as Pitru Pakshya, Pitri Pokkho, Kanagat, Jitiya, Mahalaya Paksha, Apara paksha and Sola Shraddha. It is celebrated in the lunar month of Bhadrapada beginning with the full moon day or day after full moon day as per South Indian Amavasyant calendar and in the lunar month of Ashwin beginning with the full moon day in Bhadrapada or next day of full moon day as per North Indian Purnimant calendar. The rituals as per both calendars are same which is offering Shraddha to the ancestors. Pitru Paksha becomes inauspicious, if the death rite is performed during the ceremony, known as Shraddha or tarpan. The Sun travels from the northern to the southern hemisphere during this period.

Date (September) Day Shraadha
5 Tues Purnima
6 Wed Pratipada
7 Thurs Dwitiya
8 Friday Tritiya
9 Sat Chaturthi
10 Sun Maha Bharani, Panchami
11 Mon Shashthi
12 Tues Saptami
13 Wed Ashtami
14 Thurs Navami
15 Fri Dashami
16 Sat Ekadashi
17 Sun Dwadashi and Trayodashi
18 Mon Magha and Chaturdashi
19 Tues Sarva Pitru Amavasya

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Significance of Pitru Paksha:

As per the Vedic scriptures and customs, the souls of three previous generations of one's ancestor dwell in the Pitru Loka, a place ruled by Yamaraja between heavenly planets and earthy planet. Yama, the gods of death, takes the soul from earth to Pitru–loka. When a family member of the next generation expires, the first generation moves to higher planes or heaven wherein he unites with the Lord. In this case, Shraddha offerings are not made. These offerings are given to only three generations in Pitru–loka are given. Pitru Paksha begins; the Sun moves into the zodiac sign of Libra (Tula) and it is believed that the souls depart Pitru–loka and reside in their descendants' homes for a month until the Sun moves into the next zodiac—Scorpio (Vrichchhika)—and there is a full moon. Ancestors in the first half during the dark fortnight are appeased with Shraadha. Garuda Purana mentions that there is no deliverance of a man without a son. A householder should appease his ancestors who when pleased bless health, wealth, knowledge and longevity, and ultimately heaven and salvation (moksha).

In the Mahabharata:

After the legendary warrior Karna was killed in the epic Mahabharata war, his soul ascended to heaven. In the heaven, he was given gold and jewels as food. Lord Indra reminded Karna about his donations throughout his life; Karna offered only gold and jewels in charity. Karna informed Indra that he was not aware of this and asked him to find a way. Karna under the direction of Indra returned to earth for a fortnight to offer Shraadha to his ancestors. This period is now regarded as Pitru Paksha.

What is Pitra Dosha?

When a persons departed forefathers / ancestors have not attained peace due to lack of religious rituals at the time of their death, a "Dosha" develops into ones Horoscope which is known as "Pitra Dosha". Pitra are those people who died unnatural death and did not get salvation. Due to this, people perform remedies for the pacification of Pitra Dosha. Also due to negative deeds of one's forefathers. Pitra Dosha can lead to many hardships in life and thus Pitra Dosha Nivaran Puja is recommended for happy and peaceful worldly life and for attainment of peace for the departed souls of one's ancestors. Brahat parashar (BPHS) gives 14 kinds of Pitra-dosh. In the Vedic astrology Rahu is considered the main cause of these Doshas.

If there are problems in bearing pregnancy, repeated miscarriages or the children at home are often falling sick repeatedly. Also only girl child may be conceived repeatedly due to Pitra Dosha.
There may be regular / repeated problems without any logical reason or source at the house / business leading to severe frustration.
There is absence of peace & harmony in the House / Business premises & we feel negative vibes whenever we enter them.
The overall growth of a person appears to have been hampered in spite of his / her sincere efforts.

Shradha Rituals: Who can perform and What food can be offered?

As per the Vedic injunction, the eldest son a male relative of the paternal branch of the family performs the rituals. A woman’s son can perform the ritual if she has no heir in her family. The Shradha food offered to the ancestors include Kheer, lapsi (a sweet porridge made of wheat grains), rice, dal (lentils), the vegetable of spring bean (guar) and a yellow gourd (pumpkin). These food items are generally prepared in silver or copper vessels and served on a banana leaf or cups made of dried leaves.

How to perform rituals for ancestors:

Pitra Dosha Nivaran Puja is done to rectify the Pitra Dosha in one's horoscope. Puja service includes: Kalash Sthapana, Panchang Sthapana(Gauri Ganesh, Punyavachan, Shodash Matrika, Navgraha, Sarvotabhadra), 64 yogini Pujan, Shetrapal Pujan, Swasti Vachan, Sankalpa, Ganesh Pujan and Abhishek, Navgraha Pujan and 108 chants of each planetary mantra, Invocation of major Gods and Goddesses in Kalash, Pitra Aradhana, Vishnu Mantra Japa for 11000 times, Pitra Dosh Nivaran Mantra Japa ,Tarpan, Homam, Purnahuti, Aarti, Pushpaanjali, Prasad to Brahmins, Food to 8 Brahmins, Donation to Brahmins including clothes and money, Feeding to Cows, Dogs, Crows & Poor (Panchgras).

Provides cordial and harmonious family relations
Relief from physical and mental ailments
Provides financial stability and peace of mind
Relief from other malefic effects of Pitra Dosha

We at Rudra Centre offer Pitru Paksha puja service. The puja is performed as per the scriptural rules under the auspices of qualified Brahmins or priests. For more details, visit here.

Pitrukshetras in India

According to the Purans there are five Pitrukshetra in India, each region representing a specific organ of the human body. These are Bodhigaya as Shirakshetra, Vaitarni as Nabhi kshetra, Pithapur as Padarkshetra, Siddhpur as Matrukshetra and Badrinath as Brahmakapali kshetra.

Bodhygaya Kshetra is an ancient and holy pilgrimage spot where Pind dan is given for one’s ancestors and forefathers. The holy site is situated on the bank of Falgu River in Bihar.

Nabhigaya Kshetra is situated at Jajpur village on the banks of Vaitarni River in Orissa. It is also known as Nabhi Kshetra. Vaitarni River is famous in the Puran, wherein it is stated that one has to cross the Vaitarni after death and only a person who has performed good deeds in his life time can cross the river easily. By performing Pitrutarpan Puja here, one can help his forefathers get across this river. Padgaya Kshetra is situated at Pithapur at Andra Pradesh state on the Madra-valter railway line. It is situated near Rajah Mundry station.

Siddhpur is known as Matrugaya Kshetra is situated in Mahesana district of Gujarat state. According to the legend, Bhagavan Parshuram had performed Pind daan for his mother on this spot. Hence, pilgrims from all over India flock to Siddhpur for performing Pindadan and Shradh ceremony on the banks of Bindu Sarovar. Learned Brahmins trained in performing this Puja are available in Siddhpur. Near Badrinath in Himalaya, a stone known as rahmakapali has been unearthed, wherein Pinda daan dedication and Shradh Puja are performed.

If there is Pitra Dosh in your horoscope, and due to this your family isn’t growing or is facing constant problems, you can perform Narayan Bali Puja on the bank of Narmada river at Chanod tirtha. This is situated near Dabhoi in Baroda district of Gujarat. This Kshetra is famous for Pitrutarpan Puja and dedication to ancestors. Learned priests provide the facilities to pilgrims coming here from over India. People also come here to perform Uttarkriya.And lastly, Trayambakeshwar temple in Nashik is another important site where Pitra Dosha Nivaran Pujas can be performed.

Pitra Paksha: Do’s and Don’ts

This is the time of the year to connect with God, your departed ones and for seeking Divine grace. It is an excellent time for meditation, mantra, chanting and prayer.

Since this fortnight is reserved for performing shradh rites and remembering the departed ones, do not schedule any auspicious events during this time. No marriages, major celebrations or long distance travel is undertaken during Pitru Paksha with the exception of pilgrimage to holy places.

In general, people abstain from non-vegetarian food and alcohol during this fortnight, out of respect for the beloved ancestors.

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