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Pitru Paksha Shradh 2018

Pitru Paksha | Pitru Paksha Shradh 2018 | Shradh | Pitru Paksha Mantra | Shraddh | Pitra Shradh | What is “Pitru Paksha” or “Shradh” ??| 2018 Pitru Paksha Shraddha | Mahalaya Shraddha

Pitru Paksha is the term referred by Hindus to be unpropitious, given the death ritual during the ceremony, known as “Shradha” or “tarpan”. In south and western India, shradha falls in Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapad (september- october) and in North India and Nepal this ritual falls in dark fortnight of the month in Ashvin, instead of Bhadrapad.

History Behind Shradha Ritual Celebration

According to Hindu theory, the souls of three prior generations of one’s ancestors reside in Pitru-loka (an arena between heaven and earth). This arena is governed by Yama raj, god of death, whose work is govern on pitru -loka and takes the soul of dead persons from earth to Pitru-loka. Then we done these rituals of Pitru Paksha called Shradha. When the person of next generation dies then the shradha offering of previous generation ancestors are not given.

According to sacred Hindu epics, only the three generations in Pitru lok are given the Shradha rites. At the beginning of the Pitru Paksha the sun enters in the zodiac Libra sign. Correspond to this moment, beliefs are there that the ancestors spirit leave pitru lok and resides at their previous home till the sun enters in the next zodiac sign of Scorpio, during which the full moon occurs. During the dark fortnight first half, Hindus are expected to serve their ancesters and propitiate them.

When Karna, the great warrior of Mahabharat, died in Mahabharat war, his soul transfers to heaven where he was served gold and jewels as a food. But he needed, real food to eat then he asked Yama, the god of heaven for the real food. He told karna that he never served real food during shradha of his ancesstors. He had only served gold and jewels during Shradha. Karna said that he was since unaware about his ancestors and the shradh ritual and he never donated anything in his memory. To make amendments, Karna was permitted to go to earth for 15 days so, he could perform shradh rituals and donated food and water in his memory and this period of 15 days is referred to as Pitru Paksha.

Significance of These Rituals During Shradh

To ensure that the soul of the ancestors goes to heaven, the performance of shradha by a son during Pitru Paksha is regarded as compulsory in Hindus. In this context, in the scripture Garuda Purana it has been written that “there is no salvation for a man without a son”. The scriptures preach that the householders should donate or serve the food and water to their ancestors along with gods, ghosts and guests.

In the Markandeya Purana scripture, it has been written that if the ancestors are content with the Shradh, they will bestow health, wealth, life longevity and knowledge and ultimately heaven and salvation upon the performer or householder.

Shradha or Pitru Paksha is a literally 16 lunar day session, when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors especially through food and water offerings. This 16 day periods also known as Apara Paksha, Mahalaya Paksha, Kanagat, Jitiya, Sola Shradha, Pitri Pokkho, Pitru Pokshya.

Within this period of ritual, the autumnal equinox falls which means the sun transits from northern hemisphere to southern hemisphere during this period. The present generation repays their debt to the ancestors during Pitru Paksha and this is of utmost importance along with a person’s debt to his parents and elders.

Determination of dates of Shradh 2018

Date                        Day                 Shradh

24 September       (Monday)         Purnima Shradh

25 September       (Tuesday)        Pratipada Shradh

26 September       (Wednesday)    Dwitiya Shradh

27 September       (Thursday)       Tritiya Shradh

28 September      (Friday)             Chaturthi Shradh

29 September      (Saturday)         Panchmi Shradh

30 September     (Sunday)            Shashti Shradh

01 October           (Monday)          Saptami Shradh

02 October           (Tuesday)         Ashtmi Shradh

03 October          (Wednesday)     Navami Shradh

04 October           (Thursday)       Dashmi Shradh

05 October           (Friday)           Ekadashi Shradh

06 October           (Saturday)       Dwadasi Shradh, Magha Shradh

07 October           (Sunday)         Triyodashi Shradh, Chaturthi Shradh

08 October           (Monday)         Sarv Pitru Amavasya

The last day of Pitru Paksh is also referred to as “Mahalaya Amavasya” which is the most significant day of Pitru Paksh and nani nana shradh propitiate on this day.

-By Anjali Chauhan

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