New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: Pitru Paksha holds special importance in Hindus as, during this time, people pay homage to their ancestors. It is a 16 lunar days period in the Hindu calendar. Sanskrit meaning of Pitru Paksha is the fortnight of the ancestors.

This starts with the full moon day of Bhadrapad and ends with Sarvapitri Amavasya. This Amavasya is also known as Pitri Amavasya, Peddala Amavasya and Mahalaya Amavasya. Most years, the Sun transition from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere falls during this period. 

Pitru Paksha is also known as Pitri Pokkho, Sorah Sharddha, Kanagat, Jitiya, Mahalaya Paksha and Apara Paksha.

Pitru Paksha 2021: Date

This year Pitru Paksha Purnima Shraddha will be observed on September 20th, meanwhile, Sarvapitri Amavasya will fall on October 6th.

Pitru Paksha: Significance

The Markandeya Purana scriptures say by paying homage to ancestors by Shraddha rituals, the performer will be bestowed with health, wealth and long life and will get salvation. Shraddha are considered very important in the Hindu religion and they are performed to ensure that the soul of one's ancestors goes to heaven. During the Pitru Paksha, the present generation repays the debts that were left to the ancestors. Homage to the deceased is paid to three preceding generations.

Pitru Paksha: Specific Days for Shraddha

During Pitru Paksha Shraddha rituals are performed on the specific lunar day, when the ancestors died. Some exceptions to the lunar day rule are specified and special days are allotted according to a certain status in life or death in a particular manner.

The fourth and fifth lunar days (Chautha Bharani and Bharani Panchami) are allotted for a person's death happened in the past year. The Avidhava Navami (ninth lunar day) is for the death of married women. The twelfth lunar day is for children and ascetics. The Ghata Chaturdashi (fourteenth lunar day) for persons got unnatural death by arms etc.

Sarvapitri Amavasya is intended to perform Shraddha for all ancestors, irrespective of the day of their death. Pilgrims from across the country visit Gaya at the bank of river Falgu for offering Pinda to their ancestors.

Pitru Paksha: Rites of Shraddha

  • The person who performs the Shraddha after bath wears a darbha grass ring. The ancestors are invoked.
  • During the rituals, the position of the sacred thread worn by the performer is changed multiple times.
  • Pinda Dana is performed and water is slowly released from the hand.
  • Food is offered to the cow, the crow, the dog and the ants.
  • Then the Brahmins are offered the food and dakshina as donations during this period are very rewarding.

Posted By: Sanyukta Baijal