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Pitru Paksha : Understanding & Observing Pitru Paksha

Pitru Paksha according to Holy Scriptures

According to the Gita and the Vedas, offerings made to the departed during Pitru Paksha bring peace to their souls. It helps them reach their divine destination.

Death is not the end — it merely punctuates the cycle of birth and rebirths. Pitru Paksha marks the end of one’s physical body. For the soul, what follows is a journey determined by each person’s individual karma, which was earned during their lifetime.

The Hindus believe that there are strong karmic ties between previous, current, and future unborn generations. We are indebted to our ancestors. When we honor them by praying for their souls, we earn their blessings.

Legend related to Pitru Paksha

When Karna (a warrior during the times of the Mahabharata) dies, his soul is served foods made of gold and silver. His hungry soul learns that this is due to his karma. While Karna was alive, he donated gold and silver but no food. His soul prays and returns to earth to donate food for a better afterlife.

Evidence of the earliest form of ancestor worship was found in China in the Yangshao society, which existed in the Shaanxi Province area.

Gai Jatra, the Nepalese festival that commemorates the death of the people during the year, was started by King Pratap Malla to show his grieving wife that she alone had not lost a son.

In 1877 Herbert Spencer, the English philosopher-scientist wrote in ​’Principles of Sociology‘ that ancestor worship was the root of every religion.

Like Pitru Paksha, on the Day of the Dead, people pray for their ancestors. In 2008, this tradition was inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Must Read: Pitru Paksha – The Fortnight of the Ancestors

Remember your ancestors with rituals

Consult a Hindu priest or a family elder to learn the special rituals. Foods offered consist of rice, black sesame seeds, and barley flour balls (Pindaas) along with water.

Help those less fortunate

It’s believed that during Pitru Paksha, feeding and caring for anyone in need generates good karma. It helps bring peace to the departed. What a great way to do your part!

Teach your children well

While you explain the significance of Pitru Paksha to your children, tell them that a good Hindu is respectful and loving to their parents, grandparents, and elders. Remind your children that there are blessings in obedience.

Do’s and Dont’s of Pitra Paksha

This 16-day period is considered an unfavourable time to start a new venture, get married, buy a house, or a car.

​Those who don’t offer food and water to their ancestors during Pitru Paksha will receive none in their afterlife.

​Pitru Paksha is also the time a Hindu can wash off the sins inherited from his ancestors by performing the rituals and making offerings.

​A crow eating the offerings is considered a good sign because crows are believed to be representatives of the God of Death, Yama.

Traditionally, Pitru Paksha was performed only by men, particularly sons, but times have changed. In families where there are no sons, daughters can perform the rituals instead.

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Post By Shweta