Pitru Paksha is a fortnight dedicated to the worship and reverence towards our ancestors. It commences on the Full Moon day of Bhadrapada which typically falls in September-October and ends on a New Moon day known as Mahalaya Amavasya. It is during this fortnight or 16 day period, our ancestors descend from Pitru Realm to our Earthly Realm to bless us. We must appease our ancestors through sacred rituals like Shraddha with Pinda Pradhana or rice ball offerings and Tarpana with sesame seeds to secure their blessings.
Offerings made to our ancestors during each day of the fortnight reaches them directly through the powerful sun` rays. Even those who lost their lives in an unnatural way, accident and those whose death dates are not known and whose annual rites are not performed, will benefit by our offerings during Pitru Paksha fortnight.
Benefits of Observance of Shraddha
Shraddha is an important ritual during Pitru Paksha performed for our maternal and paternal ancestors. This ritual is immensely beneficial as it confers well being to us and to our ancestors. It involves inviting the priests to perform homa and offer Pind daan to our ancestors. Pind daan which is usually conducted on the banks of rivers is an offering of rice balls accompanied through chanting of Vedic mantras. Subsequently these rice balls are also offered to crows, which are revered as messengers of our ancestors.
Significance of Pitru Paksha
The Brahma Purana says that worship and rituals offered to our ancestors during Pitru Paksha helps the souls of our ancestors to attain salvation and peace. When ancestors are appeased with our offerings and deeds, it helps gain freedom from curses and endless suffering. It purifies sins of our ancestors and helps them rest in peace. It helps the descendant receive blessings of wealth, health, longevity, knowledge and final emancipation.
When rites are not observed by the descendants, the souls of ancestors wander aimlessly on earthly planes. This would affect the well being of family members. These rituals remove Pitru dosha, improve health, cure illness and grant the descendant good fortune, protection from losses in business, success in career, abundance, and prosperity.
Sarvapitri Amavasya or Mahalaya Amavasya
It is the last and the most important day of Pitru Paksha. Even if the other days of the Pitru Paksha are missed, rites and charity can be performed on this day to appease our ancestors. Those who have forgotten to do Shraddha on other days of the year for their ancestors can perform on this day for beneficial results. Those who are not aware of the date of ancestors’ death can conduct their Shraddha ceremony on Mahalaya Amavasya.
Pitru Paksha 2022 – Pitru Paksha will begin on Sept 10th and end on Sept 25th. During these 15 days the souls of our ancestors reach our earth and we must honor them. Otherwise, they will return to their abode, dissatisfied and unhappy.
Bad Effects of Pitru Dosha
Pitru Dosha is caused due to malefic effects of planets, bad sinful deeds of ancestors and one`s own bad karma of past lives.
- Suffering from inharmonious marital life
- Problems with your child
- Chronic disease, sudden accidents, suicides
- Loss in business and obstacles in career growth
- Frequent fight within your family
- Problems of poverty, heavy debts and unresolved issues
Effective remedies to nullify ill effects of Pitru Dosha
- Feeding cows with green fodder during Pitru Paksha period or on New Moon day is considered highly auspicious. It is believed to bestow peace upon our ancestors
- Ants must be fed with sweet food preparations as this auspicious act attracts the blessings of our ancestors
- Crows and dogs must be fed during this period to ward off the ill effects of Pitru dosha. Feeding them is considered equivalent to feeding our departed ancestors.
- Offer water to the roots of the banyan tree
- Feeding the Brahmins is an important act of Pitru Paksha, as it is believed that our ancestors accept our offerings only if Brahmins are fed sumptuously
- Light an oil lamp everyday during this period in your balcony facing the open sky in remembrance of ancestors
- Give charity to the needy and under privileged
As per Vedic Astrology, Pitru Dosha in one`s horoscope affects the native`s prospects for growth and well being. Performing the rites for his or her ancestors during the Pitru Paksha period will help attract the blessings of his Pitrus.