Bhadrapada Padyami to Bhadrapada Amavasya ( Mahalaya )
AUM PITRUBYA SWAHA….. PITRUBYA IDAN NAMAMA….
AUM PITHAMAHEBYA SWAHA…. PITHAMAHEBYA IDAN NAMAMA..
AUM PRAPITAMAHEBYA SWAHA… PRAPITAMAHEBYA IDAN NAMAMA..
AUM… (Prayer to Pitrus)
“TO DO THINGS WITH DEDICATION, YET REMAINING UNATTACHED TO IT, ALWAYS GIVES YOU GLIMPSES OF TRUTH SURROUNDING IT…I & MAHARISHI RAJAR WERE PERFORMING A PRAYOGAM… IT WAS CONCERNING A JEEVA PITRU OF A PARTICULAR FAMILY WHO HAS BEEN HELPING US FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS…MAHARISHI RAJAR SAID THAT THE TIME HAS COME FOR THE JIVA PITRU TO REACH VAIKUNTA AND WE HAVE TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CLAN FROM THAT DAY…
HE SAID…’OF COURSE THIS IS AN EMOTIONAL MOMENT TO BOTH OF US… BUT IF WE ARE DETACHED AND PERFORM WHAT HAS TO BE PERFORMED FOR THE JIVA PITRU NOW THROUGH THIS PRAYOGAM, YOU CAN HAVE GLIMPSES OF TRUTH’…
WE BOTH PERFORMED THE PRAYOGAM AND WE WITNESSED THE CELESTIAL UNION OF THE JEEVA PITRU WITH PARANDAMA LORD NARAYANA IN VAIKUNTA….SO ALWAYS LEARN TO PERFORM YOUR DUTY AND YET BE DETACHED TO HAVE GLIMPSES OF TRUTH” A Disciple of Maharshi Rajar from the book of Glimpses in the Life of a Prayogi.
Pitru Paksham is described as fortnight of the Ancestors or forefathers which begins from the next day of Bhadrapada Pournami and last for 16 days until Bhadrapada Amavasya or Mahalaya Amavasya; Panchami, Astami, Madhya Astami, Navami and followed by Amavasya Tithis are very important days to offer Tarpanam, according to Shastram. In Telugu States, the period is known as ‘Peddala Rojulu’. This year, it starts on 16th and will end by 25th of September 2022 as per Lunar or Solar Panchangam. To offer Pitru Puja on any River Bank is considered very sacred. According to Hindu Shastras, Pitru Dosha is considered highly inauspicious and lead to unrest in the family, break up of couples, marital discordance, lack of progenies and career blocks and the list goes on. Hence, People offer Pitru Tarpanam according to their capacity and convenience. Pitru Loka, a realm between Heaven and Earth ruled by Yama-Lord of Death. Only Male is allowed to conduct the Proceedings of Pitru Karyam or Shraddha and woman taking part in it is proscribed. Conducting the Shradh varies from region to region and also from caste to caste.
According to Swami Sivananda, Pitru Paksha mitigates the suffering of souls remaining in heaven before undergoing samsara or rebirth, as in the case those souls took another birth immediately after their death, Shradda adds to their happiness in their new birth. The scripture Markandeya Purana says that if the ancestors are content with the shraddhas, they will bestow health, wealth, knowledge and longevity, and ultimately heaven and salvation (moksha) upon the performer. According to Anthropologist Sharma, the ceremony is central to the concept of lineages. Shraddha involves oblations to three preceding generations—by reciting their names—as well as to the lineage ancestor (gotra). A person thus gets to know the names of six generations (three preceding generation, his own and two succeeding generations—his sons and grandsons) in his life, reaffirming lineage ties. Anthropologist Usha Menon of Drexel University presents a similar idea—that Pitru Paksha emphasises the fact that the ancestors and the current generation and their next unborn generation are connected by blood ties. The current generation repays their debt to the ancestors in the Pitru Paksha. This debt is considered of utmost importance along with a person’s debt to his gurus and his parents.
One must have noticed in Facebook that number of Hindu Organizations (based out of Religious Places) advertise that they undertake such Pitru Puja on behalf which includes Anna Santarpana or feeding the Poor during this month against a Prescribed fee. It is observed that most of the NRIs conduct Pitru Offering through such organizations as sources revealed.
Raw grains are prohibited during the holy period of Shradh. Thus, rice, pulses, and wheat should not be eaten during this period. It is considered forbidden to consume these food items uncooked. Vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes radish and milk are also forbidden. Dana or a list of things to be offered to a Brahmana (based on Sashtram) will bring immense Peace and Prosperity, Smritis say. Likewise, Performance of marriage or Upanayanam or Gruhapravesam and wearing new clothes during this period is prohibited.
Hindus of Bharat Khanda wholesomely observe Pitru Paksha without any reference to Caste, Community and Region as defined in the Shastras and Sutras within the framework of Sanatana Dharma. All the Hindu Mutts of any Sampradaya and Prayoga School of any denomination give utmost importance to offer Tarpanam, Thila Homam and Food to the Pitrus or Pitru Loka or Jiva Pitru or Maha Pitru Narayana with so much of reverence strictly based on prescribed rituals of Vaidik System. During this period, the ancestors (Pitrus) of a Kula, Gotra or Clan are not only appeased but also reverentially offered tributes for the elevation of Souls into Pitru Loka. Shastram or Smritis or Sutras say that Pitru Karyam or observance of Pitru Paksham would reduce the quantum of Prarabdha and Sanchita Karma so that the Present Life goes smoothly.
According to the sacred Hindu epics, at the beginning of Pitru Paksha, the sun enters the zodiac sign of Virgo (Kanya). Coinciding with this moment, it is believed that the spirits leave Pitruloka and reside in their descendants’ homes for a month until the sun enters the next zodiac—Scorpio (Vrischika)—and there is a full moon. Hindus are expected to propitiate the ancestors in the first half, during the dark fortnight.
In ancient Bharat, three Holy Places are Gaya, Kasi and Trayambakam (noted for such activity) Hindus would perform Pitru Tarpanam and it must be noted that Brahmins of a Particular Sect who have specialized knowledge are allowed to undertake such rituals and surprisingly who also keep the records of Pitru or Ancestors. Pada Gaya or Pithapuram in AP and Kaleswaram in Telangana, Tiruvannamalai in TN, Gokarna in Karnataka, Tiruvarappu Krishna and Varakal Janardhan Temples in Kerala are known dots in this regard.
- Chatterjee, Deepam (18 September 2009). “Speaking Tree: Mahalaya Amavasya & Navaratri: Legend of Karna”. The Times of India. Retrieved 2009-09-27
- Justice, Christopher (1997). Dying the good death: the pilgrimage to die in India’s Holy City. SUNY Press
- Smith, R. V. (30 September 2019). “The ritual of ancestral worship”. The Hindu. Retrieved 2021-11-03
- Sharma, Usha (2008). “Mahalaya”. Festivals in Indian Society. Vol. 2. Mittal Publications
- Gaya to host 2013 Pitri Paksha Mela from September 18″. Retrieved 25 September 2013
- Pitru Paksha 2022: Devotees gather at Gaya’s Pindvedis to pray for salvation of ancestors in https://zeenews.india.com
- Pitru Paksha begins: Know the significance of paying tributes to deceased ancestors in https://www.timesnownews.com
- Pitru Paksha 2022: Avoid THESE mistakes during 15-day Shradh period in https://www.dnaindia.com